What is Homeopathic Medicine?
Homeopathic medicine, also known as homeopathy, is an alternative medical treatment and philosophy that uses natural substances derived from plants, minerals and animals, to help reduce the impact of illness and disease. Most frequently, a homeopathic practitioner, or a homeopath, will provide patients with natural solutions to rid them of symptoms, rather than cure them of disease. The original concept of homeopathy was developed in Germany during the late 1700s and has been widely practiced throughout the modern world.
The main focus of homeopathy is that it does not suppress the body's natural immune system. Instead it works in harmony with the body's attempt to restore itself to health. Homeopathy works as a holistic medicine - it addresses the cause and not the symptoms.
How Homeopathic Medicine Works
Homeopathic medicine is based on the idea that “like cures like” or the laws of “similar.” Basically, this means that homeopaths believe giving someone a natural substance that causes a particular symptom, like headaches for instance, may cure a person who suffers from chronic headaches. The idea behind this philosophy is that the natural substance will help to re-train the body’s natural response to headaches. To help the body better learn how to deal with symptoms, homeopaths give their patients a highly diluted remedy, or mixture of a particular substance and liquid, to help stimulate the body’s own natural defenses against the symptom or illness. The remedy is supposed to help the body develop a memory of how to deal with certain symptoms, therefore strengthening the body’s response to both the substance and symptom over time. One of the core values of homeopathy is the belief that the body naturally posses the power to heal and regenerate itself over time with the proper homeopathic treatments.
What Does Homeopathic Medicine Cure?
Homeopathic alternative medical treatments are not meant to cure diseases but instead, help the body’s natural response to illness and diseases. Many individuals use homeopathic medicine to treat a variety of long-term illnesses and minor injuries. For instance, homeopathic medicine is most often used to treat asthma, colds, flu, allergies and arthritis. Homeopathic medicine can also be useful in treating minor conditions such as muscle injuries, scrapes and burns. Homeopathic medicine is not recommended or advised as a sole medical treatment for individuals who are suffering from serious diseases like cancer or brain tumors for instance.
The regulation of homeopathic medicine varies from country to country. Since 1938, homeopathic remedies have been used in the United States and homeopathy has also been a popular alternative medicine treatment in England, Europe and India as well. While there are no international regulations governing the practice of homeopathic medicine, generally, each country or state will develop its own set of regulations concerning its practices. In some places, homeopathic practitioners are required to hold a license or degree from an accredited college or university in order to legally interact with patients.
Considerations and Precautions
If you’re interested in using a homeopathic approach to medicine, or if you’re currently using homeopathic treatments, be sure to discuss your alternative medicine regime with your physician. It is important to make sure your homeopathic practitioner and doctor are aware of all medications you are taking to avoid dangerous drug interactions or potentially harmful side effects.
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