Have you ever wondered what the difference between homeopathy and allopathy was? Many people don’t know, so let’s clear it up. Homeopathy is an alternative medical practice where practitioners prescribe natural substances to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself of maladies such as allergies, headaches, asthma, and skin problems. In comparison, allopathy believes in the use of remedies that treat the symptoms of an illness rather than its underlying cause. In this article, we’ll go over what homeopathy and allopathy are, how they work, and their differences.
An Introduction to Homeopathy
At its most basic level, homeopathy is a holistic health philosophy, rather than an allopathic one. In contrast to conventional medicine, which involves diagnosing an illness or malady, treating it with medication or surgery (both of which may have potentially serious side effects), and then treating those side effects—homeopathy focuses on treating all of these issues as interrelated components of a larger problem.
An Introduction to Allopathy
It has only been in recent years that alternative medicines have come to be accepted by mainstream medical professionals. Even still, many physicians remain wary of such alternatives, believing that they do not work as well as traditional treatments. This is a commonly held opinion that does not reflect reality. While some alternative methods are indeed quackery, others have been shown to be just as effective—if not more so—than their counterparts. One such practice is known as allopathy. In a broad sense, it refers to conventional medicine and is used to distinguish it from other disciplines like homeopathy.
How Both Medicines are Used Today
While both homeopathic medicine and allopathic medicine (or regular medicine) are used in modern-day healthcare, they are used for different purposes. While regular medicine uses pharmaceuticals to treat symptoms, homeopathic treatment is more holistic. By addressing imbalances in an individual’s well-being through homeopathic medicines, overall wellness can be achieved—but certain medicines may also be prescribed when a physical ailment has been diagnosed.
Common Conditions Treated by Homeopathic Remedies
There are a number of conditions that homeopathic remedies can be used to treat, including cold and flu. You may have heard that colds aren’t caused by viruses but rather bacteria. While there is some truth to that statement, it’s still important to treat your symptoms with over-the-counter or prescription medications when you feel under the weather. While antibiotics won’t cure your cold (they only work on bacterial infections), they will help relieve your symptoms so you can get back on track sooner. Homeopathic remedies don’t contain any active ingredients, which means they don’t interfere with other medications you might be taking for a separate condition.
Common Conditions Treated by Allopathic Remedies
Allopathic practitioners will treat common conditions by suppressing symptoms; for example, if you’re suffering from respiratory infections caused by a cold, an allopathic practitioner may prescribe you a medication that suppresses your coughing. While medications like these can suppress symptoms in the short term, they won’t cure what’s really causing your illness. While some people believe that over-the-counter cough medicine is harmless, it could be contributing to more serious issues in your body without you even realizing it. Many of us have become so accustomed to using medications as a solution to our health problems that we don’t realize there are other options out there.
The Side Effects Associated with Each Medicine Type
Homeopathic remedies are made with a single active ingredient and each remedy has been prepared in a unique way, thus negating any side effects that can occur. While some patients have reactions to homeopathic medicines, they tend to be milder than those that can be associated with allopathic medications. While homeopathic medicines aren’t always right for everybody, they do have proven health benefits for many. On average, fewer than one out of every 10 people will experience an adverse reaction to homeopathic medicine.
In contrast, over six out of every 10 people experience an adverse reaction to prescription medication or OTC medications on their first use. This means that it is far less likely that you will have negative side effects when using homeopathic remedies as compared to conventional medications. The main reason for these differences in adverse reactions is due to how each type of medicine works.
The Future of This Discussion
It’s important to note that there is a lot of crossover in how homeopathic and allopathic medications are both made, administered, and regulated.
There are several big differences as well—for example, homeopathic medicine is not supposed to cause side effects or interactions with other medications. This makes it an appealing option for people who have multiple medical conditions that need to be addressed simultaneously. However, because homeopathic treatments tend to be extremely diluted, they can also take longer than conventional medicines to start working. And some experts believe that homeopathic treatments are actually placebos—that patients feel better simply because they believe they’re being treated (and not because of any real medicinal properties).
The bottom line: If you want to try out a new treatment method, talk to your doctor first about what might work best for you!
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main photo: unsplash.com/Mika Baumeister