1. What is homoeopathy?
Homoeopathy, a therapeutic system used for over 200 years, works on the principle that 'like cures like' - symptoms are treated with a substance which could produce similar symptoms in a healthy person. However, homeopathic medicines are given in highly diluted forms and are therefore extremely safe. Homoeopathy does not have side effects, is non addictive, treats holistically and is relatively inexpensive.
2. What is homeopathic case taking?
The homoeopath will ask not only about your presenting complaints but also about how you are affected by environmental factors such as temperature and the weather, what kinds of food you eat or avoid, your moods and feelings as well as your medical history in order to establish a complete picture of you, as a person. On the basis of this complete picture i.e. .individualization your attending doctor will prescribe medicines. Proper case taken means half cure.
Whereas in allopathic medical practice, people diagnosed with the same condition will generally be given the same medicine.
3. What happens in subsequent follow ups?
The subsequent follow ups include discussions about what has happened to the particular symptom(s) - are there changes in intensity or frequency, has the patient noticed any changes in his/her general health (appetite, sleep, bowel habit etc.).
The second prescription is therefore based on the new symptom totality - which may also change from patient to patient even in cases where the diagnosis of the disorder might be similar. In homoeopathy there are no fixed rules for describing a particular 'plan of treatment' for a particular disorder - the doctor would prescribe based on the totality of the presenting symptoms, then fine tune and adjust according to changes reported by the patient.
4. How does a homoeopath chooses the potency i.e. power of the remedy?
Selection of potency depends upon several factors like condition to be treated, the strength of the patient i.e. susceptibility, the age of the patient, and the circumstances.
5. What one should expect after taking a homeopathic remedy?
After taking a well-indicated homeopathic medicine, the person feels better in all aspects i.e. physical, mental and emotional. There will be sense of well being.
Occasionally after taking a homoeopathic medicine your symptoms may become slightly worse. This effect will be brief and is a good sign of recovery. After this, the symptoms will subside as you regain your health. If symptoms do not go away, talk to your attending doctor.
6. Disease increases after taking homoeopathy?
It is a myth. Everyone knows that homoeopathic medicines are given on the basis of symptom similarity. Initial medicinal action may be observed by the patient as an aggravation of his disease but in fact it is only homoeopathic aggravation which is a part of curative process. It does not happen to all cases and always, if the chosen remedy matches the patient's need. But if repeated more than the need, often increases the complaints, but it would subside on its own as soon as the medicine is withdrawn. Sometimes, a patient who is dependent on some other medicines, for example, steroids, stops them, then he gets the original disease symptoms, and considers that the disease has aggravated.
7. How to take homeopathic remedies?
" Always keep half an hour gap before and after taking homoeopathic medicine. This is because homeopathic medicines get absorbed from the inner linings of the mouth. Substances usually leave a coating in the oral cavity and also an odor. This may hinder the absorption of the medicine. You may, however drink water.
" Handling medicines can contaminate them; therefore, avoid touching homeopathic remedies. It is best to TAKE pills into the lid of the container and then tip the medicine into your mouth. If the pills are touched or dropped, they should not be returned to the container. Otherwise your remedy will lose its ability to do its job.
"Remedies should be stored away from strong light, strong temperature variations and strong smells.
8. Can homeopathic medicines be taken along with allopathic medicines?
Patients already on antibiotic drugs, Steroids and cardiac problem drugs should not discontinue them at once, but reduce the dose gradually.
Homoeopathic medicines can be safely taken along with other allopathic medicines like high blood pressure and diabetes medicines. Your homoeopath will be able to reduce your other drugs if you begin to improve under the influence of the homoeopathic ones.
9. Is homoeopathy a "Slow acting system"?
The action of medicines depends on whether the disease is acute or chronic. Homoeopathy is NOT slow acting. This myth is popular, because most of the people approaching homoeopathy have a long history of chronic ailments, and hence the treatment takes time. Since homoeopathy offers a much better alternative than allopathy in such ailments, it is believed that homoeopathy is slow acting. The chronic diseases are those which have a long history, e.g. bronchitis, asthma, eczema etc.Homoeopathy is, in fact, FAST and RAPID in Action in acute conditions.
10. How can small globules given in homoeopathy be effective?
The globules or pills are only a vehicle for the transport of the medicine into the body. These doubts arise in people who use homoeopathic medicines for the first time. It is the homoeopathic potentised dilution (in liquid form) that acts on the patient.
11. Can diabetic patients take the sweet sugar pill given in homoeopathy?
Homoeopathic medicines can be safely taken by Diabetics as they contain a negligible amount of sugar. If necessary, medicines can be given in distilled water also.
12. Are all homoeopathic medicines same?
NO. It appears that homoeopathic medicines are same because they are dispensed in globules. Actually the vehicle remains the same but it is medicated by different homoeopathic dilutions.
13. Is homoeopathy a quackery and self-read science?
NO. Homoeopathy is a scientific system and is not something, which can be learned from books.
Government of India through Central Council of Homeopathy controls and reviews education, research and practice of homeopathy in India. In India most of the Government run clinics and hospitals have a homeopathic unit.
