Homeopathy is a system of medicine that aims to help the body heal itself. It works on the principle of "like treats like". This means that a patient is treated with natural medicines made from substances that would produce similar symptoms in a healthy person. These medicines act by stimulating the body's own powers of repair and recovery.

Homeopathy treats the whole person with the aim of improving their specific symptoms and general well-being. The medicines are selected by the homeopathic practitioner on the basis of all aspects of the patient and his or her symptoms. This means that each treatment - like each person - is unique.

What sort of conditions can homeopathy treat?

Most disorders will respond to homeopathic medicines and some illnesses can be treated solely with homeopathy. A trained homeopathic doctor will know when it is most effective to use homeopathic or conventional medicines or a combination of both. Common conditions that can be treated homeopathically include allergies, anxiety and panic attacks, asthma, back pain, and neuralgia, cystitis, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual and menopausal problems, morning sickness and stress. Homeopathy can also be used to treat recurring childhood illnesses such as glue ear.

What is a homeopathic medicine?

Homeopathic medicines are derived from a variety of materials including plants and minerals. They are prepared in licensed laboratories under strict control. They are given in tablet, granule, powder or liquid form and are available in different, but extremely dilute strengths which are identified by a potency number.

Is homeopathy safe?

Yes. Homeopathy is completely safe. Two hundred years of practice, research and trials have proved the safety of this gentle system of medicine for both people and animals. Unlike some conventional drugs, homeopathic medicines are non-addictive and have no serious unwanted side-effects. Homeopathic medicines are prepared using substances which are then diluted many times and can be used safely with everyone including babies, children and pregnant and breastfeeding women.

What does treatment involve?

Homeopathy treats people as individuals rather than simply as patients with an illness. A homeopathic doctor seeks to understand not just your illness, but what makes you unique as an individual. As well as learning about your symptoms, a homepathic doctor will be interested in how you feel emotionally, the ways in which you may have changed; for example, if you have become more or less sensitive to environmental influences such as temperature and light. Questions about lifestyle, eating habits and preferences, sleep patterns, medical history and state of mind help the homeopath form a complete picture of you. Then, as a trained homeopathic physician, Dr Sharara will analyse your symptoms and prescribe a homepathic medicine.

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