Homeopathy Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is homeopathy? What are homeopathic medicines?
Homeopathy is a therapeutic method that uses highly diluted natural substances to relieve symptoms. The ingredients in homeopathic medicines are diluted plants, animals and minerals that relieve the same symptoms they cause at full strength (an e.g.: a micro dose of coffee bean helps to relieve nervousness).
Homeopathic medicines are being used for more than 200 years, building a remarkable safety record. They are manufactured in accordance with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) and drug Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Homeopathic medicines are used by millions of patients and recommended by health care professionals around the world to relieve many acute health conditions such as allergies, coughs, colds, flu, stress, muscle pain and teething.
2. Where can I buy homeopathic medicines?
Homeopathic medicines are available is most drug stores and supermarkets. Homeopathic medicines are available either as single medicines or combination medicines. Combination medicines are marketed to treat a specific condition and contain several homeopathic medicines commonly used to treat that condition. Single medicines are usually labeled for a single condition, but maybe used to treat many conditions, as long a the symptoms of the illness agree with those of the medicine.
3. In which disease condition homeopathic treatment is more effective?
There is no condition that Homeopathy cannot treat. Conditions from a simple cold to cancer can be treated with Homeopathy. It takes into account the individual symptoms of the patient suffering from any disease and not the diagnosis of the disease. By the virtue of this certain diseases that cannot be diagnosed clinically or even unknown diseases can also be treated. Also in incurable cases where even the modern line of treatment fails to help the patients, homeopathy will prove to be a very good palliative and will improve the last days of life and ease the death. This happens in advanced stages of cancer, we can relieve pain very easily and effectively.
4. Why detailed history? or (Why does a Homeopath ask so many questions to a patient?)
Detailed history is very essential as homeopathy believes in treating the individual and not the disease. In order to activate the patient's body, especially its inherent healing energy; the Homeopath requires a very deep understanding of the behavioral pattern of the patient's body. Naturally, a Homeopath needs a detailed medical and psychological history of the patient. Every incidence affects our life, so it is very important to know all the incidences and its impact it had on the patients. Hence a detailed history right from the childhood till date is needed to find the right medicine which suits the patient. If you co-operate and give honest and detailed history we can help you to achieve better and healthy life.
5. Are there any side effects of homeopathic medicines?
Homeopathic medicines do not have any side effects, when administered judiciously. They work by stimulating the body's own defenses to fight against the disease force. Hence the changes that take place in the body are gentle.
6. Does homeopathy believe in disease diagnosis and the pathological investigations?
Yes. It is very essential to diagnose a disease, but for the selection of the remedy we require to know the characteristic symptoms of the patient and not the disease symptoms. For e.g. If a person is having an attack of asthma, he will be having wheezing and congestion of the chest and he gets relief only if he throws his head backwards. Wheezing and congestion of chest are symptoms of the disease but for the selection of the remedy the important symptom is 'relief by throwing head backwards'. Hence to differentiate the disease symptoms with the individual characteristic symptoms good knowledge of disease is important. The pathological investigations are also important to judge the improvement, know disease diagnosis and the prognosis.
7. Does homeopathy take a long time to act?
It is a myth that medicines act slowly. Its action is quick and the effect lasts much longer, often forever. The disease is cured from its roots. With most of the other systems of medicine symptoms are merely palliated or at times suppressed while in Homeopathy they are cured for good.
The time taken for the cure is proportionate to the chronicity of the ailment. In fact if a patient seeks homoeopathic treatment at the onset of an ailment, he stands great chances of a really quick recovery. Also in acute illnesses homoeopathic medicines act fast and effectively.
8. Is it safe to take Homeopathic medicines during Pregnancy?
Definitely YES! Homeopathy acts wonderfully on pregnant women without giving any side effects. It is beneficial to the mother as well as the fetus. If the treatment is planned in a proper way, The child will be much healthier and the medicines will help to fight the hereditary diseases which are carried from generation to generation. In fact if homeopathy is given during pregnancy, the delivery would be normal and easier. The child will be relatively healthier and emotionally well balanced, intellectually sound and physically stronger.
9. Are there any food restrictions during the treatment?
It is not true that onion, garlic, tea, coffee, paan, alcohol, tobacco, perfumes etc. are prohibited under homoeopathic treatment. The patient is only advised to avoid eating or drinking 15 minutes before or after taking homeopathic medication.
But, the substances which may antidote the effects of a particular medicine should be stopped. Homoeopathic medicines would act better in those patients who are non-addicts and when taken in clean mouth, without the influence of any strong smelling substance.
10. Why do homeopaths do not tell the name of the medicines that has been given?
The name of the medicine is not disclosed for the benefit of the patient. If the patient after knowing the name of the medicines starts taking it according to his or her whims and fancies; it will distort the disease picture and in the future treatment of the patient will be much more difficult. Also certain medicines have to be changed and given as per the state of the disease and recovery.
If the patient wants a copy of case record can be provided to the patient but at the end of the treatment, when patient has completely recovered.
11. Do homeopathic medicines have an expiration date?
Homoeopathic remedies have no expiry date. It can be preserved for years, if well kept away from moisture and strong smelling substances.
12. Is it true that Homeopathic medicines are only placebos (sugar pills)?
No. The pills of Homeopathic medicines are made from sugar but they work only as vehicles. Actual liquid medicine prepared from various natural medicinal substances, is poured over the pills and dispensed as medications. Homeopathic medicines are also available in liquid form or tinctures, which can be administered directly or by diluting them in water whenever required.
13. Does Homeopathy allow Surgery?
Yes, it does. Surgery is a separate branch of medicine. It has to be resorted to in conditions that are beyond the domain of medicine. But one can avoid surgery in certain cases as homeopathy can effectively treat many surgical conditions like tonsillitis, piles, warts, kidney stones etc.
14. Can homeopathic medicines be used to treat cancer?
No. There is no homeopathic treatment for cancer.
15. How much alcohol is found in homeopathic medicines?
Mother tinctures contain alcohol, as do the orally administered drops prepared in an alcohol solution. One hundred drops of 65 percent mother tincture contain 1.026 grams of pure ethanol. In comparison, one glass of 12 percent wine contains 9.5 grams of pure ethanol.
Above we listed some frequently asked questions on Homeopathy, if you did not find an answer to your question, please use our ask a doctor feature and one of our expert doctors in Homeopathy will answer your question.