What Homeopathic Medicine is?

In this section you will find an answer to the most frequent questions about Homeopathy.

What does Homeopathy mean?

Homeopathy is a word derived from two ancient Greek words; μοιος, hómoios which means similar and  πάθος, páthos, which means suffering: similar to suffering.

What the principle of Homeopathy is?

Homeopathic Medicine is a medical experimental and clinical method founded on the law of similars :

“similia similibus curentur”.

All the substances able to alter the health state of a healthy person producing an ensemble of symptoms “a pathogenesis”, when administered to a ill person which shows symptoms similar to those revealed on the healthy persons which experimented the substance, act in a homeopathic fashion.

The law of similars shows the correlation between the power of a substance to alter the health state and its therapeutic action; in fact every substance biologically activated by the experimentation on the healthy produces symptoms typical and characteristic.

"To treat a patient following the law of similars” means therefore to use for the cure only those substances that have revealed, in healthy persons under experimentation, temporary symptoms similars to those shown by a ill person.

Who discovered Homeopathy?

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (Meißen, 10 April 1755 – Paris, 2nd July 1843) was a German physician who founded homoeopathic medicine. He was a medical doctor and a chemist.

Hahnemann studied medicine for two years at Leipzig and ten months at Vienna. While studying at Leipzig, it was the "lack of clinical facilities (that) soon led him to move to Vienna." He graduated MD at the University of Erlangen on 10 August 1779, after only one term’s further study, qualifying with honours with a thesis on the treatment of cramps, titled Conspectus adfectuum spasmodicorum aetiologicus et therapeuticus. It is said that poverty forced him to choose Erlangen only because he had learned that the fees there would be less. In 1781, he took a village doctor’s position in the copper-mining area of Mansfeld, Saxony. "Shortly thereafter he married Johanna Henriette Kuchler;" they had eleven children.

Through his practice, Hahnemann quickly discovered that the medicine of his day did as much harm as good:
 
                “My sense of duty would not easily allow me to treat the unknown pathological state of my suffering brethren with these unknown medicines. The thought of becoming in this way a murderer or malefactor towards the life of my fellow human beings was most terrible to me, so terrible and disturbing that I wholly gave up my practice in the first years of my married life and occupied myself solely with chemistry and writing”
After giving up his practice he made his living chiefly as a writer and translator, while resolving also to investigate the causes of medicine's errors. While translating William Cullen's A Treatise on the Materia Medica, Hahnemann encountered the claim that Cinchona, the bark of a Peruvian tree, was effective in treating malaria because of its astringency. Hahnemann realised that other astringent substances are not effective against malaria and began to research cinchona's effect on the human organism very directly: by self-application.

He discovered that the drug evoked malaria-like symptoms in himself, and concluded that it would do so in any healthy individual. This led him to postulate a healing principle: "that which can produce a set of symptoms in a healthy individual, can treat a sick individual who is manifesting a similar set of symptoms."

This principle, like cures like, became the first of a new medicinal approach to which he gave the name homeopathy.

Hahnemann began systematically testing substances for the effect they produced on a healthy individual and trying to deduce from this the ills they would heal. He quickly discovered that ingesting substances to produce noticeable changes in the organism resulted in toxic effects. His next task was to solve this problem, which he did through exploring dilutions of the compounds he was testing. He claimed that these dilutions, when done according to his technique of succussion (systematic mixing through vigorous shaking) and potentization, were still effective in producing symptoms.

Hahnemann began practicing this new technique, which soon attracted other doctors. He first published an article about the homeopathic approach in a German language medical journal in 1796; in 1810, he wrote his Organon of the Medical Art, the first systematic treatise on the subject.

In the Spring of 1811 Hahnemann moved his family back to Leipzig with the intention of teaching his new medical system at the University of Leipzig. In accordance with the university statutes, to become a faculty member he had to submit a thesis on a medical topic of his choice. "On the 26th of June 1812, Hahnemann presented a Latin thesis, entitled A Medical Historical Dissertation on the Helleborism of the Ancients."
 
Hahnemann continued practicing and researching homeopathy, as well as writing and lecturing for the rest of his life. He died in 1843 in Paris, 88 years of age, and is entombed in a mausoleum at Paris's Père Lachaise cemetery.
            
In 1806 Hahnemann published his first important work “the medicine of experience”, that already contained the fundamental ideas of Homeopathy.
 
 a) medicines have to be chosen based on patient symptoms, without making reference to the presumed disease which may have produced them;
 
 b) the effect of medicines can be discovered only by experiments on healthy people, since in ill persons the symptoms of the disease might be confused with those of the medicine;
 
c) the similia principle (similia similibus curentur): medicines have to be chosen based on their similarity between their effects on the health people and patient symptoms;
 
d) Medicines have to be given in low doses;
 
e) the treatment have to be repeated only when symptoms come back;

(freely taken from wikipedia)

What does Homeopathy treat?

