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The Science of Homeopathy that You Need to Know

The Science of Homeopathy that You Need to Know.

People often ask if homeopathy is backed by science. To understand the scientific base of complementary medicines, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Indian Ayurveda, Yoga, etc., it is necessary to analyze their own philosophies, principles, therapeutic methods, and effects.

According to the Journal of Complementary Medicine & Alternative Healthcare, homeopathy is a combination of art and science. 

All complementary medicines based on strong principles are considered scientific at the time of their origin.

In other words, all medical systems have evolved from different philosophies and civilizations based on the principles and culture of their origin.

TCM, Ayurveda, Unani, homeopathy, and other complementary medical systems follow the approach of their own philosophy in providing health care and controlling diseases.

Homeopathy is a holistic approach and has been practicing for over 200 years. It is used to treat acute and chronic conditions. It is a natural form of medicine used all over the world.

Presently, over 200 million people use homeopathy worldwide. 

Homeopathic medicines or remedies are mostly made from plants and minerals. 

So the medicines are natural and safe if prepared under proper control. 

 

Brief History of Homeopathy. 

The term homeopathy is derived from Greek words which means ''like'' and, ''suffering''.

''Homeopathy'' also spelled ''Homeopathy'' is an alternative/complementary system of medicine developed by a German physician Samuel Hahnemann in the late 18th century.


Science of Homeopathy




Hahnemann coined the term ''homeopathy'' which appeared first in printed form in 1807. Hans Birch Gram, a student of Hahnemann, introduce it in the USA in 1825. 

In the next decade, several homeopathic schools and colleges were established there. In 1844, the American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH) was established.

Homeopathy quickly gained popularity in Europe, North America, South Asia, and other parts of the world.

Homeopathy achieved its highest popularity in the 19th century. There were dozens of homeopathic institutions and over 15000 homeopathic practitioners in the US by the end of the century.

According to Hahnemann, the most mainstream medicines of that time were ineffective and often harmful. So, the use of those is irrational and not advisable.

How does Homoeopathy Work (The principles behind the system)

Homeopathy is a holistic method of treatment like other complementary medicines. Although it produces results, it is difficult to scientifically explain how homeopathy works because of the contradiction with science in some cases.

Homeopathy intends to eliminate the causes of an illness by increasing the body's resistance to disease. It focuses on finding the causative agents of various diseases in the human body and eradicating them.

Homeopathy argues against suppressing the symptoms of any illness, which is not a cure for that illness.
 
High doses of antibiotics or any other medication suppress the symptoms instead of eliminating the cause.

Homeopaths say that suppression means that a broken part of the disease-causing substance is still present in the body and can cause further infections and diseases.

Homeopathy focuses on the whole human body instead of parts. It believes that each part of the body is connected to the other, and the healing of one part helps cure the entire body. It emphasizes the cure of the root cause of a disease.

So a better understanding of homeopathy and its working process requires knowledge of its basic philosophy and concepts.

Homeopathy is based on the two principles, ''like cures like'' and "repeated dilution" (also known as potentiation).

The first principle, like cures like states that an ingredient that brings symptoms to a healthy person can cure similar symptoms in a sick person.

The second principle or ''potentization'' refers to a series of dilutions of a substance while preparing the remedies.

Homeopathic doctors (homeopaths) believe, the lowers the dose, the more effective the substance will stimulate the body's "vital force" to fight disease.

Homeopathy also believes, each person reacts differently to a specific illness. 

So, remedies and dosage for each individual are recommended by carefully studying the individual's response to the illness.

Before prescribing the medicine, the homeopath (a practitioner) asked you several questions, like your lifestyle, food preferences, medical history, state of mind, and so on.

How Homeopathic medicines are prepared

The source of raw materials used to make medicines are typically medicinal plants and minerals. Sometimes, raw materials from animal worlds are also used.

