B.Sc. ND. B.Nat. - Fellow ANTA - Member AROH
Homeopathic medicine has been continuously practiced throughout the world for over 200 years.
Homeopathic medicines have a range of evidence for their effectiveness (Witt et al 2007), specifically in the treatment of hay fever. David Reilly showed the effectiveness of homeopathic pollen preparations (Reilly et al 1986).
Knowledge of Homeopathic medicines has been developed from a range of sources. Original experiments known as provings; where healthy volunteers take substances and record their effects. These symptom records become the prescribing indications for medicines.
In some respects this process can be understood as similar to a vaccine. Something that causes a disease is given to prevent it. It is also similar to desensitisation programs that are given to patients with hay fever. The offending pollen is injected to desensitise the immune system.
Herbal literature provides a further source of information about medicines. Toxicological data where applicable is also a source of information.
Known physiological effects provide evidence of location and tissue affinities.
For example sulphur inflames mucous membranes.
This program aims to offer patients an individual holistic model of care.
The first phase of individualisation involves an appreciation of the differential quality of symptoms.
For example Homeopathic Euphrasia has itchy eyes as its strongest keynote.
Allium cepa develops extremely acrid and irritating nasal discharges.
Arundo develops itchiness of the soft palate.
These are a few of the remedies that may be indicated in the first layer of individualisation.
The second layer of understanding involves a more detailed appreciation of the patient as a person.
This is in some respects a qualitative review of temperament. In other systems of medicine such as traditional Chinese medicine fire, air, water, earth and metal or wood are the qualities seen to underpin all disease expressions.
Questioning at this level involves a greater appreciation of the person in general.
The third layer of understanding involves an appreciation of the pathophysiological expression of hay fever in general. That is as an immune hypersensitivity.
Lastly an appreciation of the familial tendencies, particularly immunological is included as this provides something of a contour map of how any one individual will travel in illness, through time, in severity of complaint, response to and duration of treatment.
Therapeutic strategies address each and all of these layers singly or with a combination of remedies.
Please note an Homeopathic questionnaire gathers information to reflect each of these dimensions of care.
Article by Michael Higginson