Home remedies represent a category of natural remedies including homeopathic remedies and herbal medicines. We call them home remedies only because in the majority of cases you can buy them without prescription. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of homeopathy. This alternative medicine has garnered massive attention lately. With more and more people becoming aware of the adverse effects of allopathy, it’s no surprise people are turning towards natural treatments like homeopathy. By 2024, the homeopathy market is expected to balloon to a whopping 17.4 billion USD. Homeopathy offers various natural remedies for a myriad of illnesses and conditions.
People often confused believing that homeopathy remedies are often made from herbs, but it’s a big difference between homeopathic remedies and herbal remedies, and they are not similar. They are different in terms of their formulation, accessibility, indications, safety, and even effectiveness.
So, what exactly is homeopathy? How are homeopathic remedies made? Are they any different from herbal remedies? Read on find all the answers.
What are Homeopathy and Homeopathic Remedies?
Homeopathy believes that your body has the power to cure itself. It’s a holistic approach that works with your body to restore itself, relieve symptoms, fight illnesses, and improve your overall health. It has minimal or no side effects and is safe enough to be used even on pets and children. Homeopathic remedies are made of natural substances and are regulated by the FDA.
Homeopathy developed in Germany during the late 1700s and soon spread to the rest of the world. Even though it was rebuked as quackery initially, homeopathy has now been backed by science and research.
How Does Homeopathy Work?
Homeopathy is based on the principle of ‘like cures like.’ It puts forward that whatever causes the symptoms in a person can also cure similar symptoms in small doses. It encourages the body’s natural defenses.
For instance, a red onion can make your eyes water. Similarly, red onion is used in homeopathic remedies for alleviating allergies. Arnica, crushed whole bees, white arsenic, and poison ivy are also routinely used in homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy puts forward that lower the dose, the more effective and potent the remedy will be. Homeopathic remedies are available in various forms, such as tablets, gels, creams, liquid drops, and sugar pellets.
During a homeopathic treatment, a homeopath will first carry out an extensive evaluation of your physical, mental, and emotional health. They’ll also take into account your past and present medical conditions before prescribing homeopathic remedies for your specific condition and symptoms. Homeopathic treatments are tailored according to every individual’s requirements.
How Are Homeopathic Remedies Made?
Homeopathic medicines are made from plants (for instance, plantain, dandelion, deadly nightshade, and wolfsbane) minerals (for examples sodium chloride, arsenic oxide, and iron phosphate) animal sources ( for example the venom from some poisonous snake) and at times even from pharmaceutical drug substances like streptomycin and penicillin.
Very important to know that homeopathic remedies manufactured by homeopathic pharmaceutical companies (Guna, Boiron, Unda, Highland, etc) and thus backed up by quality control, clinical studies, and safeties.
The process of making homeopathic medicines include continuous dilution of a particular substance until tiny amounts of the original substance remain. For instance, when making a homeopathic medicine from a plant source, the plant is cleaned and prepared with water and alcohol to produce a tincture, which is then diluted and shaken vigorously. This process is repeated numerous times to heighten the potency of the medicine. For instance, a drop of plant tincture can be combined with nine drops of alcohol in order to achieve the ratio of 1:10, and this solution will be shaken vigorously. This procedure is also known as succussion. The potency of the medicine is labeled according to the times this process has been completed.
For example, if the homeopathic medicine has been succussed six times and diluted 1:10, it will be labeled as 6x. Homeopathic remedies are available in various forms of dosages, and potency ratios. Tablets and pellet forms are the most common forms of dosages. Fifty Millesmial or LM (1:50,000ratio), C(1:100ratio), and X (1:10 ratio). Like conventional medications, homeopathic remedies are available in prescription and non-prescription forms. Generally, homeopathic medications are available in non-prescription forms unless they’re composed of toxic chemicals in very low dosages, or the medication is for serious illnesses.
Homeopathic medications are very safe but can take time to show results due to its natural composition. Unlike natural or home remedies, they’re scientifically prepared, and you might need a prescription for it.
What Can Homeopathy Treat?
Homeopathy has various natural remedies that can treat a multitude of illnesses and conditions. It’s effective for both acute and chronic conditions. However, it is particularly praised for its efficacy in dealing with chronic conditions. Not just that, it is even safe enough to be used on pets and dogs. Sometimes, it can be combined with allopathic medicines or other alternative treatments for better results.
Homeopathy remedies can be beneficial for the following chronic conditions:
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
It can also provide excellent results in treating minor issues like colds, coughs, nausea, headaches, toothaches, scrapes, and bruises. Along with these, there are numerous other health conditions and illnesses that homeopathy can help with. For certain health conditions, homeopathic remedies can even be prescribed alongside allopathic or natural medications.
Many people prefer using home remedies along with homeopathic medications to deal with minor health conditions. Homeopathic remedies are tailored according to your particular condition, making remedies very precise and long-lasting. They are also significantly cheaper than conventional treatments and drugs.
What’s the Difference Between Home remedies And Homeopathic remedies?
People often confuse homeopathy with herbal and home remedies. However, there is quite a lot of difference between them.
Home remedies are simply prepared tonic or medications that have unproven effectiveness and can be accessed without any medical supervision or prescriptions. Generally, they are made of ingredients that are readily available at home. They may or may not possess medicinal properties to cure the illness or disease in question. However, some home remedies are backed by science, mainly to deal with minor issues. Many people prefer using home remedies for treating colds, flu, and fevers. If you’re suffering from severe or life-threatening illnesses like cancer, home remedies will be of no help in curing your condition.
