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Homeopathy - Ethnoscience Glossary Terms and Abbreviations

The growing popularity of alternative medicine is due in large part to the growth of homeopathy. This 250-year-old science was developed in the late 18thcentury by the German doctor and biologist, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. One of the primary principles in homeopathy is the Law of Similars. The premise states that 'like cures like.' "In other words, a substance produces symptoms of illness in a well person when administered in large doses. If we administer the same substance in minute quantities, it will cure the disease in a sick person" (Novella et al., 2008, p.9). Hahnemann had very different ideas about the body than his colleagues who practiced conventional medicine. He believed in the concept of the 'constitution,' the notion that the body must be treated as a whole and that the right remedy would literally 'kick start' the system into healing itself at the most basic level. In this way, homeopathy would not treat disease, it would heal the body. The second principle is the Law of Infintesimals, which states that "Substances become more potent when diluted" (Novella et al., 2008, p.9).

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