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At the drugstore, I’ve noticed a few homeopathic cold remedies. What are they?

At the drugstore, I’ve noticed a few homeopathic cold remedies. What are they?

This form of alternative medicine, which was invented in Germany during the 18th century, is based on the principal of “like cures like.” In other words, its practitioners believe that minute doses of offending substances can stimulate the body’s natural defenses, helping the body fend off colds, allergies and other ailments.

The practice is controversial because the final remedy often only contains traces of the offending compound. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, some of homeopathy’s key tenants don’t match up with the laws of sciences and physics. What’s more, there’s no conclusive research that proves homeopathic medicines are any more effective than a placebo.

If you do want to give a homeopathic cold remedy a try, make sure that you consult your pediatrician first, as you should with any supplement or natural remedy. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate these products, so there’s no guarantee that they contain the concentration or ingredients that are listed on their packages. Only your physician can check whether or not a treatment is safe and won’t interact with any medications your child is currently taking.

Do you give your kids any alternative or natural remedies? Join the conversation.

Check out my Expert Blog next week to learn when your child really needs antibiotics.



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