What are the medicines?
Homeopathic medicines are drug products made by homeopathic pharmacies in accordance with the processes described in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States , the official manufacturing manual recognized by the FDA. The substances may be made from plants such as delphinium, onion or oregano; from minerals such as gold, carbon, or sodium chloride; from animals such as cod liver oil, honey bee, or the ink of the cuttlefish. These substances are diluted carefully until little of the original substance remains but its healing properties are retained.
How are they prepared?
The substance, is soaked in alcohol to obtain a tincture. One drop of the tincture is mixed with 99 drops of alcohol (to achieve a ratio of 1:100) and the mixture is strongly shaken. This shaking process is known as succussion. The final bottle is labeled as "1C." One drop of this 1C is then mixed with 100 drops of alcohol and the process is repeated to make a 2C. By the time the 3C is reached, the dilution is 1 part in 1 million! Small globules made from sugar are then saturated with the liquid dilution. These globules constitute the homeopathic medicine.
Can such small doses be effective?
Although such infinitesimal quantities are considered by some to be no more than placebos, the clinical experience of homeopathy shows that the infinitesimal dose is effective: it works upon unconscious people and infants, and it even works on animals.
The documented results from hundreds of clinical trials, thousands of experienced homeopaths, and from millions of their patients, clearly show that these small, individualized doses produce profound health benefits.
How are the remedies prescribed?
The selection of any homeopathic remedy is made on the totality of the symptoms presented by the patient. Any remedy may be used for any condition if the symptoms generated by the remedy match the symptoms experienced by the patient.
It is important to note also, that a medicine is homeopathic only if it is taken based upon the similar nature of the medicine to the illness. A medicine labeled as "homeopathic" will work only if it is homeopathic to the symptoms presented.
What about those remedies in the health food stores labeled by specific diseases?
These medicines are called "combination remedies" or "formulas"and are a mixture of several homeopathic remedies most commonly prescribed for those illnesses. The idea is that the correct remedy for the individual is likely to be in that formula. And sometimes that is true, in simple acute illnesses. Professional homeopaths have found that the individualized treatment is more effective and more deep acting. Another area of concern is that few, of these formulas have been tested thoroughly. They are convenient, sometimes effective and, unless taken too frequently, harmless. For chronic or serious acute illnesses one should consult a trained professional.
Can homeopathic medicines be used to treat all kinds of conditions?
Yes. There is no class of disease in which homoeopathy cannot be used, but if for example a patient has reached the stage of needing surgery, then this should not be delayed. Depending on how much irreversible damage has, or has not, occurred, the results of homoeopathic treatment may range from minimal to spectacular. In injuries and accidents, homoeopathic remedies can be of immense value.
Do I have to change my lifestyle or diet to see a homeopath?
The homeopath may make minor suggestions to enhance the treatment but the primary treatment consists of the properly indicated homeopathic remedy.
In what form are these homeopathic medicines? How often will I need to take them?
They are prepared in pellet or liquid form. As remedies are choses appropriate to the individual situation, so is the frequency of dosage. It can vary from 3-5 times a day in an intense acute case to once every few months.
If surgery is necessary, can homoeopathy help?
Yes, it certainly can. Remedies can be given both pre-operatively and post-operatively to speed up healing and to counteract any effects of anxiety, shock and anesthesia. In general, patients treated with homoeopathy recovery more rapidly form surgery than those who have not had this treatment.
Is homoeopathy safe for pregnant women, babies and children?
Yes, there is no toxicity or side effects. Additionally, since babies and young children often have a high level of vitality, excellent results are to be expected. Also, it is impossible to overdose on homoeopathic pills, so if a child swallowed a large number of them, there would be no adverse effects
Can I take homoeopathic remedies if I am also taking orthodox medicines ?
Yes. Homoeopathic remedies are so highly diluted, that there is no chemical interaction with orthodox drugs. You should never stop your orthodox treatment, unless advised to do so by your doctor.
Is a consultation with a homoeopath like a visit to my GP?
In many ways it is very different. The homoeopath needs to obtain a large amount of information from you, which requires a longer consultation time. Thus the initial visit usually lasts considerably longer than a normal consultation. You will be asked many questions about yourself as well as your illness and also about the health of your family, both past and present so it is helpful to think about these things before your consultation.
Also, in depth physical examinations are not necessary in homeopathic treatment, though it is important that you have been evaluated by a medical doctor if you have a serious health problems.