The use of homeopathy for alcoholism treatment is widespread. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann developed homeopathy in the late 1700s. But what is homeopathy?
II. Substances Used
Homeopathy is a system of treatment. It’s based on the theory that “like cures like.” Homeopaths treat clients by first identifying their symptoms. Then they then give them very, very highly diluted doses of substances. Those substances, in large doses, would create the original symptoms. Hence, “like cures like.”
Adherents believe that the weaker the dosage, the more powerful the effects. They also believe that vigorously shaking the solutions increase their power.
Homeopathy for alcoholism and other conditions is popular. Especially in Europe.
Homeopathy for Alcoholism
Homeopaths tailor their treatment to the individual alcoholic. For example, Drs. Robert Ullman and Judyth Reichenberg report the following.
“Sulphur is prescribed frequently for the philosophical, reclusive type of individual who relies on alcohol or marijuana to access his stream of creative thoughts or as an escape. Drinkers needing Sulphur have a particular predilection for red wine. However they may also have a strong desire for beer. This may cause heartburn and belching. These people may drink on the sly.
“Nux vomica is good for alcoholics who fly into a insulting, angry rage when drunk. It may be the corporate executive, for example, who works long hours and pushes himself through with stimulants such as caffeine and hot, spicy foods. He then drinks beer or whiskey to relax and forget about business. They may buy drinks for all their buddies. They are likely to become red-faced when drunk. Nux vomica is an acute hangover remedy.
“The sentimental, blubbering drunks often need Lachesis. Aurum metallicum is a remedy for hard-working, conscientious people who can become deeply, often suicidally, depressed, often due to a sense of having failed at life.
Lastly is Sulphuric acid, a remedy for the last stage, broken down alcoholic whose ruin was caused by abuse of whiskey, gin, or scotch. He or she often suffers severe gastric distress and hyperacidity.”1
The use of Nux vomica, lachesis, aurum metallicum and sulphuric acid is mentioned above.
However, other substances commonly used in homeopathy for alcoholism include opium, strychnine, Cannabis Indica, Quercus Glandium Spiritus, and Hyoscyamus niger.[boxed_insert}
II. Substances Used
Most people are unfamiliar with some of these substances. Therefore, descriptions are helpful.
Nux vomica is an extract made from the poisonous seeds of the Vomica tree.
Lachesis is the venom of the poisonous bushmaster snake.
Aurum metallicum is gold metal.
Sulphuric acid is a highly corrosive liquid. It’s used in explosives.
Opium is a highly addictive narcotic drug prepared from the opium poppy.
Strychnine is extremely poisonous. It’s derived from plants.
Cannabis indicate is a source of marijhuana.
Quercus Glandium Spiritus is alcohol from fermented acorns.
Hyoscyamus niger is from the plant of the same name. It can be deadly poisonous.
Find many, many more here.
III. Effectiveness of Homeopathy for Alcoholism
Medical research shows homeopathy isn’t effective for treating alcoholism.2
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicin is a federal agency. It states “Several key concepts of homeopathy are inconsistent with fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics.” It also found that “There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition.”3
There is little support for the use of homeopathy for any purpose. There is no reason to expect it to be effective. In fact, there are good scientific reasons to expect it not to be effective.
IV. Resources: Homeopathy for Alcoholism
Hom = homeopathy or homeopaths
1. Ullman, R. and Reichenberg, J. Treating Alcoholism with Hom.
2. Ernst E. Hom. What does the “best” evidence tell us? Med J Austral, 192(8), 458–460. Also Posadzki P., et al. Adverse effects of hom. Int J Clin Prac, 66(12), 1178–1188. And Jin, A. & Chin, C. Comp and Alt Med in Chronic Rhinosinus. Am J Rhin Allergy, 33(2), 194-202. Also Mathie, R., et al. Review of randomised hom treatment.
3. NCCAM. Hom: An Intro.