What is Homeopathy?

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Homeopathy Is…

…a gentle and natural healing discipline that works with the body’s own capacity to relieve symptoms, restore vitality, and improve overall health.

Homeopathic remedies are FDA-regulated, non-drowsy, non-habit-forming, and non-toxic. The remedies also have no known side effects, no known drug interactions, and are affordable.

Homeopathy is an easy and healthy choice for you and your family!

What Is Homeopathy?
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Getting Started With Homeopathy
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How Homeopathic Remedies Are Made
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Homeopathy FAQs
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Homeopathy Stories
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Share Your Homeopathy Story
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What Is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a gentle and natural healing discipline that works with the body’s own capacity to relieve symptoms, restore vitality, and improve overall health. It is a federally recognized form of medicine regulated by the FDA.

Homeopathy can help strengthen the body to fight acute illness such as colds, flus, earache, sore throats, and more. For chronic conditions like asthma, depression, autism, or arthritis, find a professional homeopathic practitioner to guide the homeopathic process needed to support the body during long-standing health conditions.

Homeopathic remedies are environmentally friendly, cruelty free, and derived from natural sources. Affordable, over-the-counter remedies are available at natural food stores, homeopathic pharmacies, online retailers, and even some traditional grocery stores and pharmacies.

GOOD TO KNOWThe word ‘homeopathy’ is not an umbrella term that refers to other natural healing modalities such as herbalism or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Homeopathy is its own unique therapeutic healing discipline.

HOW HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES ARE MADE

Homeopathic remedies are made by homeopathic pharmacies according to standards and processes outlined in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS), the official US homeopathic remedy manufacturing manual. Homeopathic remedies are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and homeopathic pharmacies must comply with FDA Good Manufacturing Practices. Homeopathic remedies are non-drowsy, non-habit-forming, and non-toxic. The remedies also have no known side effects and no known drug interactions.

Homeopathic remedies are derived from plant, mineral, and animal products. The first step in making a remedy derived from a plant, for example, involves cleaning the plant and preparing it with alcohol and water to make a tincture. Next, one drop of the tincture is mixed with nine drops of alcohol (diluting) to achieve a ratio of 1:10, and the mixture is vigorously shaken (succussing).

The process of diluting and succussing is repeated to increase the potency of the remedy. If a remedy mixture is diluted 1:10 and succussed six times, for example, the resulting remedy is labeled 6X and contains one part of the original substance in 1 million parts of alcohol.

Two of the most common homeopathic remedy forms are pellets and tablets, which are composed of sugar and lactose saturated with the liquid remedy mixture. The most common types of potencies available are X (1:10 ratio), C (1:100 ratio), and LM (1:50,000 ratio). View How to Make a Homeopathic Remedy infographic. 

Homeopathy FAQs

Homeopathy differs from conventional medicine in several ways including how symptoms are defined, how “medicines” are chosen, how much “medicine” is given, and cost.

First, homeopathy regards symptoms as the body’s healthy attempt to restore itself to balance. Therefore, a  homeopathic practitioner chooses a remedy that supports, not suppresses, symptoms. Why is this? Homeopathy is based on a rule of nature called the Law of Similars. This “like cures like” Law states that a substance that can cause a “sickness” in a healthy person can help restore health to a person suffering with a similar “sickness”. For instance, when you peel an onion, your eyes burn, itch, and water. You might also have sneezing and runny nose. During a cold or allergy attack, Allium cepa, a homeopathic remedy derived from red onion, can help your body heal itself from runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. Conventional medicine uses antihistamines to dry up (suppress) runny nose and watery eyes, and the medication often causes drowsiness and constipation.

Second, homeopathy recognizes that each person exhibits “sickness” in a unique and slightly different way. That is why two people with the same illness will not necessarily receive the same homeopathic remedy. A homeopathic practitioner chooses a remedy that matches the unique symptom profile of the individual. For example, a person with upset stomach who is chilly and not thirsty would receive a different remedy than someone with upset stomach who is hot, sweaty, and craves water. This practice is known as Totality of Symptoms, an important homeopathy guiding principle. Conventional medicine prescribes treatments based on a diagnosis.

Next, in homeopathy, a person takes just enough of a homeopathic remedy to stimulate their body’s healing response. When this occurs, the person stops taking the remedy, and the body will continue to heal itself. This homeopathy guiding principle is known as Minimum Dose. Conventional medicine seeks to control illness through the continued and regular use of medications; if the medicine is withdrawn, the person’s symptoms may return.

Finally, homeopathic remedies are less expensive than conventional medicines, costing on average $8–$10 for a bottle that contains multiple doses. Sometimes only a single dose of a remedy is needed to help the body restore health. Remedies have an extended shelf life, and each may be used for several different conditions.

