Homeopathic & Herbal Systems as used by Atiq Ahmad Bhatti
Homeopathy is a gentle, holistic system of healing, suitable for all ages, from newborns, infants and babies, expecting mothers, and generally the young and old.
Homeopathy is called an holistic approach because it is a medical system teaching that the whole patient must be taken into consideration to effectively treat him/her for whatever he/she may be suffering from.
The word Homeopathy comes from Latin, homeo meaning 'same', pathos meaning 'illness.' It is a system that has been recognised for over 250 years now and is a method of stimulating the body to heal itself.
This teaching has in fact been around since the time of Hippocrates, also referred to as the father of medicine, and lived 400 years before Christ. Many of Hippocrates discoveries are still being practiced in the world of medicine today - especially in the world of Homeopathy and Biochemic Medicine.
Hippocrates taught that diseases came from natural causes.
His knowledge came from observing many patients and carefully recording their symptoms and the way their illnesses developed. He would look at the color of the skin, and how the eyes looked. He would look for fevers and chills. He told his students to carefully observe their patients and to learn from the things they had observed. He said that the human body could heal itself and could return itself to good health.
Thus, in real terms, this system of medicine we know as Homeopathy has in actual fact been around for over 2,400 years, it's nothing new, but it is now more highly refined and adjusted to fit into the illnesses and diseases of the 21st century.
Treatment in homeopathy has both a scientific and holistic approach. One has to consider everything that can possibly influence the individual, for example:
Detailed family history of illnesses and other influences, past personal history of the individual. The causative factors - bad reactions to vaccinations and other illnesses, never been well since. General history of disease as in medical practice and diagnoses after proper investigations.
Homeopathic history of individuals and individual variations of persons - mental, general and local, to determine the constitution of the individual.
History and Development of Homeopathy
In 1789, a young physician in Europe named Dr. Samuel Hahnemann made a brilliant medical discovery on the possibility of treating disease by way of potentised remedies. Dr. Hahnemann called this system of medicine Homeopathy, and although the principles date back to Hippocrates it was Dr. Hahnemann who has been credited with organizing it into a modern scientific and medical system.
As mentioned earlier, Homeopathy is based on the principle of the law of similars - or like treats like. The law of similars tells us that any harmful substance in its crude/pure form that is capable of inducing varying symptoms or condition upon a healthy patient will, if diluted to an infinitesimal/minute dose, bring about a cure for those symptoms induced, thus reversing its properties from it being a harmful substance to a curative and healing substance.
If you wanted to understand this visually, take a colour photograph against a negative of that same image. The colour photograph would have all its detail without tarnish and look pleasing to the eye. The negative contains only the reverse of that image so that it can be reproduced back to its original glory. The Homeopathic principle is the same.
The Homeopathic remedies can be taken to be the negative images of the original, thus removing the harmful toxicity or side effects but providing enough information to be able to restore the individual's health through the law of similars.
Let me give you another example to explain this better. We have a scenario where a child ingests certain poisons. In this case one may administer syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting from a conventional route of medicine.
Why? Well Ipecac is derived from the root of a South American plant called Ipecacuanha. The name, in the native language, means "the plant by the road which makes you throw up."
Eating the plant thus causes vomiting.
However, from a Homeopathic system of medicine, Ipecac - because it induces vomiting in a healthy patient - given in cases of incessant morning sickness with nausea would allay the similar suffering.
In Dr. Hahnemann's time, provings were carried out to ascertain the inducing effect of certain remedies as we know them today.
Thus for example let's take a look at Atropa Belladonna - or deadly nightshade. If taken in pure form - symptoms are characterised by redness and heat. The fever is high, the face is red, the pulse can be seen in the veins of the neck.
Given in a Homeopathic dilution, Belladonna can thus be used for the treatment of any of the above, such symptoms being caused by fever, teething of infants or an allergic response.
Dr. Hahnemann described this principle by using a Latin phrase: Similia Similibus Curentur, which translates: "Let likes cure likes." The science of homeopathy differs from that of conventional medicine because it stimulates the body to recover itself. The remedies given are thus stimulants.
Another way of looking at it is to class Homeopathy as a catalyst to health restoration. Homeopathy does not believe in suppression of the disease in any form whatsoever.
It is important to note here that 60% of Homeopathic medicine is derived from natural plant sources, the remainder 40% being from mineral, animal and biological matter. Homeopathy has been widely used throughout the world for more than 200 years.
In 2000, the House of Lords' Select Committee on Science & Technology cited homeopathy as one of the five Group One therapies, having "an individual diagnostic approach" along with osteopathy, chiropractic, herbal medicine and acupuncture. Homeopathy can be safely used alongside conventional medicines.
Homeopathic medicine is unique, potentised energy medicine, drawn from the plant, mineral and animal worlds. They are diluted to such a degree that not one molecule of the original substance can be detected (after the 12c potency, or 24x potency, past the Avogadro law - based on Amedeo Avogadro - 1776-1856). In essence all that is left is the blueprint of the substance that thus promotes healing, safely and 100% free of side effects.
Preparation of Homeopathic Medicine
The process of making Homeopathic remedies is very distinct.
