Five things you never knew about homeopathy!

IMG_0685Homeopath Julia Lockwood shares five little-known facts about homeopathy, to help you decide whether this is the right treatment for you.

There are many misconceptions about homeopathy which can colour people’s view of it. Because the positive effects of homeopathic treatment are often so profound, and because the action of homeopathic remedies has yet to be adequately explained by science, people’s reaction is often disbelief. Below are five examples from homeopathy’s ‘biography’ which show its pedigree, documented examples of its efficacy, and why those who have experienced its healing power love it so much.

arsenic1. Is it placebo? Cell, no!

It does appear that positive and negative suggestions can have an effect on people’s health, and because homeopathic consultations allow patients to explore fully what is troubling them, some have assumed that it is the consultation and not the remedy that has produced the curative effect. However, studies of homeopathic medicines are now being undertaken on cells in vitro: that is, cells isolated in a vessel outside of the body. No placebo effect can be possible here. This study caught my eye. The homeopathic remedy Arsenicum Album was given to human white blood cells that had been previously treated with arsenic trioxide. So the cells damaged by a crude dose of arsenic were given the similar homeopathic remedy, Arsenicum, to see whether there would be any effect. The study found that Arsenicum stimulated the cells and increased their viability (their health and survival) and concluded that the homeopathic remedy had a therapeutic effect. It also showed that we can use biotechnology methods to evaluate the physiological effects of homeopathy on human cells.

300px-Samuel_Hahnemann_18412. The genius of Hahnemann

The guy who first developed homeopathy, Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), was a celebrated chemist, pharmacist and medical doctor of his time. He held one of the highest medical posts in his country, Germany, when he decided to pack it in because of his disillusionment with the poor and often harmful medicine of the day. He was a far-sighted pioneer. The pharmacopoeia and Pharmaceutical Lexicon which he wrote became industry standards for doctors and apothecaries across Europe. He was the first person to write down guidelines for the safe preparation and storage of medicines, such as using fresh, clean ingredients; keeping poisonous substances locked up; and preparing medicines according to reliable, quantifiable methods: guidelines that are now enshrined in law. While contemporary conventional counterparts were practising blood-letting and phrenology, Dr Hahnemann was developing a new form of medicine (homeopathy) that, for the first time ever, was tested on healthy individuals. He systematically took case-notes, and based further treatment on his observation of healthy and sick subjects, and clinical experience. Dr Hahnemann was the first doctor to advocate the humane treatment of mentally ill patients. As Manager of the Asylum for the Insane in Georgenthal, he ended the practice of chaining, whipping and generally torturing inmates, which was how mentally ill people were treated, and campaigned vigorously for this treatment to end in all asylums.

3. Homeopathy on the NHS

Homeopathy has been practised in Britain since Hahnemann’s time, and has become a beloved part of our culture. Yes, it is available on the NHS, and has been since the NHS was formed in 1948. Some GP practices offer homeopathic treatment, and there are NHS Homeopathic Hospitals in Glasgow, London and Bristol. You can ask your GP to refer you to them, if you live in the right area. The Bristol Homeopathic Hospital ran a six-year study(1), recording the outcome of homeopathic treatment in more than 6,500 patients. 70% of patients reported an improvement in their health, including 50% who reported ‘major improvement’. Peter Hain MP, when he was Northern Ireland Secretary, set up a pilot study to assess the effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicines, which included homeopathy, in Northern Ireland from 2007-2008. The results were hugely positive. 81% of the 700 patients that were enrolled reported improvements in their health, and the pilot also proved that using CAM therapies saves the NHS money.

  1. Spence D, Thompson E and Barron S. Homeopathic treatment for chronic disease: A 6-Year, university-hospital outpatient observational study. J Altern Complement Med 2005; 5: 793-8.

bacteria4. Homeopathy goes viral

Homeopathy has an amazing track record in epidemics. During the cholera outbreaks which ravaged Europe during the early Nineteenth Century, numerous homeopaths individually recorded very low mortality rates amongst the patients they treated (sources too numerous to record here). A Dr Kidd treated typhoid and dysentery victims during the Irish potato famine. His mortality rate using homeopathy was 14%, while in the local hospital at Bantry the mortality rate was 35%.  There was a smallpox epidemic in Iowa in 1902 in Iowa. 2,806 patients were given the homeopathic remedy Variolinum and 97% of these people remained disease free. In 1918, a flu epidemic spread throughout the world, killing 22 million people. Homeopaths cured 98% of their cases, compared to 30% of those treated with conventional medicines. Homeopathy has also prevented people from becoming ill during epidemics, such as in the 1957 polio epidemic in Buenos Aires. Of the thousands of people given the homeopathic remedy Lathyrus, not one of them developed polio (1). In Cuba in 2007 and 2008, 2.5 million people were given a homeopathic formulation of leptospirosis, to prevent the annual outbreak of the disease. Of these, only 10 people became infected and no-one died. Before homeopathy, using conventional vaccination methods, a few thousand would normally be infected, with a number of fatalities (2). These are just a few of the many examples of the effectiveness of homeopathy in epidemics. With Ebola virus disease about to sweep the world, it would make sense to include homeopathy as part of the front line defence.

(1) F. “Tratamiento Homeopatico de las Enfermedades Agudas y Su Prevension.” Homeopatia. 1985; 51(324): pp. 352-362. (2) Dr. Concepción Campa Huergo, director-general of the Finlay Institute, December 2008, Havana (Cuba).

arnica-montana5. You can use homeopathy too

Homeopathy has many levels. To prescribe for epidemics and for chronic diseases does take a big amount of training and experience, but treating minor ailments at home can be a doddle. You have probably used Arnica already for bumps and bruises. But have you tried Rhus Tox for sprains and strains? Belladonna for fever? Nux Vomica for hangovers? Drosera or rumex for coughs? You can become a competent home prescriber with a couple of hours’ training or by getting a good book on first aid homeopathy. I can recommend The Complete Homeopathy Handbook by Miranda Castro, and How to use Homeopathy by Christopher Hammond to help you get started. Or contact me to join one of my courses to learn how to use homeopathy in acute situations.

I have listed some studies and examples of homeopathy in action, from the 1800s to the present day, and shown that the founder of homeopathy was a compassionate, advanced pioneer, whose life was dedicated to relieving the suffering of sick people. Homeopaths that have followed him have tackled the most appalling epidemics and continue to treat all people who come to them for help. Homeopathy is an integral part of the NHS, can save us all money, and it can help in times of crisis, individually and collectively. And it is something that you can learn to use at home.

If you would like to know more about homeopathy, please contact me. I treat people with chronic and acute diseases, and am always delighted to empower others to use homeopathy, too.

Look out for more blogs from me on all aspects of homeopathy, and please join in the conversation. I’d love to read your thoughts, so pop them in the comments box below. And if you liked this article, please share it with your friends.

Julia Lockwood RSHom





Leave a Reply