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10 Myths about Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a holistic form of medicine that uses minute doses of highly diluted substances that stimulates one’s own healing ability. To many, homeopathy seems implausible. They fear it is purely a placebo effect – or worse, a form of deception or quackery. Yet, homeopathy has been around for over 200 years and it is used by millions worldwide.

According to the World Health Organisation, homeopathy is the fastest growing and second-most widely used system of medicine in the world.  Despite this, there are a plethora of myths surrounding Homeopathy that have been used to discredit this highly efficacious healing art and science. This article is an attempt to clear the 10 most common myths about homeopathy, so as to understand this science in a better way.

  1. Homeopathy is just “sugar” and a placebo effect

This is the most frequent statement made by those who oppose homeopathy, and also a commonly asked question by people who have doubts about trying homeopathic treatment. The placebo effect is present in both medical and homeopathic treatments. However, according to recent researches, placebo effects in classical homeopathy did not appear to be larger than placebo effects in conventional medicine. The action of homeopathic remedies is much superior to the mechanism of self-suggestion, as proved by the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies in small children and in veterinary practice.     

2. You can treat anything with homeopathy

No medical system can treat all diseases, and as any other treatment method, homeopathy has its limits of action. It is sad to find that, most often, patients turn to a homeopath when they are already disappointed in the allopathic medicine and/or poisoned for years in a row by the medication. Because of our hectic lifestyles, we all seek quick solutions, whereas ill people suffering for years on end expect a miracle to happen overnight when going to a homeopath. In these cases, they might have heard or read misinterpreted information in a homeopathy-related article. However, the effectiveness of the homeopathic treatment is dependent on many factors, rather than on the disease diagnostics. There are cases when complete recovery is possible, especially in children who have not yet been worn out by a number of medication and whose vital force is usually stronger. Nevertheless, when it doesn’t seem possible to fix it, homeopathy can still significantly improve a patients’ quality of life, and most often, the need for allopathic medication decreases or becomes completely unnecessary. In patients whose inner resources are almost exhausted, homeopathy can help with a palliative effect treating pain and complications, improvement of one’s quality of life, and a reduction of the psychological and emotional suffering.

3. There are no studies to prove the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies

For more than 200 years, homeopathy has been proving its effectiveness on a daily basis, and it’s absolutely wrong that there are no studies to prove this affirmation. A great number of studies have been done and continue to be conducted, proving the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies; the most recent ones, in most cases, are available at the Homeopathy Research Institute website. Let’s be honest – these studies will never be published on medical webpages, or sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. Over the years, the statistical data confirms the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies for various disorders. Whoever wants it – acknowledges it, and whoever does not want it – denies it. For example, according to statistical data from Ohio (USA) during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, the mortality rate among people treated allopathically was 30% of 24,000 cases, while among people treated homeopathically the mortality rate was 1.05% of 26,000 cases.      

4. Homeopathy acts slowly and cannot be used for acute states such as fever, diarrhea, and viral infections.

Anyone who has been using homeopathic remedies for quite some time has learnt from experience that this affirmation is false. Homeopathy has an arsenal of remedies that can be administered for acute states right from the onset of the illness. Thus, in the first hours of an acute viral respiratory infection a correctly chosen homeopathic remedy can be effective from the first dose. For instance, Gelsemium can treat an impressive number of viral infections, but only if there is a similarity of symptoms. In case of trauma, regardless of its seriousness, – whether you are on the way to hospital or simply dealing with a sore ankle – the patient should take a dose of Arnica Montana; it should never be absent from a first-aid kit.   

5. Homeopathic remedies are based on plants.

This is only partially true for a number of homeopathic remedies. The raw materials of which some remedies are made can be: either of plant origin – for instance, the remedies Aconitum, Arnica and Pulsatilla are all from plant origin – or of animal origin; the most famous ones are Apis mielifica, Lachezis, and Cantharis. Some remedies can also have a mineral origin such as Natrium muriaticum, Calcarea carbonica, and Phosphorus.

6. Homeopathic remedies lose their healing power if touched.

Touching the remedies does not decrease their potency, because in the preparation process, the lactose granules undergo triple impregnation. However, for hygiene reasons, we do not recommend touching them with your hands. The tube cap can serve as an intermediary recipient when administering homeopathic remedies, or it could be done with a plastic spoon.    

7. If I take more granules, the overall effects will be greater.

My patients often ask me, Maybe I should take more granules to have a greater effect?” My answer is always no. By no means, does the effect of the homeopathic remedy depend on the number of granules taken; a patient can take one or two granules and achieve the same effect similar to taking 5 or 10 granules – or even the whole tube. The most important things in prescribing a homeopathic remedy is the selection of the proper homeopathic remedy, the dilution according to the case, and the frequency of remedy administration, rather than the number of granules taken.   

8. Homeopathic remedies are addictive, and if taken for too long, no longer have any effect.

Homeopathic remedies help the human body boost its self-healing mechanisms, and their administration is not addictive. As for the second part of the myth, the result of addiction often comes from people who self-medicate, following the same prescription they used to receive without consulting a homeopath. It is worth mentioning that during homeopathic treatment, some symptoms might disappear and new ones might occur. Since the prescriptions are made according to all the symptoms, it is much more likely that you will need a different remedy at one point, and following the old prescription without consulting your homeopath will lead to disappointment and create the impression that the body “has already gotten used to the homeopathic remedy and it no longer has any effect”- as my patients often say. Once the taken remedy stops bringing improvements, it is true that the body does not respond to it anymore, and it is a signal that it is better for you to contact the homeopath for a revision of the case. Therefore, a a new potency or remedy would probably be necessary.   

9. Allopathic medications cannot be taken simultaneously with homeopathic remedies.

It is a statement that I often hear from my patients, and it is absolutely wrong. In conditions developing for many years and requiring complex treatment such as high blood pressure, allopathic medication is not cancelled, but taken at the same time as homeopathic remedies. The patient begins the homeopathic treatment and, after some time, under strict medical supervision, the doses of allopathic medication can be gradually reduced. Since there is a possibility that the allopathic medications weaken the effect of the homeopathic remedy, a lower dilution that is administered daily will be used. If a dental intervention occurs, or, even more so, if anaesthesia is used, it would be good for you to inform the homeopath about that, since there could a risk that the homeopathic remedy stops working.

10. Mint toothpaste nullifies the effect of homeopathic remedies.

During a homeopathic consultation, a patient is informed about some precautions that must be taken into account during treatment. Most often, patients are warned of substances such as coffee, mint, camphor, eucalyptus, tobacco, etc. Since the remedies are absorbed from the mouth, it makes sense to avoid interaction with strong flavors such as mint, cinnamon, garlic, coffee and tobacco. The contact with camphor should be avoided to the most maximum extent possible, since it is an antidote against all homeopathic remedies. As for most other substances, it all depends on the nature of the prescribed remedy. For instance, Natrium muriaticum is extremely sensitive to mint, while Sepia is counteracted by the consumption of vinegar. Nux vomica – by coffee. Ignatia – by tobacco. If Natrium muriaticum is prescribed, I would recommend using a mint-free toothpaste. In all other cases, it would be acceptable to use a mildly mint-flavoured toothpaste, but the time interval between teeth brushing and administration of homeopathic remedy should be as maximum as possible.

I hope I’ve succeeded to shed some light on the most frequent myths about homeopathy, and ignite your interest regarding this wonderful art of healing.

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