Homeopathic medicine in antique bottles.
Homeopathic medicine seeks to treat the underlying conditions that may result in a disease or disorder. The idea behind homeopathic medicine is that diluted forms of substances that cause a condition will trigger the body’s natural defenses to fight that condition. Because each patient is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Because of the dangerous nature of the medications and the difference in dosing, homeopathic medicine should not be self-administered.
The theories of homeopathic medicine has been around since ancient Greece, however many of the practices have been put into practice only in the last 200 years. In homeopathy’s infancy, some of the medicines produced were made of locally grown plants. Those herbal treatments are still in existence, and widely used today.
A homeopathic physician will diagnose the patient depending on a combination of factors, including the patient’s symptoms, his worries and stressors, food cravings and aversions, and reactions. Because of this, two people with arthritis may receive different treatments.
Some of the more well-known herbs used to treat conditions homeopathically include Bryonia for cold and flu symptoms, dropsy and rheumatoid arthritis, pleurisy and as a purgative. Aconite, also called wild rose, monkshood, and wolfsbane, is commonly used for colds as well. Historically, the success of using Aconite to treat colds is cited as the reason that many physicians gave up bloodletting as a medical practice. Belladona is often given as a headache remedy as well as for flu symptoms, Gelsemium (false jasmine) is another cold and flu remedy. Finally, Eupatorium Perfoliatum is used for winter colds that include sneezing, chest colds and acute mucous inflammation. Remedies made from Aesculus (horse chestnut) may be used to treat depression and hemorrhoids, while Aloe has been valued since Greek times as a purgative and tonic as well as for moodiness or slothfulness that can cause internal disorders such as constipation.