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Homeopathy FAQs

SAFETY

Do homeopathic medicines cause side effects?

Used for more than 200 years, homeopathic medicines have a remarkable safety record. Homeopathic medicines with a dilution above 4C or 8X are safe with a very low risk of side effects and no contraindications.

Can homeopathic medicines be taken in conjunction with other medications?

Micro-dosed homeopathic medicines above 4C or 8X are safe. They can be taken with other conventional medicines, herbs or supplements, and are sometimes recommended to complement other treatments.

Can I give homeopathic medicines to my children?

As with any over-the-counter medicine, please check with your doctor or pharmacist before treating children younger than 2 years of age to make sure the symptoms or the disease can be safely treated. Homeopathic medicines are among the safest over-the-counter medicines, especially for children. The dosage is generally the same for adults and children since the activity of homeopathic medicines is not based on body weight. Please see package labeling for specific dosage recommendations and warnings.

Are homeopathic medicines safe to use while pregnant or breast-feeding?

If pregnant or breast-feeding, please check with your doctor or pharmacist before use.

If I'm lactose intolerant, can I take homeopathic pellets or tablets?

The amount of lactose in homeopathic pellets and tablets is very small and will not trigger symptoms caused by lactose intolerance. Pellets and the tablets are usually taken under the tongue (sublingual absorption), so the amount of lactose that reaches the intestine, where lactose intolerance symptoms are triggered, is even less.

For small homeopathic pellets (for example, Oscillococcinum ), 1 gram (1 unit-dose) contains 150 mg of lactose, equivalent to 1/80th of a cup of milk.

For large homeopathic pellets (such as in blue tubes), 5 pellets contain 42.2 mg of lactose, equivalent to 1/300th of a cup of milk.

For large homeopathic tablets (for example, Coldcalm ), 2 tablets per dose contain 492.5 mg of lactose, equivalent to 1/24th of a cup of milk.

USAGE

Can I use homeopathic treatments by myself or do I have to have a doctor's help?

Since homeopathic medicines can be a fast, reliable solution, self-medication may be sufficient for treating acute, non-serious pain or disorders. However, if symptoms continue, you must consult your doctor for a precise diagnosis and a suitable course of treatment.

Can homeopathic medicines be used to treat chronic or recurring illnesses?

For patients with chronic or recurring illnesses, homeopathic treatments aim to reduce the intensity and frequency of episodes or outbreaks, as with allergies or herpes. Chronic or recurring illnesses will require the attention of a healthcare professional knowledgeable in homeopathy and may require more time for improvement.

Can homeopathic medicines prevent certain diseases?

Homeopathic medicines are indicated for relief of symptoms--not prevention of diseases.

The indication on the label of my homeopathic medicine does not match the symptom for which my doctor 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 symptoms of hot flashes.

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

Should I try not to touch the pellets or tablets with my hands?

You should avoid touching homeopathic medicines with your bare hands. They are no less effective when touched, but the manufacturer takes great care to avoid any contamination and to make sure that only the original substance is diluted.

Can I have mint or coffee while using homeopathic medicines?

The first homeopathic physicians told their patients not to ingest or inhale any substance, such as coffee, tea, chocolate or mint, which could interfere with the course of recovery. As the action of homeopathic medicines was progressively established, it became clear that there is no interference between mint, coffee or tea, and a homeopathic treatment in general. However, it is best to take homeopathic medicines apart from meals and in a mouth free of strong flavors to maximize absorption.

Ask your doctor if you are taking anything that could have an action opposite to what you are trying to achieve with homeopathic medicines. For instance, if you want to reduce stress, avoid caffeine.

Where should I keep my homeopathic medicines?

Homeopathic medicines should be stored in a dry place, away from heat and away from fragrant substances that could contaminate them. Keep the medicines in their original containers. Keep homeopathic medicines and all other medicines out of the reach of children.

How much sugar is in homeopathic medicines?

Pellets contain sugar and lactose (milk sugar). 5 pellets taken 4 times a day (20 pellets) contain 1 gram of sugar (or 1/5th of a teaspoon). One unit-dose contains 1 gram of sugar (or 1/5th of a teaspoon). Syrups usually contain more sugar: the exact amount is given on the packaging.

Do homeopathic medicines have an expiration date?

Most homeopathic medicines have a 5-year expiration date. The expiration date is based on stability studies to determine how long the active and inactive ingredients remain stable.

Are homeopathic medicines sensitive to heat, cold, light or radiation?

Homeopathic medicines are sensitive to excessive heat (above 115 ?F). Liquid forms (eye drops, liquid drops, syrups and liquid unit-doses) should not be allowed to freeze. Homeopathic medicines are not sensitive to radio frequencies and X-rays such as the ones used in airports. They are sensitive to microwaves and long exposure to intense light (sunlight or UV light).

Keep homeopathic medicines in their original containers, and store the containers in a dry place away from heat.

Keep homeopathic medicines and all other medicines out of the reach of children.

DOSAGE AND FREQUENCY

Do homeopathic medicines act quickly?

Yes. When used for acute, occasional illnesses, homeopathic medicines can take effect very quickly, especially if they are taken as soon as symptoms appear. For chronic disorders such as asthma, migraines and allergies, longer treatments are needed to see sustained relief.

How frequently should I take homeopathic medicines?

Follow the instructions provided by your healthcare professional or on the product label. When it comes to single medicines packaged in multi-dose tubes, general dosage instructions are 5pellets 3 times a day.

As a general rule of thumb when self-medicating, 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 pellets every 10 minutes 3 to 4 times and then 3 times a day as needed.

DILUTIONS

Which homeopathic dilution should I choose?

The level of dilution in homeopathy does not correspond to strength. A 30C is not stronger than a 6C. The difference is in the level of action. Lower dilutions, such as 6C, are more suitable for local symptoms (such as a bruise, a sore throat or heartburn).High dilutions, such as 30C, are more appropriate for more general conditions that affect the entire body (such as a fever, allergies or a skin rash) and the mind (such as sleeplessness or apprehension).

GENERAL HOMEOPATHY

What is homeopathy?

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

What does the word "homeopathy" mean?

The word "homeopathy" was coined by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1783, based on the Greek word meaning "same suffering."

How popular is homeopathy in the United States?

In the United States, approximately 10,000 doctors, including family physicians, pediatricians, plastic surgeons, naturopathic doctors, pharmacists and chiropractors, have integrated at least one homeopathic medicine into their practices.

Is homeopathy practiced outside of the United States?

Today, homeopathy is used by millions of patients in more than 80 countries and is recommended by more than 400,000 healthcare providers worldwide.

What is the evidence of efficacy for homeopathic medicines?

The efficacy of homeopathic medicines is supported by 200 years of clinical observation. 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 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.

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