Homeopathy - History
Dr Samuel Hahnemann, father of homeopathy, was one among a few of his time to step into the portals of a university and graduate in medicine with an MD. It was the pre-antibiotic era and consisted of many barbaric practices. Conventional doctors routinely used bleeding and excessive purging to treat diseases on the presumption that the disease was caused due to bad blood within the body. Dr Hahnemann was disappointed with this and, therefore, gave up his medical practice.
He dreamed and pondered over a new idea - making medicine safe, effective, sane, humane and gentle.
To support himself, Dr Hahnemann started translating medical books in different languages, as he knew over a dozen languages. When he was once engaged in the translation of William Cullen’s classical work, Lectures on the Materia Medica, in 1790, he could not resist his analytical excitement. Cullen’s statement that cinchona [quinine] bark possessed specific febrifugal [fever-relieving] properties – because it was one of the most aromatic and bitter substances known – aroused his scientific mind and curiosity.
Hahnemann felt that there were many more substances, not just barks, with extremely bitter and fragrant properties. None of them had the strength to cure fevers, especially malaria-like fevers. He was eager to test the idea. He drank a decoction of cinchona bark to test the results. He developed a malarial fever with chills. This laid the foundation for homeopathy. Hahnemann then expounded his principle: like cures like.
From this experiment, Dr Hahnemann derived a hypothesis - “a substance that can artificially produce certain disease-like symptoms on a healthy person; only that substance can cure a similar disease when it is given to the patient in the form of homeopathic medicine.”
For example, when you chop onions, you have watery eyes and a runny nose; you sneeze and cough, and all of it happens due to exposure to the tuber’s active substances. The homeopathic remedy, Allium Cepa, made from red onion can help you overcome a cold or allergy attack in which you may have similar symptoms – watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing or throat irritation.
Dr Hahnemann started studying the effect of various substances on humans, and systematically recorded the symptoms produced by these substances. These records were then used as reference guide to select a similar remedy for his patients. Cures achieved in this way further confirmed his hypotheses about the concept of ‘like cures like’. Dr Hahnemann thus evolved homeopathy as a scientific system of alternative medicine based on his research and clinical experience of over 12 years.
Homeopathy became widely popular during the 19th century with its success in treating patients during epidemics like cholera. Death rates in homeopathic hospitals were lower than conventional hospitals.
Homeopathy - Principles
The idea of presenting the key principles of homeopathy is to make our patients and readers aware that the treatment given to you by our doctors is based on the scientific principles of homeopathy. The important homeopathic principles, which guide our doctors in providing treatment, are discussed below.
Principle 1: The Law of Similars or like cures like (The fundamental law of homeopathy)
“A substance that can artificially produce certain disease-like symptoms on a healthy person; only that substance can cure a similar disease when it is given to the patient in the form of homeopathic medicine.”
- Our homeopathic doctors will understand and record complete details of your complaints and symptoms.
- They will then match your symptoms with thousands of homeopathic medicines and select just one medicine, which matches your complaints the most.
- The selected remedy is one that has been proven effective in producing symptoms exactly like yours in a healthy individual.
- Also, this medicine should have proven efficacy in curing patients with diseases similar to yours.
Principle 2: Single remedy for multiple complaints
“Treating man as a whole with one single remedy which is most similar in all his sufferings”
- In allopathy, you have different specialists for every disease and you may end up consulting more than one doctor for multiple complaints. There is a heart specialist, diabetologist, skin specialist and so on.
- Homeopathic doctors are trained to treat a wide variety of illnesses. They will select one single remedy, which will relieve or cure all your health troubles.
- For example, if you consult our doctors for hair fall and tell them that you also have headaches or acidity, they will suggest a medicine that will take care of your hair fall and also provide relief from headaches and acidity.
Principle 3: Individualisation
“No two patients get the same remedy even though they may be having the same disease.”
- Each individual is unique in his/her nature and temperament. Even the symptoms are different in different people suffering the same ailment.
- In allopathy, everyone with the same disease can be suggested the same remedy.
- However, in homeopathy, selecting the remedy is not entirely based on what you are suffering from, but more on the characteristic features of your symptoms and you as an individual.
