Dr. Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus, has surprised the scientific community with his strong support for homeopathic medicine.
NINE MYTHS EXPOSED
The use of homeopathy in medicine dates as far back as Hippocrates. This method has been practiced in its modern form since the late eighteenth century, when German physician Samuel Hahnemann (10 April 1755 – 2 July 1843) discovered the homeopathic principle of “like cures like.” Hahnemann found that this principle led to more effective treatment of than medicines of the day — which seemed to hurt more than help patients.
Considered a mainstream choice in Europe, homeopathy is now drawing more attention in the United States. Pair their safety record and tried-and-true results with the public’s demand for natural remedies, and it is easy to see why more Americans are seeking the help of a certified homeopath every year. However, despite homeopathy’s widespread use over the last two centuries, many misconceptions still persist.
◄ MYTH #1: Homeopathic remedies are herbs.
► FACT: The Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, or HPUS, lists more than 1,250 substances or strains as active ingredients of homeopathic remedies. Most of them are minerals like sulphur or mercury. While some substances come from plants such as Arnica montana (mountain daisy), others have an animal origin, such as Apis mel1lfica (honeybee Herbs and homeopathic remedies have different modes of action.
◄ MYTH #2: There is nothing in homeopathic remedies.
► FACT: Because homeopathic remedies are made with very diluted amounts of the original substance, it is difficult to detect the initial substance. However, we know now that the physical structure of homeopathic remedies is different from pure water, and there are a large and growing number of clinical studies showing that homeopathic remedies have reliable therapeutic actions.
◄ MYTH #3: Homeopathic remedies have only the placebo effect.
► FACT: Most clinical research on homeopathic remedies compares their actions to a placebo, and the results show significant differences. It has been demonstrated beyond doubt that their action cannot entirely be attributed to the placebo effect.
◄ MYTH #4: Homeopathic remedies can cure anything.
► FACT: Homeopathy has limits, like all therapeutic methods. If the condition treated is not reversible or if the patient is unable to react to homeopathic stimulation, then homeopathic remedies should not be used. This is the case in diseases when the function of an organ is gravely impaired, as in Type I diabetes, or when an infection is so insidious that the patient is unable to respond to treatment. Homeopathic remedies can often be used to work in conjunction with allopathic [<em>traditional medical</em>] treatments. They can also safely relieve stress and and anxiety associated with hospitalization and illness. Homeopathic remedies may ease some of the side effects caused by debilitating treatments like chemotherapy (to alleviate nausea I or radiotherapy (to help with skin inflammation). Homeopathic remedies may also help strengthen the immune response so that allopathic treatments are more effective.
◄ MYTH #5: Homeopathy is slow acting.
► FACT: When the correct homeopathic remedy is given before the disease has deeply impacted a person’s ability to heal, the action of homeopathic remedies is remarkably quick. Teething and baby colic tor example, may be relieved within minutes. When the disease has had time to settle, or with chronic problems, it is not possible to return to full health as quickly. The body needs more time to repair itself. In general, homeopathic remedies should be taken as soon as symptoms appear because that’s when their action is most noticeable. Since they are sate, it’s not necessary to wait until you are sick to take them — instead start with the first sign of illness.
◄ MYTH #6: Homeopathic remedies are a form of vaccination.
► FACT: While there are similarities between homeopathic remedies and vaccines, the main difference is that homeopathic remedies do not promote immunity against bacteria or viruses. Vaccines trigger the production of antibodies, so the reaction against the infection is much faster and more efficient. Homeopathic remedies have a very different mode of action and do not trigger the production of antibodies. There are differing opinions about whether on can vaccinate with homeopathy among the homeopathic community. Learn about homeoprophylaxis.
◄ MYTH #7: Mint, coffee, and other substances counteract the action of homeopathic remedies.
► FACT: Historically homeopaths wanted their patients to avoid substances like mint, tea, or coffee, so they could see the action of the remedy in the body without interference from any other substance. While these substances don’t counteract homeopathy, it does make sense to take homeopathic remedies in a clean mouth, devoid of any strong flavor. This is why it’s always recommended to take homeopathic remedies 15 minutes before and after meals and away from strong scents. Also, patients treated with homeopathic remedies are wise to avoid any substance that could interfere with their wellness regimen-coffee during anxiety treatment or licorice during high blood pressure support, for example.
Since today’s homeopathic remedies are very diluted, they must be protected against contaminants. During the manufacturing process, leading homeopathic companies use extremely pure water, alcohol, and filtered air to avoid contamination. Homeopathic remedies are best stored in places where fragrances or strong-smelling substances like mint or camphor cannot permeate them.
Note: I have noticed that some clients are susceptible to certain things that interfere with the action of homeopathic remedies, but it is according to a case-by-case individual basis. ~Myra Nissen, CCH, RSHom(NA)
◄ MYTH #8: There are always intense reactions at the beginning of homeopathic treatments.
► FACT: Some patients have a very high sensitivity to certain homeopathic remedies. When these are given too frequently or with inappropriate dilutions, the reaction can sometimes be intense and uncomfortable. This is why it’s always best to ask a homeopathic physician or pharmacist for advice and to choose low or medium dilutions or potencies when in doubt.
◄ MYTH #9: Homeopathy is not legal.
► FACT: Homeopathic remedies have had legal status in the United States since 1897 and are made in accordance with the law under the guide lines of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. Highlights of the History of Homeopathy in the US.
Homeopathy Myths Debunked, Christophe Merville, DPharm, Pharmaceutical Development Manager, Boiron, Remedies, January 2008, pp. 18-19.
Why Skeptics Love to Hate Homeopathy
What Homeopathic Remedies Look Like
Frequently Asked Questions About Homeopathy
How Will I know If I Am Getting Better with Homeopathy?
The Force of Gentleness is Great: : The Direction of Cure
Do Homeopathic Remedies Cause Side Effects?
Six Signs Homeopaths Use To Evaluate Health
Highlights of the History of Homeopathy in the US
Copyright © 2011 –, Myra Nissen.
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This article was brought to you by Myra Nissen, CCH, RSHom(NA), Board Certified Classical Homeopath. Myra teaches women how to recognize their body’s unique needs and cues and uses homeopathy to help empower women to take control of their bodies, health and well-being. Find out more, she regularly publishes articles with home care tips for health and well-being in several venues. Visit her blog www.myranissen.com/blog.