A chance for homeopathy

There is a chance that homeopathy might work. It’s a small chance. In fact, it’s so small that it’s at least as dilute as the remedies “practitioners” use.

The odds of finding a single particle of sulfur in homeopathic “sulfur” are a staggering 6 x 1023 to 1. That’s “6-with-23-zeroes-after-it” to 1 against:

600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1 against.

Even the national lottery with 6 numbers 1-49 doesn’t represent odds as long as that at a mere 14 million to one against.

Some people argue that it works through the almighty placebo effect. Yes, well…maybe there is a touch of that, but, and I quote the 10:23 campaign, here: “Homeopathy has abused its placebo privileges”.

From time to time, it’s understandable that a simple-to-administer placebo treatment might carry some benefit for doctors, where no medical intervention has a particular, proven effectiveness. In these scenarios, it could be argued that homeopathy might have had a role to play, providing a harm-free, effect-free placebo to help manage the otherwise unmanageable. However, due to the abuse of the legitimacy leant to homeopathy by real medicine, this treatment has stopped being harm-free – it wastes money and time, and can discourage people from getting genuine medical help when they most need it. It’s time to stop giving support to the ineffective and illogical quackery that is homeopathy, and time to give people the facts to evaluate its use before they choose to rely on Hahnemann’s 200-year-old theories over the up-to-date, constantly-improving medical practices of today’s world.

Did you know that part of the preparation process for homeopathic remedies, dating back to Hahnemann’s original bullshine recipe is supposed to involve bashing the glass vial against a Bible. What does that tell you, eh? To paraphrase a question asked by comedians Tim Minchin and Dara O’Briain, who both have a well-tuned scientific sensibility: Do you know what they call alternative medicine that is proven to work? Medicine! And, of course, if someone does genuinely demonstrate irrefutable efficacy for homeopathy it will be quickly added to the standard medical textbooks in the same way that remedies with a natural or herbal origin, such as aspirin and artemisinin, are. (Incidentally, homeopathy and herbal are not synonymous).

So is there a chance for homeopathy? Yeah, it’s
W00-W000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in a million, million, million, million.

Research Blogging IconErnst, E. (2010). Homeopathy, a “helpful placebo” or an unethical intervention? Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 31 (1), 1-1 DOI: 10.1016/j.tips.2009.10.005

11 thoughts on “A chance for homeopathy”

  1. Yeah, I almost fell asleep from reading this also (-_-)Zzzz

    Same things can be said for the barbaric origins of modern allopathic medicine. Not all homeopaths use the bible, and many don’t even believe in God, for example. As with modern medicine, things have evolved since the 1800s.

    I can go on and on about the BSh!t from both sides.

    Bottom line is, don’t be afraid of what you don’t understand. People have the right to chose their treatment methods. And you certainly have the right to write an opinion.

    Time for my nap…

    1. Who’s afraid? To be frank, I really don’t give a flying fig whether you want to delude yourself about the nature of reality. There may be bullsht on both sides but it’s so dilute on one side that you cannot even catch a faint whiff, and I’m not talking homeopathic dilution.

  2. Right. And yet I’ve used and seen first hand many times the efficacy of homeopaths on both humans and animals. In some cases the effect was stronger and quicker than the standard medical treatment (the latter while being less effective was also a whole lot less safe).

  3. Many people do not understand how homeopathy works, so they are skeptics.

    Homeopathy is a very complex medicine, and it works because of quantum physics.

    Steps to make a remedy:
    1. One drop of the original substance with 100 drops of water
    2. Shake
    3. One drop of that substance, 100 drops water
    4. Shake
    5. Steps 1-4 are repeated until there is no amount of the original substance in the tincture
    This point is called Avogadro’s number or Avogadro’s constant.
    As steps 1-4 are repeated, the remedy becomes stronger.
    This is because of quantum leaps and quantum physics.
    Hey, just because we didn’t know how bats flew in caves, doesn’t mean they didn’t fly in caves.
    Just because we don’t have the technology at this point in time to figure out how homeopathy works, doesn’t mean it doesn’t.

    1. @Mr/Ms Student Bullsh*t. Please remind me not to book an appointment with you if you graduate from med school.

      People are skeptical of homeopathy because if it had any validity it would invert centuries of observations about the universe, the hypotheses about reality gleaned from those observations, the experimental validation of those hypotheses, and the theories that arise from them that can predict what might next be observed.

      To glibly remark that it’s “quantum leaps and quantum physics” and that Avogadro’s number has anything to do with it (that was my joke, by the way) is just uber-bullsh*t.

      Please don’t bother to respond until you’ve at least finished your elementary chemistry course.

  4. “Homeopathy is a very complex medicine, and it works because of quantum physics.”

    You’re not a med student, you’re a comedian! Seriously, it’s hard to separate parody from genuine nonsense when talking about homeopathy. It’s just such an absurd practice it’s hard to imagine anyone giving it any credence.

  5. Homeopathy works!
    I know the son of the friend of my neighbour’s niece who had cancer was declared hopeless by allopathic doctors. They gave him 3 weeks.

    And against all hope, the family turned to Homeopathy and prayer to Saints. Dunno which one worked, but the boy now plays balls with his friends and even his hair lost from chemotherapy has grown back into a wild horsetail!

    So, evidence (irrefutable, coz its emotional and it involves a cute boy) no: 1 is strong.

    Now for evidence no2 : Personal anecdote!

    I am a fledging homeopath and once I gave Opium160 to my colleague who had a strong bout of the diarrhea! She popped the sweetened pills numbering 3, and presto, the hereto collicky intestines just went to sleep, lullabied by the opium pills. What do you have to say to that??!!!

    evidence no3: Famous patronisers!
    Prince of United Kingdom uses it, so do many many hollywood personalities and even scientists (who were once skeptical like you but were reborn to the truth eventually). Thats some strong evidence here!

    evidence no4: its quantum-nano-cosmic-photron-penetrolof-hisounding-tech !!!
    Its not of this century, but its the stuff the 29th century medicine will be made of. Whats greatest, is that the forces behind homeopathy haven’t been discovered yet!! its that advanced dude! wait till you live till 2999 AD to find what exactly is Homeopathy all about!

    evidence no5: do you know how many people use it round the globe? A trillion trillion gazillion people of all ages suffering from all kinds of ailments use it! Proof!!!

    If you are not convinced yet, you are just being irrational!

    Homeopath Cancer Curer.
    I have cured many a cancer patients.
    Consultations are free (I am a bleeding heart!)
    Medicines cost 100$ per batch of 50 pills! (they now come in heart shapes too, in multiple vanilla, chocolate and pop-soda flavours)
    Feel free to call me anytime, I am in a hurry to become rich! Thank you!

    /Jagan Mohan

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