Homeopathy is a system of holistic medicine and can be of support to people in a multitude of ways, including supporting through the effects of chronic disease, and physical and psychological trauma.

A homeopathic encounter or prescription can cause a healing response, or impulse, in the patient, and it is this response that can bring resolution.

In India there are 300,000 working homeopaths, and 250,000 of these are medical doctors with at least five years of clinical training behind them. Homeopathic training is comprehensive, experiential and complex.

Homeopathy proved itself to me in the field in 1998 when I was a North Face sponsored athlete and embarking on a solo 350-mile foot crossing of the entire Indian Himalayas. Needing specialised medical kit to support the expedition I knew that there would be no chance of outside support or helicopter evacuation if I encountered problems. Speaking with army doctors with solid Himalayan experience, it was recommended that I took a comprehensive set of homeopathic medicines with me, along with broad-spectrum antibiotics and altitude-specific medicines.

The homeopathic medicine turned out to be invaluable. I could manage daily issues such as inflammation and exhaustion much better, and I didn’t need strong drugs such as Diamox for altitude sickness as the homeopathy proved to be very effective. It was only some time later that at the same time that I was crossing the Himalayas, the first ever disabled ascent of Everest was also taking place, and this was also supported with homeopathy by Dr Mary Shackelton from the USA. Two years later, in 2000, Dr Shackelton carried out a placebo-controlled, single-blinded, non-randomized study with homeopathic coca during an ascent to Everest base camp and found that it significantly reduced the effects of altitude on trekkers in the experimental group when compared with placebo. Link to paper.

How does it work?

There are many hypotheses to explains how potentised remedies can cause a curative reaction in the patient, but as yet we have no accepted scientific mechanism to explain this. Homoeopathy isn’t alone in this regard, however, as there are many medical procedures also used every day that have no agreed scientific explanation on their mechanism of action. General anaesthesia is one of them. So although we don’t currently know just how homeopathy works, millions of people across the globe find that it works for them, and contrary to what you may read, there is a wealth of scientific evidence to support homeopathy. Numerous studies have also been carried out on the effect of extremely low dilutions when used not just in people but also in-vitro, and these clearly show the capability of high-diluted homeopathic medicines to modulate gene expression in cell cultures. Link to example paper.