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Homeopaths believe that there is a “vital force” that regulates the body and maintains it in a state of well-being. If this force is put under strain illness can result, and Homeopaths see symptoms of illness as an indication that the body is using its natural self-healing abilities to fight back. Homeopathy attempts to stimulate the body’s self-healing process rather that suppress symptoms.

There are two main laws that further make up the theory of homeopathy, namely the Law of Similars and the Law of Potentisation. The former is based on the principle that “like cures like”, and says that a patients’ symptoms will determine the remedy needed to activate the self-healing capability of their vital force. Remedies are derived from substances that cause symptoms similar to those of the illness, e.g. Eyebright is an irritant herb used to sooth sensitive eyes. The principle of “like cures like” can be found in the writings of Hippocrates dating from the 5th century BC, and has been applied through the ages in folklore, such as rubbing chilblains with snow.

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However it was Samuel Hahnemann who rediscovered this principle in the late 18th century and developed Homeopathy. The Law of Potentisation says that diluting doses repeatedly makes the remedy not only safe to take but also increasingly potent, in fact remedies may contain nothing of the original substance!

Remedies are made from plant, animal, and mineral extracts, which are processed to form the “mother tincture”. One drop of the mother tincture is repeatedly diluted in alcohol until the required potency is reached. A few drops are then added to a jar of lactose tablets, and the jar is then swirled to ensure that each tablet properly absorbs the remedy. It is these tablets that the patient takes.

The following are examples of conditions that can be treated using homeopathic remedies:

  • Long-term and relapsing disorders.
  • Asthma and allergies.
  • Anxiety, nervous tension, shock.
  • Eczema.
  • Menstrual and menopausal problems.
  • Pregnancy problems including morning sickness.

Please note that a good homeopath will always do a thorough consultation before commencing a treatment, and will also provide advice about aftercare and homecare.


The following books were referenced for this section:

Encyclopedia of Natural Healing by Anne Woodham and Dr David Peters

Holistic Therapy – A Practical Approach by Francesca Gould

See our full range of Holistic Therapy books in the Further Exploration section.

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