The medicines that Homeopaths use are made from many different substances such as plants, metals, minerals, animal venoms & milks, healthy tissue, diseased tissue, and the so-called “imponderables” such as the sun and the moon.
Homeopathic medicines are not tested on animals but on healthy people. These tests are known as ‘provings’. By proving substances on healthy people we know which symptoms each substance produces and by implication which each is likely to cure. If we were to test substances on animals we would only know how that particular species of animal responds to each substance. Animals respond differently to humans and to other animal species. For example: the same amount of the plant Meadow Saffron is known to have no effect whatsoever on a frog, will kill a dog and cause flatulence in cows! Similarly if we were to do a proving of a substance on an ill person we would not be sure which of the symptoms that the person experiences are due to his or her illness and which to the substance.
When all the information about the effects of the substance being ‘proved’ have been collected and collated then it can be given to an ill person who’s symptoms match that produced by the medicine, if they recover from their illness then that substance has acted medicinally and can be called a medicine. By understanding the symptoms each medicine produces, it is possible to find a medicine that matches you and your individual experience of your illness.
Homeopathic medicines are extremely dilute, which makes them very safe. Because they are matched to your illness these medicines will have no effect on anyone who isn’t suffering from the group of symptoms each is known to help with. They do not cause side effects, nor are they addictive.