> those zinc lozenges you see at the checkout counter of every pharmacy
So those other things that don't work? Zinc as a common cold treament has never had a convincing effect size and when controlling with equally bad tasting placebos has no effect.
> like the idea that the most effective drugs are made by isolating one single molecule out of the entire plant. And that's what modern medicine believes is a universal and inviolable law, no matter how much empirical evidence there is that this isn't always the case. (E.g. look at the efficacy trials of marijuana vs. pure THC.)
I'm not aware of any universal and inviolable laws in modern medicine other than the need to prove a treatment actually works. There are certainly scientists and doctors looking at non-THC cannabinoids. To suggest that anyone is using non-scientific principles to do anything useful in this area is absurd.
The reason that active ingredients are isolated is to provide a predictable and safe result for all patients. When you skip that step you get other results: Like the people who lost their sense of smell by taking Zicam because low dilution homeopaths told them it would cure the common cold.