How Homeopathy (Supposedly) Works Illustrated

September 17th, 2009
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Homeopaths believe that “like cures like,” but that this only works when the substance in question has been diluted repeatedly.  The more times the substance is diluted, the more powerful the preparation.  Some preparations may have a few molecules of the original substance present, but those are only the mild ones.  The more powerful homeopathic preparations have none of the original active ingredient present and may not have for several iterations of the dilution process.

Make sense?  No? Of course it doesn’t, but here’s the theory behind how it works.

The first step is finding a substance that causes the same symptoms as what is being treated.  For example, an itchy rash might be treated with an extract of poison ivy, heartburn might be treated with a food acid like vinegar or citric acid and eye irritation might be treated with something like hot pepper extract, since that would normally cause irritation.  To the homeopath, the underlying cause does not matter, only the symptom.  An itchy rash, for example, might be caused by an allergic reaction, a bacterial infection, an irritating substance or any number of other things.  To a mainstream doctor, the cause is important, as that is what will determine how the condition is treated – antibiotics would clear a bacterial infection but would be useless for allergies.  But for homeopaths, this is not an issue of concern.  It’s only the symptoms.

The homeopath now selects a substance that produces the symptoms in question.  The substance often has a cryptic or exotic sounding name.  For example, if treating insomnia with caffeine, the homeopath won’t use “caffeine” but rather “Coffea Cruda” which is just a coffee extract, the active ingredient being caffeine.


A small amount is then added to water to make the preparation.  It can actually be added to other solvents, such as alcohol, but that would make this even more nonsensical, since that has effects of its own and also would have to figure out which substance was the solvent and which was the solute.  Thus in this example, we’ll just use water.

The substance being used for the homeopathic preparation now somehow communicates its properties, especially its physiological properties in humans (or whatever species is being treated) to the water molecules.  It’s not clear whether the substance communicates only its physiological effects of the species being treated to the water molecules or if it communicates all its properties for every species, and the water just decides which one to use when it gets to its host.  In either case, the water remembers the properties.  Homeopaths claim that the water is somehow “energized” or that “information” is stored.  It would look something like this.

Not only is the water good at remembering things, it is also very concerned with who it will listen to.  In any sample of water, there are bound to be some other chemicals, if only in trace amounts.  Even the highest analytical grades of water will pick up a tiny amount of environmental contamination when exposed to the atmosphere or placed in a new container.  The water knows better than to bother with them.

Notice, however, that the water has only remembered the properties of the substance added, but has not actually started to oppose the effects it has in the body.  That’s because it’s not dilute enough.  One dilution will not do it. So the preparation is then diluted into another container of water.

Each time the water is diluted, it caries the information about the substance it had been exposed to several dilutions back.   The original molecules may not be in the new sample, but that’s okay, because the new ones always remember the information and are sure to pass it on.   After a few dilutions, however, they don’t only remember the information, they start to decide to do something with it.

However, the potency of the waters response is low.  This is because it has not been diluted enough.  The preparation gets more and more powerful with each dilution.

The water continues to get stronger and after a given number, the homeopath decides the preparation is powerful enough.   Too many dilutions and the preparation might not just help one fall asleep, but it could put you into a coma and we would not want that!  Note that the water has a very good memory and never messes up the information.  With humans, a rumor can be passed between six or seven people and by the time it gets to the end, it sounds nothing like the original story.  Water does not have this problem.  The information remains totally accurate throughout the preparations.

(This goes on and on but you get the idea)

Now that the preparation has gone through enough preparations, the individual with the health problem simply drinks the water (or places it on a rash or drizzles it onto pills and then lets it evaporate and takes those pills) Once in the body, the water knows what to do and is not stopped by the fact that it may not have the chemical properties or molecular structure to do so.

Yes, this is really absolutely exactly what homeopaths claim happens in order for their preparations to work.  They may not believe that the water molecules actually have conversations with each other, but they do believe that they are able to pass on information and understand its implications in this way.  The explanations range from “electrical interactions” to quantum mechanics.  Quantum effects are a great way to explain this, since most people know absolutely nothing about quantum physics other than it involves strange and seemingly nonsensical things, which homeopathy certainly is.  In reality, quantum physics may be a bit weird and counter-intuitive, but it’s not THAT weird and wacky.

