What is Homeopathy
Homeopathy is advanced; it is green, it is friendly to the environment,
ecology and economy. Homeopathy is gentle and effective. Its medicines,
called remedies, are derived mainly from plant, mineral, and animal
sources. In homeopathic preparation, these substances are converted into
sub-molecular preparations by a process called “potentisation”, which
increases the healing effect of the original substance and removes any
toxicity it contained in its crude state.
Is Homeopathy Safe?
Homeopathic remedies are energetic medicines free of chemical
side-effects. They are nontoxic, they will not interfere or interact with
other medications, and are non-addictive. The remedies are odorless and
tasteless which makes them easy to give and to receive. They are safe for
people and animals of all ages including newborns, the elderly and the
pregnant. Homeopathic remedies can even be used to strengthen plants,
improve the soil (agrohomeopathy) and to dissuade insects in your home and
Does Homeopathy Work?
Yes, absolutely. Homeopathy is effective for both acute and chronic
problems. The correct remedy (simillimum) resolves deep-seated complaints
such as, arthritis, diseases of the digestive system, kidney and bladder,
epilepsy and respiratory illnesses. It is equally effective in acute and
first aid emergencies, like accidents and injuries, shock, broken bones,
pain, fever, vomiting, diarrhea. Mental and behavioral problems such as
fear of loud noises, spookiness, depression, aggression, panic and grief
also respond very well to homeopathy. It's healing sphere is wide, it is
strong, yet the most gentle and humane of medicines, which makes it a
remarkable system of healing.
How does homeopathy work?
The dilutions and the memory of water theory
The aspect of homeopathy that is implausible for many people is that the
medicines are often – though by no means always – diluted to the point
where there may be no molecules of original substance left. One of the
leading current proposals for how such ‘ultramolecular’ dilutions work is
that water is capable of storing information relating to substances with
which it has previously been in contact.1
The structure of water
Recent research on hydrogen bonds in water provides some support for this
‘memory’ theory. The Swiss chemist, Louis Rey, found that the structure of
hydrogen bonds in homeopathic dilutions of salt solutions is very
different from that in pure water.2 He reached the conclusion
that the phenomenon results from the vigorous shaking of solutions that
takes place during homeopathic ‘succussion’. Moreover, using the
laboratory technique called spectroscopy, other researchers have found
that different homeopathic medicines and different dilutions of the same
medicine can be distinguished from each other, even though all should
contain nothing but water.3
An alternative mechanism is suggested by the results of research from
South Korea. Studies on molecular clustering in water solutions showed
that as a solution is made more and more dilute, very stable and larger
‘clumps’ of material develop in dilute solutions rather than in more
concentrated solutions.4 This means that residual molecular
clusters of the original substance might just be present in homeopathic
dilutions. Succussion might also be responsible for creating very tiny
bubbles (nanobubbles) that could contain gaseous inclusions of oxygen,
nitrogen, carbon dioxide and possibly the homeopathic source material.3
Highly diluted substances exert an effect
However they work, there is increasing evidence that homeopathic dilutions
have a demonstrable effect on living organisms examined under laboratory
conditions. Researchers in Germany have observed an inhibitory effect of
an ultra-diluted chemical on the bacterium Vibrio fischeri.5 And
there is important work from a consortium of European laboratories showing
that very high dilutions of histamine may exert a biologically significant
effect on the white blood cells that take part in the immune response.6
Positive outcomes in 75% of studies
Viewing the evidence overall, there is some experimental support for the
idea that ultra-molecular homeopathic dilutions may possess unique
physical properties and can exert physiological effects. A systematic
review evaluated 67 in-vitro experiments in 75 publications of research on
homeopathic dilutions.7 A majority of papers reported
measurable effects from highly diluted substances. Positive findings were
obtained in nearly three-quarters of all replicated studies, but no
positive result was stable enough to be reproduced by all investigators.
1. Bellavite P, Signorini A. The Emerging Science of Homeopathy, 2e. 2002:
North Atlantic, Berkeley.
2. Rey L. Thermoluminescence of ultra-high dilutions of lithium chloride
and sodium chloride. Physica A, 2003; 323: 67–74.
3. Rao ML, Roy R, Bell IR, Hoover R. The defining role of structure
(including epitaxy) in the plausibility of homeopathy. Homeopathy, 2007;
4. Samal S, Geckeler KE. Unexpected solute aggregation in water on
dilution. Chem Commun, 2001; 21: 2224–2225.
5. Brack A, Strube J, Stolz P, Decker H. Effects of ultrahigh dilutions of
3,5-dichlorophenol on the luminescence of the bacterium Vibrio fischeri.
Biochim Biophys Acta, 2003; 1621: 253–260.
