A Answers (11)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredThe basic concept of homeopathy is “like cures like.” Homeopathic practitioners use potentially toxic substances to provoke defense and self-regulatory responses. Hence, the idea is that something that causes an illness (like vomiting) could cure the illness if it’s served in smaller, less-concentrated quantities. Homeopathic products can come from plants, minerals, venom of poisonous snakes, or, sometimes, prescription drugs.
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, derives from the idea that the body can heal itself if given very small doses of a substance that in larger doses would produce symptoms of an illness. In other words, large doses of a substance will cause symptoms, while very small, diluted doses will cure them. The word homeopathy is derived from the Greek word homeo, which means similar, and pathos, which means suffering or illness. All homeopathic medicine comes from natural substances found in plants, minerals, and animals. Homeopathic practitioners administer the diluted substance to stimulate the body's own healing mechanisms.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine developed in the early 1800s. The system is based on the law of similars. It is sometimes described as "like cures like." For example, substances that cause vomiting may be thought to also prevent vomiting if the substance is diluted.
Homeopathy uses extremely diluted doses of potential toxins. This is believed to promote the defense and self-regulatory responses of the body.
Homeopathic products may be made from plants. These plants include aconite, arnica, dandelion, and plantain. Homeopathic preparations may also contain minerals. These minerals include iron phosphate, arsenic oxide, and sodium chloride. The venom of poisonous snakes, the ink of cuttlefish, or even prescription drugs may also be used.
Homeopathic preparations are often customized for patients. Products are chosen so that if the person were to take extremely high doses of the preparation, it would cause symptoms similar to the condition to be treated.
Most homeopathic remedies are available without prescriptions. However, many states regulate the practice of homeopathy. Usually, homeopathy may be practiced legally by anyone with a medical degree. This includes doctors of medicine (MDs), doctors of osteopathy (DOs), naturopathic doctors (NDs), and dentists. State laws permit some chiropractors to use homeopathic remedies.
There is some evidence that homeopathic treatments may be effective for certain conditions. However, more studies are needed to confirm these results.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.
Burke Lennihan RN CCH, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
Homeopathy is a system of medicine widely used throughout the world that draws on the best of Eastern and Western healing traditions and on ancient wisdom plus cutting-edge physics. It is part of the national health care system in many countries throughout the world because it is both safe (no side effects, no addiction or dependency) and effective (demonstrated in many research studies).
The underlying premise of homeopathy is drawn from the energy-based healing traditions of the East – the concept of chi in Chinese medicine and prana in the Ayurvedic medicine of India. Its remedies work with the body’s healing energy, which homeopathy calls the Vital Force. And the method of preparing the remedies enhances the healing energy of the remedy substances.
The starting substances for homeopathic remedies were originally taken from the herbal traditions of Western Europe and later the Native Americans. Remedies are now made primarily from plants, also from minerals, and occasionally from other substances like the milk of certain animals. (This last concept goes back to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek founder of the Western healing tradition, who used dog’s milk as a remedy.)
Because homeopathy is based on healing energy, it works in a realm of reality where quantum physics holds sway – a world where, in the heart of the atom, there is “nothing there”, no substance, only waves of energy moving in a pattern.
So the homeopathic remedy acts like a blueprint or template to remind the body’s healing energy of how to deal with a particular health condition and restore it to health. Homeopathy is an information-based medicine.
As such it is very safe. There are no side effects (although there can be a temporary worsening of symptoms as part of the healing process, but this rarely happens with over-the-counter self-care use of homeopathy). There is no possibility of dependency, addiction, withdrawal or rebound effects. It can act quickly and often has positive side effects – other things get better at the same time.
For more information about homeopathy and its practical uses, plus a list of books about research on homeopathy, see my book, A Healer In Every Home.
