WHAT IS SPAGYRIC HOMEOPATHY?

Homeopathy, also known as homeopathic medicine, is a whole medical system that was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago and has been practiced in the United States since the early 19th century. Homeopathy is used for wellness and prevention and care of many diseases and conditions.

Overview

The term homeopathy comes from the Greek words homeo, meaning similar, and pathos, meaning suffering or disease. Homeopathy seeks to stimulate the body's ability to heal itself by giving very small doses of highly diluted substances. This therapeutic method was developed by German physician Samuel Christian Hahnemann at the end of the 18th century. Hahnemann articulated two main principles:
  • The principle of similars (or "like cures like") states that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people. This idea, which can be traced back to Hippocrates, was further developed by Hahnemann after he repeatedly ingested cinchona bark, a popular treatment for malaria, and found that he developed the symptoms of the disease. Hahnemann theorized that if a substance could cause disease symptoms in a healthy person, small amounts could cure a sick person who had similar symptoms.
  • The principle of dilutions (or "law of minimum dose") states that the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness. In homeopathy, substances are diluted in a stepwise fashion and shaken vigorously between each dilution. This process, referred to as "potentization," is believed to transmit some form of information or energy from the original substance to the final diluted remedy. Most homeopathic remedies are so dilute that no molecules of the healing substance remain; however, in homeopathy, it is believed that the substance has left its imprint or "essence," which stimulates the body to heal itself (this theory is called the "memory of water").
Homeopathic remedies are derived from natural substances that come from plants, minerals, or animals. Common remedies include red onion, arnica (mountain herb), and stinging nettle plant.

Spagyric Homeopathy

Dr. Lee does not use traditional homeopathics, but combination homeopathics called spagyrics, targeted at whole organ systems of the body.  

First developed by the 16th Century Swiss physician Paracelsus, spagyrism represents a form of homeopathy in which both vital healing energy and active substances are extracted from medicinal plants, creating powerful mother tinctures that can be further potentized. Derived from the Greek words spao (separate) and ageiro (unite), spagyric remedies were originally created by fermenting parts of wild herbs. Paracelsus pointed out that the vital energy of an herb is more important than the plant material itself. Combining the ideas of Paracelsus with modern manufacturing techniques, PEKANA produces its powerful spagyric remedies using four key steps: separation, purification, incineration and re-unification.

Use in the United States

According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which included a comprehensive survey of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by Americans, an estimated 3.9 million U.S. adults and approximately 900,000 children used homeopathy in the previous year.

People use homeopathy for a range of health concerns, from wellness and prevention, to the care of diseases and conditions such as allergies, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, digestive disorders, ear infections, headaches, and skin rashes.

Regulation of Homeopathy

Homeopathic remedies are prepared according to the guidelines of the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS), which was written into law in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938. Homeopathic remedies are regulated in the same manner as nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. However, because homeopathic products contain little or no active ingredients, they do not have to undergo the same safety and efficacy testing as prescription and new OTC drugs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does require that homeopathic remedies meet certain legal standards for strength, purity, and packaging. The labels on the remedies must include at least one major indication (i.e., medical problem), a list of ingredients, the dilution, and safety instructions. 

The Status of Homeopathy Research

There are some individual observational studies, randomized placebo-controlled trials, and laboratory research that report positive effects or unique physical and chemical properties of homeopathic remedies.

Research Challenges

Homeopathy is difficult to study using current scientific methods because highly diluted substances (known as ultra-high dilutions or UHDs) cannot be readily measured, making it difficult to design or replicate studies. In addition, homeopathic remedies are highly individualized and there is no uniform prescribing standard for homeopaths. There are hundreds of different homeopathic remedies, which can be prescribed in a variety of different dilutions to address thousands of symptoms. On the other hand, many aspects of the interactions between the homeopathic practitioner and his or her patients may be quite beneficial, and can be studied more easily.

Controversies Regarding Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a controversial area of CAM because a number of its key concepts are not consistent with established laws of science (particularly chemistry and physics). Critics think it is implausible that a remedy containing a miniscule amount of an active ingredient (sometimes not a single molecule of the original compound) can have any biological effect—beneficial or otherwise. Others point to observational and anecdotal evidence that homeopathy does work and argue that it should not be rejected just because science has not been able to explain it.

Side Effects and Risks

Although the side effects and risks of homeopathics are not well researched outside of observational studies, some general points can be made about their safety:

  • A systematic review found that homeopathic remedies in high dilution, taken under the supervision of trained professionals, are generally considered safe and unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions.
  • Liquid homeopathic remedies may contain alcohol. The FDA allows higher levels of alcohol in these remedies than it allows in conventional drugs. However, no adverse effects from alcohol levels have been reported to the FDA.
  • Homeopaths expect some of their patients to experience homeopathic aggravation (a temporary worsening of existing symptoms after taking a homeopathic prescription). Researchers have not found much evidence of this reaction in clinical studies; however, research on homeopathic aggravations is scarce.
  • Homeopathic remedies are not known to interfere with pharmaceutical drugs.
http://nccam.nih.gov/health/homeopathy/

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