Homeopathy Frequently Asked Questions

What is homeopathy?

Homeopathy treats illness by stimulating your body’s own natural healing powers. Your homeopath builds up a complete picture of you and prescribes treatment for you as an individual, not simply for your complaint.

How does it work?

Homeopaths see symptoms as a sign that you body is attacking an illness and use remedies which encourage this response and help the healing process. When you have symptoms of illness, your homeopath will give you a remedy which would produce similar symptoms if taken when you were healthy. Sometimes referred to as treating like with like. But this remedy is given in minute quantities so that it triggers your body’s self-healing response without any other ill effect.

Why should I try homeopathy?

Homeopathic remedies are mainly made from natural materials and have almost no side-effects. They are particularly appealing to people who prefer natural products to conventional drugs, those with chronic conditions, and to parents and others responsible for the care of children. Some illnesses can be treated entirely with homeopathy which offers a much more gentle way to health.

What can homeopathy treat?

Many conditions can be treated effectively by homeopathy, from asthma, rheumatism, arthritis, eczema to more simple cases of cuts and bruises. Homeopathy is being used increasingly by doctors, dentists, midwives and many other healthcare professionals because of an increasing understanding of the therapeutic benefits and in response to growing public demand. Vets also find it a valuable addition to the range of treatments available for animals in their care.

What does treatment involve?

To discover how best to help, the homeopath will want to know not only about your illness but also about you. How you are affected by environmental factors such as temperature and the weather, the kinds of food that you eat or the food you avoid, your moods and feelings, and your medical history will all help to establish a complete picture of you as a person.
The homeopath then relates the description of your current symptoms to all this background knowledge in order to prescribe the correct remedy at the right strength. Choice of remedy is therefore based on you and your condition, not just on your symptoms.

What is a remedy?

Remedies are derived from a variety of natural materials including plants and minerals and are prepared in licensed laboratories under strict quality control. They are given in liquid, tablet, granule or powder form and are available in different, but extremely dilute strengths which are identified by a potency number. Choosing the right remedy at the appropriate strength is very important.
Over-the-counter remedies are usually strength 6C. This means that the substance has undergone 6 steps in a series of dilutions, where each step involves taking 1 part of the remedy and diluting it in 99 parts of alcohol.
A fascinating but as yet unexplained characteristic of homeopathic remedies is that the more dilute a remedy, the more effective it is. For example, a remedy diluted 30 times by a factor of 100 (strength 30C) is much more potent than a 6C remedy, even though it contains less of the original substance.

How often do I have to take the remedy?

This will vary, depending on the severity or nature of the problem. It can be as frequent as one tablet every half hour or as infrequently as one tablet monthly or per annum. Remedies which have acted only need to be repeated when the symptoms recur.

How should I take the remedy?

Avoid putting anything in your mouth for half-an-hour before or after taking your remedy. Some homeopaths advise completely avoiding strong substances like coffee and mint while taking remedies.

How should I store the remedies?

Most medicines are fairly delicate and need to be treated quite carefully. Homeopathic remedies should be stored away from strong light, strong temperature variations and strong smells. All three can inactivate them.

Can I use homeopathy and aromatherapy at the same time?

You should not store your homeopathic remedies in the same place as your aromatherapy oils and you should not take a homeopathic remedy at exactly the same time as you apply an aromatherapy oil, but you can undergo both treatments for your illness.

How should I handle the remedies?

As little as possible. It is best to tip one pillule into the lid of their container and then tip the medicine into your mouth. Try to touch the remedy with your fingers only if you really have to, and as little as you can. Handling remedies too much can inactivate them.

Should I stop my other medication?

No. Homeopathic remedies can be safely taken along with other medicines. It can be very dangerous to stop a medicine which you have been using for some time. The remedies will not interfere with your other drugs. You will be able to reduce your other drugs if you begin to improve under the influence of the homeopathic ones.

Why have I heard that some homeopaths tell their patients to stop their other drugs?

It is very unusual for a qualified health care professional to give such an instruction. It is true that some drugs can produce such an inhibitory effect on homeopathic remedies, particularly steroids and other drugs which suppress the immune system. However, experienced homeopathic practitioners will tell you that it is still possible to see the remedies produce good effects in the face of these drugs. Drugs should only be stopped when they are no longer clinically necessary.

How do I find a good homeopath?

To find a qualified Homeopath go to the home page of this site and click on the area where you live. This will provide you with contact details if there is a practitioner who is using homeopathy in a particular area.

For details of homeopaths who obtained an MTech(Hom) through the University of Johannesburg or the Durban University of Technology, contact the Homoeopathic Association of South Africa (HSA) at 086 111 4547 or www.hsa.org.za

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