Hahnemann hypothesized what he called miasms as the underlying causes of disease and that homeopathic remedies – achieved by dilution – eliminated these. There was absolutely no evidence for such a hypothesis, and the treatment had no more success than a placebo. Nevertheless, mostly due to the harsh practices of the medicine of the time, which included blodletting and and purging, homeopathy became popular in Europe and the US in the 19th century. By 1900, there were 22 homeopathic colleges and 15,000 practitioners in the United States.
Nevertheless, from the very beginning, homeopathy was criticized by mainstream science, both in Europe and in the US. Even the leading homeopathists of Europe abandoned the practice of administering infinitesimal doses and no longer defended it. The last school in the U.S. exclusively teaching homeopathy closed in 1920. However, the rise of the New Age movement in the 1960s and 70s saw a surge in the popularity of the Far Eastern culture, and with it, an exponential increase in the practice of the alternative medicine, including homeopathy.
The simple calculation above shows that people are paying billions of dollars annually to buy small bottles of pure water or pure alcohol!