Q : What is Homeopathy?
A : Homeopathy is a natural pharmaceutical science that uses various plants, minerals and organic matter in very small doses to stimulate the sick person’s natural defenses. The medicines are individually chosen for their ability to cause in the body similar symptom the person is experiencing. Homoeopathy is coined from the Greek word “Homoios” meaning ‘similar’ and “pathos” meaning ‘disease’ or ‘suffering’. It is based on the principle of Similia Similibus Curentur which means “Let like be treated by likes” Homeopathy is composed of two highly systematic methods: Toxicology and Case taking. First, Homoeopaths find out the specific physical, emotional, and mental symptoms that various substances cause in overdose. Homoeopathic texts have more details on toxicology than any other source. Second, homoeopaths interview their patients in great detail to discover the totality of physical, emotional and mental symptoms the person is experiencing. The homoeopath seeks to find a substance that would cause similar symptoms the person has and then gives it in small, specially prepared dose.
Q : How does homeopathy help the immune response?
A : Homeopathy fits into the class of therapeutic methods that augment the body’s own defenses. The basis of homoeopathy suggests that a micro dose of a substance will heal whatever pattern of symptoms this substance causes in large dose. This principle is also observed in the use of vaccinations and allergy treatments, though homoeopathic medicines are both considerably smaller and safer and more individualized to the person they are being used to treat. Although homoeopathic medicines stimulate the body’s own defenses, how they do so remains a mystery. One study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology showed that a homoeopathic medicine, Silicea stimulated macrophages (macrophages are a part of the body’s immune system which engulf bacteria and foreign substances). How or why Silicea was able to have this action or why exceedingly small doses of it are so active is unknown. Homoeopathic medicine do not simply stimulate the body’s immune system to treat sick people, for they can also calm it when this is necessary for the healing of the individual. An example of this latter effect was observed in a study of the homoeopathic treatment of people with rheumatoid arthritis, a condition which is considered an auto-immune illness.
People with auto-immune ailments suffer because their body’s immune system is over-active and it attacks the person’s own cells, not just bacteria, viruses, or foreign substances. Homoeopaths use such small doses that they couldn’t possibly have any physiological effect. Although we don’t understand precisely how homoeopathic medicines work, there is clear evidence that the medicines are active and can heal.
Homoeopathy became popular in America and Europe during the 1800s because of its success in treating the many infectious diseases that raged during the time, including yellow fever, scarlet fever, cholera and many others. The death rate in homoeopathic hospitals was between one-half to one-eight of those in conventional medical hospitals.
Homoeopathic medicines also have been shown to work on infants and on various animals(including dogs, cats, horses and cows) where they cannot possibly be acting only as a placebo. Homoeopaths also find that people who are being treated with homoeopathic medicine for a chronic disease sometimes experience a temporary exacerabation in their symptoms as the body’s defenses ar