What is Homeopathy?

By Sue Wilby - Naturopath and Nutritionist


Homeopathy is a form of holistic medicine used by over 200 million people worldwide to help with both acute and chronic conditions.

It is based on the principle of ‘like cures like’, which dates back to Hippocrates (460-377BC). For example, a substance taken in small amounts will cure the same symptoms it causes if it were taken in large amounts. As an illustration, drinking too much coffee can cause sleeplessness and distress, so according to the above principle, when given in a homeopathic medicine, it could be used to assist people suffering from sleeplessness and distress.

In its current form, (created by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in Germany), the name homeopathy is derived from the Greek words for ‘similar suffering’ referring to the ‘like cures like’ principle of healing.

This concept is sometimes used in conventional medicine. For example, the stimulant Ritalin is used to treat patients with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and small doses of allergens, such as pollen, are sometimes used to de-sensitise allergic patients.

Dr. Hahnemann was looking for a way to reduce the damaging side effects associated with the medical treatments of his day (250 years ago), which included the use of poisons. By experimenting on himself using smaller and smaller medicinal doses, he discovered that as well as reducing toxicity, the medicines became more effective as the doses were diluted and succussed (shaken).

One of the principles of ‘like cures like’ is to assume that symptoms associated with an ailment are the body’s means of taking action to overcome illness and return to homeostasis (the condition in which the body’s internal environment remains relatively constant).

A second principle that only ‘the minimum dose’ should be used is based upon the understanding that the stimulus of the medicine works from within and only enough is administered to initiate the healing process, and to not produce the side effects that are often seen in conventional treatments.

Homeopathy is natural, effective and sustainable and there are no barriers to its use. As homeopathic medicines are made from a very small amount of the active ingredient/s, they are very safe, and when used appropriately (under the guidance of a qualified professional) they can be taken by people of all ages, including babies, children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, all adults, and even given to animals. Homeopathic medicines are non-addictive and mostly don’t interfere with conventional medicine. It is suggested that homeopathy could be seen as a complementary treatment, under the guidance of a qualified homeopath.

Homeopathic medicines (remedies) are usually taken in tablet or pillule form but are also available in liquids (sprays) and ointments. Homeopathic medicines are available as a single remedy or in a mix for a specific health concern i.e. sleep.

Brauer began in 1929 as a small South Australian pharmacy where Pharmacist Hermann Brauer sold both orthodox medicine and his own natural homeopathic remedies. Hermann’s son, Warren (also a pharmacist), extended the family tradition and worked with his wife to create a full production and laboratory facility in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, where Brauer Natural Medicine is still based today.

About the Author

Sue is an experienced health care practitioner specialising in Nutrition and Western Herbal Medicine. She has spent the past 15 years providing consultations to clients to improve their health and lifestyle, with a proven record in the assistance of weight loss, stress reduction and general well-being treatment plans. Sue is known for her passion about nutrition, its impacts on health, and the benefits of herbal remedies and is a member of Australian Traditional Medicine Society.

Disclaimer - The information provided here is general only. For specific health advice and before beginning any new supplements, diet or lifestyle changes, always consult your health practitioner or book in a health consultation with our university-qualified naturopaths and nutritionists.