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Phytotherapy, homeopathy and allopathy: take your doubts

Phytotherapy, homeopathy and allopathy: take your doubts

Phytotherapy, homeopathy and allopathy are forms of drug therapies used to combat diseases and their symptoms. Not everyone can make a distinction between the three types of medicines and many people are in doubt about how they act and what their indications are.

What are the main differences between herbal medicine, homeopathy and allopathy?

Allopathy is the best known medication system used by traditional medicine. The basic principle of allopathy is to combat diseases with the use of drugs that produce effects contrary to the symptoms caused by them.

Therefore, most of its drugs are called "anti", such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics , anti-allergies, antacids, antimicrobials and others.

The raw materials for the manufacture of allopathic medicines can be from different sources: synthetic, vegetable, mining or animal.

With high efficiency, allopathic medicines are the most used by the world population, but it is important to understand their risks.

"The degree of toxicity of allopathic drugs, especially synthetic ones, is high, and its continued use without medical indication can cause several side effects," explains pharmacist Luis Marques, director of the Paulista Association of Phytotherapy and professor at Oswaldo Cruz Colleges .

In addition, the indiscriminate use of allopathic drugs can cause the human body to become intolerant of its active ingredients, create resistance to its effects and decrease the production of antibodies, which weakens our immune system. Homeopathy

The basic principle of homeopathy, in turn, is the opposite of allopathy. Instead of combating diseases and their symptoms with the use of drugs that produce counter-effects and them, homeopathy is based on cure by the like.

Homeopathic medicines have substances that cause the same symptoms produced by the disease, but in doses extremely low. The idea is to stimulate the body to seek balance. "The homeopathic medicine works on the same principle as vaccines: we give the 'poison' energized and the body develops the same and opposite reaction, overcoming the disease in question," explains the homeopath physician Regina Barossi.

Homeopathy seeks to adjust the body to reach a level of homeostatic balance without interfering physiologically in the body. The goal is to induce the body to react against the disease without interfering with the mechanisms causing the disease and the biological mechanisms that are the target of pathological processes.

And the concept of drugs does not apply to homeopathy, since they are considered drugs all chemicals of known structures which are not essential nutrients or ingredients of the diet and which, when administered to a living organism, produce a biological effect. In the case of homeopathy, it is not possible to apply this concept because ultra-dilution means that your medicines do not produce this "biological response."

Because they contain extremely dilute concentrations of principles extracted from nature, mineral, homeopathic medicinal products do not contain any chemical substance and, therefore, usually do not present side effects. However, any change in the patient's condition should be reported to the physician.


Phytotherapy acts from the same principle of allopathy, using substances that cause actions that are contrary to symptoms or changes in disease. The main difference between the two types of drug therapy - phytotherapy and allopathy - is that herbal remedies are of vegetable origin only.The therapy, in this case, is made through medicinal plants that contain active compounds proven by studies, covering the principles and techniques of botany and pharmacology.

Although natural, herbal remedies have a large number of chemical substances, generally called of phytocomplex. It is precisely these phytochemical complexes that are responsible for the therapeutic effects of herbal medicines. That is, unlike homeopathy, a therapy in which drugs have physical action rather than chemistry, herbal medicines contain substances with chemical substances that act directly on the body.

Because they are obtained from plant raw materials, and not phytotherapic medicinal products are less toxic than allopathic drugs, but may also cause adverse reactions, especially if administered without medical advice.

"Depending on the species, herbal medicines may also have side effects or adverse effects such as allergies, irritations or hepatotoxicity , which always leads us to warn that they are medicines.These should be used with criteria and preferably with some support and professional guidance, "explains the pharmacist Luis Marques.

According to Marques, phytotherapy is well indicated for cases of gastrointestinal problems, acts with great property in the area of ​​the central nervous system and produces optimal anti-inflammatory drugs that can be used chronically, which is somewhat difficult to do with synthetic allopaths. In addition to producing good diuretics, indicated for urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

Although less aggressive, it is foolish to think that homeopathy and herbal medicine are only used in cases of milder diseases. Both therapies can aid in the treatment of serious illness, and it is the physicians who must evaluate the patients and define the best medicine for each situation.

"In medicine, common sense is fundamental, so we should always analyze case by case "says the Nutrologist and Homeopathist Liane Beringhs.

She further clarifies that both therapies help in the development of herbal medicine and herbal remedies. treatment of many pathologies and physical conditions, being in many cases more accessible for the population. She also emphasizes that it is important to have qualified health professionals guiding all drug treatment.

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