Homeopathic remedies are something you’ve probably heard about, but you may not know a lot about them. While homeopathy is so common in England that even the Queen and Prince Charles are said to use homeopathic remedies, here in the United States, people look at you like you’re nuts when you mention homeopathic remedies. Here is a brief explanation on what they are, and my own personal experience with them.
All About Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic remedies are over the counter, natural supplements that you can take to self-treat common ailments. They should never replace doctor’s advice or medicines prescribed by your doctor, unless of course you’ve talked to your physician about that…which you know, but I have to restate, just to be clear.
So what are homeopathic remedies? Homeopathy is based on the premise that ‘like cures like’. Treatments are based on both the patient’s symptoms and natural constitution. It’s not just about counteracting symptoms, like taking an aspirin to treat a headache. It’s about helping the body heal naturally.
The concept behind homeopathy is that the body wants to regain homestasis, or balance. Illness is a sign that something’s out of whack, so to speak. Homepathic medicine attempts to help the body heal itself.
Homeopathic remedies include plant extracts, minerals and other natural substances diluted to a very small amount and made into a liquid or tiny tablets. Smaller doses are considered stronger, believe it or not. It’s hard to get the hang of it at first, but you can’t go wrong. You can use homeopathic remedies safely. They won’t hurt you if you accidentally take too much.
Homeopathy is great for chronic conditions like arthritis, allergies, and eczema. It’s not good for treating acute problems or things like cancer.
To get started with homeopathy, here are a few great websites:
- ABC Remedy Finder: This free online tool helps you distinguish among various symptoms to find homeopathic remedies.
- Interesting interview on the BBC investigating why homeopathy works.
- Physician-reviewed information on homeopathy on Web MD.
Criticism of Homeopathic Medicine
There’s TONS of criticism out there about homeopathic medicine. Some studies have found it to be no more effective than a placebo. (I’m actually all for placebos if they truly work, but I’m in the minority). To modern scientists and physicians, homeopathy shouldn’t work. There’s not enough medicine in each dose to affect cells – yet according to the researcher interviewed in the BBC article, linked to above, it DOES affect cells. The effects can be viewed and measured in laboratories. So it shouldn’t work, but it does.
Our modern scientists hate it when that happens. I think that homeopathy does work, but we, meaning Western science, just doesn’t understand quite why yet. It’s a difficult subject to measure in a laboratory because if you match the wrong remedy to the wrong patient, nothing happens. Matching remedies to patients requires skill and art. It’s not like prescribing antibiotics, which generally work as expected whether I take it or you do to treat an infection.
But with homeopathy, if the incorrect remedy is selected, nothing at all happens. I had this situation happen to me. I’ve had chronic joint pain for the past several years. Traditional doctors haven’t been able to figure out what causes it, but the pain is sometimes so bad I can barely move. On other days, I’m almost back to my old self. I decided to try homeopathic remedies after my doctor said, “Sure, go ahead, why not?”
The first remedy I tried didn’t do anything. I went back to the symptom finder and chose a slightly different response to one symptom that better matched what I felt. A new remedy, based on this system, worked PERFECTLY. Within a week of taking the homeopathic remedy, my joint pain was almost gone. Today, even though I no longer take the remedy, I would say that my joint pain is perhaps 80% less than it was – which is really saying something.
Although some people think it’s all quack medicine, if something is inexpensive, safe to use, and has the potential to help, why not use it?
Homeopathic remedies: are you for them or against them? Why or why not? Share your experiences in the comments section.
Each Wednesday here at Home Garden Joy is Wellness Wednesday, where I share information on natural remedies, herbs, herbal medicine, health and wellness. It’s all part of JOYFUL living at Home Garden Joy!
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.