For common conditions that come on quickly such as colds and muscle pain from overexertion, or chronic conditions such as arthritis or some allergies, homeopathic medicines are used by millions of patients and recommended by healthcare professionals around the world.

Homeopathy is a therapeutic method that uses highly diluted natural substances to help your body heal itself. These active ingredients relieve the same symptoms they cause when given in high doses (i.e., a micro-dose of coffee bean helps nervousness).

Weighing the advantages

Originating in Europe and building a remarkable safety record over the last 200 years, these over-the-counter drugs offer the following advantages:

  1. They're natural. These drugs work naturally with the body without causing drowsiness or sleeplessness.

  2. They don't interact with conventional medications, herbs or supplements.  Therefore, allowing you to complement other treatments; there’s also no risk of overdose.

  3. They don't suppress symptoms. Patients and healthcare professionals can detect and respond faster if a more serious condition should arise.

  4. They don't contraindicate with pre-existing conditions. These drugs can even be used by high-risk patients with heart disease or liver problems.

  5. They don't contain any of the ingredients questioned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for young children. An FDA panel questioned the safety and efficacy of decongestants, antihistamines and cough suppressants in children under six years of age. Homeopathy fills a void for cough, cold, flu and allergy treatment options for little bodies.

  6. They're even kid-friendly. Doling out the remedy can escalate into a wrestling match, ending with you wondering about the dangers of giving more due to spillage. Easy-to-use homeopathic medicines taste sweet and make administration much easier.

Look for these medicines in many different forms such as tablets, gels, ointments and creams, syrups, eye drops and suppositories. The most traditional form is melt-away pellets that dissolve quickly under the tongue without water.

Homeopathic medicines are a great first choice when self-medicating. They work best when taken at the first sign of illness, so you can safely take them as soon as you develop symptoms. Look for them in national drug store chains and natural product stores.