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  • Writer's pictureDr. Heike Jung

What is Homeopathy? Part 1

Homeopathy is a type of medicine like “Conventional Medicine”, “Chinese Medicine”, or “Ayurvedic Medicine”.

Homeopathy has its roots in the times of Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Paracelsus but was perfected and introduced into medical practice by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, in 1796. (I will write about the whole story of how Dr. Hahnemann discovered homeopathy in another blog.)

Homeopathy is a scientific medicine based on the fact that the body can heal itself with the aid of a homeopathic remedy founded on the theory of similia similibus curantur (the Law of Similars).

The Law of Similars states: any substance that produces certain symptoms in a healthy being, can cure similar symptoms in a sick patient.

Of course homeopathy is much more complicated than administering a remedy made from a plant, animal, or mineral substance that has been diluted up to and beyond Avogadro's number and succussed to give it energetic properties. If it was that easy, everybody would be practicing it and our world would be a much healthier place.

Let’s look at the 4 Principles of Homeopathy and how, as simple as they sound, they are complicated and the reason why homeopathy is so successful yet also not part of mainstream veterinary medicine.

The 4 Principles of Classical Homeopathy are:

  1. Law of Similars

  2. The Individualized Remedy (specific to patient not disease/diagnosis)

  3. The Single Remedy (not poly pharmacy or mixology)

  4. Using a Minimum Dose (lowest dose and fewest repetitions)

As already mentioned classical homeopathy is based first on the Principle of Law of Similars, ‘like cures like’. There are thousands of remedies that have been proven to work for different symptoms, and these remedies are prepared by specialist pharmacies. Finding the correct remedy for the patient based on the Law of Similars is not easy (and yet it is the easiest part of homeopathy).

To find the correct remedy, the homeopathic doctor must look at the WHOLE patient based on the TOTALITY of the symptoms, not based on a problem, a condition, or a disease diagnosis.

Finding the correct remedy takes time because of the Principle of Individualized Remedy. The homeopathic doctor must get to know the patient in minute detail, find the symptoms that make the patient different from other patients with the same dis-ease picture, and flush out peculiarities that will lead him/her to find the correct remedy. Discovering the correct remedy will take hours and sometimes days or weeks (in today’s world of instant gratification, homeopathy is only for those who understand that health and healing takes time and cannot be rushed. Discomfort in the patient is “okay” will slow the patient down so healing can occur).

One of the biggest principles of Classical Homeopathy is the Principle of Single Remedy. All too often, combination remedies are being prescribed or appear on the shelves of specialty shops these days. The idea behind these combination remedies is to treat several disease processes at one time. For example, I’ve seen a combination remedy for joint mobility that contained: Arnica, Calendula, Symphytum, and Ruta. Each individual remedy can be used to treat different aspects of mobility issues from bruising to bone injuries, to cuts and joint soreness, but taken together you wouldn’t know which remedy is working. Like Prof Vithoulkas mentions in his book The Science of Homeopathy”: If more than one remedy or therapeutic technique is prescribed, any beneficial or adverse effects cannot possibly be evaluated with accuracy. There can be no way to decide which of the components of a combination has acted. ...Combination prescribing, in this context, would be analogous to trying to create harmony by tuning six different radios to separate stations simultaneously in the hopes of creating a Symphony.

Once the correct remedy has been found, Principle of Minimal Dose comes into play: In classical homeopathy, we use the ‘minimal dose’: the lowest dose and fewest number of repetitions needed to cure the patient. (This is great in acute cases which will respond within minutes to hours. Unfortunately, your patience will be tested in chronic conditions, and you will need to hold onto the fact that health and healing takes time. Suppression of symptoms is easy and quick but will leave a path of side effects and destruction.)

Homeopathy is truly holistic medicine as well as an art form; homeopathic doctors consider and treat the whole patient, never just one problem, a condition, or disease.

Feel free to leave your questions below in the comment section.

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