What Is Homeopathic Medicine? Misconceptions Debunked
isWhat is homeopathic medicine? It’s a question that many people do not answer properly. Allow me to explain…
When it comes to homeopathy, as in any other complex alternative healing system, there are both supporters and skeptics of both its mechanics and philosophy. In both the pro and anti-homeopathy groups, there tends to have two subgroups:
- Those that claim to have a full knowledge of homeopathy, but have never used it or seen a homeopath and/or a remedy in action
- Those that have used homeopathy, but never bothered to learn about it
In general, most critics fall into the first category, while most supporters fall into the second From my experience, as well as the experience of others, the basic idea is that both groups tend to have fundamental misconceptions/ Because of their own lack of knowledge or experience with homeopathy (for whatever reason it may be), many, if not most, of these supporters and haters of this unique holistic system do not really understand exactly what is homeopathic medicine.
The Silly Misconceptions of Both Sides
This ignorance of both sides may bother homeopaths to a certain extent. It’s not because they are afraid of losing business or for any egotistic or ulterior motive. It’s really because both sides completely misrepresent what homeopathy is, and it’s true principles and function.
Homeopaths do not view themselves as evil, unscientific scammers who are looking to medically scheme all health patients of the West and East, and create a medical monopoly everywhere. It’s a flat out conspiracy theory and far from the truth.
Even many conventional practitioners would laugh at that statement. On the other hand, homeopaths do not want to be portrayed as a herbal, magical, and hippie-like salvation to all of the world’s problems and issues. This bothers homeopaths as well.
What Exactly Are These Misconceptions?
The following have been theorized by homeopathic critics, lovers, or both, their own misguided views of homeopathy. I will They believe that homeopathy is…
- a miracle cure.
- working off the placebo effect.
- equiovalent herbal medicine.
- a “quick-fix” cure.
- against against all allopathic/conventional medicines of any kind.
- a new age medicine.
- has absolutely no reliable clinical research behind it.
- can cure every single disease and symptom no matter what.
As you’ll see soon, I will briefly explain why each of these claims are incorrect, step-by-step:
Miracle Cure – Not Exactly
It’s true that numerous patients have experienced quick and efficient healing processes using homeopathic remedies, for both acute and chronic conditions. In fact, I have personally witnessed numerous instances myself with several ailments such as colds.
However, homeopathy NEVER guarantees quick and miraculous cures. In reality, homeopathy treats the totality of a person and their symptoms gradually, gently, and in many cases, even subtly.
This also explains why many patients that take a remedy will not fully realize or feel the extent of their healing until several days or even weeks later. Or that they may in fact deny that the remedy worked, when in fact, despite the fact that many of their previous mind or physical symptoms are actually gone! Both cases happen very often, more so than the “miracle cure” that occurs less often.
Homeopathy is Placebo?
The fact that a homeopathic remedy is the end result of multiple dilutions and successions, which basically means that the finished product contains absolutely nothing left over of the original substance, is the source of criticism among practically all skeptics.
They contend that because of this factor, homeopathic remedies do not have any medicinal value beyond placebo effects. Since every remedy contains no physical substance, it is impossible for it to have a real benefit for anybody. Indeed, I get this complaint on a daily basis just on my Twitter account from aggressive skeptics who can’t stand the success of homeopathy.
However, this can be refuted in several different ways:
One, there is considerable research showing that homeopathic remedies do indeed have a biological effect upon living organisms. How exactly it happens is a bit of dispute, but the research nonetheless speaks for itself. Although one can argue that the positive and emotional encouraging homeopathic consultations may add to a potential placebo effect, that would be confirmed if the remedies do not have any effect whatsoever on an organism. But the fact that they really do, erases this notion completely. Even at high, ultra-diluted potencies.
Here is one such example from medical researchers in Germany, where after multiple experimentations and retests, they found homeopathic effects upon plants.
Our Friend – The Aggravations
Second, a major part of the homeopathic healing process is the fact that aggravations from remedy use sometimes (but not always) occur. In homeopathic terms, an aggravation is a magnification of a present symptom, which indicates the body’s readiness to energetically rid this ailment once and for all.
