Allopathy and homeopathy are different methods of treatment used to manage various ailments. But what makes allopathy different from homeopathy? Let’s understand what allopathy and homeopathy are, the difference between allopathic and homeopathic medicines, and how they work on the body.

What is Allopathy?

Allopathic medicine or allopathy works by treating the symptoms of a disease, rather than its root cause. Allopathic medicines attack the natural defense of the body. The term ‘allopathy’ – which comes from the Greek words “allos”, meaning “opposite”, and “pathos” meaning “to suffer” – was introduced by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. Practitioners of allopathy follow the approach of treating the symptom and not the cause.

Allopathy, also known as modern medicine, operates on Hippocrates’ theory of ‘The Four Humors’. The theory states that there are four humors, namely blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile, and maintaining the balance of these four is essential for good health. A shift in the balance of the four humors along with four bodily conditions (hot, cold, wet and dry) related to the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) is the root cause of all the diseases. Considering the fact that allopathic medicines cause side effects, it is recommended to consider all possible options for treatment and then go with the best one.

What is homeopathy?

The word homeopathy means ‘similar suffering’. When high doses of pharmacologically-induced substances are given to a healthy person, they can develop certain symptoms. Homeopathic medicine or homeopathy works on the basis that when the same substances are diluted, they help in treating similar symptoms arising from different causes. Homeopathic medicines are not known for attacking germs, but rather boosting the immune system to fight the cause of the disease. Apart from toughening up the body’s immunity, homeopathic medicines can boost the psychological, emotional and physical well-being of the patient, which is an essential part of the treatment.

How are Homeopathy and Allopathy Used to Treat Ailments?

One major difference between allopathy and homeopathy is the way the treatment works. Allopathy uses drugs, and sometimes surgery to treat ailments, while homeopathy works on improving the body’s response to the disease. Homeopathy is considered to be the opposite of allopathy, because homeopathy operates on the belief that ‘what caused the problem in the first place is also the solution for treatment’, and uses minimal doses in diluted form, unlike allopathy.

Allopathy targets the specific organ or part that is affected in the body, but there is always a risk of side effects and infection spreading to the neighboring body parts. Homeopathy is usually risk-free as it has no effects on other body parts, and aims to cure the whole body and not just the affected part.

How is an Allopathic Doctor Different from a Homeopathic Doctor?

Another difference between allopathy and homeopathy is the kind of education and degrees the respective doctors earn. Allopathic doctors are licensed medical practitioners who prescribe drugs made by the pharmaceutical industry, meaning the drugs are machine-made with chemical compounds. Some examples of allopathic treatments are prescription drugs such as antibiotics, pain killers, migraine medications, chemotherapy, blood pressure medication and more. Homeopathic doctors use small doses of medication to strengthen the immune system, which will in turn fight the ailment. In other words, an ill person is exposed to other similar diseases in a mild form, so that the immune system can build antibodies to fight the disease.

Allopathy v/s homeopathy is a topic that has been debated since time immemorial. A lot of research still takes place in both fields, which helps in making groundbreaking discoveries in the respective fields. Although they have different approaches, homeopathic and allopathic treatments have a huge impact on the betterment of societal health. Both types of medicines are essential in curing different ailments and boosting medicinal advancements in the world.