Healing with homeopathy: How does it work

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Updated 21 April 2015

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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Saudi doctor warns of e-cigarette risks after US ban over vaping-related deaths

In the US, some individuals were placed in induced comas after smoking home-made vaping devices. (Reuters)
Updated 14 September 2019

Saudi doctor warns of e-cigarette risks after US ban over vaping-related deaths

  • E-cigarette flavor can damage cells lining blood vessels and in turn damage the heart, say scientists

RIYADH: A Saudi doctor has warned of the dangers of smoking e-cigarettes after the US moved to ban the devices following a spate of vaping-related deaths. Dr. Shaikh Abdullah, a pediatric and adolescent specialist at King Abdul Aziz Medical City, in Riyadh, said vaping posed serious health risks including slow brain development in teenagers, lung and heart disease.
US President Donald Trump this week announced that his administration would ban flavored e-cigarettes in the wake of six deaths and 450 reported cases of lung illness tied to vaping across 33 American states. He said e-smoking was a “new problem,” especially among young people.
Although the sale and import of vaping products has been banned in Saudi Arabia since September 2015, some users in the Kingdom still reportedly manage to obtain the devices.

Heart disease
Abdullah, who works on National Guard health affairs at the medical center, said: “Smoking harms almost all organs in the body including the heart. Nearly one-third of deaths from heart disease are the result of passive smoking.
“One might be tempted to turn to e-cigarettes as a way to ease the transition from traditional cigarettes to not smoking at all. But smoking e-cigarettes is not advisable either.
“Vapor causes deposition of nicotine into the body, it is highly addictive and can raise blood pressure and spikes adrenaline which increases the heart rate and chances of heart attack,” he added.
Abdullah said that vaping could also cause slow brain development in teens and affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control and mood. In addition, e-cigarettes irritated the lungs and could lead to serious lung damage and even death, he added.

Smoking harms almost all organs in the body including the heart. Nearly one-third of deaths from heart disease are the result of passive smoking.

Dr. Shaikh Abdullah, Pediatric and adolescent specialist at King Abdul Aziz Medical City

In a statement, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said: “Both the FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working tirelessly to investigate the distressing incidents of severe respiratory illness associated with use of vaping products.
“The FDA and the CDC are working closely with state and local health officials to investigate these incidents as quickly as possible, and we are committed to taking appropriate actions as a clearer picture of the facts emerges.”
Arab News’ Rawan M. Radwan, who gave up smoking for vaping, said: “I feel that vaping is more recreational than an addictive habit. I do understand the dangers of e-cigarettes, but it’s still the preferred choice.”
Conventional smoking increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, COPD (lung diseases), asthma, diabetes, and most cancers. E-cigarettes are often considered to be effective in helping conventional smokers to quit.
However, the results of a 2013 clinical trial published in the Lancet, recommended more research was urgently needed to establish the overall benefits and dangers of e-cigarettes both on users and nonusers.
Vaping is the inhaling of vapor created by an electronic cigarette, a battery-operated smoking device with cartridges filled with liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings and chemicals.
Although there are more than 1,000 toxic chemicals found in cigarettes, the contents of vape juices are still widely unknown.
Radwan said: “Though I am not sure about its legality in Saudi Arabia, vape juice and devices are obtainable through sellers on the internet. Some stores provide vape salts and juices on customer request. I think vaping is popular because cigarettes and shishas are out.” She added that shisha tobacco cost SR100 ($27) or more per kilo, making e-cigarettes the more affordable choice. In the US, some individuals were placed in induced comas after smoking home-made vaping devices.
Trump met with top health officials at the White House to discuss ways to keep the products away from teenagers.
“We can’t allow people to get sick. And we can’t have our kids be so affected,” the New York Times quoted the president as saying.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, in May this year, found that e-cigarette flavor can damage cells lining blood vessels and in turn damage the heart.

What does vaping-related illness look like?

The following is a look at the illness and how US doctors are treating it.

PATIENT PROFILE: Most of the US cases so far have involved young men under the age of 20 who were otherwise healthy. All reported vaping within 90 days prior to developing symptoms, and many had vaped within a week of feeling sick.
Patients experienced symptoms for several days to several weeks before being admitted to the hospital.

SYMPTOMS: Nearly all patients involved in the outbreak so far have reported respiratory issues, including a dry, or unproductive, cough that does not bring up mucus, shortness of breath and chest pain that worsened with deep breathing.
About 80 percent had gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Those symptoms often appeared before patients started having trouble breathing.
Most also had general symptoms of illness, including fever, chills, weight loss and fatigue.
Chest X-rays and CT scans revealed shadows or abnormalities in both lungs in all of the patients, which has become a defining characteristic of the illness.
An analysis of lung cells from five patients in North Carolina turned up pockets of oily deposits within immune system cells called macrophages.
Experts have not yet determined whether these are an artifact of the immune system’s attempt at removing vaping oils — a foreign substance — from the lungs, or if they are central to the disease process itself.

TREATMENT: Many of the patients had sought treatment before going to a hospital. Nearly half were initially treated with antibiotics either before going to the hospital or after being hospitalized, but patients failed to respond.
Ultimately, nearly all of the patients were hospitalized, with more than half admitted to an intensive care unit suffering from respiratory failure.
Most patients recovered after six days of treatment. Many responded to steroids, which reduced inflammation in the lungs. Doctors also believe time in the hospital that patients spent on a ventilator and not vaping helped the lungs heal.
Because no infectious cause has been found, the CDC believes the illnesses are the result of chemical injury to the lungs. It is not yet clear whether patients will have any lasting damage.

SOURCES: The New England Journal of Medicine and the CDC’s Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report