Homeopathy- just witchcraft   Leave a comment

Homeopathy is literally nothing, but it is portrayed as a scientific nothing.  Lots of practitioners, pills and potions.  Those pushing homeopathic remedies will cite quantum physics, quote pseudo-scientific numbers (30C or 10−60) and mention medical sounding qualifications.  In reality it is closer to witchcraft than medicine.

The first principle of homeopathy is that like cures like.  Thus if a substance causes an ailment or symptom then that same substance can be used to cure it.  Anyone spot a red-flag here?  More than two centuries ago doctors were considering the theory of opposites to cure disease; this was a flawed theory.  It took a quack a couple of hundred years ago to suggest that like would cure like.  Samuel Hahnemann developed a theory that all disease was caused by coffee but homeopathy was the real whack job!

It has been scientifically tested that a placebos can have a surprisingly positive effect on a patient.  So a white-coated techie handing out sugar pills will get results regardless of whether pure water has been drop on those pills; and believe me that active ingredient is pure water!

I talk of a placebo because the second principle of homeopathy is that diluting the substance makes it more potent.  Liquids are diluted in water or alcohol with dry compounds being ground into lactose before being added to liquid.  The dilution isn’t one part in a hundred or one in a thousand it is one in more parts than you can realistically imagine!

Standard homeopathic remedies are diluted so that not a single molecule of the original substance can statistically remain.  One part in 10−13 (that is 1 with 13 noughts after it) means in reality no trace of the “active ingredient” can remain.  The homeopaths preparing the remedies will explain that the process gives the water, for that is what we are left with, some energy or special properties- no proper scientific trial has supported this.  Here lies witchcraft!

The dilutions go further, those formulating the remedies use a “C scale” where every magnitude is a dilution of one in a hundred.  If you have a C40 dilution is the same strength  as one molecule in the whole Universe.  There are C80 dilutions that mean the equivalent of one molecule in as many universes as there are molecules in this one.  Anyone’s head hurting?  (if you do have a headache take an aspirin as it is perfectly natural product and no one has watered it down!)

One of the most popular remedies is C200 or one in one followed by 400 noughts!  The fact that this “medication” can still have a “memory” of the original compound suggests it will also have a memory of T Rex semen, my saliva and Shakespeare’s faeces!

My incredulity is really heightened with that idea that there is a method of undertaking the dilution which means that the neutral product remains effective.  The dilution is not handled by machines that will ensure absolute accuracy but by the pseudo-scientists.  These practitioners must mix dry compounds for exactly seven minutes and hit a soluble mixture against an elastic surface ten times.

Now initiallyt this scientific mumbo-jumbo might have some validity.  At first glance it might echo the idea of vaccination where an antigenic material promotes a physical response that creates an immunity to a disease.  Unfortunately once you dress it up with feathers and incantations you know it is magic.  Technicians using 200-year-old rituals invented by a crank rather than submitting to modern scientific principles is witchcraft.

I have conceded there is a placebo effect, this means some might see homeopathy as harmless and vaguely positive.  That places it to the unthinking mind up there with listening to psychics and popping into church on a Sunday.   However this dismisses the fact that real danger can be done and that those marketing homeopathy are profiting from a lie.

One only needs to look at the case of Penelope Dingle in Australia.  Mrs Dingle died when she trusted an homeopath rather than seeking help from an oncologist.  The Coroner determined the homeopath was not a competent health professional and had given dangerous advice.  That Coroner indicated that using homeopathic remedies rather than proper medicine might have killed a 45-year-old woman.

Of course there are also homeopathic remedies suggested for very serious illnesses or as preventions for the likes of Malaria.  Those remedies are also put forward for use as first aid.  More worrying homeopathy is also suggested for childhood conditions; giving an infant such treatments is akin to child abuse!

As I pointed out those selling this sort of crap are also making money from a useless concept.  No proper double-blind trial has ever indicated that homeopathy is effective.  The people plugging these remedies are either deluded or corrupt; I always picture those snake-oil salesmen in the American frontier towns.  Before Hahnemann those suggesting homeopathy would have been burned at the stake- now they should be prosecuted.

Don’t rely on faith, magic or alternative medicine to cure anything.  As Tim Minchin pointed out- you know what they call alternative medicine that’s been proved to work?  Medicine.”


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