Homeopathy uses naturally occurring substances like plants and minerals to stimulate the body’s self-healing abilities. Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, originated in Germany in the late 1700s and has been quite popular throughout Europe. This system is based around a homeopathic belief called “like cures like” meaning small doses of things that cause symptoms in someone healthy can treat illness’ that causes those same symptoms. An example would be using red onions as a remedy for allergies because it makes your eyes water naturally when you cut it. Traditionally, we describe symptoms of illness as any subjective evidence of disease. Homeopathic medicine views these symptoms as normal responses from the body while it attempts to heal itself.
Homeopathic remedies and products contain active ingredients that come from plants, minerals, or animals, and are highly diluted to a point where very few molecules of the original substance remain. This stems from another homeopathic belief known as the “law of minimum dose” which states that using the lowest possible dose of medication will reap the greatest results and transfer the healing essence. Remedies and products can come in sugar pellets, creams, gels, pills, powder, and liquids.
Homeopaths follow the same procedure as traditional doctors when prescribing treatment. They complete an examination, investigation and consider health history before making a diagnosis. They will ask questions pertaining to your overall health, lifestyle, diet, sleep, temperament, and personality to create an individualized profile. They will also ask about symptoms, but with the intention of figuring out how they affect you uniquely. They will use this profile to determine the type and strength of homeopathic medicine the patient requires. Each person is treated differently and their needs are evaluated after considering their mind, body, spirit, and emotions.
The individualization of each treatment means that some people with the same condition can receive a different type of treatment. This is all established during the first appointment which can last up to an hour, any follow-up appointments are usually 30 minutes long.
Homeopathy is used by millions of people to treat a large variety of chronic and acute conditions, some of which include:
While research surrounding the effectiveness of homeopathy is still ongoing, homeopathic remedies are regulated by the Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada and other countries. They are considered to be safe in most cases but can cause side-effects or interact with some medicine. Make sure to let your medical doctor know if you are currently using or intend to use homeopathic remedies.
Additionally, homeopathic medicine should not, under any circumstance, be used to treat life-threatening illnesses such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, or in the case of an emergency. It should also not be used to replace vaccines. There is a product called “nosodes” that is promoted as an alternative to vaccines but there is no research that has confirmed its effectiveness or legitimacy.