Click on the link below for a quick read on an interesting article about possible misinformation we may receive. Worth the click.
Written by Steven Litvak
PIONEERS-My grandparents, Norman and Mary Litvak, founded the Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy back in 1944, originally planning on selling the usual items found in drug stores at the time—medicine, alcohol, soda, cigarettes. Little did they know that within just a few years, they would be pioneering the first fully integrative retail pharmacy in the United States.
Norman had been trained as a pharmacist at the University of Buffalo and understood the side effects of medication and the nutritional deficiencies caused by them. When the pharmacy’s customers weren’t doing as well as he and Mary had hoped, they decided they should provide customers with education and other alternative methods of healing, even though it was far more profitable to sell just prescription drugs. When a homeopathic sales rep entered their store shortly after purchasing, they were intrigued and decided to see what would happen if they offered these remedies to their customers.
When customers came in with allergies or aches and pains, Norman started giving them a homeopathic remedy instead of a drug. After those customers ran out of remedies, they came back for more. Complaints about side effects went down. Customers had fewer symptoms or were symptom-free. As word spread, many local doctors and individuals came to inquire about alternative ways of treating their ailments.
Norman and Mary’s passion for homeopathy was contagious. My grandfather formed relationships with doctors in the community, and even took some M.D.s under his wing, teaching them the homeopathic trade. A form of treatment that used to be considered snake oil or a placebo remedy proved to be an effective, non-invasive approach to a wide range of health issues.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine founded in the early 19th century by German physician Samuel Christian Hahnemann, who claimed that the medicine he had been taught to practice sometimes did patients more harm than good. The word “homeopathy” comes from the Greek words homeo (“similar”) and pathos (“suffering”). It is based on the principle that a disease can be cured by smaller doses of a medicine that, at full strength, creates similar symptoms to what the patient is experiencing.
Modern medicine often addresses a single symptom and not the totality of symptoms, whereas homeopathic physicians take into account all symptoms, including how the patient is reacting to the symptoms. Modern medicine is based on killing, suppressing, or blocking symptoms. Homeopathy works by allowing the body to handle the symptoms and then restoring balance.
For example, to treat allergies, a conventional pharmacist likely will dispense an antihistamine like Claritin or Zyrtec in which the active ingredient is designed to calm down your body’s immune reaction to allergens like pollen or animal dander. A homeopath, however, might prescribe Histaminum 15C, a remedy that is made from purified chemicals called histidines, which come from living substances, such as plants. Rather than blocking the action of histamine, one of the body’s natural chemicals, as a conventional allergy medicine would, this homeopathic remedy works by gently helping our immune system reduce the histamine load on the body without any drowsiness. Most patients notice a difference in their symptoms within the first 10 to 15 minutes after taking the remedy.
All homeopathic remedies are derived from plants, minerals, and animal sources and are prepared in minute dosages. They can be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding; they don’t react with other medications and substances like alcohol. Homeopathic remedies can be dissolved in water for animals and babies, and most have a pleasant taste, so children accept them with ease.
There are limits, of course, to what homeopathic medicine can do -- homeopathy alone is not for life-threatening emergency situations. It can be used for the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation, but not alone for cancer. Serious health disorders need to use multiple approaches to get the best results. But we have found that homeopathy and other alternative medicine work well for chronic diseases and certain diseases where there are no modern treatments available.
There are many misconceptions about homeopathic medicine, including that it’s merely a placebo therapy. But infants, children and animals—living beings who can’t “overthink” themselves well—get results from using our remedies. And, scientific double-blind randomized clinical trials, many of which have been recorded and repeated, also prove homeopathic medicine’s effectiveness. A few years ago, the Swiss government affirmed that homeopathic medicine works and is safe to consume.
One misconception about our pharmacy, especially from first-time customers, is to assume that everything in our store is homeopathic. However, we are a completely integrated pharmacy and also offer a few safe prescription medications. It’s just that we have more than one option for treating illness.
