HOMEOPATHY, more details




Does homeopathy work?
Skeptics say that Homeopathy only works if one has ‘faith’ in it - ie. it is merely a sort of placebo.  The fact that it works dramatically on animals and infants dispels this myth.  There is no need to have faith in it.  Simply try it and see for yourself
Homeopathy is practiced worldwide by an ever increasing number of medical doctors.  It cures many diseases which are incurable by chemical drugs.   As a result of the increase in publicity about the toxic effects of orthodox drugs,  people are requesting safer alternatives from their doctors and pharmacists.  A recent survey suggested that 80% of people receiving homeopathy in the UK were satisfied that they were improving with their treatment.

Is homeopathy slow?
Homeopathic remedies work very rapidly in acute inflammations and infections such as tonsillitis or otitis - often a lot faster than antibiotics, provided the remedy is correctly chosen and given in the correct potency.  Diseases that have complex origins or have existed over a long period will understandably take time to cure.  The homeopathic doctor may need to spend time improving organ function and improving constitutional and inherited weaknesses that are the basis of the disease symptoms.  Patience is required.  This is particularly so in the treatment of chronic diseases.  Suppressive drugs which only palliate, but do not cure, may offer faster relief,  but the degeneration will continue unabated.

Is homeopathy safe?
Yes it is completely safe for everyone, including pregnant mothers, infants, and people with serious conditions.  Some of the medicines are potentially harmful in their non‑homeopathic state, yet because they are so extremely diluted there are no dangers or unwanted side effects.  Indeed potencies above 6c have no molecules of the original substance that can even be traced with scientific instruments. 

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Can I treat myself?
Yes. It is very straightforward to treat minor ailments - in yourself and your family, which are outlined in this book.   Study the list of ailments in this booklet and select the medicine which most closely matches the symptoms of the person requiring treatment.  Wherever self medication is not producing results seek the help of a professional.  This booklet is limited.

When do I need to see a qualified homeopath?
Although homeopathy is suitable for home treatment of minor ailments and for first aid use, if you have a longstanding or more serious illness a qualified homeopathic doctor should be consulted. 

What diseases does homeopathy treat?
Apart form the complaints listed in this booklet, homeopathy treats almost any disease - physical and mental. It cures many of the so called ‘incurable diseases’ including arthritis, migraines, asthma, eczema, hayfever, glandular fever and chronic fatigue syndrome.  It is very effective for most women’s problems, and for mental or emotional disturbances - including PMS, insomnia, depression, anxiety attacks etc. 

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How do I take the medicine?
Homeopathic tablets should be dissolved under the tongue or chewed, not swallowed whole. For young children the tablet can be crushed to a powder before being given directly into the mouth or dissolved in a little water.  The tongue and mouth should be relatively clean.  Food, drink, smoking and toothpaste should be avoided for 10 minutes before and after taking a medicine if possible to aid more effective absorption.

What potency do I choose?
For purposes of self prescribing the 6c potency (sixth centisimal) is adequate for most conditions.  Sometimes a higher potency like 30c is a better choice, particularly where there are very acute and intense symptoms  eg. To bring down a fever Belladonna or Aconite work more quickly if administered in the 30c potency.  In cases of recent grief or emotional shock Ignatia 30c is best.  In the case of serious injury, bruising or internal contusions - Arnica 30c is preferable to 6c.  In the treatment of emotional states like anxiety or irritability it is best to use a 30c.

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What dosage and repetition is best?
The instructions on the bottle should give guidelines as to dosage (how many pillules represent one dose) and repetition.  In cases where symptoms are acute or intense a dose of 6c or 30c may be taken half hourly or hourly until improvement sets in, then every two hours, and finally three times a day once symptoms are not so intense.  A 30c potency may be reduced to once a day until symptoms disappear.  When symptoms disappear simply completely, stop taking the remedy, and resume if they recur. 

What reactions should I expect?
As homeopathic remedies work from within outwards, the first sign of improvement is often a positive change in mood and demeanour, and then increase of energy, followed by improvement of physical symptoms, in that order.  In children who are ill this is particularly notable.  They often  become more animated and harmonious in mood, with improvement in the complexion and energy awhile before physical symptoms improve.  The mother may say “She is herself again.” 
Very occasionally after taking a homeopathic medicine your symptoms may become slightly worse. This effect will be brief and is a good sign that the body’s natural healing energies have started to counteract the illness. After this, the symptoms will subside as you regain your health. If symptoms do not go away, talk to your pharmacist, doctor or qualified homeopath.

What happens if I take the wrong medicine?
Generally if you take the wrong medicine nothing happens and you must look again at the self treatment guide to see if you can find a better prescription.  You can come to no harm by taking homeopathic medicine that is not suitable for the symptoms you are experiencing.

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What about taking homeopathic complexes ie. combination remedies which are sold in most pharmacies and health shops?
Some homeopathic complexes are effective for symptoms in which self treatment is appropriate, however they generally work more slowly than the ‘simillimum’ (the single remedy that fits the symptom picture).  The use of the single well selected remedy compared to a combination remedy is like using a rifle and hitting the centre with a single bullet, or shooting at a target with a shotgun and getting an overall hit but no bullseye.  Generally if you can find the simillimum it is all that is required, but if you are unsure it may at times be advantageous to alternate your selected remedy with a combination.

How should homeopathic medicines be stored?
Being very dilute the medicines are sensitive and should therefore be stored in a dry cool place below 25°C, in their original container and away from strong smells such as perfume, aftershave, coffee and moth repellents.  Although they are perfectly safe, all medicines should be kept out of reach of children.

What if I am taking conventional medicine already?
Sometimes both kinds of medicine are necessary for a period and they can at times compliment each other.  In most cases when starting homeopathic treatment you should remain on your current conventional medicines until you can consult a qualified homeopathic doctor, who will be able to advise you on when and how to reduce your conventional medicine in a safe way.   Homeopathic medicines do not cause any reaction when taken with drugs, however they may not work as effectively.

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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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