Integrative Nutrition Blog

What is Homeopathy and Does it Work?

August 15, 2016

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The rise of alternative medicine as a means of healing and prevention has greatly expanded the possibilities available to us when it comes to everything from managing minor symptoms to curbing the effects of disease.

From health coaching to conventional medicine, from acupuncture to Ayurveda, from green smoothies to flower essence there are countless ways to improve your health. But while having options is a good thing, it also requires a wider understanding of available treatments in order to really make the best decision of what’s right for you.

Homeopathy is one such option.  

What is it?
Homeopathy is an alternative medicine based on the principle that “like cures like” – how a small amount of illness-causing substance can actually have beneficial effects – and that the least amount of medicine should be used to evoke a healing response.

Remedies using plant or animal materials (such as bees, stinging nettles, or arnica), minerals, and synthetic substances in very particular proportions and dilutions are created to heal ailments like acne, headaches, coughs, rashes, bruises, bug bites, and almost anything else you can think of. Remedies are highly individualized and patients meeting with a homeopath usually undergo very detailed assessments before a remedy is prescribed.  

Does it work?
Homeopathy was developed by a German physician named Dr. Samual Hahnemann at the end of the 18th century and has since been used as nanopharmacology said to affect the body’s natural systems in a subtle way. The results have been mixed, and some point to the placebo effect as a possible reason why it works for some but not others. While it is recognized by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, due to the diverse range of ways that homeopathic remedies are catered to each individual, there has been little research to scientifically support the effectiveness of homeopathy.

Should you try it?
While homeopathy may be considered a mysterious pseudo-science in the medical community, it is unknown whether its criticism comes from actual ineffectiveness or a lack of ability to measure its effects using current standards. Let’s not forget that it took years before conventional medicine began to recognized the effectiveness of health coaching!

As with many things, it comes down to bioindividuality, one of Integrative Nutrition’s core concepts and the idea that we are all unique so no single approach will work for everyone.

Depending on your particular ailment, homeopathy may be a helpful and gentle approach to start with, but if you have a serious condition it is best to consult with your doctor first. Do your research, ask questions, and take your health into your own hands!

What has been your experience with homeopathy? Share in the comments below.

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