So, years and years ago I had this fantasy at the tender age of seventeen to fly to Scotland, enroll in a Herbal Medicine school learn how to cure others with plants. What ended up happening was an advantageous turn in my career hunt and at eighteen years old, I enrolled to become a Massage Therapist at the Florida College of Natural Health in 1996. Still in the wellness field right?
As I’ve ventured into the world of massage, plant-based medicine has always been on the back burner of my mind. Apparently, as alternative medicine inclines in the interest of Americans, it seems that homeopathy is slowly making its home in the states as well.
Now, I’m a scientific kind of girl and respect all forms of medicine but I’m the biggest advocate for evidence-based medicine. This post is not put down or promote homeopathy but to bring awareness to you and let you decide if it’s the best course of therapy.
Back In Time
It all started with a German physician by the name of Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). At the time, the good doctor sympathized with patients undergoing savage and unnecessarily painful methods of medical intervention such as bloodletting,blistering and purging (sounds like a horror movie).
Dr. Hahnemann went to work creating a new safer and milder medicine called homeopathy. In fact, after years and hundreds of observations, he created a Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, which is still respected and often reference literature for many practitioners of classical homeopathy today.
Conventional vs. Alternative Theories
What makes homeopathy so unique and frankly a rebel in the eyes of conventional medicine is this; the more diluted a substance is (e.g. plant, mineral, animal….yes, I said animal) the more potent it is.
On the other hand, conventional medicine says, the higher the concentration of a substance the more of an effect it will have the human body. Two polar opposites when it comes to how the human body is healed.
Dilute the Heck out of It!
Ok, this is very new to me but just join me for the ride. The Law of Potentization is a major factor when it comes to homeopathy and how it works. The dilution process may be so extreme that many accustomed to the standard method of conventional medicine in the United States might say…um, this sounds like a hoax but just hang in there. Homeopathic remedies are labeled as “x” or “c”. For example, a 15x potency means that it was diluted 15 times at a ratio of 1 in 10 (one drop of the original solution is mixed with 9 drops of alcohol or water , then one drop of that solution is diluted by 10 , and so on , fifteen times). Make sense? According to homeopathy that’s where the effectiveness of the plant kicks in…the dilution.
The Law of Similars
To understand homeopathic medicine is to accept the law of similars This principle uses the concept that “like cures like”. Case in point, someone has a condition, a substance causing the sickness is introduced into the body. The body may have had this substance making you slightly sick with little to no symptoms. Insert the homeopathic medicine and voila! Now you’re really sick and your amazingly designed immune system comes in with the body’s natural fighting mechanisms and kills off what you had once and for all making you 100% cured,happy and healthy.
Life Energy Theory
But none of this, and I mean none means anything if you don’t believe that plants have a specific life energy. Say whaaat? According to Dr. Hahnemann, the reason you can go dilution-mania on the substance to help cure you is because of “water memory”.
A story printed in the prestigious journal Nature, by french scientist Jacques Benveniste (1935 – 2004) claims that substances leave some sort of electromagnetic imprint on the water molecules. However very few scientists have been able to recreate Dr. Beveniste’s experiments so the theory is still up for debate.
Hahnemann used the term “vital energy”” for the same life force that is called also known as chi in traditional Chinese Medicine or prana in Ayurvedic medicine of India. Hahnemann explained the energy’s role in his book written in 1810, Organ of the Art of Healing : “In the state of health the spirit-like vital force (dynamis) animating the material human organism reigns in supreme sovereignty.” According to this view , the symptoms of an illness are signs that the body’s life energy if fighting against an illness.
Four Different Methods
Today homeopathy is used in at least four different ways