WHAT IS HOMEOPATHY?
Homeopathy is a unique and sometimes controversial medical modality developed by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German doctor and chemist. Since its inception homeopathy has been criticized by its detractors for its unconventional approach to healing. At the same time, it has expanded to become the second most commonly used medical system in the world.
● Used in over 80 countries worldwide
● Used by 100’s of millions of people
● Part of the national health system in Brazil, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the UK
● Used by English Royal family for 150 years
● Has been used by famous people past and present, including Charles Darwin, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Twain, and Paul McCartney
The homeopathic approach utilizes a vast number of natural substances in the treatment of health problems. The original classical homeopathic medicines (also called “remedies”) were made from plant, mineral and animal substances.
Subsequent innovations in homeopathy introduced new categories of remedies. “Nosodes” are made from pathological excretions and secretions, as well as from microbial cultures of fungi, bacteria and viruses. “Sarcodes” are medicines made from healthy body tissues and organs. Remedies are also prepared from body chemicals, such as hormones and neurotransmitters. There is even a category of homeopathics made from various forms of energy (“imponderables”), such as electricity, lightening, sunlight, moonlight, x-rays, magnetism, and mobile phone radiation. The term “Comprehensive Homeopathy” encompasses these new additions to the homeopathic medicine chest.
WHAT IS SO UNIQUE ABOUT THE HOMEOPATHIC APPROACH?
Homeopathy is unique because its underlying principles run counter to the paradigms of both modern medicine and herbal medicine. The term “homeopathy” is derived from the Greek words “homeo” meaning similar and “pathos” meaning “suffering.” In homeopathy a medicine is chosen because it is similar to the patient’s sickness. In contrast, Dr. Hahnemann coined the term “allopathy” (“allo” = other, different”) to describe modern medical practice, which treats diseases with drugs whose effects are opposite to the patient’s sickness. When you think about both over-the-counter and prescription drugs many of them begin with the prefix “anti.” There are antibiotics, antihistamines, antihypertensives, and anti-inflammatories. In contrast, homeopathic medicines are chosen for their similarity to the symptoms and disease experienced by the patient. In addition, homeopathy uses the smallest possible dose of medicine.
Dr. Hahnemann founded modern homeopathy on two fundamental laws:
1) The Law of Similars “Let likes be cured by likes.” This ancient medical paradigm can be traced back to Hippocrates and offers profound guidance on the most effective way to bring about true healing. The Law of Similars tells us that the best medicine is the substance from nature that would cause the symptoms in a healthy person that you wish to cure in a sick person. The symptom pictures of thousands of substances from plant, mineral and animal sources have been documented in the homeopathic literature through a process called “provings.”
2) The Law of the Minimum Dose “Less is more.” Homeopaths use the minimum amount of medicine necessary to relieve symptoms and bring about cure. Homeopathic theory and practice suggest that therapeutic power increases with increased dilution of a remedy. A higher potency (more diluted remedy) will act more deeply, act for a longer period of time, and have curative action with fewer doses. Since homeopathic medicines work by catalyzing the body’s innate healing mechanisms it is not necessary to continually take medicine once the healing process begins.
HOW ARE HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES MADE?
Homeopathic medicines are prepared through a systematic process of dilution and succession. The first step is making a mother tincture from the desired ingredient. This tincture is then repeatedly diluted with water or alcohol at a ratio of 1:9 or 1:99. A 1:9 dilution is called an “X” potency, and a 1:99 dilution is called a “C” potency.
Between dilutions the remedy is “succussed,” i.e. the liquid dilution is repeatedly pounded against a firm but resilient surface. This entire process ¾ called potentization ¾ is believed to create a deeper acting medicine while keeping toxic properties to a minimum.
Homeopathic medicines can be purchased and taken in liquid tincture form. They are also commonly available in small glass vials containing lactose pellets that have been saturated with the potentized mother tincture.
WHY DO HOMEOPATHS USE DIFFERENT DILUTIONS?
There are many reasons why homeopathic remedies are made in different dilutions. The question of which potency to use with any particular patient is complex, and each practitioner will have their own approach to making this choice. However, generally speaking lower potencies are believed to be more appropriate for superficial or local symptoms (such skin conditions), for very sensitive patients, and for those with low vitality. Higher potencies are indicated for patients with strong constitutions and for symptoms on the mental and emotional level.
WHAT ARE POTENCY CHORDS?
Some DesBio homeopathic formulas contain “potency chords,” which are a mixture of a number of different potencies of the same homeopathic medicine. Potency chords have several valuable properties. They help ensure that the patient will receive the potency that is most beneficial for their physiology. The patient’s response may be faster and more comprehensive, with lower potencies eliciting a quick improvement of superficial symptoms and higher potencies working more slowly to address the mental and constitutional aspects of the case. In addition, it seems that potency chords tend to minimize the potential for the aggravation that can sometimes occur with the patient’s initial response to the remedy.
“Different potencies act differently in different cases and individuals at different times under different conditions. All may be needed. No one potency, high or low, will meet the requirement of all cases at all times.” Dr. Stuart Close (1860-1929)
HOW DOES HOMEOPATHY WORK?
There is still a lot that we don’t know about how homeopathy works. It is believed that homeopathic medicines stimulate the body’s natural healing responses and ability to restore homeostasis even though they are extremely diluted. This hypothesis is gaining credibility in recent years as laboratory and animal research have started to identify specific pathways by which remedies modulate the immune system. Investigators have also demonstrated that homeopathic remedies modulate gene expression in dilutions as high as 30C.
These breakthroughs in understanding how homeopathy works are consistent with a well-known pharmacologic phenomenon called “hormesis.” The term hormesis describes the differing response of cells and organisms to an environmental agent or toxin – a beneficial response is observed from low dose stimulation while an inhibitory or toxic effect is observed from a high dose.
Recent research using powerful electron microscopes has also shown that even in extremely dilute homeopathic medicines the original starting substance can be found in the form of clusters of “nanoparticles.” Nanoparticles are very tiny particles between one and 100 nanometers in size. These nanoparticles could theoretically acquire the structural information of the original ingredient during the process of potentization.
HOW DOES DESBIO DO HOMEOPATHY DIFFERENTLY?
DesBio’s comprehensive homeopathic products are on the cutting edge of homeopathic theory and practice. Classical homeopathy uses remedies from Dr. Hahnemann’s three original sources of remedies: the plant, mineral and animal kingdoms. In addition, Classical practitioners almost always prescribe one single remedy at a time. DesBio draws from a more extensive range of ingredients and also simplifies prescribing by creating formulations designed to address a broad range of symptoms.
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