What is Homoeopathy?

Homoeopathy is one the fastest growing and most trusted forms of natural medicine. The skilled practitioner can often achieve remarkably effective results for both acute and chronic illnesses. A form of subtle energy medicine, Homoeopathy, though it is based upon ancient principles, was brought to popularity by German physician and pharmacist Samuel Hahnemann in the late eighteenth century. Although Hahnemann was trained in conventional medicine, he became disillusioned by many of the barbaric surgical procedures and practices of the day, and by powerful medications that were used without any sound rational basis, and which had such appalling side effects.

Experimenting firstly upon himself, Hahnemann discovered that various natural substances, when consumed on a regular basis, produced symptoms of various illnesses, despite the person being free of the illness itself. The critical point however was that he discovered that the same substances, when administered, in very dilute amounts, to patients actually suffering from the illness, appeared in many cases to cure the illness. Hahnemann also discovered, quite bafflingly, that the more dilute the form of medication, the more effective it became.

It is fair to say that conventional medicine has embraced Homoeopathy as much as it has any other complementary therapy. Results of Homoeopathic remedies have been proven to be successful in over 130 "blind" scientific trials. Almost all illnesses can be treated.The UK has five NHS Homoeopathic hospitals in London, Glasgow, Bristol, Liverpool and Tunbridge Wells.

Treating like with like, or the Law of Similars

In 1796 a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, discovered a different approach To the cure of the sick which he called homeopathy (from the Greek words meaning "similar suffering"). He realised that there were two ways of treating ill health, the way of opposites and the way of similars.

Take for example, a case of insomnia. The way of opposites, (conventional medicine or allopathy), is to treat this by giving a drug to bring on an artificial sleep. This frequently involves the use of large or regular doses of drugs which can sometimes cause side effects or addiction.

Homeopathic remedies are prescribed according to the Law of Similars. This law states, 'That which makes sick shall heal'. This means that the symptoms caused by an overdose (too much) of a substance are the symptoms that can also be cured with a small dose of that substance.

The way of similars is to give the patient a minute dose of a substance, such as coffee, which in large doses causes sleeplessness in a healthy person. Perhaps surprisingly this will enable the patient to sleep.

We know that when cutting a strong onion we often experience an acrid runny nose, a particular soreness in the throat and stinging, runny eyes; so a homeopath will prescribe Allium cepa (the homeopathic remedy made from onion) for the patient who has a cold and bad throat with these particular symptoms.

The holistic approach to medicine takes a wider view of illness, a wider view of the causes of disease and the ways in which people express their illness individually.

Homeopaths do not treat physical, emotional and mental or even spiritual illnesses separately, but regard them as intimately connected, since all are aspects of the whole of the patient's suffering.