January 5th 2017

Today I learnt about homeopathy, and I pray for the human species. Homeopathy is, basically, a way of treating illness by consuming a pill that contains a much diluted molecule of something that causes similar symptoms to the illness that you’re trying to treat.

For example, to treat the common cold you’d take – for some reason – duck’s liver and dilute it with water 200 times. You take one part duck’s liver and dilute it in 100 parts of water. And then you’d take one part of your duck-water and combine it with 100 parts of water. And then you’d take one part duck-water-water and dilute it with 100 parts of water, and then you repeat this process 197 more times until you’re left with a glass of water that at one time contained some duck. And then I guess you mix this water with a load of sugar and turn it into a pill that treats the common cold.

As you can tell, this is absolute bollocks, but as an industry it is worth $3billion per year. These homeopathic remedies are sold in pharmacies in the US (obvs) and France among other places, and people buy them because they believe that they cure a cold.

But they don’t.

They do nothing.

Oscillococcinum (the official name for [duck-water]x10^400) was developed when a French bloke looked at a sick person through a microscope and saw a shimmering molecule. He thought that this shimmering molecule was relevant, and so he tried to see if he could find it anywhere else, so he went and got a duck to see if the duck also had shimmering molecules, and by George it did.

So, naturally, his conclusion was that the shimmering molecule from the duck could be used to fight the shimmering molecule in the sick person – similar to the way vaccinations work except absolutely fucking bananas.

So he sliced up a duck and then started diluting it, because I guess you can’t just put a duck in a person and expect them to get better. He somehow settled on a 200C dilution, which – as described earlier – is 1-part duck + 100-parts water 200 times. He put a molecule in a cup (don’t ask me how) and filled it up with water. He shook it about, and then emptied 99% of it down the sink. Then filled it up with water, shook it about and emptied 99% of it down the sink.

Et cetera and so on.

Since then, smarter people than our French bloke have worked out that if you started with a duck the size of THE SUN, and did the same number of dilutions in water, you would have no trace of duck in your glass (assuming you could find a big enough glass). 

Technically, these pills are vegetarian because at the end of the dilution process there is literally no trace of duck in the glass. If you put a regular glass of water next to the duck-glass there would be not a single chemical difference between them.

It’s like pouring a drop of Ribena into the Pacific Ocean and expecting it to taste like blackcurrants when you bend down and take a sip.

Saying that the water still contains the duck liver after that many dilutions is like saying you can still taste Christmas dinner gravy on your plate even though you’re eating Lasagne and your plate has been washed 167 times since Christmas Day.

And, the best part is that there’s no reason to suggest that the duck liver molecule has any kind of healing property. The ‘shimmering’ the French bloke saw was likely to be because his Microscope was broken, and he didn’t notice the coincidence that everything he looked at shimmered. 

Literally, no scientist has ever found a shimmering molecule since because they do not exist.

Interestingly, the pills are not vegan. Because, the pills are made from 85% sucrose and 15% lactose. And, if you can do Maths to a kindergarten standard you’ll be able to see that the bills are made from 100% sugar. 

It’s literally a sugar pill that you can buy for $19.99 on Amazon. (read the reviews)

And they’re allowed to sell it as medicine.

And people buy it.

A lot.

And I know that you’re screaming ‘Placebo effect’ and you’re right to do so because that is literally the only reason that consuming that once-duck-now-sugar pill would ever conceivably make anyone feel better – because they tell themselves that they’ll feel better after they’ve taken it.

The placebo effect is an important and interesting facet of the human condition, and one that has been scientifically proven to work as medicine, and part of it is that you’ve got to believe that what you’re taking is going to help you feel better.

But people are too stupid to understand that it’s the common cold – you’re going to feel better anyway. 

So when they wake up the day after taking Oscillococcinum and they feel better, they ascribe the improvement to the drug they took. Except that it’s wrong for me to call it a drug because it is 100% sugar. 

The American FDA fought to put a warning on the packaging of these “medicines” that reads ‘Not FDA proven to have any medicinal affect’, except that when they did that, they saw no dramatic change in the sales or profits of Oscillococcinum.

People will still buy cigarettes even though the box literally says ‘I am going to kill you, and it’s not going to be pretty, and here’s a photo to prove it’

People are stupid, but brain’s are inherently extremely clever.

If anything, this shows the immense strength of will power, and focus. By taking what is effectively a placebo, you’re telling yourself that you’re going to get over your illness. Except when you inevitably do, it had more to do with your brain and will power, than it did with the liver of a long-dead, well-watered duck.

Until tomorrow, quack.


One thought on “Homeopathy

  1. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
    Oscillococcinum 200c in the treatment of influenza during epidemic in France from 1984-1987 (1989)

    Click to access brjclinpharm00089-0054.pdf

    n=487, 237 treated and 241 on placebo), if taken twice daily for 5 days significantly increased the rate of cure within two days, absence of symptoms at 48 hours, relative risk estimate significantly favour homeopathy (p=0.048), no pain and no fever (p=0.048), recovery rate (headache, stiffness, articular pain, shivering reduction) at 48 hours better in homeopathy group (p=0.032)


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