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Homeopathy (from the Greek hómoios- "like-" + páthos-"suffering") is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like, according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people

Homeopathic practitioners rely on two types of reference when prescribing remedies: materia medica and repertories. A homeopathic materia medica is a collection of "drug pictures", organised alphabetically by "remedy," that describes the symptom patterns associated with individual remedies. A homeopathic repertory is an index of disease symptoms that lists remedies associated with specific symptoms.Homeopathy uses many animal, plant, mineral, and synthetic substances in its remedies.

Homeopathic pills are made from an inert substance (often sugars, typically lactose), upon which a drop of liquid homeopathic preparation is placed.