Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is widely practiced in Europe and is now finding its way around the world. I do not personally practice homeopathy, which requires specific training to accurately prescribe remedies. However, I often work with practitioners. Anecdotally, I have heard good reports. A study on the efficacy of homeopathic treatments has shown them to be more effective than taking a placebo. The success of homeopathy is based on a number of factors:

■ Homeopathic remedies are completely safe and have no side effects or adverse interactions with other medications that you are taking.

■ Homeopathy is based on completely natural ingredients.

* When the correct remedy is used, results are rapid and complete.

■ Homeopathy does not suppress your immune system, it works in harmony with it.

■ Homeopathic remedies attack the specific cause of your condition not the array of symptoms.

Like other forms of holistic treatment, homeopathy attempts to stimulate the body to repair itself. In general, homeopathic medicine is based on three principles.

1. Like cures like: Herbs that have a specific effect, when appropriately diluted, will have an opposing effect, as when an inoculation of viral particles stimulates the body to protect itself against further infection. For example, if arnica causes swelling then arnica, appropriately diluted, can also diminish swelling.

2. Minimal dose: Remedies are taken in an extremely diluted form, normally 1 part herb or other preparation in 6 or 10 million parts water.

3. A single remedy: Even if a number of symptoms are being experienced only one remedy will be prescribed, aimed at alleviating the entire complex of symptoms.

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