Homeopathy appears on the surface to be almost mystical in concept. The idea of an “imprint” of a medicine and that its potency is derived from its vibrational energy is not an easy theory to digest. But the results can be quite dramatic while the risks are minimal if not negligible. With that in mind it’s easy to see why so many people are trying this non-intrusive, gentle yet powerful form of alternative medicine.
Homeopathy finds its roots documented in the writings of Hippocrates (470-400 B.C.), the “Father of Medicine”. He believed that healing is found in the methods of “contraries” and “similars.” Hippocrates wrote, “Disease is eliminated through remedies able to produce similar symptoms.” German pharmacist and medical translator Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) later rediscovered these ideas through a process of experimentation and scientific invention. He is primarily responsible for what we call Homeopathic medicine today. Dr. Hahnemann showed that homeopathic principles of simile and potency could cure typhoid and cholera better than the conventional medicine of the day. Dr. Hahnemann himself healed 180 cases of typhus with only one fatality. In the same town, out of 1500 patients treated by conventional methods, 55% of the patients died. In 1854 in Britain, a cholera epidemic was brought to a halt in homeopathic hospitals with only a 16.4% death rate as compared to that of traditional hospitals which had a staggering 51.8% death rate using conventional medicine. Homeopathic medicine and the principle of simile was protected by the British Parliament and later protected by the United States Congress as a practical and legitimate method of medical practice.
Homeopathic remedies are extremely diluted substances, so much so in fact that the original substance may be undetectable. Only the impression of the original material is left. Homeopathic remedies can be derived from plant, minerals or animal preparations. A process known as “proving” has detailed and confirmed homeopathic remedies. The first homeopathic remedy to be proven in this way was Cinchona or Peruvian bark. Hahnemann realized that the effects of taking it were the same as the effects of malaria, which it was used to treat. He then supposed that this might also be the case for other substances and began to branch out his experiments. He even tried to dilute more toxic substances to evaluate the effects without poisoning his assistants and family. What he discovered was that the effects of the more diluted substances became more potent without having as many side effects. He developed a system of dilution and shaking called succussion that appeared to increase the potency of the remedy and eliminate any unwanted effects. Hahnemann created a number of potencies, where each dilution involved mixing one part of the substance to ninety-nine parts of water and alcohol. This resulted in a 1 C potency. One drop of this dilution is taken and diluted in ninety-nine parts of water. This results in a 2 C potency (C = one hundredth part).
The number of times the substance is diluted results in the dilution, thus a 200 C has been diluted to one in a hundred parts 200 times. A vital part of the process that Hahnemann discovered was the shaking or succussion which is done between every dilution. This is often carried out by machine, but was originally done by hand. The higher the dilution the more potent the remedy becomes. Remedies are available as high as 50 million dilutions. More recent theories suggest that somehow the dilution and vigorous shaking super-charges the water molecule and this is what affects the body and brings about healing. The homeopathic remedy that most closely matches the symptoms of the animal or person will act as a trigger to the body and stimulate better health.
In its near two hundred year history there has never been a single recorded instance or case of overdosing on Homeopathics. Despite the pharmacological effects, because these substances are diluted to such a large degree, overdosing is really quite impossible even though the FDA considers Homeopathics over-the-counter ‘medicines’. Homeopathy had been considered a legitimate form of medical intervention by the U.S. congress long before the FDA was even a governmental agency.
Initially when a homeopathic remedy is taken nothing may appear to happen. In acute conditions the effect is much more rapid, and after a short time some improvement may be noted. One important thing to look out for is a slight worsening of the symptoms for a short while, followed by improvement. This is simply the healing reaction of the body, and is a good sign that the correct remedy was chosen. Acute illnesses are really eruptions of underlying chronic problems. In this case chronic treatment is often the best way to address the real root of the problem preventing further episodes of acute disease.