Holistic Medicine

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        Homeopathy is a holistic medicine which uses animal, vegetable, and mineral preparations to cure a person's illness. It uses neither drugs nor surgery, is based on the belief that everyone is an individual and should be treated accordingly.

             Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine that was founded in the early 18th century by a German physician and chemist , Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.(1755-1843). But its origins date from the 5th century BC, when the Greek physician Hypocrates- known as the 'father of medicine' - introduced homeopathic remedies. It was his understanding of the disease and how it affects our bodies that made his discoveries homeopathic.

 Homeopathy has a two hundred year track record of curing illness. It first came to widespread public attention through its effectiveness in curing epidemics of cholera in the 19th century. During the great influenza epidemic after World War I, homeopathic hospitals reported very low death rates in comparison to hospitals employing conventional medicine. Since World War II, clinical trial became the "gold standard" for determining the effectiveness of medical treatment. Although not every study has shown a positive outcome, the majority of studies have shown that homeopathy is effective. 

Classical homeopathy rests on three principles: the law of similar, the single medicine, and the minimum dose. 

  • The law of similar states that a disease is cured by a medicine which creates symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing, in a healthy person. Hence an important part of the prescription of a homeopathic medicine is a lengthy interview to determine all the symptoms the patient is experiencing. The homeopathic physician then determines which medicine best matches the symptoms that the patient is experiencing and prescribes it.  

  • The principle of the single remedy states that a single medicine should cover all the symptoms the patient is experiencing: mental, emotional, and physical. A classical homeopath would not prescribe one medicine for a headache and another for an upset stomach, he or she would find a single medicine that covered both symptoms.  

  • The principle of the minimum dose has two parts: First the homeopathic physician only prescribes a small number of doses of the homeopathic medicine and waits to see what effect the medicine has. Second, the medicine is given in an infinitesimal dose.  

Homeopaths have discovered that the effect of homeopathic medicines is strengthened upon successive dilutions as long as the medicine is violently shaken between each dilution. Medicines are typically used in very high dilutions such as 30C (1 part in 10^-60) or 200C (1 part in 10^-400).  

It is the use of infinitesimal doses that is the most controversial aspect of homeopathy and the reason why most conventional doctors claim it functions only as a placebo. However, a number of controlled studies have been performed which show the effectiveness of homeopathic medicine in treating a number of diseases.  



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