Natural Health Resource Center

  • Natural remedies, homeopathy, herbal preparations, and other alternative health practices can offer a natural way to maintain ones health. However, herbs can be very powerful and it is important to know how your body responds to different combinations and doses. This section provides some guidance when selecting alternative health options.

Homeopathy & Homeopathic Treatments

The first concern of anyone using any new medicine is "Is it safe?". The short answer is yes, homeopathic medicine is completely safe. However, you should not stop taking any existing medication without first consulting your doctor. The basic principle is to treat like with like. Substances, which in large quantities would cause symptoms similar to the disease, are administered in heavily diluted formulations.

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a historical, proven science that is based on "The Law of Similars". This law states that "likes are cured by likes". Example: exposure to dust, animal hair, pollen, or poison ivy can cause adverse reaction in some people. Homeopathy renders remedies, which include small, diluted particles of the same substances that caused the reaction, to stimulate the defenses of the body through the nervous system. This in turn alleviates the unwanted symptoms. Substances from all three kingdoms (plant, mineral, and animal) are used in homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy recognizes the body as a self-healing unit, and reinforces the healing efforts. Since this is the case, homeopathy does not treat disease, but stimulates natural healing capabilities on all levels (physical, mental and emotional). It is designed to treat the whole person.

This science, as we know it today, was discovered and researched in the 1790's and early 1800's by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German chemist. After researching quinine, (a common treatment for Malaria in his day), Dr. Hahnemann decided to experiment with it on himself. He developed similar symptoms experienced by those suffering with Malaria. Quinine produced the same symptoms in a healthy body that it cured in a sick one. From this discovery, Dr. Hahnemann developed the principle that "like cures like" and modern homeopathy was born. Since then, much advancement in homeopathy has been forged.

Since 1938 when the FDA included these remedies in the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) has been regulating the standard of homeopathic remedies.


Dosage & Potency

Not all homeopaths agree on dosage and potency. The potency to be taken depends on both the sensitivity of the patient and the exact remedy being taken. But as a general rule, chronic illnesses (i.e. those that you've had for a long time) should be treated with high numbers i.e. 30C - 200C and Acute (i.e. those that are relatively new) with low numbers i.e 6C.

However, there are exceptions, particularly where an accident started off the symptoms and you might give the body a kick start with a high potency dose such as Arnica 200C first and then follow with a lower potency remedy. Low numbers are used more frequently than high numbers.

Another general rule is that high potency homeopathic medicine should only be taken when you know it is the right remedy, so start off with a low potency remedy, and then increase the potency if improvement is felt, though incomplete.


What do the numbers and letters on the label mean?

Remedies come in tablets, liquids, tissue salts, topical lotions, salves, oils and sprays. It is common to see a name (in Latin) and a number followed by an X or C, example: Allium Cepa 6X. Allium Cepa means red onion, the number indicates how many times it was diluted and X or C means the proportion of the dilution. "X" means a ratio of one part in ten. The red onion was diluted as one part onion to nine parts alcohol. If "C" followed the number it would be diluted as one part in 100 or one part onion to 99 parts alcohol. When the dilution is prepared the solution is "succussed" (vigorously shaken) to activate the potency. The number indicates how many times this process took place (6X mean this process was followed 6 times). Therefore Allium Cepa 6X means that one part red onion was diluted in nine parts of alcohol then succussed, and the process was repeated five more times. The higher the number the more potent the solution and visa versa. This "Law of Potentization" dictates how deeply into the nervous system the action takes place. The less potent the solution the more surface the action and the more potent the solution the deeper the activity is in the nervous system. 6X is the average potency and can aid in alleviation of diverse ailments in people of all ages.

If you do not have access to a licensed homeopathic practitioner follow the directions on the label. In homeopathy, results do not come with large doses, but with frequency of administration. Some remedies can be taken every 15 minutes until symptoms subside. According to most homeopathy manufacturers, overdose cannot occur if you follow directions on the label or seek the advice of a practitioner.

Taking Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathic medicine should be taken on a clean pallet. While on a course of homeopathic treatment, you should avoid strong flavours such as mint (including toothpaste), coffee or camphor.

They are normally taken as pills which are placed under the tongue. Take two tablets every two hours for the first six doses, and then four times daily for up to five days. For some complaints remedies are taken as an ointment, for example, arnica cream applied directly to bruising.

If you are taking the remedy in pill form, you should avoid contact with the skin (including fingers). Just drop a few pills into the lid and pour them directly into the mouth.

Once relief from the symptoms if felt, stop taking the homeopathic medicine. Only take it again if exactly the same symptoms come back.

A professional Homeopath will also assess your diet and lifestyle. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.

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