By Dr Barbara Lewis BSc, DHom, DHerb, MNIMH
Dr Barbara Lewis is a registered herbalist and homeopath in practice for the past 24 years. She has taught homeopathy at the Durban Technicon, and has recently co-authored a self-help book on homeopathy. Dr Lewis practices at the Refuah Healing Centre in Sea Point and in Rondebosch, Cape Town.
In acute conditions treating oneself or one’s family with homeopathic remedies can be extremely effective and perfectly safe, even for pregnant women and newborn babies. This is because homeopathic potencies are highly diluted, energised substances prepared according to specified and standardised pharmaceutical methods. Because we are stimulating the body at an energetic level, it is also possible to use homeopathic remedies at the same time as conventional allopathic drugs thus speeding up the healing process.
Correct treatment of ‘acute’, self-limiting illnesses with the appropriate homeopathic remedy for the indivi-dual will alleviate symptoms, reduce the length of the illness, speed up recovery, and prevent complications from developing. Acute illnesses such as colds, flu, food poisoning, acute diarrhoea, sore-throats and coughs, sprains, strains, and viral illnesses such as chickenpox all respond well to first-aid homeopathy making them ‘nonevents’.
Sinusitis or hay fever may respond well too, but are often the flareups of a chronic condition where the sick person’s susceptibility is constantly being triggered. This manifests as an acute flare-up of an underlying chronic condition. Chronic disease is more deep-seated and unpredictable than the acute manifestations of disease. Chronic disease can depend upon individuals’ susceptibility to disease as well as his or her genetic make-up, physical and emotional responses, past illnesses, and state of vitality and specific reactive modes (miasms), all leading to a specific constitution at a particular time. A professional homeopath, who can assess all these factors in making up a deep-acting holistic prescription, is best trained to carry out this highly complex diagnosis.
Homeopathic remedies are sensitive, but if looked after correctly will last a very long time. Keep them out of the heat or sunlight, and away from strong smelling products – particularly those containing camphor. Do not drink coffee or any cola drinks while using homeopathic remedies, and do not eat, drink, smoke or brush your teeth for 5 minutes before or after a dose of the remedy. Do not touch homeopathic globules more than is necessary. Instead shake them into the lid of the container and empty into your mouth. Store remedies in a cool dark place and away from children and pets – they taste too nice! However the remedies are non-toxic even if the whole bottle has been swallowed.
Frequency of dosage Frequency of dosage is more important than how much is taken. A dose must be sufficient to be absorbed through the mouth’s membranes to stimulate the vital force, and thus effect a change in the energetic condition. Ten drops of liquid potency, 6 globules or 2 tablets is recommended for adults and children alike. The frequency of the dose or stimulation depends on how severe the symptoms are, and how well the sick person responds to treatment.
In very serious conditions, repeat the dose every 5 to 30 minutes. As the sick person and the symptoms improve, repeat at longer intervals – every hour and then every 2 hours. If the sick person feels no change after 6 doses, or not even a slight improvement, reassess the situation and the remedy.
There are many misconceptions about homeopathy. A frequently asked question is the difference between homeopathy and herbalism. Herbs have chemical actions based on pharmaceutical constituents. For example, the oestrogenic steroidal glycosides in Dioscorea, the wild yam, form the basis of many menopausal preparations, and the bitter alkaloids in Taraxacum, dandelion root, stimulate bile production and thus bowel movement in the treatment of constipation.
However homeopathy is based on the scientifically reproducible homeopathic principle called ‘the Law of Similars’. This means that the remedy for any individual illness is that very substance that can produce a similar symptom picture and pattern of illness in a healthy person. The drug Ritalin is an allopathic example. Ritalin is used to calm down hyperactive children, but can have a stimulating effect in normally active children and adults.
Apis mel, made from the potentised honeybee, cures ailments that have redness, burning, stinging and swelling, whether on the tonsils, joints or skin, based on the similarity of the symptoms to the bee sting. The genius of Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, had developed a methodology that made the principle of similarity safe and effective.
Current research indicates that homeopathy works based not on chemical processes, but in terms of the energies of electrons, the miraculously changing shape of the water molecule, and quantum physics, a scientific paradigm that is already a century old yet barely integrated into our training and thinking.
Nuclear magnetic resonance experiments with potentised homeopathic remedies have shown them to be energetically and electrically active, despite the high dilutions. In time we will possibly see how our body ‘resonates’ at particular frequencies of energy when in balance versus when ill, and how these correspond to various energetic homeopathic remedies.
So the 200-year-old system of homeopathy continues to grow and develop, and is being shown to be an extremely effective modern answer to our illnesses of psyche and body. A modern answer to restoring balance Homeopathy is holistic in concept and aims at eliminating all ‘obstacles to cure’.
Treatment with a homeopath incorporates correct dietary principles, vitamin therapy when necessary, medical tests, and referrals to practitioners of psychotherapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic, or even surgery in individual cases. For example, in iron deficiency anaemia, iron may well have to be supplemented to the patient’s regimen, but the causes of iron loss or the lack of absorption of iron requires the correct remedy chosen according to homeopathic principles.
Homeopathy as we have mentioned before is not herbalism, naturopathy, radionics, cult or religion, and it is not a placebo. You do not have to believe in it for the correct prescription to work. Outstanding results can be achieved with herds of cattle, domestic animals, and babies and children. (Also see article on homeopathy and horses by Dr Alex Niven, on page 114.) Homeopathic diagnoses are based on the Law of Similars. Homeopathic treatments are powerful, although completely safe, and should be used respectfully.
By now, it is hoped that the scope for self treatment is clear,
and with the aid of many of the self-help books available such as
Homoeopathy for the Home, 1 safe and effective. Homeopathy is a highly
sophisticated multidimensional healing modality restoring an individual to his
or her own inner balance. Further reading 1. Bloch R, Lewis B.
Homoeopathy for the Home. Struik