Homeopathy Explained

What is Homeopathy?
How does Homeopathy work?
The Homeopathic Remedies
Constitutional Types
What can I expect to happen during treatment?
How quickly will I be cured?
Can I treat myself with Homeopathic remedies?
More Information


Homeopathy is one of many Alternative and Complementary therapies available today. It is an effective and scientific system of healing which naturally assists the body to heal itself. Homeopathy recognizes that all symptoms of ill health are expressions of disharmony within the whole person and that it is the patient who needs treatment, not the disease. The idea is that the person is treated as a whole, with every aspect of them – physical, emotional and mental – being taken into account when choosing the right remedy.

Different people react in different ways to the same illness and in order to find the correct remedy, your naturopathic physician or homeopath will need to know not only your physical symptoms but also as much as possible about yourself and how your symptoms affect you.

Homeopathic remedies do not normally cause side effects, and patients cannot become addicted to them. This is because only very dilute amounts of the active ingredient are used in a specially-prepared form.
What is Homeopathy?

In 1796, a German Doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, discovered a different approach to the treatment of sick people which he called homeopathy (from the Greek words meaning “similar suffering”). He realized that there were two ways of treating ill health: The way of opposites (allopathic or traditional medicine) and the way of similars (homeopathic). The first person to practice the healing principal of treating ‘like with like’ was the Greek Physician Hippocrates 2000 years ago.

Samuel Hahnemann was the modern-day founder of homeopathy, he proved the principle of ‘like curing like’ with his experiments using quinine, know to be an effective treatment for malaria.

How does Homeopathy Work?

Homeopathy uses very dilute substances to stimulate the body’s own innate healing power. This power is very great and many complaints heal themselves unaided, but when the healing process is faulty, blocked, or slow, the homeopathic remedy acts as a stimulus to the curative powers of the body. To provide this stimulus, your physician must prescribe the right remedy and the right dosage for you.

For example, in the case of anxiety, the traditional allopathic way is to treat this condition by prescribing a drug to suppress the anxiety symptoms. This frequently involves the use of large or regular doses of drugs which can sometimes cause side effects or addiction.

The homeopathic way to treat anxiety is by giving the patient a minute dose of a substance which in large doses causes anxiety in a healthy person. Surprisingly, this will enable the patient to fell less anxious naturally. And, because the dose used is so small, no side effects or addictions will be experienced.

The Homeopathic Remedies

Remedies can be made from a variety of substances, with the most common sources being flowers, plants, poisons, roots, trees, minerals and metals. Occasionally insects are used too.

To minimise side effects Hahnemann used the smallest possible amount of substance to trigger a healing effect in the patient. Strange as it may seem, the less of the original substance that remained in the remedy, the greater its potency and effectiveness. The process for creating the dilute remedy is called ‘Potentisation’. The mother tincture is created by making an alcohol/water extract from the substance, the extract is diluted to the required potency, denoted by the letters ‘X’,’C’ and ‘M’. ‘X’ means that the remedy has been diluted – one part mother tincture in 9 drops of water; ‘C’ means – one part mother tincture in 99 drops of water; and ‘M’ means- one part mother tincture in 999 drops of water. A few drops of the final mixture are then applied to lactose (milk sugar) to form a tablet.

The most common potencies used today are 6c, 12c and 30c, many are available over the counter in supermarkets, health food shops and pharmacies. Some remedies are made into preparations which can be applied to the skin in the form of Creams, Ointments, sprays and balms, for example Arnica cream for bruising and muscular aches and pains.

Constitutional Types

Homeopathy treats the individual as a whole, taking into account the physical, emotional and mental states as well as the presenting ailment or disease. Establishing a person’s constitutional type offers the practitioner insight into the best possible remedy for the patient. Two people presenting with the same condition may have different symptoms, therefore they may need to be treated with different remedies despite having apparently the same illness.

In order to find the right remedy, your physician will need to know as much about you as possible. You will normally be asked many questions about yourself as well as your illness and the physician will also want to know about the health of your family, both present and past. Its important to mention anything that you may think is unusual or unimportant, anything you say will be treated in confidence. The initial consultation can sometimes take an hour or so.

What can I expect to happen during treatment?

After taking your remedy, you should notice some changes. For instance, it occasionally happens that your symptoms appear worse for a short time. This is the remedy taking effect, and you should feel the beginnings of recovery when this period has passed. Alternatively, patients often experience a period of well-being and optimism.

If you feel worried by any changes that you notice, contact your physician, even if this is shortly before your next appointment. Whatever your reaction may be, your physician will need to know so make a few notes of your changing symptoms as a reminder for you at your next appointment.
How quickly will I be cured?

This depends very much on what sort of illness you have and its duration. A very slowly developing complaint such as a stomach ulcer will not disappear overnight, but other complaints such as common colds or sinusitis can get better quickly. Remember treatment involves working from the inside out in homeopathy. This means that superficial outer symptoms such as skin disorders are often the last symptoms to go. Be patient. It is much better for you to be cured of both the cause of your illness and its symptoms rather than merely to relieve the symptoms. Every case is different, just as no two patients are alike.

Can I treat myself with Homeopathic remedies?

Anyone can learn to use some basic homeopathic remedies at home. There are a number of excellent remedies which deal effectively with first aid problems such as cuts, stings, burns, bruises, stomach aches, and childhood complaints. Ask your naturopathic physician for further information or click here to find out more. If any minor complaint does not respond to your first aid treatment, consult your naturopathic physician.

Important tips

Leave your mouth free from food and liquid 20-30 minutes each side of taking the remedy.

Keep the tablets away from direct sunlight.

Store the tablets away from strong smelling perfumes or after shaves.

Swallow the tablet whole, it should be sucked or chewed slowly until it dissolves completely in the mouth.

Drink coffee or smoke while taking the treatment.

Touch the pills directly with your hands, always tap the tablets into the lid of the container as the sweat from the hands can absorb the remedy.