WHAT IS HOMEOPATHY?

Homeopathic medicine is a natural pharmaceutical science developed by German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, that uses various natural sources (plants, minerals or animals) in very small dose to stimulate the sick person's natural defenses. It is based on the principle of “like cures like”. In simple words, it means that any substance that produces symptoms in a healthy person can cure similar symptoms in a person who is unwell. The medicines are individually chosen for their ability to cause in overdose the similar symptoms the person is experiencing. Since one's symptoms are actually efforts of the organism to reestablish homeostasis or balance, it is logical to seek a substance that would, in overdose, cause the similar symptoms the person is experiencing. The medicines, thus, go with, rather than against, the person's natural defenses.

This idea was understood by Hippocrates (father of medicine) and is also mentioned in ancient Hindu manuscripts. It was Hahnemann, however, who turned it into the science of healing.

Homeopathy – Scope

Homeopathy can be used as supportive treatment along with conventional medicine in serious infections. Homeopathy is known to cure various types of chronic and acute complaints. People have experienced the benefits over a wide range of illnesses, such as allergies, skin problems, backache, digestive problems, epilepsy, fevers, gastric problems, headaches, hair fall, infections, intestinal complaints, injuries, kidney problems, liver problems, lung complaints, menstrual complaints, nerve problems, paralysis, psychological problems, arthritis problems, all types of chronic and acute pain, and much more.

The "law of similars," the basic principle of homeopathy, is even used in some conventional medical therapies, such as immunizations and allergy treatments. These treatments, however, are not pure homeopathy since homeopathic medicines are more individually prescribed, given in smaller doses, and used to treat sick people and to prevent disease.


IF THE MEDICINES ARE SO EFFECTIVE, WHY ISN'T HOMEOPATHY MORE POPULAR TODAY?

Homeopathy is known for its safe and gentle ways of treatment. People across the world prefer homeopathy over conventional medicine, as it has no side-effects, and is non-toxic and non-addictive.

In the last five years, homeopathy has grown three times faster than allopathy [25-30% annually]. It is presently the 2nd largest system of medicine in the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Apart from curing acute and chronic illnesses, homeopathy has a reputation of providing relief in many difficult as well as rare ailments.

Actually, homeopathy is quite popular in many countries in the world. As for homeopathy in the U.S., it was also very popular here. At the turn of the century, 15% of physicians were homeopathic physicians. The A.M.A. was seriously threatened clinically, philosophically, and economically by homeopaths. As distinct from other unorthodox practitioners, homeopaths graduated from respected medical schools. The A.M.A. was so threatened by homeopathy that from 1860 to the early 1900s a conventional physician would lose their membership in the A.M.A if they simply consulted with a homeopath.

Homeopathy is particularly popular in France, England, Germany, Greece, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and South Africa. Approximately 40% of the French public have used homeopathic medicines, and 39% of the French physicians have prescribed the medicines.


ARE HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES SAFE?

The small doses used in homeopathic medicines make them extremely safe. Of course, it is important to know how to prescribe the medicines in the right manner, right doses , and offcourse the right selection of medicines.


HOMEOPATHS USE SUCH SMALL DOSES THAT THEY COULDN'T POSSIBLY HAVE ANY PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECT. HOW CAN YOU RESPOND TO THIS?

Although we don't understand precise how the homeopathic medicines work, there is clear evidence that the medicines are active and can heal. Homeopathy became popular in this country and in Europe during the 1800s because of its success in treating the many infectious diseases that raged during that time, including yellow fever, scarlet fever, cholera, and many others. The death rate in homeopathic hospitals was between one-half to one-eigth of those in conventional medical hospitals. Homeopathic medicines also have been shown to work on infants and on various animals (including dogs, cats, horses and even cows) where it is highly unlikely that they are acting only as a placebo.


CAN I COMBINE HOMEOPATHY WITH ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT?
Yes, It is possible to take them together, homeopathy can complement allopathic treatment.
If you have been taking allopathic medication for a long time, it is not advisable to stop immediately. In such cases, your homeopathic doctor will advise you to start homeopathic treatment alongside allopathy. As your condition improves, you may reduce the consumption of allopathic medicines gradually.
Clinical evidence shows that conventional medicine and homeopathy work well together in treating certain disorders. One such research was conducted in Athens to check the compatibility of homeopathic and allopathic medicines in controlling diabetes. It was found that a group treated only with conventional medicine showed 47% improvement, while the one treated with allopathic and homeopathic medicine together showed an impressive 97% improvement.

ALL HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES LOOK THE SAME. HOW CAN THE SAME HOMEOPATHIC PILL CURE A VARIETY OF AILMENTS?
Homeopathic medicines may look alike, but they are not the same.The basic ingredients of homeopathic medicines are derived from 3000 different sources, including plants and minerals. Their active principles are extracted into various solvents and the liquid homeopathic medicine is poured into small, highly porous, absorptive sugar globules for better taste.

DO HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES HAVE SIDE-EFFECTS?
No, homeopathic medicines do not cause any side-effects. Homeopathic medicines are made from natural sources like plants and minerals, thus causing no side-effects, even if you take them throughout your lifetime.

