Homeopathy in the 21st Century, and Comparisons with Hahnemann
Background Homeopathy has survived the test of time over more than 200 years and has been accepted by many consumers and practitioners across the world as being an important constituent of health care. It continues to provide successful outcomes in a wide range of conditions using traditional and newer approaches to practice and is expanding into integrated health care. This article discusses modern developments in homeopathic theory, homeopharmaceutics, homeotherapeutics, and patient access. It also considers how Hahnemann might have responded to these changes.
Commentary Theoretical explanations for homeopathic mechanisms of action are complex and can involve ideas that conflict with established thinking amongst non-homeopaths. The use of different pharmacopoeial standards in the manufacture of remedies and variations in nomenclature continues to cause confusion for practitioners and patients. It also causes problems for manufacturers in providing the documentation required by national regulatory authorities to support licensing applications. Interaction with these bodies and other stakeholders is vital, to ensure the continued availability of a full range of homeopathic medicines. The incorporation of a homeopathic section within the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.), which is used by many countries globally, is a positive development in promoting the standardisation of remedies. With increasing reliance now on evidence-based medicine, scientifically trained colleagues and sceptics have cast doubt on the validity of the observational studies that form much of the homeopathic evidence base.
Recommendations The homeopathy community should engage as fully as possible in robust research to validate homeopathic practices, thus ensuring the viability of homeopathy in the future. There is an ongoing need for homeopathic practitioners to review their procedures regularly and take account of changes in patient demographics and lifestyle, and in modern methods of health care delivery. Colleagues should also be aware of patients' emerging abilities to critically assess treatment options and to judge outcomes. Future opportunities exist for homeopathy in new concepts of integrated health care that includes a range of other therapies, as well as in veterinary and environmental health. There is also the possibility of homeopathy joining social care services to improve accessibility to health care by making it available in a range of different community settings.
Conclusion Hahnemann would likely have been unimpressed by the less positive contemporary influences on homeopathic practice.
Keywordstheory - homeopharmaceutics - homeotherapeutics - patient access - developments in practice - future opportunities
• A new approach to describing homeopathy is presented under four headings: homeopathic theory, homeopharmaceutics, homeotherapeutics, and access to homeopathy.
• A personal review of examples of modern-day homeopathic practice is presented and compared with the situation during Hahnemann's time.
• The importance of interacting fully with patients is highlighted.
• Opportunities to respond to changing attitudes and demographics in patients are identified.
• Suggestions are offered on how future developments in homeopathic practice, including engaging with an integrated approach to health care delivery, will assist in maintaining its ongoing viability.
• The article considers whether homeopathy's founder would have approved of modern developments in practice.
Eingereicht: 16. November 2020
Angenommen: 16. Februar 2021
Artikel online veröffentlicht:
09. September 2021
© 2021. Faculty of Homeopathy. This article is published by Thieme.
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