In last month's newsletter, virologist Dr. Gillian Bullock had asked us to briefly define 'homeopathy', and had quoted the following from the New Collins English Dictionary, which says that Homeopathy is:
'A method of treating disease by the use of small amounts of a drug that, in
healthy persons, produces symptoms similar to those of the disease being treated'.
We learned that homeopathic medicines are called 'remedies', and are made from naturally occurring substances such as plants and minerals. Remedies are prepared in a special way to make them safe, non-addictive and free from toxic affects.
Now we will explore the reference Collins Dictionary makes to 'similar' symptoms. In conventional medicine, you are usually given something that has an opposite effect on your symptom. So, for example, if you find it difficult to sleep, you will be given a drug which will make you sleep.
The trouble is that the sleeping pill only helps with the symptom(sleeplessness). It does not sort out the reason behind the sleeplessness. This means that after a while, you may find you have to use a more powerful sleeping tablet in order to sleep, which could start to have an adverse affect on the way you feel during the day.
With homeopathy, you will be given a remedy which is known to produce similar symptoms in a healthy person, to those you are currently experiencing. We know that drinking coffee can stimulate the nervous system, and that if you have a cup of coffee shortly before going to bed, you may find it difficult to fall asleep.
Coffea (the Latin name for coffee), when given as a correctly prepared homeopathic remedy, may actually help some sufferers of insomnia to naturally overcome their sleeplessness.
This is known as the 'Law of Similars'. Basically it means that a naturally occurring substance which can cause a particular set of symptoms in a healthy person, can be used to treat a similar set of symptoms experienced by a sick person. The closer the match between the patient's symptoms and the remedy's ‘symptoms', the more effective the treatment.