Homeopathy vs Allopathy

 Approach to a patient is more or less the same in both allopathy and homeopathy.

Homeopaths, from a detailed interview, elicit the total symptoms of the patient. They then match the ‘total symptoms’ to the remedies in the Materia Medica and select the most closely matched remedy to treat the individual. If the initial remedy didn’t work, they may perform a more thorough match, an alternative remedy may be selected on a trial and error basis.

In modern medicine, practitioners take a detailed history of the patient in a systematic manner under various headings- present history, past history, personal history, drug history, allergies, family and occupational history etc. Then they proceed to a detailed systematic examination of the individual. The ‘total’ symptoms and signs are then ‘matched’ to the disease states (rather than to the drugs directly) to arrive at a clinical diagnosis. They then corroborate or confirm the clinical diagnosis by various investigations (blood/ urine/ X-rays/ scan/ histology etc)

Treatment is then planned depending on the condition and the stage, and considering the individual as a whole. In case of treatment failure, the practitioners review the history, reexamine the patient, further investigations are carried out as necessary and alternative treatment options are considered, at times on a trial and error basis.

Matching as a tool of finding the etiology

If I ingest large doses of cinchona and go to a homeopath with some symptoms, he wouldn’t probably be interested in my symptom totality and wouldn’t go through the ritual of matching to select the remedy. If he is intelligent enough, he would straight away give me the homeopathic cinchona.

Likewise is with any known poisoning. The practice of matching the symptom totality to find out the correct remedy would become superfluous in these cases because they knew the etiology or the causative agent. Homeopaths use the principle of ‘same curing the same’ or the ‘isopathy’ as they label it.

When they don’t ‘know’ the causative agent like in most scenarios, they do ‘matching’ to find out the most likely etiology (but rather subconsciously), i.e. they match the total symptoms of the patient to the remedies in their ‘holy bible – Materia Medica’ and select the most appropriate remedy which could have caused a similar totality of symptoms when consumed in excess by a healthy person. Here they are applying ‘the principle of similars’ or the ‘Homeopathy proper’.

Unlike the situation in ‘isopathy’ where an exact remedy can be ‘selected’ (because they know the offending agent),  here in  ‘homeopathy’ one can only select a similar remedy or the closest matched remedy. Depending on how strongly or closely the symptoms are matched while selecting the remedy, cures do occur sometimes. But the allopaths and scientists discard these occasional cures or relief of symptoms as just placebo.

So in essence, matching can be seen as way of finding the possible etiologic or the causative agent. It is like arriving at a provisional diagnosis in allopathy based on the symptoms and signs. Also, in homeopathy the diagnosis and the remedy are one and the same.

Hahnemann had no other choice except matching the symptoms to the known remedies or toxins to find out the possible causative agent and arrive at an etiologic diagnosis which is obviously important to select treatment.

While homeopaths are humbly following their God Hahnemann and using the same old method of matching to ‘diagnose’ the remedy, Modern medicine has made tremendous advances. We now understand the etiopathogenesis for most diseases and have developed a multitude of investigations to corroborate the clinical diagnosis. Newer and more effective treatments are being added to our armamentarium as we better understand the pathophysiology.

In modern medicine treatment is directed at different levels-

  1. Addressing the etiologic agent- antimalarials, antibiotics, chelating agents
  2. Addressing the pathologic process or event or mediators- surgery for appendicitis or perforated viscous; fracture fixation; surgery/ radiotherapy/ chemotherapy for cancer; anti-inflamatory drugs
  3. Symptom relief- antipyretics and analgesics etc

Contrary to what homeopaths may think about modern medicine, a disease is never treated without considering the individual as a whole. The social circumstances are also taken into account in planning the treatment.




  • Zep  On September 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    FYI: There is no such thing as “allopathy”. The whole idea and the word itself was simply a swear-word made up by Hahnemann to apply to his perceived “enemies”. You do know that he spent about 400 of the 600 pages of his Organon not talking about homeopathy at all but making rude and angry comments and remarks about his so-called “allopath” enemies. That indicates clearly the sort of person he really was – bitter, angry and fixated. Bet they don’t tell you THAT at homeopathy school! 😉

    • drgsrinivas  On September 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Thats a lot you gathered. Very much appreciated.
      I can understand your agony but may be you can excuse Him – the word allopathy is well accepted and used by the medical councils and many official bodies.

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