Plants source include leaves, roots, barks, stems, fruits, seeds, and flowers. Ferns, moss, and various types of algae are also used. 

As mentioned earlier, homeopathic medicine is based on potentization, meaning repeated dilution and blending. The preparation process includes repeated dilution of the substances in water or alcohol.

The level of dilution is printed on the medicine bottle. 

A typical homeopathic dilution is 30X, where X=10. This means one unit substance is mixed with 10 parts water or alcohol.

The mixture is shaken then 1unit of it is again added to 10 units of water or alcohol. 

The process is repeated 30 times.

Homeopathic practitioners use tablets, granules, powders, and liquid mixtures (with little or no active ingredients) to heal the illness. 

Regulation of Homeopathic medicine in the United Nation


For the laws and licensing requirements for homeopathy, each state is responsible in the US.

As per the"Enforcement Policy Statement Regarding Marketing Claims for Over-the-Counter Homeopathic Drugs" 2016 issued by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the standard for homeopathic drugs to be equivalent to other products claiming similar benefits.

Companies must have the necessary and reliable scientific evidence of the FTC for health-related claims, including claims that any product can treat certain conditions.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)has proposed the risk-based approach in 2017. 

This approach would call for additional investigation of products with the greatest potential for risk, including those:

  • intended to be used for preventing or treating serious and/or life-threatening diseases and conditions.
  • that do not meet legal standards for quality, strength, or purity
  • with reported safety concerns
  • that is not taken by mouth or rubbed on the skin
  • for vulnerable populations.

Homeopathy In India


In India, homeopathy is a government-recognized system of medicine. The Indian government has established the Department of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy) under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

To monitor higher education in homeopathy, the Central Council of Homoeopathy was established in 1973 and the National Institute of Homoeopathy in 1975.

In India, Homeopathy is growing faster than any other system of medicine. The market for homeopathic medicine is faster than the global market.

According to the statistics of Homeopathy Research Institute:

  • India is in #1 in terms of the number of people using homeopathy. 100 million Indian people depend solely on homeopathy for their health care.
  • Presently, there are 200,000 plus registered homeopathic doctors and nearly 12,000 new practitioners are being added every year.

Use of Homeopathy 


Homeopathy is used to heal several health conditions including some chronic illnesses

The following are some examples of health issues where homeopathy is used widely:
 
Cold and Cough
Headache
Toothache  
Depression
Allergies
Irritable bowel syndrome
Migraines
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Rheumatoid arthritis
Premenstrual syndrome.

Efficacy of Homeopathy and Criticism

Homeopathic practices are highly personalized, and no uniformly prescribed standards for homeopaths are there. Several remedies can be given in a variety of combinations for many symptoms.

How a mixture with little or no active ingredients can have an impact on health conditions- that can't be explained scientifically.

Many Scientists have considered homeopathy a pseudoscience and the medical community mostly considers it as quackery.

There is a lack of statistical evidence of therapeutic efficacy.No homeopathic medicines be different from placebo.


Are Homeopathic Remedies Safe?

Typically, homeopathy is considered safe because of its highly diluted process of preparation. But all the remedies are not highly diluted, thus, contain toxic elements.

In some cases, side effects like allergic reactions have also been reported.

As homeopathy is controversial, what should I do?

Talk to your health care expert before taking any homeopathic medicine. Don't use homeopathy as a substitute for conventional immunizations. 

Avoid the use of homeopathic drugs for treating any life-threatening condition.

Keep Learning:




Conclusion

Despite criticism, the use of homeopathic medicines has been growing worldwide. 

It's cost-effective and produces results, though scientific evidence and clinical trial are insufficient. 

You can use homeopathy as first aid. But for the use of healing any disease, you must consult your doctor-no matter whether it is acute or chronic. 



Sources:






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The information provided in this article is for educational purposes and should not be construed as recommendations or medical advice. We are not medical experts. Consult a doctor before use of any supplement. 

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