The Science of Homeopathy
George Vithoulkas

A comprehensive textbook on classical homeopathy


When you first hear about it, homeopathy can seem puzzling. The word homeopathy is derived from the Greek words meaning “similar” and “suffering.” It literally means “treatment by similars.” It is based on the principle of the “law of similars,” which states that a substance that causes certain symptoms in a healthy person can cure the same symptoms in an unhealthy one.

For example, if a substance has been found to cause vomiting in a healthy person, when you give that same substance in minute quantities to a person suffering from vomiting, it alleviates their symptoms and the vomiting ceases. (There are somewhat similar applications of the law of similars in traditional medicine: allergies are treated with a tiny dose of allergen, and immunizations are given using a tiny dose of a pathogen.)

That homeopathic remedies are given in tiny doses seems to go against the grain in our society, where more is seen as better. However, homeopathy as a system and practice of medicine has been around for over two hundred years and has been documented to show significant benefits to patients. It rarely causes side effects and is often less expensive than pharmaceuticals.

Although no one really knows how homeopathy works, many people think it has a spiritual component. Like Chinese medicine and other complementary therapies, it includes the concepts that illness is the result of imbalances in the life-force within the body and that the body has the power to heal itself. The remedies do not try to suppress symptoms but rather influence the subtle balance of energy in the whole body. A homeopathic remedy tries to go to the cause of a condition by stimulating the healing energies within the body itself.

An experienced homeopath sees you and your body as unique. Homeopathic practitioners perform an assessment of your mental and emotional states as well as your physical symptoms. They usually take a detailed history to get an accurate and complete picture of your condition and symptoms. Because they work with the finer energies in the body, many experienced therapists become quite intuitive. In fact, this is probably true of many professions.

There are a number of homeopathic resources for self-medication, and these are fine for minor complaints. For example, I often use an over-the-counter homeopathic cold remedy. However, for the best results with something more challenging, I believe that you do need to see someone who is an expert and can tailor the remedies to your unique situation.

I do not see homeopathy as a replacement for traditional medical care for a serious condition. I did not use homeopathy to treat the cancer itself, but used homeopathic remedies to help in my overall wellness program and to counter side effects of treatment.

One remedy I used was Arnica Montana, a remedy used to prevent and heal bruising and tissue damage. I rubbed a homeopathic Arnica cream into the site of any punctures made for blood tests and intravenous lines .

I also used Carbo Vegetabilis and Arsenicum Album to help deal with nausea during chemotherapy. The naturopaths that I spoke to said that the nausea of chemotherapy is very intense and not easily treated by homeopathy.


Excerpted from A Journey through Cancer, by Neroli Duffy