Over the last 20 years, the holistic or alternative healing medicine modalities have grown in popularity in the USA, for their gentle workings, no or minimal side effects, non-pharmaceutical chemical ingredients, often well proven centuries of effectiveness and their similar principles of studying the person and their condition in totality; physical, emotional, mental.
You have maybe tried or heard about some of the alternative disciplines such as chiropractic, acupuncture, herbalism, reiki, homeopathy, naturopathic medicine or functional medicine, but do not actually know exactly what these practitioners do ‘with you’ or ‘for your complaint’. Where do practitioners study? Are they legal? How do they work? All great questions and well explained in my comprehensive book “Autoimmune Illness and Lyme Disease Recovery Guide” (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015).
Today we will look at a fascinating healing art, which happens to be a wonderful self help toolbox for acute conditions and is a terrific player with epidemics, whether malaria, influenza, chicken pox, pneumonia and potentially a ‘home runner hitter’ with the novel COVID-19 corona virus sweeping the world currently. Let us look at the what, how and who questions with Homeopathic medicine.
Classical homeopathy is a comprehensive branch of alternative medicine that has been in existence since the late 1700s. The founder, a German physician Samuel Hahnemann, brought to light two intrinsic principals, which are the cornerstones of this healing discipline. The first, known as “the Law of Similars,” states that something that can cause a disease can also cure it. The second is the “magic of the minimum dose,” which is the least amount of a substance to be used for curative purposes, but not to induce side effects.
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann was a German research scientist working on understanding why quinine, or Peruvian bark, was effective in curing malaria. The suspicion was that its highly bitter quality was the essential reason. Hahnemann was not convinced of that explanation. During his studies he elected to self-experiment and began taking quinine himself. Curiously enough, a couple of weeks into this process Hahnemann developed the symptoms of malaria, in winter !This struck him as odd, as he wondered why a substance that was curing an illness could also cause it.
Hahnemann stopped taking the quinine, and the symptoms cleared up. He recommenced it and the malaria symptoms returned. This sparked the scientist’s thinking. He turned to the converse thought process that if something can cause an illness to manifest, could it in turn, be curative to that symptom state? Thus classical homeopathic theory was born.
Hahnemann devoted the rest of his long, illustrious life to exploring hundreds of common substances and their curative capabilities. He hired dozens of associate physicians and scientists to do provings on multitudes of substances, ranging from traditionally used herbals like chamomile and leopard’s bane, to the more dangerous medical substances of arsenic and mercury. The cataloguing of these provings and studies done on hundreds of human beings is compiled in William Boericke’s Homeopathic Materia Medica. It’s a vast, brilliant piece of scientific work. Homeopaths still rely on this “bible” over two hundred years later.
Hahnemann was concerned about the dangerous side effects of taking too much of a substance, specifically arsenic and mercury, then used liberally for treating syphilis. This spurred him into experimenting with diluting amounts for curative work. Something sparked Dr. Hahnemann’s thinking to shake or “success” each progressive dilution as it was made. He would start by making a mother tincture of a substance, akin to an herbal tea, then dilute it one part to ten and shake that mixture. He then took one drop of that newly shaken potency, which he labeled as 1x and mixed that with another ten parts water in a new vial, shook that and labeled it 2x. One drop of the 2x was taken and diluted with ten parts water, shaken and became 3x. He continued this process of “potentization,” discovering that the more diluted, yet energetically “shaken,” potencies were faster acting and longer holding than the former one. So a 20x potency procured better results, eradicating symptoms more effectively than a 2x. This is the “minimum dose” principle of homeopathy. After the 30th dilution, no medicinal substance is found in the remedy, yet its effects are remarkably more effective than taking the original mother tincture—energy medicine at its finest.
