Have you heard of alternative therapies? With each passing year, this proposal gains more supporters. This is because they are different methods from traditional medicine. An example of this is homeopathy.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is an alternative treatment designed to stimulate the immune system and rebalance the vital energy of patients. Created by a German doctor, it can improve not only the disease itself, but also its physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects.
While conventional medicine (traditional medicine) neutralizes and isolates the signs of disease, homeopathy encourages the body to fight it and understands the individual as a whole. The specialist is not limited to analyzing the disease, but seeks to know the entire life history of the patient, their eating habits, physical activity, sleep, bowel and bladder function, forms of response to climatic, environmental, emotional stimuli, etc.
That is why a consultation with a homeopath can be intense, he will ask many questions to better understand the patient and, through therapies, achieve balance in the body.
How did Homeopathy Appear?
Born in 1755, Samuel Hahnemann graduated in medicine from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and is known as the “father” of homeopathy. Disillusioned with the healing methods that existed at the time, he began the first experiments in what would later become known as homeopathy. He also drew on a famous quote from Hippocrates (considered the “Father of Medicine”), who says: “What causes disease where it does not exist, can also cure disease where it exists.”
This technique can be used especially in the treatment of allergies, bronchitis, nose, tonsillitis, sinusitis, ear infections, gynecological and dermatological diseases, influenza, viral and bacterial infections, in addition to relieving the symptoms of premenstrual tension. It can also be used to combat depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
For some serious conditions, such as cancer, the treatment works as a complementary treatment, ameliorating adverse reactions to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, for example. In addition, it is usually used in the most common “crises” in life: the onset of puberty, old age, menopause, etc. It is worth knowing that alternative medicine and homeopathy can be used together, provided, of course, that all medicines are prescribed by a doctor.
But the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence notes that homeopathy is not a substitute for other treatments for disease. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a doctor in advance.
How does Homeopathy Work?
Homeopathy is based on four pillars. So see what they are:
Law of Analogy
The most important support is the idea that the same substances that are capable of developing symptoms and diseases in healthy people also have the potential to treat them in sick people. Therefore, it is the same logic as using snake venom to treat a person who has been bitten by the animal. Hahnemann did not invent this law, but he systematized it and established a method for its use.
Hahnemann believes that any homeopathic remedy should be tested on healthy people first, and then used on patients, if studies show efficacy. Another peculiarity is that these types of experiments could not be carried out on animals, since it was impossible for them to report side effects and symptoms.
Homeopathic remedies are produced by extreme dilution of pathogenic substances in water. In addition to dilution, the manufacture of this type of medication also involves agitation of this water with the diluent. Hahnemann called the process dynamic. The number of times a treatment is activated is called potency: the more times the treatment is activated, the more effective it becomes.
In traditional homeopathy or monohomeopathy, the doctor prescribes a single, highly concentrated drug at a time, giving preference to the one that treats the greatest number of symptoms reported by the patient. During consultations, this medication may change as the doctor’s knowledge of the patient increases.
However, this is not unanimous among homeopaths. There are those who prescribe more than one medicine at the same time, and mix them. They are those who follow the pluralist line of homeopathy. In this case, the drugs are less concentrated.
Who can use?
Homeopathy can benefit the health of everyone, from children to the elderly. The children show a lot of commitment and response to the treatments. For the little ones, granules or tablets containing sucrose made from lactose are usually prescribed. Loved ones are well accepted by this age group. Hydroalcoholic solution drops are a good option for older people who have difficulty swallowing pills, as well as for people with diabetes (who cannot take sucrose) and patients with lactose intolerance.
The consultation with a homeopath is usually extensive, since the specialist asks the patient many questions to learn more about the personal life of each individual and indicate the most appropriate treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended homeopathy as a complementary medical practice and in Brazil it was recognized as a medical specialty by the Federal Council of Medicine in 1980.
In addition, it is part of the treatments offered by the Public Health Network (SUS – Sistema Único de Saúde) since 2006. The program includes more than 2,000 medicines extracted from plant, animal and mineral materials. They do not cause side effects and do not harm the body, but they should always be prescribed by a homeopathic doctor.
Are there Contraindications?
Besides, of course, not being able to use any homeopathic medicine without medical advice, there are other precautions to take. So take a look at the most important ones:
- Do not self-medicate, especially with medications prescribed by other people. After all, everyone has a different organism.
- During homeopathic treatment, do not use anti-dandruff shampoos, antiperspirants, ointments that contain antibiotics or cortisone in their composition, and camphor-containing products;
- Avoid stimulating drinks such as coffee, mate and alcoholic beverages, for example.
Is Homeopathy Effective?
Unfortunately, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove the true benefits of homeopathy. Some research agrees that homeopathic medicines are more beneficial than placebos. But others claim otherwise.
According to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), there is no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective for any health condition.