The quantum world of subatomic particles may be strange, but homeopathy is just stupid.



This entry was posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2009 at 1:47 pm and is filed under Bad Science, History, Misc, Not Even Wrong, Obfuscation, Quackery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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82 Responses to “How Homeopathy (Supposedly) Works Illustrated”

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  1. 51
    drbuzz0 Says:

            The Curtains said:

    My experiences with drug trials and doctors in general have all been very positive and very transparent. Any questions I ask (and being a curious fellow, I tend to ask a fair few) have been met with honesty and enthusiasm.

    I assume that they would not answer the question “So is this the real one or the placebo I’m getting?” at least, not until the, end of it. I would have assumed it would be something like that. They would tell you of the existance of a placebo group but not which one you’re assigned to. In a double-blind study, the doctors who you interact with wouldn’t even know that.

    Did they tell you afterward which one you were in? Or in the case of the 12 month study, I assume they’d assign you to take the placebo in the first or second 6 months randomly?

    By the way: good luck with dealing with your condition and everything. I have to admit I’m not very knowledgeable about it.


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  2. 52
    Over 100 000 scientists worldwide reject evolution Says:

    Awesome post, delicious’ed! Another typo in one of the pictures: “we shouldn’t be a strong a very potent depressent”


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  3. 53
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Over 100 000 scientists worldwide reject evolution said:

    Awesome post, delicious’ed! Another typo in one of the pictures: “we shouldn’t be a strong a very potent depressent”

    Uh… So we’re in agreement that homeopathy is bull. Well… that’s… good… or … something


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  4. 54
    Dan Dascalescu Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    Uh…

    So we’re in agreement that homeopathy is bull. Well… that’s… good… or … something

    Huh? Is that a new form of thanking someone for pointing out a typo? The “critic acid” guy had an easier time.


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  5. 55
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Dan Dascalescu said:

    Huh? Is that a new form of thanking someone for pointing out a typo? The “critic acid” guy had an easier time.

    No. It was because someone was complimenting the post in general and seemed to also find homeopathy to be a bogus idea. Yet this was coming from someone who is apparently anti-evolution.

    I never really know how to deal with people who are helpful on one subject but totally opposed to me on another. It’s like wondering if I’d ever consider it a compliment to be invited to an “astrologers against Greenpeace” rally or be cited on a website called “psychic healers against inflated claims of RF health dangers”

    I’m just not sure what to do with that…


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  6. 56
    Dan Dascalescu Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    No. It was because someone was complimenting the post in general and seemed to also find homeopathy to be a bogus idea.

    Yet this was coming from someone who is apparently anti-evolution.

    “Apparently” is key. The hyperlinked post also mocks a creationist argument that goes like this: “100k scientists reject evolution, and even though that only represents 5% of the scientists, it means evolution is bogus”.


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  7. 57
    Dr.Sid Says:

            Gordon said:

    The benefits of using homeopathy as a placebo are outweighed by the costs of promoting ignorance and misinformation.

    That is my two cents on that.

    No .. I don’t mean ‘using homeopath as ..’ .. I mean using placebo at all. There are cases where only placebo works. And the patient MUST be lied, otherwise placebo would not work.


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  8. 58
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Dan Dascalescu said:

    “Apparently” is key. The hyperlinked post also mocks a creationist argument that goes like this: “100k scientists reject evolution, and even though that only represents 5% of the scientists, it means evolution is bogus”.

    Sorry. I saw the name and I thought “Oh brother, one of those” I probably should have read it, but the very name was fairly missleading. OOps.


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  9. 59
    Dr. Bheru Patel Says:

    What a terrible bunch of lies and non understanding this all is! homeopathy is far from stupid and works nothing like it is shown here.

    The truth is that there are things we do not know about how it works. Homeopathy most certainly works, but what happens inside each cell science has yet to reveal completely. We have a basic idea and it is nothing like this. Water does not talk to itself. Homeopathy is not directed at receptors or organs in the body. It is directed at the whole body and the whole being. It is a matter of revitalizing the fluids in the body and restoring the balance of forces. The body will then heal itself once this happens. We work with the body.

