Homeopathy

hahnemannIf we were to open hair salons in every square mile of every town and city across the world, making hair cuts affordable and accessible to all, this would never stop the process of hair growth.

Similarly, however swift and advanced medical science and modern technology become, we cannot halt the progression of prevalent and upcoming diseases, the likes of which make it near impossible for any human being to lead a healthy, peaceful existence. With so much money funneled into studies and research, better technology and the development of new medicines, we are no closer to eradicating diseases now than we were centuries before. The fact is though that the number and variations of these diseases is increasing at an alarming rate and considerable amounts are Iatrogenic diseases (due to human error). Whatever medicines are available today become worthless tomorrow. As the saying goes,
“ Today’s sense becomes tomorrow’s nonsense.”

Irrespective of the growing number of physicians, hospitals and health- care providers, more and more people fall sick every year. We are clearly seeing the trappings of our own makings. With the aim of getting a victory over Nature, human beings are committing grave and unforgivable mistakes. We have a large populous of uneducated and illiterate people, millions lack the basic necessities of food, shelter and good drinking water. We have poor hygiene, unprecedented levels of pollution in the air we breathe and false beliefs, not to mention all that we are willing to sacrifice environmentally for the sake of money and power. It is not surprising to be witnessing such an upsurge of new and old diseases. We are living more complicated lives and less natural ones at that. We are also relinquishing our previous understandings, which so many generations and cultures before us have known inherently: that we are part of Nature, and whatsoever ails us can be cured by Her gifts alone. For example, wherever there is an area with poisonous snakes, it is known that anti- venom will be found in the same location. Or, if you are climbing a mountain and come across injury, you can be sure that a cure is growing in the nearby vegetation. (e.g. Arnica – Montana). As far as looking or hunting for an effective and easy-to-apply medical system based on the laws of Nature, Homoeopathy ranks first.

Homeopathy is a Holistic, Scientific and Time-tested System of Medicine. It was invented by the German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the 17th century. He was born on the 10th of April, 1755 in Meissein, Germany.

His father was a painter. He came from a poor economical background, and had to struggle a lot in his younger days but he was quite motivated and finished his MD from Erlangen University. He became an Allopathic physician, yet was soon disillusioned by the limitations of Modern Medicine and the practices that were common at the time, like blood letting. After finishing his post- graduation, his thirst for knowledge could not be quenched. He studied a vast number of subjects and served in various positions. He was often the brunt of criticism from his peers and often had very little to eat or to support his family with but he was never swayed from his main goal.

homeoOne day, while translating Materia Medica by Dr. Cullen one strange thing struck his mind.

There was mention that the disease named as Ague Fever (malaria) could be cured by the use of cinchona bark, because of its bitter taste. Dr. Hahnemann could not readily accept this analysis. But his curiosity was piqued. So, he, himself, extracted this cinchona bark and drank it. After drinking this concoction, he was surprised to discover symptoms in himself likening those of Ague Fever. This experiment left footprints in the history of Medicine, as we know it today and in particular to the development of Homoeopathy. This experiment is known as The Golden Experiment of Cinchona. (1790) From here onwards, a new era began in the history of medicine.

After the insight he gained from the Cinchona experiment, Dr. Hahnemann tried various herbs and minerals using himself as the guinea pig. He then gathered together all of his symptoms and published them in 2 volumes of Materia Medica Pura, documenting these provings. Dr. Hahnemann faced quite a bit of criticism from peers and colleagues but was not discouraged and continued his research.

Dr. Kent and Dr. Nash and many others after him also made the shift – over from Allopathic to Homeopathic medicine and made significant contributions to the development of this system.

It seems there are two types of people that are drawn to Homoeopathy.

1. There are those who have been cured by it and have experienced the effects first- hand.
2. There are those who know someone who has experienced a cure to a chronic ailment and have developed faith that way.

Once one has seen its merits through experience, another faithful follower and many times student has awakened. It is like a slow burning fire. Whereas Modern Medicines may initially burn strong and relieve the sufferer’s symptoms but later return or appear in another more ruthless form, Homeopathy penetrates deeper and slower. It rules out the symptoms not by attacking them, but rather by eliminating what is causing them, so that they disappear on their own.

