Homeopathy Remedies

Homeopathy Remedies:
Personalized Medicine

A lot of people have heard of homeopathy remedies, but there’s quite a bit of misunderstanding still about this class of holistic medicine treatments. Homeopathy is not the same as herbal medicine. It is not another way to describe natural medicine or alternative medicine. What is it then? In the language of the

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine(NIH), homeopathy is one kind of system in the category “Whole Medical Systems.” In other words, like traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda, homeopathy evolved and was refined completely independently of our current conventional medical system in the United States, and its categories of understanding and approaching diseases and their treatment is completely different from the conventional system in common practice today. It is as different from current conventional medical care as two foreign languages are from each other… say, English and Russian. No resemblance. So in order to approach a medical problem with homeopathy remedies, you must literally forget all that you are accustomed to in your previous experiences with doctors or medical training.


So what is homeopathy then? It originated in Europe in the 1800’s, following the theories and scientific investigations of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician. Hahnemann’s drive to find a new way of treating serious illness was borne out of his observations of the futility and frequent harm caused by the prevailing medical practice of his day. He was a meticulous observer and record-keeper, and out of this scientific rigor was developed his theory of the “law of similars.”

The law of similars is the foundation for all homeopathy remedies. It states that a substance which causes symptoms in a person can cure the same symptoms when given in a tiny extremely dilute dose. So for example, the drug belladonna can cause fever, flushed red skin, pain, dry mouth and restlessness. A homeopathic dilution of belladonna, so dilute that virtually no belladonna actually remains in the solution, can cure an illness characterized by the same symptoms. Notice that no mention was made of what caused the symptoms, such as virus versus bacteria versus toxic exposure, only that those symptoms would be the primary manifestations of the illness. The homeopathic physician is interested in knowing your own personal symptoms to the maximum amount of unique personal detail, because your unique energy fingerprint is like no other human’s.

With that basic principle in mind, homeopathy remedies have been developed over the past two centuries out of a series of careful observations known as “provings.” These provings are the systematic recording of symptoms produced in volunteers who ingest a dose of the substance in question. Those symptoms are then recorded in detail, and have been made available to homeopathic practitioners in references called the homeopathic repertory and the homeopathic materia medica. The specific remedies are made available as liquids, or more commonly as tiny sugar pills with the ultra-dilute solution inside.

I know this all sounds very complicated, and in my experience practicing holistic medicine, yes it can be. For serious or long term illness, it is best to consult with an experienced homeopath who has had years of formal training. Finding such a person can be challenging, as there are very few compared to conventional physicians in the United States. Homeopathic doctors are much more common in India and Europe than in the US. Because of the complexities of training, certification, and licensure, it may be easier in the US to find a practicing homeopath who does not otherwise have a medical license to see patients. You can find some of these practitioners in the US through the North American Society of Homeopaths. For homeopathy by individuals who have other medical training and licenses, see the American Institute of Homeopathy which represents licensed health care professionals who are also trained in homeopathy. To contact a professional physician, an MD who practices homeopathy with great skills and a thoughtful approach, see the informative website of my friend and colleague Dr. Pam Pappas. Despite the complexities, it is possible to self-treat in a limited way for illnesses with homeopathy remedies. For example, symptoms of the flu (fever, headache, cough, body aches, and lethargy) can be treated with the remedy oscillococcinum, which has now been so widely accepted that it is available in almost all chain pharmacies in the US. I hope this short overview has given you a sense of what homeopathy remedies are and how they can be used. We still have much to learn, but I believe this is a very promising area for research and further use.


To your health and wellness,




Robert Pendergrast, MD 

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