Dr. Wilson answers frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about Homeopathy in the USA.
Any substance may be considered a homeopathic medicine if it has known "homeopathic provings" and/or known effects which mimic the symptoms, syndromes or conditions which it is administered to treat, and is manufactured according to the specifications of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS).
Official homeopathic drugs are those that have been monographed and accepted for inclusion in the HPUS.
Central to all homeopathy is the determination of the effect of substances on healthy volunteers and the use of the developed "drug picture" by the consumer and/or trained healthcare practitioners according to the homeopathic principle of similia similibus curentur--Let likes be cured by Likes.
Historically, homeopathy has been practiced by medical doctors and has been used for self-care by the general public.
The Issuance of The Homeopathic Domestic Physician by Constantine Hering, MD (1835) opened this healthcare modality to the
Homeopathy is an ideal therapeutic medium for self-medication of symptoms
usually associated with self-limiting conditions since the selection of the proper
remedy for the case is dependent on the symptoms that the body exhibits in its
reaction to the illness.
In the use of homeopathy for conditions which are other than self-limiting, the consumer is advised to use the services of a health care provider.
Sited from the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States 2004
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How and when to use homeopathic medicines and tips for good health ?
Very few homeopathic medicines require a prescription which depends on indications, dosage and the way it is given. For example, injections of homeopathic medicines require a prescription as do certain homeopathic medicines labeled for use for more serious problems like heart disease. Remember, not all health problems require medicines; some also need surgery, physical therapy, acupuncture, counseling or life style changes like daily exercise, or better nutrition from more vegetables and fruit, dietary supplements especially Vitamin D3, and purer water or release of unexpressed emotions, with love and understanding.
For optimal health and prevention of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity, medical research done on large groups of humans shows us what is really important. The top 2 are daily exercise and 7 servings of vegetables and fruits with emphasis on green vegetables plus adequate protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and selenium with additional vitamins depending on your age, sex and exposure to sunlight and tobacco smoke. Keeping your weight normal, minimizing white flour, white sugar and fried foods will help too. Eat more nuts and berries. Eating wild (from Alaska) fish twice a week seems to prevent heart attacks as does a daily supplement of fish oil (Omega 3 's) that is free of mercury, PCB's and other toxins. Be sure if you are pregnant that you check www.epa.gov/ost/fishadvice .I f pregnant it may be safer to use supplements from fish oil, flaxseed, algae and salmon to get the needed omega 3 fatty acids. Because of chemical contamination and mercury in fish, pregnant women should avoid eating swordfish, shark, tilefish, king mackerel, tuna, steaks, sea bass, Gulf Coast oysters, marlin, halibut, pike, walleye, white croaker and largemouth bass. All Alaskan fish is wild...never farm raised which tends to change the oil ratios in fish to what we do not need or want.
You need sunlight on your skin to make Vitamin D, a most important vitamin and hormone which is low in over 50% of adults in the US. The best time to get sunlight is within 60 minutes of sunrise or sunset. Low levels of Vitamin D3 in the blood are associated with higher rates of many cancers. Have your healthcare provider send your blood to a lab to measure the 25 OH Vitamin D3 which should be higher than 30. If your D3 is lower, a daily supplement of 1000 International Units of Vitamin D3 could help. Most adults should be taking oral vitamin D daily along with 1000 mg of Calcium and a good multivitamin and mineral. Avoid Vitamin. D 2. Re-measure your blood a few months later to see that the Vitamin D3 level is optimal. I can not emphasize enough how important Vitamin D3 is for strong bones and to prevent many cancers.
Stress from hating your work or home life makes you sick, so change jobs and bring love into the home, see a counselor if necessary..
Exposures to environmental toxins like pesticides and industrial pollutants also increases illness; so eat organic foods and minimize exposures to toxic chemical drugs and stop using pesticides at home or on your lawn and garden. Read labels on liquid products- avoid parabens like methylparaben, and lauryl sulfate in your body soaps, shampoos and lotions. Far infra red saunas which make you sweat can help you detoxify from heavy metals like Mercury and lead. Melanoma risk is associated with low Vitamin D3 and with higher levels of the toxic metal, Arsenic, in your toenails than the amount of UV sun exposure you get. Of course avoid getting sunburned which can increase skin cancer risk later in life.