    It is not that the water has knowledge and speaks. The water is empowered because it starts off stagnant and empty like a blank canvis and what we do is introduce special materials to the water and shake it repeatedly to put the water into a state that contains the kind of energy the body needs. The body tells us by its symptoms what kind of energy and fluid it needs and we make the fluid for the body to do good.

    Homeopaths are different than alopathic doctors because we do not see our job as healing directly. We are just helpers to the body. The body heals itself but it needs someone to provide it with the fluids to do this. We work with the body to empower it to do that which it is striving to do. We listen to the symptoms and the body tells us what it needs. We use water to convey the vital forces to the body. All living things have energy and that is a big part of homeopathy. When energy becomes lacking we refresh it and then all can return to health.

    Please remove this post of ignorance. it makes you look like a fool. Do the right thing and listen to your heart. You may find that some greedy means had caused you to insult homeopathy. Think of the health of others and the good in the world and do the right thing. Do not misinform. Misinforming serves no good.


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  10. 60
    DV82XL Says:

    Bheru Patel you are a fraud and a quack, your explanation is superstitious and unscientific rubbish without a shred to truth or fact.


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  11. 61
    Dr. Richard Wolford Says:

    Bheru Patel, inject yourself with HIV and cure yourself with homeopathy. Drop the bull**** and put your money where your mouth is. Idiot.


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  12. 62
    Q Says:

            Dr.Sid said:

    No .. I don’t mean ‘using homeopath as ..’ .. I mean using placebo at all. There are cases where only placebo works. And the patient MUST be lied, otherwise placebo would not work.

    A rational person should not be lied to about their medical care. I can see cases where a non-rational person may be given a placebo to at least shut them up. Even in that case, it bothers me to think that there would be doctors handing out sugar pills (or whatever pills are made of that is inert). They could at least give out a B-12 shot or an asprin or something. At least that way there’s some plausible deniability to it.


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  13. 63
    The Curtains Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    I assume that they would not answer the question “So is this the real one or the placebo I’m getting?” at least, not until the, end of it.

    I would have assumed it would be something like that. They would tell you of the existance of a placebo group but not which one you’re assigned to.

    In a double-blind study, the doctors who you interact with wouldn’t even know that.

    Did they tell you afterward which one you were in? Or in the case of the 12 month study, I assume they’d assign you to take the placebo in the first or second 6 months randomly?

    By the way: good luck with dealing with your condition and everything. I have to admit I’m not very knowledgeable about it.

    In two of the studies, which were rather short (only a few months) I obviously had no idea if I was on the placebo or not. In the larger 12 month one, I was told up front that it would be a 6 month course of the drug and a 6 month course of the placebo, but wasn’t told in what order. The doctors who I dealt with, and who took the blood tests and so forth also didn’t know if I was on the drug or placebo. Pretty much standard double-blind test.

    When I said my dealings with doctors were transparent, I wasn’t referring to the doctors saying “Oh sure, you are on the placebo this month!”, but when dealing with them they have always been completely honest about my treatment, side effects of the medication I am on, why I am on it and so forth. I have never experienced the conspiracy theorists “Big Pharma” spooky doctors who are always withholding cures for money, never treat you like a patient just some symptoms and all those other accusations that get thrown at the medical profession from the loony crowd. They have always been very honest and open.

    As a fun fact: It was very easy to pick when I was on the placebo over the drug being tested, as the drug was pretty much the worst tasting thing I have ever had, where as the placebo tasted like sugar.


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  14. 64
    The Curtains Says:

            Q said:

    A rational person should not be lied to about their medical care.

    I can see cases where a non-rational person may be given a placebo to at least shut them up.

    Even in that case, it bothers me to think that there would be doctors handing out sugar pills (or whatever pills are made of that is inert).

    They could at least give out a B-12 shot or an asprin or something. At least that way there’s some plausible deniability to it.

    Even irrational people should not be lied to about their medical care. If you lie to them, and just give them a placebo treatment to shut them up and keep them happy, if they ever somehow find out that you lied to them, it will only serve to fuel their irrationality.


