Homeopathy often gets a bad rap among those who think modern western medicine is the only possible way of treating every ailment. But that doesn't really make sense when you think about it, does it? After all, modern medicine is a very new concept, yet human beings were able to survive for millennia without it. Homeopathy remedies work differently than other remedies. Instead of using something to counteract an ill effect, homeopathy will introduce a super-diluted form of it and then let the body send out its own natural defenses.
That's not as strange as it first sounds when you consider that many modern vaccinations work the same way. However, homeopathy takes it a step further and tries to find natural compounds that will cause the body to unleash its defense mechanisms.
While modern vaccines will use a weakened form of whatever disease they're trying to fight, homeopathy remedies can be derived from minerals, bark, roots, leaves, oils or just about any other naturally occurring substance. In some cases, ingredients that would otherwise be poisonous are used, though heavily diluted.
Another interesting difference between modern medicine and homeopathy remedies is that modern medicine tends to focus more on treating symptoms, whereas homeopathy seeks to fix the root of the problem. For example, if you have a cough then the medical establishment says you should take cough medicine to stop coughing. The problem is that your body is coughing for a reason; it's trying to get something nasty out of your system. So you may think you're getting better because you're not coughing, but suppressing a cough only keeps the nasty stuff in your body longer.
Homeopathy would also try to stop your cough, but not by suppressing it. The thinking is that your body needs to fight off whatever it is that's making it sick and the coughing is part of that process. However, by introducing the right (and heavily-diluted) compound, your body will unleash its natural defenses and actually cure the problem that's causing the cough.
Sticking to the same example, the funny thing is that you may cough even more by using homeopathy remedies, but that will only be temporary. In other words, you may actually feel sicker for a short while as your body does what it's designed to do, but once it's done, you will feel much better. Of course you can always take cough medicine that does nothing to treat the real problem, but why would you want to?
Modern medicine would scoff at this idea, but what it comes down is whether it works or not. There are surprisingly few studies into homeopathy because they just dismiss it without thought, and that's a shame. Whatever the case may be, it's hard to argue with the countless people who have felt better after using homeopathy remedies. So feel free to smile as the skeptics arch their eyebrows (as they keep coughing), you know what really works.