Home Go to Homeopathy
Is Homeopathy Herbal Medicine?
by Konstantinos Pisios, MD
Editor's Note from Christine Breen: Dr. Pisios specializes in internal medicine and homeopathy. He studied medicine at UC Irvine and Athens. He learned homeopathy under the great Greek homeopath, George Vithoulkas. Visit his wonderful website to learn more about him and his on line consultation services.
Many people think that homeopathy is synonymous with herbal Medicine (treatment based on herbs). In this article we will dispel this myth, despite the fact that both treatments have many things in common.
Although the two forms of treatment are natural, each is using different active substances and acts differently to the body.
The herbs come from plants and trees, whether the whole plant is used or just some parts of it (roots, leaves, flowers, bark, and fruit).
Homeopathic medicines are produced not only from plants, but also from metals, milks, poisons or parts of different animals, such as, tissues, etc.
Herbal Medicine (botanotherapy from Greek botano = herb, therapia = therapy), uses plants for treatment, either in the form of teas, alcoholic tinctures or oil immersed. While the herb is used in its raw form.
For example, if you put chamomile plant in hot water and dissolve it, you can then inhale the vapor or liquid to drink chamomile tea. Your body absorbs the real chamomile through the steam or tea. You could also let it soak in alcohol and then get a few drops of the chamomile tincture that you will have to use in a different form.
The herb as a medicine has nothing to do with the homeopathic medicine.
The drug's effect depends on the relationship dose - response, ie the body's response to it, how it reacts, is in direct proportion with the dose or the drug concentration.
Homeopathic remedy is produced and acts in a completely different way.
Although derived from a raw material, the remedy has been diluted many times and has become potent. The potency is a series of shocks (vibrations) to the diluted liquid. Through this process it eliminates any possibility of toxic action to the body.
A homeopathic medicine is an energy force that coordinates with the healing energy of the body. It acts only where necessary.
One herb for example a herbal laxative in raw form will give you peristalsis (movement of the intestine) if you need it or not, but if you take a homeopathic medicine peristaltism will be only if your body feels that you need it.
Although herbs are generally safe, non-compliance with the rules of the therapist's advice can lead to side effects since the effect depends on the amount taken. For example, glycosides contained in Digitalis Purpurea, the Helleborous, the Komvallaria is cardiotonic and diuretic, but highly toxic if taken in larger doses.
With homeopathic medicine this is not the case, and is generally considered that there are no side effects, so they are safe for children, pregnant women of people with renal, cardiac disorders, etc.
Botanotherapy is the traditional or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts.These herbs work by providing some nutrients which alter the way the body responds to an imbalance or they are providing nutrients that alter the internal environment (such as inhibiting the bacteria to multiply by changing the pH).
Homeopathy is a completely natural method of treatment. It aims at strengthening the body's own defense and mobilizing forces that were weak with result of more strength and restores the impaired health, leading to a cure.
Another difference is that the Botanotherapy provides herbs based on their use in conventional medicine, and does not always have impact on the totality of patient's symptoms (ie holistically). Homeopathy defines them according to the Law of Similars and acts always holistically.
In the Law of Similars as expressed by Hippocrates, the drug that can cause a set of symptoms to healthy people, may treat a patient who has been sick with similar symptoms.
The logic upon which homeopathy is based is as follows:
Every symptom that develops in the body is the expression of defense and its attempt to combat the disorder. The overall symptoms are nothing more than the total defense the body develops against the disease. If we give a patient a drug that can develop similar symptoms, in fact we are strengthening the effort of defense system. For example, the symptom of fever is the body's resistance to suppress the disease agent (virus, bacterium).
Therefore the body needs the support of the therapeutic effort rather than suppression of symptoms. This is what makes homeopathy work. It gives energy to the body so the body can eliminate the pathological symptoms.
Sometimes, the use of herbs and homeopathic drugs overlap, and a drug used to treat a specific disease are similar from both treatments. The use of Actaea racemosa during menopause is an example of the overlap. Perhaps this is why there is confusion and the two methods look similar to people.
In conclusion, the Herbal Medicine & Homeopathy are two completely different approaches to treatment, but in some cases can be used successfully together to give a better response to illness.
Please "Add a Comment" at the bottom of this page or blog in our Forum here.
Please do not use apostrophes in your comments.
About the Author
Konstantinos Pisios is an MD, who specializes in Internal Medicine and also is a Homeopath Specialist.
Dr. Pisios completed part of his specialty at the University of California-Irvine at the Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic in the United States and Internal Medicine in Athens - Greece and then worked for more than three years in Great Britain.
He has extensive experience with patients in hospital emergency rooms and at medical clinics. Over the years he found that several patients were returning again and again, with more and more serious problems, or needed another treatment from another medical specialty. This observation led him to study homeopathic medicine.
Dr. Konstantinos Pisios studied homeopathy at the famous Athenian Center for Homeopathic Medicine and continued with seminars with G. Vithoulkas at his International Academy of Classical Homeopathy in Alonissos, Greece.
To enrich his knowledge he went to the United Kingdom where he worked as a doctor and as well as attending seminars with the most renowned homeopaths in the world, like Sankaran, J. Scholten, M. Mangialavori, Joshi’s, L. Klein, Shah, etc.
Dr. Konstantinos Pisios writes articles in medical journals and websites with medical, holistic and sport medicine themes.
Dr. Pisios’ vision is to help patients understand the concept of “Wellness”, which includes disease prevention and better health, all over the world, with his vast combined knowledge in Allopathic Medicine and Homeopathic Medicine. He has had success treating patients with a variety of conditions, such as, chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, sports injuries, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, infections, migraines, sexual problems, dermatological, respiratory and gastrenterological problems etc.
He is able to communicate with his patients in several countries as he speaks English, Italian, Romanian and Greek fluently.
Konstantinos Pisios, M.D. is a member of the Athens Medical Association, the British Medical Association (GMC), and the Greek Society of Homeopathic Medicine.
Visit his wonderful website to learn more about him and his on line consutation services.