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Homeopathy and homeopathic medicine: Why are they suspended in some countries?


Developed in Europe during the last part of the eighteenth century, homeopathy is a system of medicine. [1] Using homeopathic remedies, which are made from natural substances, such as minerals, herbs, and animals, homeopathic doctors use a well-defined process to prepare the medicines. These drugs are prepared by diluting the raw ingredients in hydroalcoholic solutions, or by adding excipients and by potentizing them at different strengths. [1] The dilution can sometimes be so severe that there is hardly a trace of the original material left. The fact that homeopathic remedies produce positive results and are strongly believed in has certainly created a debate between advocates for homeopathy and those who are critical of these products for being contrary to all modern pharmacological requirements. [1]


Health authorities, as well as consumers, are somewhat concerned about the safety of homeopathic medicines because of their importance. [1] The ingredients in homeopathic medicines are not detectable, and they are usually administered at very high dilutes, so they are often considered ineffective. Safety concerns are minimal. Homeopathic medicines can still pose potential safety hazards in some aspects of their production. [1] In addition to the United States-where there is a monument to Hahnemann on a traffic circle six blocks north of the White House-homeopathy is also practiced around the globe, particularly in Britain, India, and Germany. [2] However, practitioners have vastly different approaches. There are practitioners who prescribe only remedies listed in reference books. Some offer treatments based on metaphors, such as powders that are exposed to cellphone signals to combat the effects of radio-frequency radiation. [2]


In recent years, homeopathy has become increasingly popular. In a scientific discourse, popularity is not the deciding factor. [3] Homeopathy's fundamental principles are in violation of the laws of nature. Homeopathy fails to meet all the criteria of a science-based approach and offers no explanation. [3] There is no evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies despite numerous clinical trials, and two large-scale studies have recently documented that. Due to relaxed regulations and lack of scientific literacy and health education, the practice of homeopathy continues to thrive. [3] Even though the health regulatory landscape may be changing, public health education, which supports informed decisions by patients, is likely to be more relevant. It can remain a legal fiction that the patient has the responsibility to choose their health. [3]


References:


2. Emory, S. (2021). Homeopathy Doesn’t Work. So Why Do So Many Germans Believe in It? Bloomberg.com.


3. Cukaci, C., Freissmuth, M., Mann, C., Marti, J., & Sperl, V. (2020, May). Against all odds-the persistent popularity of homeopathy. Wiener klinische Wochenschrift. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7253376/.


 

Contributors:

Author: Rayven Hall

Editor: Lauryn Agron

Health scientist: Rayven Hall


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