Homeopathy is gaining increasing international attention, and this attention is in part the result of a growing body of research supporting the positive results that people commonly experience. Yet homeopathy is still widely misunderstood. In this chapter I hope to clear up some of the more common misconceptions about homeopathy.
Many people believe, for example, that because homeopathic doses are so small they couldn’t possibly work. Actually, there are many examples from nature of extremely small doses having powerful effects. Pheromones, for example, are hormones that are emitted from the bodies of many animals – including human beings – and that let them seek out and tell others of their own species that they wish to mate. Certain species of moths can smell another of their own species even if they are two miles away. Further, there are innumerable examples of various animal’s ability to smell or sense extremely low concentrations of certain things necessary for their survival. Sharks, for instance, can smell blood in the ocean, which helps them to find food, even at great distances. When one considers the volume of water in the ocean, it seems obvious that the sharks are sensing extremely small amounts of blood.
There are also numerous examples involving human beings. Some people who are allergic to cats, for instance, can develop strong symptoms even if only one cat walked through a room several hours or days earlier.
Homeopathy became popular in USA and in Europe during the 1800’s because of its success in treating the many infectious diseases that raged then, including yellow fever, scarlet fever, and cholera. The death rate in homeopathic hospitals was between one-half to one-eighth of that in conventional medical hospitals. It is hard to imagine that these significant results in treating serious infectious disease were due to a placebo effects.
Homeopathic medicines also have been shown to work on infants and on various animals (including dogs, cats, horses and cows), creatures seemingly incapable of experiencing the placebo effects. Homeopathis also find that people who are being treated with homeopathic medicine for a chronic disease sometimes experience a temporary exacerbation in their symptoms as the body’s defenses are being stimulated. Homeopaths have found that a “healing crisis” is sometimes necessary to achieve healing. It is highly unlikely that this temporary worsening of symptoms is the result of a placebo response.
Remember that the small doses used by homeopaths only have an effect when the person taking the remedy has a hypersensitivity to the small doses given. If the wrong medicine is given to a person, nothing happens. If the correct medicine is given, it acts as a catalyst to the person’s defenses. In any case, homeopathic medicines do not have side effects.
 Dana Ullman, M.P.H., essential homeopathy – What it is & What it can do for you, 2002.