Homeopathy is a complementary alternative medicine (CAM) This means that homeopathy is different in important ways from treatments that are part of conventional Western 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 and shaking, called succussion.
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. There has been extensive investigation of the effectiveness of homeopathy. There is no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition.
When you first see a homeopath they will usually ask you about any specific health conditions, but also about your general well being, emotional state, lifestyle and diet. Based on this, the homeopath will decide on the course of treatment, which most often takes the form of homeopathic remedies given as a pill, capsule or tincture.