Homeopathic medicines are classified as potencies with either a decimal or centesimal extension. For example Calc Phos 6x is a Homeopathic dilution of Calcium Phosphate to a potency of 6x, a decimal potency.
Calc Phos 6c is a Homeopathic dilution of Calcium Phosphate to a potency of 6c, a centesimal potency.
For remedies derived from soluble substances, such as animal or plant extracts, the raw material is dissolved in an alcohol / water mixture that contains approximately 90% pure alcohol and 10% distilled water ( ratio may vary depending on substance) this mixture is left to stand for 2-4 weeks, shaken occasionally and then strained through a press. The resulting liquid is known as the mother tincture.
So for example, this would be how the Homeopathic mother tinctures of Craetegus and Syzgium are prepared.
Insoluble substances such as gold, calcium carbonate and graphite, must first be made soluble by a process known as trituration, in which they are ground continually until they become soluble substances. These are then given the same process as above of dissolving in a mixture of alcohol and water.
To produce different remedy potencies, the mother tincture is diluted in an alcohol/water mixture according to the two scales, and as mentioned, the decimal (x) and the centesimal (c). In the decimal scale the dilution factor is 1:10 and in the centesimal it is 1:100.
It is important to point out here that between every stage of dilution the diluted tincture is succussed (shaken vigorously). One can refer to this as active agitation.
Active agitation, or succussion, the key to potency, is a system of specialized agitation during the production process and as such is a special part of the manufacture of homeopathic medicine
In allopathic medicine, when prescribing a drug, often the principle is based on the bigger the dose the greater the therapeutic effect.
Homeopathic prescribing adopts the opposing view: the smaller the drug dose, the more potent its effect.
It is thought that the process of succession excites the electrons of the active ingredient, allowing the molecules to, in effect, "rub shoulders" with the molecules of the base solution, which is water and alcohol.
In this way an exchange of molecular information occurs so that the entire mixture becomes potentiated with the strength and abilities of the original active ingredient. This process is made possible by the electromagnetic properties of homeopathy.
Homeopathy has a wide application, from acute fevers, sore throats and toothache, to chronic illnesses such as arthritis, eczema, asthma, anxiety, mild depression and chronic fatigue syndrome and more. There has been some very good research evidence to support this.
Some people ask, should I keep seeing my GP? Well of course the answer is yes. It is recommend that you should maintain your relationship with your GP who will be able to arrange any tests or X-rays you may need. Homeopathy has an alternative philosophy but by working in this way with your GP the two systems of health care can provide a complementary service, and a COMPLETE recovery.
Although homeopathy and herbology (herbal remedies) are often confused with each other, they are actually quite distinct from each other. Although some herbs are used in the preparation of homeopathic remedies the mechanisms by which they are meant to work are different. In fact, they are the opposite of each other.
The fact that many companies provide both herbal and homeopathic remedies under the same brand name only adds to this confusion.
Herbal medicine, sometimes referred to as Herbalism, Botanical medicine or Herbology, is the use of plants in a wide variety of forms for their therapeutic value. Herb plants produce and contain a variety of chemical compounds that act upon the body and are used to prevent or treat disease or promote health and well-being.
Humans, and even Neanderthals, have used plants to treat their ailments for at least tens of thousands of years; most likely even longer than that.
The first written accounts of the use of herbs in medication originate in China , although all other civilisations from the ancient world were using plants as natural remedies for their ailments. Western herbal medicine dates back to ancient Greece and its famous doctors like Hippocrates and Galen.
The 15th to 17th centuries were the most popular time for herbalism in Europe. Herbal remedies are still relatively popular today, mainly due to the fact that they are regarded as harmless because they are natural.
As herbal treatments have been around for so long, and in so many cultures, there are numerous ways that they are believed to work. Many explanations lie in the mystical thinking of ancient cultures. Some believe that the appearance of the plant gives an indication of what it can be used to treat; this physical resemblance between the plant and the body part to be cured is known as the "'Doctrine of Signatures"; a heart shaped plant would be used to treat heart problems, for example.
From the middle ages on, many practitioners have tried to classify herbal remedies by observation of their effects. This is closer to the modern scientific approach of gathering evidence.
Eastern herbal medicine still adheres to the mystical approach in its theories whilst western herbalists tend to use herbs for the ingredients they contain; mixing and matching them in the way that conventional medicine does with modern drugs.
The three main branches of herbal medicine are:
The Western herbal tradition based on Greek, Roman and medieval sources; The Ayurvedic tradition of India; Chinese herbal medicine.
Remedies are produced by either taking the whole plant, or just the part of the plant required and often mixing it with other plants. They are usually boiled in water or alcohol, and made into: herbal teas; herbal decoctions; herbal syrup; herbal tincture; infused oils; salves & ointment/creams.
In 1815 Samuel Hahnemann wrote:
"Our art requires no political lever, no worldly decorations in order to become something. It grows gradually, at first unrecognized, surrounded as it were by all manner of weeds which luxuriate around it, from an insignificant acorn to a sapling, soon its summit will overtop the rank weeds. Patience! It is striking deep its roots into the earth, it is increasing in strength imperceptibly but all the more surely and will in its own time grow into an oak of God, which no longer is shaken by storms, spreads out its branches into all regions that suffering mankind may be healed under its beneficent shade."