Homeopathy Definition; Homoeopathy is a holistic system of medicine based on the theory of treating’like with like’. The symptoms are considered as the body’s natural reaction to the disease and help to find a solution against the disease. This means that a remedy that produces symptoms in a healthy individual will cure those same symptoms when manifested by a person in a diseased state. Homeopathy is a medical system improved 200 years ago by Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor. The word ‘homeopathy” is derived from the Greek words; “homoios” (similar) and “pathos” (suffering).
• Law of Similars
• Law of the Infinitesimal Dose
• Disease is specific to the individual
Homoeopathy is a method of therapy for curing the patient by medicines that possess the capacity of producing similar symptoms in a healthy human being simulating the natural disease, which it can cure in the diseased person.
While research with cures for malaria, Dr. Hahnemann discovered that some natural substances can produce symptoms that mimic illness. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann performed experiments on himself using Peruvian bark, which contains quinine, a malaria remedy. He concluded that in a healthy individual, quinine creates the same symptoms as malaria, including chills and fevers which is the reason why it is effective as a remedy.
Homoeopathic medicaments are prepared from traces of plant, animal, mineral and other natural substances, by a standard method called potentisation or dynamisation, which comprises of successive dilutions and succussions to raise the inherent curative power of the drugs to maximum. A homeopath uses pills or solutions containing only a little of an active ingredient for therapy of disease. Homeopaths believe that although homeopathic solutions are highly diluted, they contain a “memory” of the substance in water.
As yet, scientists has not been able to explain the mechanism of action of ultra high dilutions in the body, however lab experiments have showed that homeopathically prepared substances cause biological activity. For instance, the hormone thyroxine prepared as a homeopathic ’30C’ dilution can slow down the process of metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs. The exact mechanism by which homeopathy works is unknown, however 200 years of clinical experience along with research reported in such medical journals as The British Medical Journal and Lancet the have approved homeopathy’s effectiveness. Homeopathy method proved its power in 1831 when there was an outbreak of cholera. Using his homeopathic therapies Dr. Friedrich Samuel had 96 percent success rate, compared to the 41 percent of the conventional medicine of that time. In 1991, the “British Medical Journal” reported an analysis of 107 clinical trials published between 1966 and 1990. The reviewers found that in 81 of the studies, the homeopathic therapies were successful.
During past important epidemics such as cholera, diphtheria, scarlet fever, malaria, typhoid, yellow fever, etc., homeopathy decreased mortality by 10 to 30 times versus orthodox medicine. During the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-19, it has been estimated that 25 to 50 million people died. Homeopathic doctors documented then more than 62,000 patients treated with homeopathy resulting in a mortality of 0.7%. For people who were sick enough to be hospitalized, conventional medicine had a mortality of 30 percent while with 27,000 documented hospitalized cases, homeopathy was reporting a mortality of 1-3 percent. Research by the doctor Dr Andre Saine of more than 61,000 confirmed cases of Spanish Flu between 1918 and 1919 has shown that patients treated with homeopathy experienced death rates of 0.7 % as opposed to more than 30 % for patients of conventional treatment. According the Dr. Frank Wieland,“8,000 workers we had only one death. Gelsemium was the only remedy used. We used no vaccines and no aspirin.”
Homeopathy Clinical Studies
Findings from an observational study of over 3000 people with chronic conditions such as headache and allergic rhinitis in adults, and atopic dermatitis and recurrent infections in children, demonstrated improved quality of life associated with use of homeopathy with positive effects persisting for eight years.
The British Medical Journal in 1991 reported a large analysis of homeopathic cure that were given over the course of 25years. This study, involved over 100 studies of patients with problems ranging from infections, respiratory ailments, vascular diseases, psychological problems, allergies, diabetes, arthritis, trauma and others. The study found amelioration with homeopathic cure in most categories of problems, and concluded that the evidence was “sufficient for establishing homeopathy as a regular therapy for certain indications.
