Medicine Of Experience

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

First things, first. Most people think that homeopathy is simple; some folks, likewise, think it is complex. It is best to recall the wise words of Sir John Weir, the great Scottish physician and homeopath — you’d have seen him portrayed in the award-winning Netflix series, Crown — to the British Royal Family, “You cannot learn homeopathy from arguments as to its possibility. The appeal of homeopathy has always been to experience. Do the works, if you would know the truth.”

“Homeopathy,” as Sir Weir explained, “could never have been discovered a priori. It is a science; it is entirely based on experiment. Who was the great, great chemist who said the only possible way to know how a lump of sugar would behave, when put into a cup of tea, was to try? Or, as Dr John Hunter told Dr Edward Jenner, ‘Don’t think: Try.’ It is only our experience of homeopathy that has made us homeopaths. We have all been sceptics; but facts have been too stirring for us.”

Homeopathy is not just a system of medicine; it is a progress in the area of mind-body, holistic, or bespoke, medicine. It involves treating the individual having the illness, or disease, with highly diluted substances, prescribed primarily in pill form, with the aim of initiating the body’s natural ability for healing.

Homeopathy is founded on the ‘Law of Similars,’ or ‘like cures like’ principle. When placed in précis, it expounds, that, “A substance that causes a set of symptoms, when taken in large doses, can in ‘small, minute doses’ treat similar symptoms.” A homeopath, a professional graduate, or post-graduate, from a university, will match and prescribe the most appropriate remedy, based on such ‘like’ symptoms each individual, or patient, presents with.

Like Cures Like

To pick an example — drinking just too much coffee can cause sleeplessness [insomnia] and disquiet. Taking the homeopathic remedy, Coffea cruda, made of coffee beans, from the homeopathic perspective, can help treat ‘like’ symptoms — a result of overexcitement, or joy, a pay hike, or reward on the job. Interestingly, conventional medicine employs the same principle, in certain instances — it prescribes stimulants to ‘treat’ kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]. Likewise, it employs minute doses of allergens, such as pollen, to desensitise allergic individuals. The only ‘dissimilarity’ is homeopathic remedies used are in the form of ultra-high, non-toxic dilutions. They are called homeopathic potencies.

Picture this. You were, the other day, affected by a sudden, or rapid, onset of fever, which escalated into high temperature in no time. Your face appeared ‘red hot’ and dry, along with flushed eyes. Your lips and mouth were pale; your tongue ‘angry’ red. What followed next was sweating and confusion. There was just a little thirst; but, there was a strong craving for sour foods, or drinks. Your other symptoms included a raw, aching feeling in the eyes, with sensitivity to light and tearing, throbbing pain deep inside your ear.

According to the concept of ‘like cures like,’ as referred to earlier, a substance that is capable of provoking such symptoms in an otherwise healthy individual can also therapeutically act on similar symptoms in a person who is ill. The homeopathic remedy, Belladonna is employed, when accompanied by such symptoms — as described above. This is primarily because such a set of symptoms actually resembles Belladonna poisoning. The interesting fact is Belladonna, in spite of its toxic nature, has for long been used as an antispasmodic, relaxant, or sedative, in herbal medicine. Homeopaths use Belladonna, in its potentised form, when symptoms match, to treat high fevers with inflammation and pain, among other symptoms as cited in the preceding paragraph — and, with complete safety. 

The Fundamentals 

Homeopathy is based on studies of single medicines, on healthy human volunteers. These studies are called ‘provings,’ in English, or prüfung in German. Belladonna, for example, can cause, in provings, symptoms such as redness, inflammation, swelling, photophobia [aversion to light] and pain. It is, in its homeopathic form, prescribed to treat individuals experiencing such ‘similar’ symptoms.

Ipecacuanha, in large doses, likewise, can cause nausea, with weak pulse and vomiting. When given in its homeopathic form, it can help ease that ‘specific’ type of nausea and vomiting of undigested food. Its other indications may include a distended, inflated feeling in the abdomen, with cramping and colicky pain around the navel. The stomach seems to ‘slump’ inside the abdomen. All symptoms are worse while lying down and after eating.

Each homeopathic remedy stimulates the healing systems of the body to build up a gentle response, or reaction, to treating a specific illness. For example, Belladonna can cure throbbing headaches and infection too; Ipecacuanha, nausea and vomiting, no less.

The ability of the body to adapt to a specific ‘response’ is our greatest asset — this is employed by holistic homeopathy, through the ‘like cures like’ principle, at the cellular and immune levels, to treat illness.

Patient-Centric. Patient-Specific

Homeopathy stimulates our natural healing processes by the use of micro-dosage medicines that closely match the specific, unique manner in which each of us responds to illnesses that we present with.

It also suggests that symptoms are the body’s warning signs and failed attempts to restore balance, harmony, health and well-being.

Homeopathy takes each of them into consideration to select the closest remedy that will, for the most part, fit the symptom-picture of the homeopathic remedy that can ‘cause’ the same condition in health, while desensitising the given individual’s susceptibility, or response, to the allergen, for instance, associated with allergy — or, creating an internal environment that the pathogen would find detrimental to its existence, or replication.

Picture this. Individuals having allergy present with a range of ‘conflicting’ symptoms. Their associated characteristics also vary in several ways, including the type of sneezing, the form of skin eruption, if any, or food allergy, what gives relief, or what aggravates the condition. Some individuals with allergy may have a burning sensation, or fiery red rash, but would possibly desire, or feel better by, warmth — perhaps, a steaming cup of coffee.

Is this not a paradox — an individual-specific response? This is what homeopathy aims at and treats with a patient-centric perspective. From the homeopathic standpoint, 15-20 different individuals with allergy may need as many homeopathic remedies — to treat the specific, characteristic reaction that their body produces, albeit the name of the illness, or clinical diagnosis, may be the same.

Just Like Your Fingerprint & Signature

Homeopathy is based on the ‘Law of Similars’ — or, the ‘like cures like’ principle, as already cited. It analyses and treats the similarity between the symptoms [signature] caused by the healing properties in plants, and other natural substances, by ‘matching’ them with symptoms produced by the illness.

To highlight an example. When you cut onions, you develop watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, cough and throat irritation, from exposure to the tuber’s active substances. The homeopathic remedy, Allium cepa, made from red onion, can help you overcome a similar cold, or allergy, spell, in which you may have similar symptoms — watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, cough and throat irritation.

The actual symptoms of the illness, as you’d figure, were not caused by exposure to onion. Yet, the remedy made from the tuber helps the body overcome them, because the symptoms [signature] are similar, or alike.

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360. 

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