Homeopathy is a 200-year-old approach to healing that utilizes products prepared in accordance with standards set forth in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) and its current revision service (HPRS). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates these products as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and requires that homeopathic producers be registered as pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Nutraceuticals are defined by the American Nutraceutical Association (ANA) as functional foods that have potentially disease-preventing and health-promoting properties: they are naturally-occurring dietary substances in pharmaceutical dosage forms.
Interestingly, by definition, these two types of products seem different but in actuality, they are quite the same. They both offer an alternative to conventional OTC drugs. They have similar pharmaceutical dosage forms and uses. Their sources are sometimes the same, specifically those of herbal or botanical origin. Often, one can find the same herbal component of a nutraceutical in a homeopathic form. The basic difference is in the method of production.
Products are labeled homeopathic only when all active ingredients are prepared according to the HPRS. When a formulation contains a homeopathically-prepared herbal as well as the same herbal in pure form, for example, the product is considered a nutraceutical rather than a homeopathic.
Homeopathy originated and has flourished in Europe for hundreds of years. Europe has been at the forefront of alternative and holistic medicine. A publication from the European American Coalition of Homeopathy (EACH) titled Homeotherapy states the following: For a legitimate classification of a pharmaceutical (or nutraceutical) as a ‘homeopathic medication,’ it is not the manner of use, but the solely the aspect of manufacture which is decisive. These medications are produced in accordance with pharmaceutical criteria, which are stipulated within the official homeopathic pharmacopeias and the valid, authorized guidelines of the European Union.”
This advanced European approach to homeopathy is becoming more popular in the United States. It recognizes that homepathically-produced substances can be used in acute situations, in chronic illness, for specific indications and for support of organs and systems as homeopathic nutraceuticals.
Cell salts and Bach flower remedies are some of the earliest homeopathics and can be considered nutraceuticals in their clinical uses. Their use is the common thread that weaves together homeopathics and nutraceuticals.
Many homeopathics products that one sees in health food stores contain well-recognized herbals which are also available as nutraceuticals. For example, a homeopathic formulation for stress may contain ginseng for its adaptogenic effect and gotu kola for its anti-stress effect, plus royal jelly, a natural source of vitamin B, pantothenic acid. Ginseng and gotu kola, besides being nutraceuticals, are also official homeopathic substances, while royal jelly is a popular nutraceutical. Thus by combining homeopathics with nutraceuticals, you get the best of both worlds.
Homeopathic nutraceuticals are a modern-day amalgamation of both homeopathy and nutrition. This is a contemporary concept whose time has come. Homeopathics and nutraceuticals are currently regulated by the FDA through both drug regulations and the DSHEA. These products provide a safe alternative to habit-forming conventional medicine.
Annamarie Pamphilis is a naturopath and director of the Health and Balance Institute located in Lakewood, Ohio at Holistic Lakewood, 15217 Madison Ave.
Annamarie Pamphilis is a naturopath and director of the Health and Balance Institute located in Lakewood, Ohio at Holistic Lakewood. She specializes in balancing the body's systems naturally to achieve health and balance utilizing herbal supplementation, homeopathy and detoxification therapies. The Health and Balance Institute is located at 15217 Madison Ave., Lakewood, Ohio 44107.