Homeopathy is not categorised as part of the naturopathic methods but is an independent medicinal therapy developed by the German physician, chemist and pharmacist Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). Doctors using classical homeopathic methods emphasise that they closely follow Hahnemann's art of healing with their homeopathic practice.
The term "homeopathy" comes from the Greek and means "like suffering". That means that, in classical homeopathy, an illness is treated with a low dose of a substance that would cause symptoms similar to this illness in a healthy person. This like-for-like principle was already discovered in ancient Greece by Hippocrates and was systematically developed, clinically tested, practiced successfully by Hahnemann. It was published in "The Organon of the healing art".
The "like-for-like rule" (lat. similia simibilus curentur) forms one of the basic principles of classical homeopathy according to Hahnemann. It says: "Select to heal gently, quickly, carefully and effectively a medicine, which can cause a similar suffering (homoion pathos) as the one it should heal!"
According to classical homeopathy, the key to find the suitable medicine can be found in the individual characteristic traits of humans. Classical homeopathy acts as stimulating therapy that activates the self-healing abilities of the organism and/or guides them in the right direction. Illness is not viewed as an isolated event that only affects a single or several organs but it is seen as an expression of a disturbance of the entire organism. Classical homeopathy always looks at a person in his/her entirety, which also includes his/her life story, mood and habits.
Classical homeopathy is now widespread all over the world thanks to Hahnemann's students and successors. For example, it is regulated by law in the European Union. Modern medicine cannot possibly be imagined without it today.