What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a form of natural medicine that uses immeasurably small doses of medicines to stimulate the body’s own healing ability. It is based on a systematic application of the principles of health and healing. These principles and their application are as true today as they were 200 years ago when homeopathy was developed.

Homeopathy was developed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755 – 1843). Hahnemann became dissatisfied with the conventional medical treatment of his time. So he gave up medical practice and became a medical translator. His curiosity and desire to find the laws of healing led him to experiment with cinchona bark (quinine), which was used then (and is still used today) in conventional medicine to treat malaria. To his surprise, he found that taking very small doses of quinine, until his body reacted to the drug, created in him similar symptoms as those suffering from malaria. Hahnemann continued to perform meticulous drug tests called “provings” to bring out what symptoms different substances cause in a healthy person.

This was the beginning of the medical application of what is known as “The Law of Similars.” This law states that a substance can cure a disease if it produces in a healthy person symptoms similar to those of the disease; like is cured by like. It is a law of nature that was earlier recognized by both Hippocrates and Paracelsus. Hahnemann was the first to test the principle systematically and establish it as the foundation of a system of medicine.

Hahnemann continued his testing to discover how small a dose of a drug could be given to stimulate the healing response and yet eliminate the toxic effect. He developed a process known as “potentization,” which involves successive dilution alternating with succussion (vigorous shaking) or trituration (grinding). These small doses are called “potencies.” Potentization renders medicines nontoxic and without side effects while increasing their potential for cure.

Homeopathy is a truly holistic system of medicine. It recognizes that all parts of the body, as well as the mind and emotions, are interdependent. Therefore, all symptoms of the person are taken into account in order to find the single curative medicine.

Homeopathy aims to restore the individual to a greater overall state of health, vitality, and freedom. Symptoms of disease, according to the homeopathic philosophy of healing, represent the body’s best effort to heal itself. Symptoms are seen as positive, adaptive responses to the various stresses experienced by the individual. Therefore, homeopathy does not suppress symptoms; it stimulates the body’s overall defenses or vitality to complete the curative process. The result, in most cases, is the elimination of the symptoms of disease along with an improvement in overall health.

Today, homeopathic medicines (remedies) are prepared by homeopathic pharmacies as specified in the “Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States,” the official manufacturing manual recognized by the FDA. Most remedies are made from plants, but minerals, metals, animal venoms and by-products, as well as chemical drugs are used. Remedies are prepared in the form of small sugar pellets, lactose tablets, or liquid.

Homeopathic remedies are inexpensive and safe to use. The layperson can learn to effectively handle many common nonemergency illnesses for which they would usually seek conventional medical care. It is well suited for those who want to assume greater personal responsibility for their health.

Homeopathy is practiced in nearly every country in the world. It is particularly popular in England, France, India, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and the former U.S.S.R. The English Royal Family has been under the care of homeopathic physicians since the 1930’s. Two hundred years of worldwide, successful clinical experience continues to prove homeopathy safe and effective in the treatment and prevention of disease.

The history of homeopathy in the United States is a fascinating one. It was extremely popular here in the nineteenth century. The first national medical association of any kind was the American Institute of Homeopathy, founded in 1844. By the turn of the century, one out of four physicians used homeopathy. There were 22 homeopathic medical schools and over 100 homeopathic hospitals. Then came homeopathy’s decline in the United States due to a number of factors. These included the acceptance of a more mechanical, as opposed to holistic, view of disease and the body; advances in surgical and pharmaceutical medicine; strong opposition by the A.M.A. (American Medical Association, founded in 1846) whose Code of Ethics prohibited members from consulting with homeopathic physicians and whose orthodox physicians influenced the passage of legislation detrimental to homeopathic training and practice; as well as infighting among homeopaths regarding doctrine and politics. Today, homeopathy is again experiencing a tremendous resurgence in popularity due to renewed interest in the natural laws of healing, as well as disillusionment with standard medical treatment.

The information presented in this book will, step-by-step, give you access to the safe and effective use of homeopathy and its potential for supporting the birth process.