When you hear the word “homeopathy” what do you think it means?
Like many people, I thought homeopathy meant “home remedies” or any type of natural healing modality.
I had no idea that homeopathy is a separate system of natural medicine that is completely unique.
I mispronounced the word “homeopathy” for years. I emphasized the wrong syllable. It’s not “HOME-eopathy” it’s “hom-e-OP-athy.” The emphasis is on the “OP!”
Maybe, like me, you have used a homeopathic medicine without even realizing it!
Without really understanding what I was using, I used homeopathic combination remedies here and there when my children were younger. Homeopathic combination remedies can be found in most health food stores.
Homeopathic Combination Remedies are formulated to address a condition of symptoms that present the same way in most people.
Usually the condition is listed on the box and the directions are very clear as to how they should be taken. One homeopathic combination remedy that I relied on for my children was homeopathic teething tablets. The tiny pellets brought my babies relief from painful teething. They worked great and helped my babies feel better! I did not understand that they were homeopathic. I thought they were an herbal preparation of some kind. Now I understand that homeopathic remedies are different than herbalism.
Boiron and Hylands are two homeopathic manufacturers that make wonderful combination remedies.
Over the years I often perused the health food stores looking for natural alternatives to conventional drugs. I chose homeopathic combination remedies for colds and allergies because the condition was labeled on the box. I did not understand the Latin names listed in the ingredients, but I understood what condition they were good for because of the package labeling. The most important thing to me was that they were “natural.” In my ignorance “natural,” “holistic,” “home remedy” and “homeopathy” were all the same thing. I didn’t know what I didn’t know!
What types of homeopathic remedies are available?
Homeopathic remedies are available either as single medicines (only one active ingredient) or combination remedies (a company-specific brand of medicine, with multiple ingredients). The branded medicines are available in a variety of dosage forms such as tablets, gels, ointments, creams, syrups, eyedrops, and suppositories. These combination products make selecting a medicine easier. So a person like me, who was not yet familiar with homeopathy, could still discover the benefits.
All chemical drugs and antibiotics have side effects!
When my children were quite small, I did what I thought all good mothers should do. If they had a cough, I gave them an over-the-counter cough suppressant. When their cough turned into a fever, I gave them acetaminophen to suppress the fever. When the mucus turned green and they began tugging on their ears and I couldn’t comfort them any longer with over-the-counter medications, I took them to the pediatrician. We had pretty good insurance: a small co-pay for a doctor visit and a round of antibiotics later and my child was well again. Until next time. The “next times” grew more frequent. The rounds of antibiotics grew closer together.
I became very frustrated with conventional medicine. Over the years as I did my research I learned:
- Acetaminophen is now being linked to dementia, liver damage and childhood asthma
- Antibiotics are currently considered dangerous and overused
- Each pharmaceutical drug has detrimental side effects–often worse than the original symptoms.
Have you ever noticed that the need for chemical drugs can increase as time goes by and the body gets used to the medicine? In fact, chemical drugs tend to become addictive for this very reason. The allopathic (sometimes called antipathic) approach to illness is to suppress the symptoms without addressing the underlying cause. If you have too much acid you take an “antacid.” If there is inflammation, an “anti-inflammatory” drug is prescribed. If there is mucus production caused by a histamine reaction, an “anti-histamine” is given. Often, the body becomes more and more dependent on the drugs to keep the symptoms in check.
Homeopathy takes a different approach.
The homeopathic approach to illness is to use the symptoms as a guide. Because of the Law of Similars, or principle of “Like Cures Like,” the symptoms guide the choice of the homeopathic medicine like a roadmap. Using our example of Allium cepa, it makes sense that the homeopathic combination remedy Coldcalm by Boiron includes Allium cepa to address the symptoms of runny nose and watery eyes. Allium cepa does not suppress the symptoms. Instead, by nudging the body in the same direction as the symptoms are presenting, the homeopathic medicine stimulates the body’s own immune response. The body is able to heal, and the symptoms are no longer needed!
Suppressing symptoms can drive a condition deeper.
My experience with my children was that when I used a chemical drug to suppress a symptom, the relief was only temporary. Often the symptom would return again and again worsening each time. A runny nose would become a sinus infection. A cough would morph into an ear infection. And so on.
I now understand that when a chemical drug is given, the body’s ability to mount a natural immune response is disabled. A great analogy would be a situation in which a smoke detector was going off. Instead of addressing the source of the smoke, one would simply reach up and disable the smoke detector. Problem solved! Actually no. The underlying problem is still there and probably getting worse.
What are the benefits of homeopathic medicines?
- Properly chosen homeopathic medicines do not suppress symptoms.
- Homeopathic medicines have a low risk of side-effects, and are a great choice for self-treatable conditions.
- Homeopathy is all-natural and works with the body to help it correct a condition.
- Homeopathy can be used for all ages.
- Homeopathy is non-addictive.
- Homeopathy is affordable.
- Homeopathy is effective.
I lead several guided homeopathy study groups a year. The Teach Me Health and Homeopathy Adult Homeopathy Book Club is a fun way to learn homeopathy. You can sign up for my next Book Club Study Group here: Adult Homeopathy Book Club with Cathi Diaz. The Gateway to Homeopathy study group curriculum is another great way to learn homeopathy! Contact me for more information if you are interested in joining one of my Gateway to Homeopathy guided study groups.
For complex acute conditions and chronic health issues, seek the guidance of a professional homeopath:
I recently had the honor and privilege of sharing my homeopathy story on the Mom’s With Moxie Podcast. The interview is Podcast 109 – Symptoms as a Gift and a Guide. You can listen to the interview here.
In My Journey to Homeopathy – Part 2 I will continue my story of how I discovered homeopathy and my experience in learning to use single homeopathic remedies.