Homeopathy remedies are somewhat of a mystery. It is based on the same premise as vaccines or allergy shots, that is, introduce the substance that causes the problem and the body finds a way to fight the disease on its own.
However, homeopathic remedies are an anomaly because they are so highly diluted, that very little of the original substance remains. Yet they work.
Some claim that homeopathic medicine works because it is a placebo. However, scientific evidence exists that suggests otherwise. Today we will discuss some of the more common uses for homeopathy and peek into the science behind it.
Common Uses of Homeopathy
The Homeopathic Materia Medica lists thousands of symptoms that may be addressed by homeopathic remedies. They may be used to treat anything from the common cold and flu to more serious illnesses such as depression, heart disease and cancer. The following is a list of the more common remedies available in your local health food stores and their varied uses:
- Arsenicum Album – For extreme exhaustion, weakness and irritability
- Apis Mellifica – For extreme swelling and edema due to bee stings
- Belladonna – For high fevers characterized by redness, swelling and burning
- Bryonia Alba – For muscle aches and pains, stiffness and physical weakness
- Causticum – For rheumatism, also for bronchitis
- Kali Carbonicum – A remedy used following labor and miscarriage. Also for colds with chest and sinus congestion
- Lachesis – A remedy for snake bites. Also for septic-type infections
- Mercurius Vivas – For colds with congestion, fever, dry throat and itchy, inflamed eyes
- Nux Vomica – For irritable conditions, stress, etc. Also used for “over-doing it”, taking too much coffee, alcohol and tobacco
- Pusaltilla – Considered a “female” remedy. Also used when there is thick discharge from mucous membranes
- Phosphorus – Used when there is a sudden onset of symptoms, fainting, sweats, debilitation, etc.
- Rhus Toxicodedron – For rheumatic pains of the joints and tendons, and arthritis,
- Sulphur – A depression remedy, especially for those who do not want to get out of bed, bathe, etc. It is also used for sudden, sharp headaches
- Thuja Occidentalis – For warts and other skin conditions
Please note, the symptoms listed above which are cured by these homeopathic remedies are caused by those same substances in their undiluted forms.
Supporting Scientific Studies
Let’s first take a look at the science behind the medicine. Homeopathic remedies are made by diluting one part of a substance in 100 parts water. This would be represented by 1C. Most remedies are 30C or higher, meaning that if a substance was diluted 1:100 in water, then that solution was further diluted in the same manner, 30 more times.
This part baffles scientists. You see, that final dilution of 30C is beyond what scientists call Avogrado’s limit, or the point at which there remains one molecule of the original substance. Since most homeopathic remedies are beyond Avogrado’s limit, it is a mystery how the remedies can have any effect on the body at all. Yet they do.
There have been hundreds of studies evaluating the validity of homeopathic medicine. However, many of these studies have had conflicting results. There is some debate as to whether or not bias affects the outcome of certain studies. Here are just a few of the more recent experiments:
Natural News reported on a study done on homeopathy remedies for fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by pain in the muscles throughout the body. This pain may also be localized to one area such as the back or shoulders.
The study, which was originally published in both the “British Medical Journal” and in “Rheumatology” (the journal of the British Society for Rheumatology), concluded that homeopathic medicine was more effective than placebo in treating fibromyalgia. Other studies found that homeopathic medicine not only was effective, but it did not have the harmful side effects common with conventional medicines.
A 2005 study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics found that homeopathic medicine was effective in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in children. The study included 83 children diagnosed with ADHD who were divided into two groups, one treated with homeopathic medicine, the other with a placebo. The homeopathic treatment group showed significant improvement and even long-term improvement over the placebo group.
More recently, in 2011, a Romanian study published in “Homeopathy” reported a group of children successfully treated with homeopathic medicine for a rare skin disease called epidermolysis bullosa. Little more was said in the report about the study, but what makes this one particularly remarkable is that it was done on children who were born with the disease. After the homeopathic treatment, they appeared to be completely cured.
Many use homeopathy remedies in their everyday lives. Some countries, such as Germany, have even accepted the practice into mainstream medicine. Whether or not it is just the placebo effect, there are many cases of individuals being cured by homeopathy. Is there sufficient scientific evidence to support the use of homeopathy in Western medicine today? You be the judge.
- ABCHomeopathy.com – http://abchomeopathy.com/
- Natural News: Fibromyalgia – http://www.naturalnews.com/031353_fibromyalgia_homeopathy.html
- European Journal of Pediatrics: Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16047154
- Homeopathy: Epidermolysis bullosa: report of three cases treated with homeopathy – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21962202