Conventional medicine is the system being practiced by medical degree holders such as medical doctors and the medical practitioners who work with registered nurses, therapists, and psychologists. It is also referred to as mainstream medicine, or "regular" medicine. Complementary medicine, when practiced alone, is used along with conventional medicine to supplement the latter. An example of complementary medicine is the intake of plant extracts and juices believed to have extraordinary therapeutic effects to supplement conventional medicine. The use of alternative medicine, on the other hand, most of the time replaces conventional medicine. For example, a cancer patient may choose to engage in a series of practices including diets and supplements instead of going through the methods of conventional medicine which may include surgery and chemotherapy. Integrative medicine is defined as a practice that "combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness" (NCCAM 2006). For some, the combination of mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies is best than depending on a single ttype of therapy. Lastly, Complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, is "a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine" (NCCAM 2006). It is a movement that is seeking ways to treat illness with minimal disruption of the internal environment of the body.
A more organized and established example of alternative medicine is the practice of homeopathy. This form of alternative healing, which dates back to 200 years ago, uses a different approach in diagnosing and treating medical conditions. It is primarily based on the Law of Similars which promotes curing "like with like" which means that "small, highly weak & diluted quantities of medicinal substances is given to treat symptoms, but when the same substances are given at higher or more concentrated doses would actually cause those symptoms in patient" (Weiner & Goss 6). Homeopathy is one among the many approaches to complementary and alternative healing. Its increasing popularity over time and its worldwide success indicate that like most approaches to health care, it should be chosen with considerable care, and considered only as an alternative should other approaches to healing such as "conventional medicine" have proven unsuccessful.
There are however some doubts on the usefulness and affectivity of the practice of homeopathy. The modern medical practice as we know it is well founded on scientific studies and proofs. There is a growing trend in modern society to seek natural healing treatment for various illnesses that plague mankind. Homeopathy, despite considered to be unscientific by some, is one of those CAM that society is willing to try. The main reason is the that modern medicine, which is based on pharmaceutical products, do not address all the concerns of the ailing public.
People want more preventive and natural remedies and don't want to become human experiments for pharmaceutical drugs. Most pharmaceutical products have harmful side effects, sad to say, some of these side effects