No, Homeopathic Remedies are NOT Illegal!

The Hype, the Confusion, and the Reality

This came in from my recent survey while finalizing my upcoming Rabies Course:

Recently I read that the US FDA has declared homeopathic remedies “illegal.” Are rabies remedies (lyssin) and nosodes out of the question now?

You may have been reading some scary verbiage about homeopathy lately. One irresponsibly splashed headline, unabashedly looking for clicks (and subsequent subscribers and supplement sales, wink, wink) read:

FDA Declares Homeopathic Drugs Illegal1

Shame on you, Dr. Mercola. Nothing of the sort happened.

The FDA issued a “draft guidance” in December stating how they

…intend to prioritize enforcement and regulatory actions for human drug products labeled as homeopathic and marketed in the United States2

Is it serious?

Yeah, it sounds like they may be gunning for homeopathic products again.

But, did they declare homeopathic remedies illegal?


The Lame Stream Media Loves Clicks

Clicks sell subscriptions, which makes advertisers want to increase their spending in that magazine or newspaper or website.

Newsweek did their part:

What Is Homeopathy? FDA May Crack Down on High-Risk Products3

As did the “Alliance for Natural Health” with their headline proclaiming:

FDA: All Homeopathic Drugs Illegal4

Too diluted to Possibly Work AND Dangerous?

A voice of reason I love to check when the click seekers line up with the FDA and paint the proven safe and effective medical system of homeopathy in a bad light is Larry Malerba, D.O.

He has a knack of smartly calling out the ridiculous.

For decades, homeopathic medicines have been subject to unrelenting criticism from mainstream science and conventional medicine. Critics contend that the quantities of ingredients used are too small to have any physiological effects and, all observed effects must, therefore, be written off as placebo effects. In other words, the predominating belief is that homeopathic doses are too small to be of any health concern.5

Maybe you’ve heard this sham argument from so-called skeptics.

Trouble with it is, neither animals nor human infants know what a placebo effect is!

They either get better with a  well-chosen homeopathic remedy, or the prescriber has to go back and re-analyze his case and try, try again.

If homeopathy were all placebo, any old sugar pellet would work, don’t you think? (And wow, would that make practice easy!).

Dr. Malerba goes on

Astonishingly, we are witnessing a suspicious about-face whereby homeopathic medicines have apparently morphed overnight in the minds of FDA officials from useless placebos to dangerous toxins. Although the scientific community is talking out of both sides of its mouth, it can’t have it both ways. Truth be told, any qualified homeopathic doctor will tell you that neither assertion is the case.6

Is FDA Playing Us (Again)?

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first ridiculous stance that FDA has taken against homeopathic medicines.

They claimed in Sept 2016 that Hyland’s teething tablets, in use for over 85 years, much to the joy of parents with cranky, painful infants, was actually dangerous.

Stat News (who claims to be “Reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine”) ignored the fact that the teething tablets in question had zero cases of proven harm to any child, and pulled a similar headline stunt the last time the FDA got a wild hair about homeopathy:

Homeopathic remedies harmed hundreds of babies, families say, as FDA investigated for years7

Follow the money, honey

Whenever you read about overreaching regulations about to drop on natural medicine (or imposed rules like mandated vaccinations for all), you only need dig a bit deeper to see the reason.

…these remedies have become exceedingly popular. Homeopathy is now a $3 billion a year business, according to the FDA’s press release. A national survey estimated that six million Americans, including more than one million children, may have used homeopathy in the past year.8

Whoa. $3 Billion? Six million users?

That’s three billion bucks that Big Pharma and its shareholders are missing out on!

Just a wild guess here (from a vet whose profession still recommends annual vaccinations, against all known science), but I think the FDA, with its known revolving door of regulators and drug industry chiefs, might be eyeing some of that Pork Barrel Pie.

History Frames a Clearer Reality

There’s no reason to be concerned about homeopathic remedies that have been properly prepared and in use for over a hundred years.

Did you know a homeopathic physician was instrumental in founding the regulation of food, drugs, and cosmetics?

Homeopathic medicines are in a class completely on their own, which is why when homeopathic physician and New York State Senator, Royal Copeland, MD, sponsored legislation creating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, it was abundantly clear to the U.S. Congress that homeopathic products did not pose a risk and did not warrant the type of scrutiny that the modern-day FDA now claims it deserves.9

Action is Warranted: But Strategic Action

Social media (Facebook, talking about you here) is famous for whipping up a response to a crisis, perceived or real.

People love to help.

It’s important to help in a way that gets the maximum results, however.

