Homeopathy has been one of the most healing medicines that I have experienced in my life. When used with knowledge and expertise, it is safe, economical, and powerful. It is easy to find remedies at most health food stores, or I like to buy mine online at Pure Formulas.
Please keep in mind that I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose, treat, or prescribe anything. I can only offer my own anecdotal and class experience for educational purposes.
Homeopathic remedies are micro-dilutions of varying substances. Many of these substances are toxic in their natural non-diluted states. For example, Arsenic (arsenicum album), and poison ivy (rhus tox) are two well known and very useful remedies. There is no worry in homeopathics being toxic, because they are so diluted. In fact, not even a molecule of the original substance is even left in the solution. In the final solution is left the “essence” or energy from the original matter. This solution is added to small pellets or tablets that are made of sucrose and lactose - hence the term “sugar pill”.
Homeopathy, in my opinion, is one of the safest, most effective medicinal tools that we have today. The trick to finding a remedy that works is matching the symptoms. If you use a homeopathic remedy and absolutely nothing happens (given a specified amount of time) - it is not the right remedy and further searching is needed. The amount of time trying a new remedy depends upon the individual circumstances, acute may be a few doses, or for a chronic issue it could be as long as 13 weeks. I have two stories that I share here that convinced me it is not a placebo!
The dilutions are made by using a certain ratio of original matter to liquid. For example, 1 part matter is added to 9 parts liquid dilution (1:9). This mixture is then “succussed” (shaken) and then 1 drop of that mixture is added to another ratio based mixture. The number that you commonly see on homeopathic remedies, such as 6x or 6c, is telling you how many times it has been diluted. It has been diluted 6 times and the following letter is a roman numeral to tell you the ratio in which it has been diluted.
For example, a 200c has been diluted 200 times in a 1:100 ratio each time it is succussed (200). (c stands for 100). It is also important to note that the 200th potency is more dilute and therefore stronger than the 6c or 30c. Having the remedy actually increase in power, even though it is more diluted defies logic to me. However, I cannot deny the effectiveness of this modality of healing- even if my mind can’t wrap around exactly how it works, the point is... it does work.
Homeopathics are different than other types of medicine because they were originally tested on healthy people. The energy from homeopathics would imbalance these healthy people and give them new symptoms that were caused by the particular remedy they were “proofing”. Through these trials, it became known that using that particular remedy, could then bring an unhealthy person, exhibiting the same symptoms, back to balance.
To find the correct remedy, one matches a remedy’s “personality” to that of the patient’s. There are symptoms and characteristics to each remedy and these should match the client’s own symptoms and characteristics. Not every single symptom or trait needs to be manifest to make a match with an individual remedy. However, a large percentage of the symptoms should be manifest in the patient. This is very important. If a person exhibits symptoms that match a remedy, then taking it should bring them back to balance. After the symptoms have disappeared, the client must stop taking the remedy or they can begin to “proof” the remedy (meaning it can imbalance them again).
If one does not exhibit symptoms of a particular remedy and then uses it, the particular symptoms associated with that remedy may start to manifest in the client, if the remedy is taken for an extended period of time, or if a high potency is given. This process is called “proofing”. To stop the reaction of proofing, one would stop taking the remedy and if needed, an antidote remedy can be taken to counteract the action of the original remedy. For example, the homeopathic Camphor is an antidote to many homeopathic remedies and stops their action. There is little to no fear of permanent damage being done by a homeopathic remedy because all that is needed to stop the imbalance, and return to normal, is to stop ingesting it. “Aggravations” or “proofing” is not something that you generally have to fear. A good rule of thumb is that if you are taking a remedy and see no improvement (after a trial period) - stop taking it because it is not the correct remedy. If you have taken the remedy for a time and you no longer exhibit any symptoms, do not continue taking it. If the issue(s) returns, start taking it again.
There are particular remedies or substances that can stop the action of a homeopathic remedy. This is useful when the wrong remedy has been taken and one would like to stop its action. However, this is bothersome when you are taking the correct remedy and something blocks it from being effective. Two well known antidotes are Camphor (a remedy itself) or mint and also coffee (the drink). Essential oils can also act as an antidote. Be aware of using these antidotes that can interfere with the effectiveness of the remedies.
