Allopathy (Greek allos = differently, pathos = suffering) is a concept coined by Samuel Hahnemann, the inventor of homoeopathy. He applied it as a disparaging expression for those methods not following his teachings exactly. In today's use and from a homoepathic point of view, the term describes the so-called orthodox medicine. This concept can also be traced back to Hahnemann who spoke of orthodox medicine of that time with a negative connotation.
The term allopathy is approximately the opposite of homoeopathy. While homoeopaths will apply remedies causing similar symptoms when taken by a healthy patient, allopathists use remedies causing opposite symptoms in healthy patients. Strictly speaking, neither Hahnemanns contemporary orthodox medicine nor today's evidence based medicine are strictly allopathic. Today allopathic remedies (examples: antipyretics, pain medication) will be given only supportively when the actual symptoms are dangerous or inacceptable. The therapy itself, however, aims at the pathogens of the disease.
Hahnemann considered disease as a sum of symptoms, rejecting the theory of pathogens still controversial at that time. Therefore, he could imagine therapy only as aimed at symptoms, and the resulting possibilities were to suppress symptoms with counteractive substances (allopathy), or to adopt them with substances acting similar to the symptoms (homoeopathy).
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- Deutsch: Allopathie