The British homeopathic vets just lost their right to practice homeopathy. All the petition signing did nothing to sway the oppressors (the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons).

So, in this case, let’s get behind the 800-pound gorilla here, and make a reasoned, timely, and strategic response.

I’m talking about the National Center for Homeopathy, who has been in the thick of helping homeopathy for decades now.

Here’s what NCH is up to since 1978:

We educate consumers and play an important role in the continuing education of practitioners and are dedicated to making homeopathy more accessible to the public.  We inform legislators and work to secure homeopathy’s place in the U.S health care system while working to ensure that homeopathy is accurately represented in the media. We help you get and stay connected and find the resources you seek while being a strong and collective voice for homeopathy in the US.10

More importantly, here’s what they are up to now, based on what was learned from the last rodeo with FDA in 2015 (added emphasis mine):

As part of the overall response, NCH will be preparing written comments to submit to the FDA. It is not recommended that individuals post their comments to the FDA, although there are some groups who are promoting individual responses and letters. In 2015 when the FDA first initiated a review of homeopathy, over 9000 comments were logged into the FDA public comment site. These were disregarded by the FDA and had no influence on their decisions. There is no expectation that individual comments will make a difference now, and some believe that comments may be disadvantageous.11

NCH + Homeopathic Pharmacy: 800 lbs of Boom!

Homeopathic medicines are made in regulated homeopathic pharmacies. Look up HPUS (the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the U.S.) if you want more info on that.

NCH and the homeopathic pharmacy industry know better than most what works in the regulatory world to keep homeopathic medicines safe and available.

Here’s what they think is your best course of action now:

  • Hang tight. The time to respond will be in about a week:

As citizens you have the right to contact the FDA as you choose, however, we are encouraging you to put your efforts into the areas that are thought to be more influential. We will give you all the tools and information when Phase 2 is launched.12

Join Me: A Call to Action is Forthcoming

Stay tuned, if this interests you.

If you’d like to hear directly from me when the best time to act is (and exactly what that looks like), just
Join the Alert List
by clicking that button.

I’m keeping a close eye on how this develops and will send you a short action email when the time comes if you’re on that list.

In the meantime, try to ignore the “click bait” headlines and don’t panic.

One thing that’s clear is that this won’t affect a practitioner’s access to homeopathic medicines.

But, we want more than that.

You have a right to choose safe medicines as a consumer. Smart, timely action will help preserve your right to do that.

Let us know in the comments what you think about this and if your pupils widened with some of those unwarranted headlines.

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  1. Sherry on March 13, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    I did ALL that I could do for my BUGG (boston terrier/pug) & since nothing worked for the
    intensed itching after I did the best complete blood work you could have, testing the thyroid, checking for mites, food allergies, shampoos, holistic remedies, I DID IT ALL & finally I went through 3 vets & then the 4th one recommended Cytopoint so I read about it
    & I decided to try it. Well it has been given to her for 8 months now, anytime between 4
    to 8 weeks & she has never been better, she has had no side effects, & she is one happy
    dog. The clinic has not seen any issues with it & neither have any other clinic/hospitals
    that I’ve called to talk with have either. So testing before is important to know if a dog is really healthy.

  2. Lisa on March 5, 2018 at 11:47 am

    I saw the positive and healthful effects of homeopathy through use with my dog about 16 yrs ago. She was 1 1/2 yrs old when she tore her ACL in her knee. We sought out a homeopathic vet (how fortunate we were) who did her surgery. He gave her remedies pre-op and post-op and sent her home with us that evening with some Arnica 1M (no other pain meds.) I slept beside her on the floor. When she would cry out in pain (really the saddest thing I’ve ever heard,) I’d dose her with a couple of crushed pellets of Arnica 1M. Within 5 minutes she was asleep! There’s no way she had any idea what we were giving her. The stuff works, plain and simple. We used homeopathy her whole life with amazing results; anxiety (extreme fear of loud noises, fear of strangers), pain, stomach upset, etc. We’ve since become a homeopathic household, treating ourselves and our son for colds, flus, minor injuries, anxiety, depression, grief. It has become a ‘go-to’, as a first line of attack or a major support to some conventional approaches for what ails us.

  3. Karen Anderson on February 22, 2018 at 1:01 am

    I wish I am around your area and can go to the showing. It sounds like a good show to watch.
    I am currently helping my friend who owned an apothecary once a week, and I have been told recently, the FDA will not allowed them to sell certain homeopathic remedies such as Belladonna or Arsenicum. Yet, you can go online to Amazon and purchase them.
    I am convinced that we need some of these online retailers (Amazon, Ebay and maybe even Google) to join force in giving consumers choices. Your 800 lbs gorilla might be able to join force with the major online retailers.