Mother's milk is the best for baby and it changes daily to match the needs of your infant. Regarding baby formulas, if your infant must be fed by a bottle, avoid soy baby formulas because soy formula may contain too much Manganese which is toxic to infants' brains. Also soy beans are not nutritionally like human milk. Soy formulas need a lot of additives to make them into a baby formula. Research on baby teeth of children fed soy based baby formulas, shows that excess Manganese can be in their teeth and this Manganese is toxic to their brains and may be associated with poor learning, violent behavior and attention deficit disorders. If you cannot nurse, there are human milk banks or try using a goat's milk formula instead of soy. Using soy formula has also been associated with early onset of puberty in girls, as young as 3 years old because of the high amount of plant estrogen hormone present in the soy formula. Soy formula may set the stage for breast cancer in adulthood too. So avoid soy baby formulas. Better safe than sorry.
Individualizing your exercise and nutrition program depending on your genetics and your family history is the key. Unfortunately we do not have all the genetic answers to make the individualizing precise yet. Get in touch with a doctor who follows Dr. Jeffrey Bland's nutrigenomic research at the non- profit Institute for Functional Medicine or give your doctor their audio tape or CD titled "Functional Medicine Update". SpectraCell Analysis, a blood test where your blood cells are grown in the lab and then vitamins and minerals are fed to them can show your nutritional deficiencies. Treatment with food and dietary supplements is given, then test repeated in 6 months.
Follow your likes and dislikes in food but be reasonable....sugar over 2 teaspoons a day could cause problems as could artificial sweeteners. Research shows us that vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters. Organic vegetables, nuts, beans and fruits have lower levels of pesticides and toxins which are now found at high levels in meats and fish and unfortunately in all human breast milk. But it is still better to nurse your baby than to use formulas. Especially avoid soy based formulas which can be associated with brain toxicity, violent behaviors, learning disorders from high amounts of Manganese as well as early puberty from excess plant estrogens. Most everyone could benefit from eating more vegetables and fruit, not juice.Also taking daily extra anti-oxidant supplements like Vitamin C, and natural Vitamin E, with d alpha tocopherol., plus a fish oil capsule and a good multivitamin and mineral. Most need more sunlight when sun is low in the sky, not at noon.
Everyone needs daily exercise or at least 30 minutes of brisk walking 3 times a week or better yet Tai Chi or Qigong practice. Eating 7 vegetables and some fruit everyday is a challenge but can be done. Hopefully the fast food industry and school lunch programs will help us by offering more choices of vegetables, fruit smoothies, plus vegetarian proteins ( tofu, beans, seitan), and new Calcium containing foods in addition to their dairy and meat menu.
It is best to take a Calcium citrate or lactate and not Calcium carbonate which neutralizes your stomach acid needed to digest meat, fish and other protein. Taking a multivitamin and mineral daily is also important especially if you are low on fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. Exploring the many dimensions of the world, being involved in music, reading and sharing what you know will enhance the quality of your life as will contributing to your community often by volunteering. www.volunteeramerica.org
Today the precautionary principle guides our health care. Medical treatments, medical equipment and supplies should not damage ourselves, other species or the ecosystem. Ideal medicines should not have bad side effects or pollute our streams. Along with cleaning up the air with less polluting automobiles, we need to clean up our waters that have been polluted by medical drug waste. After you swallow or are injected with a chemical prescription drug or even an over the counter chemical drug, it usually leaves your body in your urine and stool and is not removed at the sewer treatment plant. The watery discharge from US sewer processing, contains these chemical drugs or their residues which then go into the homes of fish and wildlife through the creeks, rivers and oceans. These chemical drug residues harm our wildlife by disrupting their endocrine and other systems. A simple solution is urgently needed to remove these chemical drug residues before they get into the streams.
