New Jersey mini-map with Saint Francis Veterinary Center marker
392 Kings Highway
Woolwich Township
New Jersey 08085
856.467.0050

Homeopathy

The alternative medical system of homeopathy was developed in Germany at the end of the 18th century.

Supporters of homeopathy point to two unconventional theories: “like cures like”—the notion that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people; and “law of minimum dose”—the notion that the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness. Many homeopathic remedies are so diluted that no molecules of the original substance remain.

Homeopathic remedies are derived from substances that come from plants, minerals, or animals, such as red onion, arnica (mountain herb), crushed whole bees, white arsenic, poison ivy, belladonna (deadly nightshade), and stinging nettle. Homeopathic remedies are often formulated as sugar pellets to be placed under the tongue; they may also be in other forms, such as ointments, gels, drops, creams, and tablets. Treatments are “individualized” or tailored to each person—it is not uncommon for different people with the same condition to receive different treatments.

How does homeopathy work?

Homeopathic remedies start with substances such as herbs, minerals, or animal products. These substances are first crushed and dissolved in a liquid — usually grain alcohol or lactose — mechanically shaken, then stored. This is the “mother tincture.” Homeopaths then dilute tinctures more with alcohol or lactose, either 1 part to 10 (written as “x”) or 1 part to 100 (written as “c”). These tinctures are shaken, yielding a 1x or 1c dilution. Homeopaths can further dilute these tinctures 2 times (2x or 2c), 3 times (3x or 3c), and so forth. Many times professional homeopaths will use much higher dilutions, because the more diluted the substance, the more potent its healing powers are thought to be.

Homeopathic remedies aim to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms. Homeopaths believe that any physical disease has a mental and emotional component. So a homeopathic diagnosis includes physical symptoms (such as feverishness), current emotional and psychological state (such as anxiety and restlessness), and the person’ s constitution. A person’ s constitution includes qualities related to creativity, initiative, persistence, concentration, physical sensitivities, and stamina. The right remedy for a condition will take all of these aspects into account, so each diagnosis and remedy is individualized. That means 3 people with hay fever could need 3 very different prescriptions.

Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/homeopathy-000352.htm#ixzz2JDQDv6LR

What illnesses and conditions respond well?

Scientific evidence is mixed. In some clinical trials, homeopathy appeared to be no better than placebo. In other clinical studies, researchers believed they saw benefits from homeopathy. More controlled clinical research is needed.

Preliminary evidence shows that homeopathy may be helpful in treating childhood diarrhea, otitis media (ear infection), asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, pain, allergies, upper respiratory tract infections, sore muscles, and colds and flu. Some professional homeopaths specialize in treating serious illnesses, such as cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune diseases. In fact, several studies suggest there may be a role for homeopathy in symptom relief and improving quality of life among cancer patients. You should not treat a life-threatening illness with homeopathy alone.

Homeopathic medicines, because they are diluted, generally don’ t have side effects. However, some people report feeling worse briefly after starting homeopathic remedies. Homeopaths interpret this as the body temporarily stimulating symptoms while it makes an effort to restore health. Homeopathic medicines are not known to interfere with conventional drugs.

Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/homeopathy-000352.htm#ixzz2JDQUnmCu

Use in the United States in Human Medicine

According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which included a comprehensive survey of the use of complementary health practices by Americans, an estimated 3.9 million adults and 910,000 children used homeopathy in the previous year. These estimates include use of over-the-counter products labeled as “homeopathic,” as well as visits with a homeopathic practitioner.

The Status of Homeopathy Research

Most rigorous clinical trials and systematic analyses of the research on homeopathy have concluded that there is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition.

Homeopathy is a controversial topic in complementary medicine research. A number of the key concepts of homeopathy are not consistent with fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics. For example, it is not possible to explain in scientific terms how a remedy containing little or no active ingredient can have any effect. This, in turn, creates major challenges to rigorous clinical investigation of homeopathic remedies. For example, one cannot confirm that an extremely dilute remedy contains what is listed on the label, or develop objective measures that show effects of extremely dilute remedies in the human body.

Another research challenge is that homeopathic treatments are highly individualized, and there is no uniform prescribing standard for homeopaths. There are hundreds of different homeopathic remedies, which can be prescribed in a variety of different dilutions to treat thousands of symptoms.

References (in human medicine)

Altunc U, Pittler MH, Ernst E. Homeopathy for childhood and adolescence ailments: systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Mayo Clin Proc. 2007;82(1):69-75.

Bellavite P, Ortolani R, Pontarollo F, Piasere V, Benato G, Conforti A. Immunology and homeopathy. 4. Clinical studies-part 2. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006;3(4):397-409.

Bellavite P, Ortolani R, Pontarollo F, Piasere V, Benato G, Conforti A. Immunology and homeopathy. 4. Clinical studies-part 1. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006;3(3):293-301.

Brinkhaus B, Wilkens JM, Ludtke R, Hunger J, Witt CM, Willich SN. Homeopathic arnica therapy in patients receiving knee surgery: results of three randomised double-blind trials. Complement Ther Med. 2006;14(4):237-46.

Cucherat M, Haugh MC, Gooch M, Boissel JP. Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy: a meta-analysis of clinical trials. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;56:27-33.

Dantas F, Fisher P, Walach H, et al. A systematic review of the quality of homeopathic pathogenetic trials published from 1945 to 1995. Homeopathy. 2007;96(1):4-16.

