Homeopathy: A Natural and Pre-Modern-Medicine Treatment for Acute and Chronic Illness By Anna R.

As a child, I remember my grandmother, a former nurse, rubbing a spoon on sties that periodically erupted on my eye or one of my sibling’s eyes. When one of the children was constipated, she massaged the tummy in a circular fashion up the right side of the abdomen, across to the left and down, following the direction of the colon. Whenever we became ill with swollen tonsils and sore throats, my mother rubbed Mentholatum or Vicks VapoRub on our necks and then wrapped our necks in towels. Stories from the past often describe the use of poultices and fomentations. Given time, we can think of many “old” practices that seemed to work as treatment for various ailments. It seems that in this modern day of medicine, however, we have forsaken home remedies, we often are not alert to observable clues to illnesses, and we have come to rely on modern medicine, machine-conducted tests, and pharmaceuticals. Yet, maybe some of the “old ways” should not be buried. While modern medicine has been around since the early 1900s, the practice of homeopathic medicine has been around since the time of Hippocrates (mid-400s B.C.). From the time of Hippocrates until the late 1700s, homeopathic principles were discussed and practiced by many physicians, but the term homeopathy was not created until 1807 by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., in Germany. Based on Hahnemann’s Law of Similars, when a natural substance is given to a healthy individual, symptoms will arise, but when that same substance is ingested by someone who is ill with similar symptoms, it acts as a curative. Treatment is determined following a careful evaluation of the individual and his susceptibility to the disease rather than focusing on common manifestations of the disease and chemical treatment. This is the central theme of homeopathy. Although much of modern medicine uses “anti” treatments (antihistamines, antibiotics, antidepressants, etc.), it has applied general homeopathic thinking in some cases. For example, live culture immunization, in which a small amount of a disease is given to a healthy person in the hope that the individual will develop antibodies to combat the particular disease, reflects homeopathic principles. Additionally, some physicians prescribe identical substances in an attempt to cure allergies. Ritalin (speed) is prescribed for hyperactivity. However, homeopathic remedies do not have fillers, are not synthetically produced, and do not have side effects, and their use is based on symptoms within the context of the person as a whole. In the United States, homeopathic remedies are made from natural sources: plants, minerals, and animals, in accordance with the United States Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia. Dr. Hahnemann invested years of research into homeopathic provings, case studies, and what would now be considered drug trials. Specific remedies were analyzed through case studies and documented. He said, “The highest ideal of therapy is to restore health rapidly, gently, permanently; to remove and destroy the whole disease in the shortest, surest, least harmful way, according to clearly comprehensible principles.”1 Hahnemann authored six editions of Organon, which documented patient cases, compilations of information symptoms, and provings. Symptoms described include mental,

emotional, physical, and pathological findings, as well as the essence of applicable remedies. Homeopathy was first introduced in the United States in 1825 by Dr. Hans Burch Gram, and the first homeopathic medical school was established in Philadelphia in 1835 by Dr. Constantine Hering. By the 1880s, more than twenty homeopathic medical colleges had been established, and there were hundreds of homeopathic hospitals and thousands of homeopathic doctors. The practice of homeopathy as common treatment faded soon after the American Medical Association (AMA) was established and the profitable pharmaceutical industry was born. According to the AMA’s historical timeline, during the early 1900s an appointed committee established standards for registered hospitals (1928), examination for certification of specialists (1934), and in 1942 formed a liaison between the AMA and the Association of American Medical Colleges. Standards were set for accredited education in the medical field, which did not include studies such as chiropractic medicine, naturopathy, and homeopathy. Modern medicine is truly modern, barely one hundred years old. Pharmaceutical companies profited once manufacturing was developed and drugs could be mass-produced. We all know of individuals who have benefited from modern medicine, yet we should not automatically rule out home remedies and other forms of treatment from our past. Homeopathy has come back to the forefront of consideration in recent years. Individuals have become more knowledgeable about their personal health care during a time of massively increasing costs of medical care. Homeopathy is not only affordable; it considers the entire patient—mentally, physically, and emotionally. It works to stimulate an individual’s defense mechanism and the natural healing abilities of t he body in both acute and chronic conditions. We all face stresses that come from daily life, whether they are mental, physical, or emotional, and as stresses mount, reactions to those stresses play out differently among individuals. For example, one person might get headaches that pound; another might have stomach aches and constipation or diarrhea; another might have muscle and joint aches or become sick with a fever. Presenting symptoms are simply manifestations of responses to stress. Many of us have come full circle in our thinking about health and vitality and desire to return to more natural forms of treatment for illnesses and diseases. I still rub spoons on sties and massage tummies for constipation. And it makes sense that when we desire natural treatments over synthetic and expensive medications, we may want to consider homeopathy. Anna Buck is certified by ANCB as a Certified Traditional Naturopath. She is also a certified Neuro-Developmental Delay therapist. Anna founded Anna’s House LLC in Den ver, Colorado, in 2005. For more information, visit www.AnnasHouseLLC.com. Endnote: 1. David Dancu, N.D., Homeopathic Vibrations, A Guide for Natural Healing 14. Copyright 2013, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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