6. Belon P, Cumps J, Ennis M, et al. Histamine dilutions modulate basophil
activation. Inflamm Res, 2004; 53: 181–188.
7. Witt CM, Bluth M, Albrecht H, et al. The in vitro evidence for an
effect of high homeopathic potencies – a systematic review of the
literature. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2007; 15: 128–138.
Safety and cost benefit
A review of the safety of homeopathy, conducted by doctors associated with
the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital (RLHH) studied papers published
between 1970 and 1995 for reports of adverse effects of homeopathy.
Adverse effects reported in clinical trials were temporary aggravations of
symptoms or other mild and transient effects (mostly headaches, tiredness,
skin eruptions, dizziness or diarrhoea).
Only a very few isolated reports of proper adverse effects were
attributable to homeopathic medicines.1 The authors of the
review concluded: “Homeopathic medicines in high dilutions, prescribed by
trained professionals, are probably safe and unlikely to provoke serious
One of the expressed reasons for the popularity of homeopathy among
patients at the RLHH is that it does not have the side effects associated
with many conventional drugs.2
The available evidence suggests that homeopathy has the potential to
generate savings through reduced conventional prescribing and demand for
other services.3 A full economic evaluation of homeopathy has,
to date, taken place only once, mainly because of the large resources
involved in doing so. The single study of this type – in Germany – the
cost-effectiveness of the commercial homeopathic preparation Sinfrontal®
was assessed in a placebo-controlled trial of adults with acute maxillary
sinusitis.4 Sinfrontal® led to average incremental savings of
275 euros per patient compared with placebo over 22 days.
Another research group in Germany compared homeopathic and conventional
GPs’ outcomes in chronic diagnoses commonly treated in general practice
(adults – headache, low back pain, depression, insomnia, sinusitis;
children – atopic asthma, dermatitis, rhinitis).5 They
collected data at 6 and 12 months regarding symptom severity, quality of
life, and costs of consultations, medication, physiotherapy,
hospitalisation, sick pay and medical devices. 493 patients were treated
by 101 homeopathic GPs and 59 conventional GPs. The findings suggested
that patients who received homeopathic treatment had better outcomes for
Studies elsewhere, including the United Kingdom, have also shown that the
purchase costs of orthodox drugs and procedures fell after the
introduction of homeopathy.6–12 Moreover, a comparative study
has suggested that homeopathic management of children with recurrent upper
respiratory tract infections was more cost-effective than conventional
care.13 Another study concluded that homeopathy might be able
to reduce the need for antibiotics in children with acute otitis media.14
1. Dantas F, Rampes H. Do homeopathic medicines provoke adverse effects? A
systematic review. British Homeopathic Journal 2000; 89: S35–8.
2. Sharples F, van Haselen R. Patients’ perspectives on using a
complementary medicine approach to their health. A survey at the Royal
London Homoeopathic Hospital NHS Trust. London, 1998.
3. Smallwood, C. The Role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the
NHS, FreshMinds. October, 2005
4. Kneis KC, Gandjour A. Economic evaluation of Sinfrontal® in the
treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis in adults. Applied Health
Economics & Health Policy 2009; 7: 181–91.
5. Witt C, Keil T, Selim D, et al. Outcome and costs of homeopathic and
conventional treatment strategies: a comparative cohort study in patients
with chronic disorders. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2005; 13:
6. Swayne J. The cost and effectiveness of homoeopathy. Br Homeopath J
1992; 81: 148–50.
7. Feldhaus HW. Cost-effectiveness of homoeopathic treatment in a dental
practice. British Homeopathic Journal 1993; 82: 22–8.
8. van Haselen RA, Graves N, Dahiha S. The costs of treating rheumatoid
arthritis patients with complementary medicine: exploring the issue.
Complementary Therapies in Medicine 1999; 7: 217–21.
9. Frenkel M, Hermoni D. Effects of homeopathic intervention on medication
consumption in atopic and allergic disorders. Alternative Therapies in
Health and Medicine 2002; 8: 76–9.
10. Jain A. Does homeopathy reduce the cost of conventional drug
prescribing? A study of comparative prescribing costs in general practice.
Homeopathy 2003; 92: 71–6.
11. Van Wassenhoven M, Ives G. An observational study of patients
receiving homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy 2004; 93: 3–11.
12. Rossi E, Crudeli L, Endrizzi C, Garibaldi D. Cost-effectiveness
evaluation of homeopathic vs conventional therapy in respiratory diseases.
Proceedings of Improving the Success of Homeopathy; 26-27 Jan, 2006;
London: p 5.