Following the law of similars, Homeopathic Medicine cures all those states in which it is possible to identify on the ill person those symptoms which have been identified in the experimentation on healthy persons.
The attention of the Homeopathic doctor, therefore, is not devoted to identify a specific disease, but to observe the totality of his/her emotional, psychical, physical, general symptoms in conjunction with a precise familiar anamnesis and clinical inspection. From this observation of the overall state of the patient the Homeopathic doctor extract those symptoms which are more characteristic and representative and appropriately represented in substances experimented on the health subjects.

The conventional definition of disease it is reviewed in the light of a more profound and complete analysis of the patient state, in which are included all of his/her patient life aspects: from that of its relation with others, to his/her habits like food, weather, sleep, sex etc., from psychical to physical symptoms.
              
Homeopathic Medicine does not limit its analysis to an organ or a system, looks at the overall person. For those reasons Homeopathic Medicine is a personalized, individualized therapy: to each person the most adapted dose and remedy.
 
At LUIMO we have realised a research work to verify which are the disorders for which people ask for a homeopath help. They are summarized in this table.

Disorders 
%
Psychic disturbances
14,523
Undefined symptoms signs and morbid states
11,516
Respiratory disorders
11,350
Skin and subcutaneous disorders
9,756
Digestive apparatus disorders
9,548
Genital and urinary apparatus disorders
7,719
Metabolic, nutritional, endocrine and immune disorders
6,001
Prevention
7,248
Bone, muscles and connective tissue disorders
5,917
Nervous and sense organs diseases
4,171
Circulatory system diseases
4,033
Traumatisms and poisoning
3,645
Infectious and parasitic diseases
1,386
Tumours
1,330
Blood and haematopoietic organs diseases
0,707
Congenital malformations
0,402
Post - surgery conditions v45.89
0,291
Complications of pregnancy, partum and postpartum period
0,249
Heredity
0,125
Perinatal morbid conditions
0,042
Classification of other factors influencing the health state and requiring sanitary services
0,042

For each of the persons suffering some of these conditions, the Homeopathic approach identifies a specific remedy.

The physician has to recognize clinically the degenerative process, the change occurring when the person passes from the health to the morbid state, and in which the “disease” assumes personal, peculiar and extraordinary characteristics (although it is possible to identify analytical, instrumental and clinical identity with other individuals).

The ill person and the disease, if we look at the real suffering state of a person, are specific, characteristic of that person, and cannot be attribute to another person even showing clinical or biochemical similar signs.

Does a homeopathic experimentation exist?

Homeopathic remedies have been experimented since 200 years. To precisely identify the area of application of these remedies it is necessary to realise 2 phases of experimentation:

Phase I:

In this phase, substances are experimented on a healthy person (this phase is also called proving,  HPT – homeopathic pathogenetic trial, pure experimentation) .

Before experimentation, the substances hypothesized to have a curative effect, are transformed by the means of a production method which eliminates their toxicity and reduces the substance to a ultra-molecular concentration (see below). When these substances are experimented on healthy, sensitive persons they reveal in these persons a series of transitory symptoms (the experimentation is not dangerous – even it seems to reinforce the health state of the experimenter). These symptoms are collected in documents called “Materiae Medicae.

Phase II:

In this phase it is produced the evidence that the symptoms series revealed in the pure experimentation, when alike the symptoms showed by a ill person are cured (clinical confirmations).
 
                These evidences come from:
 
                a) single clinical case reports;
 
                b) group of clinical cases reports;
 
                c) retrospective researches;
 
                d) perspective researches;

Traditionally, the clinical confirmations of pure symptoms, are collected in Materiae Medicae and Repertories indicating with specific graphisms the frequency of confirmations of a specific symptom.

At the present day these are the only 2 phases that can certainly give an answer concerning the efficacy of the remedy in a homeopathic fashion;

It appears in all its evidence that, since the area of application of the homeopathic remedy correspond to the ensemble of symptoms that this remedy has shown in healthy persons, the research of the clinical evidence will be very difficultly based in an exclusive way  on the efficacy of the remedy on the disease, at least as disease is today classified.

Therefore, for a specific diagnosed disease, will be given remedies that correspond to the patient symptoms, not to the disease. For this reason, the definition of the homeopathic remedy as “medicinal product” is not precise, since a conventional medicinal product is directed toward the disease and not the entire person symptoms. Therefore the homeopathic remedy is not a medicinal product.
Some clinical tests (RCT – randomized control trials) or perspective studies have been realised to verify the effect of the homeopathic treatments toward some disorders or clinically defined states, for example for headache, asthma etc. These trials have had the scope to show that Homeopathic Medicine might be effective to cure defined pathologies, and make sense only in the frame of the request of public medicine to verify if Homeopathy is sure, sustainable and effective. At the clinical and experimental level these trials have no heuristic significance.

Why it is said that homeopathic remedies are ultra molecular, what does it mean?