  4. Lizzie NI on February 21, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    As a UK reader I can only weep at our situation. ????
    Good luck!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on February 22, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      I was outraged by UK stopping vets from practicing homeopathy, Lizzie. Should have been protests in the streets, dogs en masse, horses, etc. Just so very wrong.

  5. Tammy Doak on February 21, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you for clarifying what is a very confusing and frustrating process regarding the FDA and it’s relation to homeopathy. Last night, I went to the showing of “Just One Drop, The Story Behind Homeopathy Controversy”. It was very well written and I would encourage anyone who has a screening in their area to watch it. Seeing the movie drives home the importance of all of us supporters of homeopathy getting behind any cause that keeps it available to all of us. Homeopathy has been instrumental in making a difference in so many lives. I have too many success stories to tell from my own personal experience to my pets who have been treated with homeopathy for over 8 years now. I believe that we must come together and take a stand for this. The money driven giants must not take this from us!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on February 25, 2018 at 6:39 am

      So glad you mentioned this film, Tammy. The timing couldn’t be more perfect! With homeopathy under attack, it’s important for everyone to see this and learn what’s possible, as well as hear the controversy from both sides.
      I was an early supporter of this film, and I am bringing it to Austin on March 23rd. Anyone in the area should get your seats soon: this will be a sellout.
      I’ve invited the director, Laurel Chiten to the screening (one of the first in the US) and she’s agreed. She and I will have a live Q and A session after the movie.
      Here’s the link to see the trailer and grab your seat:

  6. Sandy Campbell on February 21, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Thank you for staying on the side of reason. I am so tried of headline grabbers about everything. Don’t people realize the dilute the power of the sane and reasonable side when they put making money first? It just takes that much longer for the truth to be realized. Usually it is to late and your rights are gone.

  7. Ellen on February 21, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Homeopathy was the only thing that helped my English cocker spaniel who suffered from separation anxiety his entire life. I am his third home because of his separation anxiety and within 6 weeks of giving him phosphorus, he was more calm and no longer destructive. I’m happy to say he’s been my sweet boy for over 2 years now and he turns 9 years old tomorrow! I’m now working on helping my other rescue dog who has been having symptoms of rabies vaccinosis. We haven’t found the correct remedy yet, but I’m confident we will soon!!

  8. Pattie on February 21, 2018 at 11:19 am

    I have been using homeopathic remedies for my family and animals for well over 40 years. The result – healthy people and animals. It helps that I avoided doctors, hospitals and veterinarians except in dire emergencies. No slur intended on you Dr. Falconer!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on February 22, 2018 at 11:29 pm

      Totally behind what you are saying, Pattie: conventional medicine is actually the #1 cause of the majority of illness we’re seeing, both in animals and people. It’s what prompts me to teach prevention in the natural rearing direction, from as early in an animal’s life as possible.

  9. Kim on February 21, 2018 at 10:43 am

    As always, I AM hanging tight. Thanks for the great info.

  10. chris on February 21, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Dana Ullman (homeopathic genuis according to some??) is soliciting donations on his website so that he can spend hours making up a thing to send to the FDA. I see from his website that he seems to make plenty of money and I feel if he really cared, he would not solicit donations just to send a rebuttal (just my opinion).

  11. N.B on February 21, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Thank you for a clearly and calmly written synopsis of this issue and how to proceed, Dr. Falconer.
    My very first experience of homeopathy’s effectiveness was over 30 years ago in Switzerland where I was backpacking. After far too much coffee one morning I had a severe allergic response where I could not stop sneezing. I went into a pharmacy to find relief and after describing my symptoms, the pharmacist gave me a homeopathic remedy (which I knew nothing about). I used it and experienced immediate relief. This was a regular pharmacy, not some hippy health food store, stocking and dispensing homeopathic remedies!
    What I continue to find so frustrating is how much power these government agencies have to make decisions that do not accurately reflect the true desires or needs of the people they represent. It all comes down to money, as usual.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on February 21, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Sad, but true, Nancy. Never harmed anyone, helped so many, and yet it competes with conventional medicine, so here, as in the UK, that ruffles feathers and they seek to control.

  12. Selena on February 21, 2018 at 8:10 am

    I used Hyland’s Teething on my eleven babies with no ill effects except for the following: happy mother, happy father, happy baby, great night of sleep!

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