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What Is Homeopathic Medicine?

By Dr. Carrie Jones Expert HERWriter
 
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Whether you are a regular user of homeopathic remedies or new to the concept of those tiny vials in the supplement section with names such as “Arnica” or “Nux vomica,” you may find that homeopathic medicine to be difficult to describe but effective in its results.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), homeopathy was started in Germany on the basis of “like cures like.” The concept is that a lower dose of a medicine or remedy -- plant, mineral, animal -- stimulates the body to heal itself.

The remedy is often diluted down such that no actual molecules of the medicine exist, then placed over pellets, in creams, taken as tablets or liquid drops.

Do not be fooled however, this medicine can be powerful.

In 2007 alone, nearly 4 million adults and 1 million children used homeopathic remedies for various ailments such as aches and pains, skin conditions, headaches, fevers, infections, stomach issues, insomnia and teething problems.

There are many name-brand, over-the-counter homeopathic remedies sold.

Some of these remedies are Hyland's Calms Forté for sleep and anxiety as well as their Teething Tablets, Arnica gel and tablets by Boiron, Heel's Traumeel cream for injuries and traumas, and Boiron's Arnica gel and tablets as well as their Oscillococcinum for flu. Remedies such as these are used in an acute situation such as a bruise, flu, a sleepless night.

Traditionally, homeopathy takes into account the entire history of a patient, their personality, their dreams, their preference for time-of-day, whether they are left- or right-sided, their preference for hot or cold, and more.

This information is then matched with a single remedy known as a “constitutional” and dosed appropriately in order to help encourage the body to heal itself. The idea behind the treatment is to help heal the person who has the disease/illness, not address the disease/illness itself.

There are mixed reviews in the literature when it comes to the effectiveness of homeopathy. It is generally considered a safe treatment when a diluted mix is used.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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