  The homeopathic remedy is defined as an ultra-molecular remedy because, trough its particular production process, which occurs by the subsequent dilutions and dynamisations (dynamisation correspond to a series of movements of agitation of the solution in which the substance stays, followed by a final impact) of drug substances, loses its quantitative component and acquire an energetic component required for its therapeutic action on the entirety of the individual.

Recently it has been shown that the aqueous fraction of the homeopathic remedy, is reorganised from the relative chaotic state in which is normally found, trough the dynamisation effect (for more info see also research and teaching) 

 
But why Homeopathy got the idea of dynamising and dilute the substances?
 
            The founder of Homeopathic Medicine, Samuel Hahnemann, realised, trough the observation of poisoning survivors and his own clinical practice, that the administration of medicines at high physiological doses, removed disease symptoms, but these symptoms reappeared after some time and they were more intense and graves.  I         
           
            From these observations the need to know the power of drugs, not by their action on the ill person, but trough the experiment on the health, precisely not to mix the drug biological effect with the symptoms of the disease.
           
            But, more, to reduce the dangerous effects, to test the substances diluted.
 
            This tests of diluted substances have shown consecutive symptoms phenomenologies of the interaction between the living person and Nature, revealing also the structural or organic character of the change , but in a dynamic dimension. This dimension is represented by the complexity of the reaciteve, sensory, psychic, physical symptoms expressed by the prover.
            The homeopathic Materia Medica is one of the most extensive catalogue of the Human reactivity to drugs.
The experimentation on the healthy of ever more diluted substances relieves different levels of interaction between the human being and the drug:
           
1 – Therapeutic experimentation with therapeutic doses. In this experimentation are revealed the classical pharmacological effects and the rebound effects.
 
2 – Experimentation with physiological doses, diluted and dinamyzed. In this experimentation are revealed ensembles of symptoms limited to the physiological and physio - pathological symptoms showing organ and function tropism
 
            In the first and in the second type of experimentation, the physiological and biochemical mechanisms, which can be identified with the mechanism of action of the pharmacological mechanism of action. The physiological phase corresponds to the pharmacodynamic power in synergy with the Vital force.  For those reasons, the symptoms individuality is revealed only at the level of the clinical similitude. This phase corresponds to the first experiences of Hahnemann and to his first partial clinical results. Hahnemann says that he might cure, but not heal the patients.
 
3 – Dynamic experimentation of diluted and dynamised substances at sub-physiological or ultramolecular doses.
            In these tests it is revealed only one effect, and it does not exists nothing in the modern pharmacology which can be compared to the homeopathic experience. The drug does not act more at the level of poisoning, at the level of organ tropism, it acts at the level of the totality of the individual, trough his/her mind-phisic specific symptoms, with an extraordinary convergence essential vibratory experience, that produces sensory and psychic reflexes expressed in symptoms series not only objectives, but subjective and characteristic.  
 
            The conjunction of the observations on the ill person, its morbid individuality and the reactions of the healthy person under the drug action, both at the molecular or ultra-molecular level, are observations near to a phenomenological cataloguing and unified trough one unique universal law, the law of similars.
It is the law of similars that give to us the lecture key for the cure of the organism. When the correspondence between the pure experimentation symptoms and those of the ill person correspond, then and only then, the drug become a remedy (medicament individuality), diluted and dynamised will activate the internal forces of the organism to react with more force to the damage produced by the cause of the organism disequilibrium. The force of the artificial disease will induce the reversibility of the morbid process, eliminating then the disease.
 

Are there limits for using Homeopathy? Which ones?

Also Homeopathic Medicine has its limits: since it is a medicine based on the capacity to stimulate the organism to restore health, when the organism capacity is seriously compromised, it is not able its own action. A limit case might be when surgery is absolutely required and in that case Homeopathy has a complementary role.
 
Furthermore, homeopathic doctors have determined trough experience a series of rules to establish when the prognosis is not positive.
Unfortunately today exists many limit to develop the power of homeopathy that do no depend on homeopathy itself, but are strictly related to the economical social and law context
These are:
 
 a) Education . today many MDs are formed to Homeopathic Medicine trough teaching courses of very few hours and many approximate indications related to the use of homeopathic remedies. Furthermore very often some so called “natural” therapies are mixed with Homeopathy and many different healing approaches are pulled together with the consequence of lack of transparency concerning the use and the potentialities of Homeopathy. Togivean appropriate and complete formationto the medical class LUIMO wasborn. Since 1971 LUIMO has work to realise a free International University of Homeopathic Medicine.
 
 b) Research. in this web site you will found more information concerning research in Homeopathy. Here we will only indicate that, due to the patient specific approach of Homeopathy, person oriented and not disease oriented, the way homeopathy has to realise research is specific and characteristic. The dominant scientific-medical ideology is still not able to understand the immense potentialities of Homeopathy, and for those reasons only recently and in a very limited form public founding has been open at the EU level. We work now to obtain in the future a greater possibility to show all the possibilities that Nature has provided to us for cure and heal the human being.  

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