AS IN SO MANY SPECIALIST AREAS, THE LANGUAGE OF HOMEOPATHY CAN APPEAR COMPLEX AND CAUSE CONFUSION, IF NOT PROPERLY USED
These simple definitions of basic expressions should help to avoid confusion.
Homeopathy (Homoeopathy / Homœopathy)
The treatment of disease with a substance that is able to provoke similar signs/symptoms in a healthy body. The medicines may be extremely ‘dilute’ but the usual dilution/succussion method of preparation, used for homeopathic medicines, is not an essential part of this definition (see ‘potentisation’ below). Homeopathic medicines do not interfere with the body’s function, nor have a direct pharmacological effect. The body’s reaction to the medicine is what brings about the curative process.
The treatment of disease with the supposed disease agent (i.e. the same as the disease). The medicines may be extremely ‘dilute’ but the usual dilution/succussion method of preparation, used for homeopathic medicines, is not an essential part of this definition (see ‘potentisation’ below).
The treatment of disease by a substance that bears no relationship to the signs/symptoms of the disease. This term is sometimes (erroneously) used to describe many modern conventional drug treatments, most of which are more correctly described as ‘antiopathic’ (see below). If this method has any beneficial effects, it operates by temporary distraction of the body’s reaction to disease (e.g. counter-irritant).
The treatment of disease with a substance that opposes or counteracts the signs/symptoms. Many modern conventional drugs come under this heading. Temporary relief of symptoms or temporary alleviation of signs is achievable by this method, with attendant risk of suppression, for later return with increased severity.
This term is usually reserved for the state of the patient, after treatment, in which no signs/symptoms can be detected and which requires no ongoing medication to maintain that state. Temporary alleviation of signs/symptoms by drug medication (see antiopathy above) does not imply cure.
The state of the patient in which there is imbalance or disharmony. The reaction of the patient to this state, usually in an attempt to restore internal harmony, produces the signs/symptoms that the patient can exhibit/feel and which are sometimes confused with the definition of disease.
A medicine derived from disease material (e.g. discharges, tissues, secretions, excretions). Such medicines have undergone the potentisation (q.v.) process commonly used in homeopathy. Do not confuse with ‘sarcodes’ (see below).