Treating the whole person using gentle homeopathic remedies, homeopathy is a traditional system of natural medicine that's regaining popularity.
What do Mark Twain, John D. Rockefeller, Cindy Crawford, and Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, all have in common? Why, homeopathy of course.
A system of natural medicine
Homeopathy, derived from the Greek words meaning “similar” and “suffering,” is a system of medicine founded by German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755 to 1843).
Homeopaths believe in the Law of Similars, which states that “like cures like.” By this rule, a substance that would normally create symptoms in a healthy person can help treat a sick person with those same symptoms, when given in a very small dose.
Homeopathy uses remedies made from natural sources derived mostly from plants and minerals, though some use animal sources such as venoms. Unique to homeopathy, these natural remedies begin as a liquid tincture, then go through a potentisation process of dilution and succession (shaking) to render them nontoxic, minimize side effects, and increase their healing power.
This process of potentisation means they are safe for adults, children, the elderly, and even animals. Remedies are typically administered in tablet form, though for external use they can be compounded as cremes, sprays, or gels.
Homeopathy treats the whole person
To effectively use homeopathy, it’s best to take the whole person into consideration. For example, two people who both have headaches but who are experiencing different symptoms require their own unique homeopathic remedies.
- Someone who has violent throbbing head pain that’s relieved with pressure may benefit from Belladonna.
- The person who has a pulsating headache accompanying stiff neck and shoulders may benefit from Spigelia.
Homeopathy for first aid
Homeopaths use over 6,000 remedies. The largest group of remedies is derived from plants such as
- mountain daisy (Arnica montana) to help speed healing after bruises, sprains, and strains
- marigold (Calendula officinalis) to help heal injury to skin
Homeopathy as gentle healer for children
Colic, teething, earaches, coughs, and colds can all be soothed with homeopathy. While it’s best to consult with a practitioner given the many remedies to choose from, there are two remedies that are most popular with parents:
- Pulsatilla may be used for the child who’s tearful and needs affection while unwell
- Chamomilla for the child who’s angry, impatient, and desires to be carried while sick
Nicole Duelli, certified homeopath, alive Editorial Advisory Board member, and mom of two says, “I believe homeopathy is not an alternative, but a natural complement to conventional medicine. We couldn’t do without one or the other.
”As a mother, I know how ideal homeopathic remedies are when you need a home remedy in the middle of the night. And as a homeopath, I know how helpful remedies can be to resolve those nagging problems that just won’t go away on their own.”
Homeopathy for long-standing illnesses
The Charité University Medical Centre in Germany conducted a study involving 134 adult patients with chronic sinusitis. The study, published in 2009 in the BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders journal, found patients experienced a “marked” improvement in their quality of physical and mental health following homeopathic treatment, and the effects lasted for as long as eight years.
Homeopathy good for the environment
Because only minute doses of the original substance are required to make a homeopathic remedy, we use less of it. This means that harvesting of natural resources is low. Because homeopathy is based on the law of minimum dose, once a remedy has worked you stop taking it.
Homeopathy for Royal animals
The British royal family has been using homeopathy since 1830; currently Peter Fisher is their homeopathic physician. Her Majesty the Queen always travels with her homeopathic medicines and even uses them with her dogs. According to a news report, when asked why she used a homeopathic ointment on her corgi’s cut foot she replied, “If it’s good enough for me, it should be good enough for my dogs.”
Homeopathy for emotional support
Ignatia is a remedy used to support emotional turmoil, especially grief that may lead to insomnia and tearfulness. While grief itself is a natural human emotion, homeopathy can help relieve emotional states that are prolonged or debilitating.
Homeopathy is an effective system of medicine that is safe and non-invasive and offers complete health care for a range of ailments. Fill your medicine cabinet with these gentle remedies and consider consulting with a qualified practitioner for more long-standing conditions.
Did you know
Samuel Hahnemann has his burial monument in the famous cemetery Père Lachaise in Paris, France, among many others famous for their contributions to culture, science, and humanity. A great bronze relief in Washington, DC, also honours his lifelong contributions as a chemist, physician, and founder of homeopathy.
By 1900 the popularity of homeopathy meant that in the United States there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, more than 100 homeopathic hospitals, and over 1,000 homeopathic pharmacies. Although interest in homeopathy declined starting in the 1920s, it has seen a resurgence in recent decades.
In Canada, many extended health insurance companies provide coverage for homeopathic treatment in paramedical plans. In Europe, approximately 45,000 medical doctors are trained in homeopathy, and national laws recognize homeopathy as a distinct therapeutic system in countries such as Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Homeopathy’s Canadian legacy
According to Library and Archives Canada, Emily Stowe, born in Ontario in 1831, was the first woman to practise medicine in Canada. Stowe earned her degree at a homeopathic medical school in New York since Canadian medical schools denied her enrollment because she was a woman. Stowe was a pioneering physician and women’s rights activist who paved the way for women to access medical education in Canada.
Canada’s oldest homeopathic pharmacy, Thompson’s Homeopathic Supplies Ltd., was established in 1868 in Toronto—and remains a renowned homeopathic supplier today.
Currently, homeopathic practitioners undergo three to four years of rigorous training before graduating as a homeopathic practitioner. Canada has several homeopathic colleges across the country from Vancouver to Montreal.