“Alternative medicine” is an umbrella term used to describe many of the health sciences that are not classified as modern mainstream medicine. Homeopathy is only one of the sciences that falls under alternative medicine. We also offer flower essences (commonly used for emotional problems), Western and Chinese herbs, professional nutritional supplements, essential oils, and natural skin care and household products.
Throughout the years, the alternative medicines industry has been challenged. As recently as April, the FDA announced it was considering enforcing more regulations for homeopathic medicine. (The labs that manufacture homeopathy are already regulated by the FDA.)
Such controversy belies the consistency with which we have run our pharmacy for almost a century. At any given time during business hours, Monday through Saturday, people enter our doors knowing that they can have a free consultation with any of our staff members, all of whom have been trained and certified in a field such as homeopathy, herbology, acupuncture, pharmacology, and nutrition. We also have pharmacists on staff who have received conventional training.
Over the years, our store has definitely changed. The name evolved (from Santa Monica Drug Company to Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy). Cash registers were replaced by computers. Candy and soda was replaced by healthy snacks and beverages that do not cause sugar spikes in the blood and other negative effects on the body. Cigarettes and alcoholic beverages are long gone. The clients have come to ask more about alternative medicines. And we now have hundreds of medical doctors and hospitals that send their patients into the pharmacy to get help. Alternative medicine for many has become their medicine of choice.
When Mary and Norm opened the pharmacy in 1944, their sons were 4 and 7 years old. Santa Monica was a center of aerospace manufacturing. Bub and Pop could never have imagined that their small, family-owned pharmacy would still be in existence so far into the future, or that the city where it was based would become an upscale tourist destination. But they would recognize that, just as they did, two more generations are continuing to find the best ways to cure what ails their customers, no matter what tradition the treatments might come from.
(Steven Litvak wrote this article with the help of family members Kimberly Litvak, Robert Litvak and Donald Litvak, who also work at the pharmacy. It appeared earlier at Zocalo Public Square) Photo Credit: Steven Litvak
This week I’m sharing a few mini-facts, which are useful to absorb into your thoughts and lifestyle.
Fasting is an interesting concept which, if utilised correctly, can help the body. Taken to extremes, it can harm our health. However, going on a mini-fast every so often could help you live longer and reduce your chances of developing a chronic disease, according to research.
Apparently, the occasional mini-fast could have the same health benefits as fasting every day – which we certainly wouldn’t want to do. Occasional fasting is usually where a meal is missed (this would be planned, not missed by accident) or you focus on eating less throughout the day, for one day. According to research at the University of Florida, this can promote longevity and protect our cells.
The ‘little but often’ approach to fasting seems to trigger small stress responses in the body, which build protective pathways and bolster the immune system. Intermittent fasting also lowers insulin levels, which could have an anti-diabetic effect as an additional benefit.
To test the benefits of a mini-fast, the researchers recruited 24 adults, whose diets switched from eating just 25 per cent of their daily calories on one day to eating 75 per cent more than their usual daily intake the next day. For the average male, this means eating 650 calories on the ‘fast’ day and then 4,550 calories on the ‘feast’ day (Rejuvenation Res., 2014).
Sufferers of ME (myalgic encephalopathy) and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) still have a difficult time explaining to medics what their problem is. It should be explained that there are a number of different names for what is an illness of uncertain cause affecting many thousands of people. Currently it is estimated that some 250,000 people in the UK alone are affected by this illness.
All types of people, of all ages, are affected. Severe and debilitating fatigue, painful muscles and joints, disordered sleep, gastric disturbances, poor memory and concentration are commonplace. In many cases, onset is linked to a viral infection. Other triggers may include an operation or an accident, although some people experience a slow, insidious onset.
However, a major new study has confirmed that it is not a psychological issue, but has biological causes. The disorder has stages, produces biomarkers in the blood and could be the result of an infection (such as Epstein-Barr virus), causing the immune system to go into overdrive for some time.
