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What is homeopathy?

1. What is homeopathy?                                            CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF SINGLE REMEDIES

Homeopathy is a therapeutic method that uses natural substances in micro-doses to relieve symptoms.  Homeopathic medicines are used to treat many acute health conditions such as allergies, coughs, colds, flu, stress, arthritis pain, muscle pain, teething, etc.

2. What are homeopathic medicines?

Homeopathic medicines are therapeutically active micro-doses of mineral, botanical and biological substances.

Micro-dosed homepathic medicines above 4C have no known side effects and do not interact with other medications.  They are reliable and safe drugs, therefore considered by many as an excellent first choice when self-medicating.

Homeopathy has been used for more than 200 years, building a remarkable safety record and generating a great body of knowledge.

Homeopathic medicines have been regulated as drugs by the FDA since 1938, and are manufactured in strict accordance with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) and drug Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

3. How popular is homeopathy in the United States?

Thousands of healthcare professionals use homeopathic medicines, including family physicians, pediatricians, plastic surgeons, dentists, nurses, naturopathic doctors, pharmacists, chiropractors and veterinarians.

4. How well-known is homeopathy throughout the world?

Today, homeopathy is used by millions of patients in more than 65 countries and recommended by more than 400,000 healthcare providers.

5. Is there any scientific research on homeopathy?

An increasing number of scientific studies on homeopathy are being conducted and, in recent years, more than 150 of these studies have been published in medical journals.  Clinical research is providing evidence of the efficacy of homeopathic homeopathic medicines, and basic laboratory  research is confirming the biological activity of highly diluted substances and helping the scientific community better understand their mechanism of action.

6. What is a homeopathic dilution?

A homeopathic medicine is obtained from a precise and controlled process of successive homeopathic dilutions.  With each homeopathic dilution, the medicine is deconcentrated and then vigorously shaken (also called "succussion").  This process transforms the original solution into a therapeutically active medicine.

7. How should I read a homeopathic medicine label such as "Arnica montana 30C"?

"Arnica montana" is the Latin name of the source material, the Mountain daisy.  Homeopathic medicines use Latian names, the international scientific denomination for source materials.

The "30" indicates that the source material has been homeopathically diluted 30 times.  The "C" stands for "Centesiamal" and indicates that each of the 30 dilutions was made at the rate of 1/100.

8. What homeopathic dilution should I choose?

The level of dilution in homeopathy does not correspond to strength: a 30C is not a stronger than a 6C.  The difference is in their level of action.  While a 6C is suitable for local symptoms, a 30C or higher is more appropriate for more general conditions such as allergies, stress and sleeplessness.

When taking homeopathic medicines diluted at least to a 4C, you can be sure there is no toxicity, no known side effects, no contraindications and no interaction with other medicines.

9. How are homeopathic medicines presented?

Many homeopathic medicines are presented as specialties in packaging like other over-the-counter drugs you're familiar with.

Specialties are very convenient, as their indications and directions for use are very clear and specific to a condition.  They are available in a veriety of dosage forms such as tablets, gels, ointments, creams, syrups, eye drops and suppositories.

If you are not yet familiar with homeopathic medicines, specialties are a great way to discover their benefits.

Specialties, like Arnicare Gel or Calendula Lotion, may contain one single medicine, although most of the time they combine several active ingredients within the same product.

Another very common presentation for homeopathic medicines is the multi-does tube.  This presentation is usually used for medicines containing only one active ingredient.

10. When should I choose a single medicine?

In some instances, symptoms are so specific that it is easy to select one single medicine.  Many self-medication books are available to help you in your selection.  One of the most popular is the Family Guide to Homeopathy by Dr. Alain Horvilleur.

11. The indication on the label of the multi-dose tube does not match the symptoms for which my physician prescribed it. Why?

The same single medicine may be useful for several different conditions.  For example, Gelsemium 30C can be indicated for stress or fever; Sepia 30C can be indicated for mood swings or hot flashes.

Due to the small size of the container, Boiron prints the most common indication for each medicine on the label.  Therefore, the condition for which your doctor prescribed the medicine may not be listed on the label.

12. Can homeopathic medicines be taken in conjuntion with other medicines?

Micro-dosed homeopathic medicines above 4C are safe and have no know side effects or contraindications.  They can be safely taken with other conventional medicines and are sometimes recommended to complement other treatments.

13. Can I give homeopathic medicines to my children?

Homeopathic medicines can be given to children without risk.  As with any over-the-counter medicine, it is advisable to check with a doctor before self-medicating.

The dosage is generally the same for adults and children since the activity of homeopathic medicines is not body-mass dependent.  See package labeling for specific dosage recommendations.

14. When should I take my homeopathic medicines?

One of the most efficient routes of administration for homeopathic medicines is under the tongue (sublingual absorption).  To allow for better absorption, homeopathic medicines should be taken apart from meals and in a mouth free of strong flavors.

15. How frequently can I or should I take homeopathic medicines?

Follow the instructions provided by your healthcare professional or on the product label.

When it comes to single medicines packages in multi-dose tubes, general dosage instructions are 5 pellets 3 times a day.

As a general rule of thumb, in a self-medicating situation, you can increase the frequency when the symptom is sudden and acute, then decrease frequency with improvement.  For example, upon twisting your ankle, you can take Arnica every 10 minutes 3 to 4 times and then 3 times a day as needed.

16. How do I know I have selected the right homeopathic medicine?

Improvements are usually seen quite rapidly, particularly in acute conditions and when treament is startedat the onset of symptoms.  Individual product labels will provide you with more specific information and directions for use.

If symptoms persist or worsen, consult with a doctor.  Chronic conditions will require the attention of a healthcare provider knowledgeable in homeopathy and may require more time for improvement.


All contents of the above 16 questions and answers are taken from the the "Easy Guide to Homeopathy" published by Boiron® and available for sale on our website.