Homeopathy was created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like, a claim that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people.
He believed that disease were caused by miasms, and made homeopathic preparations using a process of homeopathic dilution. Homeopaths select preparations by considering the totality of the patient’s symptoms, personal traits, physical and psychological state, and life history.
The name “homeopathy”, which comes from the Greek: ὅμοιος hómoios, “-like” and πάθος páthos, “suffering”. Homeopathic preparations are referred to as “homeopathics” or “remedies”. Homeopathy uses animal, plant, mineral, and synthetic substances in its preparations, generally referring to them using Latin or faux-Latin names. Examples include arsenicum album (arsenic oxide), natrum muriaticum (sodium chloride or table salt), Lachesis muta (the venom of the bushmaster snake), opium, and thyroidinum (thyroid hormone). In homeopathy, a solution that is more dilute is described as having a higher “potency”, and more dilute substances are considered by homeopaths to be stronger and deeper-acting.