Homeopathic medicines are known as remedies. Remedies are little miracles in pellet or liquid form. They are made from a wide variety of materials including plants, minerals, animal matter, disease material, pharmaceutical drugs, and a variety of other substances. In all cases, remedies are made through a process of dilution and succussion – which means that as the material is diluted, it is also disturbed, usually through a process of vigorous shaking or banging. These two actions are the central factors in determining the potency of a remedy, as well as its safety. Safety, because the use of substances that would be dangerous in their natural form are diluted past the point of any chemical trace of the original material which renders them entirely safe, even when made from toxic materials.
You may ask, how can that possibly make an effective medicine? This is where the interesting element of succussion comes into play. Succession means that the molecular energy of the solution is heightened, making the remedy function on an energetic level, as opposed to a chemical level. The work of scientists studying this approach to creating homeopathic remedies supports the scientific understanding that these dilutions contain stable and unique molecular structures with recognizable properties, and in addition, that the molecular structures resulting from the process of succussion and dilution allow for the transfer of information from the original substance to water. In other words, there's a physical change that is measurable but not necessarily a chemical change in the making of homeopathic remedies.
This concept is hard for many people to understand. Homeopathic medicine is energy medicine, not chemical medicine. This is confusing to new patients who need to be supported in understanding that more is not better. In fact in homeopathy "less is more", a concept that runs against the grain of the practices of conventional medicine which is the "scientific" norm for most people. As Homeopaths we've understood for a long time that in administering an appropriately chosen remedy we encourage the body to make its own adjustments in the direction of healing. While many of us (at least those who have not studied physics at an advanced level) cannot fully understand just how these remedies actually work, we are impressed, again and again, by the deep and fundamental impact they can have on a human organism.
A homeopathic "cure" is a beautiful thing to observe. People taking homeopathic remedies do not feel drugged, or different in themselves, just gently (but definitively) moved to a place of balance, or homeostasis. Remedies do not seek to change a person's personality, but to shift the patient into a place of wellness, free of symptoms that have been obstacles to their healthy and creative function.
Beth Landau-Halpern is a Toronto-based homeopath who trained in homeopathy in London UK, after a first career as a dancer. Beth treats patients of all ages and sizes, for all sorts of disorders, but has a special interest in treating children with ADHD and Autism.Photo Credit: WIDNR