The Miracles Of Alternative Medicine – Homeopathy In Action
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine where treatment is based on the two essential principles. The first one implies that a disease can be cured using the medications that produce effects resembling the disease itself (similia similibus curantur). Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, believed that an overdose of certain drugs leads to symptoms of the same disease being treated, therefore he laid the foundation of homeopathy basing on the law of similars.
To form the system of treatment, he merged a number of laws that come out from the classical methods of research and health assessment. The second principle states that the medication is more effective when it is less concentrated. Therefore, homeopaths make use of diluted medicinal substances to an extent that it may be hardly possible to identify a single drug molecule in the solution. Homeopathic drugs represent the dissolved to negligible concentrations extracts of medicinal plants, and chemical elements (calcium, sulfur, arsenic, potassium, iodine, gold and etc.).
Homeopathy: the social factor
The adherence to homeopathy was born along with dissatisfaction with classical medicine. The patients are oftentimes seeking for reassurance they can get in a conversation with homeopath. Another aspect the patients appreciate is the method of drugs appointment; the drugs that give virtually no unwanted side effects and often available at a more democratic price than conventional pharmaceuticals. Homeopathy usually involves skilled doctors with the additional courses in homeopathy under the belt.
The effectiveness of homeopathic treatment is still the subject of heated debates. Homeopathy adherents tend to provide evidence primarily based on personal experience, while structured and comprehensive scientific arguments are rarely focused on. This fact, of course, does not preclude the use of homeopathy as a complementary set of therapies. By the way, the efficiency of homeopathic methods has been recognised by the British royal family, which is indubitably powerful evidence in support of the treatment.
The principles of homeopathy
Homeopathy aims at treating a sick person, not a disease which is considered to be nothing but a shortcut. While allopathic therapy is aiming at combating the consequence rather than the cause, i.e. it only deals with the symptoms and individual manifestations of the disease, homeopathy focuses on treating the whole body, leaning on the patient’s internal capabilities. The aim of homeopathy is a complete healing, not the suppression of individual symptoms that is typically accompanied by transferring to a deeper level of the body (this is what happens during allopathic treatment).
The basic principles of homeopathy as an alternative system of treatment are:
- The treatment is based on the substances that cause symptoms similar disease symptoms in the patient (in contrast to the traditional allopathic treatment when the medicine has an opposite to the symptoms action);
- Using high dilutions of homeopathic remedies that go against generally accepted therapeutic doses;
- Studying the effects of drugs on healthy people, which allows to capture the totality of the symptoms that occur during the test – pathogenesis of drug.
Homeopathic and allopathic treatment combination
Actually, the combination demand rarely occurs. Thus, in diabetes type 1, when the patient is on permanent insulin course, and hormone therapy irrevocably ruins still functioning beta cells in the pancreas, the treatment is no longer possible do without insulin. However, a carefully chosen remedy can reduce the required dose and significantly slow down the progression of diabetes complications. If homeopathic treatment is started immediately after the diagnosis of juvenile diabetes, even a complete healing is sometimes possible.
The amount of allopathic drugs consumed must be reduced gradually in order not to cause a sharp deterioration associated with withdrawal syndrome; the recommendation especially applicable to hormonal and anti-hypertensive medications administered for a long time. In general, a competent homeopath will hardly need any allopathic medicaments.
Homeopathy – the challenges and researches
In general it can be noted that the state of affairs around the research on effectiveness of homeopathic remedies and techniques is way more optimistic than the critics say. Though, even if the figure of several hundreds studies glance seems to be impressive at first glance, it is still negligible compared with the traditional research methods of treatment. The fact is mainly explained by the sky-high costs of conducting clinical studies.
The main problem of clinical research in homeopathy is that clinical trials are conducted exclusively by funds specializing on alternative medicine and manufacturers of homeopathic medicines. This means that the systematic studies of the clinical efficacy of homeopathic medicines, supported by public funds, have not been carried out yet. Therefore, it is considered that many homeopathic studies are far from being fair and professional, since they are not arranged in accordance with the requirements adapted in pharmaceutical institutions.
Since alternative medicine profit margin is significantly less than in traditional medicine, where a package of patented drug may cost 100+ pounds, manufacturers of homeopathic remedies lauch researches having limited funds. This relative lack of financing has a particularly strong impact on the fundamental studies investigating the mechanism of action of drugs potentiated.
All in all, according to numerous polls, homeopathy is still very popular among the population, and the conducted studies of homeopathic remedies show generally positive results, so the further development and financing will certainly push homeopathy to the next level.