Homeopathy is built on a principle and its corollaries formulated together by Hahnemann in the late eighteenth century.
* The principle of "sameness": the rectory of a set of symptoms is provided by a substance (plant, mineral or animal) that causes similar symptoms in healthy subjects: Similia similibus curantur.
* The "adaptation" of treating the patient: the principle of similarity and its verification, take place whenever the search for the most similar remedy was carried out carefully by the practitioner: it is "the individualization. Each treatment is customized to each patient and, whatever the name of the disease, the search for "all" the symptoms presented by the patient at the center of the method. It explains the length of the dialogue between doctor and patient. The step of observing the symptoms caused by a substance in healthy individuals, which always precedes the application of the principle of similarity, and its transcript corresponds to the establishment of a proving. In practice, the best known homeopathic medicines (Oscillococcinum, Sedative PC ...) are in fact produced on an industrial scale and prescribed for many patients.
* The "dynamic": after preparing each dilution is shaken (successions) vigorously, manually or mechanically, allowing the homeopathic preparation to retain its pharmacological effects, despite significant dilution.
Homeopathy is opposed to allopathy, a term invented by Hahnemann and also means that any medication that is not based on the similarity in the choice of therapy, but on the "principle of opposites." Thus, herbal medicine is a healing method allopathic. Nevertheless, the concepts of "principle of opposites" or "principle of similarity" does not have the same empirical or scientific basis.
The adjective is "homeopathic" and the person applying this method is a "homeopath". By semantic shift, "homeopathic" means in common parlance often a small dose of a product by reference to the current characteristics of homeopathy, while the original meaning of the word homeopathy is treated by similarity: the substance chosen to treat sick person is called "homeopathic patient.