Going on a mini-fast every so often could help you live longer and reduce your chances of developing a chronic disease Researchers from a team at Columbia University took blood samples from 298 ME/CFS patients and compared them with samples taken from 348 healthy people.
They discovered different immune ‘signatures’ in the blood of chronic fatigue sufferers of less than three years’ duration, compared with those in healthy people and those suffering from ME for longer. Those who had ME for less than three years had high levels of immune related molecules which appear in response to viral and bacterial infections.
Ultimately, the researchers believe that an ME sufferer has an immune system which is on constant ‘high alert’. This eventually causes fatigue, muscle pain, an inability to concentrate and headaches, which are all typical symptoms of ME (Science Advances, 2015)
A new review of homeopathy has proved what many people have known all along – that it works. Homeopathy is generally dismissed as nothing more than a placebo. The benefits are ‘all in the mind’ of the patient and not in the remedy.
However, this new review has found that homoeopathic remedies are almost twice as effective as a placebo. People given a homeopathic remedy are, on average, 1.98 times more likely to improve, compared with those given a placebo or a dummy pill. The key factor is that the participants were given individualised remedies (which is what homeopathy is all about). This would have been the case if these people had been prescribed a remedy by a homeopath after a consultation.
Earlier studies, which had found no bene-fit over a placebo, had evaluated the effectiveness of general homeopathic remedies such as Arnica, for muscle pain, and Oscillococcinum, for flu symptoms.
In this new review and analysis, Robert Mathie from the British Homeopathic Association, together with an international team of other researchers, looked at 32 trials covering 24 medical conditions.
Of these, 22 were included in the pooled analysis and three trials, deemed to have the most ‘reliable evidence’, resulted in the 1.98 risk on sensitivity analysis (Systematic Reviews, 2014).
Finally, just a quick fact about exercise. Little and often is a better way to exercise than following guidelines of 150 minutes of exercise a week. Researchers say this is unrealistic. Instead, people who do short periods of walking or just 20 minutes of vigorous activity a month will still reduce their risk of premature death compared with those who take no exercise at all.
The key is to make sure you find time to do something every day.
Homeopathy doesn’t always get a fair hearing in the media, according to Sheelagh Behan, an Irish homeopath and organiser of an international conference in Dublin this weekend. “The UK Sense About Science people have waged a campaign against homeopathy, as has the Skeptics Society here,” she says. “There is much less criticism of homeopathy in France, Germany, Spain and Italy, where it is a more accepted part of the culture and every pharmacy offers homeopathy as an option.”
Homeopathy is one of the best-known complementary therapies – partly because of scientists’ criticisms of it, ironically – and it remains a healthcare choice for many. This weekend’s event, which is drawing about 180 delegates from Europe, the United States and Australia, marks the 25th anniversaries of the Irish Society of Homeopaths and the European Central Council of Homeopaths.
Stephen Gordon, the council’s general secretary, who will talk at the Irish Homeopathy Conference, says, “Homeopathy is used by over 100 million Europeans. In Germany over 60 per cent of the population use it. In other European nations it is a well-established therapy practised by both medical doctors and professional homeopaths.”
The main criticism of homeopathy is that it uses such minute doses – its remedies are diluted many times – that its effects cannot be proven by any scientifically accepted standard. The doctor and science writer Ben Goldacre, a prominent critic, points out that, typically, “the treating substance is diluted by more than the total number of atoms in the universe”. How can an almost infinitely dilute solution cure anything, he asks.
So how can people have confidence in homeopathic remedies? “There has been a lot of research worldwide into the electromagnetic activity within the higher-potency remedies,” Behan says. “Humans and animals have an electromagnetic charge that interacts on that level, although we don’t understand exactly yet how it works.”
It’s not an explanation that would convince scientists. So who visits Ireland’s 350 or so homeopaths? “Mothers who want their children to grow up as healthily as possible are the biggest group of people,” says Behan, who trained as a homeopath after her young son had a series of ear infections.
