Homeopathy Around the World

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Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is almost 230 years old. It is the second most used system of medicine around the world with over 200 million people using it worldwide. According to the WHO Global Report on Traditional and Complementary Medicine 2019 over 100 countries use homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic medicine is regulated in 22 countries and covered under the National Health plan of 13 countries.40 The global market for homeopathic products was valued at $10.7 Billion US in 2021 and is estimated to reach more than $32.4 billion by 2031.36

Homeopathy in North America

In the United States over 6 million people use homeopathy. Homeopaths are regulated at state level and coverage is available through private health insurance determined by the individual insurance provider.16, 40

In Canada about 10.3 million people use homeopathy with a satisfaction rate of 83%.26 Homeopathic medicine can be bought at health stores and some drug stores sell combination homeopathic medicines such as for sprains, colds, sore throats, teething, colic and digestive upsets. Several private colleges across the country have a homeopathic medicine program where homeopaths are trained in acute and constitutional prescribing. In the province of Ontario, homeopathy is a regulated profession through the Ontario College of Homeopaths since 2015. Homeopathy has a long history in Ontario and if you are interested in learning more check out our blog on the History of Homeopathy in Ontario

In Mexico the government supports homeopathic medicine and has University level degree programs in homeopathic medicine. According to 2011 data from Authorisation and Professional Registry Directorate there were 7171 homeopathic practitioners in Mexico.40 Mexico City has the National Homeopathic Hospital which has been there since 1893 and still operates today under the Ministry of Health. It’s a 2 storey building with a homeopathic pharmacy on the ground floor. It provides more than a dozen medical services and specialities in general surgery, internal medicine and surgery. They offer 35 000 homeopathic consultations per year with a satisfaction rate of 90%. The conditions most often treated are allergies, diabetes, hypertension, upper respiratory tract infections, depression, insomnia, anxiety.24

homeopathic hospital mexico
National Homeopathic Hospital, Mexico

Homeopathy in Central America

Homeopathy is practiced in Costa Rica and El Salvador, and is a very popular practice in Cuba.40 In Cuba homeopathic medicine is regulated and approved for use in their national health care system. Homeopathy is used by 40-59% of the population. Cuba is a very interesting example of homeopathy’s efficacy. Cuba has been known to treat their population with homeopathic prophylaxis. In 2007, with a record breaking amount of hurricanes and excessive flooding there were rapidly rising cases of leptospirosis. With no resources or time to produce a conventional vaccine, homeopathy was used by the Cuban Ministry of Health to treat the populations in the 3 provinces most affected by the hurricanes, with homeopathic prophylaxis. Within 2 weeks of administering the homeopathic medicine amongst 2.1 million persons that lived in the most affected 3 provinces, they observed a 90% decrease in the incidence of leptospirosis. Meanwhile in the lower risk areas which did not receive the homeopathic prophylaxis and neither any conventional vaccine, scientists observed the incidence of the disease continue to rise. A fact which clearly demonstrates the efficacy of homeopathic medicine. The homeopathic prophylaxis was then administered to the entire population (11 million people) in the ensuing years with near eradication of the disease on the island – a result not achieved with use of the conventional vaccine. Since then homeopathic prophylaxis has been used in Cuba for Dengue Fever, Swine Flu, Hepatitis A, and conjunctivitis with similar success.32

Homeopathy in South America

Throughout South America homeopathy is used in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela.40 In Brazil, homeopathy has been recognized as a medical specialty since 1980.10 Brazil has a national policy for Traditional and Complementary Medicine, which includes homeopathy and is part of the unified health system. Homeopathy education is provided at the University level and homeopaths practice in both public and private hospitals.40 In 2018, there were approximately 2,620 physicians licensed to practice homeopathy.31  

In Chile, homeopathy is regulated and recognized as an Auxiliary Profession of Health, which is governed under Decree No. 19 of 2009. Education in homeopathy is available at the University level and homeopaths practice in both public and private clinics.40

In Venezuela, the Ministry of Health and Social Development has regulated the practice, teaching and research of Homeopathic Medicine since 1998.7

homeopathic medicine

Homeopathy in Africa

Homeopathy is used by a large number of African countries including Burkino Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda 40 and Zimbabwe 41

In South Africa, homeopathy is regulated through the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa. Homeopathic education in South Africa is a five year full-time comprehensive masters degree program leading to a M.Tech Hom qualification and this is followed by a one year internship. Since their medical training equips them to be primary care practitioners, homeopaths are given the title Homeopathic Doctor by the South African Department of Health.15 South Africa had 574 Registered Homeopaths according to a 2010 report from the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA).40

