Homeopathic medicine is based on the simple premise that your body can heal itself, and recognizes the symptoms of illness as the body’s response in attempting to eliminate an unhealthy condition. For example, a fever may be a natural defense against bacteria and viruses that cannot survive in higher body temperatures.

The practice of homeopathy was started in Germany in the 18th century and is very common in many European countries. It has been regulated in the United States since the enactment of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, and is widely considered to be safe.

Practitioners of homeopathy use solutions or pills that generally contain a diluted amount of a plant- or mineral-based ingredient to treat conditions like allergies, dermatitis or arthritis. Homeopathic medicine is not appropriate for many diseases however, and you should consult with your physician before beginning a homeopathic regime, especially if you are currently under a doctor’s care.