Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine, first proposed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1796, that treats patients with heavily diluted preparations which are thought to cause effects similar to the symptoms presented. Homeopathic remedies are prepared by serial dilution with shaking by forceful striking, which homeopaths term “succussion,” after each dilution under the assumption that this increases the effect of the treatment. Homeopaths call this process “potentization”. Dilution often continues until none of the original substance remains.Apart from the symptoms of the disease, homeopaths use aspects of the patient’s physical and psychological state in recommending remedies.Homeopathic remedies are considered safe, with rare exceptions.
Homeopathy is a vitalist philosophy in that it interprets diseases and sickness as caused by disturbances in a hypothetical vital force or life force. It sees these disturbances as manifesting themselves as unique symptoms. Homeopathy maintains that the vital force has the ability to react and adapt to internal and external causes.