FTC to Host September Workshop in Washington, DC, to Examine Advertising for Over-the-Counter Homeopathic Products
I would like to submit some observations and to thank you for considering our responses to the FTC's concerns about access to over the counter homeopathic remedies. I lived for a number of years in a tight-knit community, dedicated in part to alternative health care, where I learned extensively from my own and others' use of over the counter homeopathic remedies. With about one hundred people living and interacting in proximity everyone was able to observe and share their experiences with the remedies as applied. I see that period as an accelerated learning curve in the use of homeopathic treatment, but since then I have promoted and found receptivity to these basic self-help products wherever I'm living. In a time before the internet, when I originally took notice of over the counter homeopathic remedies, their application and efficacy came to me through the first-hand accounts of my neighbors and friends. I had not previously heard, nor could I really conceive, of anything like homeopathy, but also I did not consider the members of my community to be gullible people. I find to this day that the most successful conversion toward the use of homeopathics is as it was for me: to hear anecdotal evidence and then to use these remedies based on their over the counter delineations. In that vein, here are some examples from my own interactions with people using homeopathic remedies in their daily lives -- the remedy indications and the instances in which they provided relief: Arnica -- homeopathy's classic first aid remedy for blunt force trauma S.T. Fingers caught in the hinge side of a heavy industrial door. Had never used a homeopathic remedy before and when given Arnica was astounded by the immediate relief from pain. As someone accustomed to injury in his construction job, he took note a few hours later at how little his fingers hurt, considering how severely they had been crushed. D.M. All four wisdom teeth removed at one time. Took one dose of Arnica before the operation and continued at regular intervals after. Did not fill the pain prescription or take any other medication. By bedtime: no swelling and was able to sleep. Causticum -- for burns, burning sensation J.G. Fell asleep in the sun with his shirt off. By evening in great distress with sunburn. Couldn't be comforted or even hold still until given Causticum. Showed up for dinner having forgotten about the sunburn. B.P. Tripped and landed with both palms on a hot woodstove. Crying in pain, skin bright red and beginning to blister. Causticum given immediately, with immediate relief. By the next day the skin on the palms was returning to normal color and texture. Chamomilla -- teething pain At least a dozen children: Restless irritability and inconsolable crying during teething. When given Chamomilla a child would become calm and be able to sleep. Natrum Sulphuricum -- head injury with dizziness and nausea P.S. Landed on his head at high school pole-vault competition. By 2nd day his mom said he was still in bed feeling sick and unable to eat. Ten minutes after mom gave Natrum sulphuricum P.S. came into the kitchen announcing he was starving. No more dizziness. G.L. Dog tugging on the leash pulled her off a curb and she fell on her face. Bloody cheek and black eye of less distress than headache and nausea. Took Natrum sulphuricum out of desperation while waiting for doctor to see her in 3 days. She later related that only when the remedy relieved her head and stomach symptoms could she take note of the damage to her face. I find that the current availability and label descriptions for over the counter homeopathics serve to eliminate much suffering. They are part of a long tradition and practice of home and self-care-I once viewed a basic kit of homeopathic remedies in a museum display of items the pioneers brought along to the west coast! I urge you to continue to allow our current access to homeopathic remedies with your decisions in these hearings.