A 41-year-old member asked:

How exactly does homeopathy claim to work?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 44 years experience
Unknown: Homeopathy's exact mechanism for working is unknown. This is also true of many treatments used in conventional medicine. Some research implicates the model of epitaxy: the transfer of information, not material, from the surface of one material (usually solid) to another material (usually liquid) -- with homeopathic remedies. Human bodies contain at least 70% water, so this may be a testable idea.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Christopher Bojrab
Psychiatry 30 years experience
With respect, homeopathy does not have any scientific basis. At the dilutions achieved in homeopathic preparations, it is unlikely that there is one molecule of the original substance still present. Homeopathy is a form of "sympathetic magic" in which the original substance somehow imprints some type of energy/information onto the water in the preparation. This violates our understanding of physics and chemistry. For more information, visit www.quackwatch.com or www.sciencebasedmedicine.org
Aug 12, 2012
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 44 years experience
Provided original answer
Dr. Bojrab, Thank you for sharing your opinions. However, they ignore many published research studies documenting homeopathy's effectiveness. Here's a beginning list: http://tinyurl.com/9aek9du I have found nothing magical in it, but am gratified when the process produces helpful results for patients.
Aug 19, 2012
Dr. Randy Baker
Dr. Randy Baker commented
Holistic Medicine 42 years experience
Dr. Bojrab, your objections are common among critics of homeopathy but have been proven to be inaccurate. Here is a link to a fascinating debate between a leading advocate and leading critic of homeopathy. If you read it with an open mind I believe you will be impressed: http://www.legatum.sk/en:misc:talk-saine-schwarcz
Dec 29, 2012
Dr. Ilana Newman
Palliative Care 28 years experience
2 main principles: Homeopathy works by 2 main principles. 1) Like cures like, meaning that large doses of the diluted homeopathic substance will cause the symptoms that are being treated. 2) Dilutions of the homeopathic medication are made, even to the point of not being able to find any of it left in the solution,
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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