For Boiron, this refers above all to medicines that are:
- registered with health authorities and comply with quality pharmaceutical standards;
- prescribed and recommended by healthcare professionals (doctors, midwives, pharmacists, etc.);
- used by approximately 300 million people worldwide. (1-2)
In France, 3 in 4 French people, 77% of French people have tried homeopathy. (3)
Homeopathic medicines are useful in most common illnesses.
They provide healthcare professionals with specific responses in many areas: ENT, gynaecology, paediatrics, dermatology, etc. They are used by many doctors (GPs and specialists), midwives, dentists and veterinarians
Furthermore, homeopathic medicines are increasingly used to help cancer patients ease the adverse effects of their treatments or disease: this is referred to as supportive care.
There is more than one way to treat oneself with homeopathic medicines. In some cases, a doctor trained in homeopathic therapy may prescribe a treatment suited to your own circumstances: based on your symptoms but also your medical history, sensitivity, etc.
In other cases, it is possible to self-medicate. With advice from the pharmacist, homeopathy can provide a reliable, fast solution suited to the circumstances. Some homeopathic medicines are intended for family medication, easy to use and adapted to common illnesses.
If in doubt, or if the symptoms persist, seek medical attention.
The doctor can prescribe homeopathic medicines in an “acute” situation, i.e. to treat a condition which occurs suddenly and occasionally. In this case, the treatment is prescribed for a few hours or a few days.
They can also use them for certain recurrent diseases, i.e. which come back regularly, such as pollen allergy, migraines, rheumatism, herpes, etc. In this case, the doctor prescribes a treatment for a longer period of time, in an attempt to reduce or even eradicate the number, duration and intensity of the episodes.
In all cases, the doctor opts for a treatment suited to the patient and his/her specific response to the disease.
Homeopathy does not treat cancer. However, in addition to conventional treatments, it can be (among other treatment methods) a valuable asset to improve the patients’ quality of life. Prescribed or recommended by a healthcare professional, homeopathic medicines can help patients tolerate the side effects of the disease or treatments (e.g. chemotherapy or radiotherapy). This is referred to as supportive care in oncology.
According to a study conducted in 18 French treatment centres in 2010, 60% of cancer patients use complementary medicines. 1 in 3 of these patients said they used homeopathic medicines (4).
A “Living better with cancer” booklet was produced by Boiron laboratories, in partnership with Pr Ivan KRAKOWSKI, Medical oncologist, Chairman of AFSOS**, and in conjunction with healthcare professionals with expertise in homeopathy and patients.
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Homeopathic medicines are for everybody. GPs or specialists integrate them into their practice as they are useful in many areas: general medicine, paediatrics, ENT, allergology, gynaecology, etc.
Homeopathic medicines can therefore be prescribed or recommended to adults, children and elderly people.
Pregnant women can also use homeopathy. However, care should be taken to comply with the doctor’s prescription and the precautions for use mentioned on the packaging or leaflet.
Homeopathy has been used to treat animals for more than 150 years:
- pets such as dogs, cats or new domestic animals;
- farm animals: cows, goats, sheep, pigs, poultry, rabbits, etc.
Veterinarians are trained in homeopathy and breeders have also taken on board how useful this therapy is for their livestock: non-toxic to animals, they leave no residue in milk or meat. Organic farming certification bodies recommend the use of homeopathy in their specifications.
1- B. Poitevin, WHO Policy and Practice, Integrating homoeopathy in health systems, 1999 http://www.who.int/bulletin/archives/77(2)160.pdf
2- World Health Report, WHO Global Atlas of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Map Volume, 2005
3- “French people and homeopathy” computer graphics created by IPSOS, study among 2,000 individuals. October 2018
4- Rodrigues, Annals of oncology, vol 21, supplement 8, October 2010