Q&A on Homeopathic Treatment...

The word “homeopathy” explains a lot about this safe and effective form of medicine.  “Homeo” means “like” and “pathy” means disease.  In other words any substance which creates certain symptoms when taken repeatedly by a healthy person, can cure those same symptoms when given in very small doses.  Lets take some everyday examples. A sensitive person who drinks a few cups of coffee will become nervous, hyped up and sleepless.  Therefore a homeopathic remedy made from coffee, called "Coffea" is effective in cases of insomnia with nervousness and increased mental activity. While cutting an onion a person may experience watering of eyes and nose, similar to the symptoms of a common cold.  Therefore, "Allium Cepa" (made from onion) is one of the medicines used in homeopathy in the treatment of colds which have sore and streaming eyes and runny nose. 

Over 200 years ago Dr. Samuel Hahnemann announced the law of "like cures like" described above. Additionally he found that by diluting and 'succussing' a substance its healing effects were enhanced rather than lessened.  'Succussing' is a special method of shaking, and medicines which have been prepared this way are called 'potentized' medicines. 
This explains why Homeopathic medicines each have a number after the name, which signifies how many times they have been 'potentized'.  For example Nux Vomica 30c has been diluted and succussed 30 times. It is suggested that the more diluted or higher potencies of medicinal substances are like vapours which can penetrate and affect the subtle energies of body and mind. The understanding of the action of homeopathic medicines may be more easily understood by reading the section about acupuncture and the various manifestations of energy or Qi (Chi) in the body.

Homeopathic medicines are made from substances from all kingdoms of nature - mineral, plant, animal and gaseous. They each have unique mental, emotional and physical ‘pictures’, which have been discovered over the last two hundred years, through trials and practice by many thousands of doctors.
When Hahnemann and his followers tested substances in small and repeated doses on groups of volunteers they carefully recorded all mental, emotional and physical symptoms which appeared. 

Many commonly used homeopathic medicines have ‘mental’, ‘emotional’ and physical 'pictures’. The homeopath 'matches up' the medicine with the patient and their symptoms. The correctly 'matched' medicine is like a key which unlocks the healing mechanism within the mind and body in a very powerful way. The healing is done by the intelligent 'Life-Force' or 'Vital Force' within the body and not by the medicine. The basis of Chinese Medicine is in some ways very similar to Homeopathy as they both treat and direct the Vital Force. However Chinese Medicine calls it "Chi" and directs it by the use of needles and specific herbal formulae.

Lets look at the 'picture' of the remedy Nux Vomica. This medicine is described as being appropriate for ambitious and hardworking perfectionists who become irritated and impatient with inefficiency and disorder. They may suffer from such complaints as headaches, insomnia, cramps in the legs or feet, and digestive complaints, including liverishness and heartburn.  Their digestive complaints or headaches are often worse from rich or spicy foods and alcohol. 
If Nux Vomica is given to a person matching the above symptoms he or she will become less irritable, more relaxed and their liver and digestion will also improve. Both body and mind will become healthier. 

During the homeopathic interview or in a homeopathic questionnaire the patient may be asked many questions about body and mind to find the best matching medicine which is called 'the simillimum'. In some cases where there is an outside cause, like back pain from lifting, or viral influenza, not much information is required about the mind and emotions. But in the treatment of chronic disease and symptoms which relate to the individual constitution of the patient then more detail is required.

From a homeopathic point of view, each person is unique and each case of disease is unique and it is this unique and individual picture which the homeopath tries to understand through detailed inquiry.
For example one case of arthritis will be different from another.  One person with arthritis may be worse when it rains and better in hot dry weather, worse on waking and better from moving about. They could benefit from Rhus Tox. 
Another might be worse in hot weather, better in cold and worse from motion. Rhus Tox would not work in such a case, whereas Bryonia probably would. 

Many diseases are helped and cured with homeopathy, even those pronounced as 'incurable' by conventional medicine. The following are examples: anxiety, irritability, depression, pms, menopause, headaches, hayfever, sinusitis, asthma, eczema, arthritis, irritable bowel, insomnia, constipation, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, candida etc.

Homeopathy is great medicine for people of all ages because it acts very gently yet powerfully and also tastes good. Children love homeopathic medicines because they are often given in the form of impregnated sugar pills, like little sweets.
Homeopathic medicines may be given in the form of drops, powders or pillules which are sucked not swallowed as the medicinal substance is absorbed through the blood vessels in the mouth not in the stomach.
They are not to be taken within 10 minutes of eating or drinking and best taken on a relatively empty stomach.


The main principles of Homeopathy are:

  •  “Like cures like”.  A substance having the power to produce a symptom picture (eg. onion and tears), will cure a diseased person presenting with the same symptom picture. 

  • When substances are diluted, they are able to penetrate into deeper levels within body and mind and their therapeutic powers become intensified.

  • Homeopaths treat 'the person' and their 'individual symptom pattern' and not the disease. 
  • It is not the medicine which does the healing. It is the intelligent 'vital force' which acts and heals dis-ease in response to stimulation by the appropriate homeopathic medicine. 

  • Healing takes place from within outwards. Improvement in energy and an increased sense of mental and emotional wellbeing often are the first thing to occur before physical symptoms improve. Sometimes for a brief period (perhaps a few days) symptoms may get worse. This is usually a good sign that the body has been activated to 'throw off' its disease.

Q&A on Homeopathic Treatment...


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Dr. Berkeley Digby, Homeopath
Rooms: Cape Town, Plettenberg Bay, Phone mobile: 083 378 1177
emails: berkeleydigby@gmail.com, drbdigby@gmail.com
website: www.drdigby.co.za (for location maps, fees, questionnaires)
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