Treating like with like: Lawrence community increasingly turns to homeopathy

Farb harvests her garden with her youngest daughter Samantha, 12, at her Lecompton home.

“Word of mouth has led to a growing interest in homeopathy,” says Lowen Millspaugh, assistant wellness manager at the Community Mercantile, 901 Iowa. “More people want to take healing into their own hands and they like homeopathy’s lack of side-effects.”

Mehdi Khosh, a naturopathic doctor, is pictured in his office at Natural Medical Care, 4935 Research Park Way. Khosh says he’s been practicing homeopathic medicine for about 13 years.

JoAnn Farb is pictured with a drawer of various homeopathic remedies Thursday at her home. Farb became a believer in homeopathic remedies about 15 years ago when she sought the help of a homeopath in Australia for help with her daughter Sarina’s eczema.

Homeopathy is based on the principle “treat like with like.” For example, if you get itching, watery eyes and a runny nose from peeling onions and develop similar symptoms during an acute cold or allergy attack, a homeopath might prescribe a micro-dose of allium cepa (red onion) to help you recover. This approach contrasts with allopathic medicine’s general approach where symptoms are suppressed or eradicated with opposing substances like antibiotics.

Development of homeopathy

References to the “treat like with like” principle can be traced back to Greek physician Hippocrates (c.460-377 B.C.) and Persian physician, Avicenna (980-1037), who also emphasized the importance of considering the patient’s temperament and physiological type when deciding treatment options. His 12-volume “Canon of Medicine” and “Book of Healing” were used in European medical schools until the beginning of the 20th century, and are still used by homeopaths today.

For example, you and your partner may seek homeopathic treatment for acute, dry, hacking coughs. Your partner, with identical symptoms, may find they worsen during evenings or when she hot; she might like spicy food, have a fiery nature, and be taller and smaller-boned than you. Your cough may worsen in the mornings or when you’re cold, and you may have a sweet tooth and nature to match. You will each receive a different homeopathic remedy for your cough.

Homeopathy locally

Lawrence naturopath Mehdi Khosh, Natural Medical Care, 4935 Research Park Way, treats about 35 percent of his patients with homeopathy. He says some initial visits might last three hours but that it’s cost-effective in the long run.

“We don’t give a homeopathic remedy for a disease, we give the remedy for a person so it’s important to know them well,” he says. “I ask questions about their likes, dislikes, dreams, background, personality traits, fears and lifestyle. I also observe their outward appearance and gestures. Sometimes chronic conditions are rooted in childhood trauma, and I need to be sensitive to that. It’s important for me to give the right remedy so the person can begin to heal at all levels.”

JoAnn Farb, from rural Lawrence, has a microbiology background and didn’t believe in homeopathy until 15 years ago. During a visit to Australia her 1-year-old daughter’s eczema worsened, and friends recommended a homeopathic doctor.

“Six weeks after seeing the homeopath her eczema cleared completely, and I was totally surprised,” Farb says.

“I was amazed by the obvious outward changes. Her whole demeanor changed, and she lost her fear of the ocean and flying.”

Farb has used homeopathy since then with some pretty dramatic personal results.

“It’s particularly helpful for emotional issues,” she says.


Mercantile customer Jevon Groenewold self-treats with homeopathic remedies

“I had severe asthma as a child and was dependent on strong medications,” he says.

“My mom took me to a homeopathic doctor, and after several treatments I came off medications and my immune system got stronger. I’ve been using it ever since.”

He uses ignatia, byronia and aconite remedies regularly.