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  15. 65
    drbuzz0 Says:

            The Curtains said:

    As a fun fact: It was very easy to pick when I was on the placebo over the drug being tested, as the drug was pretty much the worst tasting thing I have ever had, where as the placebo tasted like sugar.

    Hmm. That’s not good. I know this has been known to happen, but they should try to either make the placebo taste equally bad or put the medication in a capsule that is swallowed whole in order to make it difficult to tell which is which.

    Poorly implemented placebo pills are a known shortcoming of many studies. If they can’t make the pills the same they should at least both be equally medicine-like so that neither sticks out as being the more likely one to be the medication.


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  16. 66
    drbuzz0 Says:

            The Curtains said:

    Even irrational people should not be lied to about their medical care. If you lie to them, and just give them a placebo treatment to shut them up and keep them happy, if they ever somehow find out that you lied to them, it will only serve to fuel their irrationality.

    The only time it is ethical to lie outright is when the results of the lie will be hilarious. In such cases, the lie usually becomes apparent very quickly anyway.


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  17. 67
    Whatever Says:

    Tell me something. What’s the number of dilutions that you need to make with the dangerious poison that we have/know of today, to make it unable to damage any life-form “body” in our world? I’m sure everyone knows that amount, if you have done any university chemistry-like classes and you feel like asking the teacher(s). If i’m not wrong, homeopathy goes A LOT beyond that amount of dilution…so, it makes no sense for ME. Teach me if i’m wrong, oh thy great wisdom, please!

    I would like you to explain me why placebos also works too, when tested with homeopathy. Because if homeopathy(water) is more expensive then sugar….i can stick with sugar eating for healing purposes and economy saving. We shouldn’t be wasting water with homeopathy, you know water is getting rare nowadays.

    “The truth is that there are things we do not know about how it works. “

    Thats mainly because it probably doesn’t.

    “It is a matter of revitalizing the fluids in the body and restoring the balance of forces.”

    This is not Starwars! And everytime we pi or popo, we already do a balance of “forces”.

    “The body will then heal itself once this happens.”

    Point is, our body does that with or without homeopathy stuff…so, what’s the point on wasting money on something our body already does? If you are really sick, real medicines are sure better.

    ” The body heals itself but it needs someone to provide it with the fluids to do this.”

    I think we do this while drinking water, juices and eating food, don’t we? Don’t see where homeopathy takes place.

    “All living things have energy and that is a big part of homeopathy.”

    Wrong, that sentence is a big part of physics.

    “Please remove this post of ignorance. It makes you look like a fool.[2]” Do the right thing and listen to your brain. You may find that some greedy means had caused you to insult the science.

    “Think of the health of others and the good in the world and do the right thing. Do not misinform. Misinforming serves no good.”[2]

    P.S: Do you know ANYTHING about the avogadro constant? you should, since you are a “doctor”. Take a read on it again and do the math, then ask yourself what’s the meaning of the numbers you will find out.


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  18. 68
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Whatever said:

    Tell me something. What’s the number of dilutions that you need to make with the dangerious poison that we have/know of today, to make it unable to damage any life-form “body” in our world? I’m sure everyone knows that amount, if you have done any university chemistry-like classes and you feel like asking the teacher(s). If i’m not wrong, homeopathy goes A LOT beyond that amount of dilution…so, it makes no sense for ME. Teach me if i’m wrong, oh thy great wisdom, please!

    That would depend on the poison and also how you define “number of dilutions” if you’re talking about he number of iterations of diluting it on a 1:100 ratio or a 1:10 or if you’re talking about the ratio itself.

    As far as I know, there are no substances which are acutely toxic if you ingest a single molecule. Botulism is one of the highest in terms of chemical toxicity. It can be deadly in microgram quantities, although it depends on the path of absorption. It would depend on the quantity, but as long as the final dosage was under the threshold of toxicity by a safe amount, it would be okay.

    There are some radioactive substances which are so radioactive they can be toxic at less than microgram quantities, but that’s a special case because they are by their very nature very short lived. Something like Technetium-99m has a half-life of technetium-99m is just about six hours. It’s theoretically possible that a tiny amount could kill you, but the thing about the thing about such short lived isotopes is that they decay so quickly that they’re difficult to ever accumulate in quantities great enough to be deadly. Normally it’s used in picogram amounts.


