Frequently Asked Questions
How can homeopathy work if there are no molecules of the original substance left in the medicine?
Unlike other forms of medicine, homeopathy does not work on the material level. We believe, and there is mounting evidence to suggest, that homeopathy is what is known as an 'energy medicine'. Experiments in the area of quantum physics, that is, at the sub-molecular level, tend to support our theory that homeopathy is rather like a message to the body to heal itself.
Isn't it dangerous to use poisonous herbs?
It is easy to confuse homeopathy with herbalism, because in fact we also use plants in our medicines. Herbalists use tinctures (crude doses), but, although some medicinal plants are potentially poisonous, our medicine is diluted so much that there is no chance of toxicity from them.
Can homeopathy treat serious diseases such as cancer?
As always, homeopathy treats the individual and not the named condition. Most people with life-threatening illnesses rightly see medical specialists first. However, as a complementary medicine, homeopathy is frequently used alongside conventional treatments. Homeopathy can make a valuable contribution in supporting the cancer patients.
Can I have homeopathy instead of HRT?
Again, homeopathy treats the individual and not the named condition. However, this is an area for which we do have evidence. Yes, homeopathy is a real alternative to HRT, but the prescription must be individualised to the patient. Homeopaths treat hot flushes, hormonal mood-swings, depression, headaches, itching and other menopausal problems. They often suggest lifestyle changes and give dietary advice too.
How do we know homeopathy works? Could it just be a placebo?
There have been some important trials done in Glasgow which demonstrate that homeopathy is not simply a placebo. Remember that all medicines can behave as placebos...especially the coloured ones! The experience of many homeopaths over the past 200 years is that we achieve much higher success rates than can be attributed to placebo alone. Homeopathy has also been demonstrated to work on animals and as we are frequently asked to treat babies and small children, we are convinced it is not just a placebo. We do desperately need more trials into homeopathy. A big research effort is currently taking place at Sheffield University to establish the kind of research model we need to properly investigate its efficacy.
How do you find out what a medicine can help with?
The medicines are tested on healthy adults who volunteer to test a new remedy. All their symptoms are reported and graded. This, along with clinical evidence of effectiveness, goes to form the 'picture' of a remedy that we can match to a patient suffering from a similar set of symptoms. However this is not easy - we have over 3000 medicines to choose from!
Can you treat pregnant women and small babies?
Yes. Homeopathy comes into its own when we treat common problems of pregnancy, such as morning sickness, back-ache and fatigue. Because the medicines are safe, even very small babies can be treated, for things such as failure to feed, indigestion and colic.
What do doctors think about homeopathy?
Doctors are becoming increasingly open-minded about homeopathy and where homeopathy is integrated in the NHS, the majority of doctors welcome it. Most private health insurance companies will allow referrals to registered homeopaths. I have the greatest respect for doctors and the work that they do. My belief is that we should take the best from all systems of medicine available to us in order to achieve truly personalised medical care. Each system has its strengths and its weaknesses and we can use these most effectively when we combine the various systems and really make them each work for patients best interests.
Should I tell my GP that I am consulting a homeopath?
This is a personal decision. Many GPs are open to complementary and alternative therapies. While you are on homeopathic treatment your symptoms are likely to change or disappear, and you may not need all or some of the drugs you may have been taking so far. Sometimes your GP may already have advised you to reduce whatever you are taking but be aware that any change in your prescribed medication must be discussed with your GP in advance. I am happy to write to your GP to inform him about your homeopathic treatment if you so wish.
Do I have to stop the drugs I am currently taking?
Absolutely not. Homeopathy is a complementary system of medicine and as such it can be used as an alternative treatment or where necessary it can work beautifully along side orthodox medicine and can alleviate symptoms from pharmaceutical drugs. There are many methodologies and ways to overcome these obstacles. I repeat, it is vital to always consult your prescribing doctor regarding any changes in medication.