Usage and Attitudes Towards Natural Remedies and Homeopathy in General Pediatrics: A Cross-Country Overview

Glob Pediatr Health. 2016 Jul 1;3:2333794X15625409. doi: 10.1177/2333794X15625409. eCollection 2016.


In order to better understand the global approach and country differences in physicians' usage, knowledge, and attitudes towards natural remedies and homeopathy in pediatric practice, an online survey involving 582 general pediatricians and general practitioners treating pediatric diseases was conducted in 6 countries. Overall, 17% of the pediatric prescriptions refer to phytotherapy and 15% refer to homeopathic preparations. Natural remedies and homeopathic preparations are more frequently used in upper respiratory tract infections, infant colic, sleep disturbances, and recurrent infections. In the majority of cases, they are used together with chemical drugs. Both treatment options are typically used if parents are concerned about side effects of conventional drugs or prefer natural remedies for themselves. Physicians express high interest in natural remedies and homeopathy; however, their knowledge is variable. Lack of proven efficacy, knowledge on mechanism of action, and information on indications are main factors that limit their usage.

Keywords: complementary and alternative medicine; homeopathic prescriptions; natural remedies; pediatrics; phytotherapy.