Homeopathic treatments use pills or liquid mixtures containing plants or minerals intended to enhance the body's ability to fight illness. The core philosophy of homeopathy is the body has the ability to heal itself. There is some evidence that homeopathy may have helpful effects, according to WebMD.
Homeopathic medicine was founded by the German physician Dr. Samuel Christian Hahnemann in the early 19th century, explains Dr. Andrew Weil. The practice relies on three principles: the law of similars, the principle of the single remedy and the principle of the minimum dose. The law of similars states a disease should be treated by a substance that creates symptoms similar to those experienced by the patient. The principle of the single remedy states a single medicine covers all the symptoms of an illness. The principle of the minimum dose requires a patient only receive a small number of treatments that are extremely diluted, sometimes to the point there is no detectable amount of the medicine in the solution.
Homeopathic treatments are typically used to treat minor problems such as teething pains, bruises, skin irritations and bed-wetting. Patients with severe illnesses are usually referred to a physician. When visiting a homeopathic therapist, patients give a thorough description of all their symptoms including mental, physical and emotional distress. Also, details are given about lifestyle such as sleep patterns and eating habits, notes Dr. Weil.