Homeopathy

homeopathy

It’s interesting that in my 4-year degree studying pharmacy a good two years were dedicated to herbal medicine also called (pharmacognosy) but one one lecture on homeopathy. So like millions of people around the world I was also of the opinion that there was no scientific basis for its efficacy but rather when it worked it was because of the placebo effect until I started studying it. My first foray into homeopathy came in 1995 when I read Dr Bach’s book Heal Thyself. Although Dr Bach’s book was on the Bach Flower Remedies I soon found out that he was a Homeopathic Doctor with a practice in Harley Street. I was fascinated and so began my journey as a homeopath. Enrolled in the College of Homeopathy and discovered a whole new way of looking at illness and disease. I soon found out that Homeopathy is based on sound scientific principles that can be repeated but as it treats each person as an individual it makes clinical trials rather difficult. The Faculty of Homeopathy list a summary of the efficacy of homeopathy but for now, I want to discuss the main principles.

samual-hemanHomeopathy as practised today was discovered by Samuel Hahnemann, a German Doctor (1755-1843). Hahnemann appalled by the practices of the time (blood letting, leeches, other toxic treatments) gave up medicine and took up the translation of medical texts. It was while he was translating Cullens Materia Medica that he first came across the laws of similars, his main principle of homeopathy (from the Greek homois “similar”, pathos “suffering”). In his translation, Cullen stated that Peruvian bark (Cinchona) was beneficial to treat malaria due to its bitter action. Hahnemann, however, questioned this; he argued that other bitter herbs were not helpful in treating malaria. To prove his point he took several doses of cinchona and to his surprise, he developed fever, chills, malaise and other symptoms similar to malaria.

“My feet, finger ends etc., at first became quite cold; I grew languid and drowsy; then my heart beganto palpitate, and my pulse grew hard and small; intolerable anxiety, trembling, prostration throughout my limbs; then pulsation in the head, redness of my cheeks, thirst, and, in short, all these symptoms that are ordinarily characteristic of intermittent fever, made their appearance, one after the other… Briefly even those symptoms which are of regular occurrence and especially characteristic – as the stupidity of mind, the kind of rigidity in all the limbs, but above all the numb, disagreeable sensation, which seems to have its seat in the periosteum (bone surface), over every bone in the whole body – all these made their appearance. The paroxysm lasted two or three hours each time, and recurred, if I repeated this dose, not otherwise; I discontinued it and was in good health.” Castro

Hahnemann began experimenting with other substances commonly used at the time. His theory was proven again and again: something that can cause symptoms in a healthy person can cure them in a sick person showing those symptoms. Hahneman began working as a doctor again but only using homeopathy. Bearing in mind that many of the medicines used in the 1700’s were poisons such as Belladonna, Mercury and Arsenic Hahnemann had a dilemma. He found that his patients would suffer from side effects when higher doses were used. He began diluting his doses but found that at if they were diluted too much there was no effect.  Hahnemann became very frustrated that the dilution process made his remedies ineffective. The story goes that he was so frustrated, he banged a vial of remedy against a leather bound bible and to his surprise the remedy became effective. This process became known as succussion. He concluded that the violent shaking process somehow released or imprinted the energy of the medicine into the liquid. The dilution and succussion process became known as potentisation and the diluted remedies as potencies.

The dilution process allowed Hahnemann to use almost any material even very poisonous ones safely. Homeopathy today uses plants, minerals, animals, in fact, almost any substance, as its starting material. This material is then diluted in a methodic and systematic way to ‘release’ and make available the energy of that material in a water medium. Whilst this energy is available in the start material, it is made more powerful through the dilution and succussion (shaking violently) process. How is this possible – the more dilute the stronger it becomes? At this point, it is worth introducing the theory that water has memory. French immunologist Jacques Beneviste conducted several experiments that showed that a solution of water that had contained an antibody could still react with blood cells despite being highly diluted. He concluded that the biological information was transmitted despite the absence of the molecule itself.

I could write a whole book on this so let’s stop here and discuss how homeopathy can help transform your health. For me, I have seen it first hand not just with my own health but also that of my family, friends and of course the 10,000’s of people I have been able to treat through The Organic Pharmacy. The beautiful thing about homeopathy is, it’s safe, no side effects and suitable for all ages from birth, through pregnancy and onwards. If the remedy/ treatment plan is chosen carefully it can help with all types of ailments from

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Pre and Post Surgery
  • Injuries
  • Eczema
  • Lack of energy
  • Insomnia
  • Childhood ailments
  • Lack of confidence
  • Menopause
  • Infertility
  • Hormonal issues (e.g. PMS, Polycystic ovaries etc)

For more long-term ailments I suggest a consultation with our team of homeopaths who will take a careful case history and be able to really get to the root of the problem. There are many remedies that you can have at home to help with day to day ailments.

Insomnia
It seems strange to think that Coffee may be the secret to your insomnia but imagine that you have had 5 cups of coffee one after the other. Your mind will be racing, your heart will have palpitations and you will feel like you can’t relax. When sleeplessness due to an overactive mind, Coffea is one of the best remedies. I like to combine it with Avena, Passiflora and Valeriana to support gentle sleep. Non-addictive and non-drowsy it helps the body get back into a gentle rhythm.

Insomnia

Anxiety
Homeopathy is brilliant at treating anxiety or panic attacks with safe and excellent results. Whilst I generally like to take a full case here there are several remedy combinations that work very well for anxiety. The main ones are:

Aconite: Great for intense fear from shock or fright.
Argent Nit: Great from panic attacks from fear of flying or performance or anticipatory anxiety
Arsenicum Alb: Great if there is intense fear, fear of death or illness
Gelsemium: When anxiety or panic is coupled with exhaustion and heaviness.

I like using combination remedies:

AAA (Argent Nit, Ambra Grisea, Anacardium) A classic used to reduce panic attacks and anxiety.
AGA (Argent Nit, Aconite, Gelsemium) Another classic used for performance or anticipatory anxiety.

travel-sicknessTravel Sickness
As a long standing sufferer of travel sickness since childhood, travelling for me whether by car, boat or air was a nightmare. How I envied all the other passengers sitting without a care in the world. A boat ride was tantamount to torture and trains rides were met with utter dread. It was when I discovered the homeopathic combination of  Tabaccum, Cocculus and Petroleum. These trusted three remedies not only cured me but also many clients of travel sickness without drowsiness and after several years of faithfully taking them on every trip, I now find I don’t need them anymore.

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