by Iris R. Bell, MD PhD MD(H)
Overview of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) developed by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann, MD. More than 500 million people worldwide have used homeopathic remedies (Kaul, 1996). Homeopathy is an established and widely available form of health care in countries such as the U.K., Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, India, and across Latin America. Homeopathy in the U.S. has undergone a cyclical course. In the early 1900’s, there were reportedly 22 homeopathic medical schools (originally including institutions such as Boston University and New York Medical College), 100 homeopathic hospitals, over 1000 homeopathic pharmacies across the U.S. Disputes between physicians in the American Medical Association and the American Institute of Homeopathy led to the decline of homeopathy in the U.S. until its resurgence in the latter part of the 20th century.