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Homeopathy and pediatrics

Many parents worry about having to resort to pharmaceuticals for their children. Frequent use of antibiotics for recurring colds has led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Long-term use of pain killers for painful conditions like migraines can lead to liver damage or opioid addiction. Chronic use of steroid puffers for asthma can lead to weight gain, mood or behavior changes, bone loss, weakness, eye problems such as glaucoma, and slowing of growth.

Homeopathic medicine offers a safe option which can compliment everything else that a parent uses to help their children improve their health.

Does homeopathy really work?

When I suggest homeopathic medicine might be able to help and that it has no harmful side-effects, I’m often met with an awkward silence. I have written this article for the skeptical yet open-minded parent who is wondering whether homeopathic medicine might help their children’s health.

Skeptics argue that the mechanism by which homeopathy works has not been identified, and that there has not been enough research done. They point to the fact that homeopathic medicines are too diluted to have any biological effect, dismissing homeopathy as mere placebo.

All of these can be viewed as valid arguments against using homeopathy for our children. However, just because we don’t know how it works doesn’t mean it should be dismissed. Many patients swear by homeopathic medicine, and it is one of the more popular alternative therapies used in children.

Homeopathy as royal medicine used by millions

To the consternation of skeptics, Prince Charles recently decided to become a patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy, a British organization dedicated to promoting homeopathy.

Challenging the skeptic is the reality that over 200 million people worldwide use homeopathic medicine. Are they all deluded? Why is it that the national health care systems of Brazil, India, Pakistan, Switzerland, Chile and Mexico have all included  homeopathy, some of them subsidizing its availability to their citizens?

Research into homeopathic medicine & childhood conditions

The argument skeptics use most often is that research into homeopathy is inadequate. This is simply not true. There have been numerous studies investigating the effects of homeopathic medicine on various conditions. Tragically, they all get ignored by the powers that be.

The following is an incomplete but promising list of research into childhood conditions where homeopathy has shown promising results:

  • Allergies: A 2012 study showed that symptoms of patients undergoing homeopathic treatment improved substantially and conventional medication dosage could be substantially reduced. Real-life effect assessed indicated potential for enhancing therapeutic measures and reducing healthcare cost.
  • Asthma: Another 2012 study showed that homeopathic medicines prescribed by experienced homeopathic practitioners improved the severity of asthma in the children.
  • Tonsillitis: This 2014 study used a homeopathic complex which resulted in significant anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities in children with acute viral tonsillitis. No patients reported any adverse effects.
  • Migraines : A 2013 study conducted across numerous countries evaluated the usefulness of homeopathy for the prevention and treatment of migraine in children. frequency, severity, and duration of migraine attacks decreased significantly, and children spent significantly less time off school.
  • Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI):This 2016 study demonstrated a reduction in URTI’s, with a reduction in antibiotic use.
  • ADHD: In this 2015 study, 20 children aged 5-15 were followed over a 12 month period and compared to 10 children who were treated with conventional approaches to ADHD. Treatment by a homeopath was associated with sustained, increasing improvements.
  • Atopic pediatric disease (Asthma, hay fever and/or eczema): This longitudinal study ran between 1998 to 2014.  325 children with an atopic disease (eczema, asthma, and/or hay fever) were followed. 75.8% had moderate to major improvement in the short-term. At re-evaluation after 5-10 years, complete remission of atopic symptoms was obtained in 70.1% of the children.

Is homeopathic medicine a placebo?

Most homeopathic remedies are derived from plants, minerals, and animals. These natural substances undergo a process of step-wise dilution and vigorous shaking (succussion), a process called potentization. Dilutions are to such a degree that often not even a single molecule of the original substance is left in the remedy. No wonder skeptics of homeopathy abound!

Given the fact that modern medicine is biologically based, homeopathy really doesn’t make sense. Skeptics dismiss it as mere placebo. The hypothesis that homeopathic potencies are placebo was tested in a 1986 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the prestigious journal The LancetTitled Is Homeopathy a Placebo response? Controlled Trial of Homeopathic Potency, With Pollen in Hay Fever as Model, the study involved 144 patients suffering from hay fever. It found homeopathic medicine to have a significantly positive effect.

Not that placebo is such a bad thing. As this article titled All in the Mind? How Research is Proving the True Healing Power of the Placebo states, which appeared in The Guardian in 2016, the mind’s ability to heal the body is now being taken seriously by the scientific community. Given that homeopathy is a mind-body approach to healing, children benefit from homeopathic medicine both physically and emotionally.

Is homeopathy based on biochemistry?

Modern medicine is based on a mechanistic, biochemical model. The concept of bioenergy does exist in holistic health care traditions such as Chinese Medicine (Chi or Qi) and Ayurvedic Medicine (Prana), but so far, this has never been explored in the conventional medical model.

Homeopathy promotes the body’s self-healing abilities

As this article in Psychology Today titled How to tap into Your Self-Healing Superpowers points out, the practice of medicine is ideally a spiritual practice. The best medicine promotes our inner healer. Homeopathy works by stimulating the body’s own natural defenses, helping to promote self-healing. Many people confuse homeopathy with herbal or other natural or holistic approaches to health care. It’s true that many homeopathic medicines are derived from plants. However, homeopathic medicine also uses minerals as well as substances from the animal kingdom.

Is homeopathic medicine regulated in Ontario?

Homeopathy is regulated in many European countries. In Canada, only Ontario regulates homeopathy. The mission of the College of Homeopathy of Ontario is to protect the public interest through self-regulation of the practice of homeopathy by setting standards for competent and ethical practice.

So, is homeopathy good for children?

At Full Circle Healing Ottawa, as a homeopathic doctor with over 35 years of experience in holistic health care, homeopathic medicine is definitely good for kids. Their immune system benefits, and they respond well when suffering from cold and flu. Acute treatment helps them recover quickly, while constitutional treatment helps prevent future relapses.

My hope is that skeptical but open-minded parents have found this article intriguing and interesting. At least consider homeopathy as a safe and complimentary method to help your children thrive, with no harmful side-effects.

Contact me

If you would like further information on my Ottawa homeopathic practice, please visit my website at Full Circle Healing Ottawa. Contact me by email, julek.meissner@gmail.com, or by phone, 613.234.5151, or click here to make an appointment or to set up a FREE pre-consultation.