Homeopathy is a medicinal treatment that was founded 200-300 years ago in Germany. It is widely practiced in many parts of Europe and India, and is based on the theory of 'like cures like.'
Homeopathy believes in determining the primary cause of ailments rather than curing the symptoms of a disease. This means that if you have a disease, then the substance which may cause the condition is provided as a form of medicine to the patient. It is believed that the original substance leaves a kind of a molecular blueprint in the person's body. This triggers the body's healing mechanism.
Homeopathic medicine is mainly made of plants, herbs, and animal substances. These are diluted in the water, and drops, pastes, or pills are formed. These are then provided to people as medicine. These kinds of homeopathic medications are believed to increase the body's self-healing and regulatory processes.
It was found in a survey that Homeopathy is most commonly used for respiratory and otorhinolaryngology treatments. Studies have also suggested that homeopathic medicines often provide long-term relief from several ailments such as headaches, allergies, and infections.
Only a few trials have been conducted for observing the effects of homeopathic medicine over psychological patients. One of these trials found several improvements in the condition of patients with the use of homeopathic products.
Studies of homeopathic care on cancer patients have shown different results. Sometimes it has shown a significant drop in fatigue, an increase in quality of life, and other positive outcomes. These observations haven't been carried out under clinical trials. Thus the validity of these observations may be questionable. However, a patient must know that Homeopathy can be used as an additional treatment but not an alternative to the conventional treatment for cancer.
As discussed above, the homeopathic medicinal grounds lie on the principle that like cures like. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, developed Homeopathy around 200 years ago. It is known as a safer and better way to treat diseases. Homeopathy is mostly very popular in India and Europe. The basic principle is 'similia similibus curatutor' means that anything that may cause the symptoms of the disease has the power to cure the disease.
Hahnemann and several of his followers shrewdly observed that certain plants, animal substances, or minerals might cause specific side effects in a healthy body when ingested directly. The highly diluted counterparts of the same substance could act as a medicine for a patient suffering from those symptoms. Another law that is followed by homeopaths is that the smaller the doses, the higher their effectiveness. Thus a minimum dose is given to patients for better results.
Patients have been tested with homeopathic medicine several times. The reviews of patients in 2006, 2009, and 2010 have concluded that Homeopathy is not very suitable to treat cancer. They suggest that insufficient evidence is available to support the homeopathic efficiency in cancer care. However, the review of 2009 found preliminary data to support the efficacy of topical calendula for acute dermatitis caused as a Radiotherapy side effect. Similarly, in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced stomatitis, Traumeel S Mouthwash was found to be efficient.
An in vitro study also shows that an antidiabetic product that is commonly used in Homeopathy showed anticancer effects. The antidiabetic induced nuclear fragmentation of the DNA and increased the level of mRNA expression of caspase 3 and apoptotic signal-related genes cytochrome C. It also decreased the level of anti-apoptotic gene Bcl2.
Another product, called the Phytolacca decandra, showed anticancer properties in melanoma cells. This was obtained through the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activation of caspase-mediated signaling. These are the initial results of some tests. Also, the effects of these products, when diluted according to the homeopathic prescription, are unknown.
Therefore, the efficacy of homeopathic medicine towards cancer care cannot be neglected. However, it cannot be assured that these medicines will have a positive response to cancer patients. Many more tests shall be conducted to test the performance of homeopathic medicine in many branches of medical sciences, including cancer care.
Whenever homeopathic medicines are used, there's a worsening of symptoms in the beginning. This is known as homeopathic aggravation. They are commonly reported in trials. In a meta-analysis, the rate of adverse effects of Homeopathy was compared to those where patients were administered conventional medicine in a randomized test. The reports are as follows.
A licensed homeopathic doctor should prescribe intake of homeopathic medicine. Though this branch of medicine is believed not to be helpful in most cases, some reports do suggest that it can work in improving overall health and work as an additional form of treatment.