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Natural Therapies - Homeopathy

A photo of homeopath Mary Barr

Homeopathy is a safe, gentle and highly effective therapy that can help all kinds of conditions from birth to old age.

It uses naturally-occurring substances from the world around us in the form of remedies that stimulate the body’s own healing power.

It does not address symptoms in isolation, but examines the whole person on a mental, emotional and physical level and recognises that each individual experiences symptoms in their own unique way.

The word homeopathy means ‘similar suffering’ and is often referred to as ‘like cures like’. Its central philosophy is that a substance that can produce symptoms in a healthy person can help those same symptoms in a person who is ill.

For this reason, homeopathic remedies are tested on healthy people. One example is that, while coffee in a ‘healthy’ person will bring on insomnia, in certain circumstances coffee in homeopathic form, Coffea, is used to help someone with sleeplessness. This homeopathic approach was first described by Hippocrates 2,500 years ago, then later by Paracelsus and in the 18th Century it was developed into a complete system by a German physician called Samuel Hahnemann.

Homeopathic remedies are prepared by diluting a substance in distilled water repeatedly until it is extremely diluted.

Remedies can also come in the form of pills and powders.

Homeopathic remedies can be used on everyone, including babies and pregnant women, and there are no unwanted side-effects.

Remedies are made from natural ingredients.

The regulatory minefield

According to Dr Robert Verkerk, founder and director of the Alliance for Natural Health, “As in other parts of Europe, public demand for homeopathy remains high despite plenty of homeopathy-bashing by sceptics. Almost 16% of Irish citizens treat their children with homeopathy. “The Irish Medical Board is responsible for licensing homeopathic medicines in Ireland,” he says. The bad news is that “products are increasingly being lost and not available to the public, not because they are banned, but because they are prohibitively expensive to get through the regulatory obstacle course that has been created for them.

“It is ironic that products that are claimed by those who have had little or no experience of them to not work because of the absence of sufficient active ingredients, are now being thwarted by a medicines regime that is designed to make products safe and of acceptable quality,” concludes Dr Verkerk.

CASE CONFIDENTIAL: Homeopathy means we never need antibiotics

‘Jane’ is 36 and lives in Kilkenny

I have been using homeopathy for 10 years now. As a mother of three young children it is the first thing I turn to if they are unwell or not themselves. We have used homeopathy for all kinds of things such as coughs, colds, verucas, allergies and injuries. I am always amazed at how fast the remedies work.

When my little girl developed whooping cough overnight she went from not being able to get a breath or talk, and coughing until she was sick, to being cough-free within 48 hours after receiving the remedy.

The remedies are gentle but highly effective. I have learned that if you have one of those problems where you just don’t know where to go, homeopathy is usually the answer.

I was shocked one morning to find that my other daughter had a very obvious bald patch on the crown of her head, but on seeing my homeopath the hair was re-growing within days thanks to the remedy.

As a woman and mother I am so thankful for homeopathy as it keeps me and my family balanced. I recommend it to people every day, especially people who have a number of symptoms and are feeling no better on traditional drugs. We very rarely get bugs or colds even though they are being passed around the school and I put that down to homeopathy keeping us healthy. I am proud to have my children growing up using homeopathy and never having to use antibiotics, and I trust they will continue that with their children.

Mary Barr can be contacted at

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