Q&A: What is Homeopathy?

Q: My youngest recently had a minor earache, and another mom recommended a homeopathic product. I’m a bit skeptical – can you tell me about homeopathy and how it works?

A: Though not as common in the U.S. as it once was, homeopathy has been a standard practice in various cultures throughout the world for hundreds of years.

Homeopathy is based on the concept of “like cures like,” which means that remedies include preparations of substances that would cause similar symptoms in a healthy individual. These substances are typically highly diluted formulas made from plant, animal and mineral ingredients.

Common homeopathic remedies include tinctures and pills for allergies, earaches, cuts and scrapes, headaches, muscle strains, stress relief and more.

So, the million dollar question – is homeopathy effective? The answer depends on who you ask. Although many believe that the benefits of homeopathic substances can be attributed to the placebo effect, some studies have revealed a possible (albeit small) benefit.

Remember: even though homeopathic supplements are regulated and largely considered safe, be sure to talk to your doctor before using any type of medicine.

 

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6 comments on «Q&A: What is Homeopathy?»

  1. trisha ogden says:

    Going on a 35 day cruise through New Zealand and Australia. I get sea sick. Any suggestions.

    1. Katie @ Vitacost says:

      Trisha,
      That sounds like a fabulous cruise!! I know plenty of people (myself included) who have had success with ginger. Vitacost also carries several different homeopathic products for motion sickness if you want to check those out.

  2. GRANDMOTHER says:

    CONCERNING THE SO-CALLED ;PLACEBO EFFECT’…IF THAT’S ALL IT IS THEN EXPLAIN THE FACT THAT IT WORKS WITH CATS…AS WELL IN SOME CASES AS CONVENTIONAL [EXPENSIVE, SUSPECT] DRUGS??

    1. Katie @ Vitacost says:

      Thanks for your comment!
      I agree that the results of studies don’t always seem to match the personal experiences I’ve heard. I hadn’t read about homeopathic remedies for cats, but I will definitely look into that.

  3. Cy says:

    I have found Charcoal capsules and Ginger capsules together bring me great relief for seasickness. While on a cruise I would need to repeat as often as directed for continuing relief.

  4. Levicita says:

    I would like to add about the so-called placebo effect… I have seen unbelievable results with patients that are in coma or unconscious; and what about babies??They don’t know about placebo effects and well, as you probably figured it out I’m a big homeopathy advocate but with bases; I have studied it for years and it’s principles are based on the Laws of Physics and Chemistry,

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