“Physical” Homeopathy

When someone says that they’re going to the health food store to “buy a homeopathic remedy”, they’re often mistaken. You’ll hear people misuse the term all of the time, and once you understand why, you’ll have a much better understanding of how and when to apply homeopathy in the treatment or prevention of disease.

The mistake that has almost become standard in every expression of the term, is to associate and even define what is “homeopathic” as that which has been potentized, ie diluted and succussed. While this is the most common method for delivering a remedy homeopathically, it does NOT define the essence of what a homeopathic remedy is. The key to understanding it is in terms of a relationshipthat is, a given remedy is homeopathic to a given disease when there is a high degree of similarity between the two.

To make this as clear as possible, let me illustrate with some examples:

  • Someone with an upset stomach may successfully find relief by drinking some camomile tea — the relationship between the essential properties of chamomile as an artificial disease, and the disease causing a stomach ache are often highly homeopathic (ie similar). The tea has NOT been potentized, yet is still acting completely on the basis of homeopathic principles.
  • Some Native Americans would traditionally drink from a tea made from poison ivy plants in the spring in order to create an immunity from it for the season.
  • In first aid treatment of burns, the approach which promotes the quickest healing, and the least degree of pain and scarring is to apply a similar (but slightly reduced) degree of heat as the original burn. For example, the next time you burn you hand on the stove element, the best treatment is to hold your hand at the point of proximity to the element where the burning sensation in the hand ceases. But be careful not to get too close, and deepen the original burn! After a few seconds, when the pain starts to flare up again, repeat again, and as many times as necessary until the pain naturally melts away. The conventional approach to burns is to submerge the hand in cold water, but this causes tissue damage, and prolongs the healing process unnecessarily.
  • This example isn’t strictly homeopathic, but still illustrates the general point of this article : Drinking hot tea, or soup on a hot summer day actually promotes the body’s cooling mechanisms. The reason that I say it isn’t strictly homeopathic, is that there is no true disease in this example, but just a simple imbalance. The reason that the mechanism is similar here, is that there is a duality of action — the body takes in the hot liquid which temporarily raises your temperature, against which it responds with a cooling response.
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