Homeopathic medicines in 30x or 12 C and higher strengths, do not pollute our streams because at these dilutions and higher, they do not contain any molecules to pollute or cause allergic or co- carcinogen reactions. Homeopathic medicines are not required to be animal tested and the very small doses used do not damage our planet in contrast to many prescription chemical drugs which are polluting the Earth's waters. If you want to explore the safest self care medicine then study homeopathy. Homeopathic medicines are easier to take and much safer to use than synthetic chemical drugs. The special way non-prescription homeopathic medicines are made from plants, animals and minerals, eliminates toxicity and stabilizes them so they do not expire. All official homeopathic medicines have Latin names which are used worldwide.
The strength of a homeopathic medicine is called the attenuation and is written on the drug label in numbers from 1-several thousand followed by the letters X or D, C or CH, CK or K, or LM. These are Latin abbreviations for the way the homeopathic medicines were manufactured according to the official drug monographs listed in the giant book, The Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS). Homeopathic drug manufacturing processes in the USA are highly regulated for your safety and have been developed with over 150 years of world wide collaboration.
The strength (attenuation which is a type of dilution with lots of shaking or banging and not just a simple dilution) that the homeopathic drug can be sold with and without a prescription is listed in the HPUS. Because homeopathic medicines are drugs, they are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration( FDA) and must have disease indications on the label. Most homeopathic medicines used for self-care have strengths in the range of 4 X- 200 X or C. Traditional homeopathic first aid kits, manufactured and sold by homeopathic drug companies since the 1800's, are usually in 6 X or 30 X or C strengths (attenuations). Strengths 12 C and higher numbers or 30X and higher have no molecules in them which makes them free of any allergic reactions or any possible drug toxicity.
Homeopathic medicines immediately enter your body directly from your clean and empty mouth without having to be chewed or swallowed with water. Pleasant, sweet tasting homeopathic tablets dissolve in your mouth when sucked and are liked by children, plants, pets and animals too. Liquid homeopathic medicines which may have alcohol in them, are placed under the tongue. Remember when giving pills of homeopathic medicine to a baby, to avoid choking, first dissolve the pill in a teaspoon or 2 of pure water. For children, if the liquid homeopathic medicine contains alcohol, dilute it first in a little water.
When using homeopathic medicines try to avoid strong smelling drinks like coffee and strong smelling ointments with camphor because they may block the effect of homeopathic medicines. Chemical prescription drugs and some herbs are very compatible with homeopathic drugs and usually do not have to be stopped when taking first aid homeopathic medicines, but check with your health care provider if you are being treated homeopathically for chronic disease.
If you were previously healthy and then got a medical problem that would be expected to clear up in about 10 days and you want to speed up your healing, try a combination homeopathic medicine for your problem. It will not hurt you, but it may not work because it may not have the homeopathic medicine that you need. If you get injured, a combination homeopathic medicine containing Arnica montana and other plant medicines for injuries will be good first-aid to speed healing.
If you have homeopathic reference books, you can learn how to find a homeopathic medicine that is individualized to your problems which may be more successful than using combination medicines. To learn more about homeopathic self-care you can join a homeopathic study group in your area. Contact the National Center for Homeopathy for their list of study groups.
If you have medical problems that have been with you a long time, months to years, consult with a licensed practitioner who knows how to use homeopathic medicines to stimulate healing for multiple diagnoses and more complicated problems called chronic illness. Contact the National Center for Homeopathy for their list of providers in your area.
Most American health food stores and many drug stores carry homeopathic medicines, both single medicines and combinations. For convenience there are US mail order companies and web sales too.
Homeopathic medicines identified by their Latin names are available worldwide especially in Canada, Europe, India and North and South America. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates homeopathic medicines and the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) is the official homeopathic pharmacopoeia.
Homeopathic medicines that have HPUS on the label have been manufactured according to these strict drug standards which first require a complete identification of the starting drug material. Most homeopathic medicines sold in the US are available over- the- counter (OTC) without a prescription. A few homeopathic medicines require a prescription like those that are injectable or made from human sources or are labeled for serious conditions, or are potentially toxic because of very low attenuations.
