Homeopathy: In conversation with Anjum Rahmatulla
We spoke to our in-house Homeopath, Anjum Rahmatulla, all about Homeopathy, how it came into her life, and what it can be used for.
Tell us a little about your personal journey that took you to homeopathy?
I grew up being treated by antibiotics for everything. My family never even mentioned homeopathy even though it was available easily. We had a family doctor who dosed us with pharmaceuticals at every opportunity. The turning point came when I had a car accident in the UK, and damaged my upper jaw and gum. My dentist was very gloomy about the long term prospects of my teeth. I was away in India when I was given a homeopathic medicine or remedy by my father-in-law, an amateur homeopath, some 2 months after the accident. When I returned to the UK, my dentist was flabbergasted by how much stronger my teeth and gums had become.
My interest was piqued. Could homeopathy have been the reason? The seed of homeopathy was now planted in my mind, but it would take a while before anything came of it.
When expecting my first child, there was a homeopath in my exercise group. The Homeopath talked about the idea that everyone has an underlying weakness, and it is that weakness that has a lot to do with how we become ill. There are always bacteria and viruses around, but not all of us fall ill because of them.
We will fall ill when our ability to fend off the bacteria/virus is limited or weakened. If we strengthen that weakness, then it will help us to fight off the bacteria. That is what homeopathy does. It helps the individual to become stronger in themselves, so they can put up a vigorous defence against the causes of illness or disease. With this approach, there is less need to use antibiotics to kill bacteria because our own fighting and healing abilities are enhanced. I was intrigued by this thinking, and after many discussions and workshops, I was drawn to study homeopathy in Edinburgh.
Tell us more about this thinking?
Imagine a fault line running through all of us. This is what we have inherited in terms of our physical, mental and emotional strengths and weaknesses. When we are stressed, this fault line begins to strain and separate, our constitution weakens and we become ill. With homeopathic help, the fault line is brought together again. It never goes away, but it becomes less susceptible to what presses our buttons.
Everyone is different, what irritates me, is not the same as what might irritate you. What stresses me, is not the same as what stresses you. In the same family, you will find a child with a weak chest who is prone to colds and coughs. The child’s brother or sister could easily be different and be more prone to headaches and digestive problems. This goes to show that everyone is different, even if they share similar genes.
A homeopath will always try and find what makes you unique, which helps to find a remedy that suits you as a person. Imagine a room full of people with a particular condition such as joint or chest problems. The chances of them getting the same remedy is close to zero. Each person will get a remedy that suits their personality. A homeopath will put together a picture of each individual that is a mixture of their physical make-up and their mental and emotional make-up, a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Once enough pieces are in, a picture of the remedy needed becomes clear, and a prescription is made.
So, what are remedies? Are they the same as herbal remedies?Homeopathic remedies are different from herbal remedies. Remedies are not restricted to the plant kingdom because the way they are made is different.
The source of homeopathic remedies is mainly from the plant, mineral and animal kingdom. Remedies that come from the animal kingdom are mainly sourced from the milk or poison or sting of the animal, therefore no animal is harmed. The sources of the plants can vary from the roots, leaves or stems to the full plant.
What about your training?
I trained as a homeopath in Edinburgh, and it took 4 years to gain a license to practice. After I finished training, I then registered with the Society of Homeopaths, the largest registering body in the UK for professional homeopaths. I have been practicing homeopathy now for over 18 years, and undertake CPD regularly to keep up with new ideas.
What exactly is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy works on the principle of ‘like treats like’. For example, if coffee can produce a sleepless state in a person, then in a diluted form, coffee can also be used to help someone who suffers from insomnia. This is quite different from conventional medicine, though there are similarities with how some allergies might be treated.
The backbone of homeopathy is what we call constitutional prescribing. This is when short term measures don’t help to make you better. Or they do help, but the problem keeps coming back. Homeopaths will try and find a remedy for you that will make you stronger, irrespective of what the problem is, in order to strengthen your constitution. Fault lines that are representative of our weaknesses can be brought together and strengthened.
So, not only can our physical weaknesses be addressed, but also a balance can be brought about in our mental and emotional states. This can leave us feeling more comfortable with our inner selves. This is the homeopathic version of holistic!
Is there anything else homeopathy can be used for?
Homeopathy can also be used for self-limiting problems such as coughs and colds, headaches, injuries and many other things. Arnica is a wonderful example of a remedy that can help someone who has been injured and bruised. A child who bumps their head or gets a nasty bruise while playing sport can be given Arnica pillules to suck, or the bruised area can be soothed with Arnica cream or gel.
Calendula is another useful remedy, but for a different type of injury. For example, if the skin is broken, eg a grazed knee, then diluting a couple of drops of Calendula tincture with water. Cleaning the wound with it will knit the skin together very well. Calendula cream is also great for nappy rash.
These are just 2 examples of using homeopathy for common complaints. There are a host of remedies that can be used for first aid situations.