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  19. 69
    Chem Geek Gregor Says:

    What a brilliant mix of humor and satire!

    I don’t know about that. Any time there is something attacking homeopathy and exposing what it is, it does not take long for someone to come spout that crap. Often they are Indian, as India seems to be where Homeopathy is well established and has the most to lose. From the sound of his name, I’d bet that this “doctor” is probably Indian.

    Not to be prejudiced or anything, you understand, but in India, homeopaths get away with using the title of “doctor” and crap like that.


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  20. 70
    Chem Geek Gregor Says:

            Whatever said:

    Tell me something. What’s the number of dilutions that you need to make with the dangerious poison that we have/know of today, to make it unable to damage any life-form “body” in our world? I’m sure everyone knows that amount, if you have done any university chemistry-like classes and you feel like asking the teacher(s). If i’m not wrong, homeopathy goes A LOT beyond that amount of dilution…so, it makes no sense for ME. Teach me if i’m wrong, oh thy great wisdom, please!

    Well, that’s a little bit of a loaded question. It depends on the poison, since none are really harmful if there are only a few molecules, although I suppose if you say “damage to any life form” then there would have to be zero molecules, since even a single molecule could cause cellular damage which would be bad for a single-cell organism.

    If I get this right, you’re invoking Avogardo’s constant, which is basically the number of molecules in a mole, or as originally defined, the number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon-12. This is sometimes applied incorrectly when talking about homeopathy. Avogardo’s number applies to a single mole of a substance, so if your quantity is not a mole, you have to multiply it accordingly.

    For the sake of argument, lets say we have one mole of water. Diluting a substance into it, you would eventually hit the point where the dilution was one over Avogardo’s number. At this point, assuming the dilution is perfectly distributed, there is one single molecule in your sample. Once you go past this you then have a probability of less than 50% that there is a single molecule. There *might* be a molecule left. Actually, there *might* be more than one even, but the probability goes down.

    It’s a little bit like half-life. If you have a large sample of unstable atoms, they are divided in half each half-life cycle, but then you get down to just a handful of atoms and it becomes less constant because now you’re really just talking about probability. Like a tritium atom, it might be here after 12.3 years or it might have turned into helium-3. There’s a 50/50 chance of either. So, this one given atom might last 12.3 years or 50 years or five minutes. You can’t tell.

    But…

    Once you get past the point of Avogado’s number, then with each dilution the probability that a single molecule exists in a single mole of the finished substance decreases exponentially. A few dilutions more and the probability is effectively null.


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  21. 71
    Ralph Says:

            Chem Geek Gregor said:

    I don’t know about that.

    Any time there is something attacking homeopathy and exposing what it is, it does not take long for someone to come spout that crap.

    Often they are Indian, as India seems to be where Homeopathy is well established and has the most to lose.

    From the sound of his name, I’d bet that this “doctor” is probably Indian.

    Not to be prejudiced or anything, you understand, but in India, homeopaths get away with using the title of “doctor” and crap like that.

    My point was that I think that response was totally made up and there is no actual Dr. Patel. It would be almost (but not quite) impossible for a doctor to be that clueless and uneducated.


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  22. 72
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Ralph said:

    My point was that I think that response was totally made up and there is no actual Dr. Patel. It would be almost (but not quite) impossible for a doctor to be that clueless and uneducated.

    In India, it is common for homeopaths to have the title of doctor even if they’ve never attended a day of legitimate medical training in their life.


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  23. 73
    George Carty Says:

    Isn’t one of the reasons why homeopathy became widespread the fact that it emerged at a time when most “mainstream” medicines were worse than useless (so that homeopathic remedies — which at least weren’t actually dangerous — looked good by comparison)?


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  24. 74
    drbuzz0 Says:

            George Carty said:

    Isn’t one of the reasons why homeopathy became widespread the fact that it emerged at a time when most “mainstream” medicines were worse than useless (so that homeopathic remedies — which at least weren’t actually dangerous — looked good by comparison)?

