As a form of alternative medicine, homoeopathy relies on the idea that the body can heal itself. Those who practise homoeopathy believe that the healing process is stimulated by the use of small amounts of natural ingredients, such as plants and minerals. Homeopathic medicine was created in Germany in the late 1700s and is widely used throughout Europe. Based on "like cures like" theory, homoeopathy uses a very small amount of a substance known to cause health problems to treat a sickness with similar symptoms. A natural defence system is supposed to be activated.