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Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine. It was created in the 18th century by Samuel Hahnemann. The basic theory behind Homeopathy is that a sick person can be healed using something that produces the symptoms of the illness in a healthy person. Some people say that there is scientific evidence that homeopathy helps in many problems and diseases but others say that homeopathy only makes people think they feel better (this is called the placebo effect.)
Homeopaths make their medicines by taking the ingredients, adding water, and shaking the mixture. They then take a drop of the mixture, throw out the rest, and add more water. They do this usually 30 times but sometimes up to 200 times. They call it potentisation. Hahnemann said this would bring out the "spirit-like medicinal powers held within a drug". Homeopaths believe that the solution carries a "memory" of the original substance.
Science shows how many atoms or molecules - tiny things that cannot be divided up any more - existed in the original substance being diluted. In most homeopathic drugs, scientists can use mathematics to determine if they have any of the original substance. Some homeopaths agree with the doubts of scientists, but say that quantum mechanics or other things allow homeopathy to work anyway. Most scientists ignore homeopathy or say that it does not work, because its ideas go against those of physics and chemistry.
Homeopathy became popular because it was created at a time when medicine did not work very well and could make people sick. Back then, taking homeopathy might have kept people from getting hurt by bad doctors. However, medicine has improved since then, and now helps a lot more than it hurts people. Homeopaths have also been known to tell their patients not to take medicines like antibiotics and vaccines that could cure (or keep them from getting) dangerous diseases.
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