Although homeopathic remedies are derived from natural substances, homeopathy should not be confused with other natural healing modalities like herbalism or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Homeopathy is a unique therapeutic healing system, and the word homeopathy is not an umbrella term that includes other natural therapies.

The Law of Similars has been documented since at least the time of Hippocrates (ca. 400 B.C.), but Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German doctor and chemist, is credited with founding homeopathy. Dr. Hahnemann observed the Law of Similars in action by testing small doses of substances on himself.

By 1900, about twenty percent of doctors in the United States were homeopaths. However, due to various political and social changes, homeopathy became relatively unknown in the US until more recently. There is wider acceptance of homeopathy in such countries as France, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, India, and Great Britain. In fact, the family doctor to England’s Queen Elizabeth is a homeopathic physician. The World Health Organization estimates that homeopathy is currently used by over 500 million people worldwide.

At the core of nearly all of the definitions for “classical” homeopathy over the past 200 years are the following guiding principles:

  • The Law of Similars: This “like cures like” Law  in nature states that a substance that can cause a “sickness” in a healthy person can help restore health to a person suffering with a similar “sickness”.
  • Minimum Dose: In homeopathy, a person takes just enough of a homeopathic remedy to stimulate their body’s own healing response.
  • Totality of Symptoms: Homeopathy recognizes that each person exhibits “sickness” in a unique and slightly different way. A homeopathic practitioner chooses a remedy that matches the unique symptom profile of the individual.
  • Single Remedy: Only one remedy is given at a time.

Combination remedies are homeopathic products that combine several different homeopathic remedies. Each remedy in the combination is known to support the body as it heals through certain conditions.  For example, a combination product for earaches might contain the five most frequently used homeopathic remedies for earaches. The hope is that the combination remedy will contain the remedy needed by an individual with that condition. These combination remedies are often used for simple acute conditions; however, their use does not constitute classical homeopathy.

Homeopathic medicines are considered drugs under U.S. federal law, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the manufacture, marketing, and sale of all homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic remedies are made by homeopathic pharmacies according to standards and processes outlined in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS), the official US homeopathic remedy manufacturing manual. The HPUS contains information necessary for proper identification of raw materials, techniques for remedy manufacture, and quality control measures.

Homeopathic remedies are FDA-regulated, non-drowsy, non-habit-forming, and non-toxic. The remedies also have no known side effects and no known drug interactions.

Pregnant and breastfeeding moms and newborn parents should always check with their doctor first before using a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathic remedies are FDA-regulated, non-drowsy, non-habit-forming, and non-toxic. The remedies also have no known side effects and no known drug interactions.

Most over-the-counter homeopathic remedies are available at natural food stores, homeopathic pharmacies, online retailers, and even some traditional grocery stores and pharmacies.

Homeopathic remedies cost on average $8–$10 for a bottle that contains multiple doses. Sometimes only a single dose of a remedy is needed to help the body restore health. Remedies have an extended shelf life, and each may be used for several different conditions.

Homeopathy can help strengthen the body to overcome acute illnesses such as colds, flus, earache, sore throats and more. For chronic conditions like asthma, depression, autism or arthritis, find a professional homeopathic practitioner to guide the homeopathic process needed to support the body during long-standing health concerns.

Homeopathy is practiced by a wide variety of health-care practitioners including acupuncturists, chiropractors, dentists, medical doctors, naturopathic physicians, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, osteopaths, physician assistants, podiatrists, professional homeopaths, registered nurses, and veterinarians. Individual states regulate the practice of homeopathy, and each state’s laws and requirements for practice are different. Learn more about practicing homeopathy.

Independent homeopathy schools and training programs offer professional education in homeopathy. Courses may be taught online, in a traditional classroom, and/or through preceptorships with experienced homeopaths. The Accreditation Commission for Homeopathic Education in North America (ACHENA) certifies the content and structure of many homeopathy schools in North America. In addition, educated and trained homeopathic practitioners can pursue certification through the Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC), American Board of Homeotherapeutics (ABHt), or the Homeopathic Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

The first homeopathic consultation usually lasts one to two hours and ranges from $150 to $500 depending on the practitioner’s skills/experience and the geographic location. During the visit, the homeopath will review the client’s health history and attempt to elicit a full picture of the client’s symptoms—mental, emotional, and physical. A homeopathic remedy will be chosen to match the symptom profile. Follow-up visits usually happen every four to six weeks but will vary depending on the client’s needs and the practitioner’s philosophy. A follow-up visit normally lasts 30–60 minutes.

Health insurance may cover part or all of the cost of homeopathic consultations depending on the practitioner’s healthcare license or certification qualifications and their participation with an insurance plan.