Homeopathy is based on the theory of ‘treating like with like’. The way homeopathic remedies work isn’t clear, but there doesn’t seem to be any safety risk with using them. Isolated reports have suggested that homeopathy may have positive effects in the treatment of fibromyalgia, but evidence isn’t conclusive. Trials which investigated the role of these remedies in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis gave inconsistent results.
What is it?
Homeopathy is a form of treatment founded by Samuel Hahnemann in the 18th century. According to the Society of Homeopaths, homeopathy is based on the theory of ‘treating like with like’ and an observation that symptoms of an illness are identical to those experienced by a healthy person treated for that illness. Homeopathic remedies are produced by diluting (watering down) an active substance that causes similar symptoms in the belief that this will reduce the likelihood of harm.
Homeopathy is practised by professional homeopaths who are qualified to prescribe remedies according to their diagnosis. However, homeopathic granules, tablets, powders and drops are readily available over the counter in pharmacies and health food shops throughout the UK.
How does it work?
Similar to traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy is a holistic method of treatment. We don’t fully understand how homeopathic treatments work. Remedies are often diluted to the point where there may be no molecules of active ingredient left.
Is it safe?
Homeopathic remedies are considered to be well tolerated, although allergic reactions (like rashes) have been reported. Some people also find their symptoms become worse at the start of treatment.
Interactions with other drugs haven’t been well studied, although they’re unlikely given the high dilution of the remedies.
Many homeopathic remedies can be used in the treatment of various forms of arthritis, and dosage hasn’t been well studied. The homeopath or homeopathic pharmaceutical company should recommend a dose.
Homeopathy trials for rheumatoid arthritis
A summary of the scientific evidence on homeopathy for the treatment of rheumatoid artritis. Read more
Homepathy trials for osteoarthritis
A summary of the scientific evidence on homeopathy for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Read more
Homeopathy trials for fibromyalgia
A summary of the scientific evidence on homeopathy for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Read more
References for the evidence on homeopathy. Read more