Healing with homeopathy: How does it work

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Updated 21 April 2015
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Healing with homeopathy: How does it work

During the last forty years, the interest in homeopathy has grown as an increasing number of people realize that conventional medicine cannot cure all diseases and the treatments also cause serious side effects.
However, there are many misunderstandings regarding homeopathy and ‘Complete Guide to Homeopathy: The Principles and Practice of Treatment’ explains in a clear and easy language what homeopathy is and how it can be used safely and effectively to treat common complaints.
The principles and practice of homeopathy have remained largely unchanged since their introduction about two centuries ago. This complete guide to homeopathy begins with a section which looks at the history of homeopathy and describes the key concepts of homeopathy which are essential to understand how it works.
Homeopathy is based on the principle “like can cure like” which means that an illness can be treated with a substance capable of producing symptoms similar to those experienced by the patient. This principle originated in the 5th Century with the Greek physician Hippocrates. Ten centuries later, the Swiss doctor Paracelsus (1493-1541) stated that a poisonous substance which causes a disease could act as a remedy if given in very small doses. This “like can cure like” principle was then ignored for another 300 years, until homeopathy was founded by Samuel Christian Hahnemann.
In 1796, Hahnemann published his first work, “A new Principle for Ascertaining the Curative Powers of Drugs and Some Examination of Previous Principles.” In this book, he explained that to cure a chronic disease one should use the remedy which is able to stimulate another artificially produced disease as similar as possible and the former will then be healed. He called this medical practice, “homeopathy” from the Greek, “homeo” meaning “similar”, and “pathos”, meaning “suffering.”
In the course of his experimentations, Hanhemann discovered that diluted medicines ceased to cause side-effects and they also seemed to act faster and more effectively than more concentrated solutions. Although the remedies no longer contained a single molecule of the original substance used to prepare them, they were actually more potent.
During his life, Hahnemann proved the efficacy of about 100 homeopathic remedies. He strongly believed that “only a single remedy dose should be given, for the shortest period of time necessary, to stimulate the body’s healing power or “vital force.” Hahnemann believed that this “force” or “energy” is responsible for the healthy running of body.
“If this force is disturbed by stress, a poor diet, lack of exercise, hereditary problems, or environmental changes, illness results.”
A homeopath believes that we possess the natural ability to heal ourselves. What we describe as symptoms are in fact our body’s efforts to protect itself against disease. Therefore, to get better, we should not get rid of the symptoms but try and stimulate the body’s healing processes instead of suppressing symptoms with large doses of drugs which is the case in Western medicine. Some drugs can cause serious side-effects and deprive the body of its natural immunity.
Homeopathic remedies are among the safest preparations available in the market. About 80 percent of them are derived from plants. Obviously, no system of healing can cure all diseases. It is wise to follow homeopathy as a general rule and conventional medicine as the last resort.
It is important to know that in homeopathy, it is not the illness but the patient which is the focal point. A conventional physician is mainly concerned with the physical aspects of the illness. A homeopath, on the contrary, must find the remedy that “matches as accurately as possible the symptoms picture. This is why a homeopathic assessment takes into account a person’s character, stress level, lifestyle, level of exercise, diet, food preferences, family medical history, and the effects of general factors, such as the weather, to provide a unique symptom’s picture.”
This practical family reference book also features a useful photographic index of 150 homeopathic remedies with the plant, animal, and mineral ingredients from which they are made.
There are also easy-to consult charts which indicate the name of the remedies to take for a wide range of common ailments. These remedies can be administered safely to babies and children. In fact, an increasing number of homeopathic remedies are now given to babies and children in Europe because they are not only safe but they also have no side-effects.
As the cost of conventional medicine is continuously increasing, alternative medicine such as homeopathy offers a sick person a holistic approach which not only takes into account the physical symptoms of the disease but also focuses essentially on the prevention and the involvement of the patient in his own cure.
“This holistic approach” according to the authors, “is best expressed by the words of the doctor and philosopher Albert Schweitzer, who said: “Within every patient there resides a doctor and we as physicians are our best when we put our patients in touch with the doctor inside themselves.”

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San Francisco moves closer to nation’s 1st e-cigarette ban

In this Monday, June 17, 2019, photo, Joshua Ni, 24, and Fritz Ramirez, 23, vape from electronic cigarettes in San Francisco. (AP)
Updated 19 June 2019
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San Francisco moves closer to nation’s 1st e-cigarette ban

  • Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among young people in the country

SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco supervisors moved a step closer Tuesday to becoming the first city in the US to ban all sales of electronic cigarettes to crack down on youth vaping.
Supervisors unanimously approved a ban on the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes. They also endorsed a ban on manufacturing of e-cigarettes on city property. The measures will require a subsequent vote before becoming law.
“We spent the ‘90s battling big tobacco, and now we see its new form in e-cigarettes,” Supervisor Shamann Walton said.
The supervisors acknowledged that the legislation would not entirely prevent youth vaping, but they hoped it would be a start.
“This is about thinking about the next generation of users and thinking about protecting the overall health and sending a message to the rest of the state and the country: Follow our lead,” Supervisor Ahsha Safaí said.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera said young people “have almost indiscriminate access to a product that shouldn’t even be on the market.” Because the Food and Drug Administration has not yet completed a study to assess the public health consequences of e-cigarettes and approved or rejected them, he said, “it’s unfortunately falling to states and localities to step into the breach.”
Most experts agree that e-cigarettes are less harmful than the paper-and-tobacco variety because they do not produce all the cancer-causing byproducts found in cigarette smoke. But researchers say they are only beginning to understand the risks of e-cigarettes, which they think may damage the lungs and blood vessels.
Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among young people in the country. Last year, 1 in 5 US high school students reported vaping in the previous month, according to a government survey .
FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum said in a statement that the agency will continue to fight e-cigarette use, including preventing youth access to the products, acting against manufacturers and retailers who illegally market or sell the products to minors and educating young people about health risks.
Leading San Francisco-based e-cigarette company Juul frames vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco. Juul has said it has taken steps to deter children from using its products. The company said in a statement that it has made its online age-verification process more robust and shut down its Instagram and Facebook accounts to try to discourage vaping by those under 21.
“But the prohibition of vapor products for all adults in San Francisco will not effectively address underage use and will leave cigarettes on shelves as the only choice for adult smokers, even though they kill 40,000 Californians every year,” Juul spokesman Ted Kwong said.
Tuesday’s vote also sets the stage for a November ballot fight over e-cigarettes. Juul has already contributed $500,000 to the Coalition for Reasonable Vaping Regulation, which is set to gather signatures to put an initiative on the issue before voters.
The American Vaping Association opposed San Francisco’s proposal as well, saying adult smokers deserve access to less hazardous alternatives.
“Going after youth is a step that you can take before taking these out of the hands of adults,” said the association’s president, Gregory Conley.
Groups representing small businesses also opposed the measures, which they said could force stores to close.
“We need to enforce the rules that we have in place already,” said Carlos Solórzano, CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco.
Walton said he would establish a working group to support small businesses and address their concerns.
Although San Francisco’s ban is unlike any other in the country, the Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law reports that all but two states have at least one law restricting youth access to e-cigarettes. City voters last year approved a ban on sales of candy and fruit-flavored tobacco products.
Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control and Research and a supporter of the measures, said e-cigarettes are associated with heart attacks, strokes and lung disease.
The presence of e-cigarettes, he said, has “completely reversed the progress we’ve made in youth smoking in the last few years.”