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Homeopathy is the opposite of allopathy.  Homeopathy takes a different approach from conventional medicine in diagnosing, classifying and treating medical problems.  Homeopathy is a subset of alternative medicine practices, that aims to treat “like with like.”  

Homeopathy originated in the 19th century with Samuel Hehnemann, who also coined the term allopathy.  Hehnemann’s methods involve pragmatic observation.  His theory of a disease and cure is essentially non-empirical and involves the appeal to metaphysical entities and processes.  He believed that the vital force, the spirit in the body that did the balancing and harmonizing, that is, the healing.  Since remedies are prepared from natural substances to precise standards and work by stimulating body’s own healing power.  With natural substances come natural therapies.  There are alternative methods of preparation. The most controversial principle of homeopathy is that the potency of a remedy can be enhanced (and the side- effects diminished) by dilution.  Another technique is called the paper remedy.  Write the remedy and potency on a piece of paper and place the paper on the left hand side of the body with the writing towards the body.  The homeopath believes this works.  Essentially, this is an emerging alternative  homeopathic tradition.

Homeopathic remedies would include natural therapies like natural herbal components. Homeopathy remedies would also include non-biological substances like salt and components of animal origin, such as duck liver for oscillococcinum. But the opponents of homeopathy would argue in the efficacy of its remedies.  Perhaps the main concern about the efficacy and most all its safety arises not from the products themselves, but from the possible withholding of more efficacious treatment, or from misdiagnosis of dangerous conditions by a non-medically qualified homeopath.
In the United Sates of America sees no real concern over the safety of most homeopathic products because “they have little or no pharmacologically active ingredients. This is true as homeopathic remedies do not contain any ingredients:  they are just basically water or sugar pills.  

In spite of the argument over the safety of homeopathic products, homeopathy will always have its advocates.  Since it involves itself in natural therapies, homeopathy also claims it is a form of psychotherapy.  Homeopathic method involves spending a lot of time with each patient; it’s possible this has a significant calming effect on the patient.  Homeopathy in this sense has become the basis for sympathetic magic and remote healing.  Putting into mind that homeopathy treats like with like.
Sympathetic magic is based on the metaphysical belief that like affects like.

Submitted on September 4, 2008