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 –  Nearly 40 percent of Americans depend on homeopathy or homeopathic medicine, to prevent or treat symptoms of a medical condition. Homeopathy is only now being seriously studied by mainstream medical science, but this alternative medical practice can be traced all the way back to the days of the ancient Greeks. The German doctor Samuel Hahnemann formalized the practice of homeopathy, publishing an exhaustive guide on the subject in 1796.
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What is Homeopathy?

There was a belief called “like cures like” that was based on the principle that you could stimulate the body to fight a disease by using a very diluted dose of a substance to produce mild symptoms of the disease you were trying to cure. Another belief known as the “law of minimum dose” proposed that the smallest or most diluted remedy would have the best chance of stimulating health and reducing the risk of toxicity or harm. Both of these theories supported the idea that homeopathic remedies could stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

What are Homeopathic Remedies?

Homeopathic remedies typically relied on diluted extracts from plants, mineral powders or animals such as crushed whole bees. These are now available to consumers as ointments, gels, drops, creams and tablets. They may be purchased over the counter or as remedies suggested by a homeopathic practitioner.

Are there Any Natural Remedies for Allergies?

There are a number of homeopathic products for allergies and sinus problems, which seem to alleviate some symptoms and help sufferers feel more comfortable. A 2012 study conducted in Austria found some support for these claims and verified that a small number of patients suffering from seasonal allergies did see a decrease in symptoms with the use of classical homeopathic remedies.

Homeopathic remedies for allergies include nasal saline irrigation, butterbur extract, honey and acupuncture. There is some research evidence to support the use of nasal saline irrigation (inserting sterile salt water into one nostril and draining it out the other using gravity). This is generally safe if sterile water is used to prepare the saline and if devices including neti pots are properly cleaned. Other herbal preparations or approaches include butterbur extract, which seems to exert an anti-histamine effect. Honey can reduce throat pain but is not safe for children under 1-year-old. Acupuncture may reduce pain, reduce nasal swelling and reduce nasal secretions.

Do Natural Cold Remedies Work?

Colds and flu are among the most common illnesses and affect millions of people every year. There are several homeopathic remedies for colds and flu that include, zinc, vitamin C, Echinacea and probiotics. Some research supports the use of zinc taken as lozenges, tablets or syrup to reduce the length and severity of colds if taken within the first 24 hours of symptoms.

Can Vitamin C Cure a Cold?

Vitamin C may reduce the length and severity of colds but does not prevent colds. Caused by viruses, colds and flu cannot be cured with medicine, but their symptoms can be temporarily alleviated. A number of homeopathic alternatives including cough syrups, decongestants and other cold and flu over-the-counter medicines are available. While there is some research that supports Echinacea and probiotics to prevent or help to treat colds, more studies are needed to ensure their efficacy.

If you notice symptoms of an allergy, sinus problems, cold or flu, talk to your physician, to learn about your treatment options. Be sure to mention symptoms including fever and other sudden onset of a stuffy nose, feeling of fullness in your face, and tenderness or pain over the sinuses, which may necessitate additional treatment.

Ask Your Doctor about Homeopathic Options

If you're looking for natural alternative medical products, you'll find a wide variety of homeopathic formulas here at drugstore.com. There are now ready-made products that contain these traditional ingredients available on the market. drugstore.com has homeopathic products that serve as alternatives to over-the-counter formulas for digestion, muscle and joint problems, eye and ear concerns, chronic pain and poor sleep. There are even homeopathic products for first aid, including ointments, creams and oral supplements.

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