On how the body is seen
In Naturopathy and in Western Medicine, the body is seen as a collection of systems, meaning that you may receive a prescription for your headache, a different one for the eczema and another one to address your constipation.
In Homeopathy we see the body as one, symptoms of the mind (e.g. anxiety), body (e.g. stabbing pain in the chest), and spirit (e.g. feeling totally alone and disconnected from the world) are all considered to be part of your suffering, all of these symptoms are considered when looking for a single remedy to strengthen your body innate ability to heal itself.
On where the medicine comes from
The products prescribed by a Naturopath are may be natural substances or may be synthetic or man-made. In Western medicine all the prescriptions are man-made. Unfortunately, the long term effects of these man-made compounds are often unknown. For example the drug Thalidomide (1) was prescribed in the 1950s as nausea and morning sickness drug for pregnant women. Worldwide about 10,000 cases were reported of children were born with severe malformation of the arms. Only half of the 10,000 survived, due to extreme in utero deformation those unborn children were not able to survive. Another example is aspirin, it used to be prescribed as a pain killer, now it is mostly as a blood thinner. Still aspirin has some serious side-effects. One more example is Viagra, it was originally prescribed as a heart medication, it is well known what it is mostly used now.
Homeopathic remedies are made from what we find in nature, animals, plants, minerals and gasses. Great efforts are made to find a healthy specimen of the substance in the wild. The long term effect of taking homeopathic remedies is health.
On side effects
A side effect is an unforeseeable reaction to the medication when prescribed to a patient.
Naturopathic prescriptions may have side effects, as they were originally tested on a specific organs or systems of the body, without considering the effects of the products on other organs or systems.
The side effects in Western Medicine are common, mainly because these synthetic drugs are designed to target specific organs or systems of the body. These synthetic compounds are not only considered “foreign” to the body, but also the body may show unforeseeable reactions from the non-target organs or systems. It is not uncommon that other drugs are prescribed to counter act the side effects of the first drug.
In Homeopathy, all the symptoms that are expressed by the body in a Proving (or trail) are considered important and useful. The goal of a Proving is to discover the symptoms that a health volunteer will experience when taking an unknown natural substance. The symptoms that will include for example, dreams, fear, anxieties, changes in the menstrual cycle, etc. will be helpful. When someone suffering with that combination of symptoms, will be prescribed the remedy that is associate with those symptoms. For example, I was involved in the Provings of the Giant Sea Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) (3). During this proving a number of provers developed blisters around their mouth and their body in general. Personally I developed blisters on my back, my MD diagnosed my condition as having shingles. The blisters cleared in few days, a clear indication that I did not have shingles, as this lasts for weeks. Clearly I was experiencing symptoms associated with the remedy, and not the disease. Another big clue, is that shingles are notoriously painful, but there was no pain accompanied those blisters. Years later I successfully prescribed this remedy for a number of cases of “Foot and mouth disease” and shingles.
There are groups of people that are particularly sensitive to medications, and other products including over the coulter medications and chemicals in general. Amongst these groups are pregnant women, babies and highly sensitive people. In general these groups either cannot tolerate medications or in case of pregnancy, there may be risks to the unborn child that is not worth taking it. Other sensitive people, may have a severe reaction to medications, supplements and other natural products.
Homeopathy can help these people. For example, I have successfully prescribed when pregnant women had severe morning sickness, or when babies were unable to nurse, or could not have a bowel movement. In my practice I have seeing people that were extreme sensitivity to chemicals, perfumes, food etc. their life was very restricted, homeopathic remedies helped them.
A recall is a process by which a company has to remove a drug from the market (4). Occasionally there are recalls of natural products and supplements, while drugs used by Western Medicine have frequent recalls, there has been no recall of homeopathic remedies, ever.
Pharmaceutical drugs and other products can be expensive, as can be naturopathic supplements and other products. Homeopathic remedies are very inexpensive and effective, again they have no side effect and are not toxic. The goal of a homeopath is to help the individual heal, so that s/he can find what s/he is supposed to do in her/his lifetime (5).Pain and suffering of any kind are but distractions from that goal.