Does Homeopathy Work?

homeopathy works well

First let’s start by defining homeopathy. Essentially this form of medicinal treatment involves using extremely diluted substances to form a remedy. The intent behind these remedies is to illicit the body’s natural mechanism to heal itself. The real art of homeopathy comes in identifying the symptoms and then correctly pairing up the appropriate remedy.

The core concept behind homeopathy is the concept of treating a “like with a like” This concept has long been understood and practices to this day in modern medicine. For instance a traditional modern medicine treatment for certain cases of severe allergies is to introduce small amounts of pollen to the patient, and slowly over time to increase the levels of pollen. By using this technique the body naturally starts to grow a tolerance and thereby the severe allergy patient suffers no more. In the same vein of treatment via “like with a like” Doctor’s commonly prescribe a stimulant Ritalin for children with ADHD. A stimulant for a child that is hyperactive. Like with a like. The key difference in homeopathy and modern medicine is that the dosages are highly diluted to the point that the medicines are non-toxic.

Let us now look at the homeopathic approach to treatment. First the homeopath must identify the symptoms. For instance if a patient is suffering from sleep deprivation and agitation, the homeopath must then decide which remedy causes these symptoms. Coffee in high doses can cause both of these symptoms. In this case using small doses of caffeinated coffee is just what the homeopathic doctor orders.

The treatments known as remedies are created by pharmacists that practice homeopathy. By using dilution and succession, which is a vigorous form of shaking, the pharmacist separates the original material into tiny particulates which then bond with the water and alcohol. It is believed that this succession forms nanostructures, which are the active ingredient in the remedies.

Although modern science can not yet explain how homeopathy works there are empirical data to back up the efficacy. In one study a homeopath created a remedy using thyroxine, a hormone produced by the thyroid that is responsible for maintaining normal growth. With extremely diluted levels of thyroxine, tadpoles were administered the remedy. The metamorphosis process was dramatically slowed and the time it took the frogs to reach adulthood was recorded. This process was repeated and measured using the scientific method. Although the results can not be explained the efficacy is in black and white.

A German doctor Samuel Hahnemann is the father of homeopathy. He did not approve of many of the medical practices of the time, such as using poisons like arsenic and mercury. He found the practices of blood-letting and purging to be of little use as well. Additionally he notices that often time the cures were causing more harm than the disease. This led him to start experimenting with the dosages. He would dilute the medicines more and more. He found that the more diluted the medicine, the better the results and the side effects were fewer. He also drew the correlation that the most effective drugs of the time caused the same symptoms as the disease. From all of these studies he laid the groundwork for what is today modern homeopathy.