Homeopathy and arthritis
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
"Like cures like," is the theory behind homeopathy as espoused by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy.
From the Arthritis Foundation
In other words, a homeopathic medicine works when it is based on its similarity to the illness. For example, Allium cepa, a member of the onion family, is a common remedy for the tears and runny noses associated with respiratory allergies, including hay fever.
Homeopaths view symptoms as the body's attempt to restore itself to health. Their goal is not simply to control symptoms (as in allopathic medicine), but to cure the underlying problem that is their cause. Homeopathic remedies work not by suppressing symptoms, but rather by activating the body's own natural healing powers.
According to one expert, over-the-counter (OTC) homeopathic remedies are safe enough to use on your own for simple, acute, self-limited complaints, such as coughs or colds. If you have a serious illness, such as heart disease, arthritis, or cancer, you should seek conventional medical treatment.
Homeopathic remedies are tiny amounts of materials that contain extreme dilutions -- sometimes as little as one part per one million parts water or alcohol -- of natural substances from plants, animals and minerals. Even though they are sometimes made from toxic substances, they are so dilute that this does not pose a safety hazard.
Conventional medicine dictates that the higher the dosage of a drug, the greater the impact. Unfortunately, higher doses are also associated with more side effects. In homeopathy, only very minute doses of remedies are required -- which means fewer adverse side effects than with conventional medicines.
While conventional medical treatments offer the same solution for everyone, homeopathic remedies are carefully individualized. For example, there are more than 120 different homeopathic remedies for asthma.
A homeopath, will ask in detail about the personal and family medical history, personality traits, temperament, moods and emotions, food likes and dislikes and responses to stress. Based on the individual responses as well as the homeopath's observations, a "homeopathic rubric" is created for each person. In homeopathy, treatment must be carefully individualized according to a person's constitution.
An example of a homeopathic arthritis remedy:
Joint and muscle pain: Rhus toxicodendron
Poison ivy! In a highly diluted form as a homeopathic remedy, Rhus toxicodendron is appropriate for people who experience pain, such as arthritis and muscle cramps, which lessens with movement and worsens with resting -- for example, leg cramps in the calf. It is best for those who are sensitive to cold and wet weather.
The remedies are available in conventional pharmacies as well as health-food stores. They come as single- or multiple-ingredient pellets or drops to place under the tongue and are available in various strengths depending on the dilution of the active ingredient.
It's OK to choose any standard over-the-counter (OTC) homeopathic remedy for simple, self-limited complaints, such as coughs or colds. Homeopathic remedies are extremely dilute and can often be taken in combination with conventional treatments. You should always inform your health-care provider of what you are taking, from homeopathic remedies to vitamins to herbal preparations.
Although homeopathic remedies are associated with few adverse side effects, don't overmedicate. Once you experience improvement, stop taking the remedy.
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