As the expense and hassle of allopathic and conventional treatments continue rising, many people have resorted to home remedies. They are also predominantly non-toxic, chemical-free, and very inexpensive. They are often confused with homeopathy, but the two concepts are entirely unrelated.
Homeopathy, on the other hand, is a holistic system that uses remedies that are scientifically prepared. It can strengthen and heal your body as well as your emotional and mental condition. Homeopathic remedies don’t force your body to change physiologically but stimulate the natural healing process of your body.
Some popular home remedies include:
- Chicken soup for colds or flu
- Peppermint for headaches or digestion problems
- Honey to deal with coughs particularly among children
- Turmeric for ulcers or skin issues
- Ginger for nausea, diarrhea, and stomachaches
- Green tea for its anti-oxidant properties
- Garlic for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Other than these remedies, many people also resort to home treatments such as using vapor rub or warm baths to deal with their cold, flu, and minor problems. However, it’s important to note that home remedies should be used only for minor cases or as add-ons to alternative or conventional medications and treatments. They will be of minimal or no help when it comes to severe health conditions.
Are Herbal Remedies and Homeopathic remedies The Same and why both belong to a category of home remedies?
Another misconception is relating homeopathy medicines to herbal medicines.
They are both made of natural sources, but the indications, safety profile, and mode of preparation are entirely different. Homeopathy predominantly uses plants and herbs for their medicines but also utilizes animal and mineral products. A significant difference between homeopathic and herbal remedies is that homeopathy is based on the principle of ‘similarity’ whereas herbal medicines don’t follow any such principle.
Herbal remedies used for medicinal purposes are oils distilled from herbs or plants or dry extracts from various parts of the herb. However, in homeopathy, herbs and other natural substances are made through dilution and vigorous shaking through a process known as succussion. The goal of the process is to remove the toxins and increase the therapeutic benefits.
The most common forms of homeopathic remedies are alcohol-based, creams, tablets, and pellets. Herbal remedies are also available in various forms such as teas, tinctures, syrups, powders, infusions, lotions, ointments, essential oils, and extracts. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are both accessible over the counter.
Both herbal, home and homeopathic remedies have their own uses, indications and counterindications. They are often used together to improve effectiveness. However, there is quite a difference between the three. Whereas home remedies are easily accessible and don’t need medical supervision, homeopathic and herbal remedies should be taken only after consultation with a professional. You should limit home remedies for minor issues like cold and flu, whereas herbal and homeopathic remedies can be useful for both acute and chronic conditions.
Are Herbal Remedies Safe?
Herbal medicines are made from natural sources, so they are significantly safer than allopathic and conventional medicines and treatments. However, you should never mix herbal remedies with traditional drugs as they may have adverse drug interactions. If you’re suffering from any health conditions, you should consult your doctor first before trying herbal remedies. Particularly for people with serious diseases, doctors might advise you to refrain from herbal medicines.
If you fall under the following demographic, you should refrain from herbal remedies:
- Above 65 or under 18
- If you’re about to or recently underwent surgery
- Breastfeeding or pregnant
- Currently on prescription drugs on medications
What Can Herbal remedies Treat?
Just like homeopathy, herbal medicine can also treat various illnesses and conditions. There are a plethora of herbal concoctions for different diseases. They are available in multiple forms. Some of the conditions herbal remedies can effectively treat are:
Herbal remedies for Depression
The herbal remedy Hypericum extract has shown very promising results in dealing with depression. Research shows that it can just be useful as the anti-depressant Prozac in dealing with mild-moderate depression. However, it’s not recommended for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Herbal remedies for Asthma
Some herbal remedies can provide relief from asthma. Marijuana, Tylophora Indica, and dried leaf extracts are some herbal remedies that can be beneficial for asthma patients. However, some herbs can interact with conventional treatments and reduce their effectiveness and make symptoms worse. For example, St Johns Wort minimizes the effectiveness of aminophylline. You must consult an expert herbalist to find the right herbs for your specific condition.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – home remedies and herbal medicines
Many people suffering from IBS resort to herbal remedies to manage their symptoms of bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Peppermint oil capsules are very popular herbal remedies for treating cramps and bloating associated with IBS. Ginger can also help with nausea. Iberogast, which is a mixture of nine plants and herb extracts, can be a potent remedy for various IBS symptoms with very low chances for side effects.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses a combination of licorice, cardamom, tangerine, rhubarb, and other herbs to remedy IBS.
Diabetes – home remedies – a popular approach to handle high blood sugar.
Okra, cinnamon, ginger, bitter melon, bilberry extract, and aloe vera are some popular and effective herbal remedies diabetes patients use to lower their blood sugar levels. However, if you’re under any sort of medication, consult a professional first. If you’re taking insulin or other sugar-lowering drugs, refrain from these herbs as they may interact adversely.
Ayurvedic physicians recommend some lifestyle changes along with herbal remedies. Research shows ayurvedic herbs to be effective with no known side effects.
Some popular herbal remedies include:
- St John’s wort
- Saw palmetto
- Milk thistle
Herbs work differently on each individual. Results can take time, but for some patients, herbal medicines work better and provide results even when conventional medications and treatments fail. They can be a fantastic add-on to homeopathic or alternative treatments.
Natural, home, and homeopathic remedies and treatments certainly differ from each other. However, all three have their uses and can help fight numerous ailments. Its recommended that you use home remedies for minor issues. However, for homeopathic and herbal medications, you should consult a practitioner first before taking them. They have higher potency and can be used to treat moderate to some severe conditions. If you’re not seeing results with allopathic or conventional means, alternative and natural treatments may provide results.
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