I am sure that at some point in your life you were acquainted with the expression ‘opposites attract’. Most likely you were involved in a love and hate relationship with another person and a close friend and spectator of your personal developments teases you with ‘opposites attract’ dubbing the differences of character as mere sexual tension. In real life this theory may or may not be right but in homeopathy it certainly is wrong.
The grand father of homeopathy, Hahnemann, established the ‘Law of Similars’, or in plain terms, like treats like. In homeopathy, the Law of Similars summarizes the entire treatment process, both medically and philosophically. Essentially any material matter, whether plant, mineral or chemical substance causes symptoms if taken in larger quantities; symptoms that they cause are often times similar to symptoms a sick person feels. What Hahnemann discovered is that a material substance whose symptoms match with the symptoms of a sick person, eventually cure the disease associated with those symptoms.
As soon as Hahnemann came to this realization the next step was to convert material substances into safe remedies. In raw state, the materials are toxic and can actually aggravate the sick person’s symptoms rather than cure them. To overcome this setback Hahnemann searched for a way to minimize the quantity of the remedy until it is safe to consume- he discovered potentization, a process of diluting a material to an extent where all negative side-effects disappear. Paradoxically, while testing potentization Hahnemann discovered that, the process itself enhances the healing power of the medicine.
So, how homeopathy works is quite simple- a material causing certain symptoms treat a disease with identical symptoms as long as it is diluted to the extent that 0 molecules of the original raw materials are present in the remedy- a result that enhances the potency of the medicine exponentially in comparison to the material in its raw state. Is it Alchemy? There is a varied response to this question- homeopathy was partially abandoned during the beginning of the 20th century due to the lack of hard scientific evidence and Hahnemannian theoretical obsoleteness in comparison to modern medical theories.
Still, the homeopathy that we see and use today is based on 300 year old Hahnemannian wisdom, and there is nothing wrong with that! The fact that classical homeopathy has survived for such a long time explains a lot- it must be effective if people still use it! In fact studies show that it is highly effective. So what seems to be missing in modern homeopathy is a more advanced scientific vocabulary that provides a logical explanation to how homeopathy functions, possibly opening new doors for more advanced developments.
Personally, I am happy that we can choose between different therapeutic alternatives. There is no black and white in medicine- if something is known to work, even if ‘unscientific’ it can introduce innovative spillovers onto conventional medicine and vice versa. Also, why limit yourself if you can mix and match treatments- homeopathy has no side effects so why not try it out and see if it works for you!