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Health and fitness: Homeopathy is gaining attention

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By The Staff

When I tell people I practice naturopathic medicine, the most common response I hear is “Oh, you use homeopathy.”

Well, yes, I use homeopathic remedies along with botanical and nutritional medicines, lifestyle and nutritional counseling and home physiotherapy treatments.

I am delighted that so many people have heard of homeopathy. I’ll explain here a bit about these safe, non-toxic medicines.

Homeopathy is a unique medical system that uses micro-doses of specially-prepared remedies to stimulate the body’s own healing potential. These remedies can be used for acute illnesses or to help improve someone’s overall health.

They are effectively used with animals. They are safe to use with children, elderly and during pregnancies.

There is a specific process used to make homeopathic remedies. It starts with an extract of a particular substance, often from a plant, mineral or animal. Then the extract is repeatedly diluted with clean water and shaken a certain number of times between dilutions.

The remedy’s name is the Latin word for the original substance. “Calcarea carbonica,” for example, is made from the mineral calcium carbonate.

The potency of the remedy, the letter and number after the name, tells how many times the extract was diluted and how much it was diluted. The letters used stand for a number (“X” equals 10, “C” equals 100 and “M” equals 1,000). The higher the number, the more potent the remedy is.

Stores usually only carry the lower potencies for general public use (like 6X, 30X or 30C). The higher potencies and certain remedies are reserved for trained professional use.

Diluting the original substance also makes the remedy non-toxic and eliminates bad side effects. For example, homeopathic “Arsenicum album 30C,” made from the poisonous chemical arsenic, is a safe medicine. It is one of the most commonly used remedies.

Homeopathy was developed in Germany about 200 years ago. It is widely used today in Europe, England, Canada, India and the United States.

One of the more popular homeopathic remedies is “Arnica montana.” It is made from a flowering plant that grows high up in the mountains.

You can buy “Arnica” in topical gels and creams for bruises or sore muscles. You can also buy it as small sugar pellets that you take by mouth.

Professionals who are trained in classical homeopathy use mostly oral forms of the remedies and only use one remedy at a time.

It takes learning and experience to figure out which remedy to use, what potency and what dosage.

Newer uses of homeopathic remedies involve combinations of several remedies.

In health food stores and even grocery stores and pharmacies, you’ll find homeopathic products made for a specific problem like allergies or headaches. These combine different related remedies and often other ingredients like vitamins and minerals.

If a product is helpful, enjoy it, but if it doesn’t help, don’t give up on homeopathy. You may do better working with a trained professional who carefully chooses a specific remedy just for you.

To learn more about the information in this story, call Dr. Wendy Van Dilla at 505-986-1370.