and never to just do and die.”
This is a twisted version of a rather famous quote.
It is unknown just who twisted it first.
What kind of diseases can be treated with homeopathy?
Homeopathy can effectively help people with those conditions in which there is no irreversible pathology. For example, asthma is an active, inflammatory process and the lungs can heal from its effects once the person is generally better. Homeopathy can be very effective in helping people with asthma. Emphysema, on the other hand, is a degenerative process that permanently destroys the lung tissue. Homeopathy can sometimes make an emphysema patient feel a little better, but it can’t reverse the effects of emphysema.
What interferes with homeopathic treatment?
First and foremost on the list of things that can interfere with a homeopathic remedy’s effectiveness are strong suppressive drugs like steroids and immunosuppressants. Since birth control pills suppress the natural cycle, they too can interfere with a remedy. Camphor oil tends to antidote the action of the remedies, as can some types of dental work. Coffee (decaf or regular) may interfere in some cases.
A strong shock, either emotional or physical, such as being injured in a motor vehicle accident or grieving the death of a close relative can interfere with the effectiveness of a homeopathic remedy.
What about all those homeopathic combination remedies widely available today, like flu, sinus, headache, PMS, etc.?
First of all, they are not homeopathic because they are not individually prescribed. A patient with a headache may get one of about a thousand remedies, and it will be different for every headache sufferer. Yes, potentized drugs are used in these combinations, but it does not make them homeopathic.
Next, when numerous potentized drugs are used at one time, the Vital Force gets confused. Keep in mind that each remedy has a certain disease state associated with it. If one presents the Vital Force with several disease states all at the same time, the Vital Force gets mixed messages. If used for any length of time, these combination remedies may confuse the Vital Force to the point of no return. When I get these “confused” cases in my practice it is very hard to find a good remedy for them. Then, when the remedy is found, it takes ten fold more time for the remedy to work. In my opinion, its much healthier to take Tylenol for your headaches, decongestant for your sinuses and antihistamine for your insomnia (all in moderation of course), then to use homeopathic combination remedies.
Do homeopaths use electronic equipment for diagnosis?
Some practitioners who call themselves homeopaths do. But to a classical prescriber these practitioners are not, strictly speaking, homeopaths. They use homeopathic remedies in a non-homeopathic way. The same goes for those practitioners who inject the remedies. There may be value in these approaches, but they probably shouldn’t be called homeopathy. In classical teaching, a patient should either ingest (eat) or inhale (sniff) the remedy.
Is homeopathy the same as herbal medicine? Is it a combination of herbs, diets, vitamins and counseling?
No, though this can be confusing, as some practitioners do get involved in both homeopathy and nutritional counseling. My personal philosophy is that as you improve in your health, your body will desire healthy food. When my patients request assistance with their diets, I refer them to a nutritionist who is properly trained in that specialty.
Regarding herbs, they are, strictly speaking, allopathic drugs. In homeopathy, drugs are chosen according to the principle of similarity (like cures like). In conventional or allopathic medicine, drugs are chosen on the principle of opposite (a drug must have action opposite to that of the disease). For example, a narcotic lessens a patient’s sensitivity to pain, so it can be used if a person is experiencing pain. An expectorant makes one’s respiratory tract secrete more mucus, so it can be used when cough is too dry. These effects can be achieved by either natural drugs, like herbs, or synthetic drugs, like most conventional medications. Conceptually, there is little difference between the two approaches. One must realize that no chronic condition could be cured by this method. The most one can hope for is palliation, or temporary improvement. However, sometimes this is all that is desired, and if one chooses to use an allopathic approach to treat a condition, a drug that is the most effective and has the least side effects should be chosen, whether herbal or synthetic.
It is possible to use herbs in a homeopathic way as well, but practitioners who do this well are very hard to find, and such a practice is very poorly standardized. Most herbalists are allopathic.
What is the best remedy for hay fever, headache, flu, diarrhea, depression, etc.?
