Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Homeopathy, Alive and Well

Homeopathy is alive and well in its birthplace. On a recent trip to Germany, I was surprised to see so many homeopathic pharmacies and doctors' offices. But maybe I shouldn't have been since Germany (and Austria) seems to have given rise to so many alternative medical theories: hydropathy, phrenology, homeopathy, to name a few. 

One of many homeopathic apothecaries

Premade homeopathic remedies for sale in a store window in Lubeck

The area we visited, northwest Germany, seemed filled with all kinds of "alternative" doctors. There were chiropractors, herbalists, naturopaths, and homeopaths around every corner, a concentration I might expect to find in certain areas of the United States that have a hippie-ish reputation like San Francisco, Austin, and Berkeley. We saw them in Hamburg, Lubeck, and Luneborg, cities of very different sizes and characters. Perhaps the German medical system takes a more broadminded view than mainstream American medicine toward their alternative cousins, and perhaps the German people do, too. Seeing so many of these places, I could almost imagine being in the 19th century United States when such a range of medical options was prominent.

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