Homeopathic remedies are made from plant, mineral, and animal extracts and diluted in
varying degrees in order to avoid unpleasant side effects. Although many are poisonous in
their crude state, others are common medicinal herbs, foods and spices. Homeopathic
medications have been incorporated in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) since 1938.
The Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States was added to the list of official
Compendia by Senator Royal Copeland at the original writing of the act. Thus, homeopathic
drug products are "drugs" within the meaning of the FDCA, 21 U.S.C. paragraph
321 (g)(1)(A), 351(b), and 352 (e) and (g). ).
The process of producing remedies is very precise.
Every major homeopathic company or pharmacy around the world follows the same protocol.
To make remedies derived
from soluble substances, such as plants, parts of the plant are dissolved in a 90%
alcohol. This mixture is left in the dark for 2-4 weeks. It is occasionally shaken and
then strained through a press. That produces a so-called Mother Tincture. Insoluble
substances, such as metals and minerals, are first ground continually (that is called
trituration) until they become soluble. This procedure allows diluting them in the same
way as naturally soluble substances.
To produce a homeopathic
remedy, the mother tincture has to be potentized. Potentization is a combination of
dilution and vigorous shaking ("succussion"). The progressively increasing
dilutions are called potencies. The process consists of dilution of the mother
tincture in an alcohol/water mixture following one of two scales. In the decimal scale,
indicated as X, the dilution factor is 1:10. In the centimal scale, indicated as C, the
substance is diluted 1:100. For example, if the label states: Belladonna 6C, it means that
the mother tincture of belladonna has been diluted in the following way. To produce 1C
potency, one part of the tincture was added to 99 parts of alcohol/water mixture and than
shaken vigorously (50-100 times). To produce 2C potency, one part of the 1C potency is
added to 99 parts of an alcohol/water mixture and shaken again. In order to get to 6C this
procedure had to be repeated 6 times. In modern homeopathic pharmacies special machines
usually do it.
This procedure has been
ridiculed by conventional biomedical science for many years. Recently though numerous
studies have shown that a combination of repeated dilutions in a combination with shaking
allows to maintain biological activity of the diluted substance. If the substance has been
just diluted without shaking, its biological activity disappears as the level of dilution
Homeopathic remedies are
sold as "over the counter" medications. For the majority of homeopathic remedies
no doctors prescription is required. FDA regulations require that over the counter
medications have indications marked on the label. These indications are very far from the
idea of prescribing for the person as a whole and could be very misleading. You might
receive a remedy for the chief complaint of progressive weakness and read on the label:
"bedwetting". Dont be disappointed, your homeopath is aware of that. Let
me just reiterate for you that homeopathic prescribing is directed towards stimulating
major integrative systems of our body, not to suppress the symptom. Ten different people
with the same ailment might need ten different remedies. The reverse is also true. Ten
people with different conventional diagnoses might need the same remedy because their main
characteristics as a whole correspond to the same remedy.