She adds that mothers know that bacteria are increasingly resistant to antibiotics and are unwilling to repeatedly take steroids or use inhalers for recurrent illnesses. “They find that the remedies, by strengthening the immune system, can greatly les
Sessions at World Homoeopathy Summit claim homoeopathic medicines can cure many diseases
Our Bureau, Chennai
The scientific sessions at the recently held World Homoeopathy Summit in Mumbai have proven that homoeopathy medicines are nano materials and they can become remedies for various kinds of conventional and emerging infectious diseases.
The sessions have also avoided all anxieties with regard to the action and efficacy of homoeopathic medicines in human bodies affected by germs of various diseases.
Twenty-six scientists including molecular biologists, engineers, physicists, immunologists, pharmacologists, chemists, nanotechnologists, zoologists, homoeopaths and conventional doctors from some of the premium universities presented their papers on latest researches related to homoeopathy concepts.
Prof Jayesh Bellare, head of department of Chemical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, presented his paper on nanotechnology of homoeopathic medicines and demonstrated that these medicines in high dilutions retain the nano-particles of the source material.
Prof M Rajendran, Principal, Vinayaka Mission Homoeopathic Medical College at Salem in Tamil Nadu, who worked at the Centre for nano science and engineering, presented his study revealing the hidden secrets of homeopathic potencies using High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope (HRTEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) on Aurum Metalicum 6C – CM potencies and FESM & EDS studies of Carbo Vegitabilis 6 C – CM potencies.
Dr Arun Jamkar, an onco-surgeon and vice chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nasik, made special comments on the future of nanotechnology and homeopathy.
Prof G D Jindal, an electrical engineer and Dr Akalpita Paranjape, former scientist at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, demonstrated measurability of the effects of homeopathic dilutions on autonomous nervous system in humans with an electrical device. Prof P K Joshi, physicist at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, and Dr Praful Barvalia, a renowned homoeopath from Mumbai, demonstrated Enhanced Supercontinuum Generation in water in the presence of ultra-dilute solutions using laser beams, in samples containing high dilutions of homoeopathic medicines.
Prof N C Sukul, an eminent zoologist and scientist from West Bengal, in his presentation on Variation in Free and Bound Water Molecules in Different Homoeopathic Potencies, demonstrated the difference in the spectra between different potencies of the same medicine (Sulphur 30C, 200C, 1M) using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy.
Dr Gaurisankar Sa, Senior Professor of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, Kolkata demonstrated regression of cancer tumours in rats with homoeopathic medicines. He simultaneously investigated the detail of molecular mechanism underlying drug-induced tumour regression. This study was conducted in collaboration with the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, Government of India.
Prof Praveen Kumar, Head of the Department, Practice of Medicine, JSPS Government Homoeopathic Medical College in Hyderabad demonstrated the inhibition of Reverse Transcriptase enzyme by high dilution of snake venom (Crotalus Horridus), which could potentially lead to inhibition of multiplication of HIV, hepatitis B and Ebola virus, through a paper on their in-vitro study conducted at Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad.
In a joint study carried out by Dr Rajesh Shah, a renowned homoeopath and researcher from Mumbai and Dr Sadhana Sathaye, Associate Professor, Pharmacology, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai demonstrated the efficacy of homoeopathic dilutions as anti-inflammatory medicine, at par with diclofenac, in animal model.
Dr Rajesh Shah presented results of a clinical trial with a newly prepared homoeopathic HIV nosode that reduced the viral load of HIV patients and increased the CD4 count. The study also highlighted the development of latest technology and standardization of nosodes.
Prof Tapas Kundu of Motiwala Homoeopathic Medical College, Nasik who worked along with Dr K Ghosh, Director, National Institute of Immunohaematology, presented paper on 294 cases of acute bleeding in haemophilia patients and demonstrated the efficacy of homoeopathy in haemophilia.
Hi, My name is DC Royalty and I am a Homeopathy Practitioner in Clarksville, Tennessee. I am Certified in Classical Homeopathy. I invite you to join me on this Journey To Health, Wellness and Wholeness.