Homoeopathy

What is Homeopathy

Homeopathy is advanced; it is green, it is friendly to the environment, ecology and economy. Homeopathy is gentle and effective. Its medicines, called remedies, are derived mainly from plant, mineral, and animal sources. In homeopathic preparation, these substances are converted into sub-molecular preparations by a process called “potentisation”, which increases the healing effect of the original substance and removes any toxicity it contained in its crude state.

Is Homeopathy Safe?

Homeopathic remedies are energetic medicines free of chemical side-effects. They are nontoxic, they will not interfere or interact with other medications, and are non-addictive. The remedies are odorless and tasteless which makes them easy to give and to receive. They are safe for people and animals of all ages including newborns, the elderly and the pregnant. Homeopathic remedies can even be used to strengthen plants, improve the soil (agrohomeopathy) and to dissuade insects in your home and garden.

Does Homeopathy Work?

Yes, absolutely. Homeopathy is effective for both acute and chronic problems. The correct remedy (simillimum) resolves deep-seated complaints such as, arthritis, diseases of the digestive system, kidney and bladder, epilepsy and respiratory illnesses. It is equally effective in acute and first aid emergencies, like accidents and injuries, shock, broken bones, pain, fever, vomiting, diarrhea. Mental and behavioral problems such as fear of loud noises, spookiness, depression, aggression, panic and grief also respond very well to homeopathy. It's healing sphere is wide, it is strong, yet the most gentle and humane of medicines, which makes it a remarkable system of healing.

How does homeopathy work?

The dilutions and the memory of water theory

The aspect of homeopathy that is implausible for many people is that the medicines are often – though by no means always – diluted to the point where there may be no molecules of original substance left. One of the leading current proposals for how such ‘ultramolecular’ dilutions work is that water is capable of storing information relating to substances with which it has previously been in contact.1

The structure of water
Recent research on hydrogen bonds in water provides some support for this ‘memory’ theory. The Swiss chemist, Louis Rey, found that the structure of hydrogen bonds in homeopathic dilutions of salt solutions is very different from that in pure water.2 He reached the conclusion that the phenomenon results from the vigorous shaking of solutions that takes place during homeopathic ‘succussion’. Moreover, using the laboratory technique called spectroscopy, other researchers have found that different homeopathic medicines and different dilutions of the same medicine can be distinguished from each other, even though all should contain nothing but water.3

Molecular clusters
An alternative mechanism is suggested by the results of research from South Korea. Studies on molecular clustering in water solutions showed that as a solution is made more and more dilute, very stable and larger ‘clumps’ of material develop in dilute solutions rather than in more concentrated solutions.4  This means that residual molecular clusters of the original substance might just be present in homeopathic dilutions. Succussion might also be responsible for creating very tiny bubbles (nanobubbles) that could contain gaseous inclusions of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and possibly the homeopathic source material.3

Highly diluted substances exert an effect

However they work, there is increasing evidence that homeopathic dilutions have a demonstrable effect on living organisms examined under laboratory conditions. Researchers in Germany have observed an inhibitory effect of an ultra-diluted chemical on the bacterium Vibrio fischeri.5 And there is important work from a consortium of European laboratories showing that very high dilutions of histamine may exert a biologically significant effect on the white blood cells that take part in the immune response.6

Positive outcomes in 75% of studies
Viewing the evidence overall, there is some experimental support for the idea that ultra-molecular homeopathic dilutions may possess unique physical properties and can exert physiological effects. A systematic review evaluated 67 in-vitro experiments in 75 publications of research on homeopathic dilutions.7 A majority of papers reported measurable effects from highly diluted substances. Positive findings were obtained in nearly three-quarters of all replicated studies, but no positive result was stable enough to be reproduced by all investigators.

References
1. Bellavite P, Signorini A. The Emerging Science of Homeopathy, 2e. 2002: North Atlantic, Berkeley.
2. Rey L. Thermoluminescence of ultra-high dilutions of lithium chloride and sodium chloride. Physica A, 2003; 323: 67–74.
3. Rao ML, Roy R, Bell IR, Hoover R. The defining role of structure (including epitaxy) in the plausibility of homeopathy. Homeopathy, 2007; 96: 175–183.
4. Samal S, Geckeler KE. Unexpected solute aggregation in water on dilution. Chem Commun, 2001; 21: 2224–2225.
5. Brack A, Strube J, Stolz P, Decker H. Effects of ultrahigh dilutions of 3,5-dichlorophenol on the luminescence of the bacterium Vibrio fischeri. Biochim Biophys Acta, 2003; 1621: 253–260.
6. Belon P, Cumps J, Ennis M, et al. Histamine dilutions modulate basophil activation. Inflamm Res, 2004; 53: 181–188.
7. Witt CM, Bluth M, Albrecht H, et al. The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies – a systematic review of the literature. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2007; 15: 128–138.