There is a Sanskrit saying, loosely translated, it says, any piece of gold that is placed in fire and taken out, purifies and glows further … anything else placed in this same fire will just burn out. Homeopathy is similar to this gold. In the beginning, as Hahnneman was developing and experimenting with these remedies, it was criticized a lot and suffered greatly, this too for numerous reasons. Only now, years after his death, Homeopathy is a well- established mainstay in the Indian Health Care System, as well, gaining vast popularity world-wide …. a gold that is pure and shining strong, and that no fire, however strong, can put out.

Homeopathy is a Holistic, Scientific System of Medicine based on the laws of Nature.

pills1In the word Homeopathy, homois means similar, pathos means suffering or experiencing. In Sanskrit, we say, Samaha Samam Shamet, likes are treated by likes. This is the fundamental principle of Homeopathy. If you take Homeopathic medicines when you are already healthy, they will create certain symptoms in your body, but if you take these same medicines and you are having the exact same symptoms of the medicine in a diseased state, this will cure the disease.

In Homeopathy, medicines are taken in minimum dosage and diluted form. Philosophy and Application of Knowledge are the distinct landmarks of this practice. Homeopathy elaborates on life and disease in very clear and simple terms. Unlike many other systems, Homeopathy treats the individual and not the disease or parts of the body.

The concept of Vital Force is a strong undercurrent as well. It is believed that aggravation or amelioration of disease causes change in a person’s vital force.
As per Homeopathic guidelines,
· The human body + vital force = a human being.
· The human body – vital force = a dead person.

Now we will look at the 9 cardinal principles of Homeopathy:

1. Likes Are Treated by Likes
2. Doctrine of Proving
3. Single Remedy
4. Minimum Dose
5. Vital Force
6. Individualization
7. Potentization
8. Chronic Miasms
9. Obstructions to Cure

1. Likes Are Treated by Likes –
Homeopathic medicines are selected based on similarity. This means that the medicines are chosen so that the diseased symptoms match the symptoms of the medicine.

2. Doctrine of Proving –
In Homeopathy, medicines are proven on human beings. After ingestion of the medicine, born symptoms are documented and finally compiled into Materia Medica. As these medicines are proven on human beings, there is no great scope of confusion, as compared to those first tested on animals. Some disadvantages to animal proving are that certain herbs or chemicals ingested by animals do not cause any toxic symptoms, but when human beings, even in small quantities, ingest the same they are known to cause toxic symptoms. e.g. Cannabis. Also, animals cannot speak to us and share their emotions. A patient’s mental symptoms carry a great deal of significance.

3. Single Remedy –
In Homeopathy, ideally, only one medicine is prescribed at a time. If you give many medicines at a time, it is very difficult to ascertain which drug is acting. In case of medical aggravations, it is difficult to find the antidote because for every selected medicine, the antidote can be different. It is also quite a challenge then to select and administer Complementary medicines that are important and necessary to complete the cure.

4. Minimum Dose –
In Homeopathy, medicines are administered in sub- physiological doses. When medicines are diluted and administered in the minutest form, they give expected results. In other systems, especially Modern Medicine, this is one point that ignites many heated debates within the medical community.

5. Vital Force –
This doctrine is the backbone to Homeopathy. You can feel vital force, but you can’t see it. When there is a change in vital force (in its harmony), disease results. There is an old Sanskrit saying, “Upanadaghuda Padasya sarva Charmvrutev bhu. “ This means, if you cover your feet with shoes, it is just like covering the whole earth. Likewise, if you kill the internal disease process, then automatically its external manifestations will disappear. Another way of looking at it is, if you continue cutting the branches of a tree, new branches will appear. The tree will only die if you cut it from its roots.

6. Individualization -In Homeopathy every human being is considered an individual personality. No two people are the same. When treating someone, you must study each person as an individual, (Anamnesis) and not only by Nosological classification.(Diagnosis). This is why there are no anti – xxxx medicines, e.g. anti pyretic, antihistaminic, etc. Supposing there are 20 patients having the exact same ailment, treatment by Homeopathy may very well require 20 different remedies. This contrasts Modern Medicine where there is generally a single medicine for a particular condition. In Homeopathy a medicine useful for someone with a headache might also be beneficial to another person with piles or joint pains. This is because medicines are chosen on the basis of symptom similarities and diagnosis is merely a guideline to decide scope and limitations.

