Samuel Hahnemann

He created the basic principles of homeopathy. The word homeopathy comes from the Greek hómoios- ὅμοιος- "like-" + páthos πάθος "suffering".

Hippocrates of Kos

Hippocrates (Kos 460 BC - Larissa 377 BC) was an ancient Greek physician and is referred to as the father of Western medicine in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. Hippocrates is credited with being the first person to believe that diseases were caused naturally, not because of superstition and gods. He separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the gods but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits.

 
 

 

Hippocrates of Kos

Hippocrates is not only the father of Western medicine, but also a philosopher and a humanist.

Samuel Hahnemann

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (10 April 1755 – 2 July 1843) was a German physician, best known for creating the system of alternative medicine called homeopathy.
His research led him to the principle of homeopathy, similia similibus curentur ("like cures like"), according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure that disease in sick people.
He first published an article about the homeopathic approach in a German-language medical journal in 1796.

 
 

Treating children’s allergies successfully with Homeopathic Medicine

In pediatric practices, it is becoming more and more common for children to be given a diagnosis of “allergy”. Such a diagnosis usually fills parents with anxiety as most tend to think of allergies as chronic, hard-to-treat health disorders that require a combination of therapeutic interventions.

Even though the prevalence of allergies is increasing geometrically in the present age (1) (2) (3) (4) these appear to have existed since the dawn of humanity. For example, the first mentions of food allergies are made in the Hippocratic Corpus (460-370 B.C.) and concern cheese and wine. (5) Additionally, Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) writes that there are people who cannot tolerate fruit, while ancient texts describe cases of children’s allergies, such as that of a child who presented with allergic symptoms after having consumed goat’s milk.

But what is an allergy? It is a hypersensitivity reaction mediated through an immunological mechanism, by means of special antibodies or immune cells (T-lymphocytes). In most cases, the antibody responsible for allergic reactions belongs to the IgE isotype. (6)

Parents very often hear the pediatrician mention the term “atopy” to describe their child’s condition. What is meant by “atopy” is the tendency of an individual or a whole family to produce IgE antibodies in response to the presence of low doses of allergens (usually proteins), resulting in the appearance of localised symptoms such as asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis or atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS). (7) The terms “atopy” and “atopic” are used for the description of this trait and of the underlying predisposition.

IgE-mediated allergic reactions do not always occur in atopic individuals. In everyday clinical practice, doctors use the term “hypersensitivity”: hypersensitivity causes specific, stable, reproducible symptoms or signs to appear after exposure to a specific stimulus that is well-tolerated by healthy individuals. Medicine still has a long way to go to fully decipher immune system hypersensitivity phenomena, and it is just as common in everyday clinical practice to see non-allergic hypersensitivity, that is, allergic reactions where no IgE antibodies are produced.

All of us are familiar with the most common allergic reactions: asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema. Especially as regards asthma, which is increasingly prevalent among children, it must be clarified that the majority of cases are of the non-allergic kind. Therefore, we will focus more extensively on that.

Using a less scientific terminology, we may say that an inherited or acquired tendency of the organism to raise a “false alarm” against substances that are harmless to the average person (common allergens such as hay, dust mites, cow’s milk proteins, nuts, egg, fish, insect poisons, pharmaceutical chemicals - especially antibiotics, chemicals found in cosmetics, detergents, etc.) (4) causes inflammation symptoms that may manifest on the skin, the respiratory epithelium, the conjunctiva of the eyes or the bronchial tree of the respiratory system. These symptoms may vary per person, or even per season for the same person, and may range in severity from a simple itch to threatening respiratory distress.

Allergiology is the medical specialty that deals with allergy patients; there also exists the specialty of Pediatric Allergiology that deals with allergic children. The aim of the therapeutic interventions utilised, is twofold: firstly, to alleviate distressing and/or threatening symptoms through the use of drugs (anti-histamines, corticosteroids) that suppress allergic symptoms; secondly, to desensitise the patient to specific allergens, where these have been identified (8). Molecular treatment methods are also being researched (9) . However, despite the progress made in this area, allergic disorders continue to be hard to treat (10) . This is also the case with children’s allergies, whose prevalence is increasing exponentially (11) ; meanwhile, these present additional difficulties because of the strong side effects caused by first-line pharmaceutical treatments.

The basic tenet of Homeopathic Medicine is the prescribing of ultradilute, natural remedies that can stimulate the immune system and modify the immune defense. Homeopathic Medicine does not attempt to suppress symptoms, on the contrary, it views symptoms as efforts on the part of the organism to achieve homeostasis; for this reason, it aims to heal the patient instead of simply suppressing the symptoms of the disease, and its contribution to healing allergies and children’s allergies in particular, is being proven in everyday clinical practice. As a matter of fact, the first extensive clinical studies to be published in influential medical journals, reporting positive results in favour of Homeopathy, were in the subject area of Allergiology; they were studies on hayfever (allergic rhinitis) undertaken in Great Britain in the 1990’s by Dr. Reilly and they helped put Homeopathy in the arena of esteemed clinical publications . (12) (13)

But what is the explanation for this ability of ultradilute homeopathic remedies to heal allergy sufferers? Let us briefly examine the basic principles related to this capacity, combining them with what we have already explained about allergies.

