I very much enjoyed reading 'The Science of Homeopathy' by George Vithoulkas. I have been reading and learning more about natural healing and kept coming across 'like heals like/homeopathy', but I could not figure out what the difference was between herbal remedies and homeopathy. Slowly I began to understand it more, and then found this book at the library. It's a textbook written in 1980 by a well-known homeopathic doctor.
After reading the book, I find there is a LOT to learn about homeopathy, and it's mostly out of my reach. But I am glad to know more about the science of homeopathy and plan on looking up more books on the subject, just for my own curiosity. I think, in order for a person to be able to use homeopathic remedies properly (the way they were intended to be used), you have to have a HUGE knowledge of the remedies as well as experience under a homeopathic mentor.
Homeopathy was started in the 1800s by a German doctor named Samuel Hahnemann. He realized that most doctors of his day looked at symptoms and tried to cure them, rather then trying to understand why the patient was manifesting the symptoms. He came up with the concept that 'like cures like'. Essentially, the body 'detoxes' (although that word was never used), by manifesting symptoms on a certain level, in order to provide homeostasis. The symptoms show where the body naturally releases it's disease symptoms and should be encouraged to do so as much as possible. So by giving the patient a substance that creates the same symptom in a healthy person, it encourages the body to come into balance.
So Hahnemann, and many other homeopaths since his time, have taken substances (herbs, minerals, poisons and disease organisms) and 'proved' them on healthy human beings to see what symptoms they bring about, and after years of proving on hundreds of people, healthy and sick, it is considered a 'proved remedy' and put into a book of remedies, along with all of the major and minor symptoms it caused/cured.
There are strict rules that they use for proving, as well as for preparing the actual remedy that is used. The original substance is 'potentized' by adding a medium to it, shaking it for a certain amount of times and then diluted again. This is done into the thousands. And rather then making it weaker, as one would assume, it supposedly makes it a stronger potency.
Homeopathy is considered a science and an art. Coming up with the right remedies for a person is considered an art, but the actual healing process is considered a science. My husband calls it 'quack'. :)
I love reading different 'disease theories' and considering their implications on my own health, along with my families. I do find, the more I study, that God has made us extremely diverse people. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. And all aspects must be considered when dealing with someone's overall health. They are all connected and effect each other. Modern, allopathic doctors consider only the physical level, as that is easiest to see and affect.
What I found most fascinating about homeopathy is that they consider the most important level to be the mental level. The second 'layer' is emotions and the last physical. Physical issues are considered secondary to mental and even emotional. Well, geesh, is that is true, then we are really sick! Our mains symptoms are moods, anger, etc.
I am looking forward to finding more books on the subject, esp with updated information and 'case studies'. I don't see us ever searching out a truly experienced homeopathic doctor, as they are very expensive, but it's good to know they are out there if we decide we want to go that route.