Some US companies who mail order homeopathic medicines:
- Washington Homeopathic Products, WV, pets & people 1- 800- 336-1695
- Boiron in Pennsylvania 1-800- 258-8823 1 800 BLU TUBE www.boiron.com
- 1 800 Homeopathy America's oldest mail order resource
- Hahnemann Laboratories, Inc. in California 1-888-4-ARNICA www.Hahnemannlabs.com
- Homeopathy Overnight in Maine 1- 800- 276-4223 1- 800 Arnica 30
- Homeopathic Educational Services in CA 1- 800-359-9051 www.homeopathic.com
- Newton Laboratories, Inc. in Georgia 1-800-448-7256 www.newtonrx.com
- Standard Homeopathic Company in California 1- 800- 624-9659 www.hylands.com 310- 768- 0700
- The Apothecary in Maryland 1- 800- 869-9159
- King Bio Pharmaceuticals in NC combinations 800 543 3245 www.kingbio.com
- Weleda in NY 1 800 289-1969 x 212 www.weleda.com
To locate a healthcare provider who knows how to use homeopathy to treat patients with chronic disease which requires 500-1,000 hours of homeopathic training, consult the Directory of the National Center for Homeopathy in Virginia (703) 548-7790
How to use the 1,200+ official homeopathic medicines available in the US is not taught in American medical schools because of the severe lack of sophisticated clinical research in homeopathy and lack of realizing that chemical drugs are polluting the environment. Medical schools emphasize high tech and chemical drugs and have lost touch with the natural methods of healing which homeopathic, chiropractic, osteopathic, naturopathic, acupuncture, massage, and psychology schools have retained. But the good news is one-third of all medical schools now have introductory courses in natural and alternative medicine but there is no time to teach medical students how to use these therapies. Consumers today have to be savvy and know when to consult an alternative practitioner even if their medical insurance does not cover it or their doctor does not know about it. Physicians with an interest in homeopathy may after they finish medical school take additional courses lasting 500-4000 hours on how to use homeopathic medicines for patients with chronic diseases or simply just refer to homeopaths.
Learning how to treat patients with self-limiting minor problems using single individualized homeopathic medicines requires up to 100 hours of homeopathic education which can be gotten in home-study courses or weekend seminars. First-aid homeopathy could be learned by doctors in several hours but is best learned by empowered patients.
Homeopathic medicines are the second most prescribed medicines in the world because of their low tech nature, extreme safety and low cost and their unchanging nature over 150 years. Since most homeopathic medicines are generic, that is not protected by a patent, the economic incentives to research and develop these drugs are different than those for synthetic chemical drugs that can be patented. In his India clinic in Calcutta, Dr. P Banerji treats patients with primary brain tumors like gliomas with the common homeopathic medicine, Ruta graviolens 6X , two doses a day orally along with 300 mg of the mineral Calcium phosphate twice a day orally. He has seen the gliomas disappear and the symptoms they were causing with this protocol after 4 months to several years time documented with serial cat scans. The US National Cancer Institute
Once doctors and the public realize the potential for one homeopathic medicine to safely treat multiple diagnoses in the same person, then sophisticated new homeopathic drug research will happen as research funding changes to meet patients' demands for non- toxic individualized therapies, not just based on a disease diagnosis. With most cancers on the rise and the new disturbing research showing that frequent taking of antibiotics or estrogen increases the risk of breast cancer, and that some cancer chemotherapy and radiation may cause new cancers later in those previously treated for cancer, safer treatments will be demanded. If we want to decrease cancer we must abandon the constant taking of high doses of chemical drugs for chronic disease and look to safer approaches that do not pollute the environment like homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture, functional medicine and nutrition, cautious wave therapies, massage and spinal manipulation, exercise and mind body medicine. A great help now would be to individualize chemical drug doses by genetic testing to determine the amount needed to treat a patient that would not have any side effects but still be effective.
The blending of alternative natural therapies and regular medicine (integrative medicine) is now happening because new solutions are needed to treat chronic disease besides high tech healthcare using expensive patented drugs that often pollute the environment and cause serious life threatening side effects. As more outcomes research is done in natural therapies and as nutrition research is paid attention to and incorporated into medical school teaching, new treatments for your chronic diseases will be recommended and some offered and paid by progressive health insurance companies instead of just by you. Already your doctor may be reading about this natural research in several new medical magazines founded in the 1990's.
PS.The American Medical Association recommends that doctors learn more about alternative therapies, such as homeopathy, because patients are using them.
