The extinction of homeopathic practitioners, desired by many, has not occurred yet, because of their tenacity and creative efforts to spread their knowledge, and also because homeopathy is an open code science accessible to scholars, wise men and women, who work to deepen the knowledge of homeopathy. – Felipe Cardenas Tamara, homeopath
On December 18, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance proposing a new, risk-based enforcement approach to drug products labeled as homeopathic. This policy guidance is more vague for manufacturers in its enforcement approach than the current guidance for homeopathic drug regulation and has the potential to limit the marketing of, and access to, homeopathic products that people now rely on.
Officials at the FDA claim that because the homeopathic drug industry has grown, they “need to better address situations where homeopathic treatments are being marketed for serious diseases and/or conditions but where the products have not been shown to offer clinical benefits. The approach also covers situations where products labeled as homeopathic contain potentially harmful ingredients or do not meet current good manufacturing practices.”
Homeopathy Faces A Catch-22
Under U.S. law, homeopathic drugs are required to meet the same approval rules as other drugs. But under a policy adopted in 1988, the agency has used “enforcement discretion” to allow the items to be manufactured and distributed without FDA approval under the enforcement policies in FDA’s Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) 400.400.
After a 2015 public hearing, the FDA determined that it is in the best interest of public health to issue a Draft guidance that includes a risk-based approach under which the Agency intends to prioritize enforcement and regulatory actions involving certain categories of products that potentially pose a higher risk to public health.
Perhaps the real reason FDA has taken a sudden interest in evaluating its enforcement of homeopathic drugs is because over the last decade, the homeopathic drug market has grown exponentially, resulting in a nearly $3 billion industry. According to the market research firm, Transparency Market Research, the overall global market for homeopathic products is expected to grow 18.2% by 2024.
Homeopathy Is Not Allopathy
The practice of homeopathy developed in the early 1700s as an evidence-based system of empirical medicine and has been accepted as safe for more than 200 years. Drug proving is done systematically on healthy human beings, not on lower animals, therefore, homeopathy is more representative of true affect. Symptoms are recorded from body and mind, and from head to toe. Drugs proven on lower animals will never show the same effect on humans because the tissue proteins are different in each species, or species-specific.
Unlike allopathic drugs that treat symptoms, homeopathic medicine awakens and stimulates the body to heal itself. These remedies are potentized through a series of dilutions and shakings (sucussion) that act as catalysts to stimulate self-healing. The more diluted the substance, the more potent it is considered to be. Homeopathic remedies communicate a frequency of energy via the whole human body to bring the individual to a higher level of health.
Homeopathy is based on fixed principles of the Laws of Nature which do not change, unlike medical theories that constantly change. These natural laws are based on the principle that a substance that causes symptoms in a healthy person can be used in diluted form to treat symptoms and illnesses, a concept known as “like-cures-like.”
Literally hundreds of thousands of physicians and over 500 million people use homeopathy around the world. In the United States, homeopathy has seen a 15 percent jump in U.S. household use since 2007, and is among the top 3 complementary and integrative strategies used.
In Mexico, homeopathy is currently integrated into the national healthcare system. In Europe, homeopathy is practiced and available in 40 out of 42 nations. For example:
- In France, 95% of all GPs, pediatricians and dermatologists use homeopathic remedies in their practices
- The Swiss government recognizes homeopathy as having a status equal to that of ordinary medicine
- According to a 2010 article in the BMJ, 57 percent of people in Germany use homeopathic medicines and all medical school curricula include information about natural medicines including homeopathy. Approximately 10% of all physicians in Germany specialize in homeopathy and 38% actively prescribe homeopathic remedies to their patients
- The UK, the British Royal Family is one of homeopathy’s strongest patrons.
In India, 100 million people depend solely on homeopathy for their medical care. There are over 200,000 registered homeopathic doctors in India currently, with approximately 12,000 more being added every year. Homeopathy is also growing in popularity in Pakistan, Korea, Japan and China. In the Middle East, Israel is also seeing significant growth in the practice of homeopathy. In Africa, homeopathy is widely practiced in South Africa and Nigeria but also now available in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and others. In Latin America, homeopathy is widely available throughout most of South America and the Caribbean, with Cuba, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil leading the way.
The Citizen Petition Favors More Government
In the U.S., a citizen petition has been prepared by one organization to attempt to challenge the FDA’s new guidance and protect the 1988 policy guidance. The petition requests FDA to do formal rule-making and make the 1988 guidance an actual federal rule. However, whatever good intentions the authors may have, the petition appears to favor more government regulation and more FDA oversight.
The science of Homeopathy has survived more than 250 years because it is non-toxic as Nature’s medicine. The practice of homeopathy must be treated in law and public policy according to its essential nature. You can become involved by supporting the National Health Freedom Coalition to design a long-term solution for the protection of homeopathic remedies and homeopathic practitioners.
If we do not work to protect access to all healing options, we can expect to lose them. The right to choose how to heal is an individual endeavor. Such a right does not come from government. Government does not grant any rights, only privileges for those that pose an imminent risk of harm to the public. Privileges can be modified, restricted, or taken away entirely.
Alternatively, rights are inherent, granted by the Creator and governed under Natural Law. Homeopathic remedies are inherently safe with their high dilutions and are ‘generally regarded as safe.’ They should be protected and accessible as such.
Rosanne Lindsay is a Naturopath, author, and healer under the Turtle Island Provider Network. She is President of the National Health Freedom Coalition. Find her on Facebook at Rosanne Lindsay and Natureofhealing and consult with her (Skype or Zoom consults available) at natureofhealing.org., where this article first appeared.