Help it's so confusing! Whats the difference? Allopathy, Herbology, Flower Essences, Cell Salts, Orthomolecular?

As discussed in previous tutorials, Homeopathy is a complete medical system based on the Law of Similars, or ‘like treats like’.

In this tutorial, we will look at some of the other medicinal therapies available today. How do they compare with homeopathy?

Conventional Medicine (Allopathy)

Allopathy is ‘mainstream’ medicine.  It uses chemicals and crude doses. A common example of an allopathic medicine is Panadol (paracetamol) – a drug used to reduce fevers. It takes about half an hour for the chemical effect of Panadol to lower your temperature. Once it leaves your body, the fever returns, and you then need another dose.

Most medicines you buy from a chemist work this way – they reduce or remove symptoms whilst in your body but once the dose has worn off, symptoms return.

Are there similarities?

Both homeopathy and allopathy try to relieve suffering and restore health.

What is the difference?

Where homeopathy is based on the ‘Law of Similars’, allopathic drugs are prescribed in opposition to the symptoms. For example, chronic diarrhoea is treated by drugs that produce constipation if given to the healthy – they produce the opposite of the symptom to be treated. Prescribing by opposites only suppresses symptoms for a short time and never really cures them. As soon as the effect of the medicine wears off, the problem returns, often in a worse form as the body as the body gradually becomes resistent to these drugs.

In contrast, homeopathy uses ‘similars’ to stimulate the body to cure its own symptoms. Remedies are chosen for their ability to mimic rather than oppose the symptoms of the unwell person. Chronic diarrhoea, for example, would be treated with a remedy that produces diarrhoea if given to a healthy person. This stimulating rather than suppressive approach triggers a rebound effect from the body that restores health.

Another difference between allopathy and homeopathy is that allopaths treat different symptoms as different diseases even though they occur in the one person. For example, recurrent migraines and diarrhoea would be treated with two different allopathic medicines. Homeopathy would see these problems as part of an overall disorder to be treated as the one illness with one remedy at a time.

Finally, allopathic medicines are hazardous compared to homeopathic remedies. Because allopathic medicines are chemically based, the patient runs the risk of drug interactions and toxic side effects. By contrast, homeopathy uses energetic remedies that do not produce chemical side-effects, poison, or interact with other medications.

Bach Flower (and Other Flower) Remedies

Edward Bach was a doctor who believed that negative emotions affect our physical health. In the early 1900s he developed 38 flower remedies to rebalance these emotions, so the body was free to return to health.

Are there similarities?

Bach Flowers and other flower remedies are similar to homeopathy in that they are energy medicines – they do not depend on chemicals for their effects. They are non-toxic and safe from the young to the elderly, for expectant mothers, and even for pets or animals. They have a similar taste to liquid homeopathic remedies and so are pleasant to use and easy to take.

What is the difference?

Their effects are weaker and gentler than homeopathic remedies and they have a direct effect on the emotions. In contrast, homeopathy works on physical and emotional areas at the same time. Because they have not been through standard homeopathic provings (trials) it is hard to tell whether flower remedies work by suppressing symptoms through the Law of Opposites or by curing them through the Law of Similars.

Schuessler’s Tissue Salts - Cell Salts

Tissue salts were prepared in the 1800s by a German homeopath named Schuessler. They are also known as Biochemic remedies, celloids, or cell salts. Schuessler believed that a deficiency in one or more of these 12 salts led to disease in the body. He also felt these salts would be absorbed more easily if prepared as weak homeopathic potencies.

Are there similarities?

People are often surprised to find that tissue salts are not supplements but weak homeopathic remedies. The amount of salt left in each remedy is too small for any nutritional benefit. Tissue salts are prepared in low potencies (6X or 12X) from the decimal potency scale. As with all homeopathic remedies, they are non-toxic and safe but they should be used only when symptoms are present and not repeated endlessly like a supplement.

What is the difference?

Tissue salts are limited in action compared to other homeopathic remedies. They are prepared only in low potencies that may not act deeply enough to impact on the sufferer’s chronic disease or mental-emotional symptoms. Other homeopathic remedies (and there are thousands) are prepared in numerous potencies that can manage deep-seated chronic problems as well as simple complaints.

