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In Defense of Homeopathy

Homeopathy is here to stay.  Despite relentless criticism from skeptics and fundamentalists, homeopathy has withstood the test of time. 

 

“…and this little piggy cried, woo woo woo, all the way home.”

Since its inception over 200 years ago, homeopathy has been the target of almost constant antipathy from the prevailing school of orthodox medicine. Given so much organized resistance from the mainstream, one would think that if homeopathy were much ado about nothing it would not have endured. It would have withered on the vine a long time ago. And yet it has persisted. No, it thrives—all across the globe—for a number of very good reasons.

When a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann discovered that a miniscule dose of a medicinal substance designed to mimic the symptom pattern of a sick person could paradoxically provoke a healing response in that same person, a medical revolution was set in motion. Dr. Hahnemann referred to this surprising phenomenon as the law of similars. As opposed to the conventional medical approach, which uses opposites to combat symptoms (antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, antihistamines, anticonvulsants, etc.), homeopathy represents a different approach to healing, one that uses “likes to cure likes.”

The standard treatment for a bee sting or a case of poison ivy might involve the use of an antihistamine to suppress the inflammatory swelling, redness, and itching. A homeopathic practitioner, on the other hand, might recommend a highly diluted dose of a medicine made from the honeybee in the former case, and a similar dose of a medicine made from the poison ivy plant in the latter. It’s a little bit like the use of anti-venoms to treat snakebites, only the doses used in homeopathy are much smaller.

 

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