Homeopathy vs. Holistic Medicine: What’s the Difference?

A growing number of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and Russel Brand, have been speaking out about the many advantages of holistic medicine and homeopathy. The two are often considered the same by many people, but this isn’t entirely true.

While they might be similarities between the two, it’s crucial to be aware of the differences should you need to decide between one or the other. Let’s take a closer look at holistic medicine and homeopathy and see what sets them apart.

What Is Holistic Medicine

Holistic medicine is better thought of as an umbrella term to describe any number of therapies that might be used to treat an individual as a whole. Whereas most Western medicine addresses specific physical and psychological complaints, a holistic approach attends to a person’s overall mental, physical, and spiritual well being.

Holistic therapies, such as Ayurveda, focus on optimizing health as supposed to simply treating an illness. A huge part of holistic medicine is based around nutrition, exercise, and avoiding substances that can be harmful to the body.

Other common examples of holistic therapies and medicine include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese medicine
  • Naturopathy
  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Reiki
  • Nutrition
  • Meditation
  • Homeopathy

As you’ll notice, homeopathy is considered holistic medicine. It can be used among other treatments as part of a holistic treatment plan for conditions such as chronic pain. For more on this see here.

What Is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is covered by the umbrella term ‘holistic medicine’, but it differs from the others. Homeopathy is the second largest system of medicine in the world, and with good reason.

Homeopathy is a natural and gentle system of healing that works alongside the body to alleviate unwanted symptoms and improve overall health. All homeopathic medicines are made from natural sources such as minerals and plants, making them safe to use on people of all ages and even pets!

They are affordable, come without the side effects of most Western medicine, and are even regulated by the FDA. The natural remedies of homeopathy are commonly used to treat acute conditions such as headaches, chesty coughs, and sore throats. But it is also used to treat more chronic illnesses, such as insomnia, anxiety, and arthritis.

Homeopathy is based around the principle of ‘like for like’. It is similar to how a lot of modern-day vaccines work. ‘Like for like’ means that a substance that would cause a certain effect in large doses, such as a high dose of caffeine might cause sleeplessness, is used in a small dose to treat those symptoms.

It is similar to how a vaccine introduces a small amount of weakened or inactive organism to the body so that it triggers a response from the immune system without making you unwell.

Homeopathy vs Holistic Medicine

Understanding the difference between homeopathy and holistic medicine is important for finding the best-suited treatment for you. Homeopathy uses natural remedies to treat acute conditions and improve overall health. Holistic medicine takes a broader approach to address your overall well-being.

They both point towards living a more natural and balanced lifestyle as a way of both treating existing conditions and becoming healthier and happier as a way of reducing the chance of future health complications.

Be sure to take a look at the rest of our articles for more health and lifestyle tips.