The Natural Way

Sunday, January 16, 2005

We live in a world that is hard to understand, sometimes impossible. Some people rely on science to sort things out, some use faith and most people use a little bit of both flavored with the practicality of luck.

Homeopathic medicine is an interesting field that challenges science and belief. Homeopathics are not herbal medicines nor prescribed drugs, and aren't exactly in the naturopathic field. Homeopathic practitioners go to school for a long while in order to ply their trade. There just aren't many of them in the U.S., but in Europe and Britain there are many.

Homeopathy is based on the idea of "the hair of the dog" and "less is more." You find many strange words like Aconitum napellus and oscillococcinum describing what you find in tiny little sugar pills that are dissolved under the tongue. To a "T" they all taste good, making them ideal for children and adults, though standard disclaimers are used for children and babies.

Do they work? For most people, yes, in my opinion. I recollect reading that in Britain, homeopathic remedies were clinically studied as they have a socialized system of care in place and wanted to reduce cost as well as avoid pricey drugs. If homeopathics were well chosen, they were found to help in about 60 percent of the patients. If you consider 20 percent of people get better with just sugar pills, then you can see that at least 40 percent had measurable benefit.

Western medicine can't fathom this, as there isn't enough active ingredient to have a clinical benefit - remember the "less is more approach." The homeopathics use so little medicine that chemists sometimes have a hard time finding any in the little pill.

In the U.S., hundreds of different homeopathics are packaged so you can choose your own. Usually, there will be a description for use followed by specific symptoms. The fingers should not touch the little pills and following the dosage instruction on the bottle is highly suggested. For colds and flu I like oscillococcinum, dolicare, Aconitum napellus or pulsatilla.

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