The head pharmacist at Boiron offers a nuanced view of the healing modality, understanding that while homeopathy can be powerfully effective, it also has its limits.
Rodale’s Organic Life: How did you get introduced to the practice of homeopathy?
Christophe Merville: Two ways. When I was about 11 years old, I started to develop intense hay fever. My mother consulted a physician who was trained in homeopathy. Over the years, the crises became less severe and less frequent. The first time I looked at these little pellets and saw these Latin names, I was of course interested in knowing what homeopathy was. And later, during pharmacy school in France, we were trained in what it is and how to use it—the main guidelines. I joined the company Boiron in 1990. Over the years, I was able to a little bit work more with physicians seeing patients and witness myself many cases of homeopathic treatments.
ROL: What’s one thing you saw that really impressed you?
CM: I remember attending the delivery of a woman and the contractions were very strong, and painful. She had some homeopathic medicine to take just at that time to make those contractions more regular and useful: less intense but longer and less brusque. I saw that happening within minutes, and I was thinking, “That’s very impressive.” That’s probably the time when I concluded that there is something to it.
I witnessed the action of homeopathic medicines on pets also, on young children. I had enough personal anecdotes that I could say there is something more than just suggestion, or placebo, or just the simple act of being cared for. My attitude is to say, “There are enough signs to say that it’s really worth exploring more why it works, how it works, when does it work.” We are past the stage where we can say, “No, there is nothing.” It has been around for a long time and if was just mere placebo effect, it would have gone away, as so many different techniques did.
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