Homeopathy spread like wildfire across Europe in the 1800s, becoming favored in the French and English courts. It made its way to America and across the Great Plains on wagon trains. Most households in the late 1800s relied on the homeopathic remedies Arnica, Lycopodium, and Rhus Tox for an assortment of ills. The world’s greatest homeopaths, James Tyler Kent and William Boericke, flourished along the East Coast at the turn of 1900. Dozens of homeopathic hospitals and colleges prospered in the era. In fact, the first medical society in the United States, known as the American Homeopathic Association (AHA), was founded in 1843, four years before the American Medical Association (AMA). The wealthy and famous, including the Rockefellers and Mark Twain, as well as the common man, found homeopathy to be gentle, effective, and reliable.
During the massive typhoid and influenza epidemics of the early 1900s, those who relied on homeopathic treatment fared dramatically better than those who turned to allopathic medicine. Homeopathic pharmacies abounded in all the major US cities well into the 1920s. Then, unexpectedly, things shifted with the advent of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a quest to eradicate the “snake oil” sideshow charlatans peddling nebulous elixirs at fairs and on sidewalks.
Laws were created regarding patenting, a wise step, and a man named Abraham Flexner was installed to investigate the numerous “quack doctors” and lay-physicians trained at the knee of their father-physican or in the wards of a civil war hospital. Homeopathy, unfortunately, became decimated in Flexner’s single-minded ambition to preserve only modern MDs. By the 1940s, homeopathy and natural medicine had essentially vanished from American life—pharmacies were boarded up and the schools’ and homeopathic hospitals’ licenses revoked. Only the Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia remained. Fortunately, FDA laws were passed regulating the manufacture of homeopathic remedies as standard over-the-counter aids, leaving them legally available. Still, with the advent of antibiotics and cortisone, both understandably so-called miracle drugs, the pharmaceutical industry had planted itself front and center in our society, shoving aside all other modalities. However, doctors in Europe, Asia, and South America continued to integrate homeopathy with Western medicine, enabling a more complementary practice of medicine to thrive in those continents.
Homeopathy embraces many ideals. Respecting the wisdom of the healing force within is one of homeopathy’s tenets. The body wants to heal, continually attempting to right itself when off-center, using primary methods of discharge to purge toxins and emotional impediments. The essence of homeopathy is to honor these attempts by providing the person with a remedy that actually mimics the constellation of symptomology, not counteracting the process already under way. Suppressing or counteracting symptomology, as allopathic (“opposite suffering”) medicine does (i.e., via decongestants or muscle relaxants), is oppositional to homeopathic doctrine. Instead, the simillimum remedy works by supporting and actually speeding up the healing process.
The two primary avenues of homeopathic application are acute and chronic care. Acute ills, such as sunburn, influenza, or bee stings, are self-limiting conditions and readily addressed with a remedy, often in a self-help vein. Chronic ills, like colitis, fibromyalgia, or asthma, are treated by a certified practitioner at a constitutional level.
The concept of a “constitutional type” is another essential facet of classical homeopathy. Each of us is recognized as being born with a particular given constitutional blueprint or type. Classical homeopaths are trained to identify one’s constitutional type by a set of qualities: body type, coloring, personality traits, and tendencies when ill. Genetic strengths and weaknesses in individual constitutional types are prone to manifestation of particular ills when run down or weakened. One’s natural characteristics and specific symptoms are all valued as illustrative measures, guiding a practitioner to the wondrously compatible substance from nature that most closely energetically resonates with each person and their innate life force. A Cimicifuga (black snake root) constitution will readily develop depression, migraines, joint pains, and stiffness. Meanwhile, a Silicea (flint) constitution shows easy tendencies to colds, ear infections, Chronic Fatigue syndrome, cysts, bowel irregularities, and often lack of self-confidence and social anxieties.
It’s critical for homeopaths to understand the person for who he or she is, as it’s the person, not the disease, that is being treated. Discovering who each individual is and what makes her/him tick, how each reacts to the world around her, what inspires him, what deflates her, is the agenda of the homeopath. Constitutional prescribing helps restore harmony and balance within the individual, whereby the body is then able to right itself, throwing off the symptoms and illness of its own accord.
