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Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that was developed at the turn of the 19th century by Samuel Hahnemann who was a German physician. Based on Hanemann's "law of similars" homeopathic medicine treats a disease by a remedy which causes the same symptoms in a healthy individual.
s a simple example, if a patient exhibits symptoms that are similar to the symptoms exhibited by a tarantula bite, then homeopathic medicine dictates that the tarantula's venom might be useful as the remedy. The remedy is heavily diluted in a carrier substance (usually water), with a ratio of 1 part remedy to 1,000,000,000,000 parts water.
Homeopathy has been suggested as a form of treatment for a number of conditions or diseases such as skin conditions, chronic headaches, depression, the flu and more.
How Does Homeopathy Work
Homeopaths prepare homeopathic medicine by taking a natural substance and preparing it by serial dilution or "succession". The substance is normally diluted in water and only extremely small doses remain. Homeopaths believe that the more diluted the remedy the more effective it will be at providing a cure.
In order to treat an individual, homeopaths first observe the symptoms of the patient. They then refer to homeopathic books known as "repertories" from which a remedy is chosen. The remedy is chosen based on the fact that it might cause the same symptoms in a healthy individual. This is thought to help the body build up its immune system and stimulate the body's ability to counter the infection.
No matter the number of symptoms, only a single remedy is prescribed to each patient at a time.
Benefits of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is safe and usually considered suitable for everyone from infants to pregnant women. It aims to treat the patient holistically and to treat the underlying problem not just the symptoms.
Things to Consider Before Starting Homeopathic Treatment
Before starting any homeopathic treatment it is important to:
- Find a homeopath that is registered or licensed by associations such as The Australian Homeopathic Association
- Understand that unlike conventional medicine there is no standard cure, each individual needs to be treated according to their particular situation.
- Keep in mind that homeopathy, like other alternative therapies, should be investigated thoroughly before being chosen as a form of therapy.