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Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, said, "The highest ideal of cure is the speedy, gentle, and enduring restoration of health by the most trustworthy and least harmful way." Homeopaths are health care professionals who practice a complete system of natural medicine called homeopathy. Homeopathic care generally costs less than conventional medical care, and homeopathic medicine is safe, effective, and natural. Homeopathy is used to maintain good health and to treat acute as well as chronic ailments. Some of its remedies are simple enough to be used by people who are not medically trained. Homeopathy is controversial, however, and has come under criticism for being ineffective and unscientific, and a number of peer-reviewed studies have supported this.
Still, homeopathy is part of the rapidly growing field of alternative/complementary health care. Unlike conventional medicine, it does not treat just the symptoms of a disease. Instead, it seeks the underlying cause of the illness. It seeks to stimulate the patient's natural defenses and the immune system so the body can heal itself. Homeopaths believe that being healthy means being balanced mentally, emotionally, and physically. In this sense, homeopathy is truly a holistic medical model.