- Homeopathy considers your nature, temperament, likes and dislikes, which are peculiar to you, thus setting you apart from other people with the same disease as you.
Principle 4: Long-term results
“Treating your skin disorders and other associated complaints with the application of creams or medicine that temporarily relieve symptoms but do not cure you internally is called suppression. It leads to the development of more serious illnesses in the future.”
- Dr Hahnemann observed that if your skin complaints are treated externally with the application of creams, symptoms may disappear temporarily but lead to more severe illnesses in future.
- Suppression may temporarily remove your suffering but put you at a higher risk of developing more serious illnesses.
- While working on your case history (homeopathic consultation), our doctors will discuss all the health problems you suffered since childhood till date. They will ask what treatments you have taken in past and the outcome of those treatments.
- With this, the doctors will know if there is any link between what you are suffering now and what you have suffered in the past, and the role your past treatment played in developing your current health problem.
- The remedy suggested after detailed case-taking aims at curing your ailment and not just suppressing the symptoms.
Principle 5: Order of Healing
“After any treatment, your health should never progress from milder illnesses to more severe illnesses. There is a defined order in which the cure should happen, as per nature’s law.”
- A homeopathic doctor is always guided by this principle in understanding whether the treatment is helping the patient or putting him/her at the risk of more serious illnesses in the future.
- When you are being treated for any complaint, it should reduce in intensity and frequency.
- After any treatment, your health should never progress from milder illnesses to more severe ones.
- Homeopathy treats you from within, not just externally. There is a defined order in which a cure should take place, as per nature’s law. Our doctors are well trained in assessing your treatment outcome according to these principles. This will ensure that your treatment is heading in the right direction.
Principle 6- The Minimum Dose
“The dose and repetition of medicine has to be minimum to ensure that the treatment is safe and free from side-effects.”
- Homeopathic medicines do not cause any side-effects.
- Lots of care is taken in preparing homeopathic medicines by a process called the dilution method. The substance used to prepare the medicine is either diluted in water or medicated alcohol.
- The dilution is carried out in a progressive way, up to the level where only a minor trace of the original substance remains in the actual medicine given to patients. This method of dilution is so refined that one hardly finds any measurable trace of medicinal substance in it.
- Recent advances in nanotechnology and experiments carried out by IIT Mumbai, a renowned institution of engineering and research in India, has demonstrated the presence of the original substance in minimum quantities in homeopathic dilution.
Homeopathy - Homeopathy With Allopathy
Homeopathic remedies are not known to interfere with conventional or any other medicine; in fact, they play a complementary role. You can safely take homeopathic medicine with your regular medicines for blood pressure, thyroid, heart problems, diabetes, etc. There is no need for abruptly stopping your allopathic medicines when you begin your homeopathy treatment. Many patients do this to see if homeopathy is helping them. A doctor would be the best person to conduct this assessment; always consult one before making any changes in your existing allopathic treatment.
Homeopathy - Dosage Instruction
- Homeopathic medicines taste sweet in the form of pills and powder, but they taste bitter in a liquid form. You may take liquid medicines with water. Pills and powder may be placed below the tongue for faster action. You may or may not drink water after consuming homeopathic pills or powder.
- You should avoid eating foods with strong smell – such as ginger, garlic, etc. – 30 minutes before and after taking homeopathic medicines.
- You don’t have to store homeopathic medicines in the refrigerator, but you should avoid keeping them in warm places, such as above the refrigerator, near other electronic devices or a gas stove. The best place to store your homeopathic medicines is a drawer at work or in your study room.
- Children who are not under homeopathic treatment are also very fond of taking the medicines, as they taste sweet. Quite often, upon the insistence of parents, homeopathic doctors give non-medicated sweet pills to the children of patients who come with them to the clinic. However, it is advisable that homeopathic medicines should be kept away from the reach of children, to prevent them from eating your medicine as a sweet.
- There is no particular time to avoid taking homeopathic medicines, but they should ideally be taken half an hour before or after a meal.
- Homeopathic medicines can be carried safely while you are travelling.
- If you are pregnant, you can take homeopathic medicines under the guidance of a qualified homeopathic doctor.