Classical homeopathy is still practiced essentially the same as it has been for well over two hundred years. Homeopaths pay close attention to the details of symptoms and their fluctuations. Observation is essential, as well as the patient’s communication of their sensations and symptoms. The homeopath then matches the person and the remedy, thus coining the expression one knows so well with classical homeopathy that “like treats like.”
Allergy shots and vaccination principles have been borrowed from the homeopathy model of “like treats like.” A minute amount of a particular ingredient is introduced to stimulate the body’s own reactionary processes. However, homeopathic remedies are administered sublingually, bypassing the digestive tract, and are energy medicine as opposed to shots and vaccines, which are biochemical preparations that are injected directly into the bloodstream and contain many fillers and carrying agents, often creating side effects in sensitive systems.
Homeopathy requires two years of postgraduate training plus a premed background. Homeopaths are not considered primary healthcare providers unless they hold a license in another profession, such as MD, DO, DC, or LPN. Classical homeopaths can’t give exams, prescribe pharmaceuticals, or make a diagnosis. They will, however, make sure you receive the medical evaluation and care needed when indicated. Most have working relationships with allied health-care professionals, often in a shared office or clinic. The Council for Homeopathic Certification examines candidates for national certification annually. A good homeopath must be an excellent listener, open-minded, and a keen observer. A strong memory helps, too, as homeopaths need to be intimately familiar with hundreds of remedies to pass the national exam.
It’s a very tall order for a homeopath to pinpoint the one essential remedy out of over four thousand choices at the time of your first visit. Sometimes a few visits may be required before the perfect match is identified for chronic conditions, but then a whole new feeling of well-being is found.
Symptom alleviation can be rapid with an acute condition, often even when the remedy pellets are still dissolving under the tongue, as with an allergy spell. With chronic illness, regained wellness comes during a span of weeks and months as the body recalibrates.
Classical homeopathy experienced a resurgence in the United States in the late 1970s, when Dr. Bill Gray introduced Dr. George Vithoulkas, master homeopath from Greece, to the pioneering collective of doctors, nurses, veterinary doctors and laypeople who had held the remnants of this healing art in a protective clutch. Soon other great masters from South America and Europe came to train these followers. By the late 1990s, homeopathic schools were reborn and pharmacies on the rise. Today, commonly used potencies, such as 6c, 30c, and 200c (in which c dilutions indicate 1/100 parts), are available in most health food stores and even allopathic pharmacies, and large, high-tech machines make it possible to potentize remedies up to the 50,000 dilution!
Homeopathy has not been studied at the scientific level during the technological mastery of the last several decades. It has ambled along, mostly disregarded as old-fashioned and a bit fantastical. Because it does not fit the scientific standards of pharmacology and deductive reasoning, so much of our American medical system has tried to dismiss homeopathy as unproven and unscientific. It must be evaluated on a different spectrum, since its language and values are so divergent from allopathic medicine, being a system of empirical findings and data. Generations, however, testify to homeopathy’s capable workings. Animals and infants respond to it unequivocally. Germany, France, and India’s physicians are schooled in homeopathy.
Classical homeopathy offers highly valuable support in the treatment of viruses. Individual remedies may be prescribed to treat the various acute symptoms that plague the individual, whether joint pain, stomach irregularities, headaches, depression, fevers, or coughs. All such states are greatly aided by the fine workings of homeopathic remedies.
Homeopathic remedies can be found in most health food stores, or ordered online from the world-renowned pharmacy Boiron. There are dozens of singular homeopathic remedies pertinent to clearing acute viral symptoms. Personally, bryonia, Eupatorium perf, aconite, and gelsemium saved my life! There are also wonderful “combination formulas” that contain 4–8 low-dose remedies in synergy to use at a purely physiological, or what homeopaths call “clinical symptom,” level to help with detoxification measures, hayfever, teething, insomnia, and much more. Health food stores have great sections for this purpose, where you find skinny blue, purple of white tubes with little white pellets inside and a latin title of the substance on the label.
