Understanding The Method and Principle of Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathy is a unique branch of natural medicine that is focused on healing individuals – person or animal – from the inside out.
It works to create harmony in all parts, inclusive of physical, spiritual and mental states, and is an alternative therapy to orthodox medicine.
Similar to Bach flower remedies, homeopathy uses natural elements in its remedies. The substances it uses are sourced from inert and living things such as minerals, plants and animals, as well as imponderable ingredients, like sunlight.
How Homeopathic Remedies Are Made
Some physical substances are unmistakably toxic in their natural form, for example, arsenic and mercury. Yet, in homeopathy, it is possible to create successful remedies from dangerous elements by employing the method of potentization.
Potentization is a very simplistic and effective method that reduces the toxicity of harmful substances while increasing a remedy’s ability to cure. Unique to homeopathy, it involves preparing a substance using two actions – dilution and succussion – in order to create a remedy.
When forming a remedy, a chosen substance is dissolved in a solution of water and alcohol, and labeled the ‘mother tincture’ from which subsequent remedies are made.
A soluble substance is dissolved in a mix of alcohol and water, while an insoluble substance is finely ground into lactose powder; a method called trituration.
Homeopathy uses a dilution ratio of 1 drop of tincture to 9 (or 99) drops of water and alcohol, and a scaling method of decimal (1 in 10; 1D) or centesimal (1 in a 100; 1c) to define the strength of remedies after succussion.
Succussion is a vital action that happens after dilution. It involves shaking the liquid vertically and vigorously to create an energetic remedy capable of expressing powerful healing action within the body on a dynamic level. Repeating the process of dilution and succussion increases the potency of a remedy, from the First Potency, Second Potency and so on.
Law of Similars
Like cures like is a fundamental principle in homeopathic remedies and is known as the Law of Similars. It follows the reasoning that when dosed with a particular substance, a healthy person will develop a particular set of symptoms.
When that same set of symptoms is expressed by a sick person, that certain substance will be the cure. This principle like cures like forms the basis for all remedy prescribing in homeopathic medicine.
It is a principle that first came to light in ancient Greece, with a physician named Hippocrates. Born 460BC, Hippocrates had a vast knowledge of the natural sciences and sought to find a different reason for the cause of disease, one not based on religious or supernatural beliefs.
Paracelsus, a physician who lived during the Renaissance, continued a similar line of thinking before moving towards a chemical approach of treating the body, thus ushering in the age of 'New Chemical Medicine'. (Borzelleca, 1999)
Founder of Homeopathy
With a homeopathic view, the founder of homeopathy – Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician in the 1800s – intelligently considered not only the physical symptoms of his patients, but also changes in their mental and emotional states.
In discovering the method of potentization, he found that substances had an effect on people, not just on a physical or chemical level but also on an energy level. He recognized the energy of natural substances – when released from their material form – had the ability to interact with a person’s vital force and activate greater health from within.
This discovery aligned with his holistic view, that the full scope of a person – mind, body and spirit – be included in the event of healing. For Hahnemann, this meant more than just naming a patient's illness or disease.
Today, as in the past, homeopathic remedies give people and animals the possibility of healing on all levels with the highest of aims.