Don't get me wrong. I'm convinced that the mind is an extremely powerful force of healing! I'm simply saying that "placebo" needs to be accepted as a possibility in any and every medicine, but that doesn't mean any medicine only works because of the placebo effect. Let's talk both/and rather than either/or.
Here's another consideration. Homeopathy has been seen over and over again to work with farm animals or wild animals as well as pets / animal companions. Is that placebo? Even when they don't know the remedy is being added to their food or water?
See my essay: Substance of Homeopathy: Fact or Fiction?
From a practical perspective, this family member was also quite surprised when I provided the following tidbits of information:
- Homeopathic pharmacies are regulated by the FDA. (There is currently, however, a modern "witch hunt" against homeopathic remedies because use of them is on the rise and, despite decades of doctors stating that the harm in the remedies is due to their lack of ingredients (i.e., that they are a "placebo"), the remedies could also be harmful. Nothing in them but they still have harmful effects? Hmm. Really?)
- At one time, Homeopathy was a medically accepted and widely used form of treatment. It was introduced in America about 1825 and, as outlined in one article:
"By the end of the 19th century, there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, more than 100 homeopathic hospitals, over 60 orphan asylums and senior living facilities, and over 1,000 homeopathic practitioners in the United States."
Now, granted, just because a medical tool or system was historically practiced doesn't mean that it should continue -- large doses of toxins and poisons were once dosed and I certainly wouldn't want that to have continued.
Needless to say, there are many voices raised today about homeopathy -- those for, against, and undecided. I would encourage you to explore all sides of the debate before you make up your mind about this rich and vital healing modality.