A new meta-study shows Homeopathy is still bullshit.

It boggles the mind that in 2015 there are still people out there who buy into the idea of Homeopathy.

Homeopathy demotavational poster.

That’ll be $150, kthxbai!

As a refresher, it’s an “alternative medicine” predicated on the belief that “like cures like” and “water has a memory.” In short, if you take something that causes the same or similar symptoms in an ailing patient and dilute it in water and then feed it to them it’ll cure whatever their ailment happens to be. Here’s the best part though: The more diluted the solution is the more powerful it becomes.

I shit you not. Here’s an explanation of the dilution process from the Homeopathic “Educational” Services website:

Each substance is diluted, most commonly, 1 part of the original medicinal agent to 9 or 99 parts double-distilled water. The mixture is then vigorously stirred or shaken. The solution is then diluted again 1:9 or 1:99 and vigorously shaken. This process of consecutive diluting and shaking or stirring is repeated 3, 6, 12, 30, 200, 1,000, or even 1,000,000 times. Simply “diluting” the medicines without vigorously shaking them doesn’t activate the medicinal effects.

It is inaccurate to say that homeopathic medicines are extremely diluted; they are extremely “potentized.” “Potentization” refers to the specific process of sequential dilution with vigorous shaking. Each consecutive dilution infiltrates the new double-distilled water and imprints upon it the fractal form of the original substance used (fractal refers to the specific consecutively smaller pattern or form within a larger pattern). Ultimately, some type of fractal or hologram of the original substance may be imprinted in the water.

If you have half a brain you should already be questioning the intelligence of the people who dreamed this bullshit up just based on this little snippet of nonsense from this one website.

What all of this gobbledegook boils down to is this: Homeopathy is a way to sell you expensive water that isn’t going to do shit to heal whatever you problem is. If you get better after using Homeopathic medicines then you would’ve gotten better regardless of whether you had used them. This has shown to be true in study after study, yet these cranks are still out there peddling their bullshit and trying to weasel their way into being covered by insurance plans and health organizations.

Now Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council along with an independent company (to ensure there was no bias) has done a meta-study that involved analyzing over 1,800 scientific papers and more than 225 medical studies that determined (emphasis added):

There was no reliable evidence from research in humans that homeopathy was effective for treating the range of health conditions considered: no good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than placebo, or caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment.

For some health conditions, studies reported that homeopathy was not more effective than placebo. For other health conditions, there were poor-quality studies that reported homeopathy was more effective than placebo, or as effective as another treatment. However, based on their limitations, those studies were not reliable for making conclusions about whether homeopathy was effective. For the remaining health conditions it was not possible to make any conclusion about whether homeopathy was effective or not, because there was not enough evidence.

And their conclusion was:

Based on the assessment of the evidence of effectiveness of homeopathy, NHMRC concludes that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.

Homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness. People who are considering whether to use homeopathy should first get advice from a registered health practitioner. Those who use homeopathy should tell their health practitioner and should keep taking any prescribed treatments.

In short, the shit don’t work. When you sit down and read what promoters provide as the explanation for how it supposedly works this shouldn’t come as a surprise. For starters, they love their buzzwords: Fractals, holograms, nanopharmacology, the Principle of Resonance, the list goes on and on. The idea seems to be that if you toss enough buzzwords at people they’ll assume you’ll know what you’re talking about simply because the have no idea what you’re talking about.

Alas, that works and you can find all manner of Homeopathic products at your local drug store as proof. Why do the stores carry them if they don’t work? Because they make decent money off of people who don’t know any better. Capitalism at its finest!

For those of you interested in reading the study for yourself you can find it here. *PDF File


7 thoughts on “A new meta-study shows Homeopathy is still bullshit.

  1. Interesting point, this earth recycles water, essentially the same water it’s had for the last few billion years, which has been exposed to everything imaginable, and some I’d rather not. By their own “Reasoning” any old water must be a homeopathic remedy for everything, and the price is right.

  2. Yeah, I’m always amused by the fact that if water actually did “remember” stuff, then why are they not worried about all the shit (literally feces) that much of it has had in it at one point in time or another?

  3. Hi Les,
    I was involved with a gorgeous singer, it turned out that she was not only a singer, but also a homeopath.
    As a sceptic I found this quite disturbing and I could not continue my relationship with this woman for more that four months.
    That’s the price of my beliefs.

    All the best,

  4. Amidst all that nonsense – let’s not forget the Good Dr. Oz and all of his supposed miracle cures.

    and of course – all those spam ads – telling you how someone lost 50 pounds of belly fat using this one weird trick.

    Belly fat having a mass of roughly 5-7 times muscle – for the same weight – 50 pounds of belly fat would have one needing a wheelbarrow to support their belly.

    I’ve also seen tons of fitness experts decrying the “marvel” of spot reducing.

    To use a misquote often attributed to PT Barnum: “There’s a sucker born every minute”

  5. The worst thing about homeopatic medicine is that it is recognized by the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (if I remember correctly), which I specifically mentions 3 compendia that are federally recognized as legit. Two of these are evidence-based publications titled US Pharmacopeia (USP) and the National Formulary. The other is the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States. Anything in the first two publications must be proven safe AND effective and be FDA approved for some indication (aside from select few around prior to 1938, but lets not comlicate this more than we have to), while those listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia only have to contain ingredients diluted enough that they can not possibly cause harm to those taking these medicines. It’s essentially a license to sell sugar water to morons and it’s a remnant of our drug laws that needs to change (along with regulation of supplements).

    Sometimes I consider starting my own homeopathic and supplement company, because if someone is going to make money off of idiots, it may as well be me.

  6. I used to believe that pharmaceuticals were all about money, that natural cures were the answer to absolutely everything, that prescriptions had so many side effects that you’d take one prescription for the side effects of another, then another, in a downward spiral.

    Somehow, I still smoked cigarettes off and on, lightly, and drank beer almost every night.

    At one point, I happened to take a cold medicine (dextromethorphan) and noticed it, somehow, made me feel more balanced, more clear headed, and happier all at the same time. Upon further research I found out it has effects and mechanisms similar to SSRI antidepressants, and decided to try an antidepressant.

    Several years later, and everything has gotten better. Between the prescription sleeping pills and the antidepressants, I no longer feel a need to drink beer at night to sleep, or to smoke cigarettes, or to overeat. I’ve lost over 50 pounds, my cholesterol numbers are great, I can bench press 300 lbs, and I’m much happier than I was before. The beer belly I used to have is gone. I can relate to women much better, flirt with women in a way that feels natural, that I didn’t used to in the past… near every hot woman at work flirts with me. The only reason I’m single is because I feel like I have unlimited options on the table and am in no rush.

    Looking back, I realize what a fool I was in the past to reject science, to be more concerned about exaggerated side effects of prescriptions than the very real health hazards of being overweight, drinking, and smoking. I never fell for homeopathy, but I did believe many of the alternative medicine talking points.

    Most all cancer and heart disease can be prevented by actually DOING what health authorities recommend – exercising daily and eating a healthy diet. The real cures to disease have been right under our noses the whole time. I wonder how many of the people who try Dr OZ’s various cures actually exercise daily and avoid all refined carbs and trans fats?

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