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There are both advantages and disadvantages to using homeopathic medications which vary depending on the nature of the illness and the method of treatment. The main advantages of homeopathic medications include natural ingredients, limited side effects, and ability to use them in conjunction with other medications. Disadvantages of homeopathic medications include potential ineffectiveness, potentially harmful effects, and lack of strict regulation by industry organizations.
Many individuals elect to pursue treatment through homeopathic medications because they are comprised of natural ingredients. The use of herbs, spices, and vitamins from natural sources are generally considered to be very safe for the body. These remedies are available to pregnant women and children when conventional medicine might be unsafe. Due to their natural source, most homeopathic medications also have fewer side effects than conventional medications. Side effects associated with homeopathic or natural medicine are generally not as severe or intense as those associated with synthetic medications.
The milder side effects and use of natural ingredients means that homeopathic medications can usually be used with conventional medications without additional adverse effects. While synthetic drugs can often influence each other within the body, homeopathic medicines work in harmony to promote overall immune system health. Some individuals also elect to pursue both homeopathic and conventional treatment simultaneously to maximize the benefits of both options.
Potential ineffectiveness and harmful side effects are two main disadvantages of homeopathic medicine. Natural remedies don’t always work, which could be an issue for individuals who chose homeopathic treatments over conventional medications that are proven to be effective. Since homeopathic remedies are more widely available, some individuals attempt to self-medicate without consulting a healthcare professional first. This could lead to harmful side effects if the treatment is used incorrectly.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of homeopathic medication is the lack of strict regulation. Lab-created medications must undergo rigorous testing before they are approved and released to the public, but most homeopathic medications are not tested or assessed in clinical trials. In the United States, for instance, approval of these natural treatments by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires only a statement from the manufacturer filed 90 days before the supplement is released to the public stating that the supplement is safe, as proof of safe manufacturing processes, meaning that no contaminants are added and no supplements are stored in an unsafe manner. This makes it difficult for consumers to obtain information about whether or not the treatments are safe, and whether or not they even contain the ingredients that are listed on the bottle. Many suppliers are honest about the safety of their treatments, but consumers will not always be able to figure out which companies are the most reputable, which could make choosing the right homeopathic supplement a difficult task.