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Homeopathic medicines are mostly of vegetable, mineral, animal and sometimes synthetic origin. These medicines are manufactured under strict guidelines. Homeopathy is considered to be safe, and lacks the potential for life threatening side effects, even though minor side effects have been reported.
Any reported adverse effects are usually mild and transient in nature. Examples of such side effects include headaches, skin rashes, dizziness, diarrhea and sometimes exacerbation of existing symptoms. The incidence of aggravation of existing symptoms is estimated to occur in 20 % cases. It should be mentioned that similar side effects are also observed with placebo interventions. Additional studies are warranted to better understand the direct and indirect risks of homeopathy.
People suffering from all kinds of illnesses, from arthritis to migraine, depression to ulcers, can be helped by homeopathy in regaining their health. Since different people react to the same illness in different ways, a homeopath approaches patients in a holistic manner. The physical, emotional and mental or spiritual state of each person are regarded as intimately connected. Homeopaths understand that symptoms of disease are evidence of the body’s natural immune systems response to healing itself and these clues are used to guide them when prescribing a remedy.
Each patient requires an intensive and sometimes lengthy interview process with a homeopathic physician to determine the exact nature of their ailment. The recent introduction of the computer database into homeopathic casetaking and repertorization has greatly simplified this procedure.
So, the patient may be asked questions about all sorts of apparently minor deviations from health and about character and personality traits. It may appear that the homeopath is interested in matters that have little to do with the particular complaint about which the patient is most concerned. This is because, before prescribing, the homeopath wants a complete overview of the patient. A remedy is then prescribed for that individual patient and not for his or her disease. Therefore, homeopathy is truly holistic.
This special process is called “potentisation”, wherein the crude medicinal substances are serially diluted and “energized”. The dilution is frequently so great that no chemical trace of the original substance remains. However the characteristic energy pattern or the blue print of the original substance is imprinted onto the dilution. This process is very much akin to the radio or television signals, where the original program or scene is converted in to an electromagnetic energy pattern or signal which is transmitted to a receiver.
Although homeopathic materials are inexpensive, the delivery of homeopathic care may be both time and manpower intensive. Homeopathic practitioners must also be thoroughly versed in the fundamentals of medicine, have expert training in differential diagnosis and referral, and the principles of informed consent must be observed at all times.
Homeopathy is a unique medical subspecialty, even in the field of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, it has demonstrated an overwhelmingly safe side effect profile and has been shown to provide benefit across a large spectrum of disorders ranging from physical to emotional and psychological conditions. The practice of homeopathy easily lends itself to an integrative atmosphere as long as homeopathic guidelines are observed.