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Alternative medicine consists of a wide range of health care practices, products, and therapies. The shared feature is a claim to heal that is not based on the scientific method. Alternative medicine practices are diverse in their foundations and methodologies. Alternative medicine practices may be classified by their cultural origins or by the types of beliefs upon which they are based. Methods may incorporate or be based on traditional medicinal practices of a particular culture, folk knowledge, superstition, spiritual beliefs, belief in supernatural energies (antiscience), pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, fraud, new or different concepts of health and disease, and any bases other than being proven by scientific methods. Different cultures may have their own unique traditional or belief based practices developed recently or over thousands of years, and specific practices or entire systems of practices.

Unscientific belief systems
Alternative medicine, such as using naturopathy or homeopathy in place of conventional medicine, is based on belief systems not grounded in science.

Naturopathy.
Naturopathic medicine is based on a belief that the body heals itself using a supernatural vital energy that guides bodily processes. In conflict with the paradigm of evidence-based medicine. Many naturopaths have opposed vaccination, and "scientific evidence does not support claims that naturopathic medicine can cure cancer or any other disease".

Homeopathy
A belief that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people cures similar symptoms in sick people.    Developed before knowledge of atoms and molecules, or of basic chemistry, which shows that repeated dilution as practiced in homeopathy produces only water, and that homeopathy is not scientifically valid.

 

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