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HomeAlternative HealthcareHomeopathy-treating the whole person

Homeopathy is based on applying a holistic approach by treating the whole person’s symptoms, including mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Homeopathy’s principle approach is based on the theory that “like cures like” meaning that the treatment given is related in substance to the illness itself is treated. In essence, Homeopathy works on the principle of stimulating the body’s defense mechanism by treating it with small doses of a substance that produces symptoms similar to those of the illness.

Use in the United States

According to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which included a comprehensive survey on the use of complementary health approaches by Americans, an estimated 5 million adults and 1 million children used homeopathy in the previous year. The 2012 survey also reported that although about 1.8 percent of children used homeopathy, only 0.2 percent of children went to a homeopathic practitioner. A 2016 analysis of data from this survey suggests that most adults who use homeopathic products self-prescribe them for colds and musculoskeletal pain.

In 2016, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it will hold efficacy and safety claims for over-the-counter homeopathic drugs to the same standard as those for other products making similar claims. It further stated that companies must have the competent and reliable scientific evidence the FTC requires for health-related claims, including claims that a product can treat specific conditions.

In December 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a new risk-based enforcement approach to homeopathic products. The proposed approach would call for more careful scrutiny of products with the greatest potential for risk, including:

  • Those with reported safety concerns
  • Those that are not taken by mouth or rubbed on skin
  • Those for vulnerable populations
  • Those that do not meet legal standards for quality, strength, or purity
  • Those intended to be used for preventing or treating serious and/or life-threatening diseases and conditions.

https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/homeopathy

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