Homeopathic Medicine Essay, Research Paper
Holistic Body Healing Through Homeopathy
Eeeww… you just threw up on me! my friend yelled, as my vomit
splattered to the ground. Gross, look at that! Ha, ha, ha! yelled a boy, as the
whole school looked at me and laughed. It was my first day of intermediate school
and I had a cold the night before. That morning before school started, I took some
antibiotics so I would fell better and have a fun day at school. To my surprise, the
medicine did not make me feel better. In fact, it made me feel even worse. Out of
shame from throwing up in front of the whole school, I told my friend sorry for
getting vomit on her and I ran to the health room to call my dad to pick me up.
When my dad came to pick me up, I asked him, Why did the medicine make me
throw up? I thought it was supposed to make me better.
These medications will most of the time make you better, but most of them
have many side effects too.
Like what kinds of side effects?
Well… the one you just took is said to have side effects like nausea,
vomiting, dizziness, and headaches. Some other medications have even more
serious side effects though.
So why do we have to take them?
It is actually better not to take too much of these kinds of medications.
Vitamins and natural medications are better.
What kinds of natural medicines?
Homeopathy is a good alternative medicine.
What s homeopathy?
We can read about it later.
After being in such shame at school, I never wanted something like that to
happen again. I was scared to take a lot of medications after this experience. I still
wanted to know what homeopathy was though. Since I was too busy with school
and swimming, I didn t have time to do any research on homeopathy. After that
year, homeopathy kind of slipped my mind, and I forgot about reading about it.
About seven years later, I had another similar experience with another
medicine that I took as a pain killer. The only difference with this experience was
that I was at home when I threw up. I still did not like the feeling, so I decided to
go to the library an borrow some books on homeopathy. I have had a great love for
medicines that heal my woes, and I learned that many other people feel the same.
There is a great romance occurring across the United States. It is not the
typical kind of love story one would expect; rather, it is one that most of us have
with our physicians and medicine in general. America, by in large, holds the
distinction of having the best medical practitioners who offer premier medical health
services, also known as allopathy, to their patients. Allopathy is a type of traditional
form of medicine. Although opinions about this varies from individual to individual,
and the quality of care also fluctuates from excellent to poor, medical treatment in
the United States, on the whole, is looked up to by the rest of the worlds as the best
in the world. This is reinforced by the variety of specialized health services
available as well as the rising costs of health care. Where does this romanticism
stem from? Robin Cook M.D., in his book The Year of the Intern, states that the
American public s adoration of the medical world lies deep within their psyche
(Cook 1). Furthermore, we demonstrate this notion by the hours people spend in
front of the television watching the diagnostic and therapeutic triumphs of
physicians (Cook 1). We have non-fictional programs such as Life in the ER, as
well as fictional programs such as Chicago Hope.
In either category, physicians are portrayed as omnipotent, knowledge-filled,
dedicated individuals; thus, reinforcing the God-like status the public has elevated
doctors to. Also, we live in a fast paced world and people seem to not have time to
be sick. We look for immediate and lifetime fixes to our ailments and woes,
anything that will provide instant relief. Thus, today s society is one that is very
dependent on the use of drugs and medicine.
Homeopathy is an alternative, natural form of medicine that could be taking
the place of allopathy. This natural form of medicine individualizes medicines
according to the totality of the person s symptoms thus, allowing whole body
healing. Although homeopathy is widely recognized to be safe (Ullman 3),
limitations and risks must be known for it to remain a safe medicine.
In Cummings and Ullman s book, Everybody s Guide to Homeopathic
Medicine, the noted that in the late 1700s, German physician, Samuel Hahnemann,
developed homeopathy – meaning similar suffering. While translating work by
William Cullen, a leading physiologist, Hahnemann was in shock that the author
claimed that Peruvian bark was dangerous. Because it contains quinine, which was
effective on malaria, Hahnemann could not believe that it was true. He then decided
to test the physiological effects of Peruvian bark by taking small doses himself. His
body eventually reacted to the drug, and he began to develop symptoms very similar
to those of malaria (8-10). As noted in Dana Ullman s book, Discovering
Homeopathy, Hahnemann concluded that the reason that the herb was beneficial
was because it caused symptoms similar to those of the disease it was treating.
After this conclusion, Hahnemann experiments on himself, his family, and small
group of followers (34).
