Western herbal medicine has no connection with homeopathy, which is a therapy system devised by Samuel Hahnemann about 200 years ago. Homeopathy is based on the twin principles that like is used to treat like, and the belief that the more dilute a remedy is, the stronger its action. For instance, excessive consumption of coffee can cause insomnia and agitation. Therefore, coffee, in an ultra dilute form, can be used to treat these problems. The remedy is diluted in stages, until it has been diluted many trillions fold. For instance, a typical remedy may be diluted to the concentration that written as a fraction is
Or even millions of time more dilute than this. At each stage, the mixture is subjected to a special kind of vigorous shaking called succussion, which is believed to cause an interaction between the original substance and the water, leaving a kind of memory or impression of that substance. Millions of people use homeopathy in many countries, and it is also used to treat animals.