Safety and cost benefit

Safety

A review of the safety of homeopathy, conducted by doctors associated with the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital (RLHH) studied papers published between 1970 and 1995 for reports of adverse effects of homeopathy.

Adverse effects reported in clinical trials were temporary aggravations of symptoms or other mild and transient effects (mostly headaches, tiredness, skin eruptions, dizziness or diarrhoea).

Only a very few isolated reports of proper adverse effects were attributable to homeopathic medicines.1 The authors of the review concluded: “Homeopathic medicines in high dilutions, prescribed by trained professionals, are probably safe and unlikely to provoke serious adverse reactions”.

One of the expressed reasons for the popularity of homeopathy among patients at the RLHH is that it does not have the side effects associated with many conventional drugs.2

Cost benefit

The available evidence suggests that homeopathy has the potential to generate savings through reduced conventional prescribing and demand for other services.3 A full economic evaluation of homeopathy has, to date, taken place only once, mainly because of the large resources involved in doing so.  The single study of this type – in Germany – the cost-effectiveness of the commercial homeopathic preparation Sinfrontal® was assessed in a placebo-controlled trial of adults with acute maxillary sinusitis.4   Sinfrontal® led to average incremental savings of 275 euros per patient compared with placebo over 22 days.

Another research group in Germany compared homeopathic and conventional GPs’ outcomes in chronic diagnoses commonly treated in general practice (adults – headache, low back pain, depression, insomnia, sinusitis; children – atopic asthma, dermatitis, rhinitis).5 They collected data at 6 and 12 months regarding symptom severity, quality of life, and costs of consultations, medication, physiotherapy, hospitalisation, sick pay and medical devices. 493 patients were treated by 101 homeopathic GPs and 59 conventional GPs. The findings suggested that patients who received homeopathic treatment had better outcomes for similar cost.

Studies elsewhere, including the United Kingdom, have also shown that the purchase costs of orthodox drugs and procedures fell after the introduction of homeopathy.6–12 Moreover, a comparative study has suggested that homeopathic management of children with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections was more cost-effective than conventional care.13 Another study concluded that homeopathy might be able to reduce the need for antibiotics in children with acute otitis media.14

References:
1. Dantas F, Rampes H. Do homeopathic medicines provoke adverse effects? A systematic review. British Homeopathic Journal 2000; 89: S35–8.
2. Sharples F, van Haselen R. Patients’ perspectives on using a complementary medicine approach to their health. A survey at the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital NHS Trust. London, 1998.
3. Smallwood, C. The Role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the NHS, FreshMinds. October, 2005
4. Kneis KC, Gandjour A.  Economic evaluation of Sinfrontal® in the treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis in adults.  Applied Health Economics & Health Policy 2009; 7: 181–91.
5. Witt C, Keil T, Selim D, et al. Outcome and costs of homeopathic and conventional treatment strategies: a comparative cohort study in patients with chronic disorders. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2005; 13: 79–86.
6. Swayne J. The cost and effectiveness of homoeopathy. Br Homeopath J 1992; 81: 148–50.
7. Feldhaus HW. Cost-effectiveness of homoeopathic treatment in a dental practice. British Homeopathic Journal 1993; 82: 22–8.
8. van Haselen RA, Graves N, Dahiha S. The costs of treating rheumatoid arthritis patients with complementary medicine: exploring the issue. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 1999; 7: 217–21.
9. Frenkel M, Hermoni D. Effects of homeopathic intervention on medication consumption in atopic and allergic disorders. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 2002; 8: 76–9.
10. Jain A. Does homeopathy reduce the cost of conventional drug prescribing? A study of comparative prescribing costs in general practice. Homeopathy 2003; 92: 71–6.
11. Van Wassenhoven M, Ives G. An observational study of patients receiving homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy 2004; 93: 3–11.
12. Rossi E, Crudeli L, Endrizzi C, Garibaldi D. Cost-effectiveness evaluation of homeopathic vs conventional therapy in respiratory diseases. Proceedings of Improving the Success of Homeopathy; 26-27 Jan, 2006; London: p 5.
13. Chaufferin G, et al. Medicoeconomic assessment of treatment of recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis in 18-month-old to 4-year-old children by general practitioners. Proceedings Journées de l’Institut Boiron
2002: 87–8.
14. Frei H, Thurneysen A. Homeopathy in acute otitis media in children: treatment effect or spontaneous resolution? British Homeopathic Journal 2001; 90: 180–2.

