Homeopathy differs from other systems of medicine on a number of points. Some of the outstanding points of difference are:
a) Trials of medicinal substances on healthy humans
b) Special method of remedy preparation
c) Patient-oriented approach
Trials of medicinal substances on healthy humans
Before use on patients, homoeopathic remedies, which come mainly from plant, animal and mineral sources, are subjected to extensive testing and experiments on healthy human volunteers (usually doctors and students of homoeopathy) for their effects. The effects of drugs so obtained are recorded in a medicinal book called Materia Medica. Experiments have shown that a drug substance that produces certain symptoms in a good number of healthy volunteers can remove the very same symptoms in a sick when given in homoeopathic dose. For example, Cinchona Bark, if given to a healthy person, causes severe chill, shivering, prostration, nausea, perspiration, etc. – the symptoms closely resembling those of Malaria – and in homoeopathic doses it cures a good number of cases of Malaria. Cumulative experience of over 200 years of continual trials has established the scientific validity of this method of drug-experimentation. Over a period of two centuries, hundreds of drugs have been tested and each one has withstood the test of time, working as specifically and safely today as in the past.
Special method of remedy preparation
The method – known as dynamization -involves a repeated process of mixing, diluting and shaking till the chemical properties of the substance to be used as remedy are totally eliminated. This systematic and calculated process of remedy preparation, introduced by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, about two centuries back, has dual advantage: i) it arouses the deeper therapeutic power of the remedy which remains latent in the presence of chemical properties and ii) it renders the remedy totally safe as with the washing away of the chemical properties, there remains no chance of chemical toxicity.
Homeopathy takes a holistic approach to health with great emphasis on pinpointing the underlying cause of the disease and removing the same by shaping and adjusting treatment plan in accordance with the specific needs of each patient. To achieve this, the homeopath tries to have as much information about the patient as possible. He gives attention to minute details to have an understanding of the patient and what ails him. He asks about his moods, his reaction to weather changes, to stressful situations, to warmth and cold, his likes and dislikes, his preferences or aversions to certain foods or situations. He wants to closely know the patient, his surroundings, his activities. The information so gathered is minutely analyzed to have a good understanding of the personal characteristics of the patient and his medical problems.
Once all information is gathered, the homoeopath is in a position to perceive which of the homoeopathic remedies are most relevant to the case. By matching the symptoms of the patient with those produced by homoeopathic remedies on healthy human volunteers (as recorded in the Materia Medica), he selects a remedy which most closely meets the broad features of the case. That is why in a good number of cases of uncertain diagnosis, where the practitioners of other systems of medicine find themselves in a quandary, a competent homoeopath can prescribe with confidence, basing his prescription on the totality of the symptoms.
This is how homeopathy goes about effecting a genuine and lasting cure and this is what makes it different from all other systems of medicine.
- A brief study course in homoeopathy – Elizabeth Wright
- The Patient, Not the Cure – M. Blackie
- Homoeopathy – The Medicine of the 21st Century – George Vithoulka