Homeopathy is a safe, effective system of medicine, used by millions of people worldwide for over 200 years. Homeopathic medicines are prepared from natural sources and are used in extremely small amounts. They are recognized as drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are non-toxic and, when properly administered, can be safely used with infants, children, and adults.
Homeopathy is based on the principle that “like cures like.” That is, if a substance can cause symptoms in a healthy person, then it can stimulate self-healing of similar symptoms in a sick person. Suppose a person has hay fever, with watery eyes and a burning nasal discharge. Instead of giving an antihistamine to dry up the discharge, a homeopath might prescribe Allium cepa – a tiny dose of onion, specially prepared by a homeopathic pharmacy in accordance with FDA approved guidelines – because onion is known to cause watery eyes and a burning nasal discharge. Suppose a person can't sleep because of agitation or an overactive mind. Instead of giving a conventional “sleeping pill,” a homeopath might give Coffea – homeopathic preparation of coffee.
This principle of similars was developed into a system of medicine called homeopathy (meaning “similar suffering”) by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700's, but the concept dates back to the time of Hippocrates. The exact mechanism by which homeopathy works is unknown, but 200 years of clinical experience along with research published in such medical journals as The Lancet, Pediatrics, and the British Medical Journal have confirmed homeopathy's effectiveness. (A variation of the principle of similars is incorporated by conventional medicine in its use of vaccination and allergy treatments.)
Homeopathy treats the whole person – physical, mental, emotional – and treats each person individually. For example, a homeopath treating a cold sufferer does not presume that all colds are alike, but instead asks about the person’s unique symptoms: Is the person chilly or flushed? Is the nose running or stuffed up? Did the cold come on after stress, anger, or loss of sleep? The homeopath tries to get a complete picture of the person's individual experience of the cold. Then the homeopath chooses a homeopathic medicine that best matches this person's unique set of symptoms.
There are no known or suspected contraindications or drug interactions between homeopathic and conventional medicines. Most homeopathic medicines are available over-the-counter. Consumers can learn to treat simple, self-limiting conditions safely at home, but serious conditions should be treated by a professional. Many veterinarians and animal caretakers get good results using homeopathic medicines for animals.
*The information on these documents available on the Alpine Clinic website is not intended to take the place of a consultation with a licensed physician. It is strictly intended for educational purposes, and should not be used to diagnose, cure, prescribe or treat any specific disease.