Homeopathy is an alternative branch of medicine that was invented at the end of the 18th century by Samuel Hahnemann, a man who believed that the dilution of a substance increases its potency. Since 1988, homeopathic medicine has not been regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, allowing it to develop in interesting and unusual ways. But while some patients swear by homeopathic treatments, many health professionals view the unproven alternative medicine as a money-making scheme backed only by pseudoscience.
Homeopathic medicine is made up of a combination of water that dissolves the active ingredient, and a few benign inactive ingredients. These unproven treatments are not usually regarded as dangerous, but as they continue to be marketed as cures for diseases, the FDA has finally decided to put its foot down. Hearings began in Washington in April to determine if manufacturers of homeopathic medicine would have to prove their products are a safe and effective treatment option.
Homeopathy includes a broad range of alternative cures, such as naturopathic medicines, ayurvedic medicines, eastern treatments like acupuncture, and much more. These treatments are sold as cures for issues as manageable as asthma, or even for diseases as serious as ebola. Despite its popularity, researchers worldwide extensively studied the effectiveness of homeopathic medicine and found that it does not work.
The scientific community believes that a positive response to a homeopathic treatment is directly caused by the placebo effect, which is defined as the phenomenon that occurs when a patient is given an inactive substance but sees an improvement in their condition. In summary, the patient believed it would work, so it did.
Health investigators in the United Kingdom and Australia have concluded that homeopathy does not work, urging the United States to follow suit. In Canada, a law called the Ontario Homeopathy Act calls for a new kind of self-regulation. However, critics believe that this new law is not a solid form of regulation. On the other hand, some advocates of homeopathic medicine are in support of the new evaluations, believing that the altered restrictions will weed out the frauds.
It appears likely that the state of homeopathic medicine will change, but the question of how much remains. It’s possible that the new regulations will require more detailed labeling and added consumer warnings. But if the harder route is taken, homeopathic remedies will be held to the same standards, and undergo the same tests, as scientifically proven pharmaceuticals and treatments.
Big Pharma Controversy
There are skeptics saying to “follow the money.” They are saying that the push to regulate homeopathic remedies is backed by Big Pharma funding. The belief is that pharmaceutical companies do not want competition from alternative sources.
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