Homoeopathy was 'discovered' by Samual Hahnemann at the end of the eighteenth century although there is no doubt that his ideas were influenced by earlier writers.
Because he introduced some of those earlier ideas in his writings, (words like 'Vital Force', for example) many people trained in modern science cannot accept homoeopathy as being rational. This is a pity because he was using the language of his day. Were he alive today, perhaps he would use terms such as the 'immune system' to try to explain what he meant.
Anyway, homoeopathy began to be used about 200 years ago, rapidly spreading across Europe, then to the United States, India and elsewhere.
This is hard to say, but almost enough to cause apoplexy to many people it would seem. Find out more here.here.
Click a list of research results and you'll see that interest exists in many parts of the world.
Well, it isn't vilified except in a few countries, and then only from time to time.
Criticism centres round several issues:
1/ That there is a lack of evidence that it works. Many homoeopaths, including many scientists, dispute this, however. See the research mentioned above.
2/ That because many homoeopathic medicines (the technical term is 'remedies') are prepared in a way that seems to reduce the quantity of the active chemical to nothing, there is no possible way known to science in which the remedies can be active, other than as placebo. This issue has been addressed many times by homoeopaths. Furthermore, careful research has shown that plants are affected by remedies even at infinitesimal doses. This research is hard to get published because publishers fear the loss of their respectability, but it does exist and is published.
3/ If it were shown that homoeopathy does indeed work in a way that is other than placebo, it would be a major blow to many strongly entrenched opinions. It would also require a major re-think of many scientifically-accepted principles.
Click on an account of homoeopathy in practice in Sri Lanka and India here.
We welcome accounts of homoeopathy in use abroad.