The Confusion in Homeopathy

Most people regard Homeopathy as a kind of Naturopathy, however, this is absolutely wrong. In fact, Homeopathy and Naturopathy are different branches of Alternative Medicines.

What are Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine is defined as those which are not included in Western Medicine (Allopathy). It includes:

• Physiotherapy
• Diet Therapy
• Naturopathic Medicine
• Western Herbal Medicine.
• Psychotherapy
• Aromatherapy.
• Qigong.
• Hydrotherapy
• Kinesitherapy
• Vitamins, Minerals
• Urine therapy
• Raw Food Diet
• Fasting Therapy.
• Massage.
• Nutrition Therapy.
• Traditional Chinese Medicine.
• Acupuncture.
• Manipulative Thearpy
• Yoga.
• Music therapy.
• Cupping.
• Chiropractic.
• Naturopathy
• Homeopathy … … and so on

What is Naturopathy

From the above information, Naturopathy is not the only non-Western Medicine. As a matter of fact, Naturopathy was founded by Henri Leclerc, the famous French doctor. Naturopathy was initially called the “Eclecticism”. This kind of healing method is also called “Phytotherapy”. Since it combined both Herbalism and Dietetics, it is also known as Naturopathy or Holistic Nutritional Medicine by the modern medical profession.

* Note: According to the definition found in Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, 29th edition, P. 564, Eclecticism is a healing method commonly used by the North American aborigines in 19th century. They made use of a single remedy to deal with a known disease. They ignored the Nosology, but especially used the remedy making from the native plants.

Currently, different parts of the world, such as the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, have an open attitude towards the alternative medicine. They realize that the Western medicine (i.e. Allopathy) alone cannot handle the human disease in the new century. Therefore the alternative medicines are introduced to fill the gap. Naturopathy has once been popular. From the past experience and the clinical results, the alternative medicine based on Naturopathy cannot provide any satisfactory results, but on the contrary it may sometimes become an excuse just for commercial marketing.

In recent years, the governments of different countries rediscovered the importance of Homeopathy, which has a long history of 200 years and little commercial value. They carry out the respective legislative management, leading to the revival of this powerful comprehensive medical therapy which was once ignored by people worldwide. Now Homeopathy becomes the mainstream of the alternative medicines, while Naturopathy is gradually declining. For instance, the United States and Canada, CHC (Council for Homeopathic Certification), which is the official registered body, is managing nearly a hundred of Homeopathy colleges certified by the government in the country. On the other hand, there are only 5 naturopathy colleges under the statutory body for Naturopathy, viz. CNME (Council on Naturopathic Medical Education). Their graduates are required to pass the licensing examination in order to register as a Naturopathic practitioner, known as NPLEX (Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination). By regulation, the respective courses have to be taken in the United States and Canada, but not overseas. If the Naturopathic practitioner would like to gain the license of homeopath, he/she has to study the Homeopathy courses and pass the respective licensing examination in order to be a registered Homeopathy practitioner. By taking another example in the United Kingdom, since the British Royal family has always been the active supporter of Homeopathy, Homeopathy is well popular in the UK, but Naturopathy is much less welcomed.

Now based on the overview of the policies for alternative medicine of the governments of different countries, the main consideration lies on Homeopathy, supplemented by the other alternative medicines. Even the Naturopathy or Holistic nutrition course, which was popular for a while, is also included in the perquisite foundation course before taking the Homeopathy education.

After understanding what Naturopathy is about, we will come to the most profound subject of the alternative medicines, viz. Homeopathy. To appreciate this holistic therapy which is non-toxic, side effect free, safe and quick in healing.



1. Vinton McCabe, Let Like Cure Like, The Definitive Guide to The Healing Power of Homeopathy, p.70, 1997.