Homeopathy i/ˌhoʊmiˈɒpəθi/ (also spelled homoeopathy or homœopathy; from the Greek hómoios- ὅμοιος- "like-" + páthos πάθος "suffering") is a system of alternative medicine originated in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of similia similibus curentur ("like cures like"), according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people. Scientific research has found homeopathic remedies ineffective and their postulated mechanisms of action implausible. The scientific community regards homeopathy as a sham; the American Medical Association considers Homeopathy to be quackery, and homeopathic remedies have been criticized as unethical.
Homeopathic remedies are prepared by repeatedly diluting a chosen substance in alcohol or distilled water, followed by forceful striking on an elastic body, called succussion. Each dilution followed by succussion is said to increase the remedy's potency. Dilution usually continues well past the point where none of the original substance remains. Homeopaths select remedies by consulting reference books known as repertories, considering the totality of the patient's symptoms as well as the patient's personal traits, physical and psychological state, and life history.
The low concentrations of homeopathic remedies, often lacking even a single molecule of the diluted substance, have lead to serious questions about the effects of the substances since the 19th century. Modern advocates of homeopathy have suggested that "water has a memory"—that during mixing and succussion, the substance leaves an enduring effect on the water, perhaps a "vibration", and this produces an effect on the patient. However, nothing like water memory has ever been found in chemistry or physics. Pharmacological research has found, contrary to homeopathy, that stronger effects of an active ingredient come from higher doses, not lower doses.
Homeopathic remedies have been the subject of numerous clinical trials. Taken together, these trials showed at best no effect beyond placebo, at worst that homeopathy could be actively harmful. Although some trials produced positive results, systematic reviews revealed that this was because of chance, flawed research methods, and reporting bias. The proposed mechanisms for homeopathy are precluded by the laws of physics from having any effect. Patients who choose to use homeopathy rather than evidence based medicine risk missing timely diagnosis and effective treatment of serious conditions. The regulation and prevalence of homeopathy vary greatly from country to country.
Other articles related to "homeopathic remedies, homeopathic, remedies":
... In Germany, the legislation for homeopathic remedies is as described above under European Union ... Homeopathic remedies are subject to registration, but they need not be tested ... However, homeopathic remedies that are less diluted than D4, or for which a danger of adverse effects exists, cannot be registered under this rule.) They can be ...
... The provision of homeopathic remedies has been described as unethical ... As homeopathic remedies often contain only water and/or alcohol, they are however thought to be generally safe – only in rare cases are the original ingredients ... Instances of arsenic poisoning have occurred after use of arsenic-containing homeopathic preparations ...
... a United States Senator from New York and homeopathic physician) recognized homeopathic remedies as drugs ... mid to late 1970s, homeopathy made a significant comeback and sales of some homeopathic companies increased tenfold. 1990s and mainstream pharmacy chains recognized the business potential of selling homeopathic remedies ...
... by the British government during World War II in which volunteers tested the efficacy of homeopathic remedies against diluted mustard gas burns ... preparations has diminished the highest-quality trials indicate that the remedies themselves exert no intrinsic effect ... the most reliable evidence – that produced by Cochrane reviews – fails to demonstrate that homeopathic medicines have effects beyond placebo." Publication bias and other methodological issues ...
... Scientific research has found homeopathic remedies ineffective and their postulated mechanisms of action implausible ... Homeopathic remedies are prepared by repeatedly diluting a chosen substance in alcohol or distilled water, followed by forceful striking on an elastic body, called succussion ... Homeopaths select remedies by consulting reference books known as repertories, considering the totality of the patient's symptoms as well as the patient ...
Famous quotes containing the words remedies and/or homeopathic:
“Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Which we ascribe to heaven. The fated sky
Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull
Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“The anorexic prefigures this culture in rather a poetic fashion by trying to keep it at bay. He refuses lack. He says: I lack nothing, therefore I shall not eat. With the overweight person, it is the opposite: he refuses fullness, repletion. He says, I lack everything, so I will eat anything at all. The anorexic staves off lack by emptiness, the overweight person staves off fullness by excess. Both are homeopathic final solutions, solutions by extermination.”
—Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929)