A recent survey which is the first detailed report on homeopathy use in the United States, shows that although homeopathy is used by a small segment of the population, those that use it are happy with the results, especially those who also visit a homeopathic practitioner. Furthermore, the study also found that persons who use homeopathy as their primary form of alternative medicine tended to use a wide array of alternative medicine (such as herbals, acupuncture, chiropractic care etc.) than did people who do not use homeopathy. The study revealed that the bulk of homeopathic medicines were purchased over-the-counter without guidance from a health professional. In the majority of cases, homeopathics were used for non-serious conditions.
The study also found interestingly that users of homeopathy tended to be Caucasian women, they were usually between the ages of 30 and 44, they were most often married and most reside in the western United States. Homeopathic users also tended to be more highly educated.
This survey was conducted in part to provide information on the use of homeopathic medicines by the general public to officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Both of these government entities have an interest in homeopathic medicines, especially since in recent years their use has grown. You may have even noticed that now homeopathic medicines are quite common in many drug and chain stores, being shelved right next to other non-homeopathic supplements. They are however, regulated differently and have to receive a formal approval by the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention as well as follow rigorous FDA guidelines for good current manufacturing practices (GCMP).
For those who may not be familiar with homeopathy, it originated over 200 years ago after Dr. Hahnemann, a German physician, made the first discovery of the scientific principles that govern this remarkable form of medicine. It is based on the premise that certain natural substances are able to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms, allowing the body to heal itself. After symptoms of a condition have been alleviated, homeopathic remedies can work to reestablish internal order at the deepest levels. Because very small doses are used, healing is accomplished without negative side effects. It should be noted that homeopathy takes a different approach to healing than mainstream (allopathic) medicine, which is why many classify it in the “alternative medicine” category. Homeopathy works with the body to simulate the body’s own defense and restore natural equilibrium, rather than mask or suppress symptoms.