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Homeopathic Medicine HOL-emblem1-web.GIF (3556 bytes)

Principles of Homeopathy

In conventional medicine, the symptoms are considered to be a manifestation of the disease. The drugs are given to kill the bacteria causing it or to dampen the symptom of the condition. Homeopaths, on the other hand, see the symptoms as the body's attempt to heal itself. They see the symptom as a positive sign that the body's defense mechanism is trying to fight the underlying cause and by this reasoning, they insist that the symptoms should not be suppressed as we are working against the body's attempt to cure it. 

Homeopathic Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine

Homeopathic Medicine

Conventional Medicine


Is an individual expression of imbalance and has important meaning


Occurs in well-defined groups based on pathology, and meaning of illness is irrelevant


Are evidence of disharmony and the person's attempt to restore order

Are analyzed to follow progress of treatment


Are bad

Successful treatment makes them go away


The understanding of the phenomenon of the illness

The whole person is taken into account


The search for the structural cause



Individualized and based on the entire expression of symptoms

Self-care (what the client does) is emphasized

Based on like cures like and potentized microdoses of medicines


Based on the pathologic diagnosis


What the doctor does is emphasized

Based on opposing and suppressing symptoms, and high doses of medicine

For a further discussion on the difference in the philosophy of holistic medicine vs. conventional medicine, please read the chapter on alternative medicine.

The laws of homeopathy are the law of similars, the principle of minimum dose and prescription for the individual.

The Law of Similars

The principle that like shall be cured by like, or Similia similibus curantur. This principle, recognized by physicians and philosophers since ancient times, became the basis of Hahnemann's formulation of the homeopathic doctrine: the proper remedy for a patient's disease is that substance that is capable of producing, in a healthy person, symptoms similar to those from which the patient suffers.

In other words, a substance produces symptoms of illness in a well person when administered in large doses; if we administer the same substance in minute quantities, it will cure the disease in a sick person. Hahnemann suggested that this is because nature will not allow two similar diseases to exist in the body at the same time. Thus homeopaths will introduce a similar artificial disease into the body which will push the original one out. The dose is small so that there is no danger of any long term side effects.

The Principle of Minimum Dose

This principle states that extreme dilution enhances the curative properties of a substance, while eliminating any possible side effects. This is just the reverse of conventional drug philosophy where a minimum dose is required for effect. Starting from the conventional dose, as we decrease the concentration (or increase the dilution), the medicine become less and less efficient. But below a threshold, the medicine start getting potent again. Homeopaths uses this region of potency.

Whole Person Prescribing

A homeopath studies the whole person. Characteristics such as their temperament, personality, emotional and physical responses when prescribing a remedy, etc. are studied. So, a homeopath may treat different persons exhibiting the same symptom differently. (For example, two persons exhibiting flu like symptoms may get two different medication from the homeopath based on the appraisal of the mind body constitution.)

Laws of Cure

There are three laws of cure, They are:

bulletA remedy starts at the top of the body and works downward
bulletA remedy works from within the body outward, and from major to minor organs
bulletSymptoms clear in reverse order of appearance.

Application of the three principles of cure means that you will feel better emotionally before you will feel better physically.

Next Topic: How Do Homeopathic Remedies Work?

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