The ABCs of Homeopathy

This guide is the part of a series exploring "alternative" therapies.

According to the National Center for Homeopathy (NCH) homeopathy is a system of medicine based on the Law of Similars, or the Latin phrase, "similia similibus curentur," or "let likes cure likes," or perhaps the more familiar, "a hair of the dog that bit you" to cure a hangover (though I doubt that's what founder Samuel Hahnemann had in mind when he developed the system in the early 19th century).

At a very simple level, it differs from "allopathy" or conventional medicine in that it attempts to stimulate the body to recover itself and aims for a cure instead of controlling symptoms. For example, while an allopath would recommend a cough suppressant as you're hacking away, a homeopath would give you a remedy that in fact causes a cough in a healthy person to stimulate the body's natural healing process. Homeopathic medicines are derived from plants, minerals, animals and chemicals and widely available.

Some MDs are making the switch to the "homeopathic way." New Homeopath, "an MD making a transformation from traditionally trained internist to MD-homeopath," is on one such journey.

Know More About Homeopathy has a detailed post titled, "How to Select and Use Homeopathic Medicines." Steps include keeping a record of your symptoms, treating simple ailments and frequency of dosage.

Pippet's Place tried a homeopathic detox with dramatic effects.

Ask Me How it Works, the blog of a Ph.D. and biochemistry professor, who is "in love with molecules and how they work," posts about why homeopathic remedies can't hurt you.

Klancy's Potluck, the blog of a pastry chef "who alternates [her time] between Paris, Philadelphia, and New York City" and recently appeared on Food Network's "Recipe for Success," posts her favorite homeopathic remedy and a fantastic ingredient list for chicken soup.

A homeopathic doctor can be found here.

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photo credit: Publix
Contributing Editor, Health & Wellness

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