Homeopathy is a medical science developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician. It is based on the principle that “like cures like”. In simple words, it means that any substance, which can produce symptoms in a healthy person, can cure similar symptoms in a person who is sick. This idea is referred to as the “Law of Similars“, and was understood by Aristotle and Hippocrates and mentioned in ancient Hindu manuscripts. It was Hahnemann, however, who turned it into a science of healing.
Here are examples of this principle:
- An onion is a substance which makes your eyes water and your nose burn. If you are having an attack of hay fever with watering eyes and a burning nose, a homeopathic remedy made from onion can relieve it.
- Poison ivy causes redness, intense itching, burning, blistering and sometimes stiff muscles. Homeopathically it has been used for everything from herpes and burns to eczema and arthritis.
- When you are stung by a bee you feel a burning, stinging pain and the tissues surrounding the area swell up. Some relief is gained from applying cold to the area. If you had swollen tonsils with burning and stinging pain relieved by cold, a homeopathic remedy prepared from the same source could cure.
Currently there are three thousand substances used as homeopathic remedies to treat everything from colds and cough to arthritis and cancer.
A second principle of homeopathy is that you should give the least amount of medicine necessary to evoke a healing response. This is called the “Minimum Dose”. We all know that normal medicines can cause side effects, leading to much suffering or even death. In an effort to prevent side effects, Hahnemann began successive dilution with agitation of his medicines, to find the point at which they would be therapeutic, but not toxic.
What does Homoeopathic medicine contain?
For the time of its conception in 1796, it was believed that homeopathic medicines contain some energy; as it was not possible to detect it’s contain due to is micro-nature. However, the recent breakthrough research at IIT has proved that the homeopathic medicines contain nanoparticles of the original drug substance. Now, we have started understanding homeopathy as nano-pharmacological medicine.
How does it work?
There are theories on how exactly homeopathic medicine works. As supported in major clinical trials and in practice, it is believed to be working by stimulating body’s own healing mechanisms.
For example, in case of diseases which are caused by infection, it seems to be working by stimulating the production of antibodies, defense blood cells, etc.
In cases of immune diseases, it seems to be working by correcting the immune mechanism.
In case of painful conditions, by activating body’s anti-pain mechanisms.
Similarly, its action must be on the lines of being antispasmodic, anti-allergic, immuno-modulatory, anti-inflammatory, hormone stimulatory, anti-carcinogenic, etc.
Large scale studies alone will allow full exploration of this young science.
The World Health Organization estimates that homeopathy is used by 500 million people worldwide, making it the second most widely used medicine in the world.
In England, France, Germany and the Netherlands, homeopathy is included in the National Health Service.
In England, 42% of British physicians refer patients to homeopaths. The Royal family has used used homeopathy for three generations. There are currently five homeopathic hospitals, and the oldest, the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, has been there for 100 years.
India has over 70,000 board certified homeopathic physicians, hundreds of homeopathic hospitals and clinics and many homeopathic medical schools.
In Germany , 20% of Physicians prescribe homeopathic remedies.
In the Netherlands, 45% of physicians consider homeopathy effective.
Homeopathy is also practiced in Vienna, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Pakistan, Greece, Belgium.
What is the Controversy which is revolving around Homoeopathy?
Due to the very nature of ultra-dilute homeopathic medicine, it naturally received criticized for containing ‘nothing’ inside them! It is only recently that it is discovered that the medicines are in the form of nanoparticles, which was not comprehended until recently due to lack of such technology.