Homeopathy – Benefits, Formulation, Risks and Contraindications

Homeopathy is a 200-year old healing modality that involves taking medications that are derived from natural sources. These very mild medicines work to stimulate the healing responses of the body so that it corrects the ailments and illnesses by itself. FDA-approved, homeopathy is being widely used in the USA and European countries by people who cannot tolerate conventional treatments or simply prefer organic healing methods.

Types of Homeopathic Treatments

homeopathy
What’s Up Life

Homeopathy can help patients by providing acute and chronic treatment.

  • Acute: Acute treatment is given for minor illnesses that you may have contracted a short while ago but that which have the potential to turn into more serious issues. For instance, getting a common cold is a minor problem that if left untreated can progress to pneumonia. Homeopathy can help you recover from the cold and stimulate your body to avoid the possibility of pneumonia.
  • Chronic: Chronic treatment is directed at health issues that you have had for a while. Your homeopathic practitioner will prescribe medication based on several factors such as the kinds of treatment you have taken in the past, your medical history, the incidence of inherent ailments in your family, and your natural immunity and resistance to disease. Your doctor will formulate a customized treatment plan to help to regain complete health and wellness.

Beneficial Effects of Homeopathy

Homeopathy can help you with a wide range of health issues that may be physical or psychological. For instance:

  • Respiratory issues like asthma, upper respiratory tract infections, chronic rhinitis, catarrh, and cough
  • Skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and vitiligo
  • Mental ailments like anxiety, stress, and depression.
  • Allergies like hay fever, skin allergies, and food allergies,
  • Musculoskeletal issues like arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis
  • Digestive ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease
  • Dental problems such as tooth extraction, gum abscess, toothache with decay, swelling in the gums, and pain after dental surgery
  • Migraines and headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Ear infections
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Menopausal symptoms and premenstrual syndrome

Preparing the Medication

homeopathic medicines
Homeopathy Canada

Homeopathic medicines are formulated by way of a process called “proving.” Each medicine is first tested on healthy people and their physical, mental, and psychological responses are carefully recorded. Proving helps doctors assess the therapeutic powers of the medicines. By using this information, practitioners match the symptoms of a patient with the results that the medicine stimulates. It must be remembered that homeopathy works on the premise of “like cures like.” In other words, whatever natural products cause the same symptoms as that of an illness can be used to treat it.

Assessing the Strength of the Medication

Practitioners creating homeopathic medicines for each individual patient repeatedly dilute it in alcohol and water and keep shaking it. The concentrate is derived from minerals and plant sources. Depending on the illness of the patient, the appropriate strength is made and then added to pilules or lactose tablets.

The formulation of homeopathic medicines uses a principle that is in reverse of conventional medicine. Typical treatments involve taking stronger medication for more severe symptoms. However, by successively diluting homeopathic medicines, doctors create stronger formulations. For instance, if you buy an over-the-counter medicine, you’ll get a 6c or 30c strength or potency. A 6c potency means that the medicine has been diluted 6 times with each stage using 1 part medicine combined with 99 parts of water or alcohol. Although a 30c formulation has been diluted 30 times, it is considered more potent than the 6c.

Potential Risks of Taking Homeopathy Treatment

Since homeopathic medicines contain a very small percentage of the active ingredient, they are considered absolutely safe to use. Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and even, babies can safely take it. This treatment can also be safely given to pets. Further, given that 200 years of research and experimentation have gone into the modality, the medicines available today have no side effects or adverse effects and is non-addictive.

However, make sure to take homeopathic medicines only under the careful supervision of your practitioner. If you are taking any other medications side by side, you must inform both health care personnel. And, if you intend to stop taking conventional treatments and rely only on homeopathic medicine, do check with your general practitioner and request approval in advance.

Precautions to take When Opting for Homeopathy

Image result for homeopathyWhile homeopathy is absolutely safe to use, you must exercise caution before starting the treatment.

  • Patients with serious ailments like cancer that is progressing rapidly should not stop conventional treatment in favor of homeopathy. Given the slow effects of the medicine, it may not act in time to help with the illness.
  • Homeopathic medicines may contain ingredients that are toxic or allergenic. Although the percentage is very low, it is advisable to be careful when taking them.
  • Check the labels of the medicines when buying over-the-counter formulations. It is easy to confuse them with conventional medicines since they are stored in one location.
  • Many experts feel that homeopathic medicines have more of a placebo effect that actual healing.
  • Many ailments are the result of an improper lifestyle. For instance, anemia and the effects of low hemoglobin levels can result from inadequate iron content in the diet and taking homeopathic medication to make up for the deficiency may not be the right solution.
  • Illnesses caused by environmental factors may not respond to homeopathy. These ailments can include allergies from dust, skin rashes, or diarrhea among others.
  • It is advisable not the rely on homeopathy for prevention and protection against diseases in place of conventional vaccines.

Is Homeopathy Treatment Effective?

Homeopathy is being used all over the world with successful results. Aside from well-known personalities like Gandhi, Daniel Webster, John D.Rockefeller, and Harriet Beecher Stowe who have talked about its many benefits, this healing modality has also been used by the Royal Family of Britain. Around 42% health care practitioners in the country recommend the treatment to their patients. According to the World Health Organization, more than 500 million people all over the world have successfully used homeopathic treatment. In Germany and the Netherlands, about 20% and 45% of practitioners believe in the effectiveness of homeopathy respectively.

Given these figures, it would be safe to say that you can use this healing practice to help you will illnesses safely and without the possibility of adverse effects. However, as with any other natural or conventional treatment approach, it is advisable to look for and choose a practitioner who has the necessary training and certification to dispense the medication according to the health issues and symptoms described by the patients.

References:
“What Is Homeopathy.” School of Homeopathy. n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
“What is Homeopathy? Definition and Details.” Hpathy – Homeopathy for Everyone. n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
“Homeopathy” NHS Choices. n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
“What is Homeopathy.” British Homeopathic Association. n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
Chase, Sandra M. MD. DHt. “What is Homeopathic Medicine?” American Institute of Homeopathy. n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.
“The Truth About Homeopathy.” Berkeley Wellness University of California. n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.
Ullman, Dana. MPH. “The Limitations and Risks of Homeopathic Medicine.” Homeopathic Educational Services. n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.