What is homeopathy?

The word “homeopathy” literally means “similar suffering/disease”. It was invented by a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann about 200 years ago. It is based on the Law of Similars which states “like cures like”. In other words, a remedy that causes certain symptoms in a healthy person can cure a sick person with those same symptoms. In a sick person, the body produces symptoms simply trying to fight off the disease. For example, fever is the body’s attempt to kill the virus/bacteria by producing a temperature higher than what’s ideal for the bugs. However, some people don’t get better on their own because their bodies lack the ability to finish the task. A homeopathic remedy works by stimulating the body in the direction it was heading for and helping it finish the disease-fighting process.

How are homeopathic remedies made?

There are over a thousand homeopathic remedies. The origins of most of them are from plants, animals, and minerals. A handful of so-called “nosodes” come from diseased human tissues or discharges. The crude material goes through a series of dilution and succusion (shaking) to a point where the original substance is not found in the solution. Different potencies are made as the dilution goes on. A higher potency (30C) is actually more diluted than a lower potency (6C). Drops of diluted solution are applied to sugar pellets and render the pellets of medicinal power. These sugar pellets are what you get in a bottle of a homeopathic remedy. You won’t be able to tell from the appearance or taste of the pellets what remedy it is.

How can homeopathy benefit you?

Like any other naturopathic modalities, homeopathy can treat a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Homeopathy is especially beneficial for kids, even infants, because of the pleasant taste. It can be very effective for common pediatric complaints such as colds and flus, ear infection, cough, infectious disease, etc. For adults, it is commonly indicated for mental/emotional complaints such as depression and anxiety, neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, among other common chronic diseases.

Will the remedy labeled “migraine” at Whole Foods work for me?

Maybe, but probably not. Homeopathy is a highly individualized medicine. There isn’t a single homeopathic remedy for any certain condition. In a hundred people with migraine, each one of them may need a different remedy. On the other hand, you don’t need 5 different remedies for each of your 5 complaints. A homeopathic remedy is selected to match the totality of your symptoms. In the way of classic homeopathy, you’ll only need to take one remedy at a time.

What to expect during a visit for homeopathic treatment?

A remedy can only be determined by the physician after careful interrogation of symptoms from head to toe, since the goal is to find a remedy that best fit you as a whole. So the visit is usually lengthy. The initial visit is one hour or longer. Follow-up visits range from 15 to 30 minutes. A remedy will be prescribed for you at the end of the initial visit. Follow-up is usually a day or two later for acute conditions, 3 to 4 weeks for chronic conditions. During each follow up visit, the physician will decide whether to keep you on the same remedy or change to a different remedy.