What Homeopathy Medicines Are
Homeopathy medicines contain very small amounts of natural substances derived from plants, minerals, and biological substances, and have been used for over 200 years to relieve different symptoms. Because of their history of safety, these medicines are often used in treating self-diagnosable conditions, such as the common cold, indigestion, muscle soreness, allergies, and insomnia. Over-the-counter homeopathic products are available in many forms, including capsules, creams, eye drops, gels, granules, liquids, lozenges, nasal sprays, ointments, pills, tablets, suppositories, and syrups.
What Homeopathy Medicines Are For
Many common, minor ailments have been treated effectively with homeopathy medicines, including allergies, coughs, colds, flu-like symptoms, stress, muscle pain, and teething pain.
How Homeopathy Medicines Work
Homeopathy treatments are based on the Principle of Similars, loosely translated as “let likes be cured by likes.” Essentially, if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person a very small amount of the same substance can be used as treatment for the symptom. For example, exposure to a high dose of red onion – Allium cepa – produces a runny nose and watery eyes. However, a small dose of Allium cepa can be used to relieve a runny nose and watery eyes often associated with a cold or hay fever.
How Homeopathy Medicines Are Regulated
Homeopathic medicines are regulated as drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Standards for these medicines are set through the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS), and the products must contain active ingredients listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS).
Tips for Safe Use
• Homeopathic medicines can be safely used with other over-the-counter and prescription medicines, as well as dietary supplements. As with all other medicines, always read the product label carefully prior to taking any homeopathic product and follow all instructions.
• If you are taking any prescription medication, talk to your doctor before you take a homeopathic product. Also, patients who start on homeopathic therapy should not stop any prescribed medications without first consulting a doctor.
• Follow the instructions provided by your healthcare professional or on the product label.
• If you are pregnant or nursing, consult a doctor before you take any medicine, including homeopathic medicine.
Tip for Parents
• Some homeopathic medicines are labeled for use with children. As with any over-the-counter medicine, talk to your doctor if you have questions or if the label tells you to.
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