For becoming a homoeopath one has to complete Bachelor's degree course spanning 5½ years of training with one year internship. There are around 147 homeopathic medical colleges all over India which offer undergraduate medical education; many of these are government run while others are run by private educational societies. Out of these 23 offer postgraduate education. Minimum qualification for admission into these colleges is high school with Biology, Physics and Chemistry as majors. The students also have to undergo an entrance exam for admission into the undergraduate homoeopathy degree course. The above process ensures that only the talented students are chosen to become future homoeopaths.
There is no difference between the homoeopathic medical curricula and that of MBBS. During the course, the students are taught, subjects like Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Forensic science, Surgery, PSM, Gynaecology & Obestetrics, and Medicine.At the end of 4½ years after passing their final exams, they are awarded the BHMS degree (Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery).
There is a 1-year internship after that where the prospective homoeopaths are posted in the hospital and other Government-run clinics to get some real-world experience.At the end of the internship, the homoeopaths register themselves with the State Homoeopathy Boards which in effect is a license to practice. Practicing Homoeopathy without a recognized degree is a punishable offence under the law.
There are postgraduate courses also. Admission to these is through an entrance exam.
14. Is homoeopathy only good and safe for children?
Homoeopathic medicines are totally safe and equally good for children and adults including pregnant females. It not only helps to remove the disease completely but also increases their resistance and prevents the disease from becoming chronic.
15. Is it true that pathological investigations are not required in Homoeopathy?
Pathological investigations are useful only to understand whether the case can respond to homoeopathy or not and to decide the prognosis which can only be decided after an exhaustive case taking. These are necessary to assess the progress and also help in proper management of the case.
16. Is it true that homoeopathic medicines are proved on healthy human beings?
Yes, it is true that homeopathic medicines are first proved on healthy human beings of both the sexes. This enables detailed study of subjective symptoms produced by drug on the prover.The proving is complete when the total picture of the disease a drug is capable to produce has been ascertained and recorded.
17. How are homeopathic medicines prepared?
Homoeopathic medicines are derived from plants, animals; minerals etc and are prepared in licensed laboratories under strict quality control. They are given in tablet, granules, pills, liquid or powder form and are available in different, but extremely dilute strengths known as potencies.
18. Is there any expiry or shelf life of homoeopathic medicines?
If properly stored, homoeopathic medicines can be used for years without any deterioration of quality. But yes, homoeopathic medicines do have best before indication.
Storage Guidelines: Medicines are to be kept tightly capped at room temperature in a cool, dry, dust free environment and away from direct sunlight. They should not be kept in fridge or exposed to strong odors. Don't store your remedies in your medicine box if you also keep things like strong smelling balms, or cough drops that contain menthol.
19. In what types of diseases homoeopathy would benefit?
As we all know that homoeopathy can treat various chronic diseases like arthritis, allergies, migraines, menstrual irregularities, hemorrhoids, digestive conditions, and cancer, liver, kidney, heart and lung disorders etc.
But what many people do not know is that it is also very effective and rapid in acute conditions like tonsillitis, pharyngitis, viral fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, dysentery, asthma, bronchitis, constipation, injury, children's diseases etc. Sometimes it may cut short the attack of the disease all together and in most cases gives relief faster than conventional treatment and that also without any side effects.
20. Do Homoeopaths use steroids?
The answer is a definite "NO". Homoeopaths of integrity and commitment to their profession do not use steroids, and in fact have no need to. Their material medica is very rich in remedies with a vast range of curative effects.
Homoeopathic medicines are non- steroidal, this can be reasoned with the following arguments:
1. If one has been on long-term steroids, one would show some side effects like 'moon face', excessive body hairs, osteoporosis, diabetes etc.
2. Steroids are not a cure for all the ills of the world.
3. Homoeopathic remedies have a very wide range of curative properties.
4. Using steroids would in fact be counter-productive as they have a suppressive effect.
5. Almost all steroids show UV absorption between 235 and 240 NM in dehydrated alcohol or methanol in a clear solution. A complete spectrum of this solution is taken between 400 NM and 220 NM on a suitable spectrophotometer. If any steroid is present, it will show maxima at 240 NM. But when homoeopathic medicines were tested for steroids using the UV absorption method, the samples did not show maxima between 230 and 250 NM, indicating an absence of steroids.
21. Is it true that we can give homoeopathic medicines to pet animals?
Yes, homoeopathic medicines are equally effective and can be given to animals. There's no need to force pills down their throats or squirt nasty-tasting liquids in their mouths.
Just follow these simple steps:
v Remember to wash your hands before administering indicated homoeopathic medicine in order to remove any residual odors that might de-potentize your remedies.
v In order to avoid contamination of homoeopathic medicine, open the bottle and gently tap the number of globules you need into the cap, returning any extras from the cap back into the vial. If you touch a globule or it falls on the floor, throw it away; returning it to the vial might de-potentize the remaining globules.
v If your pet is unwilling to allow you to handle his mouth, crush the globules and dissolve them in a small amount of water, and administer it with dropper or offer it for him to drink.