    Yeah I’ve heard that, but at best that argument is over 100 years obsolete.

    Medicine circa 1800 was hit or miss. There were certainly some things that medicine was starting to understand and begin to provide treatment for that was better than nothing. There were also some things that medicine was really causing more harm than good on. But medicine progresses and it got better and still continues to get better. Homeopathy doesn’t.

    One big thing that really changed everything was germ theory. Medicine was really in the dark when they didn’t even realize that it was a good idea to clean your surgical instruments of the last patients blood before using them. That all started to come together in the 1880′s.

    The thing about Homeopathy is that it was just one of the many ideas that was not evidence-based and ranged from semi-useful to harmful before evidence based medicine really took over. Germ theory was only one aspect of what became an age of medical enlightenment. The late 1800′s saw the end of many practices because they were not supported by evidence. Why did homeopathy survive? Perhaps because it wasn’t quite as harmful directly?


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  25. 75
    DV82XL Says:

    One of the best put downs of homeopathy to date:

    Homeopathy & Nutritionists vs Real Science!


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  26. 76
    De Selby Says:

    Great post, drbuzz0, but it does contain a misconception, albeit one that homoeopaths themselves do not seem to make any effort to dispel:

    “Notice, however, that the water has only remembered the properties of the substance added, but has not actually started to oppose the effects it has in the body” (my emphasis).

    It isn’t actually a claim of homoeopathy that the dilute remedies produce opposite effects to the undiluted substances. This is a popular misconception, and one which homoeopaths make no effort to dispel (see, for example homoeopaths invoking hormesis) because the reality is even sillier.

    Homoeopaths believe that symptoms are part of the body’s healing process (something to do with the mythical “vital force”). Homoeopathy therefore involves administering remedies which will intensify the symptoms and thus stimulate healing. Hence “aggravations” (i.e. worsening of the symptoms) is seen by homoeopaths as a sign that they have chosen the correct remedy.

    Hahnemann at first used material doses of substances to treat patients, having also “proved” (i.e. determined what symptoms they caused) the remedies using material doses. However, he found that this had a regrettable tendency to poison the patients, or as a recent book about homoeopathic pharmacy puts it, cause “aggravations that, in some cases, amounted to dangerous toxic reactions” (see Kayne SB (2006) Homeopathic pharmacy: theory and practice, Elsevier Health Sciences, p.52). Hahnemann therefore decided to dilute the remedies in the belief that this would reduce the toxic effects while somehow preserving the healing properties by the magic shaking.

    By the 5th edition of the Organon Hahnemann was prescribing carrying out “provings” using 30C remedies in the belief that this dilution would exhibit the full power of the remedy (see aphorism 128), and pretty much all provings nowadays are carried out using remedies so dilute that they no longer contain any of the active ingredient (see Kayne, p. 52). The remedies are given to healthy volunteers, who then record all their feelings and symptoms over a period of days to weeks, and then a homoeopath (who is aware what remedy they have been given) decides which symptoms or feelings are characteristic of the remedy. The remedies are then used to treat patients reporting the same symptoms that they are alleged to cause. the idea that the remedies cause the opposite effect is a myth.


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  27. 77
    Healer Says:

    Your disinformation is so crazy it is humorous. You have no idea how homeopathy works.

    Homeopathy does indeed work by transferring information to the water molecules, but do you think this means they must stop and have little conversations? You are so funny! The information is transferred by their energies and is scientific in how it works. No little talking water molecules! When you copy information to a disk to you think there are little people in your computer to do it?

    The water is like a blank disk, or perhaps like undeveloped film. The substance added leaves its impression on the water by means of energy. This is exactly how light leaves its impression on film so you can have a beautiful picture.

    All substances are energized with a field of quantum energy.

    Your final little joke is also wrong. Homeopathic substances do not activate with receptors. You see, it is not about the water, but about its essence or energy. We now know that the body has two components, the physical and spiritual. Most alopathic doctors care only of the physical. The body to be healthy needs to have balanced energy too. The Chinese knew it for thousands of years and they called it qi. Today we call it bioenergy. This is also how acupuncture and energy healing work. The energy fields are what changes and this is how health is restored.

    there are two parts to health, both the physical body and the spirit and energy of the body. Medical doctors have been told to only see the physical and treat the body like a machine. People are not a machine. This is why our health is so bad today.

