Homeopathy is a system of medicine that restores health by stimulating the body’s mechanisms of defence and repair.
Homeopathy views symptoms as the body's attempt to overcome illness, stress, or a situation. The remedies aim to rectify the body's reaction as opposed to suppressing the whole reaction and the resultant symptoms. The aim is to treat the individual and the unique reaction, as opposed to treating a disease.
Homeopathy is based in two fundamental principles. The first is that like cures like. Any substance given to a healthy individual will produce specific reactions or symptoms, creating a symptom picture. The therapeutic application of this is that when this substance is given in highly diluted and potentised form (i.e. homeopathic form) it can cure these symptoms, or that particular symptom picture. A homeopath matches the patient's symptom picture, including the mental, emotional and physical state, with a remedy that could produce a similar reaction in a healthy individual. This remedy is known as the similimum.
The second principle of homeopathy is that the selected homeopathic medicine be given in a highly diluted dose, that of the minimum dose. It describes how the therapeutic effect of a substance is increased as the substance is serially diluted and aggravated at each dilution. By this process the therapeutic information of the substance is imprinted on, or remembered by, the solvent. It is progressively amplified and can thus provide the therapeutic catalyst effect to cure the patient. In this form the action of the substance is broadened and the toxic effects are removed.
It is a common misconception that homeopathy works slowly. This is only true of long standing, chronic conditions where there has been a great deal of suppressive treatment. In acute conditions (colds, flu, infections etc.) homeopathy works incredibly quickly.
Homeopathic medicines are made from plant, mineral and animal bases and take the form of granules, powders, liquids, tablets, pillules, injectables, suppositories or creams. The medicines are completely safe in pregnancy, and for babies and children. Patients often make the choice to visit a homeopath for a safer yet effective alternative to conventional medicine. They can also be used concurrently with medical treatment in many cases.
People of all ages and in any condition ill health should be treated homeopathically, and no medical condition should be excluded from homeopathic intervention.
Homeopaths in South Africa are trained as primary healthcare providers. They are thus equipped to clinically assess, diagnose and treat patients. They may examine patients, send for relevant tests, or refer when needed. They are licensed to dispense and compound homoeopathic medicines.