An example of this could be of a person who uses steroid creams to suppress eczema. If this person takes a remedy and then his eczema appears on his skin, it is generally a sign that the remedy is beginning to help revitalize the body and eliminate the eczema from the core. Which is why homeopaths get excited to see an aggravation, although we wish healing can come smoother.
Considering that aggravations happen often enough to be somewhat expected in any clinical practice, this alone dismisses the placebo argument, by definition. Do you know of anyone that goes to a homeopath, or any health practitioner for that matter, and is expecting to feel worse after taking a medicine? No way!
To the contrary, most patients expect a recovery as soon as possible. And that’s the only time you generally can assume that placebo effects are in the picture.
“Homeopathy is like Herbal Medicine, Right?”
In three words….NOT AT ALL!
In fact, it’s totally different from herbalism. Although it can be derived from herbs, homeopathy is an energy-based medicine that seeks to holistically encourage healing on the mental, emotional, and physical planes.
In a complex process, it uses the energetic properties of various types of plants, minerals, animals, and other forms of matter to bring about chronic and/or acute healing. Herbal medicine simply utilizes certain plants and other types of natural matter with medicinal properties to treat a specific symptom.
As one of my esteemed homeopathic teachers, Alastair Gray, once remarked, herbal medicine is essentially “green allopathy.”
Homeopathy Is NOT Always A Quick-Fix
We all may have heard “miracle” stories of numerous people that used homeopathy for a variety ailments. To be clear, it’s definitely not always the case. In general, a homeopathic remedy works slowly and gently.
Especially in chronic cases, healing takes time as the remedies tend to shed off layers of the body’s energetic imbalances, one layer at a time. Of course, one may start feeling better after a dose or two, but in terms of achieving 100% healing, that for sure takes time, usually over a period of weeks – months, depending on each individual.
Homeopathy Is Trying To Eliminate Western Medicine
In all honesty, I laugh when I hear this claim.
Homeopaths have no desire to fight the conventional medical system. Although homeopaths frown upon their allopathic, suppressive philosophy as shown in suppressive, prescription drugs, we recognize that even conventional medicine has tremendous value in health. There are certain cases when a patient simply needs to go to the ER or see a doctor.
As an unofficial rule, homeopaths will NEVER (emphasis mine) tell a patient to get off his/her medication unless permitted by their own doctor.
In fact, many homeopaths recognize that the best utopian medical model would be integrative medicine. What does this mean? Forging the best and safest of conventional and alternative medicines in treating others effectively!
There’s No Research Supporting New-Age Homeopathy – Huh?!
Although there are good, negative studies on homeopathy, it’s still very astonishing how critics of homeopathy make this claim, when there is a sea of research demonstrating homeopathy’s effectiveness.
For the past 200 years, this research comes from both homeopaths as well as non-homeopaths, and a substantial amount of studies have been published in prestigious medical journals. In addition, the skeptics ignore the fact that many seemingly qualified studies are funded by pharmaceutical companies seeking to oust homeopathy from the medical market. It’s an open secret even in the conventional world.
Here is one example of a clinically qualified study by western researchers and the corruptive attitude of the opponents of homeopathy:
The facts speak for themselves.
Homeopathy Can Heal Anything & Everything!
As great as homeopathy is, it also has its limitations, as do other types of conventional and complimentary medicines. Any serious, mechanical bodily issue that requires immediate surgery can be an obstacle in homeopathic treatment. In addition, a person that is living an unhealthy lifestyle such as an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, or excessive drug use acts as another obstacle to cure.
In cases like these, homeopaths will refer a patient to a doctor, hospital, or nutritionist to help with patient with his or her respective obstacle to cure. This will allow the homeopath to treat the person more efficiently than before.
What Is Homeopathic Medicine? Summary
Contrary to the claims of many supporters and critics, homeopathic medicine is a holistic, energy-based healing therapy that is very clinically effective when performed correctly and has an actual effect on humans and other organisms, as shown by research.
Despite homeopathy’s greatness, it does have its limitations, like any other system of medicine.
Disclaimer: Homeopathy does not guarantee quick, miracle cures. Homeopathy prefers to work together with Western medicine, rather than against it. Homeopathic medicine’s goal is to help make the world a better place!