Homeopathy has been a controversial topic in complementary medicine for quite some time. In it’s essence, homeopathy is based on a holistic approach, which means that each individual is treated in a unique way taking into consideration the balance between the mind, body, soul and emotions in the management and prevention of any disease. It operates according to three principles: the law of similarity, the law of single remedy, and the law of minimum dosage. We talked to Maha Abou Taleb – Holistic Health Consultant, Int’l Cert. of Homeopathy (UK), and member of Lakeland College Of Homeopathy (UK) about homeopathy and growing awareness and understanding of it in Egypt.
What Is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine developed in Germany 200 years ago by Samuel Hanhemann. It is a highly individualized system, where the homeopath practitioner obtains information regarding the patient’s symptoms and overall health during a consultation with them. Based on this information, he/she then selects a specific remedy to target and treat the symptoms the patient may be experiencing.
According to Abou Taleb, “Homeopathy is a holistic modality of healing which means it does not treat individual symptoms or a named diagnosis but rather a complete picture of the whole individual; physical, mental and emotional, and prescribes accordingly to a totality of symptoms or the constitution of the person. In the conventional medicine system, the treatment usually will not associate the mental/emotional symptoms with the physical symptoms of the patient and the treatment will be targeted towards eliminating the symptoms without a deeper regard for the cause of the disease.”
Principles of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is based on three main principles;
- Like Cures Like
‘Homeopathy’ is derived from the Greek word homoios, which translates to “like, similar, of the same kind”. Homeopathy, therefore, refers to the principle of healing that indicates ‘like cures like’. This principle is based on the observation that a given substance that can trigger a disease in a healthy person in large doses can also cure it in a much smaller dosage.
- Single Remedy
The law of single remedy states that a single medicine should be given to an individual to treat all the manifestations of the ailment: from mental and emotional to physical. For example, a homeopath practitioner will prescribe one remedy for both a headache and stomach ache, not a single remedy for each.
- Minimum Dose
The law of minimum dosage is based on the notion that the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effect. Homeopaths have also discovered that the effects of homeopathic remedies are strengthened when the remedy is diluted and vigorously shaken between each dilution. Most homeopathic remedies become so diluted that very little evidence of the original substance remains in the remedy.
What Are The Homeopathic Remedies?
Homeopathic remedies are derived from plants, minerals, or animals. The remedies can be found in different forms, they are sometimes made into sugar pellets to be placed under the tongue, or made into drops, gels or creams. The remedies are very highly diluted, as per the law of minimum dosage. Homeopathic treatments are highly individualized based on a patient’s individual needs and physical makeup so two people with the same problem could be given completely different remedies. One example of a homeopathic remedy is Arnica, which can be used to treat pain, swelling, bruises and aches.
Homeopathy in Egypt?
Is homeopathy used instead of regular medicine or are they used simultaneously?
Homeopathy is a complementary and alternative method of healing. Homeopathy creates a stable foundation for your health and provides an alternative treatment that can help you feel like the person you used to be. Homeopathy can work well by itself or alongside other types of medicine.
What benefits does homeopathy have over regular medicine? Why do people forego modern medicine in favor of homeopathy?
I don’t believe that people really replace conventional medicine with homeopathy but rather incorporate homeopathy more and more in their lives alongside conventional medicine. The reason for that is that homoeopathy is very safe to use, it can be used by itself or alongside conventional medicine. Moreover, homeopathy enhances your natural defenses and vital force and restores your body to harmony and balance. And so it is very beneficial in order to reduce the amount of chemical drugs especially in the case of children and pregnant women and anyone who wants to maintain their health. Homeopathy has also been known to help alongside conventional medicine and can alleviate the side effects of some drugs.
Can homeopathy be used to alleviate all ailments or only specific diseases and conditions?
According to the FDA these safe and gentle but deep acting medicines can be used to treat persons experiencing many kinds of medical conditions. If we look at homeopathy as a healing modality that helps your body to enhance your natural defenses we can say it can be used to help a person get rid of any dis-ease they may be suffering from. However there are definitely many conditions that be can helped by homeopathy such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), constipation, headaches and migraines to name a few. It can also treat children’s ailments such as ADHD (Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder), teething, infections, bed wetting and many other ailments. Furthermore, homeopathy is a great alternative for pregnant women since it is safe and non toxic.
Are homeopathic remedies available in pharmacies to the general public?
No, homeopathic medicines are not available for the public in Egypt.
Has the Ministry of Health acknowledged Homeopathy as a separate field of alternative medicine?
The Ministry of Health has not yet approved homeopathy as an alternative and complimentary healing system.
I have been a part of a team who founded the NGO, the Egyptian Scientific Society of Homeopathy (ESSH) whose aim is to promote an increased awareness of homeopathy and to try and make homeopathic remedies available in in pharmacies throughout Egypt and accessible to the general public, as they are in almost all of Europe as over the counter non-prescription remedies. It also ensures practitioners are adequately trained as per International Standards.
For more about homeopathy in Egypt and where to start training as a practitioner, you can go to the web site H2RC2.