The law of similars, also known as like cures like (Castro 4), is the basic
principle used throughout the world by people in and out of health care. This law
states that the agents causing symptoms in a healthy person may also cure the cause
of those symptoms in an unhealthy person (Cummings 8). Some of the concepts of
like cures like is used in allopathic medicine too. Radiation for example, is a
cancer treatment, but it can also cause cancer (Cummings 9). Also, immunizations
are based on the principles of similars. The law of similars is also a basic principle
of physics (Ullman 7). The fact that opposite poles attract, and similar pole repel
for magnets, is an example if how physics uses the law of similars. Another
example is when a magnet is weakened. You can recharge it by placing similar
poles next to each other and eventually, the magnet will recharge and will again
repel itself from the other. As in homeopathy, like recharges/regenerates/heals
like (Ullman 7). In the 4th century B.C., Hippocrates were known to have said:
Through the like, disease is produced, and through the application of the like it is
cured (Ullman 7).
Homeopathy is a natural form of medication made from a plant s roots, stems,
leaves, and seeds, as well as from minerals and some animal products (Stehlin 22).
In Dana Ullman s book, Discovering Homeopathy, he states that homeopaths
believe less is more, so minimal dosage is very important. The plant products are
crushed and mashed, and the juices are filtered and preserved in alcohol. This
mixture is potenized until it is one hundredth the strength of original plant juices.
The mixture is then potenized again, but with only one part of this, and 99 parts of
water or ethyl alcohol. The most common strengths of homeopathy are 3, 6, 9, 12,
30, 200, 1,000, 10,000, 50,000 or 100,000. The homeopathics are labeled to the
amount of strength they have. When it is labeled c, it is meant that the medicine
was diluted 1:99. When a medicine has the label x or D, it was diluted only 1:9.
When labeled LM, the medicine has been diluted 1:50,000 (11-13)
Homeopaths have observed that the more the medicine has been diluted, the
longer it acts, the deeper it heals, and fewer doses are actually needed (Ullman 12).
Unlike allopathic medicines, homeopathy is very safe because of the small doses
and the fact that there are no side effects (Ullman 3). The natural ingredients are
also a major factor in the safety of these medications. Because these substances are
diluted so much, all of the side effects have disappeared (Facklam 53).
Homeopathy allows whole body healing by working with, instead of against
the body s healing process. As stated online, Dana Ullman notes that these
homeopathic medications activate a sick person s natural defenses to heal itself.
They act as catalysts to the person s defenses to speed up the healing process.
Homeopaths believe that symptoms are signs of the body s defenses trying to get rid
of the disease. These doctors treat the person as a whole, instead of just the
symptoms by strengthening the body s own power to heal.
When homeopaths see symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, or coughing, they
observe that these symptoms are just responses signaling that something else is
wrong and needs to be taken care of (Ullman4). In Stephen Cummings and Dana
Ullman s book, Everybody s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines, they state that
Hahnemann strongly criticized allopathic medical treatments to only suppress
symptoms, thus only temporary and often times, even harmful because the
symptoms reoccurred, or sometimes, more threatening symptoms occurred (10).
Matthew Kluger and a team at the University of Michigan Medical School,
for example, showed that the body fights infections by creating a fever. The fever
helps to increase the activity of the white blood cells to fight against the disease. It
also initiates the production of an interferon, an antiviral substance, that is produces
by the body to also fight against the viruses. Another example of how the body
responds is having diarrhea and coughing. Diarrhea allows the dumping of
pathogens from the colon, and coughing clears the breathing passages (Ullman 5).
Homeopathic medicine also strengthens the person s overall immune system.
It improves health by stimulating the body s immune system to treat ill people, and
also calms others if it is necessary for this to be achieved. When a person s whole
immune system is strengthened, the less the chance of reoccurrence (Ullman online).
Online, Homeopathic Educational Services , Dana Ullman states
homeopathy tends to have long term benefits on people. Allopathic medical
treatments today tends to focus mainly on the former goal of treating symptoms,
while homeopaths primarily focus to help the ladder part of a person s own inherent
defense mechanisms. Although the allopathic form of direct treatment of symptoms
has immediate effects, its benefits are short term, and its side effects become long
term. Because allopathic types of treatment don t usually strengthen a persons own
defenses, a recurrence of health problems may occur. In contrast, homeopathy
strengthens a person s immune and defense system and this leads to long term
benefits, with even a prevention of recurrence.
Homeopathic medicine also helps internal healing as a whole. The entire
system works toward healing. These homeopathic medications help to repair organs
by stimulation of them and supporting systems. As a person is cured, symptoms
move from the innermost organs of the body to the outermost ones. When the
homeopathic medications are taken, the person is healed internally, as well as
externally. Each system uses the homeopathic medication to help repair themselves
at a quicker pace (Ullman 16-17).
In Dana Ullman s book, Discovering Homeopathy, he explains that the
healing progresses in different ways. He also states that Constantine Hering, M.D.
