Homeopathy has caused a lot of dispute among scientists about how effective it is. But what exactly is it?
Homeopathy : Top 5 Facts You Should Know About
1. What is it?
Homeopathy is a form of holistic medicine based on the Law of Similars : “similia similibus curentur” or likes cure like.
According to this principle, a substance that causes a series of symptoms in large doses can be used to cure the same symptoms when administered in small doses by strengthening the body’s defense system.
Homeopathy treats the whole person, meaning that both physical and psychological conditions are equally important. Similar symptoms on different people may lead to different ways treatment.
2. Where does it come from?
The idea of likes cure like was first mentioned by Hippocrates but was formulated in its current form 2000 years later by Samuel Hahnemann who presented this new medical system in his book “Organon der rationellen Heilkunst” which was published in 1810.
3. Who is Samuel Hahnemann?
Samuel Hahnemann is known as the Father of Homeopathy. He was born in 1755 in Germany and studied medicine at the University of Leipzig. In his search for lighter medical treatments, he experimented on himself and on volunteers and found that the lower the dose the higher the effectiveness of the medicine. His beliefs were affected by the theory of Vitalism, which proposes the existence of an inner force that defines the function of every living organism. The disruption of vis vitalis is, according to Hahnemann, the cause of all diseases and the cure is the exact medicine that restores balance.
In his book “Organon der rationellen Heilkunst”, Hahnemann presents a complete account of his theories. He also published a homeopathic pharmacology called “Materia Medica” and the book “Chronic Diseases” in which he supports that all chronic diseases are the result of the suppression of the miasms of Psora, Syphilis, and Sycosis (gonorrhea).
4. How are homeopathic medicines manufactured?
The production of such medicines is based on serial dilution and succussion (vigorous shaking). In short, the more diluted a remedy is, the stronger it is. Samuel Hahnemann used to dash his bottles against a bible bound in leather to produce remedies. During this process, a spiritual type of energy is released and that is what makes the medicine effective.
5. Is it effective?
Now, that is a very difficult question to answer and it is no surprise that there is so much controversy on this matter. Conventional medicine defines that medicine is a substance that restores, improves or modifies pathophysiological conditions. When it comes to homeopathy, though, there is simply not enough substance in the remedy to cause any pharmacological result. Thus, opponents believe that it has no place in modern medical practice.
But why are there so many people who claim that homeopathy cured them while conventional medicine could not? The answer could be the placebo effect. A placebo is anything that seems to be a real medicine but it isn’t. Studies have shown that the size, the color and the taste of placebo pills matter. It is believed that placebos boost the mood and improve the expectations of a person to the point that the body’s response is better.