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What is Homeopathy?

The Eclectic Naturopath uses every gift of Nature possible to relieve suffering.  We use Hygiene.  We use Fresh Air.  We use Fresh Water.  We use Exercise and systems of Therapeutic Movement.  We use Therapeutic Dietetics.  We use Gaia’s Plants.  We use the power of Information and Education.  We use Counseling and Emotional balancing.  We use Physical Manipulation and Therapeutic Touch.  We use Dietary Supplements.  We use methods of Cleansing and Detoxification.  We use Fasting.  We use Hydrotherapy.  We use Homeopathy.  We use Compassion, Caring, and the power of the Spoken Word and Encouragement.  Those of us who are so inclined use Prayer (Most of the Founders of Naturopathic Medicine were inspired men of God).  We don’t use Surgery.  We don’t use Chemical Drugs. 

Samuel Hahnemann

1755-1843

Founder of Homeopathy

Homeopathy has been verified by 200 years and millions of practitioners. When you employ homeopathy you are igniting the biological intelligence and delivering bio-information to the organism, which is necessary for healing.

Homeopathic medicines are made by homeopathic pharmacies in accordance with the processes described in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States the official manufacturing manual recognized by the FDA. The substances may be made from plants such as aconite, dandelion, plantain; from minerals such as iron phosphate, arsenic oxide, sodium chloride; from animals such as the venom of a number of poisonous snakes, or the ink of the cuttlefish; or even from chemical drugs such as penicillin or streptomycin. These substances are diluted carefully until little or none of the original substance remains.

There are various levels of homeopathy such as the traditional constitutional level and the therapeutic level.  I.C.N. incorporates homeopathic training into the Naturopathic Practitioner, Homeopathic Endocrinology and Holistic Health Practitioner Training.

Samuel Hahnemann was a man of compassionate character and ethics.  He was motivated to find a method of clinical practice that was safe enough to use on his own children.   Said another way, the methods employed by his fellow physicians were so arbitrary (Leeches), toxic (Mercury and Bromides), or depleting to one’s vitality (venesection or bleeding, to relieve the “plethora” or the patient’s ‘excess energy’) that he removed himself from clinical practice to a life of scholasticism.   It was there that he was inspired to discover the method of ‘Proving’ that forms the scientific basis of our Homeopathic Materia Medica.  ‘Proving’ became an objective, scientifically verifiable, repeatable method that allowed anyone willing to perform the self-experiment to determine that taking different substances produced extremely different symptoms.  This led to the conversion of one of Hahnemann’s greatest students: Constantine Hering.  By perceiving the similarity between the symptoms produced by the substance and the symptoms expressed (or suppressed) in the patient the Homeopath seeks to bring deep and lasting healing into this world. 

Until the 1930’s or so, Homeopathy was one of the several branches of Medicine prominently available for use in this country.  There were a number of hospitals across our Country that one could attend and receive purely Homeopathic care or a combination of Eclectic Medical / Naturopathic / Homeopathic Care.  Originally, Homeopathy was primarily practiced by Medical Doctors.  By Federal edict Homeopathy was one of the four branches of Medicine allowed the US people:  Allopathic Medical, Osteopathic, Homeopathic, and “Other Methods.”  In 1929 and 1931, the Naturopathic Arts were added to this list and defined in the Naturopathy Practice Act of 1931.  I quote an excerpt from this Act: “It is further enacted that ‘NATUROPATHY,’ as used in the aforesaid Act of Congress, approved February 27, 1929, hereafter shall comprehend, embrace, and be composed of the following acts, practices, and usages--Diagnosis and Practice of physiological and material sciences of healing as follows--The physiological and mechanical sciences such as mechanotherapy, articular manipulation, corrective orthopedic gymnastics, neurotherapy, psychotherapy, hydrotherapy, and mineral baths, electrotherapy, thermotherapy, phototherapy, chromotherapy, vibrotherapy, thalmotherapy, and dietetics which shall include the use of foods of such biochemical tissue-building products and cell salts as are found in the normal body; and the use of vegetal oils and dehydrated and pulverized fruits, flowers, seeds, barks, herbs, roots, and vegetables uncompounded and in their natural state.”

Classical homeopathy rests on three principles: the "law of similars", the single medicine, and the minimum dose. The law of similars states that a disease is cured by a medicine, which creates symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing. Hence, an important part of the prescription of a homeopathic medicine is a lengthy interview to determine all the symptoms the patient is experiencing. The homeopathic physician then determines which medicine best matches the symptoms the patient is experiencing and prescribes it. The principle of the single remedy states that a single medicine should cover all the symptoms the patient is experiencing: mental, emotional, and physical. A classical homeopath would not prescribe one medicine for a headache and another for an upset stomach; he or she would find a single medicine that covered both symptoms. The principle of the minimum dose has two parts. First, the homeopathic physician only prescribes a small number of doses of the homeopathic medicine and waits to see what effect the medicine has. Second, the medicine is given in an infinitesimal dose.

Let's look at an example of the Law of Similars:

  • If your child accidentally ingests certain poisons, you may be advised to administer Syrup of Ipecac to induce vomiting. Ipecac is derived from the root of a South American plant called Ipecacuanha. The name, in the native language, means "the plant by the road, which makes you throw up." Eating the plant causes vomiting.
  • When a group of healthy volunteers took this substance to determine the effects of this drug, they found that the drug induced other symptoms as well. The mouth retained much saliva. The tongue was very clean. There was a cough so severe that it led to gagging and vomiting. There was incessant nausea. While it is expected that vomiting would usually relieve the nausea, this was not the case.  Such an experiment, using healthy volunteers, is called a proving, and it is the homeopath's source of information about the action of a drug.  Of what use could this plant be? If a person were suffering from a gagging cough after a cold, or a woman were experiencing morning sickness with incessant nausea that is not relieved by vomiting, then Ipecacuanha, administered in a minute dose can allay the "similar" suffering.

Samuel Hahnemann described this principle by using a Latin phrase: Similia Similibus Curentur, which translates: "Let likes cure likes." It is a principle that has been known for centuries. Hahnemann developed the principle into a system of medicine called homeopathy, and has been used successfully for the last 200 years.

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California College of Natural Medicine
107 Figueroa, Ventura, CA 93001
Phone: (800) 421-5027, Fax: (928) 496-2050

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