In Tanzania, the national government oversees traditional and complementary care providers, which includes homeopaths. They can practice in the private sector, in both clinical and hospital setting.40

 In Zimbabwe, homeopaths are regulated under the The Natural Therapists Act of 1981. 41

Homeopathy in Asia

Homeopathy is used throughout many Asian countries, most notably in India, known as the land of homeopathy, where homeopathic medicine is used as mainstream medicine.16 There are over 250,000 registered homeopaths in India and they work in both public and private sector clinics and hospitals.40 About 10% of the population or 100 million people rely solely on homeopathy for their healthcare. It is recognized and promoted by the government so it’s naturally prescribed there and reimbursed by the National Health Service.25 India offers both undergraduate and post-graduate degree programs in homeopathy including Bachelors, Masters, PhD and clinical doctorate degrees.40  Indian homeopaths work in more than 230 homeopathic hospitals and 6,000 clinics.25

Homeopathy is also popular in Pakistan with 20-39% of the population using homeopathy. It is supported by the government and regulated at the national level under the Unani, Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Practitioners Act-. Education for homeopathy includes options for Bachelors, Masters, PhD and Clinical Doctorate degrees. There are about 120,000 homeopaths practicing in Pakistan. Homeopaths are found working in both public and private sector clinics and hospitals.40

Homeopathy is also popular in Bangladesh with over 16,000 trained homeopaths. The government supports it and it has been regulated since 1983, though it is not covered by Health Insurance. Homeopaths in Bangladesh obtain a university level Bachelors Degree in Homeopathy.40

Homeopathy is used in Turkey by medical doctors, dentists and pharmacists. Medical doctors and dentists complete a 350 hour course on homeopathic medicine and then must pass an exam through the Ministry of Health. Pharmacists in Turkey can get qualified as a homeopathic consultant after completing a 210 hour course on homeopathy. Courses in homeopathy are provided in universities with complementary and alternative medicine practice centers.35

It is used throughout Malaysia where they have about 600 registered homeopathic practitioners. In Armenia homeopathy has been regulated since 2001. In Cyprus homeopathy has been regulated since 2006. It is also popular in Bahrain where 20-39% of the population is using homeopathy. Homeopathy is also practiced in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, Syria, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Israel and Oman.40

Homeopathy in Europe

Homeopathy is deeply rooted in Europe since its discovery at the end of the 18th century. Worldwide Europe has the most people that integrate homeopathy into their healthcare. Homeopathy is practiced in 42 of the 44 European Countries.40,35 There are also over 65 Hospitals throughout Europe that use homeopathy.

Homeopathy in Western Europe

Homeopathy is practiced throughout all of Western Europe. In Germany, where homeopathy was born, 20-39% of the population are using homeopathic medicine.40 There are at least 28 hospitals in Germany using homeopathic medicine1 and homeopathic medicine is available in German pharmacies.40 Homeopathy can be practiced by both Medical Doctors and non-medical homeopathic practitioners known as ‘heilpratiker’.35 When a patient is treated by a Medical Doctor who is trained in homeopathy, homeopathic medicine is covered under private and public health insurance.40

Homeopathy is popular in the Netherlands with both medical doctors and non-medically trained homeopaths.35 Homeopathy is practiced in Belgium by medical doctors, dentists and midwives 35 and homeopathic medicine can only be sold in pharmacies.40 In Luxembourg homeopathy is recognized as a legitimate form of health care. There are 48 homeopathic medicines on the National Health Fund’s white list and are reimbursed up to 80%.9

Switzerland was the first country in Europe to integrate homeopathy into their Constitution in 2009 and it’s fully covered by health insurance. Since August 1, 2017 medical doctors who have post-graduate training in homeopathy can treat patients with homeopathic medicine which is covered under the basic health insurance.33 Homeopathic medicines which are registered with indication are sold in pharmacies same as conventional medicine. Homeopathic medicine without indication are registered separately.40 There are at least 15 hospitals in Switzerland using homeopathic medicine.1

In Austria, homeopathy also remains a popular treatment modality with 70% of patients choosing homeopathy as their preferred complementary medicine method. Homeopathy is recognized by the Austrian medical association. It is not covered by the national insurance funds, but is covered by some private health insurances. The practice is restricted to medical doctors, and there are about 500 doctors practicing homeopathy in Austria.21 There are at least 9 hospitals throughout Austria using homeopathic medicine 1 and there is one homeopathic outpatient clinic at an Austrian hospital.21

Homeopathy is very popular in France with 50% of the population using homeopathy.8 In France, only medical doctors are allowed to practice homeopathy. General practitioners take additional training in homeopathic medicine. Since 2021, homeopathy is no longer covered by the French Ministry of Health, but homeopathy is still used by the people. 14 In fact there are 8 hospitals in France using homeopathy.1