There is no such remedy. Homeopathic remedies are not chosen on such indications. They are chosen for a particular person with the condition, so for any of these conditions there could be hundreds of different remedies, just like there are many different types of people with headache, hay fever, etc.
Will I have to be on a homeopathic remedy for the rest of my life?
No, you will only be on a remedy until you achieve the desired state of health.
Are all homeopaths medical doctors? How do I find a good homeopath?
No. In fact, I would not base my choice of a homeopath on the appearance of MD or DO after their name. My personal homeopath has initials RSHom (Registered with Society of Homeopaths). These initials are certified by the North American Society of Homeopaths exclusively for “non-licensed” practitioners. This title carries a lot of weight. The best way to find a good practitioner is to get referred to one by a happy patient. If you don’t know anybody seeing a good homeopath, call the practitioners in the area and inquire if they are classical and how much time they allow for the first visit. If they are combination prescribers (non-classical) or schedule less then one hour I would be skeptical. It is possible for a very advanced practitioner to spend less time on the first interview, but most of us require at least an hour to get a good case history.
Personally, I schedule two hours for my new patients. One way to find a good homeopath is by calling a homeopathic study group in your area and asking them. They would be very happy to refer you. A study group in your area can be found in the referral list put out by the National Center for Homeopathy at 703.548.7790.
What do all those letters mean?
Many homeopaths have different initials after their names. These are usually titles awarded by different homeopathic boards and schools. Because homeopathic education and certification in the US have not been standardized yet there are several groups certifying their members. Any certification, of course, speaks only of the particular homeopath’s ability to satisfy the particular board’s minimum competency requirements and may not reflect the practitioner’s true level of mastery.
Here are some of the titles you may find:
DHt (Diplomate of Homeotherapeutics): Given by the American Institute of Homeopathy to medical doctors passing their exam. The AIH is the oldest organization of physicians in the US, predating the AMA. In fact, the AMA was originally founded in response to the threat perceived by the allopathic (conventional) doctors of the time, from homeopaths forming a national organization.
DHANP (Diplomate of Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians): As the name implies, this is a title similar to DHt given by the naturopathic board.
DNBHE (Diplomate of National Board of Homeopathic Examiners): This one may sound a bit misleading. It is awarded by a group of chiropractic homeopathic educators to practitioners passing their exam.
MFHom (Member of the Faculty of Homeopathy): Given by the Faculty of Homeopathy, the British equivalent of the AIH, to doctors passing their exam. This title is recognized by medical authorities throughout European Community and other countries having historical ties to the United Kingdom. The Faculty runs a fairly intensive educational program attracting doctors from all over the world.
FFHom (Fellow of the Faculty of Homeopathy): Awarded to doctors holding the title of MFHom and showing certain extra achievement, particularly in the area of homeopathic education.
RSHom(NA) (Registered with Society of Homeopaths (North America): Given by NASH (North American Society of Homeopaths). NASH accepts only non-licensed practitioners as members and this title signifies the practitioner’s passing of membership requirements which include demonstrating proficiency in classical homeopathy. This title was originally modeled on RSHom of Great Britain.
CCH (Certified in Classical Homeopathy): Given by CHC (Council for Homeopathic Certification), a fairly new board trying to unite all these different groups under a common umbrella. This title certifies that the practitioner, regardless of their licensure status, passed a minimum competency exam in classical homeopathy. The interesting new twist added by this board is a medical portion of the exam required for all non-medically licensed applicants. This is the first attempt in modern history of homeopathy in this country to make sure the practitioner possesses a certain minimum of conventional medical knowledge in addition to proficiency in homeopathy.
CTHom (Certified Trained Homeopath): This is a diploma given by ESSH School of Homeopathy in Flagstaff, AZ, to students demonstrating a certain degree of mastery in classical homeopathy. I have a heavy personal bias in favor of this title. I believe its bearers are some of the best homeopaths available. However, this should in no way diminish the importance of other titles mentioned above.
