Homeopathy 101

Cynthia Ramnarace

First developed in Germany more than 200 years ago, homeopathy is a medical practice that tries to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself by giving small doses of substances that in larger doses would produce illness. In other words, it’s based on the principle of “like cures like,” meaning that disease and symptoms can be cured by substances that would cause the illness in healthy people.

Does it work?

Homeopathic remedies are made from highly diluted extracts of plants, minerals, or animals, and some people say it’s too heavily watered down to be effective—something Timothy Fior, M.D., from the Center for Integral Health, in Lombard, Illinois, refutes. “Even very highly diluted homeopathic remedies have nanoparticles of the original material still in them,” he says, which are still effective. “I’ve been practicing for 23 years and let me tell you, that stuff works,” says Fior.

Is it safe?

Fior points out that homeopathy has been used safely for centuries in people of all ages. And as with all treatments—conventional or alternative—it’s always a good idea to consult with a health care professional first. Learn more about homeopathy and find a homeopath near you at nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org.

Where can you buy it?

Homeopathic remedies are widely available online through companies like Boiron (boironusa.com), Hyland’s (hylands.com), and Heel (heelusa.com), as well as at your natural foods store. Be sure to look for the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS) seal, which is regulated by the FDA, to ensure the brand is safe and reputable.

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