Image of bottles containing homeopathy remedies.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy has been used throughout the world for more than 200 years. The remedies which it uses are comprised of highly-diluted substances which stimulate the power of our self-healing, vital force. It is a holistic therapy which means that it takes into account all of a patient's physical, mental and emotional factors, rather than focusing on the isolated symptoms of a particular illness.

Samuel Hahnemann

Homeopathy was established over 200 years ago by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann who graduated as a doctor from the University of Erlangen in 1779 but gave up his practice when he realised that he could not cure his patients with ordinary medicines.

Subsequently, while translating William Cullen's "A Treatise on the Materia Medica", Hahnemann encountered the claim that Cinchona, the bark of a Peruvian tree, was effective in treating malaria because it produces the malaria symptoms in a healthy individual. This led him to postulate a healing principle: "that which can produce a set of symptoms in a healthy individual, can treat a sick individual who is manifesting a similar set of symptoms". This principle - like cures like - became the basis for an approach to medicine to which he gave the name homeopathy, from the Greek words homoios ("like") and pathos ("suffering").

In 2000, the House of Lords' Select Committee on Science and Technology cited homeopathy as one of the five Group One therapies having "an individual diagnostic approach" (along with osteopathy, chiropractic, herbal medicine and acupuncture).

The Evidence for homeopathy

There is a growing body of clinical evidence to show that homeopathy has a positive effect on health.

British Homeopathic Association

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