What is Homeopathy? - Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine first introduced in the 18th century by Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor and chemist. The basic contention of homeopathy is that many illnesses can be treated and/or prevented by the routine consumption of diluted versions of chemicals that could induce the same symptoms of illness in well persons if administered in higher doses. Homeopathy is widely used in many countries, and for the most part is considered fairly safe. However, there are many who consider homeopathy a pseudo-science.
History of Homeopathy
In the late 1700âs many alternative forms of treatment existed, many of them harsh and dangerous. Bloodletting, blistering, use of mercury and sulfur, as well as purging, were all common treatments used in medicine to treat a variety of ailments. At the time, there were few medications that could be used to treat illness, and their side effects were unknown. Hahnemann sought to find a method that could be more safely used, and could be easily tailored to individual needs. And thus, the field of homeopathy was born of his studies.
While the materials used to craft homeopathic remedies can be toxic, they are generally âcutâ through a series of serial dilutions with water, sugar, or alcohol. By the time they are considered to be usable, the remedy itself often contains so little of the toxin or substance as to be chemically indistinguishable. Again, homeopathy only seeks to stimulate the bodyâs defense system. Therefore, large quantities of any chemical are not necessary.
Regulation of Homeopathy in the United States
The laws can vary widely from state to state as to what degree or licensure is required for a homeopathic practitioner to operate. In the United States, training in homeopathy is usually offered through diploma programs, certificate programs, and sometimes with correspondence courses. Also, homeopathic training can be offered as a part of formal medical education. The practice of homeopathy in the United States is often carried out in tandem with another health care practice for which the doctor might be licensed. For example, homeopathy is often practiced to a degree by some dentists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, as well as some general medical physicians. Homeopathic treatments fall under the same regulations as over the counter medications by the FDA.
A quick search on the internet can often lead you to a homeopathic practitioner in your area. As with any treatment, it is always best to talk to your main health care provider before beginning any course of care.