    No good homeopath will tell you to never see a regular doctor, because both sides need to be kept atune for good health. A doctor can mend the broken bones and when a body part sick, but true health needs to look at the whole person and not only the body. For this, nothing is more powerful than homeopathy. The water is only how we deliver the information into the body. The water does not talk. The water is the paper we write on.


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  28. 78
    drbuzz0 Says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me.


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  29. 79
    Finrod Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    I was wondering about the manner in which you would chose to respond to Healer. It’s kind of difficult to chose where to begin, or to decide if it’s worth doing at all.


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  30. 80
    DV82XL Says:

            Finrod said:

    I was wondering about the manner in which you would chose to respond to Healer. It’s kind of difficult to chose where to begin, or to decide if it’s worth doing at all.

    In cases like this the depth of the posters stupidity is so apparent, and so self-destructive to the very point he/she is trying to make, nothing more needs to be said.


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  31. 81
    drbuzz0 Says:

            De Selby said:

    It isn’t actually a claim of homoeopathy that the dilute remedies produce opposite effects to the undiluted substances. This is a popular misconception, and one which homoeopaths make no effort to dispel (see, for example homoeopaths invoking hormesis) because the reality is even sillier.

    Homoeopaths believe that symptoms are part of the body’s healing process (something to do with the mythical “vital force”). Homoeopathy therefore involves administering remedies which will intensify the symptoms and thus stimulate healing. Hence “aggravations” (i.e. worsening of the symptoms) is seen by homoeopaths as a sign that they have chosen the correct remedy.

    Hahnemann at first used material doses of substances to treat patients, having also “proved” (i.e. determined what symptoms they caused) the remedies using material doses. However, he found that this had a regrettable tendency to poison the patients, or as a recent book about homoeopathic pharmacy puts it, cause “aggravations that, in some cases, amounted to dangerous toxic reactions” (see Kayne SB (2006) Homeopathic pharmacy: theory and practice, Elsevier Health Sciences, p.52). Hahnemann therefore decided to dilute the remedies in the belief that this would reduce the toxic effects while somehow preserving the healing properties by the magic shaking.

    By the 5th edition of the Organon Hahnemann was prescribing carrying out “provings” using 30C remedies in the belief that this dilution would exhibit the full power of the remedy (see aphorism 128), and pretty much all provings nowadays are carried out using remedies so dilute that they no longer contain any of the active ingredient (see Kayne, p. 52). The remedies are given to healthy volunteers, who then record all their feelings and symptoms over a period of days to weeks, and then a homoeopath (who is aware what remedy they have been given) decides which symptoms or feelings are characteristic of the remedy. The remedies are then used to treat patients reporting the same symptoms that they are alleged to cause. the idea that the remedies cause the opposite effect is a myth.

    An old comment, but I feel the need to respond:

    I understand what you’re saying, but I stand by the idea that if homeopathy is to work, then the substances must, in treating the condition they cause, do the opposite of high doses. This is a simple logical extension of the basic reasoning.

    That which is used to treat excessive tiredness is, by definition, an alertness aid. This would be something that, undiluted makes you tired. That which treated inability to sleep is, by definition, the opposite of what would keep someone awake.

    If it treats, it must remove the effects it would otherwise make. Food acids, which cause indigestion, would have to become antacids or acid blockers.

    To cure what it causes is the opposite. It has to be.


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  32. 82
    Amoeba Says:

    I just came across this homoeopathic treatment for burns – you’ve guessed correctly using the ‘like cures like principle’.
    http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/on-the-treatment-of-burns/

    I believe this falls under the ‘do not try this at home’, ‘do not under any circumstances allow this method to be used on anybody, call the Police’, ‘what do physicians know about medicine?’ and ‘nine out of ten quacks prefer this method’ headings.

    It’s almost as bad as suggesting that the victim of a gunshot might be cured by being shot again with a smaller bullet.

    found via
    http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2012/01/homeopathy_is_an_embarrassment.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DenialismBlog+%28denialism+blog%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher


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