Simply put: you have more options with homeopathy.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation (Nutritional Therapy) - Orthomolecular 

Good nutrition remains the cornerstone of good health. An inadequate diet, poorly absorbed nutrients, or nutrients depleted by stress can make us susceptible to infectious diseases, poor healing, chronic health problems, mood swings and depression.

At these times, artificial supplementation might help but is not a complete answer. Switching to a nutritious diet, removing stressors and treating the causes of malabsorption leads to true long-term improvement. Megadoses of vitamins and minerals only mask the contributing problem or create new problems by distorting the biochemistry of the body.

Are there similarities?

The goal of supplementation is to restore the body to a state of “balance.” Homeopathic treatment will often include advice on nutrition and lifestyle changes.

What is the difference?

Supplements only treat illness superficially. Homeopathy works at a deeper energetic level. In many instances, poor absorption, health problems, food cravings and aversions are caused by an imbalance in this energy. This explains why some people on an adequate diet develop “nutritional” problems while others do not. In these instances, homeopathy can help where supplements cannot.

Herbal Medicine - Herbology

Herbal medicine is as old as humanity itself and uses the medicinal properties of raw plants, or the teas and tinctures prepared from them, to treat symptoms of disease.

Are there similarities?

Some herbs heal by the “Law of Similars” and some suppress by “opposites”. Those that treat by similars work better if given in homeopathic potencies. Two examples are: Urtica urens (stinging nettle), used herbally for allergic eczema and diminished milk flow, and Cineraria maritima that resolves eye problems such as conjunctivitis. Both of these herbs treat with greater speed and effect if given in homeopathic potencies. Many herbalists are unaware of this homeopathic relationship even though many other examples exist.

What is the difference?

While gentler than many conventional medicines, herbs still have chemical effects that can poison the body or interact with conventional drugs. When prepared as homeopathic potencies they are free of these problems. Another notable difference is that most herbal remedies taste awful. This makes it difficult to coax children, and even some adults, into taking their medicine. In contrast, homeopathic remedies are dispensed as pleasant tasting sugar pilules or water.


People often ask what the difference is between naturopathy and homeopathy. Homeopaths are specialists whereas naturopaths are generalists. Naturopathy is an eclectic practice that draws from a range of therapies. Originally, naturopathy used “drugless” lifestyle approaches like diet, exercise, fresh air, pure water, sunshine, and massage. Today, it may include other therapies such as herbs, homeopathy, supplements, flower remedies, energy work, aromatherapy, and more. Each naturopath will have his or her own preferences for treatment.

Are there similarities?

Naturopaths have received introductory training in homeopathy and can prescribe homeopathic remedies for simple acute complaints or first aid situations. Unless they have undertaken further studies in homeopathy, naturopaths are not qualified to treat long term or chronic problems homeopathically.

What is the difference?

In Australia, a naturopath is taught ‘a little of many things’ over a 3-year full-time course (4 years for a bachelor qualification). A homeopath studies only homeopathy and related subjects in their 3-year full-time course (4 years for a bachelor). Your homeopath is qualified to treat the full range of acute and chronic disorders with homeopathy, while your naturopath is not. The Australian Homeopathic Association (AHA) and the Australian Register of Homeopaths (AROH) only register those practitioners who meet government-endorsed standards for homeopathic competencies and education. These bodies can be contacted for practitioner searches either directly or via the web.

In Conclusion

While many of the above therapies are useful in themselves, none have the breadth and depth of homeopathy. Some focus only on mental and emotional problems while others deal with just the physical. Most work by palliation or suppression while some, such as herbal medicine, may occasionally apply the homeopathic effect by accident.

By contrast, homeopathy can be systematically applied at a deep energetic level to heal mental, emotional and physical symptoms of ill-health. Its remedies are non-toxic, do not interact with other medications, and taste great. Everyone and anyone can use them. Homeopathy is truly a remarkable system of medicine.

The Art of Cure did not author this paper: This is a copy/paste in an attempt to share knowledge:

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