Homeopathy is not my thing to such an extent that I am going to wall of text for like everrrrrrrrrrrrr
Homeopathy is by definition not going to have any active ingredients. If you’re taking St. John’s Wort, that’s actually got pharmacoactive stuff in it–AKA it’s a drug–and therefore isn’t homeopathy. It’s naturally-sourced, but then so is a lot of medicine that we learned how to make from studying rainforest flora. If something has vitamin C in it, it’s not homeopathy. That’s an active ingredient. A neti pot isn’t homeopathy either. It’s flushing your sinuses with salt water (which, by the way, is totally awesome and just make sure you don’t use tap water or you could get amoebas in your brain and die). Crystal healing isn’t homeopathy because I’ve never seen its proponents argue that you’re gonna absorb, like, amethyst through your skin. Ditto for past-life regression: not homeopathy, despite what its proponents may have argued its benefits to health and wellness could be (all without drugs!!!!!!!)
Homeopathy is actually a specific approach to medicine based on the notion that like cures like. I don’t think the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia has been touched since like the early 1900’s and there’s a reason for that. It was a reply to the whole notion of balancing humors to treat every ailment ever, and inverted the “if you have too much of X humor, then you need more of its opposite Y.” Samuel Hahnemann went, “Well, what if the cure for X was not its opposite but was X?”
He researched homeopathic “remedies” by exposing himself to a substance, writing down any health problems it caused him, and then deciding that he would try to treat the symptoms caused by a thing with a solution of that thing, albeit a solution so thoroughly dilute that if you actually look at the molecules you are ingesting in a homeopathic remedy, the odds of getting even a single molecule of the alleged “active” ingredient are preeeeetty seriously against you.
Why dilute it so much, you ask? Well, water allegedly has a sort of a psychic memory that means it “remembers” molecules which are no longer in it. In fact, according to the principles at the foundation of homeopathy, the more you dilute a solute, the stronger the “memory” it leaves on the solvent. This doesn’t really jive with modern understandings of things like the water cycle, which is demonstrably true and results in water getting recycled through various organisms and chemical processes and not being somehow eternally changed by every molecule it sits next to, but I mean… homeopathy was not ever intended to be sold to people who know stuff like that.
Granted, at the time of its inception, homeopathy was less dangerous than treating various stuff by opening people’s veins and bleeding them, but our bar is a little higher than that now, and that is why the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia hasn’t been touched in the era of modern medicine. Why bother?
Another way to look at homeopathy: if you cannot overdose on an alleged remedy, it’s probably not actually affecting your body in a meaningful way. Bodies are complicated machines and homeostasis is hella delicate. Anything that can tip the balance between “ill” and “not ill” must be doing something, and it’s only the size of the dose which makes a poison. If you cannot overdose on a thing (just as you cannot overdose on homeopathic remedies any more easily than on water), that’s because there is nothing in it.
Can we get a lot of cures from nature? Hell yeah. We demonstrably do. Is evidence-based medicine often risky? Yes, because it’s doing things and action has risks that a totally irrelevant intervention won’t.
Homeopaths make me really upset, because what they are doing is selling false hope to desperate sick people. Homeopathy won’t do anything because there’s nothing in it, and every dollar a homeopath convinces a sick person to spend on this lie has a serious opportunity cost. I mean, what has to have gone wrong in someone’s heart to lie to people who’re sick and suffering? Are there homeopaths who aren’t deliberately willfully deceiving sick people? Sure! They still are, though, because someone lied to them first and they didn’t do the critical thinking legwork to make sure their attempts to assist the ill and ailing will actually achieve their intended end. They’re not the first liar, but they’re still complicit in lying to sick people.
Homeopathy isn’t alternative medicine; it’s an alternative to medicine. It was not arrived at via empiricism and has remained untouched by empiricism since its completely bonkers origins.
tl;dr: When alternative medicine works, we just call it “medicine.” When eastern medicine works we call it “medicine.” When western medicine works we call it “medicine.” The day that crystal healing or homeopathy lead to demonstrably different outcomes than doing nothing is the day I will stop hating (HATING) everyone who charges sick people money for them.
I’M GONNA STOP RANTING NOW BECAUSE I COULD DO THIS ALL DAY I HAVE TO STOP MYSELF BUT REMEMBER NETI POTS ARE AWESOME AS LONG AS YOU USE PURIFIED WATER GOODBYYYYE~~