The World Health Organisation acknowledges homeopathy as the second-best healing system in the world, but what actually is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a holistic medicine that has been practised for over 200 years. It uses specially prepared, highly diluted plants (given mainly in tablet form) with the aim of triggering the body’s own healing process.
How does it differ from conventional medicine?
Homeopathic remedies work on the principle of 'like cures like'. If a substance has the potential to harm you, the same substance in a highly diluted form (homeopathically prepared), has the potential to stimulate your body to heal similar symptoms. For example, chopping onions can cause your eyes and nose to stream. The homeopathic remedy made from onions is Allium Cepa (Latin for onion). This remedy may then be one of the remedies considered for colds or hayfever, where one of the main symptoms is streaming eyes and/or nose.
Homeopathic remedies are different from medical drugs because there isn’t just one remedy for an issue. Take headaches, there are a few hundred remedies for headaches and in order to choose the correct remedy, the homeopath takes a careful note of all your particular symptoms and then chooses a remedy which is the closest match to your symptoms. There can be ten people each with a headache and they will be prescribed a different remedy depending on their unique symptoms.
Remedies usually come in little sugar balls, what do they contain?
The medicinal balls contain small quantities of substances derived mainly from plants and minerals, which are processed in a specific way. A small amount of the substance is extracted or ground down, diluted and then succussed. Succussion is a vibrational action, where the remedy is shaken vigorously. The more the dilution and succussion steps are repeated, the higher the potency of the remedy.
In India more than 100 million people depend solely on homeopathy for their healthcare. Can it help everyone?
In a word, yes. From the mildest recurring symptoms such as a cough to more chronic conditions such as psoriasis or Crohn’s disease. Even asthma sufferers who experience attacks can feel an improvement in their breathing patterns. Similarly, sufferers with digestive problems such as IBS can be helped and mental health issues such as depression can be remedied.
Is it suitable for everyone to take and does it interfere with prescribed meds?
Homeopathy is safe and effective for everyone. This is because the very low doses do not cause any side effects. The therapeutic results naturally energize the body’s system. They are also non-addictive and completely safe for babies and pregnant women to use too. They can also be safely taken with any allopathic medication.
Can you self-prescribe, or must you see a qualified homeopathic?
You can self-prescribe remedies using an easy-to-use home prescribing book. For more complex conditions, serious ailments and diseases it is advisable to seek a professional homeopath. Always tell your doctor if you’re planning on using homeopathic remedies to ensure the homeopathic medicines are compatible with your condition.
How can you find a reliable and trustworthy practitioner?
It’s vital to be aware there is no legal regulation of homeopathic practitioners in the UK. This means anyone can practise as a homeopath, even if they have no qualifications or experience. The Society of Homeopaths and the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths are both accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. Alternatively, the British Homeopathic Association has an online directory of practitioners that you can search through by postcode.
Are homeopathic medicines readily available to buy? And if so, where?
If it’s only an acute condition, such as a cold, a cough or insomnia, The Organic Pharmacy has in-store homeopaths who can prescribe remedies to help. Similarly, Ainsworths and Helios are both homeopathic pharmacies that offer information and advice, as well as selling remedy kits. These remedies cover simple acute conditions. Larger Boots stores also stock a small selection of homeopathic remedies, however they’ll be no expert on-hand to advise you on what to buy.
Feeling inspired? Here’s ten homeopathic remedies for your first aid kit as recommended by Organic Pharmacy’s homeopath, Flavia S Porto.
Great for shock, such as from hearing bad news or having a fall. It is also very effective for treating conditions which come on suddenly, like a sore throat or headache.
A must for your travel bag. This remedy is used to treat insect bites or stings, or any allergic reactions caused as a result of them.
This is a classic remedy for trauma, injury and bruising. It’s great for jet lag too.
A fever and sunstroke remedy for those suffering from a high temperature. People who need it might even be hallucinating because of their fever.
A pain reliever for aching joints, neck and back niggles, as well as burning, blistering skin eruptions.
Safe, effective and gentle relief from migraines.
A good choice of remedy for easing painful indigestion, rumbling gas, bitter belching and heartburn. Pulsatilla also be used for car and motion sickness.
8. NUX VOMICA
A lifesaver for hangovers. This also works well for stomach upsets and headaches which are caused by overindulging in food/drink.
One of the few remedies which has a wide variety of uses, such as treating sore itchy skin conditions, bad digestion and respiratory problems. It even controls children’s temper tantrums.
This treats people who are unable to concentrate or keep their mind focused on anything for a long period of time. Great for helping you hit your deadlines.
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