Homeopathy is more than 200 years old, used by tens of thousands of physicians and over 500 million people worldwide, making it one of the most popular forms of integrated medicine. It is based on the concept of ‘treating like with like’ (in Latin similia similibus curentur). Homeopathic treatment aims to stimulate and direct the body’s self-healing capacity by triggering a reaction. The body reacts to stimuli, which have physiological effects (drugs or toxins) by attempting to maintain homeostasis (a stable internal environment). Homeopathy makes therapeutic use of this effect.
Scientific scepticism about homeopathy arises from its use of highly dilute medicines. There is a substantial body of research on this issue: a recent review of basic research on highly dilute homeopathic medicines found 98 replicated experiments, over 70% of replications were positive. Methods used to prepare homeopathic medicines are remarkably similar to some used in cutting-edge nanotechnology and there is growing evidence that nanoparticles play a crucial role in the action of homeopathic medicines.