(1800-1880) was one of the first observers who noted different ways in which
healing progresses. He observed that the human body tries to externalize the
disease from serious, internal levels, to more superficial, external levels. An
example of this is when a rash occurs on a person with asthma as part of the
curative process , the process in which the body tries to externalize the disease
(17). Also, someone with a headache might have a day or two of fever and
sweating which should cure him/her. Allopathic doctors treat symptoms instead of
the true illness as homeopathic doctors do. For example, an allopathic doctor would
treat a person s skin rash with cortisone, but could possibly be reactivating the
person s asthma. Hering s second observation was that healing progresses from the
top of the body to the bottom (17). His third observation was that healing proceeds
in reverse order of appearance of the symptoms (17). The most recent symptoms
would be the first to be healed, but yet, could reoccur for a short period of time.
As stated in the book Discovering Homeopathy, Dana Ullman states that
homeopathic medicine is individualized according to the totality of a person s
symptoms. Human beings are assumed to live on three levels of experience. These
three levels are physical, emotional, and mental. Certain symptoms in each category
represent more serious stresses to a person s defense system. The mental category
is regarded as the deepest core of the health of a person. An example of a
symptom in the mental category is that a slightly poor memory could be the
symptoms of a state of mental confusion, or even a schizophrenic state (Ullman 16).
The emotional category is of secondary importance. An example of symptoms from
this category could be that a fear of death could actually mean that the person has a
more serious condition (Ullman 16). Lastly, there is the physical category. A
person with skin rash as their symptom could mean that he or she may have a heart
disease rather than hepatitis (Ullman 16).
When homeopaths give medicine to a person, it is individualized specifically
for them. Many people think that every person who has a headache, for example,
will need to take the same medications. But homeopaths believe that every person
has a different type of headache and needs an individualized medicine to heal it.
This way of thinking is what makes homeopathic medicine work so well. If a
person had a one-sided headache for example, he or she would take argentum
nitricum, a type of homeopathic medicine that should cure the person. If another
person had an occipital headache, a headache behind the head, he or she would take
gelsemium. Gelsemium is also a homeopathic medication, but it is individualized
specifically for an occipital headache. These are just examples of how each
medication is individualized for certain symptoms (Cummings 153).
Dana Ullman states that homeopathy is appropriate for almost everyone, but
knowing the limitations and risks is necessary. This form of medicine is good for
most reversible illnesses that are either chronic or acute, but not so good for
emergencies requiring modern technical medicine (25). Homeopathy does not set
bones, repair hernias, or remove burst appendixes, but it is a good complementary
treatment for these ailments (25).
The most dangerous of homeopathic medicine is that it could delay the use of
other potentially effective medical treatments. But since most homeopaths are
medical doctors or medical professionals, they normally know when allopathic
medical care is needed, or when referral to a specialist should be given.
Homeopaths are not against surgery, and in fact, are for it if the person is really in
need of it. Homeopathy is not effective for all diseased states such as when surgery
is required, immediate relief is needed, simple nutritional or life style changes are
required, and those who just don t improve when taking homeopathic medicine for
unknown reasons. Some symptoms are life-threatening, and call for immediate
treatments. Certain cases like meningitis requires immediate antibiotic treatment to
avoid possible brain damage or even death (Ullman 25).
Homeopathic medicine does not work as quickly as allopathic medicine
because of many factors. The dosages are so small that it will take a while for the
medicine to react correctly. Also, because this type of medicine causes long term,
not short term effects, the body takes a while to heal. Because these medicines help
with the healing of the whole body, and not just parts, the response period may be a
little delayed compared to allopathic medicine.
People require strict individualization which can be hard to find, but this will
allow the person to obtain the best results. The right medicine may sometimes take
a while to find. Because of this strict individualization of medication, homeopathic
medicines cannot always be counted on to do the job.
Another potential danger of homeopathic medicines occurs with excess
dosage. This process where symptoms could reoccur is called a proving (Ullman
27-28). It is not a major danger, but just a caution because it will end shortly after
the person stops taking the medicine. Sometimes, this proving is ended by taking
the same medicine in a more diluted form and some provings are stopped by taking
the antidote to the symptom of the medicine being proven.
Allopathy is the traditional form of medicine that has its advantages. This
type of allopathic treatment is appropriate for many life-threatening symptoms. For
acute and chronic problems, such as, an infection or broken bones, allopathic
treatments are of much value. Allopathic medications kill bacteria rapidly (Berkow
There are many people who question the value of homeopathic medicine.
Dr.Guy Sugino is a family practitioner and does not believe that homeopathic
medicine works. Sugino states why he believes allopathy is better than
The homeopathic medicines are diluted so much that it is just like you
are taking only water. It doesn t work. Allopathic medicine gives
rapid relief and the symptoms seem to deviate quickly. It also kills the
bacteria right then and there.
