Natural Remedies for Natural Maladies: Introduction to Homeopathy


I first learned about homeopathy from a local homeopath who prescribed remedies for my son’s recurring ear and respiratory infections. Soon after that success, I started to use remedies on my own and have continued to learn about homeopathy. Now I’m studying to become a registered homeopath myself, and I’m excited to be your introduction to homeopathy!

Who uses homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine that was developed over 200 years ago by a German physician named Samual Hahnemann. It has been practiced widely in Europe and was very popular in the US in the early 1900s. There were many homeopathic medical schools throughout the US and almost one quarter of all physicians were homeopathic physicians at the peak of its popularity. The use of homeopathy declined with the rise of antibiotics and vaccines in Western medicine, but in the last several decades it has seen a resurgence in its use around the world, in part because it is cost-effective and safe. It was recently recognized by the World Health Organization as the second-largest therapeutic system in the world, only behind allopathic “Western” medicine.

The use of homeopathy in US homes has been increasing since the FDA started regulating homeopathic remedies in the 1980s. The remedies are made from natural substances found in nature, and are often plant- or herb-based but can also include minerals or metals. A comprehensive 2012 survey found that an estimated 5 million American adults and 1 million children had used homeopathy within the last year, and that number has likely increased since then. Many Americans are learning to use the remedies on their own to manage minor ailments, while others are seeking help from the growing number of professional homeopaths in the country. It can be useful for both acute and chronic conditions. Even pets can benefit from homeopathic remedies.

How does homeopathy work?

One of the basic principles of homeopathy is that the person is treated and not the disease. A consideration of the whole person, including all of their physical, mental and emotional symptoms, is important to proper homeopathic treatment. 

Remedies are selected by matching the remedy with the patient’s description of their symptoms. The principle which helps us understand how to find the matching remedy is “like cures like.” If the remedy could cause the same symptoms when given in a very high dose then it will cure those symptoms in a homeopathic (exceedingly small) dose. The perfect-match remedy is called the Simillimum and will help achieve a swift and permanent cure of the patient’s symptoms. Sometimes several remedies must be tried before the best-matching remedy is found. You know you’ve found it when the patient starts to feel better.

Many of the most popular homeopathic remedies are now easy to find in grocery and health food stores and online.

Is homeopathy safe?

A homeopathic remedy is used to boost the sick person’s immune system in exactly the right direction so that they heal themselves. The remedies are diluted so that they are completely non-toxic and are considered safe for everyone, even babies and lactating mothers. The remedies are gentle, side-effect free and relatively easy to use. I recommend the help of a registered homeopath, either in person, over the phone or through a good book, like The Complete Homeopathy Handbook from Miranda Castro, to guide the correct remedy selection.

At our house we have successfully managed fevers, coughs, sore throats, itchy skin, sore muscles, muscle tension, headaches, PMS, nerve pain, kidney stone pain, sensitive teeth, ADHD symptoms, and more with homeopathy. It’s a great tool that we use to help keep our family healthy and feeling great all year long, and we wouldn’t be without it!

This article is not meant to be any kind of medical advice, and is merely informational. You should check with your doctor before starting or discontinuing any medicines or supplements.

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