This may be the first time you’ve ever thought about trying homeopathy. Well, you are joining an international community - because over 200 million people worldwide use homeopathic medicines as part of their normal health care. In India, over 100 million people depend solely on homeopathic medicine. India has over 100 homeopathic medical schools and 250,000 homeopathic doctors. Homeopathy is also popular in South America, and in Brazil and Mexico it is integrated into the national healthcare services. Its use is widespread in many European countries, as well as in Israel, South Africa, Australia and Canada
In the UK, homeopathy is available on the NHS though not widely, despite the fact that it is supported by the Royal Family - the Queen has had a personal homeopathic physician since 1820. It is also popular with many sports personalities and celebrities in this country. It is estimated that around 9 million people in the UK use some kind of complementary or alternative medicine. According to a YouGov poll of 2015, 26% of the UK population believe homeopathy should be available free on the NHS.
Homeopathy is a well-regulated and gentle form of medicine, suitable even for small babies, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
Homeopathy rarely causes side-effects
It is safe to use alongside conventional medicines, so if you have to take something from your doctor this doesn’t mean that homeopathy won’t work for you
Although changing to a healthier diet and getting plenty of exercise will help your health and well-being in general, it is not necessary to follow a particular diet or lifestyle in order to use homeopathic medicine
The word homeopathy is derived from Greek words meaning similar suffering.
The founder of this branch of medicine, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), used this term to refer to the fact that homeopathy is based on the principle of 'like cures like'. In conventional medicine, for example, if you have diarrhoea, you take a substance which constipates you. In homeopathic treatment, however, you take a micro-dose of a substance which causes diarrhoea in other healthy people. How exactly this works is still unclear, but the homeopathic approach is systematic, worldwide and it has been around for 200 years now. Many people feel that it works well for them and they don’t mind that its mechanism of action is not yet fully understood.
All homeopathic medicines are initially tested on volunteers in a ‘Proving’ – something akin to a clinical trial. They are derived from all four kingdoms of nature: animal, vegetable, mineral and human. Many of the common remedies are made from well-known healing plants, such as Arnica or Calendula (Pot Marigold) or from common minerals or metals, like Sulphur or Gold.