DO HOMEOPATHIC DOCTORS HAVE A PROPER MEDICAL TRAINING BACKGROUND? CAN THEY UNDERSTAND AND DIAGNOSE COMPLAINS CORRECTLY, JUST AS A GENERAL PHYSICIAN WOULD?
Yes, a professional homeopath in India has to go through the same rigorous 4 or 5-year course as any other allopathic doctor, including one year of internship at a hospital. Subjects like physiology, surgery and medicine are taught in allopathy and homeopathy.

DO HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES HAVE STEROIDS?
Homeopathy believes in correcting the disorder instead of suppressing it, unlike steroid-based drugs. Therefore, using steroids is against the philosophy of homeopathy. All homoeopathic medicines use scientific methods of extracting medicinal properties from natural substances. There is no scope or need to adulterate the medicines with any other substance, as that would eliminate the curative properties of the medicine.

DO HOMEOPATHIC PILLS TREAT CHRONIC ILLNESSES?
Homeopathic medicine can provide relief in both acute as well as chronic illnesses. Unfortunately, many people choose homeopathy only when other systems of medicine fail to treat their ailment.

IS HOMEOPATHY SLOW IN ACTION?
Several types of diseases, chronic or acute, can be treated effectively with homeopathy. Unfortunately, people tend to go to a homeopath only when the acute problem becomes chronic, that is, it becomes more severe and difficult to treat. They choose homeopathy when other systems of medicine fail to treat or completely cure their medical condition, most often in cases like arthritis, asthma, rare skin conditions, etc. These cases naturally take longer to treat, even with any other system of medicine. For acute ailments like fever, diarrhoea, acute cold, cough, etc., homeopathic remedies act as fast as conventional medicines, sometimes even faster. In certain cases, these remedies produce results even quicker than other forms of therapy.

FOR HOW LONG DOES ONE NEED TO TAKE HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE?
You might see an improvement in your condition within a few weeks of starting homeopathic treatment; on the other hand, it might even take a few years to see positive results. The duration of homeopathic treatment depends a lot on factors like the duration of your illness, progress of the disorder and earlier treatments you may have taken for the same

CAN MY ILLNESS COME BACK AFTER STOPPING HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT?
The recurrence of your illness depends on several factors. You have to take medicines as advised by your homeopathic doctor for the recommended duration. If you stop the treatment midway because you see an improvement in your symptoms, there are high chances that your illness might recur. Your homeopath knows exactly how long you need to continue treatment for complete recovery. So, to avoid recurrence, take the suggested dose of homeopathic remedy for the duration recommended by your homeopath. There might also be certain post-treatment, self-help care tips that your homeopath might suggest. To avoid the recurrence of your illness, follow the post-treatment tips suggested by your homeopath.

DOES HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT INVOLVE A LOT OF RESTRICTIONS ON FOOD?
No such special restrictions are required, its just dietry precautions that you have to take for specific diseases,it is usually recommended that patients must refrain from eating or drinking anything 15-30 minutes before or after the consumption of homeopathic medicines.

IS IT SAFE TO TAKE HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES DURING PREGNANCY?
Nausea, anaemia, backache, cramps, morning sickness, constipation, heartburn, blood pressure, emotional distress, etc., are some common complaints during pregnancy. Homeopathy works gently and effectively to relieve such discomfort. In fact, conventional medicine can possibly have side-effects on both the mother and child, whereas homeopathy effectively addresses pregnancy related problems without any toxic side-effects. For better results, it is advisable to take homeopathic medicines under the care and guidance of an expert homeopathic physician.

DOES HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT NEED A DIAGNOSIS AND BLOOD TESTS OR X-RAYS LIKE CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT?
Like any other system of medicine, homeopathy also needs to evaluate your condition thoroughly and make the correct diagnosis. Simply taking medication on the basis of symptoms will only mask your symptoms, and not get to the root of the problem. The symptoms can give your doctor a rough indication of what you could be suffering, but tests will help narrow down the diagnoses.

WHY DON’T HOMEOPATHIC DOCTORS DISCLOSE THE NAME OF THE MEDICINES THEY HAND OUT?
One of the biggest reasons behind the aggravation of diseases in patients today is self-medication. Potential risks of self-medication include incorrect dosage, severe adverse reactions, dangerous drug interactions, drug-dependency and aggravation of the condition. When patients know the name of the medicine that helped cure their symptoms once, they tend to treat their ailment with the same medicine in case of recurrence without the knowledge of the doctor. Thus, to avoid the practice of self-medication, a homeopath avoids disclosing the name of the medicine prescribed. Medicine taken without the doctor’s advice can do more harm than benefit. However, if you still insist on knowing the medicine prescribed, our homeopathic doctor will share the same with you.

HOW MANY DAYS OF HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE CAN I STOCK IF I AM TRAVELLING?
Homeopathic medicines can be stocked safely for 8 months to 1 year. However, ensure that you keep the medicine away from extreme temperatures, kitchen heat or electronic devices. The medicines should also be free from moisture.