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Overview: Homeopathy or Homeopathic Medicine

By HERWriter
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According to the latest statistics by the National Health Interview Survey, "an estimated 3.9 million U.S. adults and approximately 900,000 children used homeopathic medicine."

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) website revealed ʺmore than one in three adults use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). For women and older Americans, those numbers are even higher—two out of five report using CAM.ʺ

Homeopathic medicine, also known as homeopathy, was first developed in Germany in the 1800s. Homeopathic medicine was introducted to the United States in the late 1800s or early 1900s.

According to the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, ʺhomeopathy is based on the idea of treating ‘like with like’. Medicines which can produce an illness matching the one from which the patient is suffering are prescribed, aiming to stimulate the body’s own healing.ʺ

The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine website stated ʺthere are several key features of homeopathic medicine.ʺ

• Minimum dose. Homeopathic medicines range from concentrated tinctures to extremely dilute medicines, some so dilute that the original substance may not hold a trace of the original substance. It is thought that the water and alcohol mixture in which the dilutions are made retain a ‘memory’ of the substance.

• Idiosyncrasy. What is unusual or atypical about you or the health problem from which you are suffering?

• Constitution. The type of person, including build, personality, general physical features, for instance, a tendency to feel the heat or the cold.

• Holism. Described as treating the person, not the disease. Questions about your lifestyle, eating habits and preferences, sleep patterns and state of mind all help build up a complete picture.

Homeopathy treatment can be used alone or to complement traditional medical treatments. For example, one friend of mine who is a cancer survivor uses traditional chemotherapy treatments but also applies homeopathic treatment to curb his nausea. His medical team works together to make sure there are no complications or side effects from the combination of medicine.

The FDA regulates homeopathic treatments. Midwives, veterinarians, naturopaths and traditional medical doctors may practice homeopathic medicine.

If you are considering using homeopathy, it is very important to inform your physician and homeopathic physician about the types of medications and supplements you are currently taking. This is important because some homeopathic treatments ʺmay have an effect on conventional medicineʺ treatments.

Finally, the NCCAM recommends the following tips if you are interested in discussing or incorporating homeopathic options with your traditional health care practitioner. These tips include:

• Be proactive. Ask your provider about homeopathic options and use.

• Ask your health care providers about its safety, effectiveness, and possible interactions with medications (both prescription and nonprescription).

• Make a list of all over-the-counter and prescription medicines in advance.

• When completing patient history forms, be sure to include all therapies and treatments you use.

• Tell your health care providers about all therapies or treatments—including dietary and herbal supplements.


For Patients. Tell your health care provider about your use of CAM[NCCAM]. (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM] - nccam.nih.gov Home Page. Retrieved January 18, 2012, from http://nccam.nih.gov/timetotalk/forpatients.htm

Homeopathic Definition | LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM - Lose Weight & Get Fit with Diet, Nutrition & Fitness Tools | LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved January 18, 2012, from

Homeopathy. UCLH Internet - University College London Hospitals. Retrieved January 18, 2012, from

Homeopathy: An Introduction [NCCAM Backgrounder]. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM] - nccam.nih.gov Home Page. Retrieved January 18, 2012, from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/homeopathy

What Is Homeopathic Healing? | LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM - Lose Weight & Get Fit with Diet, Nutrition & Fitness Tools | LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved January 18, 2012, from

Reviewed January 18, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment20 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Ben Goldacre has a pathological bias against Homeopathy. His attitude is "I wouldn't believe it if it were true".
Dana's book "The Homeopathic Revolution" is a huge eye-opener for people who want the facts about how the AMA and the Flexner Report created the modern medical monopoly of the pharmaceutical companies.
www.extraordinarymedicine.org is a masterpiece of well-written and researched articles regarding Homeopathy and created to set the record straight. It is the perfect response to pop-culture and armchair critics such as yourself.
For the record vaccine science is the ultimate in junk science. Antibodies are simply proof of exposure, not proof of immunity.

January 23, 2012 - 3:20am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

"For the record vaccine science is the ultimate in junk science."

And with a comment like that I will leave it.

Your own arguements discredit you far more than anything I could say.

January 23, 2012 - 4:14am

Homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of medicine used successfully by more than 250 million people worldwide. A large number of high-quality scientific and clinical studies have documented its effectiveness and safety.

Anyone wanting to learn how to use homeopathy to treat acute conditions like sore throats, coughs, ear infections, flu, stomach bugs, the morning sickness of pregnancy and more should consider membership with the National Center for Homeopathy. For just $4 a month - you can learn how to use this great system to treat your family, For more information on homeopathy and the extensive research supporting its efficacy, please visit http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/articles-research

January 19, 2012 - 6:56am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Ctbiologist)

It's not a system of medicine it is at best some scientifically illiterate witch-doctors thinking they're helping by pedalling sugar pills (but actually risking the health of their patient), and at worse a sinister scam taking money from the most vulnerable and desparate in soceity.

The most comprehensive studies have shown it to be no more effective than a placebo (such as shang et al)

If you stack the studies up the better ones ALWAYS show it to be no better than its control.

This is before we even get into the bizaare rutuals used to create it, and no level of popularity can change these facts!

January 19, 2012 - 9:07am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

The latest (2011) Health Technology Assessment Report by the Swiss Government has not only concluded that Homeopathy is not only an effective form of medicine, but cost-effective as well.
It is indeed Medicine for the 21st Century. People have had enough of iatrogenic disease from toxic drugs that patently cannot cure anything.
The Shang study in 2005 has been debunked as a violation of basic science principles. In fact, the Swiss HTA indicates that Shang violated the terms of his original study funding altogether, and confirms he violated basic principles in refusing to state exactly which studies of Homeopathic treatment he chose! No bias here huh?!
Health technology is not science, by the way, however there are a lot of medically unsophisticated armchair critics who waste people's time with their idiotic rants about Homeopathy.
There is no such thing as "scientific illiteracy". You are either capable of reading or not, hence literate or illiterate. Get a dictionary and read it.
The real scammers are those who post anti-Homeopathy nonsense on blogs and forums claiming to have some sort of scientific authority which they do not.

January 19, 2012 - 5:34pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Dear Anonymous....
Facts matter in science - and the facts are on homeopathy's side. Your comment about the research and your citation of Shang is incorrect. The Shang study has been ridiculed for years by scientists across the globe (see papers by such authors as Aickin, Bell and others), And to say there is no basic science, pre-clinical and clinical research showing it works is pure bunkum.
Dare to know...

January 19, 2012 - 12:19pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Ctbiologist)

Care to explain or quote the "science" behind it? I'm always up for a laugh!

January 20, 2012 - 10:17am
EmpowHER Guest

There are no side effects of Homeopathic medicines.


January 19, 2012 - 2:37am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

That's because there are no effects of any kind of homeopathic medicine. It's a placebo!

January 19, 2012 - 6:55am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I suggest you look up the research on PubMed comparing "placebo effect" in Homeopathic medicine to the same in conventional drugs -- the conclusion is that it's about the same... So by your reasoning, conventional drugs are no more than placebos -- really expensive and toxic ones.
So now that readers know that "everything" is placebo we can all save lots of money and aggravation, stay home and do nothing.
According to the FDA any study that shows an effect for a substance even minimally beyond placebo is "safe and effective"... until it starts killing and maiming people. Oops. This happens on a regular basis.
Some people have a very unhealthy obsession with taking potshots at Homeopathy that are founded on absolutely nothing but the comments made by nutjobs on "science blogs". Many of those nutjobs are being funded by the drug cartel. Their minions are what Stalin referred to as "useful idiots".

June 21, 2012 - 11:25am
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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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