Arnica montana 6x or 30x or 30 C attenuation (strength) of the beautiful mountain arnica plant from the daisy family is the most commonly used homeopathic medicine worldwide. Arnica montana is indicated for relief of pain that is sore usually in muscles or in bruised or injured parts, even from plastic surgery use 200 C. Arnica montana may be helpful for almost any condition caused by an injury or accident, no matter how long ago it happened. Arnica montana is also available in ointments or gels to be rubbed into sore areas, not cuts or scrapes. Keep some homeopathic Arnica montana in your first aid kit. It is wonderful to use after accidents for pain relief and is probably a natural NSAID's( non steroidal anti inflammatory drug like aspirin) that when used as a homeopathic medicine is not toxic.
Ignatia amara in 6x or 30x strength for oral use is from the seed pod of a plant and is the most commonly used first aid homeopathic medicine for stress, grief and emotional upset that stops you from functioning well. It helps when nausea and vomiting is relieved by eating. You will often see it in combination homeopathic medicines for stress or insomnia.
Zincum gluconicum is used in adults to decrease by half the symptoms and duration of the common cold. Start sucking it as soon as your cold starts. Good research studies have showed it worked well in adults but not in children or adolescents in attenuations under 6X. Some people do not like the way it tastes.
Calendula officinalis is the Garden Marigold, a common flower. Dilutions of a tincture (alcohol extract) of the fresh flowering tops have been used in homeopathy since 1838 to speed up healing of skin cuts, burns, scrapes and irritations like diaper rash. The non-alcoholic glycerin spray of Calendula works wonders when put on bedsores as does honey. You find the Calendula officinalis properly diluted in creams, lotions, gels, and sprays. Keep some on hand for first-aid for your skin.
Combination formulas for trauma, flu's, and nervous stress. These are tablets or liquid combinations of commonly used homeopathic medicines for first-aid for these common problems. People often find that combinations work more effectively than single homeopathic medicines. Much more research on efficacy needs to be done with homeopathic medicines, but for the moment, the 150 + years of sustainable worldwide use by millions of humans, plants, and animals and without serious side effects or toxicity, makes them attractive now for first-aid self-care.
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You can buy or order the books below from any bookstore or find them in your library or health food store or online.
There are professional books now available to search free on line at http://homeoint.org
Homeopathic Medicine at Home by Maesimund Panos, MD and Jane Heimlich A good first- aid book. Easy to use with tables and small section on pets. 317 pages.
The Family Guide to Homeopathy by Dr.Andrew Lockie 463 pages, very comprehensive, much more than first-aid by this British medical doctor.
The Consumer's Guide to Homeopathy by Dana Ullman, MPH 400+ pages, lot's of self-care information and resources.
The Family Guide to Homeopathy by Alain Horvilleur, MD. Everything in alphabetical order for ease of use with color photos. 249 pages by this French family medical doctor.
Healing with Homeopathy, The Complete Guide by Wayne Jonas, MD and Jennifer Jacobs, MD. Very basic first-aid with lots of research references. 349 pages.
Homeopathy for Women by Dr.Barry Rose and Dr. Christina Scott-Moncrieff Full color with pictures of plants used to make medicines and 800 phone numbers for ordering medicines from US Homeopathic Pharmacies.176 pages.
This is a complex question. If your medical doctor or osteopathic doctor treats you with over- the- counter homeopathic medicines that do not require a prescription , most insurance companies will not pay for them. Insurance companies usually reimburse only prescription drugs that are on their formulary list and not over the counter medicines. Most homeopathic medicines on prescription are not on their list. This may vary by state law and your insurance policy so ask about it.
The office visit to the medical doctor, osteopathic doctor or naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist or chiropractor may be reimbursed by your insurance company or Medicare or Medicaid depending on your policy. If you are insured by an HMO who is interested in natural therapies, coverage may be available.
Dr. Wilson is available for phone or e-mail homeopathic consultations to pharmaceutical companies and the American healthcare industry concerning questions about research, development, marketing and legal issues of homeopathic products. Sorry she cannot consult to individual patients by e-mail or phone because of licensing issues and patient security. She does make house calls if you live in the San Diego, CA area. It is best to e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on her answering machine at 760-747-2144 and she will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.
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