Done With Diligence

Basic Facts Everyone Should Know about Homeopathy: Is it Safe? Is it Effective? Is it Legal?

Bottles of homeopathic remedies surrounded by plants

If you are curious about homeopathy and how it can help treat your family when they are sick, keep reading!  I’m going to share a few things everybody should know about homeopathy.

1. What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is an FDA-regulated medicine that is created by taking substances from nature such as plants, animals, and minerals.  These substances are then highly diluted through a very specific succussion process.  An incredibly small amount of the original substance remains in the final homeopathic medicine. They are usually found in the form of a sugar pellet that dissolves in the mouth.

wooden bowl holding viles of homeopathic remedy pellets

It can be confusing to see the word “home” in homeopathy.  It may cause one to think that it’s simply another word for “home remedies”, but that is not the case at all.  Think of natural/alternative medicines as a larger umbrella, and underneath it, you would find the areas of homeopathy, supplements, herbal remedies, chiropractic, acupuncture, and others.  So, while each of these categories would fall under the same umbrella, they are each their own distinct type of natural medicine.

Flow Chart showing types of Natural/ Alternative Remedies: Homeopathy, home remedies, chiropractic, supplements, herbals

Where as most allopathic medicines are a chemical-based therapy, homeopathy is energy-based (Source).  

The Society of Homeopaths describes homeopathy this way:

Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like treats like” – that is, a substance which can cause symptoms when taken in large doses, can be used in small amounts to treat similar symptoms. For example, drinking too much coffee can cause sleeplessness and agitation, so according to this principle, when made into a homeopathic medicine, it could be used to treat people suffering from sleeplessness and agitation.
-“What is Homeopathy?” Society of Homeopaths (Source)

2. Does Homeopathy Work? 

Homeopathy and other alternative medicines don’t receive nearly the funding that allopathic pharmaceuticals do, therefore there isn’t as much research available.  However, a quick dig through the National Institute of Health’s Pub Med research database will show you many good resources to support homeopathy’s effectiveness.  I’ll share some of those studies below.

  • This article published in The Lancet that document the effectiveness of homeopathic treatments.  The article asserts, “The homoeopathically treated patients showed a significant reduction in patient and doctor assessed symptom scores. […] No evidence emerged to support the idea that placebo action fully explains the clinical responses to homoeopathic drugs.”
  • This Pub Med article shows the science behind how the nanoparticles in homeopathic remedies work to create a response in the body.
  • This article from the Annals of Internal Medicine shows how homeopathy performed in placebo-based trials.
  • This comparative study compared “the homeopathic strategy” with the “antibiotic strategy” in treating rhinopharyngitis in 500 pediatric patients for 6 months. The homeopathy group had better outcomes in terms of effectiveness, complications, cost, and sick-leave days.
  • This meta-analysis shows that homeopathy has a statistically significant impact in the pooled clinical data.
  • This study from Harvard found that the people using homeopathy consistently reported its helpfulness. And as a side-note, the Harvard study also found that homeopathy users had higher levels of education than non-users. So, perhaps you’re not so crazy for keeping an open mind about this form of natural medicine!

3. Is Homeopathy Safe?

With so many medical professionals claiming that homeopathy is simply an ineffective sugar pill offering only the placebo effect, it’s hard to imagine that one might also have safety concerns about “a sugar pill”, right? Regardless, let’s take a look at the science.

  • This study found that almost 95% of French pharmacists recommend homeopathic remedies to pregnant women. This is particularly interesting because the World Health Organization’s 2000 Health Report ranked France as #1 for “Overall Health System Performance”.  The United States ranked 37th that year. (Source)

4. Is Homeopathy Legal, or Is This Just Some Weird New-Age Stuff?

Yes!! Homeopathy is 100% legal and available over-the-counter thanks to the 1939 Pure Food and Drug Act in the United States.  This article explains more. You can purchase homeopathic remedies off the shelf at places like Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and Whole Foods.  However, for the best selection of remedies, you may need to look online. You can find my article on WHERE TO PURCHASE HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES HERE.  You may have even purchased homeopathic remedies without realizing it.  Ever used Hylands teething tablets for babies? Ever taken Oscillo for flu?  Then you are already aware of how readily available homeopathic remedies are!

medicine aisle

Furthermore, homeopathy has been around for over 200 years, and is well-loved in many parts of the world.  The British royal family is known for their love of homeopathy.  Queen Elizabeth, who happened to live until the age of 101, was the principal royal patron of the British Homeopathic Association. (Source) I wonder if homeopathy was part of her secret to long-life?

Queen Elizabeth of England and the Briitish Homeopathic Medical Association Logo

Final Thoughts…

Don’t be surprised if your allopathic/conventional doctor doesn’t know very much about homeopathy. It’s simply not in their lane of expertise, as they studied a completley different type of medicine in school. So, just like you would expect your plumber to be able to fix your electrical issue, you can’t expect an allopathic doctor to help you with homeopathy! However, their are many homeopaths available for professtional consultations.

If you want to geek out a little more and look at even more research, you should definitely hop over to the American Institute of Homeopathy, where they have compiled a substantial list of resources for you. You can find that list here.

I hope this brief explanation helped homeopathy feel a little less foreign to you. And I also hope you realize that homeopathy has been right under your nose for quite some time, but you may have just missed because no one was talking about it! But, I want to shout it from the rooftops….Homeopathy is awesome!!

So, now that you know a little about homeopathy and its safety and efficacy, you might want to check out my article on 10 Homeopathic Remedies Every Family Should Own. I’ve also rounded up the 5 Best Homeopathic Cheat Sheets on the internet and provided links for you.

Don’t forget to check my Remedy with Diligence page often, as I ‘ll keep adding more resources to help moms understand how they can use homeopathy in their homes!

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