Published on March 6, 2014
LESS IS MORE: HOMEOPATHY Reported by: Jonel Joshua A. Rosales @JONJOSHROSALES
HOMEOPATHY: THE DEFINITION homeopathy is a system of medicine whose treatment involves highly diluted substances which, when taken, reportedly work inside the body to activate its natural healing mechanism. @JONJOSHROSALES
THE ORIGIN It was discovered by a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, who, shocked with the harsh medical practices of the day (which included blood-letting, purging and the use of poisons such as arsenic), looked for a way to reduce the damaging side-effects associated with medical treatment. He began experimenting on himself and a group of healthy volunteers, giving smaller and smaller medicinal doses, and found that as well as reducing toxicity, the medicines actually appeared to be more effective the lower the dose. @JONJOSHROSALES
HOMEOPATHY OVERVIEW The alternative medical system of homeopathy was developed in Germany at the end of the 18th century. Supporters of homeopathy point to two unconventional theories: "like cures like― and ―law of minimum dose.‖ @JONJOSHROSALES
HOMEOPATHY OVERVIEW Homeopathic remedies are derived from substances that come from plants, minerals, or animals, such as red onion, arnica (mountain herb), crushed whole bees, white arsenic, poison ivy, belladonna (deadly nightshade), and stinging nettle. These remedies utilize substances from minerals, animals, and plants. Among these are onions, tomatoes, celery, grapefruit, chamomile, belladonna, c rushed whole bees, white arsenic, poison ivy, stinging nettle, copper, silica, table salt, and snake venom. @JONJOSHROSALES
HOMEOPATHY OVERVIEW Historically, people have used homeopathy to maintain health and treat a wide range of long-term illnesses, such as allergies, atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. They have also used it to treat minor injuries, such as cuts and scrapes and muscle strains or sprains. Homeopathic treatment is not considered appropriate for illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, major infections, or emergencies. @JONJOSHROSALES
―LIKE CURES LIKE‖ The principle "like cures like" means that in homeopathy, a substance which causes certain symptoms in a healthy person, is used to treat the same symptoms exhibited by a sick person—albeit in a smaller dose. This concept is sometimes used in conventional medicine. @JONJOSHROSALES
―LAW OF MINIMUM DOSE‖ this notion emphasizes that the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness. Many homeopathic remedies are so diluted that no molecules of the original substance remain. @JONJOSHROSALES
THE SCIENCE OF HOMEOPATHY Homeopathic medicines are prepared by specialist pharmacies using a careful process of dilution and succession. Preparation basically consists of two parts: "dynamisation" or "potentisation" which involves dilution in alcohol or distilled water, followed by "succession"— a process by which the substance is shaken by 10 hard strikes against an elastic body. @JONJOSHROSALES
HOW DOED IT WORK? There is a manifestation in the body called placebo effect. (elaborate this part. Research more about this.) @JONJOSHROSALES
HOMEOPATHY IN PRACTICE Clinical trials are experiments carried out on patients to compare the effects of two or more treatments under highly controlled conditions. One type of clinical trial – the randomised controlled trial (RCT) – is considered by many scientists to be the ‗gold standard‘ of research methods for determining whether medical treatments are effective. RCTs have been used to investigate various different aspects of homeopathy, such as how homeopathic medicines compare with placebo and how effective homeopathic treatment is for specific conditions. @JONJOSHROSALES
HOMEOPATHY IN PRACTICE By the end of 2010, 156 RCTs of homeopathy (covering 75 medical conditions) had been published in good quality journals. In terms of statistically significant results, 75 of these trials were able to draw firm conclusions: 64 were positive 11 were negative The fact that the remaining 81 trials were inconclusive highlights the need for changes in the way homeopathy research is conducted in future to generate meaningful results. @JONJOSHROSALES
HOMEOPATHY IN PRACTICE At present, remedies commonly used number to around 3,000. Treatment is individualized, with the homeopath taking into consideration not just the patient's symptoms but his lifestyle as well. Therefore, it is not surprising to have a number of people suffering from the same conditions and yet, have different kinds of treatments. @JONJOSHROSALES
CLINICAL OUTCOMES The best clinical results were seen in the treatment of children with eczema and asthma, and adults with inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal problems and migraine. Other conditions which improved after homeopathic treatment included arthritis, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. @JONJOSHROSALES
IS HOMEOPATHY SAFE? Homeopathic remedies have been regulated in the United States since 1938 and are considered to be safe. Supporters of homeopathy believe that although homeopathic solutions are highly diluted, they contain a "memory" of the substance in water. The body recognizes the substance and reacts to it. @JONJOSHROSALES
SIDE EFFECTS AND RISKS While many homeopathic remedies are highly diluted, some products sold or labeled as homeopathic may not be highly diluted; they can contain substantial amounts of active ingredients. A 2007 systematic review found that highly diluted homeopathic remedies, taken under the supervision of trained professionals, are generally safe and unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions.. A 2012 systematic review of case reports and case series concluded that using certain homeopathic treatments (such as those containing heavy metals like mercury or iron that are not highly diluted) or replacing an effective conventional treatment with an ineffective homeopathic one can cause adverse effects, some of which may be serious. @JONJOSHROSALES
SIDE EFFECTS AND RISKS Homeopathic practitioners expect some of their patients to experience "homeopathic aggravation―. Researchers have not found much evidence of this reaction in clinical studies; however, research on homeopathic aggravations is scarce. @JONJOSHROSALES
HOMEOPATHY VS. MAINSTREAM MEDICINE One major difference lies in the training. Second, homeopathy utilizes mostly natural treatments. Mainstream western medicine makes use of many chemically synthesized and/or purified substances. Mainstream western medicine is also said to be largely focused on symptoms and the disease itself. Homeopathy is said to works even harder. It goes on a deeper level by focusing on the patient— analysing his symptoms in order to promote self-healing, and prevent another onset of these symptoms and of the disease. Also, homeopathy allows the symptoms to come out, to run their natural course in order to make self-healing possible. @JONJOSHROSALES
HOMEOPATHY VS. MAINSTREAM MEDICINE In mainstream western medicine, a person is said to start to feel "unwell" again some time after stopping his medication. A homeopathic remedy, advocates say, is an inert substance which allows a person to retain its curative benefits long after you've stopped taking it. And while mainstream western medicine has admittedly made a lot of advancements, there remain a number of illnesses which cannot be explained by modern science. Homeopathy followers have claimed that homeopathy can treat a wide range of ailments. @JONJOSHROSALES
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