Almost all the homeopathic medicines that are available in the UAE come from Europe. This is mainly because homeopathic medicines manufactured in Europe are regulated, marketed, and sold as per the same quality standards that are in force for conventional medicines. For instance, in Germany, homeopathic medicine manufacturing is regulated under the comprehensive and stringent Arzneimittelgesetz (AMG), or the German Medicines Act.

The same is true for homeopathic medicines manufactured in Switzerland and Austria. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates homeopathic medicines under its Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) section 400.400. This policy provides guidance on the enforcement of regulations for homeopathic drug products.

Although the theoretical basis of homeopathy’s scientific methodology has not changed since its inception by Dr Samuel Hahnemann in the late 18th century, its format and documentation have evolved.

Here’s an overview of how homeopathic medicines manufacturing takes place:

Pharmaceutical manufacturing

Homeopathic medicine manufacturers are required to have a valid pharmaceutical manufacturing license from the appropriate regulatory authorities. The licensing process involves demonstrating compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, which ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of medicinal products.

Pharmacopoeial standards

Homeopathic medicines that are registered and sold in the UAE, must adhere to the standards set by the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.), the German, French or US Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, etc. These pharmacopoeial standards specify rigorous processes and requirements to ensure the identity, purity, strength, and quality of the final homeopathic medicines and preparations.

Source material identification

The selection process of a homeopathic medicine begins with the identification of source materials, which can include plants, minerals, and animal products. Source materials must meet specific criteria for purity and quality, and they are typically selected based on their traditional use in homeopathy or based on provings (experimental tests) conducted on healthy individuals to determine their effects.

Preparation of mother tinctures

Once the source material is selected, it undergoes a process of preparation to create a mother tincture or starting material. For plant-based substances, this may involve maceration or extraction in alcohol or other solvents. Mineral and animal substances may undergo various processes such as trituration (grinding).

Serial dilution and succussion

The mother tincture is then subjected to a series of dilutions and succussions (vigorous shaking), following the principles of homeopathic pharmacy. As per homeopathic principles, this process is believed to imprint the solvent with the energetic essence of the original substance.

This process is repeated multiple times, resulting in different potencies of the homeopathic remedy. Each dilution is labeled with a potency, such as 6X, 12X or 30C, indicating the number of dilutions and succussions performed.

Standardisation and quality control

Throughout the manufacturing process, standardisation and quality control measures are implemented to ensure consistency and purity. Approved pharmacopoeial references set standards for the labeling, packaging, and testing of homeopathic medicines to ensure their safety and efficacy in accordance with legal requirements.

Labeling and packaging

Homeopathic medicines sold in the UAE must be labeled and packaged in accordance with Ministry of Health and Prevention requirements. Labels must include essential information such as the product name, potency, dosage form, dosage instructions, expiry and lot number, as well as storage condition and safety warnings.

Pharmacy and distribution

Homeopathic medicines in the UAE are distributed solely through licensed pharmaceutical companies and sold only in pharmacies. Depending on their classification criteria they could be dispensed by a pharmacist either by prescription of a doctor, or recommendation for self-limiting conditions as over the counter medicine.

This strict regulation of distribution channels for homeopathic medicines, ensures that homeopathic medicines reach consumers safely and that they are dispensed appropriately by pharmacists.

What is the best way to obtain homeopathic medicines?

The best way to obtain homeopathic medicines in the UAE is to consult a duly licensed healthcare practitioner who is trained in homeopathy. It is a specialised field that requires knowledge of the principles and practices of this holistic approach to healthcare.

A licensed homeopathic practitioner can provide a thorough evaluation of your health condition, taking into account your physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. Based on this assessment, they can recommend specific homeopathic remedies tailored to your individual needs. Furthermore, consulting a licensed healthcare practitioner ensures that you receive appropriate guidance on the selection, dosage, and administration of homeopathic medicines. They can also monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

There are over 200 homeopathic medicines that are registered through the Ministry of Health in the UAE and available in all the major pharmacies across all the emirates. For best results in your course of homeopathic treatment it is advisable to consult a homeopathic doctor near you and obtain your medicines from pharmacies only.

Dr Sassan Behjat, CEO, Ultra Pharma, BHMS, MPH, MPA Member, US Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention