Homeopathy is a system of complementary medicine in which illnesses are treated with minute doses of natural substances that, in larger amounts, would produce symptoms of the ailment. Or, as my Nan would have it, "like cures like". It is most popularly used by sufferers of skin conditions and, we our readers will no doubt be aware, people suffering with hair loss. We take a closer look at this much maligned aspect of medicine and whether it can offer serious help to people in desperate need.
The Upside Of Homeopathy
People turn to homeopathy for a variety of reasons. Some simply do not wish to engage with modern health services - and they may have a point when pharmaceutical companies readily accept that their mass marketed medicines will be guaranteed not to work for a significant minority of the population. Hair loss sufferers will no doubt point at the two FDA approved hair loss medications (Minoxodil and Finasteride) which are known to be effective for a little over half of people to whom it is prescribed or recommended - Indeed, the only oral medication available to halt the progress of hair loss is not even approved for use by women.
By far the most popular reason for choosing a homeopathic remedy are the potential side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Because homeopathic remedies only use natural ingredients these side effects are reduced to an effective zero... which can be of massive importance. For example, some children using asthma inhalers can develop unusual facial hair or suffer from growth problems. For these children a solution which treats the root cause of their problem but avoids the problematic ingredients that the inhalers use can make a huge difference to their lives.
Why Don't We All Use Homeopathic Remedies?
The fact is that homeopathy has a less than enviably reputation in the world of professional medicine. From one perspective it might be seen to threaten or undermine the work of modern healthcare providers. But it is the lack of studies proving their efficacy which really hold them back. National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia concluded there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective. Despite claims that up to 6 million people in the UK see practitioners of complimentary and alternative medicine (including homeopathy), Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer has deemed it ‘rubbish’. It would seem she is definitively of the view that providers are, knowingly or unwittingly, conning their clients - and she is not alone. The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia concluded there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective. Indeed they went further by adding, “Homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic or serious. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject and delay treatments for which there is good evidence of safety and effectiveness.”
So Who Should Be Using It?
While homeopathic treatments should not replace, or even delay, taking prescribed medications they can be used in conjunction with them, another benefit of containing no potentially harmful ingredients is that they will not negatively interact with any other drugs in the system... in fact, according to both the British and Australian medical teams, they are not likely to react with anything, at all , in any way.
Who Does Use Them?
The figure of six million UK people visiting providers of alternative medicine each year suggests there is enormous demand for these treatments. We fear this is mostly desperate people looking for support that they have been unable to find at the hands of modern medicine, which for people with life-threatening conditions is tragic. For others with grumbling conditions which merely make life uncomfortable on a day to day basis, a long list that would include haemorrhoids (for which steroid cream would be the prescription) or arthritus, I suspect most of us could understand the desire to want to do something.. especially when you feel let down by your doctors.
Is It Of Any Use In the Fight Against Hair Loss?
The short answer is no. Unfortunately, the absence of reliable drugs on the market that can make a significant difference means we will probably have to put with the outrageous claims made by the providers.
The fact is that since the days of ancient Greece, when Aristotle rubbed pigeon poo into his scalp, men have desperately hunted down the magic ingredient that will see us suddenly sprout beautiful thick hair. In more recent times Snake Oil salesmen would tour the USA offering panaceas that had been shown to cure all manner of ailments from hair loss to a lack of libido. The sad truth then, as it is now, is that desperate people are always willing to suspend their disbelief if they want to believe the lie badly enough.
If you want an honest appraisal of your own hair loss situation then make an appointment to see one of our experts. During your free consultation a full examination will be made and all your options explained. To find your nearest clinic simply click here