Thursday, December 3, 2015

Is Homeopathy Safe?

I would like to briefly touch on the "safety" of Homeopathic remedies from my own perspective. The reason I wanted to write about this topic is because I keep reading comments by people/pet owners who actually seem scared to use Homeopathic remedies themselves; not just cautious, which can be a good thing, but actively fearful. I hope that by talking about safety, people won't be scared to use Homeopathic remedies -- especially after educating themselves.

It seems that when Homeopathy first started its resurgence in popularity years ago the story was that remedies were completely harmless. After all, according to the conventional medical establishment, there’s ‘nothing’ in them, right? Now, it seems everywhere I read there seems to be this need to instill a sense of fear in people that remedies are not safe. The pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other. So, what is the reality? Are Homeopathic remedies safe or not? I believe the truth lies somewhere in between as it often does.

I think one aspect is that of people using common sense. With any supportive measure, there are generally suggestions as to dosing - that applies whether it is OTC allopathic medicines or natural supports like vitamins, supplements, herbs or Homeopathic remedies. For people without any common sense, almost anything can be harmful.

Another aspect is whether one is using Homeopathic remedies for Acute ailments or for Chronic Disease. And even here, there are basic guidelines to follow that allow those with common sense to use Homeopathy safely. Many professional Homeopaths criticize lay people for trying to use Homeopathy themselves to help themselves or their loved ones even in Acute situations, which I personally find ludicrous. I would rather see those same Homeopaths work with the individual toward further education rather than blame them for trying to help. I completely support individuals learning to provide their own health care whenever possible, rather than continue turning over the responsibility to a health care professional whether that professional is a conventional doctor OR a homeopath, naturopath or other practitioner of a holistic modality.

Also, there are always going to be health care professionals who are very good at what they do, as well as those who aren't as adept. This happens in every field but that doesn't mean that everyone stops trying. Plus, there is a learning curve and that goes for lay people as well as professionals -- everyone starts somewhere!

For instance, in "The Complete Homeopathy Handbook" by Miranda Castro, the author cites under "Myth: 'Homeopathy is safe' " a couple of sample cases of 'unintentional provings' -- when I read them, my immediate thought was "these people had zero common sense and didn't even follow the guidelines on the vial of remedy!" Even at that, and this is huge, in my opinion, once the remedies were halted, the individuals gradually returned to their pre-remedy states. The author presents a few other examples whereby Homeopathic remedies may be misapplied, however, these cases, too, could be avoided with just using our common sense and some basic guidelines. Obviously, the author is encouraging people to use Homeopathic remedies for Acute ailments or she wouldn't have written the book the way she did, so the examples are great for clarifying potential concerns but are certainly not meant to instill fear of using remedies.

So, are Homeopathic remedies able to cause discomfort? It's possible. In summary, however, I would still prefer to use Homeopathic remedies (or Cell Salts, Flower Essences, etc.) as my first choice in supportive care because the alternative is conventional medicines like antibiotics, steroids, and anti-inflammatories, and, while those drugs are invaluable in certain circumstances, I feel they are more harmful by far (just take a look at the list of side-effects!) than Homeopathic remedies applied with a bit of common sense.

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