Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What Is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy, also known as homeopathic medicine, is a medical system that was developed in Germany by Dr Samuel Hahnemann more than 200 years ago. It’s based on two relatively unconventional principles:
- “Like cures like”—the principle that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people
- “Law of minimum dose”—the principle that the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness. Many homeopathic products are so diluted that no detectable molecules of the original substance remain.
What are Homeopathic Remedies?
Homeopathic products come from plants (such as red onion, arnica [mountain herb], poison ivy, belladonna or deadly nightshade, and stinging nettle), minerals (such as white arsenic), or animals (such as crushed whole bees), many of which have been used for medicinal purposes for generations. Homeopathic products are often made as sugar pellets to be placed under the tongue; they may also be in other forms, such as ointments, gels, drops, creams, and tablets.
After the initial preparation of the raw material, the remedies are made by serial dilution and succussion (vigorous shaking) in a solution of water and alcohol (in a small amount). This is done a few (3-4 times) or up to many thousands of times. The liquid dilution itself is used as a remedy or soaked into tablets or granules for convenience.
How is Homeopathy different from conventional medicine?
Homeopathy takes a truly holistic approach to the treatment of the disease. It recognizes that all the symptoms of ill-health are expressions of disharmony within the whole person. Hence it is the person who needs treatment for his suffering, rather than just the disease.
In simpler words, homeopathy aims at healing the whole person rather than just taking care of one or two symptoms or attacking symptoms aggressively unlike other forms of treatment. This holistic approach to medicine takes a wider view of illness, its causes, and the way in which people express their illness individually. Hence homeopathy can be used to treat almost anything.
One of the unique fundamental principles of homeopathy is that of individual prescriptions. E.g. two patients might have headaches but the way they have their headaches, their overall state of health, the way they cope with life can be different, and so on. Hence two such patients with apparently similar illnesses may need different remedies, helping them more precisely. Even the same patient suffering from the same illness at two different points in time may need different remedies.
Why do homeopaths ask so many questions? Why do they ask for detailed case history including life situation and emotional suffering?
We strongly believe that the cause of the chronic disease is in the mind due to its emotional suffering. Simply put: Any ’emotion’ is conveyed to our mind by way of some chemical change in our brain. For example, when you are happy, there are specific chemicals associated with this in the body, such as endorphins and dopamine.
When you are unhappy or trying to ‘adjust or adapt’ to a given situation or any bitter memory these are a different set of chemicals, norepinephrine, or hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
The chemicals associated with negative experiences also lower your immunity and that is the time some significant/chronic disease starts. To get rid of that disease permanently and to heal the individual, we must balance that negativity and for that, we must know the reason for that negative emotion and its effect on you.
Only then can we balance it, bring back immunity, and cure the disease permanently. If not, these symptoms keep coming back repeatedly as soon as you stop medicines. One of the other areas where homeopathy fundamentally differs from conventional medicine is in its belief that the human body has a life force (immunity) which tries to heal itself. Hence, instead of fighting against the body with medications, antibiotics, and anti-depressants externally, we treat the body to restore its function, its immunity, and health itself, which is what brings about a sustained cure.
The present problem of a patient is not usually an isolated occurrence. It is part of a sequence. The family history and the events through childhood are considered as homeopathy treats not only the present symptoms but the entire sequence, thereby preventing the progress of the disease.
Why are patients instructed not eat or drink anything 15 minutes before and after the medicine?
This is because homeopathic medicines are absorbed from mucus membranes of the mouth. Homeopathic medicines are very mild medicines due to dilutions – they can get altered due to any strong smell in the mouth.
Can diabetic patients take sweet sugar pills?
Yes, they can. The amount of sugar present is negligible for it to affect diabetics. Most of the times, it is a combined dose of less than 1 gm of sugar per day.
What is the shelf life of a homeopathic medicine?
Homoeopathic remedies have no expiry date. It can be preserved for years, if kept away from sunlight, moisture and strong-smelling substances.