How are Homeopathic remedies prepared? How do they work?
Homeopathic remedies in Canada are made according to strict pharmaceutical standards, and each remedy is designated with its own homeopathic DIN number, according to the Regulation of Natural Health Products. You can find more information on government regulation of homeopathic products here.
Remedies are prepared from diluted substances, such as plants, minerals, or animal products, which are repeatedly diluted and succussed (vigorously shaken). As this standardized method of dilution and succession continues, the remedy becomes more powerful, and more deep-acting. This process is called potentization and it is the hallmark of all homeopathic remedies.
In Homeopathy, we believe that within every living person there exists a life energy or vital force, like the qi or chi in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This vital force is responsible for maintaining balance and health in the body, mind and emotions. This idea is ancient and universal, and can be found in every culture and medical system throughout the world, except for modern Western medicine. From this point of view, illness can be understood as resulting from an imbalance within the organism, an imbalance of the vital force. The symptoms of a disease, the complaints that we suffer are expressions of that imbalance.
Hahnemann theorized that giving a homeopathic medicine to a patient was like giving a tiny push to the imbalanced vital force, stimulating the body’s natural defence mechanisms to put the organism back into balance and heal the disease. With the remedies, we are attempting to stimulate a response in a very precise way, with the smallest possible dose, so as not to further disturb the body’s homeostasis.
Homeopathy treats people, not diagnoses. When a person is ill, that illness has a unique pattern. People express illness in a way that corresponds to the heredity, environmental factors, stresses and weaknesses that are unique to that individual. As a result, five different people with the flu might require five different homeopathic medicines, because they have five different sets of symptoms. Treatment is individualized to each person. A homeopath is not so much trying to eliminate the symptoms, but rather to find the right medicine to stimulate the body’s healing powers so that health is restored.
It should be noted that diet and lifestyle factors need to be looked at in order to remove any blockages to the body’s response to remedies. If, for example, a person has a skin condition that is cause by a vitamin deficiency, the deficiency needs to be addressed alongside, or in advance of, the administration of a remedy.