Of all homeopathic products on the market, combination remedies are arguably the most popular. You can find them prominently displayed in the homeopathic sections of most health food stores and placed near the cash registers in Whole Foods during cold season. Bestsellers, these products offer us the hope of a simple and straightforward solution: one medication for one diagnosis of anything that ails us, conditions ranging from teething, to head colds, to premenstrual syndrome, to hemorrhoids. But do they work?
It’s not hard to grasp the concept involved in manufacturing combination remedies. Two or more remedies known to relieve a particular symptom are combined in the same tablet. The expectation is that either the chosen remedies will enhance each other’s actions, or that at least one of the remedies will be exactly what the patient needs.
These remedies exist right on the border between allopathic (conventional) medicine and homeopathic medicine. On one hand, these preparations are prescribed for a particular ailment in the same way as conventional drugs. On the other hand, the components of combination remedies are homeopathically prepared substances. Their proponents argue that the combination remedies are much better then conventional drugs, as they have no side effects.
PROS AND CONS OF COMBINATION REMEDIES
Combination remedies sold in stores are proprietary to their manufacturers. As they are proprietary medications, I feel uncomfortable rating their efficacy. Nonetheless, I don’t want to leave you guessing about them without reliable information. So let me just say that, in my experience, all the major homeopathic manufacturers produce equally good combination preparations. I never use them myself, however some of my patients report that various brands produce more or less similar results. It is also my understanding that at the beginning of the 20th century different companies sold and bought the recipes of efficacious combinations from each other.
This makes the process of selection easier. Major companies on the American market that offer combination remedies are Boiron, Hyland/Standard, Washington Homeopathic Products, and 1800HOMEOPATHY. There are quite a few smaller companies out there, too, and companies change hands from time to time, which is a great benefit to the consumer. Mergers or splits of these companies mean only one thing for you: a continuous exchange of experience leading to better products.
What are these remedies useful in treating? They can provide significant relief for self-limiting conditions in people with excellent or average health. There are impressive remedies for vertigo, acute sinus infections, teething, and hemorrhoids, for instance. The major homeopathic companies use combinations that have been tested for years and are shown effective, but to reiterate, only for the temporary relief of self-limiting conditions. Treating serious and or chronic conditions with combination remedies isn’t a good idea. In these situations you are much better off seeking help of a qualified homeopath.
You should avoid combination remedies, or any other homeopathic preparations, while you are receiving professional homeopathic care, as these preparations might interfere with single remedies used by classical homeopaths. For many consumers, taking homeopathic combination remedies is a good place to start testing the homeopathic waters, so to speak. Real healing requires an understanding of individual traits. My new book Easy Homeopathy teaches you how to achieve complete cure, as opposed to the temporary suppression of symptoms. I hope you begin your homeopathic journey today with a little help from my book and a lot of support from your common sense.