  1. Ηomeopathic Medicine aims to treat the disorder and the predisposition to the disorder; its purpose is not the constant suppression of symptoms, which would entail the risk of long-term side effects of chemical drugs, not to mention the suppression itself. Indeed, if we examine the human organism as a unified whole, instead of viewing as a collection of discrete, ailing sub-systems, we notice a fact that has systematically been downplayed in conventional Medicine: that the very suppression of skin allergy symptoms will lead, with mathematical certainty, to the re-appearance of symptoms in deeper and more “sensitive” tissues such as the respiratory epithelium and, later on, the bronchial tree. In other words, when a child suffering from eczema is given topical corticosteroids to relieve the skin symptoms, it becomes significantly more likely that the child will eventually develop asthma. This will happen at a later date, when the organism, due to the topical use of cortisone, will no longer be able to express its allergic predisposition in an outer tissue with the ability to regenerate. The pediatric dermatologist will be pleased with the initial results. When, many months later, the child has its first asthma attack, the flawed information infrastructure of the healthcare system will not inform the dermatologist, who will stick with the impression that the child’s eczema has been healed, when in fact it has been suppressed.

  2. In Homeopathic Medicine, treatment is individualised - some might say, to an excessive degree - in order to fit the specific symptomatology of the patient. We have just seen how many different symptoms can be manifested by an allergy sufferer, and how drastically one patient’s symptoms can differ from those of another. The specific clinical picture of each allergy patient is matched with a specific homeopathic remedy, unique to this picture, and able to negate this very picture by pushing the organism towards the same direction as the symptoms being expressed by the organism, instead of repressing the symptoms.

  3. Just as a tiny dose of an allergen suffices to cause a massive allergic reaction in a predisposed individual, so a remedy that is dilute beyond molecular substance can reverse that same reaction.

 

Especially in Pediatric Allergiology, Homeopathic Medicine should well be in the first line of treatment. Infants and children with allergies respond more directly to the immune modification attempted with the homeopathic remedy, because their immune system is still being trained. If there is little or no prior use of pharmaceutical chemicals, this response can be immediate and clinically spectacular. Furthermore, avoiding the suppression of clinical symptoms from the skin towards the bronchi shields the child’s long-term health. Offering children hope for a permanent cure for such a complex predisposition, by means of an individualised, natural therapeutic approach; this constitutes more than just beautiful Medicine; it constitutes a great social investment for the future.

 

All of this, provided that Homeopathy is practiced by medical doctors with the appropriate training.

 

 

References

 

(1) Devereux G. The increase in the prevalence of asthma and allergy: food for thought. Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Nov;6(11):869-74.

 

(2) Platts-Mills TA, Erwin E, Heymann P, Woodfolk J. Is the hygiene hypothesis still a viable explanation for the increased prevalence of asthma? Allergy 2005;60 Suppl 79:25-31.

 

(3) Simpson CR, Newton J, Hippisley-Cox J, Sheikh A. Incidence and prevalence of multiple allergic disorders recorded in a national primary care database. J R Soc Med. 2008 Nov;101(11):558-63.

 

(4) Grammatikos AP. The genetic and environmental basis of atopic diseases. Ann Med. 2008;40(7):482-95.

 

(5) Hippocrates. On Ancient Medicine. Observation 20.

 

(6) Gould HJ, Sutton BJ, Beavil AJ, Beavil RL, McCloskey N, Coker HA, Fear D, Smurthwaite L. The biology of IgE and the basis of allergic disease. Annu Rev Immunol. 2003;21:579-628.

 

(7) Pawankar R, Holgate ST, Rosenwasser LJ. Allergy Frontiers: Classification and Pathomechanisms, pp. 33. Springer 2009.

 

(8) Holgate ST, Polosa R. Treatment strategies for allergy and asthma. Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Mar;8(3):218-30.

 

(9) Grzela K, Lazarczyk M, Dziunycz P, Milewski L, Niderla J, Grzela T. Molecular therapy versus standard treatment in allergy (Review). Int J Mol Med. 2004 Jul;14(1):3-22.

 

(10) Beasley R, Crane J, Lai CK, Pearce N. Prevalence and etiology of asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 Feb;105(2 Pt 2):S466-72.

 

(11) "Asthma's Impact on Children and Adolescents." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/children.htm

 

(12) Reilly DT, Taylor MA, McSharry C, Aitchison T. Is homoeopathy a placebo response? Controlled trial of homoeopathic potency, with pollen in hayfever as model. Lancet 1986 Oct 18;2(8512):881-6.

 

(13) Taylor MA, Reilly D, Llewellyn-Jones RH, McSharry C, Aitchison TC. Randomised controlled trial of homoeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of four trial series. BMJ 2000 Aug 19-26;321(7259):471-6.

 

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