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Dr Andrea Wiessner



About Homeopathy


Homoeopathy, from the Greek words ‘homoeo’ (meaning ‘similar’) and ‘pathos’ (meaning ‘suffering’), is a system of medicine that works on the principle that ‘like cures like’. A person is given a medicine which would produce similar symptoms in a healthy person.

The medicines used are given in small doses and made in a particular way. The original substance is diluted to reduce side effects and to cause no harm and it is potentized to enhance the healing effect of its original substance.

Homeopathic practitioners believe that the body’s own healing power is stimulated by homoeopathic remedies. Disease is understood by them as a compensating mechanism of our organism when the underlying ‘vital force’ has become out of balance. Their understanding is that this imbalance creates symptoms which are individual to each person and their disposition, creating a particular pattern of symptoms. A homoeopath aims to match this symptom pattern with a homoeopathic remedy that has a similar symptom pattern, if both match well, the organism recognizes information and a healing response is initiated. It is often compared with finding the right key to a particular lock.


German doctor Samuel Hahnemann

Homoeopathy was founded by the German doctor Samuel Hahnemann (1755 - 1843).

Having been disillusioned by the medical practice of his time, he temporarily stopped working as a doctor and earned his living by translating books. He came across Cullen’s Materia Medica, in which reasons were given why Cinchona, the bark of a tree, was effective for the treatment of malaria. Disagreeing with Cullen’s statements, he decided to test things for himself. He took Cinchona himself and observed its effects on him. He noticed that he developed malaria-like symptoms and this led him to postulate a healing principle. The “simile principle” ("that which can produce a set of symptoms in a healthy individual, can treat a sick individual who is manifesting a similar set of symptoms.”) was not a completely new thought, as Hypocrites (468-377 BC) had already propounded this theory.

Hahnemann was also looking for ways of reducing the toxicity of medicines used at the time. He started to dilute substances in order to reduce their side effects. However, he also noticed that, by doing this, the curative effect was reduced as well. He later started to “succuss” (systematic mixing through vigorous shaking) the medicines and found that by shaking the mixture with each step of diluting, the side effects of the original substance were still reduced, but the healing effect enhanced. He postulated that the more a remedy is diluted and the more it is succussed, the higher is its potency/strength and the greater is its ability to heal. In high potencies, no molecule of the original substance can be found anymore. This is the point which creates so much controversy amongst critics of homoeopathy. A possible explanation why homoeopathic remedies still contain some information of its original substance might be the ability of water to retain an ‘imprint’ of substances that have been dissolved in it. Current research is investigating this hypothesis. Hahnemann did countless experiments on himself, friends and family. These types of experiments, where substances are taken by healthy volunteers, were and are still called “provings”.

Hahnemann was a scientific and free-thinking spirit and his ideas about hygiene, diet and life style were way beyond his times.

Homoeopathic medicines

Homoeopathic remedies are made from naturally occurring substances, mainly from the plant, animal and mineral kingdom. They are prepared by systematic dilution and succussion (vigorous shaking). The more a remedy is diluted and succussed, the higher its potency.

We use, for example, Bellis perennis, the common daisy or Agaricus, the Fly-agaric mushroom. Homoeopathic remedies from the mineral kingdom may, for instance, be Silica, pure flint, or Natrium muriaticum, common salt. Animal products that are used in homoeopathy may stem from the ink of the cuttle fish (Sepia) or venom from the bushmaster snake (Lachesis).

How to take homoeopathic remedies

  • Homoeopathic remedies can be taken as pills, tablets, oral drops or powders. I usually give pills, but guidelines apply to all different types of medicines.
  • Remedies are absorbed through the lining of the mouth. There should not be a strong taste in the mouth when a remedy is taken. Therefore, remedies should be taken at least 10-15 minutes away from eating, drinking, smoking or cleaning teeth.
  • Pills and tablets are just dissolved slowly in the mouth. For smaller children or babies they can be crushed with a spoon and possibly dissolved in a drop of water.
  • Drops should be held in the mouth for 10 seconds before swallowing to ensure absorption.
  • Homoeopathic medicines should be stored in a dry, cool place away from sunlight, electric appliances or strong smelling substances.
  • High intake of coffee and exposure to very strong essential oils, such as Camphora or Eucalyptus, might interfere with the action of homoeopathic remedies. Therefore, moderate or only little coffee consumption and no exposure to Camphora or Eucalyptus are advisable during homoeopathic treatment.

Patients often seek help with the following problems

  • Acute conditions such as viral illnesses or ailments from sprains, insect bites etc.
  • Recurring conditions: Homeopaths take the view that homoeopathy aims to strengthen the organism to prevent further episodes
    • Recurrent migraines
    • Recurrent attacks of herpes
    • Recurrent infections like upper respiratory tract infections or urinary tract infections
  • Chronic conditions
    • Skin complaints, including eczema, acne, urticaria
    • Digestive problems, including IBS, indigestion, inflammatory bowel disease
    • Breathing problems, including asthma
    • Allergies, including hay fever
    • Hormonal complaints: Period-related complaints, infertility, menopausal symptoms
    • Stress related symptoms, anxiety, mild depression, sleep disorders
    • Arthritis and musculoskeletal symptoms
    • Fatigue and exhaustion

There is some evidence from research that supports the use of homeopathy for a number of the above conditions. This research evidence is disputed by many conventional doctors and scientists.

In conditions where we do not have any treatments in conventional medicine, homoeopathic remedies may be used alone. But often they are used in conjunction with conventional medicine. In many cases patients look for a homoeopathic approach, in order to see if it might reduce their conventional medication.

I see a lot of children for treatment of eczema, asthma, allergies, recurring infections, headaches, sleep disturbance or emotional imbalances. They often can be helped by a homoeopathic approach in conjunction with conventional treatment.


  • Dr Andrew Lockie: “The Family Guide to Homeopathy”
  • Miranda Castro: “The Complete Homeopathy Handbook”
  • Miranda Castro: “Homeopathy for Mother and Baby”
  • Georg Vithoulkas: “Homeopathy, Medicine for the new Millenium”
  • For further articles and research literature please check the website of the Faculty of Homeopathy: or the Society of Homeopaths:

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“The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.” Blaise Pascal