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Promoting Safe and Effective Use of Remedies

Two concerned homeopaths take on in-store consumer education

Because homeopathic remedies are widely available over-the-counter, people often
buy them without understanding how homeopathy really works. As we became increasingly
concerned about this issue, we realized that we could enhance the format within
which remedies are available, thereby increasing the safety and overall respect
with which they are used. Deciding on a grassroots approach with a community
focus, we took our concerns to our local food co-op, the largest homeopathic
retailer in our area. We brought them several ideas that could be implemented
within the store, emphasizing that additional information and resources would
be ideal to ensure that remedies are being used with optimal effectiveness, ultimately
supporting the enhanced well-being of our community. The Ashland Food Co-op accepted
our proposals.

1 We began by addressing one of our primary concerns, high potencies.
At our request, the management relocated the 200c and 1M potencies to the highest
shelf and posted a sign reading: “High potency homeopathics—200c & 1M
should be used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.”

2 We supplied the co-op staff with a list of recommended homeopathic books
for sale and for in-store use.

3 We wrote an article for the co-op member newsletter that explained homeopathy
in simple terms. 3500 copies reached community members in our Oregon town of
over 20,000. We gave information about the nature and principles of homeopathy,
including how it differs from conventional medicine, guided shoppers to resources
available in the co-op, and encouraged readers/shoppers toward further research.

4 We wrote an information packet, which is laminated and posted in the
homeopathic section of the store and includes the following topics:

  • What Is Homeopathy?—the nature of homeopathy, its safe and effective
    use, the concepts
  • of individuality, totality, and minimum dose.

  • Glossary—a list of 18 commonly used homeopathic terms and their definitions.
  • About Potency—potency & dosage guidelines, including guidelines for
    when to stop taking a remedy.

  • Recommended Resources—books, book catalogs, and online resources,
    including the NCH website.
  • 5 At our recommendation, a homeopathic in-service staff training and Q&A
    period was attended by co-op managers and floor personnel.

    6 We are currently available in the homeopathic section of the store one
    afternoon per month during prime shopping time to answer questions, distribute
    handouts about homeopathy, and guide shoppers to appropriate resources, including
    how to use the Repertory & Materia Medica.

    Our vision is to have a dynamic format for community education available and
    accessible wherever homeopathic remedies are sold. We hope the model we have
    shared inspires and encourages others to adopt similar practices in their communities
    and to deepen awareness, growth, and respect for what homeopathy has to offer.

    Beth Levin and
    Autumn Schaefer at the Ashland Food Co-op.

    Please help foster greater understanding and respect for the power of homeopathy
    by implementing ideals such as these for the enhanced safety & well being of
    your community:

  • Write a letter of intention.
  • Meet with managers of stores, co-ops.
  • Separate high potency remedies & provide info about their use.
  • Provide a book list for reference material & for sale.
  • Post basic information about homeopathy.
  • Provide staff training where remedies are sold.
  • Arrange for a homeopath to be available in the store.
  • Write articles for newsletters, local papers.
  • Give lectures in your community.
  • Beth Levin and Autumn Schaefer met over 4 years ago while studying homeopathy
    with Karen Ferreira, CCH, RSHom (NA), in Ashland, Oregon where they both live.
    Currently Beth & Autumn continue to study locally with Douglas Falkner, MD, MHom,
    and have finished their first year in the Dynamis program with Jeremy Sherr,
    RSHom. For more information or to order their materials please contact: Health
    In Harmony Homeopathic Associates, bharmony@opendoor.com,
    Beth Levin 541-488-1548, Autumn Schaefer 541-201-1981.