system of pseudoscientific alternative medicine based on the doctrine of "like cures like"

Homeopathy is an alternative medicine.[1][2][3] It was created in the 18th century by Samuel Hahnemann. The theory behind homeopathy is that an ill person can be healed with very small amounts of something that produces the symptoms of the illness in a healthy person. Scientists have tested and proven many times that homeopathy does not work at all to treat any disease and only makes people think they feel better. (This is called the placebo effect.)[1][4]



Homeopaths make their medicines by taking the ingredients, adding water, and shaking the mixture. They then take a drop of the mixture, throw out the rest, and add more water. They do this usually 30 times but sometimes up to 200 times. They call it potentisation. Hahnemann said this would bring out the "spirit-like medicinal powers held within a drug".[5] Science can show how many atoms or molecules—tiny things that cannot be divided up any more—of the original substance are left in the homeopathic drug. Most homeopathic drugs do not contain even a single molecule of the original substance.[6] Homeopaths believe that the solution carries a "memory" of the original substance.[2][3] Science says that goes against the laws of physics and chemistry.[6]



Homeopathy became popular because it was created at a time when medicine did not work very well and could make people sick.[7] Back then, taking homeopathy might have kept people from getting hurt by bad doctors. However, medicine has improved since then, and now helps a lot more than it hurts people. Some homeopaths have told their patients not to take medicines like antibiotics and vaccines that could cure (or keep them from getting) dangerous diseases. Hence the use of homeopathy, instead of obtaining real medical help, can cause unnecessary suffering, disease and/or death.[8][9][10][11][12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ernst E (2002). "A systematic review of systematic reviews of homeopathy". Br J Clin Pharmacol. 54 (6): 577–82. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2125.2002.01699.x. PMC 1874503. PMID 12492603. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shang A, Huwiler-Müntener K, Nartey L; et al. (2005). "Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy". Lancet. 366 (9487): 726–732. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67177-2. PMID 16125589. S2CID 17939264.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "When to believe the unbelievable". Nature. 333 (30): 787. 1988. Bibcode:1988Natur.333Q.787.. doi:10.1038/333787a0. S2CID 4369459.
  4. Ernst E, Pittler MH (1998). "Efficacy of homeopathic arnica: a systematic review of placebo-controlled clinical trials". Archives of Surgery (Chicago, Ill. : 1960). 133 (11): 1187–90. doi:10.1001/archsurg.133.11.1187. PMID 9820349.
  5. Organon of Medicine, Archived 2009-09-12 at the Wayback Machine Samuel Hahnemann, combined 5th/6th edition
  6. 6.0 6.1 Weissmann G (2006). "Homeopathy: Holmes, Hogwarts, and the Prince of Wales". FASEB J. 20 (11): 1755–8. doi:10.1096/fj.06-0901ufm. PMID 16940145. S2CID 9305843.
  7. British Medical Journal: Blood-letting, page 283, March 18 1871, retrieved on March 21 2008
  8. Ernst E (1997). "The attitude against immunisation within some branches of complementary medicine". Eur. J. Pediatr. 156 (7): 513–515. doi:10.1007/s004310050650. PMID 9243229. S2CID 25420567.
  9. Ernst E, White AR (1995). "Homoeopathy and immunization". The British Journal of General Practice: The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners. 45 (400): 629–630. PMC 1239445. PMID 8554846.
  10. Ernst E (2001). "Rise in popularity of complementary and alternative medicine: reasons and consequences for vaccination". Vaccine. 20 (Suppl 1): S90–3, discussion S89. doi:10.1016/S0264-410X(01)00290-0. PMID 11587822.
  11. Jones, Meirion (2006-07-14). "Malaria advice 'risks lives'". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-07-25.
  12. Critical review of The Science of Homeopathy from the British Homoeopathic Journal Volume 67, Number 4, October 1978