Homeopathy, from the greek word homoios meaning like or similar and pathos meaning sufferi

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Homeopathy, from the greek word homoios meaning like or similar and pathos meaning suffering was developed and given a scientific basis by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700's. The basic principle of Homeopathy is "similia similibus curentur" or "let likes be cured by likes". In conventional medicine we are taught to think in terms of disease character- ized by certain symptoms and the suppression of these symptoms as the cure. Homeopathy, on the other hand, see the symptoms as evidence that the body is working in a healthy way to overcome an unhealthy condition. Cure in homeopathic terms a restoration of normal internal stability in the organism (homeostasis). This is accomplished, not by opposing the natural efforts of the body reflected in the symptoms, but by stimulating the body's own self healing power. This is accomplished by administering homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic medicines are prepared in a unique way from fresh plant, animal, or mineral sources. In the case of sunstances that are insoluble, one part of the original substance is mixed with nine parts of an inert medium, usually lactose, This is then triturated (ground) and tabletized. The first trituration results in a 1X potency and each additional trituration consist- ing of one part of the previous potency and nine parts of lactose produces the next potency (i.e. 2X, 3X, 4X etc.). In the case of soluble substances such as plants, a "mother" tincture is made by macerating fresh plant material and then mixing this with alcohol and water. Exact formulas are contained in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoea. After the prescribed period of time, the resulting mixture is filtered and the liquid is then the mother tincture. This liquid is made more potent in a step by step process requiring the addition of alcohol in a nine to one ratio.. This is then succussed, and so on for successive potencies. This method is thought to increase the effective surface area of the healing substances which in turn stimulates an increase in the self healing power of the organism. It is important to realize that homeopathic potency is not just a highly diluted solution but one made by a prescribed procedure of serial dilution and succussion. In using homeopathic medicines care should be taken that it is taken when the mouth is clean, that is not contaminanted with food, tobacco, tooth- paste, etc. Coffee is a antedotal to most homeopathic medications, that is, it will cancel out the effect you get from the medicine. The remedies should be taken at least 15 mins. before or after eating. They should be held in the mouth, in order to facilitate the active substances to be absorbed directly into the blood stream via the mucus membranes in the mouth, thereby avoiding destruction by gastric acid in the stomach. There are two different schools of thought in homeopathic medicine, one is to treat the symptoms as they occur the other is method is to take a very careful and complete history to develop a picture of the patient, his/her constitution, and the 'root' of the problem. The constitutional then prescibes remedies not necessarily based on your current symptoms, but on your overall 'picture'... constitutional homeopaths argue that this is the true way to heal a person. When being treated by a doctor of homeopathy, you could be given dilutions of a millionth potency (1,000,000X) which can cause a temporary worsening of your symptoms as your body clears itself of your illness. The doctor will look to see if your symptoms are occuring in reverse order. (i.e. say you had a skin rash, then developed allergies, then developed asthma...the doctor would look to clear the asthma first, then see the allergies clear up, finally you might develop the skin rash you originally had which would be neutralized rather than 'driven into your body' by various topical creams and/or cortisone). Homeopathic remedies are quite safe to use. The dilutions that are avail- able over the counter (1X to 30X), will gently affect your system without causing the reaction a higher potency might. They are very handy to have at home and work quite well on children. Homeopathy is very popular in Europe, approximately 35% of the people in France see a homeopathic physician. The Queen of England's personal physician is a homeopath. If you are interested in learning more about homeopathy, a good book is THE COMPLETE BOOK OF HOMEOPATHY by Michael Weiner and Kathleen Goss (Bantam). There are many other educational organizations and pharmaceutical houses devoted to homeopathy and they are a great source of information (the are listed in the appendix of the afore mentioned book).

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