World Homeopathy Week
It is currently World Homeopathy Week (10th-16th April), so this is a good time to run through the principles of homeopathic medicine and remind everyone that the whole idea is not only fatally flawed, but actively dangerous. In this way, homeopathy can be classed in the same category as people who argue that children shouldn’t be vaccinated.
Homeopathy is a ‘complimentary or alternative medicine’ – i.e. it is not a medicine at all. A better term for homeopathy is a pseudoscience which follows two main principle:
1) ‘Like for like’ – This is the idea that if something is the cause of symptoms then it can also help to remove these symptoms. This is obviously extremely dangerous, or even life threatening. For instance, people who have a peanut allergy cannot be cured by peanuts.
2) Succussion – This is a process of dilution and shaking which practitioners believe makes remedies stronger. Quite how diluting the active ingredient makes remedies stronger is a mystery to scientists, but homeopaths insist upon it.
It is likely that the two aforementioned principles are linked. Returning to the example of someone with peanut allergies, it is clear that rubbing them with peanuts would only make things worse. In the mind of a homeopath this presents a clear problem. However, by diluting the active ingredients and allergens in peanuts, the results would not be so bad. To people who believe in homeopathy as a legitimate medical practice, this series of events seemingly confirms that dilution of the ‘like for like’ ingredient causes a less severe reaction. The more it is diluted, the happier the person with a peanut allergy will be!
This clearly misses out a few steps which could be described as basic analysis, but the myth of homeopathy has persisted for centuries since it was first coined by the not-doctor Samuel Hahnemann in 1802. Almost every credible scientific organisation and medical organisation in the world have decried the whole field of homeopathy as, at best, voodoo, but it is still a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry today.
Much like the fraudulent anti-vaccine school of thought which has spread around the world, it seems that homeopathic ‘doctors’ exist largely to manipulate vulnerable people into parting with their money on spurious grounds for their own benefit. The phrase “morally bankrupt” does not really do these charlatans justice.
So, on this World Homeopathy Week 2017, here are some links for medical professionals who are highly trained and extremely motivated to help you if you or anyone you know is ill. Your medical health is not something to trust to amateurs:
Or, for your mental health: