my mind has been ablaze these last few days with thoughts and questions about homeopathy. it is amazing! but is it ok? is it legit? and most weighing on my mind: is it kosher for a Christian to participate in?
i have been reading a great book called "raising a vaccine free child" by wendy lydall. in it, i have encountered a comprehensive explanation of homeopathy and its origins, the first i have ever read. (previously my reading about homeopathy was limited to a phrase or two out of a brochure from a health food store.) i am intrigued, amazed, and slightly disturbed.
evidently, the principle behind homeopathy is "like cures like." (from greek homoios-same or like, and pathos-suffering) a toxic substance is taken and diluted in water which is shaken. then part of this shaken water is diluted in more water and shaken again. this is repeated many times until the toxic substance is so diluted that it is extremely minimal in the water. then the substance is put into pill form, usually, to treat any symptom similar to the toxic reaction the original substance would have created if ingested. (quinine elicits symptoms similar to malaria, therefore the homeopathic remedy derived from quinine is usually the one used to treat malaria patients.) the idea is that the energy of the substance is captured in the shaking, and that it exerts its influence on the energy of the human body, harmonizing to eliminate the symptoms. it can be likened to the phenomenon that when one string of a guitar is plucked, an adjacent guitar's same string would also vibrate while the other strings remained still.
understandably, it is sworn off by many christians on account of this "energy" principle, as new-agers and occultists are usually the main types that are on about "energy." but there has to be more than just wording similarity, in my opinion, to ascertain a real connection. internet and radio are also based on "waves" and vibrations of sorts, and that is not considered occultic. the other issue is that homeopathy is not currently explainable by modern science, as "the electromagnetic field cannot be seen under a microscope" (wendy lydall). it doesn't fit into the paradigm. (to read a great book about how science is slow to change due to bureaucracy, read "the structure of scientific revolutions" by thomas kuhn. it is an enormously influential work. hour modern usage of the 'paradigm' idea comes from this text.)
the crazy thing about homeopathy is that it works. much better than "conventional medicine," sometimes. it can cure the craziest things. tuberculosis. malaria. tetanus. food poisoning. cholera. forms of cancer. and it works on animals as well as on humans, so it has nothing to do with belief. in recent trials, homeopathy was shown to be 2.75 times as effective as a placebo, whereas widespread antidepressant drugs were only 1.3 times as effective. another crazy thing is that homeopathy must be administered by symptom, not by disease, so the treatment for any given illness might not be the same for one individual as it would be for another. a homeopath would have to personally assess each person's symptoms before deciding which remedy is best. and yet another crazy feature is how delicate the "energy" field is: if your homeopathic medicine or a person being treated by such gets near any strong smells (such as peppermint or tea tree oil), it is inactivated. so when i was taking my arnica after giving birth, apparently it was being deactivated every time i brushed with my minty, tea tree oily toothpaste! who knew? at any rate, i was so intrigued about all this that i started thinking i would like to study it in-depth, apprentice with someone, do an official education in this stuff!
so i was thinking that i had better research homeopathy and its origins a little more before i launched full-on into this discipline. i discovered that the founder, samuel hahneman, was not occultically connected at all, and he just happened to discover the method of homeopathy. no seances, no spells, no prayers to obscure deities to bless his mission of healing the world through evil energy. some of the websites i looked at were accusing the man of "not being a christian." hahaha, anyways, if we were to reject anything that originated from anyone who was not a christian, we would be an odd folk indeed! the bible says that god rains on the just and the unjust, and it is clear to me that he gifts people, all his people, whether they acknowledge that their gifts are from him or not. also, "all truth is god's truth." i fully believe that when a good thing about god's world is discovered, the thinking christian embraces it and thanks god for how amazing he is!
another issue discrediting the christian naysayers is the issue of allopathic, or modern western medicine. what are ITS origins? when one goes back to the greek history, it has some crazy hokey roots, i'm telling you. have you ever read the hippocratic oath? it's the one doctors get to take upon graduation (though i believe it's no longer mandatory.) they swear by Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea and all the gods. that is something directly from the beginnings of modern medicine that remains. if a christian wants to reject homeopathy on grounds of possible demonic connections, the same must be done to modern medicine. also, note the crazy and barbaric things that have been done in the history of modern medicine: bloodletting, leeches, removal of tonsils, vaccination, etc. hokey? look in your own back yard!
here is just one example of a fundamentalist arguing without thinking:
Once Christians start worrying about food combinations and energy levels, one wonders where our faith has gone in the God who heals us.
Having followed Holistic healing principles for two years Alice found it was becoming a religion in itself; feeling guilty when she ate red meat or dairy products or even when giving the kids medicine.
Her focus became on herself believing that she could heal herself.
She didn't feel she could ask God for healing as it was her own fault for being sick.
You the reader might be saying, "But I have high blood pressure and Homeopathy is the only thing that helps!"
In the light of what you have read, and as New Age thought becomes prevalent in medicine, you will have to choose between supporting occultic based practices and following the word of God.
Jesus promised an abundant life; a wholeness, peace, joy and hope that transcends health and wealth and offers a fullness of life that rests on the grace and mercy of the Creator.
so basically we shouldn't think about trying to eat healthy or use knowledge to make smart choices about our vessels? man, i am thinking if God gave you a brain to learn and research the effects of red meat, then comprehend that it is bad for you, you SHOULD feel guilty for eating it, YOU KNOW BETTER! this guy's line of thinking is completely backward. by that logic, if someone were to break in to his house, he should not call the police because it means he is trusting in man rather than God. if his wife has a complex about being able to ask God for healing, that is another problem, it doesn't stem from becoming smarter about how to take care of yourself and your family. it comes from a misunderstanding of God's character and how much he loves us and forgives us and wants to heal us, even when we make bad choices. and note that she is quick to want to give her kids "traditional" medicine but decides to reject homeopathy. no sense! yes, jesus promised joy and hope that transcends health and wealth, but does this mean we suppress intelligence about managing the body or the money God gives us? (i find interesting his use of the phrase "health and wealth" anyways--the people who advocate the health and wealth gospel are completely on the other end of the spectrum as those who would seek to improve their health intelligently. they think God will basically give them whatever they want, instead of acknowledging that we have a huge part in stewarding ourselves.)
in conclusion, i am convinced that homeopathy is a gift from the Lord. He has always been ahead of the times regardless of the scientific paradigms. example: in the Bible the jews knew not to circumcise til the 8th day, it was part of their God-given tradition. now we find out scientifically that a baby's clotting factors take about a week to kick in, til they can develop vitamin k in their bodies! so the fact that it doesn't fit into western medicine doesn't bother me. and judging from the things i have read, it doesn't check out as a spiritual crock conceived by satan to lead us astray.