Homeopathy is a complementary medicine. It is based on a series of ideas developed in the 1790s by a German doctor called Samuel Hahnemann.
A central principle of the “treatment” is that “like cures like” – that a substance that causes certain symptoms can also help to remove those symptoms. A second central principle is based around a process of dilution.
Practitioners believe that the more a substance is diluted in this way, the greater its power to treat symptoms. Many homeopathic remedies consist of substances that have been diluted many times in water until there is none or almost none of the original substance left.
Homeopathy is used to treat an extremely wide range of conditions, including physical conditions such as asthma and psychological conditions such as depression.
Among the most common conditions that people seek homeopathic treatment for are:
- ear infections
- hay fever
- mental health conditions, such as depression, stress and anxiety
- allergies, such as food allergies
- dermatitis (an allergic skin condition)
- high blood pressure