The Origin of Homeopathy
Created in 1796 by German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, homeopathy is based on a doctrine that a substance which could cause disease in healthy people if ingested in large amounts, could cure similar symptoms in unwell people if taken in small amounts. It’s a ‘like for like’ principle. A secondary principle involves the process of dilution and shaking, coined succession, which practitioners believe is a powerful way to treat symptoms.
According to homeopaths, using natural remedies like plants and minerals can stimulate the healing process and encourage the body’s natural defences, lessening the need for invasive treatments and unnatural medicines.
There’s a huge range of ingredients that can be used in the practice; even forms of poison. For example, using poison ivy, a plant that can cause serious rashes, can be used to treat itchy skin disorders. Ingredients are diluted with water or alcohol and it’s believed that the lower the dose, the more powerful the remedy.
According to the British Homeopathic Association, homeopathy is holistic in nature, meaning that each individual is treated as such and “their body, mind, spirit and emotions are all considered in the management and prevention of disease.” A homeopathic doctor will take into account your unique way of life, including your sleep habits, eating preferences, personality and more to determine the best course of treatment for you.
What’s the Controversy Surrounding Homeopathy?
As with any form of potential treatment, homeopathy doesn’t come without its critics. According to the NHS website, a 2010 House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report found that “homoeopathic remedies perform no better than placebos” and many believe that it cannot be classed as “treatment” at all, due to the lack of good evidence surrounding the topic.
Despite the differing opinions on homeopathic remedies, one can’t deny the sheer amount of anecdotal evidence that continues to come forward surrounding them.