If you’re looking for a definition, homeopathy is a type of treatment that attempts to use the cause of a disease to treat it. That is, it’s based on the idea of “like cures like” – that the substances that cause the symptoms of an ailment in somebody that is healthy can be used to cure similar symptoms in people that are healthy.
Put simply, homeopaths – people who practice homeopathy – produce “treatments” that are known as remedies. These remedies are made by means of homeopathic dilution.
What is Homeopathic Dilution?
Practitioners isolate a specific substance that they’ve decided is going to be used in a remedy. After that, they go on to dilute the substance continuously so that eventually, the new substance they’ve produced is actually chemically indistinguishable from what was used to dilute it.
In fact, the substance becomes so diluted that by the end, it can be nearly impossible to even detect a single trace of it. During the process, homeopaths may shake and hit the concoction they’ve created – they believe that doing this will help it to “remember” the initial substance that was used to create it.
After it has been made, the remedy is often ingested orally – homeopaths profess that doing this can help treat or even cure diseases.
A Brief History of Homeopathy
The oldest known alternative western medical practice, homeopathy first came to be during the end of the 18th century. It was developed by Samuel Hahnemann in 1976 after he had loudly rejected ordinary western medicine. He professed that it was, in fact, not only useless and ineffective, but potentially harmful and dangerous too.
Instead, Hahnemann started off by suggesting people make use of single medicines and take them in smaller doses.
Homeopathy Versus Allopathy
Hahnemann coined the term “homeopathy” around the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th, but it wasn’t until 1806 that it first appeared in print.
“Allopathy”, on the other hand, was a term also coined by Hahnemann, but it’s a pejorative term that refers to western medicine. It was used by him and his followers to when referring to western medicine in comparison to his own practice of homeopathy.
Homeopathy Gained Popularity
It was during the end of the 18th century that the practice of homeopathy really got some traction. The practice was introduced to the United States by one of Hahnemann’s students, Hans Birch Gram, in 1825. Ten years later, the first homeopathic school opened in the US in 1835, and it was in 1834 that the American Institute of Homeopathy opened.
After this, many people in the United States were interested in the practice and schools started popping up all over America and Europe too. Indeed, by the beginning of the 19th century, there were 22 different colleges for homeopathy and roughly 15,000 practitioners that claimed to be practising homeopathy in the United States of America.
However, while there were many supporters of homeopathy, there were lots of medical practitioners who opposed it too. Much like those who love the games you’ll find in a Canadian online casino guide, not everyone understand their benefits upfront. Over the next few centuries, homeopathy went on to gain popularity and then receive heavy criticism once again. However, an increasing number of studies are now proving its merit once again.