While I know that the issue of homeopathy has been talked about to death, I started thinking about it again when I mentioned it in my previous article. So I decided to write about the topic here.

for those who may not know, homeopathy is a pseudo science created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann. The theory behind homeopathy is that like-cures-like and that water has a kind of “molecular memory” that is enhanced by dilution. Or to simplify it, if something is making you sick, all you need to do is dissolve a small amount of the thing that made you sick in water, then dissolve that solution in water and repeat until statistically there is about a one in a million chance of even one molecule of the original substance being in the solution and drinking that solution will cure you. I know, it was just as confusing to me when I first heard it. Let me go on and see if I can make it clearer.

Let’s create a hypothetical situation here. You’re a homeopathic “doctor” and you want to make an antidote for arsenic. So far so good, it’s always good for someone practicing medicine to have antidotes on hand. But because you’re a homeopath, you’re not going to use western medicine. You are going to use homeopathy. So what you do is take one milliliter of arsenic and mix it with ten milliliters of water before shaking the solution. You now have what homeopaths call a 1X solution. You then take one milliliter of that solution and mix it with ten milliliters of of water before shaking that new solution. You now have a 2X solution. But according to homeopathy, that solution is too weak to be effective. So you take one milliliter of that solution, mix with ten parts water and shake. You then repeat this process upwards of 30 or 40 times. By the time you’re done, the dilution is so mixed that there is most likely none of the original compound in the 30X solution. Now it’s potent enough to cure arsenic poisoning.

Now naturally, there are many things wrong with this practice. The one question that I always had personally was why couldn’t homeopaths just give people a drop of water from the ocean to cure anything? I makes sense, just about every substance on earth has made it into the ocean at some point, it’s always moving around and being shaken up, and if like-cures-like when diluted so much then shouldn’t ocean water be able to cure everything from the common cold to cancer and AIDS? But no, if it was that easy, then they would go out of business wouldn’t they. So you might be wondering what the harm is in a couple of crazy people believing in complete nonsense. The harm is that these people are actually pretty influential. Did you know that many homeopathic “medicines” are sold in major drug stores like Walgreens and CVS? Yeah, that scared me too. In fact, the “cold remedy” Zicam is a homeopathic medicine. Many people have died because they themselves or their parents were homeopaths. Many people have become sick or stayed sick because they bought homeopathic medicines without knowing what they really were. As someone who knows many people in the medical field, including doctors and pharmacists, I find this pseudo scientific alliterative to medicine very offensive and even more dangerous.

If you want to know more about homeopathy, and you should at least know what brands to avoid during your next visit to the drug store, I would recommend visiting The James Randi Foundation website. In addition to exposing homeopathy, the foundation is dedicated to exposing and debunking a wide variety of junk science and superstition.