What is homeopathy? How did it come about? What are its principles? What are its side effects?
Although more than 70% of Canadians have used natural products in the past and 38% of them use them regularly, a number of myths still circulate about homeopathy, an alternative medicine used around the world. However, this complementary medicine can be very effective, both for prevention and for the relief of various symptoms.
Marie-Lise Pelletier, homeopath and speaker, demystifies homeopathy.
Where does homeopathy come from?
Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor and chemist, founded homeopathy in the 18th century. Dissatisfied with conventional medical practices, he formulated the law of similarities based on the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself. To do so, Hahnemann tested various substances on himself and others while recording the effects. He then developed a dilution technique minimizing the possible toxic side effects of these substances.
In 1799, he successfully used one of his homeopathic remedies to prevent and treat an outbreak of scarlet fever in Germany, thus consolidating his reputation. Homeopathy gained popularity throughout Europe and North America during the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, the rise of modern medicine reduced its importance, especially due to the discovery of antibiotics. However, there has been a renewed interest in homeopathy in recent decades.
What are the principles of homeopathy?
“Homeopathy is based on three fundamental principles,” explains Marie-Lise Pelletier.
The principle of similarity
The principle of similarity is that an illness can be treated “by administering an extremely diluted dose to the patient of one or more substances that, at a higher dose, would have caused the same symptoms as those of the illness we wish to treat.” The word “homeopathy” is composed of two Greek words, “homois,” which means similar and “pathos,” which means illness.
The principle of individualization
In addition to the symptoms of the patient, the homeopath develops his or her remedy based on many characteristics specific to the person being treated, which is what we call the principle of individualization.
Physical, mental, emotional, family, and cultural aspects are taken into account, as well as preferences and lifestyle, making homeopathy multidimensional.
“We consider the person as a whole, the homeopathic remedy chosen needs to meet the specific needs of each patient,” says Marie-Lise Pelletier.
The principle of infinitesimal dilution
The principle of infinitesimal dilution refers to the method used to produce a homeopathic medicine from an active substance.
Have you ever wondered what the letters “CH” mean on the packaging of homeopathic remedies? “These letters are the abbreviation of ‘centesimal Hahnemann.’ To obtain 1 CH, a strain is diluted up to 99 times its volume,” says Marie-Lise Pelletier. By renewing the operation, we obtain a dilution of 2 CH, and so on.
Dilution is essential since it ensures the safety of the product, as the diluted substance loses any toxicity.
Does Homeopathy work?
“Yes, homeopathy works,” answers Marie-Lise Pelletier.
Since its invention, homeopathy has occupied a special place in the world of health, as its action can sometimes be difficult to explain or prove with scientific studies. Some of them reveal its effectiveness, while others refute it. Regulated by Health Canada, homeopathy is complementary to modern medicine, while not replacing it.
As our homeopath explains, “Homeopathy is not a substitute for traditional medicine. A medical follow-up with your doctor is always necessary. On the other hand, homeopathy can be taken as a complement without any worries.”
What kind of health concerns does homeopathy help relieve?
You can use homeopathy “to help relieve symptoms of small disorders (such as colds, teething, muscle pain, or minor injuries) as well as some chronic illness (for example asthma, anxiety, or arthritis),” confirms Marie-Lise Pelletier.
Homeopathy is also known to stimulate the immune system and alleviate allergy symptoms, stress, and anxiety. Homeopathy also helps prevent and relieve digestive disorders and skin problems. In short, each symptom has its homeopathic treatment.
Who can use homeopathy?
Children, adults (including pregnant women), seniors, and even pets can use homeopathic medicines. Offered in liquid, pellet, or tablet format, homeopathy is suitable for everyone. Be sure to read the label on your remedies to see if they meet your needs.
Are there any side effects caused to homeopathic products?
Natural homeopathic products are approved by Health Canada and do not require a prescription or the supervision of a health professional.
“In general, homeopathic treatments do not cause known side effects and have no chemical toxicity,” reassures Marie-Lise Pelletier. In addition, there are usually no contraindications or interactions with other drugs. “The only risk is to get the wrong medication and get no benefit!” says Marie-Lise Pelletier.
Do you have any questions about our approach or our products? Feel free to contact us by email or phone.
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