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Homeopathy and Healthy Babies

Supporting the health of an infant can sometimes feel like a guessing game with a limited amount of safe options. Find out why homeopathic remedies are gentle and easy to use for a variety of baby-related issues. Dr. Trevor Holly Cates is a naturopathic physician practicing in Park City, Utah, and a consultant for Hyland’s.

Naturopathic physician Dr. Trevor Holly Cates uses homeopathy to support children’s health:
  • Homeopathic remedies are therapeutically active micro-dose medicines mostly derived from plant and mineral sources.
  • These all-natural remedies provide a gentle and effective way of enhancing a person’s immune system and improving symptoms.
  • Homeopathy has been used for over 200 years and works as a catalyst to help our bodies act to their fullest abilities.
Homeopathic remedies are regulated and can be used in the earliest stages of life:
  • Most homeopathic medicines are regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as over-the-counter drugs.
  • Manufacturers have to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices and market their products with similar guidelines as all over-the-counter medicines.
  • Homeopathic manufacturers rely on the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States to create monographs, or guidelines, for specific active ingredient preparation and strengths.
  • Homeopathic products often have different instructions on the labels for children ages 2 to 12, which is usually half the adult dosage.  Dr. Cates recommends less frequent dosing for children and babies than adults.
Remedies are easy to use and can be helpful for tough issues like ears, teething, colic and sleep:
  • The top homeopathic remedy for teething is Chamomilla.  It is also a great remedy for colic when the child is irritated and seems inconsolable.  Colocynthis can also be helpful when babies draw up their legs in pain and like their abdomens massaged.
  • For ears, Belladonna is a top choice especially when there is a sudden onset with fever and flushed face, but also consider Pulsatilla when the child has had a cold and the pain is worse at night.
  • For sleep, it depends on the reason.  Aconitum works well when there is anxiety and restlessness, and Pulsatilla can help weepy, moody children.
  • Single homeopathic remedies or combination formulas are found in readily dissolvable tablets placed in the baby’s mouth or as easy-to-use liquids, and are also available in gels for teething and drops for ears.

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kolpin says …

are homeopathic remedies found at local drug and grocery stores or only available at premium prices at specialty stores?

Gianna says …

I'm always looking for something new for my chronic pain.

Lauren says …

why doesn't anyone ever talk about antidoting your homeopathic remedies??? It's imperative to avoid coffee, mints, tea tree/camphor/eucalyptus, cedar oils as well as other strong scents while using homeopathic treatments.Think about shampoos, mouthwashes, and other products we use regularly.i Homeopathy is not a one size fits all treatment for people's various issues, it's very individualized. Therefore, it's better to see someone who specializes in strict homeopathy. Even taking various herbs and supplements with your homeopathic remedies can potentially antidote them and render them useless. As far as the manufacturers are concerned, you'll just keep coming back and buying more remedies and trying other ones since you're likely to see no results due to antidoting. It's all more money for Hylands and Boiron anyhow, so why should they care? Finally, to end I want to say, I'm all about informed, responsible use of homeopathy under the care of a specialized practicioner.

Anne Marie says …

@Michael Bepko Safe does not mean effective nor does it always actually mean safe (http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html). If it draws people away from real medication that could help them (as in case of homeopathic "alternatives" to quinine in England), it is very dangerous. The only major meta-analysis of homeopathy found that there was no benefit except if you included poorly controlled and/or poorly designed studies. In rigorous, double-blinded studies there is absolutely no effect beyond the placebo. Furthermore, the basic premises of homeopathy defy the laws of chemistry and physics, presumably laws you follow and believe exist. Like does not cure like and more dilution does not mean a stronger mix. If that were true, you would overdose on homeopathic remedies by not taking them. Additionally, "Robert L. Park, Ph.D., a prominent physicist who is executive director of The American Physical Society, has noted that since the least amount of a substance in a solution is one molecule, a 30C solution would have to have at least one molecule of the original substance dissolved in a minimum of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of water. This would require a container more than 30,000,000,000 times the size of the Earth." It may have been better 200+ years ago, in the pre-scientific days of medicine, to take water rather than go to a hospital for most ailments but that does not mean it's a better idea now.

Anne Marie says …

Am I not allowed to discuss the scientific issues with homeopathy here?

Bepkom says …

@Anne: You absolutely are! Your comment was just stuck in the queue........sorry for the delay.