Another big difference between homeopathy and other medicine is that quantity is not as important as frequency. What I mean by this is, taking more of it at one time is not going to make the action of the remedy stronger. However, if the recommended dose is once a day and it is taken instead taken 3x a day, the action will be amplified. The packages usually suggest 5 pellets per dose. I personally only use one pellet or tablet per dose. The 30th potency is the most widely used and can be used more frequently than the stronger 200th potency. Again, if one dose has worked, do not take another, unless the symptoms return. If one dose has worked but the symptom has not gone away completely, then an hour later, another dose could possibly be taken. If two doses have been taken, and absolutely no change - it may not be the correct remedy. However, this really depends on each individual situation, acute situations are treated differently than chronic situations. The Banerji Protocols recommend 13 weeks on a particular protocol for chronic conditions. Keep in mind, I am not a medical professional and cannot tell you which remedy is the right one for you or what your dose should be and how often you can take it.
I have had toddlers empty an entire bottle of 250 tablets (because they are sugar pills after all!) and I have not worried about them “proofing” the remedy because it was in one dose (read the Quantity vs. Frequency section). However, it they were eating one tablet and then going back frequently during the day to take more, they could possibly start exhibiting proofing symptoms from the remedy. The lids to these homeopathic remedies are generally not even childproof.
For acute symptoms, I have found it is easier to research and find the correct remedy online. For example, if I had a sore throat, I would just type into a search engine “sore throat homeopathy”. Because there are so many different types of sore throats, you browse until you find a website that gives a list of remedies and their particular symptoms. If my sore throat has a burning sensation when I swallow, and feels soothed by something cold, and hurts more on the right side, then I would try to find the remedy that matches the most important symptoms that I am exhibiting. I would take a pellet of the remedy and then in a half hour or so, reassess if another dose is needed. It is helpful to rate on a scale of 1-10 how painful or bothersome the symptoms are before the remedy is taken. This makes it is easier to assess if there has been any improvement.
A classical homeopath is someone who has been trained to look at you as a whole person. All your fears, physical symptoms, thoughts, and quirks, make up your personality. The homeopath is trained to look at all these things and the symptoms you suffer and find the fewest amount of remedies to aid in bringing you back to balance. You can imagine that getting all of these details is very time consuming and it is. A homeopathic doctor I went to with my son has 6 hour long appts to make sure they know as many details about the patient as possible before prescribing.
In the Good Gut Bad Gut class that was taught by Joette Calabrese. She shared some of the protocols that she learned while shadowing at the Banerji Clinic in India. She is a classically trained homeopath, but went to study this new and interesting approach to homeopathy. At this clinic they see over 1000 clients a day. That is crazy busy! The homeopaths there simply do not have the time to take an exhaustive personal history of every person that comes into the clinic. Over the past 150 years, this family of homeopaths has found patterns in symptoms and the remedies to treat them. For lack of better words, their approach is more of an allopathic and not so individualistic approach to treatment. Although I love the idea of a personal holistic approach, there is something to be said for reproducability of results. What they have found is that there is a particular symptom and a specific protocol of remedies will treat that symptom in 80% of the cases that present that symptom. Should the first line protocol not have any effect whatsoever in 13 weeks of application, then it is recommended to move onto the second line of protocols, and if needed a 3rd line. The Banerji’s have found that nearly 100% of people with symptoms will be cured following one of those 3 protocols.
The reason there is no research to back up homeopathy is because the specific nature of diagnosing and treating makes it nearly impossible to measure the outcome based upon a singular remedy and a symptom. For example, you could have two people come to a homeopath with eczema. However, these two people are individuals and although they have one symptom in common, they can be vastly different in personality and temperament. One is an extrovert, the other an introvert, one a night owl, the other an early bird, one may have digestive issues and the other doesn’t, one feels lethargic and sluggish. The remedies chosen for the eczema may be completely different because the clients are completely different! Due to this, it is extremely hard to measure the outcomes of homeopathic remedies.
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