Brief history of homeopathy
Homeopathy was a widely practiced field of medicine in North America during the 19th century and was founded by Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor and chemist. At that time, many doctors practiced homeopathy as well as conventional medicine. At the turn of the century, there were 20 homeopathic medical colleges and more than 100 homeopathic hospitals in the United States. Conflict with the American Medical Association (a private corporation) led to a decline in the practice of homeopathy in North America early in the 20th century. However, it continues to be widely practiced in Europe, India and South America. In many European countries today, medical doctors study homeopathy as a postgraduate course.
Homeopathy is proven medicine and a great choice for those taking prescription drugs. Unlike herbs, homeopathy never interacts with drugs. It is based on the principle that “like cures like.” This practice involves taking a minute amount of a substance that subtly triggers the same symptoms that a patient is experiencing. In turn, the body’s natural defenses to fight this condition are stimulated.
Homeopathic medicines are made from plant, animal or mineral substances through a process of potentization and succussing. The medicines are potentized by dilution, which is followed by a shaking or succussing process that releases the energy of the substance. It is that energy that stimulates the immune system to heal the body.
The medicines come in potencies such as 6X or 12C. The “X” and “C” represent the factor of dilution, and the number represents the number of times it was diluted at this factor. After certain potency, generally 12C, there are no actual molecules of the substance left. This is why homeopathic medicines do not interact with prescription drugs or herbs. The most common potencies are 6C, 9C, 12C, 30C and 200C.
Homeopaths classify illness as either acute or chronic. An acute illness is one that comes on suddenly and runs its course naturally – such as a cold, the flu or an injury. The focus of a remedy is to lessen the effect of the illness and force it to run its course more quickly.
A chronic illness is one that develops over time, is recurrent and
may deepen in the severity of its symptoms as the illness progresses. Some examples of chronic illness are arthritis, lupus or multiple sclerosis. Generally, it’s more common to treat acute illness with lower potencies and chronic illness with higher potencies.
Homeopathy is very specific to the symptoms that a person is experiencing, so people with the same disease or condition
may require different homeopathic medicines. However, there
are certain medicines (such as arnica) that are commonly used for
the same conditions – in this case inflammation, bruising and other injuries. Homeopathy is generally found in tablet or pellet form (the medicine is mixed with lactose to form the tablet or pellet). The liquid form might be required for those with significant lactose intolerance, and we can special order that for you.
Walsh welcomes customer questions about homeopathic remedies. We carry one of the widest selections in the Chicago area, and we can easily order what we don’t keep on the shelf. We carry the highest quality brands including Boiron, Heel and Hyland’s.