Homeopathic medicines are called remedies. These are made from plants, minerals and other natural substances. The remedies are much diluted and only a minute amount of the original substance is left in the remedy.
The remedies are gentle, non-toxic, and non-addictive and are used during pregnancy and labour.
Homeopathic remedies are safe to use alongside conventional medication, herbal remedies and other treatments. Remedies are usually in the form of small tablets, pillules or poppy grains, or in liquid form.
How are homeopathic medicines made and tested?
Homeopathic medicines are manufactured by repeatedly diluting and shaking (succussing) a preparation of the original substance in water and alcohol. After dilution the medicine is added to lactose tablets or pillules.
The process by which the usefulness of new homeopathic remedies are discovered is referred to as a Homeopathic Proving.
Proving is the method by which remedies are tested for their effect. Provings are performed on healthy individuals. They take a newly prepared homeopathic remedy in different strength and all their symptoms physical, mental and emotional, are recorded and organised in a usable form to build the foundations of the new remedy picture.
These symptoms make up the picture of the remedy and illustrate which combination of symptoms this homeopathic drug can treat. Remedies are not tested on animals. There are many different types of research evidence used to assess medical treatments including homeopathic treatment.
The strength of the medicines
Homeopathic medicines bought in high street shops tend to be in either the 6c or 30c potency. 6c means that the substance has undergone 6 steps in a series of dilutions, where each step involves diluting 1 part medicine to 99 parts alcohol/water.
The more stages of dilution and succussion the preparation has gone through, the more potent or stronger, so a 30c medicine is more potent than a 6c medicine. Higher dilutions are bought at Homeopathic Pharmacies.