is a holistic medicine which uses animal,
vegetable, and mineral preparations to cure a person's
illness. It uses neither drugs nor surgery, is
based on the belief that everyone is an individual
and should be treated accordingly.
is an alternative system of medicine that was
founded in the early 18th century by a German
physician and chemist , Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.(1755-1843).
But its origins date from the 5th century BC, when
the Greek physician Hypocrates- known as the
'father of medicine' - introduced homeopathic
remedies. It was his understanding of the disease
and how it affects our bodies that made his
Homeopathy has a two hundred year track record
of curing illness. It first came to widespread
public attention through its effectiveness in
curing epidemics of cholera in the 19th century.
During the great influenza epidemic after World
War I, homeopathic hospitals reported very low
death rates in comparison to hospitals employing conventional
World War II, clinical trial became the "gold
standard" for determining the effectiveness of
medical treatment. Although not every study
has shown a positive outcome, the majority of
studies have shown that homeopathy is effective.
Classical homeopathy rests on three principles:
the law of similar, the single medicine, and the
The law of similar states that a disease is
cured by a medicine which creates symptoms
similar to those the patient is experiencing, in
a healthy person. Hence an important part of the prescription of
a homeopathic medicine is a lengthy interview
to determine all the symptoms the patient is experiencing.
The homeopathic physician then determines which
medicine best matches the symptoms that the patient
is experiencing and prescribes it.
The principle of the single remedy states that
a single medicine should cover all the symptoms
the patient is experiencing: mental, emotional,
and physical. A classical homeopath would not
prescribe one medicine for a headache and another
for an upset stomach, he or she would find a single
medicine that covered both symptoms.
The principle of the minimum dose has two parts:
First the homeopathic physician only prescribes
a small number of doses of the homeopathic medicine
and waits to see what effect the medicine has.
Second, the medicine is given in an infinitesimal
Homeopaths have discovered that the effect of
homeopathic medicines is strengthened upon successive
dilutions as long as the medicine is violently
shaken between each dilution. Medicines are typically
used in very high dilutions such as 30C (1 part
in 10^-60) or 200C (1 part in 10^-400).
It is the use of infinitesimal doses that is the
most controversial aspect of homeopathy and the
reason why most conventional doctors claim it
functions only as a placebo. However, a number
of controlled studies have been performed which
show the effectiveness of homeopathic medicine
in treating a number of diseases.