7. Potentization –

This is another doctrine that provokes a great deal of criticism and contradiction to Homeopathy. Usually, the Law of Static and Avagadro’s hypothesis from Physics is mentioned to explain the concept of potentization.
Traditionally, medicines are potentized in 2 ways :

1. Trituration – This method is used mostly for substances not able to dissolve in inert vehicles and usually for the purpose of low potency
preparations.

2. Succussion – This method is comparatively easier and is mainly used to prepare dilutions in higher potencies.

There is quantitative decrease in the medicine but qualitative increase in the effect.
There are 3 common scales of Homeopathic potenentization. They are :

1. Decimal Scale – In this scale the ratio of medicinal substance to nonmedicinal substance (vehicle) is 1 : 9 . The sign “X” denotes this scale. So, 1 potency is 1 part medicinal substance and 9 parts of the vehicle substance. It is written as “1X”. For “2X” there is 1 part of “1X” potency and 9 parts of the vehicle substance, etc.

2. Centicimal Scale – Here, the preparation of medicine to non medicinal substance is 1 : 99. The sign for this potency is “C”. 1 potency is 1 part medicinal substance and 99 parts of the vehicle and is written as “1C”. And likewise, “2C” is 1 part “1C” potency to 99 parts of the vehicle substance.

3. Fifty Millicimal Scale – Here the ratio is 1 : 50,000. This scale is denoted by the sign “O/1 “, “O/2”, etc. Treating ailments using this potentization does not cause further aggravation as the medicine is so diluted which is considered a great advantage. 1 potency is 1 part of the medicinal substance to 50,000 parts of the vehicle substance.

8. Chronic Miasms –

Just Similer to Ayurvedic concepts, Homeopathic philosophy explains 3 Basic Root Causes of all diseases. These are known as Miasms. The literal meaning of the word miasm is “polluting”.
The three miasms are :
1. Psora
2. Sycosis
3. Syphilis
Psora is considered to be passed on by touch when a baby is born from mother to child.
Homeopathy stresses treating the root cause, not just the symptoms. These root causes are the miasms.

9. Obstructions to Cure –

In certain situations, even after thorough and deep study of a case and proper selection of medicine, anticipated results are not obtained. Many times, certain modifications in Life style help in removing these blocks. Following are two examples that may demonstrate this better.
1. A person is suffering from recurrent malaria and lives in marshy lands. If the area is cleaned properly, the attacks of malaria are then under control.
2. If confrontation is part of routine in ones home, stress will remain.
Basically, if you administer medicines only, without considering the root cause, you will not get good results.

How to administer medicines:

1. Note down patient’s symptoms very carefully.
2. Compare diseased symptoms with medicine for similarity,with the knowledge of the Materaia – Medica.
3. You must be well versed with the medicines indications and sphere of action and Modalities.
4. It requires good experience to determine when to stop the given medicine, but usually, with minor complaints such as headache, take 1 more dose after the symptoms disappear.
5. In case of recurrence of symptoms, repeat the same medicine as before.
6. Think twice before changing the potency.
7. If there are new symptoms, study these in detail before choosing a new medicine.
8. You must have insight into Complementary, Antidotal remedies and Remedy Relationships before shifting to another medicine.
9. If potencies are used in improper dosage, avoidable aggravations may occur.
10. If you do not get expected results, recheck your symptom Totality and, if it is proper, modify first the dosage, then the potency.
11.Give equal importance to mental symptoms.
12.These medicines are safe, mild, and free of side effects.
13. Take medicines at stipulated times.
14. Sometimes results are better when taken on an empty stomach.
15. Results are better if you choose medicines according to time modality.
16. There must be a gap of at least 5 to 10 minutes between food and medicine.
17. These medicines are easy to take. No water is required.
18. Children love the medicines and they are simple to administer.
19. The duration of treatment depends upon if a disease is acute or chronic and its intensity.
20. Avoid touching pills directly.
21. The standard dosage of medicine

  • For adults is 4 pills 3 to 4 times daily (or more)
  • Children above 1 year, 2 pills, 3 to 4 times daily.
  • Babies , 1 pill 3 to 4 times daily (crushed into powder).

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