Homeopathic refers to a type of alternative medicine that treats disease with minute doses of drugs that produce the same symptoms as the disease. The belief is that symptoms are the body’s way of fighting disease, so symptoms are to be encouraged in an effort to stimulate the immune system.
Among the medical community, its usefulness and effectiveness are highly debated, but homeopathic medicine is widely used throughout the world.
Homeopathic medicine differs from traditional medicine in forms of diagnosis and treatment. To diagnosis patients, homeopathic doctors look at the total “life force,” which takes into consideration mental and physical health, as well as external stimuli to the patient.
A basic tenet of homeopathy is the “law of susceptibility,” which states that a negative state of mind can cause “miasms” to enter the body and cause disease. Most homeopathic doctors view diseases as part of the living entity. This is also different from traditional medicine, which views diseases as distinctly different from the host body.
Homeopathic treatment rejects antibiotics and other laboratory-made medicines. Instead, natural cures such as flowers, barks, herbs, plants and stones are used. Stones like quartz are diluted through the use of alcohol so they can be used more effectively.
A basic law of treatment in homeopathic medicine is the “law of similarities.” This law states that for a cure to be effective, it has to produce the same type of symptoms as the disease it is designed to treat.
People sometimes mistake all types of natural cures as homeopathic. This is false. Unless they take into consideration the law of similarities and the concept of the total life force, the medicine may be natural, but is not homeopathic.
Homeopathic medicine originated in doctrine and philosophy in the 18th century. German physician Samuel Hahnemann is viewed as the founding father; however, early versions of homeopathic medicine can be traced to the early 16th century.
Many physicians of traditional medicine worry about the use of homeopathic cures because it rejects antibiotics and other tried and tested medicines. Additionally, many mainstream scientific theories are at direct odds with the beliefs espoused by homeopathic practitioners.
Proponents of homeopathic medicine point out that a growing dependency on antibiotics has created mutated strains of diseases that have made fighting diseases harder for even traditional doctors and researchers. Use of homeopathic medicines does not put individuals at risk in the same manner.