Homeopathy: Magic Water... without the Magic

September 8, 2010

Brit Trogen

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that was first proposed by a fellow named Samuel Hahnemann in 1796. Hahnemann, a German physician, had come up with a rather astounding set of ideas that to this day have yet to evaporate.


The first one, "the law of similars," states that in order to cure a disease, you must treat it with something that produces the same symptoms (ie. anthrax for anthrax poisoning. For reals!) The second, the concept of dilution, states that substances become more potent the more dilute they become. We're not just talking a one in ten dilution. A 12C dilution (not even on the high range) is about as concentrated as putting a pinch of salt in the Atlantic Ocean, mixing it in, then taking a sip from the other side.


Of course, none of this would really matter if homeopathy worked. But centuries of scientific study have proven pretty much beyond a shadow of a doubt that it doesn't.



This isn't new information. People have been fighting the good fight against this magic water for years and yet people keep on drinking it. Worse, as some people opt for homeopathic remedies over real medicine, the real dangers of relying on the placebo effect rear their head. 


The thing is, there are illnesses—like a cold, a headache, the 24-hour flu, or "a touch of the nerves"—that won't be really affected either way if you treat them with water. They'll continue on their way, and it's even possible that psychologically you will feel a little bit better, having indulged yourself in a bit of extra attention. But other diseases, like cancer, AIDs, and even vitamin K deficiency in children, will almost certainly be fatal if all you do is sip a bit of H2O. This is where the real danger lies. 


Ultimately, homeopathy takes advantage of sick people. It's not herbal medicine, or any form of medicine at all, but a long disproved idea from the eighteenth century. So if you ever come across someone who wants to try it, save them the trouble and grab them some tap water. 



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