Helping pets

One of the interesting things about homeopathy is that it can have great results in animals. Sceptics often use the argument that homeopathic treatment works because it is all in the mind of the patient. It would be hard to apply this argument to your pet cat or dog!

Conditions often seen

A pilot study published by the BHA in 2007 found that the conditions most commonly seen by homeopathic vets are arthritis, atopic dermatitis, lameness, epilepsy, diarrhoea, aggression, fear, pruritus, hyperthyroid and kidney failure. A total of 767 pets took part in the study. Patients were predominantly cats and dogs, but horses and some other smaller animals were also present in the study.

According to owners, the health of 80% of the animals that took part in the study improved.

Treatment

Homeopathic doctors work in the same way as conventional doctors do. History taking, examination and investigation are all important in establishing the diagnosis. However, as well as asking about your symptoms, a homeopathic doctor will be interested in you as an individual and the unique way in which your symptoms affect you.

The homeopathic consultation

Questions about your lifestyle, eating habits and preferences, temperament, personality, sleep patterns and medical history help the doctor to form a complete picture of you. This picture will be matched to the symptoms of your illness in order to prescribe a particular type and strength of homeopathic medicine.

As a guide your first appointment could take anything up to an hour, with follow-up appointments typically lasting 30 minutes. This does vary depending on the practitioner and the setting in which they work (NHS appointments may be shorter for example).

Preparing for your appointment

To get the most out of a consultation, it is helpful to make some notes beforehand and to think through all the issues that are affecting your health. Some homeopathic practitioners ask new patients to complete a questionnaire before their first appointment. This is a helpful way of saving time and to your advantage to do so if requested.

The medicine

At the end of the consultation your homeopathic doctor will give you a prescription and advise you how often to take the medicine. Homeopathy is usually taken in tablet or pillule form, but is also available in liquid and powder form. Homeopathic gels or cream may also be prescribed for some conditions.

The medicines

Homeopathic medicines are manufactured by repeatedly diluting and succussing (shaking) a preparation of the original substance, mainly plants and minerals, in water and alcohol. After dilution the medicine is added to lactose tablets or pillules.

The strength of the medicines

Over-the-counter homeopathic medicines that you can buy in high street shops tend to be in either the 6c or 30c potency. 6c means that the substance has undergone 6 steps in a series of dilutions, where each step involves diluting 1 part medicine to 99 parts alcohol/water.

The more stages of dilution and succussion the preparation has gone through, the more potent the medicine is – so a 30c medicine is more potent than a 6c medicine.

Although this is opposite to the way most conventional medicines manifest their effects, where a greater dose has a greater physiological impact, there are some conventional drugs that have paradoxical, or inverse, effects at lower doses.  An example of an inverse dose-response relationship is the net vasodilator effect of adrenaline which, toward the lower range of the dose-response curve, increases with more dilute doses of the drug.

Integrated approach

Homeopathy cannot replace all other forms of healthcare, but can be used as the first treatment option in a wide range of conditions. It can also be used in a complementary way in other situations, for example, to support good recovery after operations.

Homeopathy doesn’t interfere with conventional medicine and should be seen as a complementary treatment, not as an alternative.

The best of both worlds

Despite the differences in approach, homeopathic and conventional treatments can work very well alongside each other. Consulting a medical doctor trained in homeopathy allows you to receive the best of both worlds, with the most effective treatments being tailored just for you.

So Why Use Homoeopathy :--

The following points shows the peculiarities of homoeopathy that make it a very sensible choice of treatment in animals:
1. No side effects.
2. No suppression of symptoms for later, more vicious reappearance.
3. No dependence on diagnosis but only a dependence on symptom observation.
4. No need for laboratory trials in animals for the proving of medicines.
5. Allowance for and Dependance on a patient's individuality.
6. Whole patient treatment. 
7. Homoeopathy appears to work with the body's own disease-combating mechanisms to effect a cure and this constitutes a most natural, humane and effective method of cure.
8. No environmental pollution.

Mode of Administration of Medicine:--

Mode of administration of medicine is globules form, or in liquid form directly on tongue of dog or mixed in small quantity of water in clean bowel. Biochemic remedy is always given in warm luke water or fresh water.

Warning:--

When Pathological changes occur in system high potencies should not be used and treatment should be under the guidance of an experienced Veterinarian only.  The users have to understand that such a work can never be a guarantee, the homeopathic literature is just a long distance treatment and is no subsitute for a face to face contact between the patient and the Doctor.
 

      

 
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