Find out more about this book:Your Natural Medicine Cabinet: A Practical Guide to Drug-Free Remedies for Common Ailments
Lisa Samet, ND, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that includes the law of similars, treating the whole body and addressing the cause of disease. Watch naturopathic doctor Lisa Samet, ND, explain how homeopathy promotes healing, not just management of symptoms.
Stephen Atkins, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that uses watered down substances to treat illness. In this video, Dr. Stephen Atkins,an integrative medicine specialist, explains how homeopathy works and gives examples of common ailments it’s thought to cure.
Joel Fuhrman, MD, Family Medicine, answeredHomeopathy (or homeopathic medicine) was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago. A central homeopathic principle is that of similars, or "like cures like," meaning that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces symptoms similar to those of the disease or condition. This "similar" was diluted down so that no substance could be detected in the substance that is given as medication. It was developed based on theories that no longer are consistent with accepted modern tenants of chemistry and physics. We also have greater understanding of the placebo effect today and how important it is to do double-blind studies evaluating the efficacy of treatments.
Homeopathic remedies are extremely dilute preparations of the active substance, (usually a poisonous natural ingredient)—so dilute that few molecules of the original substance remain. Some believe it is the vibrational memory of that substance that is believed to have healing properties. Today the word homeopathic can be used as a marketing tool to sell an herbal product or a nutritional product that has no resemblance to traditional homeopathic principles. In health food stores, it has turned into a marketing term without real meaning.
A number of homeopathic remedies are marketed as cold and flu products. Oscillococcinum is among the most popular products marketed for this purpose. A 2006 Cochrane review of Oscillococcinum, including 3 prevention trials and 4 treatment trials, concluded that this remedy was not effective in preventing infections and an insignificant effect on the duration of symptoms.
Find out more about this book:Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free
Boston Women's Health Book Collective, answered
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that uses highly dilute preparations made from plants, minerals, or animals to stimulate healing. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, developed homeopathy in the late 1700s. He articulated the Law of Similars, which holds that tiny doses of a substance that causes certain symptoms can be used to treat the same symptoms. For example, a homeopath would give a febrile patient a dilute dose of a substance that, in larger doses, would cause fever. An initial visit with a homeopath generally takes an hour to an hour and a half and includes detailed discussion about a person's eating and sleeping habits, psychological and emotional state, fears, cravings, and family history as well as the specific ailments that are causing discomfort.
After a homeopathic remedy is used, symptoms often worsen before they improve; homeopaths consider this a good sign. Oral homeopathic remedies usually come in the form of liquid remedies or as tiny pills that are placed under the tongue.
Find out more about this book:Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation answeredHomeopathy is one of the most controversial forms of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) because its basic principles conflict with the basic principles of conventional medicine, chemistry, and physics. Nevertheless, homeopathy is a popular CAM therapy. German physician Samuel Hahnemann developed homeopathy in the 1800s. Following in his footsteps, homeopathic practitioners believe in the "law of similars" or "like cures like." This principle, in various forms, has been used in other branches of medicine for centuries. Dr. Allen C. Bowling, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director of the Rocky Mountain MS Center uses the example of arsenic. "Because large doses of arsenic produce stomach cramps, very low doses of arsenic may be used to treat them," according to homeopathy principles.
Using low doses of substances is a primary principle of homeopathy. In fact, many homeopathic solutions are so diluted with water or alcohol that the final solution does not contain even a single molecule of the original substance. But practitioners believe that the water has a "memory" for the substance that it once contained, which actually makes it more potent.
Debra Fulghum Bruce PhD, Healthcare, answered
Homeopathy is a naturopathic form of medicine that is based on the principle of "like cures like symptom,” which means that remedies that would cause a potential problem in large doses will actually encourage the body to heal more rapidly if given in small doses. Homeopathic remedies are made from plant, animal, or mineral substances, and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Homeopathic medicines may be helpful in treating allergies, hay fever, migraine headaches, trauma, gastritis, allergic asthma, acute childhood diarrhea, fibromyalgia, and influenza.