Homeopathy is an alternative cure and treatment option that is not scientifically recognized. It is based on the ideas of the German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) who founded homeopathy in 1796. He succeeded by successfully treating himself with China-bark when he was suffering from malaria.
In Germany, homeopathy is practiced both by medical doctors and alternative practitioners. This requires an independent and complete training as well as an examination at the German Medical Association. In Austria, however, homeopathy can be practiced only by physicians after special training.
Homeopathy is based on the principle of equality and similarity according to Hahnemann. That means, similar should be cured by similar ("similia similibus curentur" (Hahnemann)). The healer tries to treat the symptoms with a substance that is similar to the disease pattern. A second principle of homeopathy is the principle of dilution, which is also called potentiation. This means that the basic substances of homeopathic remedies are diluted repeatedly with water, ethanol or lactose (usually in a mixing ratio of 1:10 or 1: 100). Thus, all substances and medicines in homeopathy are offered in very low concentration.
Homeopathy is also subject to special drug trials which shall verify empirically the symptom picture of each substance. Homeopathy is no uniform doctrine. There are several directions that sometimes fight each other. The tendencies and differentiations of the spectrum of homeopathy include:
- Classical homeopathy
- Genuine homeopathy
- Bönninghausen- and Boger method
- Miasmatic and scientific homeopathy
- Scientific-critical direction
- Process-oriented homeopathy
- Creative homeopathy
- Impulse and resonance homeopathy
- Electronic homeopathy (frequency based)
- Seghal and Herscue method
- Central delusion
- C4 homeopathy
- Quantum logic homeopathy