In one trial reported in Lancet by Dr. David Taylor Reilly compared the effects of a homeopathic hay-fever remedy with a placebo. In this double-blind controlled experiment, those who received the homeopathic remedy had 6 times fewer symptoms. In a randomised double-blind study homoeopathic therapy was compared to therapy by Chloroquine. The group using homoeopathic remedy experienced an 83.% progress, while the group using Chloroquine experienced a 72% development within the same time period (British Homoeopathic Journal, 1996, April).
In a study reported in the “International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics” concluded that homeopathy should be the first line therapy for acute ear infections in children. The group of 103 children who received individualised homeopathic remedy had fewer ear infections over the following year, compared with the children who received conventional therapy. 114 children attending a paediatric practice where conventional and homeopathic remedies were used, and who were previously diagnosed with ADHD, were given individualised homoeopathic remedies. On a parent assessed basis, if a minimum 50 percent improvement was not noted within a certain period of time they were placed on Methylphenidate. 75% of the children responded to homoeopathy and 22% required Methylphenidate.(British Homoeopathic Journal 2001)
In a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study, 63 asthma sufferers were treated for four months with either specific homoeopathic medicaments or placebo. Examined using peak flow rates, 97% of those taking homoeopathic remedies and 12% or those taking placebo experienced an development. In a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study, 40 individual suffering from corticosteroid- dependant bronchial asthma were given or placebo or a combination homeopathic remedy, every 5 to 7 days by subcutaneous injection. Using standard spirometry and granulocyte function to measure the response, scientists found that the homeopathic remedy provided better results to placebo. (Biomedical Therapy , 1997, June)
A study performed by researchers at “Charité University Medical Center” of people with chronic headache revealed significant developments using homeopathic therapy. In a randomised, placebo controlled double blind study, 60 person suffering from migraine were treated using homoeopathy over a period of four months. Those patients in the control group experienced a decrease in migraine frequency from 9.9 attacks per month to 7.9 per month, while those in the treatment group reduced their monthly attack rate from 10 to between 1.8 and 3 per month. (Journal on Research in Homoeopathy, March, 1991)
Clinical experiments show the strength of homeopathic remedies in treating infectious diseases. In a French study reported in 1987, silica, prepared homeopathically to the 10c potency, stimulated macrophage activity by approximately 70%. In a randomised, double blind placebo controlled study, 50 person with asymptomatic HIV infection and 50 person with symptomatic HIV infection and were given either placebo or an individualised homoeopathic remedy. Using numbers of pre and post therapy CD4 + ve T-lymphocytes, it was found that homoeopathic formula was useful for symptomatic HIV sufferers, but not for asymptomatic sufferers(British Homoeopathic Journal, 1999).
68 person suffering from mild to moderate hypertension were enrolled in a double-blind randomised clinical trial comparing individualised homoeopathic treatment with placebo. Accomplished results were obtained with 82 percent of those using homoeopathy compared with 57 percent of those using placebo (Boletin Mexicano, 1999). In a randomised, placebo-controlled study, 50 patient with persistent mild traumatic brain injury were treated either with homeopathic remedy or placebo. The homeopathic therapy provided better results to those from the placebo control.(British Homeopathic Journal 2000)
In double-blind trial 65 sufferers of OA (osteoarthritis) were split into two groups were given either a homoeopathic remedy or Acetaminophen, a commonly prescribed drug for pain relief in osteoarthritis. Scientists found that homoeopathy provided a level of pain relief that was better to acetaminophen, and produced no adverse reactions. In a study, carried out at the “Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital”, 41 patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis were treated with aspirin and 54 patient suffering from the same condition were treated with individualised homeopathic remedy. The results of the two forms of treatment were compared at the end of the trial and it was found that those on homeopathic therapy did considerably superior than those on aspirin (Clinical Pharmacology, 1978). In a study, 79 patient suffering from mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee were given a gel containing Arnica and asked to apply it twice daily. Were assessed at 3 and 6 weeks for pain, stiffness and functional capability of the knee. Assessments demonstrated a significant reduction in pain and stiffness, and a noteworthy amelioration in the functional capability of the knee. (Advanced Therapies, 2002-Sep)