13. Chaufferin G, et al. Medicoeconomic assessment of treatment of
recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis in 18-month-old to 4-year-old children by
general practitioners. Proceedings Journées de l’Institut Boiron
14. Frei H, Thurneysen A. Homeopathy in acute otitis media in children:
treatment effect or spontaneous resolution? British Homeopathic Journal
2001; 90: 180–2.
One of the interesting things about homeopathy is that it can have great
results in animals. Sceptics often use the argument that homeopathic
treatment works because it is all in the mind of the patient. It would be
hard to apply this argument to your pet cat or dog!
Conditions often seen
by the BHA in 2007 found that the conditions most commonly seen by
homeopathic vets are arthritis, atopic dermatitis, lameness, epilepsy,
diarrhoea, aggression, fear, pruritus, hyperthyroid and kidney failure. A
total of 767 pets took part in the study. Patients were predominantly cats
and dogs, but horses and some other smaller animals were also present in
According to owners, the health of 80% of the animals that took part in
the study improved.
Homeopathic doctors work in the same way as conventional doctors do.
History taking, examination and investigation are all important in
establishing the diagnosis. However, as well as asking about your
symptoms, a homeopathic doctor will be interested in you as an individual
and the unique way in which your symptoms affect you.
The homeopathic consultation
Questions about your lifestyle, eating habits and preferences,
temperament, personality, sleep patterns and medical history help the
doctor to form a complete picture of you. This picture will be matched to
the symptoms of your illness in order to prescribe a particular type and
strength of homeopathic medicine.
As a guide your first appointment could take anything up to an hour, with
follow-up appointments typically lasting 30 minutes. This does vary
depending on the practitioner and the setting in which they work (NHS
appointments may be shorter for example).
Preparing for your appointment
To get the most out of a consultation, it is helpful to make some notes
beforehand and to think through all the issues that are affecting your
health. Some homeopathic practitioners ask new patients to complete a
questionnaire before their first appointment. This is a helpful way of
saving time and to your advantage to do so if requested.
At the end of the consultation your homeopathic doctor will give you a
prescription and advise you how often to take the medicine. Homeopathy is
usually taken in tablet or pillule form, but is also available in liquid
and powder form. Homeopathic gels or cream may also be prescribed for some
Homeopathic medicines are manufactured by repeatedly diluting and
succussing (shaking) a preparation of the original substance, mainly
plants and minerals, in water and alcohol. After dilution the medicine is
added to lactose tablets or pillules.
The strength of the medicines
Over-the-counter homeopathic medicines that you can buy in high street
shops tend to be in either the 6c or 30c potency. 6c means that the
substance has undergone 6 steps in a series of dilutions, where each step
involves diluting 1 part medicine to 99 parts alcohol/water.
The more stages of dilution and succussion the preparation has gone
through, the more potent the medicine is – so a 30c medicine is more
potent than a 6c medicine.
Although this is opposite to the way most conventional medicines manifest
their effects, where a greater dose has a greater physiological impact,
there are some conventional drugs that have paradoxical, or inverse,
effects at lower doses. An example of an inverse dose-response
relationship is the net vasodilator effect of adrenaline which, toward the
lower range of the dose-response curve, increases with more dilute doses
of the drug.
Homeopathy cannot replace all other forms of healthcare, but can be used
as the first treatment option in a wide range of conditions. It can also
be used in a complementary way in other situations, for example, to
support good recovery after operations.
Homeopathy doesn’t interfere with conventional medicine and should be seen
as a complementary treatment, not as an alternative.
The best of both worlds
Despite the differences in approach, homeopathic and conventional
treatments can work very well alongside each other. Consulting a medical
doctor trained in homeopathy allows you to receive the best of both
worlds, with the most effective treatments being tailored just for you.
So Why Use Homoeopathy
The following points shows
the peculiarities of homoeopathy that make it a very sensible choice of
treatment in animals:
1. No side effects.
2. No suppression of symptoms
for later, more vicious reappearance.
3. No dependence on diagnosis
but only a dependence on symptom observation.
4. No need for laboratory
trials in animals for the proving of medicines.
5. Allowance for and Dependance
on a patient's individuality.
6. Whole patient treatment.
7. Homoeopathy appears to
work with the body's own disease-combating mechanisms to effect a cure
and this constitutes a most natural, humane and effective method of cure.
8. No environmental pollution.
Mode of Administration of Medicine:--
Mode of administration of medicine is
globules form, or in liquid form directly on tongue of dog or mixed in
small quantity of water in clean bowel. Biochemic remedy is always given in warm
luke water or fresh water.
When Pathological changes occur in system
high potencies should not be used and treatment should be under the guidance
of an experienced Veterinarian only. The users have to understand that such
a work can never be a guarantee, the homeopathic literature is just a long
distance treatment and is no subsitute for a face to face contact between
the patient and the Doctor.