Haroon Ashraf

The Skin and Gut Homeopath


Frequently Asked Questions

What is homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a safe, gentle, and natural system of medicine which aids and assists the human body’s natural tendencies to heal itself. It is extremely safe to use and does not cause side effects in the way many conventional medications do, which means that children and even pets can be prescribed homeopathic treatment. Since homeopathy is based on the principle that substances capable of causing symptoms in healthy people are also key to treating those symptoms, such substances can also be used in dilute form as medication to treat a specific disorder. By way of example, contact with raw onions causes stinging and irritation around the eyes and nose. Allium cepa is a homeopathic remedy derived from onions, and is prescribed to patients with hay fever who are suffering from the same symptoms, i.e. irritation of the eyes and nose.

The simila principle is key to successful homeopathic treatment and involves identifying similarities between the effects of an original substance on a healthy person, and the pattern an illness takes for that individual. Homeopathic medicines must be customised to match the individual with the specific disease via a process called ‘individualisation’. As the very same disease in another patient will often be cured by an entirely different medicine, it is not unusual to have two different medicines that cure two different patients suffering from the same disease or illness.

Are there any side effects of homeopathic medicines?

Homeopathic medicines influence the body’s energy rather than its chemical balance and since there is no chemical trace that accumulates in the tissues, the remedies do not cause side effects. For the same reason, it is not possible to take an overdose of a homeopathic medicine in the same way as an allopathic medicine (which works on a chemical level) and they remain intrinsically safe. It should be noted however that homeopathic remedies are capable of stimulating the body’s reactive forces powerfully and should be stored safely away from heat and direct sunlight.

If a person is using homeopathic medicine, is it possible for them to use conventional drugs at the same time?

Since homeopathic and conventional medicine have different spheres of action, it is certainly possible to take them together if need be. While conventional drugs provide relief to the body in a variety of ways, they can interfere with microorganisms (germs) that invade the body, replace deficient substances (such as hormones or vitamins), or change the way the cells work in the body. By comparison, a homeopathic remedy acts as a signal which energises and stimulates the body’s healing power, mobilising the defence system and working in tandem with the mental, emotional and physical aspects of the individual. Thus there are generally no known drug to drug interaction or contraindications. However, it is always advisable to keep your physician/GP informed about any alternative or complementary therapy that you use, whilst you are in their care.

If I use a homeopathic medicine every day, does it become less effective?

A properly chosen homeopathic remedy will not lose its effectiveness with frequent usage as they are safe and non-addictive. For chronic conditions that require daily administration, the same remedy can be taken for as long as is required but it should be remembered that such conditions are best dealt with under the care of a competent health care practitioner.

How do I take homeopathic medicine?

Homeopathic medicated pills contain a trace of an active but highly diluted ingredient in the treatment of disease, known as "potentised" substances. Homeopathic medicines should be placed under the tongue of adults and children or in the cheek of an infant, where they will dissolve. It is preferable that homeopathic medicines are taken an hour before or after eating.

How long will it take?

Although homeopaths do not treat ailments per se, in transforming a state of ill-health into a state of health, many patients find that most ailments naturally resolve. Homeopathic medicines are aimed at inducing a process of reorganisation of the vital functions by stimulating the self-regulation mechanism, which means that a complete cure is possible in cases where only functional derangement has caused the symptoms. This is because the therapeutic results depend on the extent to which an individual has the potential to repair. The more structural the changes that have been caused by the deregulation, the more partial a recovery will be. Limitations to recovery can include specific surgical indications, deficiency diseases and very serious diseases in which gross anatomical changes have evolved. If the tissue damage has become irreversible, homeopathy may only have a palliative or relieving effect. Correspondingly, time taken to achieve the curative results will depend on how chronic and complex a condition is, for which the homeopathic treatment is being sought.

What will my homeopath need to know during the consultation?

The homeopath will take an holistic approach and will have regard to your physical, emotional and mental complaints. Homeopaths understand that symptoms of disease are evidence of the body’s natural self-healing efforts and these clues are used to guide them when prescribing a remedy.

The homeopath will ask detailed questions on various aspects of your life, past and present. Please be as detailed and thorough as possible as what you may think of as trivial or unimportant could hold a greater significance for the homeopath.

I once had homeopathic treatment but that didn’t work for me. Why would it work now?

People can experience varying results from a specific homeopathic treatment due to the way in which homeopathy itself is practised. A bespoke treatment regimen based on the patient’s disease symptoms, aetiology, lifestyle, circumstances and many similar considerations is the guiding principle in practising classical homeopathy. It follows that the outcome of a specific homeopathic treatment is dependent on the skill and diligence of the homeopath, before all else. Therefore if a specific remedy has not worked in the first instance, it is worth giving homeopathy another go. A carefully and diligently prescribed homeopathic treatment would almost certainly work.

I don’t live in the UK, can I book a virtual appointment with you?

Yes, overseas clients can consult me virtually, for which an appointment for a mutually agreed GMT is set up (subject to the availability of a slot). I send remedies via Royal Mail (first class) to clients based in the UK. Due to restrictions on posting medicinal items, I provide overseas clients with the prescriptions along with the address of a homeopathic pharmacy in their country of residence in order for them to purchase their remedies.

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