Homeopathic remedies have a long history of use worldwide, but can they really help at this time of year? And are they okay to use with immune-supportive formulas? Tune in for the answers and some expert recommendations. Dr. Christophe Merville is the Director of Education and Pharmacy Development for Boiron USA.
- Homeopathy comes from the Greek words homeo meaning "similar" and pathos meaning "suffering." It was first used by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in 1796.
- Homeopathic medicines are therapeutically active micro-doses of mineral, botanical, and biological substances. Similar to other over-the-counter medicines, homeopathic medicines can treat acute health conditions such as allergies, coughs, colds, and flu symptoms.
- Homeopathic medicines are regulated as drugs by the FDA and are made according to the specifications of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS), which lists approximately 1,280 medicines.
- If one chops several onions in a small kitchen, one will experience symptoms such as spasmodic sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. All these symptoms will be improved by breathing fresh air. A patient experiencing these same symptoms, including feeling better when breathing fresh air, whether caused by allergy or a cold, will be relieved by a homeopathic preparation of the onion also known as Allium cepa. It is as if a very small amount of the onion helped the body to react better against symptoms of cold or allergy similar to those caused by the onion.
- Sometimes more than one medicine is needed for treatment. These combinations are available in a variety of dosage forms such as tablets, gels, creams, syrups, eye drops, and suppositories.
- The sooner cold and flu symptoms are treated with homeopathic remedies, the better chance there is for a quick recovery and minimum disruption of lifestyle.
- Homeopathic medicines are among the safest choices for self-treatment and are generally free of side effects. They do not interact with conventional medicines or immune-building herbs or formulas.
- Many supplements or vitamins take some to time to show their effect, whereas homeopathic medicines work very quickly.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins C and E. Foods containing these vitamins like nuts, seeds, citrus and broccoli are believed to help support the immune system.
- Stay hydrated. When you are feeling under the weather, drinking extra fluids prevents dehydration caused by cold and flu symptoms. The regular use of a neti pot is also a great way to keep our nasal mucosa clean and moisturized.
- Exercise regularly. Not only can regular exercise lower stress, but research indicates that exercise can stimulate the immune system and promotes healthy sleep.