Anne Marie says …

1. Homeopathic remedies are not active and have NO dose. They are as active as a sugar pill. 2. Unless you ignore all medical research and the basic principles of chemistry and physics, there is no way that homeopathy could work. The basic premises of homeopathy are based on no science and a pill with literally no molecules of its alleged active ingredient cannot affect the human body. No study has found any effect over a placebo in any well-designed, rigorously-controlled AND reproducible study. Enhancing your immune system is a phrase that is as meaningless as enhancing your digestive system. Many diseases are caused by “enhanced immune systems,” such as lupus and other disorders. 3. Length of time that something has been used does not mean it is effective. In 1881, only 120 years ago, science had not yet figured out that sterilization is crucial to avoiding infection. Tobacco has been smoked for much longer than 200 years. Being around a long time does not make something effective or healthy. 4. Many homeopathic treatments have been warned by the FDA for not following regulations and making claims of treating things that they cannot. (E.g. http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm215236.htm) Additionally, “after 1970, no homeopathic remedy had FDA as ‘safe and effective’ for its intended purpose.” They are merely permitted to be sold but like vitamins they are NOT under the same constraints as actual medications and companies that market homeopathic “cures” are frequently warned to stop making unproven health claims. In fact, Airborne was forced to pay money to many people because of its fraudulent treatment claims as a homeopathic treatment. 5. Not having impurities or being manufactured in a shoddy manner does not mean that a product work. 6. Following rules or standards is irrelevant if the rules don’t produce anything that works. 7. There is literally nothing medicinal in homeopathic remedies so dosage is irrelevant. 8. They may be easy to use but as James Randi has shown by repeatedly taking a whole bottle of a homeopathic sleeping remedies with no effect and other anecdotal evidence of homeopathic “overdoses” have shown, they do not help the problem. 9. The rest of the advice is meaningless because those things cannot do what they promise. Advocating treating real illness with non-medicine is dangerous as it keeps people from real treatments (e.g. homeopaths have recommended their own remedies INSTEAD of quinine for travelers heading to places with high malaria risk - http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/186523/Why-natural-malaria-cures-just-don-t-work) and is even worse when it comes to children because they cannot decide for themselves to take it (like the Australian baby who was given only homeopathic treatments and died of treatable epilepsy - http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2003/dec/16/health.medicineandhealth). The National Council Against Health Fraud has come out against homeopathy (http://www.ncahf.org/pp/homeop.html) and major reviews of the studies done on homeopathy have found them to be so poorly designed as to be essentially useless.

A says …

Thank you, Anne Marie. I was upset to read this blog entry promoting homeopathy--especially in babies and children--without mentioning the large amount of evidence against homeopathy's effectiveness. Then I was upset to see no critical comments had been posted. I'm glad you have contributed some facts.

Bepkom says …

@Kolpin: Unfortunately i'm unable to tell you specifically where else to find homeopathic remedies however i'm sure they're available at many different types of stores around the country......both conventional and specialty stores.

Anne Marie says …

@Michael Bepko It was just frustrating to see later comments posted before mine.

Bepkom says …

@Anne Marie: We offer homeopathic remedies at Whole Foods Market as a resource to customers who wish to use them. Homeopathic remedies are safe and not harmful, and we only sell homeopathic remedies manufactured and labeled according to the standards for strength, purity and quality set by the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, as recognized by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic act and regulated by the FDA. We acknowledge that there is disagreement in the scientific community about the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. A growing body of research supports the efficacy of these remedies, and recent meta-analyses of earlier research suggest that homeopathy can be significantly more effective than placebo. Other studies have cast doubt on the efficacy of these remedies. There is a clear need for further research in this area. We are unaware of any studies which have suggested that homeopathic remedies are harmful or dangerous. Homeopathy is a system of healing which has attracted many avowed followers in its 200+ year history. Because homeopathic remedies are safe and believed by many to be effective, we will continue to carry them in our stores.

norma says …

Michael Bepko@Anne Marie I am relieved and glad that, despite all the controversy about the safety and effectiveness of homeopathic remedies, you will continue to carry these remedies in your stores. I am referring specifically to two herbal medicines (available at WholeFoods Whole Body dept), Anti-V Formula with Clinically Proven Echinamide (the liquid preparation) and bio-certified Sambucus black elderberry natural formula (naturopathic physician Mark A. Stengler ND "Nature's Virus Killers for Colds and Flu") which reduced the length and severity of the cold and persistent cough that bothered me some weeks ago and provided temporary relief of my flu symptoms including fever, chills and body aches. Thanks.

Meagan says …

I love that they are good for your immune system! It's like a two for one deal!

Gretchen says …

I love that you are exposing people to a new way to treat our little ones when they aren't feeling the best! And it gives me some relief during those times, knowing that the remedy is natural for their little bodies (:

Jill says …

@Anne Marie You have a very strong and researched opinion regarding homeopathics and perhaps you have a personal story to go along with it. Please allow others their opinion and experience, also. Until being a client with a well-respected naturopath I had mixed results with over-the-counter homeopathics. However, since they helped me overcome health problems that the traditional medical community admitted they had absolutely no idea how to diagnose or treat I have to stay on the side of homeopathics whatever the research says about it being ineffective or unsafe. For me, in my situation, it was perfect. I completely understand that homeopathic remedies are such that they may work for some individuals and not others but the same can be said for conventional medicines, especially with all of their potential side effects. We must all choose for ourselves and our minor family members what we think is best. And, the power of observation, rather than faith in a product is the most useful tool we can use in evaluating whether or not something is having the effect we need.

Dina says …

Thank you Anne Marie for your excellent comments. I ate a delicious lunch today at Whole Foods and then paused to sigh deeply when I saw the sign for Homeopathic remedies. I am sad to think that Whole Foods is selling expensive water or sugar pills in the guise of a remedy for an illness. Homeopathy is magical thinking, no more. People want to buy these remedies, so they are sold, and stores will keep selling them despite the fact that they are ineffective, using the very weak excuse that "Homeopathy is a system of healing which has attracted many avowed followers in its 200+ year history. Because homeopathic remedies are safe and believed by many to be effective, we will continue to carry them in our stores." Yes, people do insist that homeopathy helped them. These are anecdotes. Please remember that the plural of anecdote is not data. The argument that people have used homeopathy for 200+ years and therefore there must be something to it is a logical fallacy.

Sandra Saufley says …

I use natural remedies for my boys and myself. I am chemical sensitive because of exposure to chemicals, natural works for us, including my son who had horrible allergies and was on allergy medicine that made him drowsy, etc. when he was eight years old, it took one season of natural treatment, and now at seventeen he gets a cold once or twice a year which I treat with naturally and no more allergies -no more medicine. Thank you to all the stores that carry natural, that in my opinion have costs me less over the years.