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 Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions on Homeopathic Medicine 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Understanding Homeopathy by . View all columns in series

There has also been some good scientific research published in medical journals and other scientific publications. A survey of research published in the British Medical Journal (February 9, 1991) indicated that there have been 107 controlled clinical trials, 81 of which showed that the homeopathic medicines had beneficial results.

Of the various studies, 13 of the 19 trials showed successful treatment of respiratory infections, 6 of 7 showed positive results in treating other infections, 5 of 7 showed improvement in digestive disorders, 5 of 5 showed successful treatment of hay fever, 5 of 7 showed faster recovery after abdominal surgery, 4 of 6 promoted healing of arthritic conditions, 18 of 20 showed benefit in relieving pain or trauma, 8 of 10 showed positive results in reducing psychological problems, and 13 of 15 showed benefit of various disorders.

For more detail about many of these studies, see my book, Discovering Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century (North Atlantic Books, 1991) or see Drs. P. Bellavite and A. Signorini's new book Homeopathy: A Frontier in Medical Science (North Atlantic, 1995).

The small doses used by homeopaths only have an effect when a person has a hypersensitivity to the small doses given. If the wrong medicine is given to a person, nothing happens. If the correct medicine is given, the medicine acts as a catalyst to the person's defenses. In any case, homeopathic medicines do not have side effects.

If the Medicines are so Effective, Why Insn't Homeopathy More Popular Today?
Actually, homeopathy is quite popular in many countries in the world. As for homeopathy in the U.S., it was also very popular here. At the turn of the century, 15% of physicians were homeopathic physicians. The A.M.A. was seriously threatened clinically, philosophically, and economically by homeopaths. As distinct from other unorthodox practitioners, homeopaths graduated from respected medical schools. The A.M.A. was so threatened by homeopathy that from 1860 to the early 1900s a conventional physician would lose their membership in the A.M.A if they simply consulted with a homeopath. The A.M.A. also applied pressure on various funding sources so that the homeopathic schools had difficulty staying alive. Despite the strong pressure from A.M.A. and the drug companies, homeopathy has survived and has flourished throughout the world.

Where is Homeopathy Popular?
Homeopathy is particularly popular in France, England, Germany, Greece, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and South Africa. Approximately 40% of the French public have used homeopathic medicines, and 39% of the French physicians have prescribed the medicines. About 20% of German physicians occasionally utilize these natural medicines, and 45% of Dutch physicians consider them effective. According to a survey in the British Medical Journal (June 7, 1986), 42% of British physicians survey refer patients to homeopathic physicians, and a New York Times article reported that visits to British homeopaths is growing at a rate of 39% a year.

Despite these impressive statistics, homeopathy is particularly popular in India where there are over 120 four-year homeopathic medical schools.

Homeopathy is also growing very rapidly in the United States. Market research shows that sales of homeopathic medicines have grown at a rate of 25-50% per year during the past ten years.

Is Homeopathy Legal in the U.S.?
Certainly! Most of its practitioners are conventionally trained medical doctors who have furthered their training with the study of homeopathy. Some of its practitioners are other types of health professionals, including dentists, podiatrists, psychologists, physicians assistants, nurses, naturopaths, chiropractors, and even veterinarians.

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 About The Author
DANA ULLMAN, MPH, is one of America's leading advocates for homeopathy. He has authored 10 books, including ...moreDana Ullman, MPH
 
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