MHom (Master of Homeopathy): This diploma is given by ESSH School of Homeopathy to those mastering Homeopathy on a very high level. This title is given by the teacher when he considers the student qualified. There is no exam of any sort. The only prerequisite is having the previous level diploma (CTHom). In my biased opinion, there is no higher qualification in the world today.
There are other titles given by other groups, some probably very good, but having no personal familiarity with them I will not mention them here.
Will my insurance pay for homeopathy?
I have been told that some insurance companies are coming around. However, be sure to call regarding your specific policy before you get treatment to verify coverage. If your homeopath is an MD or DO and your policy allows you to see that doctor, you may be reimbursed according to plan rules.
What are the different kinds of homeopathy?
There are two major schools of homeopathy in the world today: classical homeopathy, which I’ve described here, and pluralist homeopathy. Classical homeopathy is also called Hahnemannian or unicist. Its main principle is to use one remedy at a time to address the whole person. The pluralist approach uses several remedies simultaneously. It is prevalent in France and is used by some practitioners in this country. Pluralist homeopathy is generally frowned upon by classical prescribers who believe that it is difficult enough to find the one right remedy and follow its effect on the patient. Therefore, giving several remedies at once makes it impossible to determine which of them is causing the change in the patient’s condition. We are also concerned about the possible deleterious effect on the Vital Force that may be produced by such prescribing, but as I have mentioned elsewhere, the jury is still out on this one.
Has homeopathy been put through scientific testing?
When I tell my doctor colleagues about homeopathy, they always want to see some “hard data”. In the medical world this usually takes the form of studies. Such studies are carried out in a “double-blind, placebo-controlled” fashion. This means that two groups of people take either an active drug or a sugar pill that looks the same. The pills are administered by a third party and neither the researcher nor the patient know what anybody is taking until the code is broken. The results of these studies really help address the issue of whether the drug is indeed effective or a placebo effect is occurring. The studies I quote in the appendix show that the sub-molecular dilutions used in homeopathy really do produce significant effect on living beings, both humans and animals. Science can’t explain homeopathy yet, but it is really immaterial as long as we can demonstrate that it works.
Are homeopathic remedies all natural?
If you haven’t read the entire book, this answer may not make sense to you. The point is, who cares what the remedies are, if the healing is natural. The remedies don’t really have any effect on the body other than to trigger the Vital Force to react. Once it reacts, healing takes place from within, directed by the Vital Force. That is, we heal ourselves, and that is the most natural kind of healing.
If you still insist on the answer, most are indeed, natural. Whether this should prompt you to use homeopathy is another question. You should decide to use it for completely different reasons. Here are some examples of homeopathic remedies:
Arsenicum Album (white oxide of arsenic)
Graphites (lead from “fine English pencil”)
Sulphur (elemental sulphur)
Argentum nitricum (silver nitrate)
Hydrogen (hydrogen gas)
Mercurius vivus (mercury)
Rhus toxicodendron (poison ivy)
Conium maculatum (poison hemlock)
Thuja occidentalis (arbor vitae)
Carbo vegetabilis (vegetable charcoal)
Phytolacca decandra (poke-root)
Urtica urens (stinging nettle)
Lilium tigrinum (tiger lily)
Crotalus horridus (venom of rattle snake)
Pyrogenium (rotten meat)
Lac caninum (dogís milk)
Lyssin (saliva of rabid dog)
Tarentula Hispanica (tarantula, tincture of the living spider)
Apis mellifica (honey-bee, tincture of the whole bee)
And then there are other things I don’t care to mention as an unaware reader might have an inclination to vomit. Of course, all of these things are natural and therefore good for you, right? Right!, but only if well prescribed and given in the appropriate homeopathic form, and not because they are natural.
Is homeopathy safe in pregnancy?
