Homeopathy: a preventive approach to medicine?
By applying the principle of therapeutic similarity, homeopathy seeks to stimulate the organism to react against its own disturbs. For homeopathic medicines to awaken effective homeostasis responses they must be individualized, this means that they must be chosen according to their similarity to the set of characteristic symptoms in patients. In this way, by aiming at decreasing individual susceptibility predisposing to disease, homeopathic medicines have healing and preventive effects in many human illnesses. On the other hand, homeopathic medicines may have specific indications in the treatment and prevention of epidemic diseases provided they are also chosen according to the particular set of symptoms peculiar to a given epidemic, viz. the so-called ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œepidemic geniusÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â, as historical examples show. This update paper discusses the epistemological foundations of HahnemannÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s homeopathy as a preventive medical approach, the scientific evidences supporting its clinical application and the minimum requirements to employ it both therapeutically and preventively in epidemics.