Homeopathic medicines have been made and used in the USA since the early 1800’s. The practice of homeopathy came to the USA in the 1800’s from Europe where Samuel Hahnemann, a medical doctor and chemist, developed this system of healing by taking the medicines himself and practicing on patients whom doctors had failed to help. This was the time when there were no antibiotics and people had poor hygiene and doctors were using blood letting and strong chemical drugs to treat people.
Encouraged that his homeopathic care gave positive results in patients with acute infectious diseases whether bacterial or viral and also his success in treating patients with chronic disease, Hahnemann shared his knowledge of homeopathy through writing books. The Organon and his Chronic Diseases books are still being used online in homeopathic software databases accessed worldwide. Today homeopathic medicines are manufactured in many countries and their use is only exceeded by the use of allopathic drugs. What sets apart homeopathic medicines is that they are individualized, are affordable and are very gentle because of the small amount needed to stimulate the body to change.
It took Dr. Hahnemann decades to develop Homeopathy which is still evolving thanks to thousands of doctors and practitioners worldwide sharing their healing knowledge via the Internet. Homeopathic remedies became official drugs in the USA in 1938 when they were included in our federal laws. The US Food and Drug Administration regulates the manufacturing in the US of all drugs including homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic drugs have been exempt from animal research because of their long track record of use (165 years) and exemplary safety record. They were also exempt from the over the counter drug review by the FDA. Expiration dates on homeopathic medicines are optional and depend on the starting substances ability to remain chemically stable. The official ways to manufacture and dispense homeopathic medicines are updated by the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia Convention of the US, a non profit professional organization dedicated to homeopathy.
Look into the modern medicine cabinet and you will likely find plastic bottles of medicines that are for prescription or over the counter drugs . The over the counter drugs are not paid for by your medical insurance but you bought them to help treat a disease you got and diagnosed yourself. This disease often lasts only a week and could be helped by herbs too. Since most people do not know how to use herbs safely when they are ill, they often choose to use homeopathic medicines because they are safe and fairly easy to use and take. Better results with homeopathic medicines happen when the medicine is individualized to the persons expression of illness.
Homeopathic medicines are mostly made from plants and minerals and are very safe and easy to use for all members of the household. Homeopathic drugs are determined to be safe and effective by the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia Convention of the United States . Homeopathic medicines are regulated but not reviewed by the FDA. Homeopathic drugs are very affordable and available in many pharmacies and natural grocery stores plus online too. Families worldwide have been using homeopathic medicines for over 200 years and sharing their experiences.
Most all our common herbal remedies have been made into official homeopathic drugs. Most homeopathic medicines have a long shelf life with an optional expiration date, are extremely safe to take , taste good, are easy to take for all ages and are equally affordable when compared to the common over the counter chemical drugs. Homeopathic medications are labeled in Latin worldwide and indications are chosen for the individuals response to the illness, not just for a diagnosis unless it is a combination homeopathic product.
Homeopathic medicines are not food but the making of homeopathic drugs is similar to the way our body processes food. Pharmaceutical companies or pharmacists who want to make a homeopathic drug from an herb like Chamomile, start by identifying the plant very carefully. They use good manufacturing procedures and keep records for FDA inspections on each batch of homeopathic drug that is made. Each drug may have a National Drug Code number to identify the drug and is always labeled in Latin, Chamomilla, the official drug name in HPUS.
The manufacturer often consults a botanist and also may use modern chemical analysis by liquid chromatography to fingerprint the plants identity. After the plant is cleaned and then chopped or ground up similar to what our teeth do with the food we eat, then the chopped plant is usually soaked in water mixed in specific percentages of drinking alcohol to extract the plant’s healing properties. The liquid alcohol with the plant parts is then filtered and the alcohol acts in the solution to preserve it. This is called the mother tincture of the plant or potency 1.
Then to activate the medicine, the plant solution is shaken after a specific amount of water is added. This shaking is similar to how our food diluted in our stomach juices and saliva is under the influence of kinetic energy from our constantly beating heart which effects the stomach contents. And our friendly bacteria in our intestines make alcohol equivalent to one drink a day plus water goes in and out in the process of digestion. Homeopathic medicines for over the counter use are very dilute with the number of molecules in each dose being similar to the concentration of many of our natural hormones circulating in our body…very tiny amounts which can stimulate the body and mind on many different levels.
Finally after 6 or more shaking and dilutions, the homeopathic medicine is mixed with sugar pellets or mixed into lactose powder and magnesium stearate lubricating powder and formed into tablets which are put into plastic or glass containers, sealed and labeled with the official Latin name of the homeopathic drug. All active and inactive ingredients are listed on the label plus conditions for drug use.
When “Made according to the HPUS” is on the drug label, this means this drug is an official homeopathic drug that is monographed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. Indications for use must be on the label when it is sold for OTC use. Some homeopathic medicines are prescription only when they have indications for diagnosis that can only be made by medical doctors like heart disease or epilepsy, etc. All injectable homeopathic medicines are on prescription and are called a legend drug by FDA. Most homeopathic medicines sold in the US are for over the counter use.
Common strengths of a homeopathic medicine are 6X or 12C or 30 C or 200C. The X means decimal and it was diluted 1 part of plant tincture into 9 parts of pure water. The C means centesimal and the plant was diluted 1 part of plant tincture into 99 parts of pure water. The LM means a 1 to 50,000 dilution. The 200, 6 or 12 mean how many times the drug was shaken and diluted, which is called succussion. This is the special way homeopathic medicines have been made worldwide and in the USA since the early 1800’s.
Critics of homeopathy say that when drugs are shaken and diluted past 12 C or 24X there are no remaining molecules left to act like a drug and one is selling plain water acting only as a placebo. This would be true from a purely chemical perspective. But from clinical experience gathered by doctors for centuries, these homeopathic drugs without molecules are acting on patients who are healing from serious diseases. Not enough research has been done to see how these diluted and shaken drugs react in the body. The water is key and must be changed some how by the initial drug molecules and retains healing properties even if it is so very diluted and has no more molecules. Doctors have not been able to exactly show by research how homeopathic medicines act with our currently available physics and chemistry tools but more and more research is being done.
For more information on the latest homeopathic research please visit www.homeopathyusa.org
Jacquelyn J Wilson, MD DHt DABIHM