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What is Homeopathy?
Sue Frederick, author of A Mother's Guide to Raising Healthy Children As published in

When I first discovered natural medicine, I was a little skeptic and even afraid of trying homeopathic remedies. I understood how herbal medicine worked, however homeopathy sounded strange and unbelievable to me.

Now, 20 years later, I know that homeopathy is the safest, and sometimes the most effective, natural healing modality available. Surprisingly, it has been found to be effective by even the most rigorous scientific research.

More studies have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the New England Journal of Medicine (NJEM) showing homeopathy's effectiveness against ailments such as arthritis and allergies than for any other type of natural healing modality.

How Does It Work?

Nearly 200 years ago, a German physician was trying to understand why Cinchona officinalis (Peruvian bark) was an effective treatment against malaria. At that time, it was believed that cinchona cured malaria because of its bitter and astringent properties.

However, this physician (Hahnemann) knew that other plants were more bitter and astringent than cinchona, and yet they didn't work against malaria. Hahnemann began ingesting numerous plants and minerals himself and noting their effects. He realized that certain plants taken in large dosages produced symptoms similar to those produced by certain diseases. And, when taken in large doses, cinchona, which was the cure for malaria, produced symptoms which mimicked malaria.

As Hahnemann's experiments progressed, it became clear to him that if he gave very minute doses of extracts it would cure a person of the same illness that a large dose would produce. He developed homeopathy's most fundamental principle, the law of similars: Like cures like. Hahnemann also discovered that the more diluted the extract, the more powerfully it mobilized the body's healing forces to cure the disease.

Today, homeopathic medicine is widely practiced in Europe. England's royal family has been under homeopathic care since the 1830s, and 42% of British physicians refer patients to homeopathic practitioners. One-third of the French population uses homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy was the medicine of choice in this country for 150 years until the rise of antibiotics in the 1940s.

Safe & Effective

The best news is that homeopathy is completely safe. The FDA has given full approval to these medicines. Because the remedies are so diluted, there is virtually nothing left in them except water. That's partly why it's so difficult to believe they work. Yet the energy of the original plant or mineral is still contained in the diluted remedy.

State-of-the-art scientific research on homeopathic medicines continues to demonstrate their effectiveness. In the September 20, 1997 issue of The Lancet, a highly respected medical journal, a team of German and American physicians published a review of 89 clinical studies evaluating the effectiveness of homeopathy. These studies covered a wide variety of ailments, including asthma, hay fever, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, influenza, migraine headaches and arthritis. The results overwhelmingly showed that homeopathic remedies were effective.

First Choice for Treating Children

I have a full kit of homeopathic remedies in my home and they're my first choice for treating my daughter. They have no side effects and are often quickly effective. However, it's best to consult a homeopathic physician to guide you in your choice of remedies.

Below is a list of ten popular homeopathic remedies and their usages:

1. Aconitum - fever and inflammations

2. Anas barbariae (Oscillococcinum) - flu

3. Apis mellifica - bee stings and bug bites

4. Arnica Montana - bruises, strains, muscle aches

5. Cantharis - bladder infections

6. Chamomilla - to soothe or relax

7. Euphrasia - hay fever and other allergies

8. Ignatia - anxiety and grief

9. Magnesia Phospherica - colic, menstrual cramps

10. Nux Vomica - stress, indigestion

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