The word Homoeopathy, often spelled as Homeopathy, is derived from two different Greek words – ‘omoios’ meaning similar and ‘pathos’ meaning disease. Homoeopathy is a form of alternative medicine (a healing practice that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine) wherein the practitioners treat the patients with homoeopathic pills, which are prepared by diluting the raw material either in alcohol or distilled water.
The regulation and prevalence varies from country to country. In some places there is no legal regulation for practising homoeopathy, while in other countries one may require a licence and a degree in conventional medicine.
Origin & the ‘law of similars’
This therapeutic healing system was first founded by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in the year 1796. According to him, the basic principle of homoeopathy was the law of similars, i.e. let the like be cured by like. However, there are many who would disagree with this principle, as the conventional medicine believes that the patient should fight the disease and the main factor that causes the disease. However, homoeopathy believes that first the patient should strengthen his defence mechanism and boost his immunity for that particular disease, and then the patient will be capable of fighting the disease. Hence, all those undergoing a homoeopathy treatment may often observe that the symptoms of the disease first get aggravated and then settle down.
Following are few important points that explains the ‘law of similars’
- There are no diseases, only patients.
- The appropriate remedy must match every one of the patient’s symptoms, and not only the disease.
- The time needed for treating a disease or condition is infinitely small, if the true remedy has been found.
- The symptoms of the disease, during the treatment, tend to disappear in the reverse order of their appearance.
Preparation of the dosages
There are various methods used in the preparation of homoeopathic ‘remedies’. The chief and most prevalent method used today by most of the homoeopaths is the centesimal method. It is produced in a way that one part of the mother tincture of the mother/main ingredient, of which the medicine is to be prepared is taken and diluted in 99 parts of inert substance. The inert substance is either distilled water, milk sugar or alcohol.
The method of pulverisation is used if there are metals, which cannot be diluted in water. The same proportions are followed as above i.e. one part of powdered metal is mixed with 99 parts of milk-sugar.
What is ‘Remedy’?
In simple language medicines, syrups and tablets are used as a means to cure diseases in conventional medicine. Similarly, ‘remedy’ is a technical term used in homoeopathy, and it refers to a substance which has been prepared with a particular procedure and intended to cure a particular disease or condition. Although ‘remedy’ also means ‘a medicine or a therapy that cures disease or relieves pain’, it is not to be confused with its general usage.
Conflicts and competition between homoeopathy and conventional medicine
The comparison between homoeopathy and conventional medicine dates back to when homoeopathy was founded as an alternative healing therapy. The greatest conflict is the quantity of the doses. According to the conventional doctors, the quantity of the doses are so small that it hardly justifies any action against the suffering/disease. However, the homoeopaths stick to their method and maintain that their experience shows that multiple dilutions have even better therapeutic results. According to them, they do not deal with a remedy that works on chemical level, but a remedy that works on energy level.
The best results, homoeopaths say, are obtained with animals, babies and small children. However, as the time passes, the conflict only gets stronger, as now the scientists researching on homoeopathy and also scientists from other branches choose homoeopathy over conventional medicine.
Which one is better Homoeopathy or conventional medicine? Or are both the medical approaches necessary?
Yes, both the medical approaches are necessary. Whether he should be given Homoeopathic treatment or any other form of treatment depends on which kind of treatment he can well adapt to. Both of these have their pros and cons. The chemical medicines have their side-effects, and over consumption of these weakens the patient. However, they are inevitable when it comes to serious and chronic diseases like heart diseases, asthma, epilepsy etc. In cases wherein a permanent cure for the disease is not possible, chemical medicines give brief but necessary relief from the pain, suffering or the symptoms of the disease.
On the other hand, homoeopaths too, have tried to take up challenges and work out remedies for most of the diseases to be at par with the conventional medicine. They have also been successful to a certain extent. Some of the homoeopaths have abused it to the extent of claiming that homoeopathy can cure diseases like cancer, AIDS, obesity and even schizophrenia. However, there are no confirmed reports that homoeopathy cures these diseases, completely.
Although there is no clarity about how well this alternative healing therapy works, it has been observed that homoeopathy is quite successful in curing chronic headaches, migraines, vertigo, sinusitis and frontal colpitis, allergic rhinitis, bronchial and allergic asthma, gastritis, gastroenteritis, hepatitis, liver damage, hepatic fatty degeneration,inflammation of the gall bladder, duodenal ulcer, colonic irritation, spastic and ulceric colitis, chronic conjunctivitis, juvenile acne, atopic dermatitis, triple neuralgia, inter-costals neuralgia, herpes zoster, cervical syndrome, lumbago, lumber sciatica, myalgia, muscle fibre and tendon damage due to accidents, gynaecological conditions, mastitis, endometriosis, sterility, pre-menstrual syndrome, cystitis, urine incontinence, sperm abnormalities, phobias and anxiety neuroses, anaemia.
Hence, homoeopathy often comes into picture where conventional medicine fails to show results. This is true, especially for people who suffer from side-effects of chemical medicines.