Q: Alcohol in Homeopathic Medicine

Question: Are medicines that contain alcohol, such as those often found in homeopathic remedies, permissible to consume in Islam?

Answer: In herbal medicine, herbs are put into an alcoholic drink so that the alcohol extracts the important ingredients from the plant. The new mixture of the plant and the alcohol is considered the medicine. The alcohol has gone through change (istihala) so it is no longer prohibited (haram) for a Muslim to consume. If the medicine contains a very small amount of alcohol as an ingredient, meaning few enough drops that the amount would not intoxicate, then it would also be permissible. In homeopathy, remedies are made from mixing alcohol to extract the herb and to dilute the solution to the required potency. Once at the right potency a drop of the solution is placed on a sugar/lactose pill to be used as a carrier. In such a case, it would be permissible to consume. However, if the medicine is wetted in alcohol (with or without reason), meaning that after the medicine is made it is submerged, coated, or in any way mixed with alcohol, then it would not be permissible. In all cases, wine is impermissible. And God knows best.

This answer has been been approved by Dr. Ashraf Muneeb of Qibla.com. It is according to the Hanafi School.