Thursday, December 29, 2016

Homeopathy Has No Basis in Science

Today's post is one of several (both past and future) inspired by the November 2016 issue of Scientific American that had a feature article on "Things We Know To Be True".  Discussed in this article are five science findings that we definitely know to be true despite the many misconceptions swirling around them.  In addition the article has several side windows of other science findings we know to be true.  Today's topic is one of the five main science findings discussed.

Let's start with defining homeopathy.  The dictionary definition of homeopathy, found through a simple Google search is:

"The treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances that in a healthy person would produce symptoms of disease."

The dictionary definition understates the definition of 'minute' in the above sentence.  The actual substance (medicine) is diluted in water many, many times.  For example, the Scientific American article states that a homeopathic product stating an active ingredient has a '200 CK' dilution means the active ingredient is diluted with 1 part per 100 parts of water, and then repeated 200 times.  The odds of a single molecule, let alone enough to do anything, of active ingredient left after the dilution process is extremely small.  There are literally ZERO molecules of active ingredients in the product.  

A homeopathic product may have a taste to it, but this is almost always due to the insertion of a sugar substance (non-active ingredient).  Simply put, homeopathic products are NOT medicine.  They will do NOTHING to help with the symptoms you are experiencing.  Yet these products are found directly next to regular medicinal products at pharmacies making it very confusing to customers.  In the past, I've made the mistake of purchasing a homeopathic product.  We were on a holiday trip and one of our kids was sick.  This seemed to happen every time we went on 8-10 hour car rides to see family when our kids were younger!  We stopped at a gas station to pick up something and it wasn't until later I realized that what we picked up was a homeopathic product.  We were in a hurry, stressed, and the homeopathic words on the box were very tiny.  Ug!  We didn't harm our kids.  We just gave them sugar water to relieve a symptom that couldn't be relieved with sugar water.  

Homeopathy is a scam.  There is no scientific basis it in it whatsoever.  There are NO scientific studies showing their effectiveness to do what they claim to do.  What these boxes should say is "No active ingredients.  NOT medicine!"  To leave this off the box is to deliberately confuse customers.  

Homeopathic products often say "ORGANIC" or "NATURAL" on the box.  These words indicate nothing on the effectiveness of the product but are a red flag for a scam when it comes to medicine.  So the next time you head to the pharmacy for medicine, be very careful to read the box.  Do not buy anything homeopathic unless you wish to throw away money on a product that has no chance of working as described.  

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