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The basic principle of homeopathy is ‘like cures like’. This means that a substance that would produce certain symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat a sick person with those same symptoms. For example, raw onion makes peoples eyes water. It can also cause a stingy or runny nose. A homeopathic remedy made from onion, allium cepa, can be used to treat patients who have a complaint like a cold or hay fever, with those symptoms.

What happens at a session?

A typical consultation will last 45 minutes to an hour. In the first consultation, the homeopath will ask detailed questions about your medical history and your current state of health. They will also ask about things like your eating and sleeping patterns, your moods and how you feel at various times of the day. All these questions help the homeopath to find the right remedy for you. Your homeopath should treat anything you say in the strictest confidence. 

At the end of the consultation the homeopath will give you a homeopathic remedy and will tell you when and how to take it. Long term conditions may require several visits. The homeopath should give you an idea of roughly how long the course of treatment will last. 

After taking your remedy you may notice some changes. Sometimes your symptoms can appear to get worse for a short time. This can be a sign that the remedy is taking effect. Sometimes a cold, a rash or some form of discharge may appear as a sign that your system is going through a cleansing stage. At the follow-up consultations, you will be asked to describe any changes that you have noticed in your condition, so you might want to make a note of these.

What does homeopathy feel like?

Homeopathic prescriptions are tailored to match the exact symptoms of each individual patient, so if two patients have the same illness, but show different symptoms, they might be treated with different remedies.

Homeopathic remedies are given in very diluted doses. They come from many different things including plants, minerals and metals. The remedy itself comes in the form of a white sugar-tablet. The tablets have very little taste, and they are taken by letting them melt on the tongue. Sometimes the medicine is given in the form of drops which are easy to take in a little water.

Is homeopathy safe?

Homeopathic remedies can be affected by some medical treatments, dental treatment, and also by other complementary treatments, such as particular aromatherapy oils. Please make sure you tell your homeopath about all treatments you have recently received. 

Remedies are available over the counter in many pharmacies and health food shops. It is worth bearing in mind that homeopathy is an individualised form of treatment, and it is more likely that a trained homeopath will be able to find the right remedy for you. Your homeopath can also advise you on the use of remedies to treat first aid problems such as cuts, stings, minor burns and bruises.

Society of Homeopaths