ABC of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a rapidly growing medicine system and is the most used form of remedy after conventional medicines. It can be effectively used to treat acute and chronic diseases. By and large there are no side effects of homeopathy.
Homeopathy practice is based on the knowledge and application of medicines included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States. This Pharmacopeia is recognized by the U.S. FDA. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA) regulates and supervises the safety of drugs in USA.
In this system of medicine the disease is treated with natural substances, which in a healthy person in a more crude dose, causes symptoms similar to the condition (illness) for which the medicine is used. However, when administered to a person (in its diluted form) who exhibits symptoms of illness, the substance can stimulate the body's own healing process to cause a deep and long-lasting cure. The homeopathic principles are applied in vaccination. In the 1800's when vaccination was discovered, the disease causing material from the cowpox was injected into humans to prevent smallpox.
Homeopathic remedies are made from vegetable, mineral and animal substances. These medications can treat several conditions, including acute infections, injuries, chronic diseases and emotional disorders. The remedies are carefully selected, considering each persons health in total to stimulate the body's own defense systems to heal body, mind and spirit, without side effects.
Benefits of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a rapidly growing system of medicine and is most preferred and widely used form of remedy after conventional medicine.
Homeopathic medicines do not disturb digestive system nor do they lower the immune system as antibiotics do. Homeopathy remedies are safe, usually do not have any side effects like the conventional medicines and don’t cause structural damage. This is because homeopathic medicines do not have any chemical action, and act by stimulating the body's own defense mechanism and healing powers.
These medications are safe in newborn, children, pregnancy, lactation, and the elderly alike without worrying about the dosage.
Homeopathic medicines are effective for both acute and chronic conditions. This school of medicine is the only system of medicine that has curative treatment (not palliative) for several chronic ailments which are considered as 'incurable' by other schools of medicine.
It is effective in several allergic diseases in addition to various acute and chronic diseases.
Homeopathic medicines are by and large prepared in sweet sugar pills, which are very easy to administer. Children usually readily agree to take homeopathic medicines.
The homeopathic medicines do not cause addiction. These drugs are tested on people, and not on animals.
Homeopathic medicines as compared to allopathic and ayurvedic drugs are cheaper. As these practioners rely on symptoms to diagnose an illness and find the right medicine for you seldom costly diagnostic procedures are done.
Homeopathy treats a patient in totality as it views a person as a whole, and not as a collection of body parts. Therefore you do not need to visit different specialists for your different body parts. So homeopathy turns to be cheaper than conventional medicine.
Conditions it Treats
Homeopathy medicines are effective for several acute and chronic diseases. As it is a natural system of medicine it can be used for any person (new born infants, elderly, pregnant women). Homeopathy medicines are used worldwide and especially preferred in India.
As First aid: It can be used to treat burns, cuts and bruises, the emotional shock from sustaining an injury, bites, and eye injuries. If treated appropriately it is possible that the patient responds rapidly to treatment and long term complications are reduced.
Acute conditions: Acute conditions which can be cured with homeopathy medicines are diarrhea, ear infection, bladder infection, coughs, colds, food poisoning, sprains, thrush, and several other childhood diseases. Based on the severity of the condition and the approach of treatment, improvement may be seen within hours or a few days. Homeopathy remedies can shorten the duration of illness, decrease the risk of complications and the possibility of it becoming a chronic condition.
- Chronic conditions: Chronic conditions in which benefit can be derived from homeopathy are allergies, asthma, arthritis, general body pains, menstruation problems, heart problems, cold, cough and flu, hay fever, irritable bowel syndrome, recurring thrush, infertility, common ailments in pregnancy, skin problems, recurrent infections, and hormonal imbalances.
These medications can benefit psychological conditions such as emotional problems from grief, loss, depression or stress, insomnia and chronic fatigue. The chronic conditions may need longer treatment. The effectiveness of treatment may vary from person to person. The intensity and duration of the symptom are gradually reduced and eventually fully resolved.
Several other conditions and illnesses can be treated with homeopathy. Consult a doctor to know whether your illness can be treated with homeopathy remedies.
Conditions it cannot Treat
It cannot treat major medical emergencies like fracture, major trauma, heart attack, severe and complicated malaria, epiglottis (an infection of the throat which causes massive swelling in the throat that can block the child's airway).
Homeopathy cannot treat diseases which have major anatomical changes such as fracture of leg, hands, foreign body or a major injury to the eye. Similarly chronic diseases that have progressed to cause major anatomical change cannot be treated with homeopathy.
Homeopathy remedies can decrease symptoms of pain and inflammation in early stages of arthritis but cannot restore deformed joint function. In patients with major anatomical changes or deformity homeopathy can be considered as complementary to other more conventional therapies but not as the primary therapy.
Homeopathic remedies cannot be used instead of conventional vaccinations or to antitoxin treatments (remove toxins from the body). Treatment of toxins and poisons should always be by conventional methods with homeopathy as a backup.
Several other conditions and situations cannot be treated with homeopathy. Consult a doctor to know whether your illness can be treated with homeopathy remedies.
Cautions with Homeopathy
Homeopathic remedies are prescribed in high dilution, and taken under care of trained doctors, hence these medicines are generally considered safe and are unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions. However the side effects and risks of homeopathic remedies are not well researched in randomized controlled studies. Most of the liquid homeopathic remedies contain alcohol, however adverse effects due to alcohol levels have not been reported.
Some of the patients may experience a temporary worsening of existing symptoms after taking a homeopathic prescription. This is an expected reaction for certain diseases and treatment. If you have worsening of your existing symptoms please contact your homeopath physician.
Most of the homeopathic remedies do not interfere with conventional drugs. But if you intend to use homeopathic remedies, please consult your health care provider and homeopath physician.
Limitations in Homeopathy
Like all other systems of medicine, homeopathy has its limitations as well. Like a surgical problem that has advanced much beyond its initial stages might not respond to homoeopathic remedies, similarly a person who has had a serious road traffic accident cannot be treated with homeopathy.
In life threatening conditions like heart attacks, paralytic strokes, diabetic comas etc. patient needs to be initially treated with conventional medicine, till the patient is out of danger. Homeopathic remedies in these conditions can be considered as complementary to the conventional therapies but not as the primary therapy.
The success of homeopathic remedies is not 100% like all other systems of medicine. Please consult your doctor to know whether your illness can be treated with homeopathy remedies.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Apr 15, 2011
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