Homeopathic medicine is based on the principal that “like cures like”, also known in this field as the Law of Similars. In other words, homeopathic practitioners believe that a medicine can cure a sick person if it is able to cause a similar sickness in a person who is healthy. Most homeopaths site as an example their recommendation of a small dose of red onion – which normally causes runny nose and itchy eyes – to treat a cold, which brings with it those same symptoms.
It’s difficult for most people to understand homeopathy’s principals at first, but the trend towards this type of medicine continues to grow in the U.S. as patients become disconcerted with some traditional medicine and search for more natural ways to treat what ails them. Indeed, homeopathy uses only natural remedies; specifically, ultra-diluted doses of substances including plant extracts, minerals, and a variety of other substances found in nature. The original substance is diluted in water several times and shaken vigorously after each dilution. As a result, the patient is receiving only very small amounts, which makes this type of treatment very safe.
Homeopaths also believe that they do not treat illnesses but rather the person who is sick. In other words, the homeopath believes that the substances he or she provides to the patient will not destroy a cancerous tumor directly but will enable the patient’s system to destroy the tumor. Homeopathy has traditionally been used to treat chronic problems like asthma or arthritis, though some cancer centers are now promoting homeopathy as a complementary therapy for cancer patients who are also undergoing traditional therapies. Some supporters of this type of medicine also believe that homeopathic remedies can cure cancer, but there is currently no scientific evidence to support these claims.
Nonetheless, many cancer patients, including those battling malignant mesothelioma, have looked to homeopathy because it is indeed natural and doesn’t involve added more prescription drugs to their regimen and dealing with the side effects of those. Most practitioners have seen evidence that certain homeopathic substances can help reduce the pain associated not only with cancer but also that which is caused by therapies like chemotherapy and mesothelioma radiation. Others use it to treat the additional debilitating effects of conventional therapies including infection caused by reduced white blood cell count, hair loss, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, and weakness or fatigue.
Some mesothelioma cancer patients cite the fact that they have an overall better feeling of well-being when they take homeopathic remedies, even though the remedies show no sign of curing their cancer. This is indicative of the strong mind-body connection promoted by homeopathic practitioners. Many patients particularly note the disappearance or lessening of the stress and depression that comes with a cancer diagnosis as well and certain homeopathic remedies are used in those with end-stage cancer in particular, aiming to lessen the fear and anxiety often associated with death.
While there is no mesothelioma cure, proponents of this type of medicine also believe that homeopathy has the ability to prevent diseases like cancer from re-occurring because it changes the biochemical make-up of the cells that can determine one’s susceptibility to disease.