Demystifying Homeopathy

A friend asked me to demystify homeopathy. Here’s a first stab at that:

Regular doctors prescribe medicines for a disease. Homeopaths prescribe remedies (for that is what homeopaths call the medicine they have at hand) specific to the individual’s symptoms. For example, you and I might have a cold from the same germ but manifest the cold in different ways. My cold might include a very scratchy raw throat with deep redness at the back of the mouth and a high fever. Your cold might include green mucous, watering eyes that burn and no fever. We both might have a dry cough or yours might produce some expectoration. If you see a regular doctor s/he will probably give you nothing unless the cold has a bacterial source in which case you might receive antibiotics. A homeopath on the other hand will “repertorize” (meaning to seek a remedy by its symptoms that match) our colds and come up with one remedy for you and another for me, very specific to our symptoms. This is why homeopaths ask for so much detail.

Homeopathy works by stimulating the body to fight illnesses naturally. A remedy is selected by repertorizing the symptoms described. To do this a homeopath uses books or a computer program that lists all symptoms available in homeopathy’s “repertory”. One way of understanding homeopathy is to think of how vaccinations are given to stimulate the body to produce antigens to the particular disease for which the vaccination is given. Homeopathy is similar in that the remedies stimulate the body to respond to the remedy’s unique action suited to the symptoms it has been clinically proven to answer. The key difference however is that no one homeopathic remedy is suitable to one disease or to all people as vaccinations are proposed to be suitable to all people for one disease. Homeopaths treat individuals and their symptoms, not diseases. And homeopaths believe that each individual’s manifestation of a disorder or disease is unique to that individual and therefore not treatable with the one and the same remedy for all with that disease.

Does this make sense? Let me know please.

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