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Homeopathy

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 2LHERP, Acidum ascorbicum, Acidum malicum, aconite, Antimonium crudum, Apis mellifica 9 CH, Argentum nitricum, Arnica CH5, Arnica D12, Arnica D30, avia-more, Baden-Baden (German), Barium jodatum D4, Barium jodatum D6, Belladonna 7cH, Belladonna 30C, Belladonna 30CH, Bellis perennis, Betula 30c, bryonia, Calendula officinalis, canova, Cantharis, Cantharis 30C, Capsicum annuum, Carboneum sulphuratum, cheblin-CK-1, Cinnabaris 3X, Cinnabaris D3, Crataegus preparation, Engystol®, Eupatorium perfoliatum D2, Euphorbium compositum® nasal drops SN, faryngomed, Ferrum muriaticum, Formica rufa D6, Galphimia dilution, Galphimia glauca, Galphimia potentiation D6, Gripp-Heel®, Guajacum officinale, Heel GmbH, homeopathic, homeopathic Arnica montana, homeopathic histamine, homeopathic pathogenetic trials, homeopathic preparation Ignatia amara, Kalium bicromicum D4, law of similars, like cures like, Luffa operculata D4, Nickel sulfate 3X, Nitricum acidum 7 CH, No-Shift-Lag®, Nux vomica D200, Okoubaka D3, opium, Oscillococcinum®, Otovowen®, Phytolacca americana, Piper methysticum, Plumbum metallicum 30C, Potassium bromide 1X, pumpan, Raphanus, Reliéva®, Ruta graveolens, Sinfrontal®, sinusitis PMD, Sodium bromide 2X, Sodium chloride 6X, Spiroflor SRL gel (SRL)®, succussion, Tabacum, Thyroidinum 30cH, Traumeel S®, Traumeel S® ointment, Tuberculinum D200, ultramolecular dilution, Vertigoheel®, vital force, xiao qing long tang (a homeopathic decongestant), X-ray 15cH, zinc gluconate glycine (Cold-Eeze®).
  • Note: This list is neither exhaustive nor complete, given the large number of homeopathic remedies. This list serves as a representation of some of the synonyms and related therapies.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is based on the law of similars, sometimes described as "like cures like." For example, substances that cause vomiting may be thought to also prevent vomiting when diluted. The German doctor Samuel Hahnemann developed the main theories of homeopathy in the early 1800s based on this idea and on related principles, such as using the minimum dose possible, the use of single remedies (classical homeopathy), and the principle of the potentized remedy.
  • Homeopathy uses microdoses of potential toxins to provoke defense and self-regulatory responses (1). Homeopathic products may be made from plants, such as aconite, arnica, dandelion, or plantain; minerals, such as iron phosphate, arsenic oxide, or sodium chloride; venom of poisonous snakes (2); the ink of the cuttlefish; or even prescription drugs, such as penicillin. Homeopathic preparations are often customized for patients. Products are chosen so that if the person were to take extremely high doses of the preparation (enough to cause an overdose), it would cause symptoms similar to the condition to be treated.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the manufacture and sale of homeopathic remedies differently from the way it regulates prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Homeopathic remedies are regulated by the FDA; however, the FDA does not evaluate their safety or effectiveness. Manufacturers of homeopathic remedies are not required to submit new drug applications to the FDA. The Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States was written into federal law in 1938 under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, making the manufacture and sale of homeopathic remedies legal in the United States. Most homeopathic remedies are available without prescriptions.
  • Many states regulate the practice of homeopathy. Usually, homeopathy may be practiced legally by anyone with a medical degree that allows them to practice medicine in that state. This includes doctors of medicine (MDs), doctors of osteopathy (DOs), naturopathic doctors (NDs), and dentists, for example. State laws permit some doctors of chiropractic to administer homeopathic remedies. In California and Minnesota, any individual may prescribe homeopathic remedies, as long as fraud is not committed (for example, practitioners cannot identify themselves as "doctors" if they are not, nor can they make false claims about their training and professional experience).
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Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.