Homoeopathy is a system of prescribing using the principle that "Like cures like". This is known as the simile principle, or Law of Similars.

Homeopathy is a natural and holistic method of healing for physical, mental and emotional issues. It stimulates the body to heal itself, creating harmony and balance in the patient. Homeopathy can be used successfully alongside allopathic and complementary treatments. As well as treating physical and emotional problems, it can also offer support through stressful or traumatic situations. Homeopathic remedies are safe and non-toxic, and can be used by all age groups, including babies and the elderly.

Homeopathic remedies are easy to take, and are dispensed in the form of drops from a bottle, or as tiny pills which quickly dissolve under the tongue. These have a pleasant taste.

The origins of homeopathy

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755 - 1843) is considered to be the father of homeopathy. He was a medical doctor and researcher in pharmacology. Hahnemann became disillusioned with the medical practices of his day, and set about finding safer techniques to treat disease. He rediscovered the true law of similars.

By using tests on himself and volunteers, he noted that a medicine will cure a patient, when their total set of symptoms corresponds almost exactly to those produced by the same medicine, when given to a healthy person. Stated simply, it is possible to treat a disease with substances that produce symptoms similar to those of the disease itself. He found that cinchona bark, which was used to treat malaria, when he took it, produced the same symptoms as the disease itself. These symptoms stopped when he ceased taking it.

He then researched and recorded the results of a large number of trials, using various substances, on a band of volunteers. From this he was able to produce a materia medica showing the symptoms produced in healthy people. These observations enabled him to identify the remedy which would cure the patient. He found when actually treating patients that a small material dose of the substance would produce an aggravation of symptoms before it cured.

By diluting his remedies, and shaking them vigorously between each dilution (succussing), he discovered that he could produce a cure without the aggravated symptoms. This process he called potensisation, and the resulting remedy proved to act faster, and more powerfully, as a curative. Surprisingly, the more stages of dilution and succussion the drug had gone through, the greater its potential to cure quickly and harmlessly. A frequently asked question is, "How can a medicine be more effective in a greater dilution?" In fact, many homeopathic preparations have been subjected to so many stages of this dilution process, that it is highly unlikely that any single molecules of the original substance remain. One explanation known from current research is that water retains an imprint of substances which have been dissolved in it.
Although this might be a difficult concept to understand, there is a substantial growing body of evidence to show that homeopathy works well, is effective and safe.

Homeopathy has been available on the NHS since the service first began in 1948. There are currently five homeopathic hospitals, in the National Health Service.


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