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Homeopathy is a 'treatment' based on the use of highly diluted substances, which practitioners claim can cause the body to heal itself.

Homeopathy involves giving extremely small doses of substances that produce characteristic symptoms of illness in healthy people when given in larger doses. This approach is called 'like cures like.'

The key premise behind homeopathy is that every person has energy called a vital force or self-healing response. When this energy is disrupted or imbalanced, health problems develop. Homeopathy aims to stimulate the body's own healing responses.

Homeopathy is known by a variety of other names such as homeopathic medicine and 'like cures like'.

It is practiced under various forms including

  • Bach flower remedies: flowers are steeped or boiled in water, the resulting tincture being diluted many times.
  • Cell salts, tissue salts or Schuessler salts, also known as biochemic remedies: use of tiny amounts of minerals, usually in the form of tablets
  • Classical homeopathy: original form, in which the therapist attempts to match the pattern of the patient's symptoms to the pattern of a single remedy.
  • Gemmotherapy: uses the buds and other very young parts of plants to stimulate elimination of toxic compounds from the body.
  • Homotoxicology: use of homoeopathic products in pre-manufactured combinations to treat specific symptoms.
  • Sequential homeopathy, therapy or treatment: use of homeopathic treatments in a sequence determined by the illnesses and other traumas in a person's life.

Homeopathy is also often practiced alongside, or as part of, other complementary and alternative medicines and approaches such as naturopathy.

Some people believe that homeopathy can be used to treat an enormous range of conditions, including some of the medical problems faced by people with autism spectrum disorders. This claim is disputed by many scientists, some of whom claim that it contradicts the known laws of physics, chemistry, and pharmacology. Others go further and claim that it is best described as a belief system rather than as a system of medicine.

Please  Note

According to the NHS Direct website,

'There have been several reviews of the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of homeopathy. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee said there is no evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition.

'The ideas that underpin homeopathy are not accepted by mainstream science, and are not consistent with long-accepted principles on the way that the physical world works. The Committee's 2010 report on homeopathy said the "like cures like" principle is "theoretically weak", and that this is the 'settled view of medical science'.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

  • 'There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition.
  • 'Although people sometimes assume that all homeopathic remedies are highly diluted and therefore unlikely to cause harm, some products labeled as homeopathic can contain substantial amounts of active ingredients and therefore could cause side effects and drug interactions.
  • 'Homeopathic remedies are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, FDA does not evaluate the remedies for safety or effectiveness.
  • 'Several key concepts of homeopathy are inconsistent with fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics. There are significant challenges in carrying out rigorous clinical research on homeopathic remedies.
  • 'Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health practices you use. Give them a full picture of all you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.'

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This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..

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The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.