FTC to Host September Workshop in Washington, DC, to Examine Advertising for Over-the-Counter Homeopathic Products
I am writing as a long-time home user of homeopathic products, as well as a medically-licensed practitioner of homeopathy. Homeopathic products were such a boon to my growing family--, preventing acute illnesses from developing into more complex ones, preventing countless ER visits for fevers, croupy coughs, or earaches in the middle of the night-- that I decided to go back to school to learn homeopathy to integrate into my allopathic family practice. Quite simply, there are situations in which homeopathy has proven to be the preferable form of medicine -- especially in ones in which allopathic medications might prove dangerous or inappropriate (in the case of certain antipyretics in flu-like illness of children, antibiotics in what are likely viral illnesses, or cough syrups in children's coughs). The beauty of homeopathic remedies is that they follow the dictum that we all recited when we entered the world of medical practice: they "do no harm." While the mechanism of their action is not understood by conventional science (nor is that of a large number of successful best-selling allopathic drugs, for that matter), one thing is very clear to me from my 30 years of home usage, and 25 years of professional practice, using homeopathic remedies: they do work.AND they are far safer than a large number of conventional meds. As a consumer, I was able to do a lot of good in assisting my family members with their acute illnesses with a simple, widely-available homeopathic handbook (of which there are now many). Nowadays, my daughter uses the internet to find the same information, and there are excellent websites available for securing reliable information. The best part is that the "wrong" remedy does no harm. I would be in favor of sellers having computer programs available at the point-of-sale which direct the consumer to more expedient and accurate choosing of remedies, so as to prevent trial-and-error. But again, I wish to emphasize, that the incorrect remedy does no harm. I wish that knowledge of homeopathy were more widely available to the public, and that homeopathic products were marketed as aggressively as allopathic pharmaceuticals are. Instead, what we are headed towards here is a monopoly by one approach to medicine, ie, the allopathic, which is certainly not the best approach in every health-care situation. While there are already hundreds of good studies showing that homeopathy is clinically efficacious, and almost no evidence whatsoever indicating any toxicities from its use, I long to see the day when homeopathic approach is common household knowledge.