In 1796 a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, discovered a different approach to the cure of the sick which he called Homeopathy (from the Greek word meaning "similar suffering"). Like Hippocrates two thousand years earlier he realised that there were two ways of treating ill health, the way of opposites and the way of similars.
Take for example, a case of insomnia. The way of opposites, (conventional medicine or allopathy), is to treat this by giving a drug to bring on an artificial sleep. This frequently involves the use of large or regular doses of drugs which can sometimes cause side effects or addiction. The way of similars, the homeopathic way, is to give the patient a minute dose of a substance, such as coffee, which in large doses causes sleeplessness in a healthy person. Perhaps surprisingly this will enable the patient to sleep naturally.
Homeopathic remedies cannot cause side effects and you cannot become addicted to them. This is because only a very minute amount of the active ingredient is used in a specially prepared form.
A homeopath will give you a homeopathic medicine or remedy which matches your symptoms as you experience them. This also takes account of you as a person, your individual characteristics emotionally as well as physically. Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the body's own healing power. This stimulus will assist your own system to clear itself of any expressions of imbalance. The aim is to get you to a level of health so that eventually you will need infrequent treatment.
(Quoted with kind permission from the Society of Homeopaths leaflet "Homeopathy Simply Explained")
Nature's Materia Medica - New Third Edition (formerly The Remedy Guide)
Pocket Manual of Materia Medica & Repertory (Indian edition)
The Spirit of Homoeopathy
Homeopathy for Mother And Baby