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What are the Risks of Homeopathy?
Is homeopathy safe? Yes, it is safe for everyone, including high-risk groups such as babies, children, pregnant, and nursing women. Because this 200-year old medical system employs natural processes to create remedies for different types of diseases, its treatments are completely safe and do not have side effects. Aside from being natural, homeopathic treatments are prepared in high dilutions (which means very low doses of a substance is diluted in water or alcohol) and are taken with the guidance of well-trained specialists. Homeopathic medications do not interfere with traditional medicines, so a patient does not need to worry about having adverse reactions to his medications.
However, just because homeopathic medicine is safe, doesn’t mean it can never be risky. Using homeopathic medications raises safety concerns because of several factors. The following are the risks associated with homeopathic treatments:
• Some patients temporarily feel worse after starting their homeopathic treatment. This happens because the body stimulates the symptoms for a brief time and attempts to restore health at the same time.
• Homeopathic treatments may worsen a pre-existing condition. This is not a cause for alarm, though. This just indicates that the right remedy has been used. Also, the aggravations rarely occur. Typically gentle and brief, the homeopathic aggravations can be serious for people with life-threatening diseases.
• Severe aggravations can happen. Also called a healing crisis, these aggravations are a sign that the proper remedy has been used. However, there might be something wrong with the frequency or dosage of the medication, which have resulted in the worsening of the conditions.
• Taking multiple remedies or the wrong ones can cause unpleasant symptoms. Therefore, it is advised that you don’t take homeopathic medicines other than what you are currently taking. Multiple or combination medications may cause confusion to your treatment, which may hamper your healing process. In addition, make sure that the homeopath gives you the right diagnosis and that the medication prescribed to you is the correct one for your specific condition. If you have doubts, consult your current physician.
• The homeopathic treatment may cause the symptoms to relapse. To keep this from happening, the patient must stop taking the remedy when the symptoms disappear or when the patient has felt some relief.
• Some homeopathic products have problems with packaging and labeling. For example, a number of products have vague or confusing labeling such as “treats gastrointestinal disorders,” which is too broad as it refers to a wide range of conditions. Other products have been reported to have incorrect labels and lack tamper-resistant packaging.
• There are medicines that have plants or vitamins that are not included in homeopathic references but are sold as homeopathic products.
• There is no law yet requiring the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct testing and reviewing of homeopathic remedies.
If you are concerned about the safety of the homeopathic remedy you are going to use, make sure that you consult first your doctor or healthcare provider. Homeopathy is a safe treatment method, so long as it is done under the supervision of a trained and experienced homeopathic practitioner.
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