What exactly is homeopathy?
Founded more than 200 years ago, this therapy is rich in clinical observations that have been verified and revalidated ever since. It differs from other so-called alternative, natural or complementary medicines because it is all this at once.1 Homeopathy is a therapeutic based on the premise that each individual is endowed with a natural defence mechanism with the ability to maintain and restore his health. It is called “individualized” since it considers each individual to be unique, and therefore the symptoms present in a patient are those to be treated. To elicit the reaction of the natural defence mechanism, homeopathy uses substances capable of producing the same symptoms as those to be treated in the individual. 2
Homeopathy is used by more than 200 million patients as well as thousands of practitioners around the world 3. In Canada, 4.9 million people use homeopathy to care or self-care differently, with a satisfaction rate of 77%. 4
Homeopathy supported by science?
Many studies have demonstrated the positive effect or effectiveness of this therapy. There are more than 13,400 searchable articles on homeopathy, including 9,500 clinical studies. In addition to human case studies including pharmacoepidemiological studies. There is also basic research conducted on plant, animal and cellular models.5Homeopathyisattheheartofscience.
By the end of 2021, 255 randomized controlled trials of homeopathic treatment for 136 medical conditions had been published in peer-reviewed journals 6
Homeopathy: an ecological therapy? 7
By definition, homeopathy is ecological. The active ingredients in homeopathic medicines are made from plants, animals, minerals, or other raw substances found in nature. And because of the homeopathic extraction and dilution process, only a small amount of these precious resources is needed. As a result, there are no issues with over-consumption or exhausting natural resources. It’s a win-win for sustainability and health.
When it comes to manufacturing, homeopathy also redefines what it means to be “clean.” Traditional pharmaceutical research and development involve chemical synthesis and complicated purification processes, which are extremely resource- and energy-intensive. In fact, the little waste that is generated is almost exclusively biodegradable.
Homeopathy: more than medicines, but a system of care 8
Recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a system of care, homeopathic therapy uses homeopathic medicines, health professionals and a philosophy of care that is based on several foundations, namely the effectiveness and safety of homeopathic medicines, prevention, the patient as an actor in his health, comprehensive patient care and an individualized and personalized approach to care.
A reliable therapy and generally presenting no risk for patients, homeopathy also meets the major public health challenges defined by the World Health Organization:
- It makes it possible to act in prevention in the context of many pathologies.
- It contributes to the fight against antibiotic resistance.
- It lowers the risk of drug interactions related to polymedication.
- It helps to limit drug overconsumption.
Respectful of the individual, homeopathy is also a responsible choice at the community level.
Homeopathy: a complementary approach within integrative health
Homeopathy is an ideal therapy in integrative health. Whether used as a complementary approach, as a supportive care and/or as a global approach, it excels in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Finally, it is also recognized for its positive impact on the quality of life, particularly in the care of sufferers of serious illnesses, such as cancer. 9-10
Homeopathy embodies integrative medicine because it shares its principle and model of care. It is also part of complementary medicine because it accompanies patients to improve their quality of life engaging them in active management of their health. To that end, homeopathy corresponds to both the need “to cure” and the need “to care.”11
1 L’homéopathie, what is it? – pamphlet on homeopathy – Quebec Coalition for homeopathy (QCFH)
4 Behaviours and Attitudes Towards Homeopathic Medicines: A survey of Canadians –natl report, April 2019. Canadian Homeopathic Pharmaceutical Association (CHPA) & Hill+Knowlton Stratégies
5 A number of articles on homeopathy identified on the comprehensive general biomedical database (Embase) which includes articles Pubmed and Direct Science articles, published from 1945 to the end of 2018
10 Homeopathic Treatment as an Add-On Therapy May Improve Quality of Life and Prolong Survival in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Three-Arm, Multicenter Study Oncologist. 2020 Dec;25(12):e1930-e1955. doi: 10.1002/onco.13548. Epub 2020 Nov 7.
11 Article – Boiron Canada Montréal en santé – Summer edition, 2022