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Homeopathy

What is homeopathy?

Homeopathic medicine is based on the use of natural substances, regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to treat acute and chronic illnesses. In addition, homeopathic medicine is also used to prevent diseases.

Homeopathic drugs are made of plant, animal, or mineral substances. This therapy treats ailments with very small amounts of the same substance that causes the patient's symptoms.

The idea behind homeopathy is that if a large dosage of a certain substance produces certain symptoms, a small dosage of the same substance may cause the opposite effect. In other words, if a person suffers from throbbing headaches, he/she might be treated with a very diluted dosage of belladonna, a poisonous herb that causes throbbing headaches.

Explanations for why homeopathy works range from the idea that homeopathic medicine stimulates the body's own natural defenses to the idea that homeopathic medicine retains a "memory" of the original substance. However, there is no factual explanation for why homeopathy works and more research is needed.

Homeopathic medicine is most often used to treat:

Medical Reviewer: [Foster, Sara RN MPH, Jenkins, Lee] Last Annual Review Date: 2011-05-20T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: Copyright © 2007 Staywell Content Services, Inc. except where otherwise noted.

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