I’m Erin White with today’s health news. Should
doctors recommend homeopathy over conventional medicine? Two experts debated the issue in
The BMJ this week. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health,
homeopathic medicine tends to be holistic and often requires the patient to take an
active part in his or her treatment. Many homeopathic therapies are based on the idea
of enabling the body to heal itself. On the other hand, conventional medicine mainly focuses
on understanding and correcting the underlying problems that are causing a patient’s symptoms.
Dr. Peter Fisher, the Director of Research at Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine,
UK, wrote “When integrated with standard care homeopathy is safe, popular with patients,
improves clinical outcomes without increasing costs, and reduces the use of potentially
hazardous drugs, including [antibiotics].” However, Dr. Edzard Ernst, a professor of
complementary medicine at the University of Exeter wrote “In summary, the [ideas] of
homeopathy are implausible, its benefits do not outweigh its risks, and its costs and
opportunity costs are considerable.” Ask your doctor which treatment options may be
best for you.