Homeopathy is a powerful 200 year old system of medicine that uses dilute substances to prevent and treat disease. Homeopathy is based on the law of similars, which states that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in a healthy person. A simple example of homeopathic medicine would be to use a dilute onion preparation to treat a patient who presents with burning, watery, red eyes associated with conjunctivitis, as an onion would cause the same symptoms in a healthy person.
|Dr Millie Lytle ND
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The roots of homeopathy go back to Germany at the end of the 18th century. Homeopathy was derived from two theories: “like cures like” — the idea that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people; and the “law of minimum dose” — the idea that the smaller the amount of medicine, the greater its effectiveness. Many homeopathic remedies are so diluted that very few molecules of the original substance remain.
Homeopathic remedies are derived from substances that come from plants, minerals, or animals, such as red onion, herbs, bees, poison ivy, belladonna (nightshade), and stinging nettle. Homeopathic remedies are often formulated as sugar pellets to be placed under the tongue or tinctures. They also come in other forms, such as ointments, gels, drops, creams, and tablets. Treatments are “individualized” or tailored to each person — it is not uncommon for different people with the same condition to receive different treatments.
For an excellent primer on Homeopathy, please read this article on the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.