What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a system of medicine developed in Germany 200 years ago. It is integrated into the national health care system of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, South America, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India. It uses gentle highly diluted remedies made from plants, animals and minerals.
Homeopathic remedies strengthen the body’s self healing response, helping it to overcome symptoms of an illness as well as side effects of the medical treatment. It may be useful for side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, i.e., nausea and vomiting, while at the same time promoting better energy, mood, sleep, digestion, and a sense of well-being.
What is involved?
Homeopathic remedies are inexpensive, liquid, dry pellet or tablets available in health food stores and some pharmacies. Homeopathic remedies are regulated by the FDA in the same manor as over the counter drugs. Patients familiar with homeopathy often use these remedies for common acute symptoms such as, poison ivy, sprains or skin conditions. Treatment is individualized (tailored to a person) for chronic conditions requires consulting with a professional homeopath. Practitioners select remedies according to a total picture of the patient, not only symptoms but lifestyle, mental, emotional states and other factors.
What has been proven?
Homeopathy has been shown to be effective in double-blind studies, mostly done in Europe, in a wide variety of conditions. Results of a trial in Europe indicate homeopathy is effective in 20 different conditions.* Patients report fewer side effects, quicker reduction of symptoms, a lower rate of relapse, and greater satisfaction with the therapy. Homeopathy has not been studied scientifically for cancer.
Possible side effects
Homeopathic remedies do not usually cause side effects. However, if the remedy is too strong, it can cause a temporary worsening of symptoms. People who are self-treating should purchase the lowest potency available until they are familiar with how their bodies react to remedies. Do not take additional doses of any homeopathic remedy without guidance of a trained homeopath.
*Reilly, D. et al. Homeopathy and Conventional Medicine: An Outcome Study Comparing Effectiveness in a Primary Care Setting. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Volume 7, No. 2. 2001. P149-159.