Travelling in France in October was an eye opener for me in many ways :- the easy French sophistication, the art, the culture, the food, the wine, the shopping (but I digress….!)
I was pleasantly surprised to find a pharmacy or two on almost every corner – this is very handy for so many reasons – most of these advertise in bright green neon “medicaments homeopathique” – i.e. this shop sells homeopathic medicines. It was lovely for me as a homeopath, to see evidence everywhere of the ease at which Europeans can access homeopathic medicine.
Some chemists sell homeopathics in Australia but these days there are just a few remedies available at a time when homeopathy is under huge scrutiny and possible changing legislation.
I saw the French pharmacies with front windows advertising the best selling flu remedy in France – it just happens to be a homeopathic formula.
The shelves are then bulging with homeopathic creams for skin ailments, remedies for anything from jet lag to bruising – also a highly sought after insomnia preparation – unsurprisingly, also homeopathic.
I hasten to point out that I don’t think customers necessarily buy the “Oscillococcinum” because it is a homeopathic; I believe they buy it because it “works”, it helps prevent flu symptoms at a time of year when it is prevalent. Read a little more about beating man flu with homeopathy here.
Edited on 26th July 2016. So my trip to France was in October and now in July, I have read about an international study of 582 paediatricians which found almost all have prescribed a complementary and alternative medicine for a child in the last year. It is little wonder that I saw the remedies everywhere in the pharmacies.
99% of the doctors involved in the study Usage and attitudes towards homeopathy and natural remedies in general paediatrics had recommended a natural remedy and 76% a homeopathic medicine. Study lead Professor André-Michael Beer, head physician of the Department of Natural Medicine in Blankenstein Hospital, Germany, comments: “Evidence suggests an increased use of natural medicine prescribing in children, but this study shows us, for the first time, the almost universal acceptance of complementary medicine and the factors influencing doctors’ decision making.” The study showed that in homeopathy a key indication is teething: 37% of doctors stated a frequent use. 53% of doctors frequently advocated natural remedies for upper respiratory tract infections, 45% for infant colic and 33% for sleep disturbances.
This seems to be a very big jump in usage since a study published in ‘Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety’ showed that homeopathic medicines and herbal medicines, are commonly given by parents in Germany to their children.