Homeopaths make money from gullible sick people.
My understanding of snake-oil salespeople, is that they peddled their wares by travelling into a town, selling elixirs of no healing value and clearing off.
The origins of the term ‘snake oil’ are from China where oil from the Chinese water-snake was extracted and used for a multitude of maladies. Chinese water-snake oil contains 20 percent eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), one of the two types of omega-3 fatty acids most readily used by our bodies. In the 1860s, Chinese railroad workers would use that Snake Oil to rub their sore muscles. They shared the secret elixir with their American counterparts...and then things got crazy. To cut a long story short they tried to make their own without the Chinese water-snake. Elaborate travelling medicine shows were set up with demos of the remedy's ‘healing’ powers and when it was found that it didn’t work, the peddler had long gone to ply their wares elsewhere.
Essentially, the American counterpart was found to contain none of the ‘active’ ingredients.
This, I suppose, is where our reputation as snake-oil peddlers comes in. Chemically analysing homeopathic tablets for answers will reveal little or nothing, but how about asking the clients of homeopathy?
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Are homeopaths really salespeople?
A homeopath’s standing is largely built upon their reputation of helping people get well and stay well i.e. upon their results... and a homeopath will tend to stay in a town, settle down, become part of the community, integrate and obviously earn their reputation, rather than plying their wares then clearing off.
If you come from the sceptical-activism viewpoint of ‘ban homeopathy’ you’ll chastise homeopaths for both making lots of money, or making no money. If you make ‘lots’ of money from being a homeopath, a skeptic would interpret that as exploitation, since in their eyes it’s money for nothing :) ...and, if you don’t make any money as a homeopath, you’re deemed useless, or homeopathy is.
Therefore, being 'good' or 'bad' salespeople makes no difference as to whether skeptics want to ban homeopathy.
As outlined earlier, our ability to make money, or as I call it 'earn a living', is based upon our reputation.
When I was at college, we didn’t have lessons in sales and marketing despite when practising as a homeopath, it is, in fact, a business. College taught us to be great prescribers and case managers but there were no lessons in how to be salespeople.
‘Homeopaths make money from gullible sick people’?
We actually make a living from ill people getting well.