Homeopathy vs. Naturopathy
Difference Between Homeopathy And Naturopathyhy
The use of natural medicines made from minute doses of plant, mineral, or animal substances is the core of homeopathic healing. This system, developed several hundred years ago, is part of mainstream medicine in Europe today. Some 3,000 U.S. health professionals were practicing homeopathy in the late 1990s, and its comeback was said to be largely due to the growing concern over the often troublesome side effects of contemporary drugs and medications.
Homeopathy attempts to stimulate the body into healing itself. Proponents believe that a symptom is the body’s way of correcting an ailment. It operates under the principle of “like cures like”—meaning that an illness can be treated with a very diluted amount of the same substance that causes the illness in a healthy person. Some conventional treatments, such as vaccines, are loosely constructed around this same theory. For example, rather than suppressing a fever with medicine, a homeopath would use a remedy that induces fever, and thus speeds the body’s own healing process. Though homeopathy ostensibly believes no two patients are alike, there are standard remedies for common health problems available in pharmacies and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Homeopathy is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including infections, arthritis, allergies, chronic pain, and gastrointestinal disorders. But most homeopaths concede that more-serious and incurable diseases should not be treated with these remedies.
This approach to health and healing relies on the restorative powers of nature. Like homeopathy, naturopathy views symptoms as an indication that the body is trying to heal itself—not as the actual illness. The role of the naturopathic physician is to look at the root causes of the ailment, and focus on diet and lifestyle habits. The ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine is prevention, which is often accomplished by building the body’s health. Proper nutrition is a cornerstone of this practice, and many conditions are treated by dietary changes and the introduction of vitamin supplements. Often naturopaths incorporate other therapies, such as acupuncture, into the healing process.
Nature-based healing dates at least as far back as the ancient Egyptians, who passed down herbal remedies, hydrotherapy (water cures), and other techniques to the Greeks. The organized practice of naturopathy in the United States began more than 100 years ago. It was quite popular in the early 1900s, until technological medicine came into favor.
Naturopathic medicine can be used to treat digestive disorders, flu, liver problems, and other ailments. The effectiveness of this method often depends on a patient’s willingness to make the recommended lifestyle and dietary changes.