Homeopathy’s Role in Self-Healing
How Safe and Effective is it for Babies and Children?
Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is a system of alternative medicine developed originally in the late 1700’s by a German chemist and physician named Samuel Hahnemann. Here in the United States, homeopathic medicines gained popularity in the early 1800’s.
One of the main beliefs of homeopathy is that every person possesses a vital force, or a self-healing response. Homeopathic remedies aim to stimulate the body’s natural defenses or healing mechanisms and processes. Homeopathy believes that symptoms are the way in which the body shows that it is out of balance; homeopathic remedies strive not only to cure symptoms, but also the underlying cause of illness or discomfort.
Homeopathic medicines are made from various sources, primarily plants and minerals. Medicines undergo clinical trials before they’re put on the market. By law, homeopathic remedies have to list their ingredients on the product’s label. In the U.S., the process for manufacture of homeopathic medicines is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals.
Homeopathic treatment involves administering doses of natural substances or remedies, often in small doses. Because it is extremely safe, homeopathy has always been popular; however, in recent years, training for practitioners has become more integrated and systematized, and homeopathy has now become much more mainstream. Indeed, many pediatricians now work to expand their knowledge of complementary methods for treating illness, and an increasing number of them are recommending homeopathic remedies to their patients.
Are Homeopathic Remedies Safe for Infants and Children?
Homeopathic remedies are not only safe, but ideal for infants and children — even newborns. Because of the highly diluted amounts of natural substances used, these medicines are very gentle, yet effective for the treatment of various conditions that commonly affect babies and young children.
Side effects are very rare, as contrasted with more commonly occurring side effects from over-the-counter or prescription pharmaceuticals. There are no risks of long-term dependency on homeopathic medicines, as their ingredients are non-addictive. There is no danger of allergic reactions, no risk of overdose, and the taste is typically more appealing to babies and young children than the taste of over-the-counter or prescription pharmaceuticals.
Because they are safe and all-natural, homeopathic medicines can be used on an ongoing basis, as needed, and can also be used in combination with conventional medicines (under the supervision of a homeopath or a medical doctor), without the danger of drug interactions.
Homeopathic medicine manufacturers achieve uniform quality and consistency by adhering to standardized methods of preparation, as outlined in the official manual, the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS). The FDA recognizes the HPUS concerning standards for homeopathic medicines.
Uses for Babies and Children
Homeopathic remedies are used throughout the world for common infancy and childhood conditions such as:
- Breastfeeding difficulties
- Baby colic
- Teething pain and discomfort
- Stomach aches resulting from poor digestion or nerves
- Simple rashes, cuts and scrapes
- Coughs, colds and fevers
- Sore throats and ear aches