Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 in Germany. The system is based on the principle that “like cures like,” meaning that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people can also be used to cure similar symptoms in sick people. In fact, the word homeopathy comes from the Greek words for “like” and “suffering.”
The homeopathic product industry has been historically under-regulated, and the existing rules surrounding homeopathy are often confusing and arcane. There are also very few homeopathy-related enforcement actions from which industry members can glean guidance. Most recently, on September 30, 2016, the FDA issued a press release advising consumers to discontinue using homeopathic teething tablets and gels. The FDA stated that it “was not aware of any proven health benefit of the products, which are labeled to relieve teething symptoms in children.” As far as regulatory enforcement goes, this FDA warning represents a brief shower in an otherwise lengthy drought for homeopathic products.
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