Despite some doctors criticism about homeopathy, Dr. Alan Hartwell
indicates that homeopathy is a alternative medical approach that will lead a person
to obtain excellent results if using the right remedy, also known as medication:
Homeopathic medicine is good if you use the right remedy. It is not
too easy to find it though. It is really safe. Both allopathic and
homeopathic medicines are needed at different times. I feel that
homeopathic medicine should be used first, and if it doesn t work, then
allopathic medicine should be used. But allopathic medication should
not be used if it is not needed.
He also described a few examples of patients he has treated and results that
indicates homeopathy really works. According to Hartwell, a little six-year-old girl
experienced hives all over her body. Her parents took her to an allopathic doctor
and the doctor gave her medication for allergies. The medication did not work, so
her parents took her to Hartwell. The doctor found out that she had an emotional
problem so he gave her some homeopathic medication to cure her. Within one hour,
all of her hives had disappeared.
In another example, Hartwell reported a patient who was treated for a
parasite in his body:
A man had an itch from a parasite for three years. He went to an
allopathic doctor and was given some medication. The medication
didn t work, and he came to me for help. I gave him a homeopathic
remedy called sulfur, and it all went away within a day. It never came
back ever since.
There is a place for both allopathy and homeopathy in the world. Both of
these forms of medicines are of use at different times. Appropriate choices must be
made when choosing which treatments are best for each person. Each individual
has different lifestyles and beliefs. Some people believe that allopathic medication
is the only source of relief, while others believe that homeopathy is the only type of
treatment to be used.
Medicine is used very often and is very expensive. Allopathic medical
treatments are covered by insurance companies, but homeopathic treatments are not.
Thus, many people may feel that the cost of homeopathy is too expensive. Another
reason that homeopathy is so expensive is because the right remedy is needed for
positive results to occur. Because it is not certain that the right medicine will be the
first one you buy, many could be used before finding the right one. Even though
allopathic medicine is also expensive, insurance pays for most of the costs.
Methods used by allopathic doctors should sometimes be avoided, especially
when they deal with suppressing, controlling, or managing symptoms because these
therapies do not allow the body to defend and heal itself. These types of treatments
also have many side effects that are often worse than the problem itself.
Homeopathic medicines, on the other hand, are prescribed to help the body s
immune and defense systems heal themselves. This form of healing respects the
body s wisdom to heal itself. These medicines are not antibacterial or antiviral, but
strengthen the person s immune system for these types of infections (Ullman
Online). Homeopathic medicines strengthen the individual so that he or she is more
capable of defending his or herself, without producing the side effects commonly
experienced when taking antibiotics. This form of alternative medicine helps a
person return to homeostasis when it is needed.
Because many allopathic doctors induce diseases from the medicines they
use, homeopathy seems to be the best alternative form of medicine. Although
homeopathy has no side effects and usually has many effective results, there are
certain precautions that must be taken. If patients lack a thorough understanding of
homeopathy, they will be taking many risks and death could occur. This would be
something that could occur when the person does not know when other potentially
effective medical treatment is needed. Homeopathy may help, but under certain
conditions, allopathic treatment may be needed. Thus, it is important to know that
allopathic treatment may be needed when emergencies are involved. Homeopathy
could sometimes be the difference between whether or not a person will live or die.
It could also prevent people from dying from some doctor-induced disease, where
a person could contract a more serious illness than the original one.
Though my childhood experience was a very embarrasing moment for me, I
also profited from it. If I never experienced the side effects of an allopathic
medication, I probably would not have had the pleasure of learning about
homeopathy. I also might have contracted an even more serious side effect later in
my life if I didn t learn about allopathic medicines. I have learned that there is a
place for both allopathic and homeopathic medicines in a person s life. Both of
these types of medications do not cure all, so people just need to now which type of
medicine is needed at each specific time.
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N.J.: Merck & Co., Inc., 1977.
Castro, Miranda. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook: a guide to everyday health
care. New York: St. Martin s Press, 1990.
Cook, Robin, M.D. The Year of the Intern. New York: Penguin Books Ltd., 1972.
Cummings, Stephen and Ullman, Dana. Everybody s Guide to Homeopathic
Medicine. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1984.
Facklam, Howard. Alternative Medicine: cures or myths?. New York:
Twenty-First Century Books, 1996.
Gibson, D.M. First Aid Homeopathy: in accidents and ailments. New York: The
British Homeopathic Association – Tenth Edition, 1983.
Hartwell, Alan Dr. Personal interview. 14 May 1999.
Olsen, Kristin Gottschalk The Encyclopedia of Alternative Health Care. New
York: Pocket Books 1989.
Stehlin, Isadora. What s Behind Homeopathic Care? . Consumers Research.
Jan. 1997: 22-24.
Sugino, Guy Dr. Personal interview. 6 May 1999.
Ullman, Dana. Discovering Homeopathy: medicine for the 21st century. New
York: North Atlantic Books 1991.
—. Homeopathic Educational Services
Online. Internet.12 May 1999.