Homeopathy - Natural Healing Remedies
History of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is from the Greek word Homeo (meaning like) and pathos (meaning suffering) and is considered a healing treatment for some illnesses. It is a two-hundred year old system of medicine based on the principle of similarities or “like cures like”. It uses extremely diluted preparations of natural substances to stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanism. It was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago and has been practiced in the United States since the early 19th century. It is used for wellness and prevention and to treat many diseases and conditions.
Today one of the leading theoretician and clinical practitioners of homeopathy is George Vithoulkas, author of “The Science of Homeopathy: who teaches in Athens, Greece. Training is limited to conventional physicians and osteopaths only, which results in highly qualified physicians well versed in both types of medicine.
Combination of Homeopathy Remedies
Homeopaths have some two thousand remedies, which are prepared from plants, herbs, animal products, minerals, ad chemicals. The remedies are prepared through a careful process of repeated dilution.
Classic homeopathy is considered a complete medical system, capable of addressing a wide array of health problems:
- Treating acute and chronic illness, particular in the early stages before there is tissue damage.
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chronic viral and bacterial infections have all been reportedly treated successfully
- Acupuncture is another ancient healing modality. It is being used successfully to treat fibromyalgia, neck and low back pain.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine lists the key points for Homeopathy medicine:
- The principal of similars (or ‘like cures lie’) is a central homeopathic principle. It simply states that a disease can be cured by a substance producing similar symptoms
- They state that most analysis has concluded there is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment, although some studies have reported positive findings. I found this to be disputed in other books
- There are challenges in evaluating this field because of its key concepts aren’t consistent with the current understanding of science.
- The research has been limited.
- If you are taking any alternative medicines make sure you let you health care providers know as new prescriptions could interact poorly
Why Homeopathy Works and Makes Sense
B ook for Alternative Medicine
In The Best Alternative Medicine, Dr. Kenneth Pelletier of the Stanford School of Medicine addresses the debate head-on with the goal of providing an authoritative consumer reference guide that focuses on the existing body of clinical research.
In “The Best Alternative Medicine” book by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, the doctor lists several small studies starting in 1990. In the first study, which was considered flawed, 81 of 107 people showed homeopathic medicine had some clinical benefits. Since that time, they have reviewed 90 well-designed studies in which homeopathy compared favorably to placebo.
Published in the Lancet in 1997, the authors found a total of 186 clinical trials, which were randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled and had adequate statistics data for analysis. This is the proper way in the medical world to conduct a study. They concluded they found sufficient evidence the clinical effects of homeopathy are clearly warranted for any single clinical condition provided they follow its rigorous protocols.
Regulation and Conclusions
Homeopathic remedies are prepared following the guidelines of the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS), which was written into law in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938.
Homeopathic remedies are regulated in the same manner as nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require homeopathic remedies meet certain legal standards for strength, purity, and packaging.
The labels on the remedies must include at least one major indication (i.e., medical problem to be treated), a list of ingredients, the dilution, and safety instructions. If a homeopathic medicine claims to heal a serious disease then it must be old as a prescription and meet the same standards.
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It seems like much of the evidence is still controversial. After my research I think there may be a placebo effect happening some of the time but I think Dr. Riley has proven that many of the therapies are effective.
I would suggest if you are interested in homeopathy to do some research concerning your particular ailment and take a look at some of the studies Dr. Riley has completed. I would conclude that homeopathy can be a healing treatment in some cases.
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby