Misconceptions of Homeopathy

Many people, including medical professionals, are not well informed as too what homeopathy really is. This site has provided brief information of the nature of homeopathy and its role in medical treatment for all people. This section will separate homeopathy from many misconceptions that exist:

 Adapted from Homoeopathy for the Home (2003) by Dr Ruth Bloch and Dr Barbara Lewis

Misconception 1 – Homoeopathy is NOT herbalism (phytotherapy):

Herbs are not chosen based on the Law of Similars and have a chemical pharmacological action even though they are in their natural state. If a herb were to be selected on the basis of similarity, it would become possible for it to be a homoeopathic prescription.

Misconception 2 – Homoeopathy is NOT naturopathy:

Naturopathy uses the diet as medicine, combined with natural treatments such as water therapies, compresses, sweating, lifestyle changes, and so on.  Homoeopaths do give dietary advice as an adjunct.  Hanhemann in The Organon insists upon ‘removing all obstacles to cure’.  A diet full of junk food is not conducive to healing, neither is a lifestyle in which you watch scary movies on TV conducive to restful sleep. Therefore, adequate lifestyle will be important in the healing process, and naturopathy is a part of homeopathy.

Misconception 3 – Homoeopathy is NOT the use of vitamins and minerals:

Vitamins may be useful of necessary additions.  For example, iron-deficient anaemia may be due to a lack of iron in the diet, which must be supplemented, and/or a lack of absorption of the iron, which will require a thorough investigation why and then once the cause is found the correct remedy chosen according to homoeopathic principles can be given. Vitamins and minerals are required for optimal function of the body.

Misconception 4 – Homoeopathy is NOT the use of pendulums or radionics:  Some homeopathic practitioners are known to use these techniques in their practices as an aid. However, this is no way related to the principles and practice of homeopathy.

Misconception 5 – Homoeopathy is NOT witchcraft, cult or religion:

The basic tenants to define a religion or cult state that you need to believe in a higher power (God or Gods), salvation is promised by the religious leaders and that they must try and convert non-believers to the faith. Although homeopaths are fruitfully busy in the conversion process, using clinical results and laboratory studies, you do not have to ‘believe’ in order for a correct homoeopathic prescription to work (see homeopathy and placebo). Nor do homeopaths have a specific God or higher power in which salvation in the afterlife is promised. This is a very important distinction, although individual homeopaths may have their individual religious beliefs.

Misconception 6 – Homoeopathy is NOT a placebo:

Outstanding results can be achieved on domestic animals, large herds of cattle, unconscious patients and, of course, babies and children. This is not seen in the placebo effect. Many sceptics have been convinced of homeopathy by undergoing treatment themselves, even though they did not believe in the remedies. Most patients that I see have been through a failed medical system that they believed in, and only got worse over time. They arrive at my door as a last result, unconvinced, and we can get results. When a remedy does not act or work appropriately, we change the remedy. It looks the same and tastes the same (i.e. not changing red pills for green pills, or nice tasting pills for bitter pills), and when this works, the placebo effect can’t be used to rationalise this

Misconception 7 – Homoeopathy is NOT against operations, tests or medical diagnoses:

Tests and medical diagnoses are of great assistance in identifying a disease and enabling you to make a more accurate prognosis of its course and eventual outcome.  There are many conditions nowadays for which it is almost impossible to confirm the clinical diagnosis, but by applying homeopathy, these conditions can be treated successfully. We have different parameters and capabilities in treatment and prognosis.

Misconception 8: Homoeopathy is NOT a system that does not require knowledge of pathology, physiology, anatomy, examination, use of laboratory tests, and so on:

It is imperative for the homeopath to understand the norms of illness in order to be able to determine a prognosis and to assess the efficacy of the treatment.  One of the advantages of homoeopathy is the fact that you can still prescribe for a sick person who does not have a ‘diagnostic label’ as you will prescribe on the symptom picture presented.

Misconception 9 – Homoeopathy is NOT harmless: 

It is definitely non-toxic and non-iatrogenic, that is it does not cause new illnesses or accumulate in the body causing toxic reactions.  However, for any treatment to effect a change in an illness, it must have potential power and should therefore be used respectfully.

Misconception 10 – Homoeopathy is NOT disrespectful to other therapies: 

It is not always advantageous to combine a number of different therapies even though they may each be effective and highly respected disciplines.  The symptom picture may be obscured, making accurate prescribing difficult.  When in doubt, consult your homoeopath.

Misconception 11 – Homoeopathy is NOT outdated and anti-research:

Even a cursory search on the Internet will provide many research articles and projects that have been and are currently being undertaken.  Many new and fascinating remedies are being proved and their pictures published.