Is homeopathy a kind of herbalism?
Herbs – indeed, plants in general, are some of our most important remedies, but homeopathy is not the same as herbalism. Here are some differences:
Homoepathic remedies are made from substances – plants, animal products, minerals – that are ultra diluted. Diluting a substance many, many times over releases its full range of therapeutic properties. For instance, table salt becomes a wonderful remedy for silent grief, for many kinds of skin problems, and will help people to kick their out-of-control salt cravings when it is made into a homeopathic remedy. Less is more.
With herbal medicine, the therapeutic effect is directly related to the dose. It does not work on the principle of dilution. Increasing the dose increases the therapeutic effect (as well as the risk of side effects). It’s important to work with a professional herbalist!
With ultra dilutions, homeopathic remedies retain infinitesimally small or no substance of the original material, and no trace of the substance’s toxicity. Increasing the dilution also increases the efficacy of the remedy. A well chosen remedy is completely safe even for babies.
Homeopathy relies on the principle of like cures like. A remedy that produces certain symptoms in healthy persons will cure the same symptoms in the sick.
Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, wanted to test the widely accepted belief of his time that cinchona, the Peruvian bark, could cure malaria because of its astringency. He doubted that astringency had anything to do with it. Hahnemann took the cinchona bark for several days, and developed the symptoms of malaria – intermittent fever, numbness, joint pain. He concluded:
“Peruvian bark, which is used as a remedy for intermittent fever, acts because it can produce symptoms similar to those of intermittent fever in healthy people.” —Samuel Hahnemann, 1790
Herbal medicine relies on the pharmacological properties of the herbs, either singly or in synergistic combination, to target the body’s imbalances and to manipulate them.
Classical homeopaths match the remedy to the client to stimulate the body’s own healing response, and use one remedy at a time.
How do homeopaths know what remedies can cure which illnesses?
Homeopaths conduct provings – cruelty free testing done on healthy human volunteers who meticulously record all their emotional, physical and mental changes after taking the remedy. The results are published and shared with the whole homeopathic community. Homeopaths refer to these results before they prescribe a remedy – they are the cornerstone of our materia medica. They are the basis of prescribing on like cures like.
How do I take the remedy?
These are a few easy ways to use your remedy:
a) Dry dose – pour the remedy into the cap and drop it directly into the mouth. That’s one dose, and it may be all you need.
b) Wet dose – dissolve three to five pellets from the cap into a glass of water and take a tablespoon of the solution. Discard the rest. Counts as one dose.
c) Plussed dose (for acutes) – Prepare the wet dose in a small bottle and shake the bottle each time before taking a tablespoon. Do not exceed 4 doses a day.
d) Split dose: one dose of either dry dose or wet dose 12 hours apart.
e) LM dose: under professional guidance.
Do not handle the remedy with your fingers as the remedy is on the outside of the pills. Store your remedies away from direct heat.
Above all, follow your homeopath’s directions. Do not overdose: less is more!