Dean ME, Coulter MK, Fisher P, Jobst K, Walach H. Reporting data on homeopathic treatments (RedHot): a supplement to CONSORT. Homeopathy. 2007;96(1):42-5.

dos Santos AL, Perazzo FF, Cardoso LG, Carvalho JC. In vivo study of the anti-inflammatory effect of Rhus toxicodendron. Homeopathy. 2007;96(2):95-101.

Ernst E. Homeopathy: what does the “best” evidence tell us? Med J Aust. 2010;192(8):458-60.

Fleming S, Gutknecht N. Naturopathy and Primary Care Practice. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2010: 37(1).

Frei H, Everts R, von Ammon K, Kaufmann F, et al. Randomised controlled trials of homeopathy in hyperactive children: treatment procedure leads to an unconventional study design. Experience with open-label homeopathic treatment preceding the Swiss ADHD placebo controlled, randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial.Homeopathy. 2007;96(1):35-41.

Frenkel M. Homeopathy in cancer care. Altern Ther Health Med. 2010;16(3):12-6.

Goossens M, Laekeman G, Aertgeerts B, Buntinx F; ARCH study group. Evaluation of the quality of life after individualized homeopathic treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis. A prospective, open, non-comparative study. Homeopathy. 2009 Jan;98(1):11-6.

Jacobs J, Herman P, Heron K, Olsen S, Vaughters L. Homeopathy for menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors: a preliminary randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11(1):21-7.

Jacobs J, Williams AL, Girard C, Njike VY, Katz D. Homeopathy for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a pilot randomized-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11(5):799-806.

Kistin SJ, Newman AD. Induction of labor with homeopathy: a case report. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2007;52(3):303-7.

Mathie RT, Farrer S. Outcomes from homeopathic prescribing in dental practice: a prospective, research-targeted, pilot study. Homeopathy. 2007;96(2):74-81.

McGuigan M. Hypothesis: do homeopathic medicines exert their action in humans and animals via the vomeronasal system? Homeopathy. 2007;96(2):113-9.

Merrell WC, Shalts E. Homeopathy [Review]. Med Clin North Am. 2002;86(1):47-62.

Milazzo S, Russell N, Ernst E. Efficacy of homeopathic therapy in cancer treatment. Eur J Cancer. 2006;42(3):282-9.

Milgrom LR. Journeys in the country of the blind: entanglement theory and the effects of blinding on trials of homeopathy and homeopathic provings. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007;4(1):7-16.

Mojaver YN, Mosavi F, Mazaherinezhad A, Shahrdar A, Manshaee K. Individualized homeopathic treatment of trigeminal neuralgia: an observational study. Homeopathy. 2007;96(2):82-6.

Mousavi F, Mojaver YN, Asadzadeh M, Mirzazadeh M. Homeopathic treatment of minor aphthous ulcer: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Homeopathy. 2009 Jul;98(3):137-41.

Muller-Krampe B, Oberbaum M, Dipl-Math PK, Weiser M. Effects of Spascupreel versus hyoscine butylbromide for gastrointestinal cramps in children. Pediatr Int. 2007;49(3):328-34.

Pilkington K, Kirkwood G, Rampes H, Fisher P, Richardson J. Homeopathy for anxiety and anxiety disorders: a systematic review of the research. Homeopathy. 2006;95(3):151-62.

Ramachandran C, Nair PK, Clement RT, Melnick SJ. Investigation of cytokine expression in human leukocyte cultures with two immune-modulatory homeopathic preparations. J Altern Complement Med. 2007;13(4):403-7.

Rao ML, Roy R, Bell IR, Hoover R. The defining role of structure (including epitaxy) in the plausibility of homeopathy. Homeopathy. 2007;96(3):175-82.

Relton C, Chatfield K, Partington H, Foulkes L. Patients treated by homeopaths registered with the Society of Homeopaths: a pilot study. Homeopathy. 2007;96(2):87-9.

Relton C, Smith C, Raw J, Walters C, Adebajo AO, Thomas KJ, Young TA. Healthcare provided by a homeopath as an adjunct to usual care for Fibromyalgia (FMS): results of a pilot Randomised Controlled Trial. Homeopathy. 2009 Apr;98(2):77-82.

Rossi E, Endrizzi C, Panozzo MA, Bianchi A, Da Frè M. Homeopathy in the public health system: a seven-year observational study at Lucca Hospital (Italy). Homeopathy. 2009 Jul;98(3):142-8.

Rostock M, Naumann J, Guethlin C, Guenther L, Bartsch HH, Walach H. Classical homeopathy in the treatment of cancer patients–a prospective observational study of two independent cohorts. BMC Cancer. 2011;11:19.

Tan G, Craine MH, Bair MJ, et al. Efficacy of selected complementary and alternative medicine interventions for chronic pain. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2007;44(2):195-222.

Thompson EA, Montgomery A, Douglas D, Reilly D. A pilot, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of individualized homeopathy for symptoms of estrogen withdrawal in breast-cancer survivors. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11(1):13-20.

Vickers AJ, Smith C. Homoeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;3:CD001957.

Witt CM, Lüdtke R, Willich SN. Homeopathic treatment of patients with psoriasis–a prospective observational study with 2 years follow-up. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2009 May;23(5):538-43.

Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/homeopathy-000352.htm#ixzz2JDQzD0mj