I am a mother and grandmother who relies on homeopathy to keep my family healthy. Due to recent actions by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), homeopathy is under threat in the United States. The FDA has proposed new guidelines that would give them the power to remove properly labeled, properly manufactured homeopathic remedies from the market. Homeopathic remedies have been protected by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act since the 1930’s, but this new guidance threatens to re-categorize them as unapproved drugs.
Americans for Homeopathy Choice is a consumer advocacy group made up of mothers and others like me who are passionate about defending our freedom to choose homeopathy for our families. I have been actively involved with Americans for Homeopathy Choice as a volunteer advocating for homeopathy.
A History Lesson
Dr. Constantine Herring (1800-1880), introduced homeopathy to the United States. Dr. Herring was a devoted friend and follower of Samuel Hahnemann and is considered the father of homeopathy in America. He founded the first American homeopathic college and became the first president of the American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH) in 1844. The use of homeopathy in America spread rapidly. One of the reasons why it became so popular was because mothers became enthusiasts. They recognized quickly that homeopathy worked, and they appreciated its gentleness, especially for their children. Homeopathic doctors used tiny sugar pills coated with the super-dilution of substances that followed the principle of “Like Cures Like.” Mothers preferred the “sugar doctors” over the aggressive methods of the dominant doctors of the day.
Mothers also began purchasing their own homeopathic remedy kits. These “Domestic Kits” were developed by Dr. Herring in the 1830’s. Herring’s “Domestic Kits” became widely available at apothecaries throughout the country. Mothers loved these home remedy kits because they could be used over again, saving money on new medicines and preventing further visits from a doctor. Homeopathy was truly a “Mother’s Movement.”
Homeopathy gained favor in the United States throughout the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. By 1891, there were close to 14,000 practicing homeopaths in the United States, and at its height there were more than 100 homeopathic hospitals and 22 homeopathic medical schools.
Homeopathy was Replaced by New “Wonder Drugs”
However, the 1940’s saw many new discoveries in conventional medicine. With the discovery of antibiotics, mothers began to depend less on homeopathic and other natural remedies. Instead, they began looking more and more to the conventional doctors to prescribe these new “wonder drugs.” For the next three decades, while homeopathy continued to be widely used in other parts of the world, homeopathy in America went out of favor. A mother could bring her sick child to the doctor and after a round of antibiotics the child would be well. That is…until next time. Unfortunately, the “next times” grew closer together and the sick children started to develop chronic health issues. People, especially mothers, began to realize that the over-prescription of antibiotics was causing a new set of problems.
In recent years, mothers have once again begun looking to natural remedies and alternative medicine for help with their family’s health issues. With the internet, many mothers have rediscovered homeopathy. The increase in the use of homeopathic remedies has gotten the attention of the FDA. Those in the FDA today seem to be unaware of the long history and record of effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. If they would study history, they would learn that homeopathy was widely accepted by medical professionals, politicians and the American public. The Food Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 specifically protected homeopathic medicines as a special category of medicine, separate from chemical pharmaceutical drugs. This is because homeopathy is ultra-dilute, non-toxic and inherently safe.
The Draft Guidance issued by the FDA should be deeply concerning to all of us. I am upset that it threatens to undermine the protection and safety of homeopathic remedies that has been in place for so many years. It is important that each of us who cares about health freedom and who wishes to preserve our access to homeopathic remedies take action now. Americans for Homeopathy Choice has made it easy for us to take the necessary action steps to protect our freedom. When you go to the AFHC website you can sign up for a free membership which will keep you informed of updates. You can also get involved as a volunteer. I am involved on the leadership team for the Homeopathy Action Team. Our focus is on training volunteers to develop relationships with each of 535 Congressional offices across the United States. I have met with my U.S. Senators’ offices and my U.S. Representative’s office and have shared my story of why homeopathy is so important to me. Volunteers across the country are doing the same. We are raising awareness with our legislators on the importance of protecting our access to homeopathy.
We all make our mark on history. Each of us make decisions that affect future generations. Let our legacy be that we took a stand to protect health freedom and access to homeopathic remedies for future generations.