The process for preparing Homeopathic medicines
The primary aim of Homeopathy was to reduce unwanted effects of medicines. The plants, animals, minerals are some of the rich substances to prepare Homeopathic medicines. If taken in the crude form, most of the Homeopathic medicines are poisons. Dissolution in the water or grain alcohol is the natural way of removing the poisonous part.
A small amount of a Homeopathic drug substance goes through grinding with a mortar and pestle. Usually, grinding of medicinal substance done in a milk of sugar (trituration). The triturated mixture then goes through serial dilutions. The specific way applied for shaking it. For example, one part of the mixture dissolved in hundred part of water or grain alcohol. The container of liquid tapped firmly at each stage of dilution for fifty or hundred times (succussion). The process of dilution and succussion is repeated (potentization). Its the required strength of medicine that determines the number of repetitions in this process.
At extreme levels of dilution and succussion, drug part goes off leaving only energy in the medicine.
Interestingly, the strength of Homeopathic medicine increases as we dilute it. It acts deeper, wider and for a longer period. The healing power of a Homeopathic remedy diluted to fifty thousand times is smaller than a same remedy diluted for million times.
The Homeopathy way of preparing medicines offers a wide spectrum of strengths of the same medicine. Each potency has different action on a disease. This largely provides depth to the Homeopathic expert in treating amenable diseases.
The concept of Vital Force in Homeopathy
The whole Homeopathy science revolves around the ‘Vital Force’. In fact, the vital force is a force that animates and perpetuates living beings and organisms. In a normal healthy individual vital force is in a balanced state. The unbalanced state of vital force indicates disease or disorder. The vital force expresses this loss of equilibrium in the form of symptoms. Such symptoms may be of physical, mental or of mixed types.
The vital force, in particular, is the difference between a living and dead individual. To put it differently, vital force is the kind of energy which keeps an individual alive. Since derangement of equilibrium of this vital force is the root cause, Homeopathic treatment approach is always focused on reinstating this derangement. The vital force could then enable self-healing mechanism.
The vital force responds to each stimulus it gets. In his 9th aphorism, Hahnemann states:
“In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force (autocracy), the dynamis that animates the material body (organism), rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.”
The vital force is a kind of energy that underpins life’s biochemical and biophysical processes. One may find the concept of vital force is very similar to qi, chi or prana. In case of disorders stimulating this innate intelligence with the help of Law of Similars is the real goal of Homeopathy. The signs and symptoms of a disease are nothing but the struggle of the vital force to regain its equilibrium. Instances where vital force succeeds in this struggle, we find such disorders self-limiting. For example flu, rhinitis or headaches.
Provings: Pathogenetic trials in Homeopathy
In Homeopathy, the term ‘Proving’ is traditionally used to indicate testing of Homeopathic medicine. The ‘Proving’ determines what kind of symptoms or signs the proposed Homeopathic remedy can produce.
Only the healthy volunteer take part in proving of proposed Homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic ‘Provings’ are like Homeopathic clinical trials. However, there is a significant difference between modern clinical trials and Homeopathic provings. In modern clinical trials, the emergence of disease signs and symptoms in the test population has a negative impact. The emergence of diseases devalues the test drug. On the contrary, in Homeopathic ‘Provings’, the emergence of disease signs and symptoms add value to the Homeopathic medicine. More the count, intensity or frequency of a test drug-induced symptoms, more would be its ability to cure similar symptoms.
The conduct of proving happens in a safe environment. Healthy volunteers would receive the sub-molecular dose of proposed remedy. The volunteers or the provers are not harmed or poisoned since test medicine is not administered in its crude, chemical form.
The volunteers repeat the doses until they find the emergence of any disease symptoms. The volunteer has to stop the remedy with the occurrence of symptoms. The volunteer would himself/ herself monitor the developed symptom for its intensity, duration, frequency etc. All symptoms disappear at the completion of a proving. The volunteers keep the record of details related to the symptoms. All these records collectively add materia medica of Homeopathy. The findings recorded by these volunteers form handy reference to Homeopathic doctors. With the help recorded findings, they could prescribe the Homeopathic medicine for the disease showing similar symptoms or signs.
Benefits of Homeopathic drug provings
Unlike modern clinical trials, Homeopathy provings pose a low risk to the participants. Below is the list of few benefits of conducting provings.
- The use of sub-molecular doses makes proving considerably safe
- Generally, one recorder arranged for each participant to ease the collation of symptoms
- Since sick people have not participated, emergence of symptoms in a healthy individual very much alines with the Homeopathic remedy
- The symptoms stop with the stoppage of test drug
- Animal testing is not required to prove any new Homeopathic medicine
- Diet regulation during the course of proving helps to confirm remedy induced symptoms
- Male and female, both genders can participate in provings. This provides full range of symptoms associated with test drug
Example: Proving for Homeopathic Medicine Bryonia
Let we discuss Homeopathic Proving with an example. This will help to understand the science of Homeopathy in details. Homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine. Hence, person’s physical, mental symptoms, social aspects, diet and emotional status etc. have consideration while drug proving also.
As discussed earlier, a proving is nothing but ingestion of the submolecular dose of Homeopathic medicine by the healthy individual. The healthy individual consumes this test medicine until he suffers from the physical or mental symptom. He stops medicine once he notices such symptom. He then records his symptom details which form reference for the future use of such medicine.
For example, Bryonia alba proving.
Bryonia alba was first proved in 1816. Since then it is one of the major remedies in the arsenal of Homeopathic doctors. It is prescribed for types of influenzas where sufferers have experienced same symptoms what provers have noted. Some provers of Bryonia alba recorded pain especially in joints and muscles, bursting headaches, both these symptoms worsening by movement, fever accompanied by intense thirst and painful sore throat. On emotional grounds, many provers were irritable. Many of them expressed a continuous desire to “go home” during the delirium of fever.
Obviously, above guiding symptoms help Homeopathic doctors to prescribe Bryonia alba. They have to differentiate between symptoms of fever from the symptoms developed by other remedies. For example, the fever observed in remedy Rhus Toxicodendron. There is a constant movement to relieve pain in muscles and joints that increases on keeping still in Rhus Toxicodendron. Naturally, an expert Homeopathic doctor would prefer Rhus Toxicodendron over Bronia alba for such fever.