The truth about homeopathy, part 1
Switch on Health offers the only accredited Homeopathy course in Australia. This series of articles answers some of the frequently asked questions about Homeopathy. If you're thinking of studying Homeopathy, or just want to know a bit about it, or even if you feel it is quackery, read on!
What are homeopathic medicines made of?
Slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails? Almost. There are literally thousands of sources of homeopathic medicines. Plants are a great example. In fact, using plants as medicine (i.e. herbal medicine) is the oldest known form of medicine, going back thousands of years. Perhaps the most well known homeopathic plant remedy is Arnica, which is used for any kind of physical shock or trauma or bruising.
Arnica is also an excellent remedy for the emotional effects of trauma. One of the indicators for this remedy is when a person says they are fine, but clearly, they are not. Other signs are holding the affected body part, not wanting to move it, and not wanting to be touched. Just think of someone clutching an almost severed thumb and saying, "I'm fine, it's okay, leave me alone...."
Another popular homeopathic plant remedy is Chamomile. Well known for its calming effects as a tea, homeopathic Chamomile (Chamomilla) is often prescribed for babies who are teething. Although Chamomilla could be prescribed at any age, you'll see why it is so popular for teething babies. The Chamomilla patient is sensitive to pain and feels wholly consumed by it.
This makes them extremely irritable and angry, and they dislike being spoken to or even looked at. However, they like to be cuddled and will become instantly angry again when put down. They are difficult to please! One of the hallmarks of a Chamomilla patient is having one cheek that is red and the other pale.
The animal kingdom is also a source of many remedies, as are reptiles, insects, and spiders! (Don't worry, the dose of the substance you are receiving in Homeopathy is extremely diluted, but more on this later). A reptile remedy that is well known among Homeopaths is Lachesis, which comes from a snake.
We could write a whole case study on this remedy (and we probably will at some point), but here are a few summary points in the meantime. This particular snake, the Bushmaster, lies in wait for its prey. When it strikes, it does so viciously and swiftly, without warning. It has a rapidly moving tongue and is highly venomous.
The Lachesis personality is often one who likes to talk - a lot - and indeed they often have a vicious tongue and can be cruel with their words, quickly and suddenly cutting you down verbally. Having a 'forked tongue', they are known for telling you what you want to hear and can change their story to suit the circumstance.
They are therefore often not trusted (and they trust no-one!) yet they are also often highly charismatic with many people revering or following them. It has been suggested that a particular well known President is a Lachesis personality.
Speaking of that sharp tongue, here's one a little closer to home - the man who once referred to Prime Minister John Howard as a "little desiccated coconut" and treasurer Peter Costello as "all tip and no iceberg." Ouch! What is it about Lachesis and power?
Incidentally, you often find Lachesis types wearing a combination of red and black - colours that spell danger in the jungle and warn others not to get too close, just like the red-bellied black snake.
Remember the game 'animal vegetable or mineral'? Minerals and metals are another source of Homeopatic remedies. If we were to say to you 'sulphur', what would you think of? Probably the colour yellow, and bad smells, like rotten eggs. Sulphur is sometimes indicated as the remedy when someone has offensive smelling discharge. This could be in the form of bad gas, strongly smelling urine, or sweat. Don't use the bathroom after them! They often appear to not care too much about their appearance. They are often 'hot' and may look flushed, and they prefer the cool outdoors to being inside a warm room. This can be a good remedy if someone has diarrhoea that burns, or eczema that is red, hot, and itchy.
Want to learn more about natural medicine?
In this short post, we have just touched upon the fascinating field of Homeopathy. If you want to learn more about complementary medicine, Switch on Health has several short courses and accredited qualifications that you will love, including Advanced Diplomas in Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Naturopathy and Homeopathy. Browse the short courses or learn more about our accredited Advanced Diploma programs.