Homeopathy is practiced and acknowledged in Liechtenstein39 and Monaco. 13

Homeopathy in Northern Europe

Royal London Homeopathic Hospital
Royal London Homeopathic Hospital

Homeopathy is used throughout Northern Europe, where it has strong roots in the United Kingdom where the British Royal family has been using it for generations. The Royal family has had their own personal homeopathic physician since the year 1918. They Royal family has been strong believers and supporters of  homeopathic medicine dating back to 1835, when Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV was cured of a serious malady by homeopathy. Sir John Weir was the homeopathic physician to the Royal family for 4 generations from King George V (who reigned from 1910) to Queen Elizabeth II up until 1968. The late Dr Peter Fisher (2018) who was a well renowned Homeopath, Rheumatologist, Writer and Speaker was also the Queen’s personal homeopath.11 The present King Charles III is a huge supporter of homeopathy and is Royal Patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy. He recently appointed pro-homeopathy Dr Michael Dixon as the physician of the Royal household.17  The UK is also known for its long standing homeopathic hospital, The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital which was established in 1849 and is still operating today. In 2010 the hospital name was changed to the Royal London Hospital for Integrative Medicine.11 Bristol and Glasgow also have homeopathic hospitals. 1

In Ireland homeopathy is also popular and practiced by both medically and non-medically trained homeopaths.35 In Ireland there is partial health insurance coverage for homeopathic medicines by the government.40

In the Nordic countries, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, homeopathy is a popular choice. In Denmark, there are non-medically trained homeopaths. In Finland there are 1600 trained homeopaths mainly ones who are in private practice.40 However, there are some Medical Doctors with post graduate training in homeopathy that prescribe homeopathic medicine. 35 In Norway homeopaths are non-medically qualified practitioners in private practice with the exception of some Medical Doctors that have post graduate training in homeopathy and prescribe homeopathic medicine.35 In Norway, there is full reimbursement for Traditional and Chinese Medicine practices if the service is included in hospital treatment.40  In Iceland, homeopathy is used by the people. Homeopathy was brought to Iceland in the 1800’s and had vanished in 1932, likely for same reasons as other countries with the growing trend of conventional medicine that is mainstream today. However, in 1993 a small group of people in Iceland brought homeopathy back.  By 2000, the Association of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Iceland was founded which includes homeopathic medicine.29

In Sweden, homeopaths are found practicing in both public and private sector hospitals and clinics.40 Since 2011, Medical Doctors are allowed to recommend homeopathic treatment. Homeopaths who are not trained as medical doctors may treat patients in private practice but with specified exceptions including not being able to treat children under 8 years old and conditions of pregnancy or childbirth.35

Homeopathy is used in Estonia.40 In Lithuania, only persons with medical education who have taken a homeopathy training course at Vilnius or Kaunas University may legally practice homeopathy.35 It is also practiced in Latvia where only medical doctors can practice homeopathy.35

Homeopathy in Southern Europe

Homeopathy is also used in Southern European countries. According to a Survey conducted in Italy from 2016, among people who use alternative medicine, homeopathy was the most popular choice with 76.1% of people using homeopathy.30 In Italy, medical doctors or dentists who trained in homeopathy may practice homeopathy.35 In Italy the Health Government of Tuscany Region established the Centre for Integrated Medicine of Pitigliano in 2011. This centre was the first public hospital in Italy to provide inpatient care with homeopathic medicine, as well as acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).4 This hospital uses conventional medicine in an integrated manner with complementary medicines (acupuncture, homeopathy, TCM) in the treatment of pathologies such as, respiratory, gastrointestinal, dermatological pathologies, allergies, asthma, rheumatic diseases, in the outcomes of trauma and stroke, in the context of orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation, chronic pain. As well as to contain the side effects of chemotherapy in oncology and palliative care.28

In Spain, homeopathy has been recognized as a medical act since 2009. Homeopathy is practiced by graduates in medicine and surgery. There is a post-graduate program at the University. There are homeopathic schools that provide certificate programs in homeopathy to lay persons who can also practice homeopathy.35 In April 2018, the Spanish government regulated homeopathic products as medicines. Homeopathic medicine can be found in pharmacies.6 There are two hospitals in Spain using homeopathy, Hospital Del Nen Deu in Barcelona and Instituto Homeopático y Hospital de San José, Madrid.1

In Portugal, CAM therapies including homeopathy, can only be practiced by professionals with higher education and homeopaths need to be part of a publicly registered professional license.35

Homeopathy is practiced in Serbia and Slovenia.40 In Croatia, homeopathy is practiced by both medical doctors and non-medically qualified homeopaths.35

In Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia there now are active associations for classical homeopathy. Well-trained doctors and therapists practice homeopathy there with great success.38 Albania has homeopaths who are in private practice 35 and it is used in Macedonia as well. 38

In Greece, homeopathy is interwoven with the well renowned homeopath George Vithoulkas, who brought homeopathy back to Greece with him in the 1960s, after training in India and South Africa. Before this time there were only a handful of homeopaths in Greece. Vithoulkas started to offer interested doctors training courses in homeopathy and these courses quickly became very popular. In 1970, the Athenian School of Homeopathic Medicine was founded. In 1971, The Hellenic Homeopathic Medical Society (H.H.M.S.) was founded, the first and legally authorized body of Greek Homeopaths. 18 In Greece, medical doctors are allowed to practice homeopathy.35  George Vithoulkas not only advanced homeopathy in Greece but he has influenced homeopathy around the world. George Vithoulkas established the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy which is educating people in homeopathy around the world.18  

Homeopathy is practiced in Montengro37 and in Malta.23 In Andorra, homeopathy is widely practiced, with many people seeking treatment for allergies, digestive issues, and chronic pain. The Andorran Homeopathy Association is an organization that provides information and resources about homeopathy and offers consultations with homeopathic practitioners.12 No information is available as to the practice of homeopathy in San Marino and Holy See.

Homeopathy in Eastern Europe

Homeopathy is used throughout Eastern Europe. In Russia homeopathy has been officially recognized since 1833. Over the last 30 years homeopathy has been introduced into the public health system and is used by doctors. In 2018. Russia held the International Congress for World Homeopathy Day in Moscow Russia from April 9-10, 2018.19

Homeopathy is quite popular in Ukraine, with more than 5000 doctors practicing homeopathy in various forms. Homeopathic education is provided in several state medical universities as well as private homeopathic schools.22 

Homeopathy is used in Poland by medical doctors and dentists who are qualified in homeopathy.35

In Hungary, homeopathic medicine and other CAM therapies is seen as favourably influencing the state of health, preventing illness or making it possible to build defenses against factors endangering or damaging the health. Medical doctors who are trained in homeopathy are allowed to practice homeopathic medicine.40,35 

Slovakia has 350 homeopathic practitioners and it has been regulated in Slovakia since 2004.40

Moldova is another country where homeopathy is quite widespread with 20-39% of the population using homeopathic medicine.40 Homeopathy has been practised in Moldova since 1991 and there is a Department of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in the Nicolae Testemitanu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, offering both under and postgraduate specialist programmes.34 

In Romania, homeopathy is regulated by the Ministry of Health and is used for illness prevention, health promotion and treatment of diseases. Homeopathy is an additional qualification for medical doctors and dentists only.35

Homeopathy is used in the Czech Republic. Technically only licensed physicians are allowed to practice homeopathy, but in reality private homeopathic training is available to lay people. Non-medically trained homeopaths may not practice medicine and health care but informal provision in the category of life-style counselling and health promotion is tolerated in the private sector.20

In Belarus a medical doctor must have 3 years clinical experience in general medicine, and take a course in homeopathy which includes 312 hours of lectures and clinical training before they can become a homeopath.14

Homeopathy is practiced in Bulgaria by medical doctors and dentists with homeopathic training.35

Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathy in Australia

The practice of homeopathic medicine is popular in Australia and New Zealand. Homeopathy has been used in Australia since 1830 with 1.1 million people using homeopathy.2 The Australian Register of Homeopaths (ARoH) is the national registry for homeopaths, who reach the government endorsed standards to practice.3 The most common reasons people in Australia seek out homeopathic care is for mental health, then general health, head and eye complaints, skin, reproductive and digestive problems.2

In New Zealand homeopathy is used though it is not regulated by the government. The New Zealand Council of Homeopaths (NZCH) has represented the homeopathic profession since 2009. The NZCH is the voluntary professional registration body for Homeopaths where they support, educate the public and advocate for their members.27

Homeopathy Tried and True

Homeopathy is that traditional medicine that has been practiced for close to 230 years starting in Western Europe and spread across the globe through homeopaths immigrating to other countries and practicing and sharing their knowledge in homeopathy. The methods of homeopathic treatment have not changed, but we have added many new homeopathic medicines over the years, so it does continue to develop and grow. The practice of homeopathic medicine is backed by a compelling amount of scientific evidence through randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, systemic reviews, and meta-analyses. In several countries it is prescribed in hospitals by medical doctors, demonstrating that homeopathic medicine can effectively be used in conjunction with conventional treatment approaches. Homeopathy remains widely used around the globe because it’s that safe and tried and true traditional treatment method.

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