The system of Allopathic Medicine refers to the medical practices used during a particular period of history. Allopathy is a conventional treatment method of treating diseases with remedies that produce entirely different effects from those caused by the disease itself. The best example is using a laxative to get rid of constipation. German physician Samuel Hahnemann is responsible for coining the term ‘allopathy’. ‘Allos’ stands for ‘opposite’ and ‘pathos’ for ‘suffering’. Keeping in mind the severe medical practices of his age like purging, bleeding, vomiting, administration of highly toxic drugs etc, Samuel Hahnemann combined both the words ‘allos’ and ‘pathos’ and formulated ‘allopathy’.
As far as the conception of disease is concerned, allopathic medicine has its base on the Theory of Four Humors. According to this theory, an imbalance of the four humors (blood, phlegm, black and yellow bile) and four bodily conditions (hot, cold, wet and dry) related to the four elements – earth, air, fire and water – is the root cause of all diseases. Those physicians who were following the Hippocratic tradition tried to balance the humors by treating the symptoms with their opposites. For example, excess blood was believed to be the cause of fever (hot) and the solution was reached by blood-letting so as to ‘cool’ the patient.
A revolution in scientific medical thought took place in 1876, through the discovery of the bacteriological agents which are responsible for causing infectious diseases. The era of Preventive Medicine started with Robert Koch’s demonstration of the bacterial cause of anthrax. Many allopaths used science, but did not include scientific method in their practices. In the 19th century, if a patient got cured, the treatment was given the credit. Hence, is spite of the harsh treatments of allopathy, it lasted so long.
Allopathic practitioners have their own restrictions as they focus on the symptoms, not the causes. The approach is to treat the illness. When somebody becomes ill, the condition is treated with the help of drugs and surgeries. The last century has seen a tremendous development in allopathic health care practices. In spite of its drawbacks, in case of an emergency, for example a fatal accident or mishap, it is allopathic medicine which provides immediate relief. Fractures and related conditions are best treated through the allopathic model. But in cases of allergies, neck pain, hormonal imbalances, eczema, depression etc holistic approach is the best solution. Taking into account the side effects of allopathic medicine, it is better to understand various alternative medical approaches and choose the best option for curing the ailment.