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Homeopathy vs Naturopathy | Which Is Best For Me?

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Homeopathy and naturopathy are two unique forms of natural therapy that have been practised since the 18th century. One of them deals solely with homeopathic remedies, and the other a much wider variety of treatments.

In this article, we provide a comprehensive breakdown of homeopathy vs naturopathy, including the definition of each, and the key differences between them, so that you can select the best possible natural therapy for your circumstances.

What is homeopathy?

homeopathic-remedies

Homeopathic remedies contain tiny doses of healing substances

Homeopathy is an alternative medicine based on the idea of treating “like with like,” in order to activate the body’s natural defences. For example, onion makes your eyes water, so if you’re suffering from watery eyes due to allergies, a homeopath might create a remedy that includes tiny doses of onion1.

Homeopaths prescribe natural substances from plants, minerals, and animals that create similar reactions to a patient’s symptoms, as a means to alleviate them. Before being given to a patient, substances are mixed in a solution of water or alcohol (called “potentization”), which weakens them substantially and transfers the substance’s healing essence into the solution. Very small doses of the substances are used in remedies.

Homeopathy is used to treat a number of health issues, including allergies, migraines, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome.

What is naturopathy?

naturopathy

Naturopathy is a broad practice that includes nutrition, herbal remedies, and more

Naturopathy is an alternative medicine that aims to stimulate the body’s self-healing abilities. It is a natural, holistic approach to health that is based on the principles of a nutritious diet, fresh water, sunlight, exercise, and managing your stress. This can encompass a variety of treatments like herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, dietary advice, detoxification, hydrotherapy, and offering lifestyle advice, which can be a combination of natural methods and traditional scientific methods.

Patients who undergo naturopathic treatments are treated as individuals, and treatment involves the entire body, not just the area of their body that is affected. The focus is also on the cause of health issues, not just the symptoms.

Homeopathy vs naturopathy

Homeopathy and naturopathy are often confused, despite them being entirely different forms of natural medicine. The biggest difference between the two is their scope of practice, with naturopaths being able to provide a much wider variety of treatments such as nutritional advice, massage, and counselling. Homeopaths, on the other hand, can only provide homeopathic remedies to patients. Homeopathy is something that naturopaths can provide as part of their treatment plan, but homeopaths cannot provide many of the treatments that naturopaths offer. That means naturopaths have many more tools in their arsenal. However, both are based on holistic natural therapy principles and the body’s ability to heal it itself.

Both naturopaths and homeopaths aim to treat people holistically—focusing on their entire health rather than individual symptoms. The naturopath does this by considering the genetic, environmental, and social factors that contribute to their patient’s health. Homeopaths aim for something called the “single remedy,” which is created based on the patient’s physical, emotional, and mental symptoms, and should cure all of these at once.

Naturopaths and homeopaths both provide non-invasive treatments, and homeopaths take this one step further by providing the lowest possible amounts of substances in their remedies, which they believe maximises its healing effect. Both modalities believe in the body’s natural tendency towards health, and naturopaths want to remove “obstacles” that prevent it from doing so.

As part of their treatment, naturopaths may focus on something called “prevention,” such as avoiding foods that are bad for you. This isn’t something that homeopaths consider. In addition to this, naturopaths have a strong focus on educating their patients on how to achieve optimum health and wellbeing, but homeopaths do not. They simply mix and prescribe the remedies that they believe will provide relief for their patients, and improve their health.

Homeopaths use something called provings, which is a detailed account of how a remedy makes a patient feel. Naturopaths don’t practise this (although they may consider it if they are providing homeopathic treatment).

Depending on their career paths, naturopaths may complete more thorough training than homeopaths, They typically complete a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy, but can extend their study with a Masters. Homeopaths may complete a diploma to become qualified, but can also complete a more comprehensive Bachelor of Health Science in Homeopathy.

Here’s a breakdown on the biggest differences between homeopaths and naturopaths:

 

Homeopathy

Naturopathy

Treatments

Homeopathic remedies

Homeopathy, herbal remedies, nutrition, supplements, hydrotherapy, lifestyle advice, physical medicine, massage, counselling

Conditions treated

A huge variety of conditions, including:

Asthma

Hay fever or other allergies

High blood pressure

Ear infections

Rheumatoid arthritis

Acanthosis nigricans

Androgenic alopecia 

Dry cough

Azoospermia

Indigestion and flatulence

Blepharospasm (eye twitching)

Acid reflux

Depression, stress, anxiety

A huge variety of conditions, including: 

Digestive or gastrointestinal issues

Low immunity or energy

Fatigue

General aches and pains

Stress-related ailments

Hormone imbalance, fertility issues and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Male and female reproductive health

Skin, sleep and weight concerns

Cardiovascular issues

Migraines and headaches

Joint health and degenerative illnesses, including arthritis

Principles

  1. First, do no harm
  2. The healing power of nature
  3. Find and treat the cause whenever possible, not only the symptoms
  4. Doctor as teacher
  5. Treat the whole person
  6. Education and prevention
  1. The Law of Similars
  2. The Single Remedy
  3. The Minimum Dose
  4. Provings

Training in Australia

Diploma of Homeopathy

Bachelor Of Health Science (Homeopathy)

Bachelor Of Health Science (Naturopathy)

Master Of Naturopathic Medicine

 

Which is better, homeopathy or naturopathy?

So after learning more about homeopathy vs naturopathy, which is better?

As you might expect, this can’t really be answered because it depends on why you’re seeking treatment. If you’re looking for relief from a specific condition, you may want to review the “conditions treated” list and determine which is best for you. For example, if you’re looking for a way to improve your immune system, a naturopath might be the right therapy for you. But if you have a niggling dry cough that you want to be treated, homeopathy could be your best bet. Finally, if you’re wanting to improve your health more generally and achieve a higher sense of well being, a naturopath can do exactly this, and so is better suited for your needs.

It all comes down to what you’re trying to achieve. Naturopaths and homeopaths both have their strong points, so be sure to understand what you’re trying to get out of the treatment, and select the therapist that seems to be most appropriate. Good luck!

References

  1. Homeopathy: What You Need to Know, WebMD