This is a hard one. It probably is, but one has to be very careful. We know that sometimes remedies cause provings (see the chapters on Proving and/or Safety). While we can easily see proving symptoms in an adult, it would be easy to miss those in a fetus. If we cause such a proving and persist too long with the remedy, the proving can turn into grafting, when the remedy characteristics could be permanently attached to the fetus, and persists for a large portion of his life. A hypothetical example would be receiving something like Hyoscyamus while pregnant, followed by the child having an inclination to remove his clothes in the first years of his life because Hyoscyamus has certain exhibitionist tendencies in its picture.
On the other hand, if the mother has a certain clear state that definitely needs treatment, there is a strong chance that she will give this state to the baby, and it may be a good idea to treat them both at the same time and for the price of one, but very carefully, and only when the remedy is very clearly indicated.
The following is not found in the hard copy of the book:
Can you treat cancer with Homeopathy?
Yes and no. First of all, it is politically very incorrect to advise patients with cancer to forgo conventional therapies in favor of alternative medicine. I have medical licenses in two states and would like to keep them. This is one of the reasons you will not catch me advising you to get rid of your oncologist. The other reason is that I have not researched the multitude of available alternative cancer treatments enough to know which works better for which cancer. If you need information on this topic try this site: www.cancerdecisions.com. They seem to be well informed.
As far as specifically Homeopathy for cancer, my answer must remain vague. Homeopathic literature is full of anecdotal reports of cancer cures. This means that a number of homeopathic doctors and lay homeopaths have claimed they cured certain patients of their cancers. There is no way to check the claims. Some of my teachers told me of cases they cured, but again, I personally have not seen any hard data. There are no studies that I am aware of to prove that Homeopathy is effective against cancer. I have not cured any cases of cancer personally, as all the patients with cancer I have had received conventional therapy, which means that if they were cured, I can’t attribute it to Homeopathy, and if they succumbed to the disease, then Homeopathy obviously did not succeed in curing them, but the failure of Homeopathy could be due in part to poor prescription on my part, or to interference of the conventional treatments with Homeopathy.
What follows is my personal opinion, unsupported by any properly conducted studies. I feel that Homeopathy can in theory cure some cancers. For it to succeed we must have a perfect prescription and a very clean case that is not too advanced. That means that if the patient wants to be cured by Homeopathy the remedy must be right on and the patient must forgo most other treatment approaches as they may interfere with the remedy. Very few patients would be willing to agree to this. I, on the other hand, will never push anybody to refuse conventional therapy for the reasons above. On the other hand, in my practice Homeopathy has proven itself quite useful in alleviating side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, as well as improving the patient’s overall state of health which is definitely very helpful in fighting any disease. Therefore, Homeopathy can be used as a helpful adjunct to other therapies.
And then, here is a letter I got from a homeopathic vet:
As a veterinarian practicing homeopathy for ten years, a large number of the animals I see come to me with a diagnosis of cancer. I am constantly surprised at how well they respond to homeopathy. Even in cases where I would have thought there was very little hope their vital force will respond to a carefully selected remedy. A case that comes to mind from my practice early in my career, is of a cat with lung cancer that was 4 pounds and was having fluid drained from it’s chest every 3 weeks. The owner’s conventional veterinarian finally refused to treat it anymore, saying it was too weak to take the stress of treatment… As the cat lay there a bundle of bones , in severe respiratory distress, I strongly encouraged the owner to euthanize the cat. She insisted that we treat him, saying she wanted to try anything that would help her loved one. Reluctantly I agreed. Much to my surprise and delight, the cat responded quickly and bounced back totally. He never needed his chest drained again, he gained all his weight back and did so well, that the owner even questioned the original diagnosis. I assured her, unfortunately. that the cancer was still there, but the homeopathy was able to maximize the functioning of the body and would slow down the growth of the tumor, but eventually the cat would succumb. The cat had 6 months more of completely symptom free, quality life. This situation has repeated itself over and over again. I would say that generally we get up to 3 years more of virtually pain free quality life for most animals. In generally, the less surgery, chemo and radiation the animals have received the better the response to homeopathy.