Nuances and subtleties make all the difference in finding remedies that are a “direct” match for your case. Seeing a professional Classical Homeopath (CCH) or Naturopath (ND) who specializes in homeopathy is key for chronic illness like asthma, colitis, Lyme disease.
Many practitioners call themselves homeopaths. They are not properly certified. This is not a good situation. Homeopathy gets misused and misrepresented and is often ineffective in the hands of an only partially trained practitioner. You want a master, not a dabbler. This healing art requires vast training, a very astute mind, and someone with great perspective and finesse.
Practitioners can be found via the National Center for Homeopathy and the Council for Homeopathic Certification.
Symptom-Based Self-Help Remedies
The rule of thumb is to try a remedy 2–3x per day for 3–4 days for an acute flu, ear infection, dental pain, corona virus. If there is no change for the better, then this remedy is not energetically compatible with your constitution or symptoms. Just stop it and try another with a similar symptom picture. There are no side effects with remedies; they either match and work or do nothing at all. But, we do not take remedies indefinitely, only when symptoms are present.
All homeopathics are labeled by their Latin name, so they can be found worldwide at pharmacies, versus their common name (e.g. wind flower or pasque flower for pulsatilla), which may vary by region. All remedies are to be taken with a “clean mouth,” meaning no food, drink, toothpaste, gum, etc. 15 minutes before or after a dose. Dissolve two pellets under the tongue, absorbed by the sublingual glands and bypassing the digestive tract. Some people note symptom alleviation in mere seconds under the tongue, others could require several doses for a change. Do not handle the pellets with your fingers, as they are sensitive to oils and fragrances and can become “negated.” Just pop them in your mouth. Some people dissolve the pellets in 2 inches of pure water and sip the solution over an hour or so. Thousands of books are available on this wondrous healing art that India, Germany, France, and England have relied upon for centuries.
See HomeopathicEducationalServices.org for a vast array of self-help books, DVDs, textbooks, materia medicas, and more.
Regarding the coronavirus surging around the world right now Covid-19. There are numerous remedies that seem to fit the symptom picture of this virus. We have the fever state, the bone and body pain state and the dry cough picture. Then it drops into pneumonia in that susceptible patients.￼￼ Shortness of breath and often a heavy pressure on the chest is felt at this point.
I will be creating a online learning module to go over the specific remedy differentials for each of these phases of the virus and which ones can be administered in a self-help vein if you are quarantined at home and can order them online or have a friend pick them up at a health food store￼. I will make an announcement here on my blog as well on social media when this information is ready later in the week.
Homeopathy will certainly be an asset to the 80% of those afflicted with mild or moderate symptomology. However please do not dismiss the serious necessity of using Western medicine and emergency care if the lungs are involved and suspicious pneumonia is present. Also the elderly and the immune compromised need the support of certified homeopathic practitioner and or medical doctor. I do not want to give the impression that this virus is a mild or simple one and proper medical care is of course necessary under many circumstances. However, homeopathic medicine should be an ally and helping boost immune function and facilitate a quicker recovery and less complications.
Check out the national Center for homeopathic medicine as well as the council for homeopathic certification if you are looking for a practitioner. Feel free to also look at my website and some of my books which include homeopathic medicine information.
There is also a wonderful video on YouTube of me teaching homeopathic medicine self-help remedies for Lyme disease that was filmed at Omega Institute. It’s worth watching for a more in-depth explanation of the ceiling art and some examples of how you can use the remedies. It’s about 45 minutes of viewing. I’m wearing a bright pink dress in it. If you can’t find it on YouTube go to the website http://www.eOmega.org I am plug my name in the search window and it should pop up with a couple of other videos of me from Omega Institute.
With love and light and protection for all of us as coronavirus moves across the world. However, I do believe that it is a wake up call for all of us to start slowing down the rapid pace we have been living at and look at the ramifications of the over industrialized modern society we have created and thrown our relationship to nature out of balance. Another blog to come on that topic soon !! ￼￼￼ ￼￼￼￼￼￼