A fan of homeopathy writes in

After I posted yesterday’s article about the U.S. Federal Trade commission setting stringent new standards for advertising homeopathic medicines (the FTC made the reasonable request that the manufacturers of this stuff provide evidence that it works), I got one comment from a reader named Brenda, which I decided to put above the fold. Here’s the comment in situ, and the contents are below (spelling as in original):

Brenda

Surely people have the right of choice. R u trying to brainwash people by telling them your way is the only way. I am 50 + and never resort to alopathy, except on two occasions when it was literally forced upon me by people with your idealogy. For two whole days thereafter I suffered with nausea, dizziness and headache, as a result of this. Homeopathy on the other hand has served me very well for 50+ years. Thank you.

I have informed Brenda both by email and after her comment that I’m posting it here, and invited her to respond to any reader’s comments or questions. By all means ask her what you wish. But remember: snark and sarcasm are unlikely to make anyone reconsider their beliefs.

 

66 Comments

  1. Stephen Barnard
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    The FTC isn’t restricting freedom of choice. They’re saying companies can market and sell homeopathic “remedies” as long as they label them as having no proven scientific efficacy. It’s the same standard as other OTC medicines are subject to.

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Exactly. These new guidelines do not prohibit labeling that highlights the history of homeopathy use worldwide, as well as the funding for its use by the National Health Care Services of countries including the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Russia, Switzerland and India to name a few. The practice of homeopathy is also still taught in colleges & universities worldwide.
      My family has used homeopathy under the guidance of a licensed homeopath for 30 years.

      • Peter Austin
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        “under the guidance of a licensed homeopath …”

        Licensed by whom?

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Dear Brenda

    Find a paper cup. Write “Brenda’s homeopathic remedy” on it. Add a grain of salt or sugar – literally, not the metaphoric one.
    Open the tap water anywhere, e.g. in the kitchen, or a public water fountain. Fill the cup. Invent some rules and expectations for your cure. See a doctor regularly. Enjoy.

    But please really do go see an M.D. from an accredited institution.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      You forgot to shake it hard. This essential step is called ‘percussion’ & it stamps the molecular structure of the salt or sugar into the water and makes it more salty/sugary.

    • Posted November 20, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Well that obviously won’t work, silly. It needs to be properly blessed succussed by a legitimate priest homeopath.

  3. Geoff Toscano
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Hi Brenda. I assume you are also well served by astrology, magnet therapy, reiki, and blood letting.

    What type of leeches do use, and do you breed your own?

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      🙂
      (Leeches are actually better than homeopathy, they reportedly help if you have bruises or have had cosmetic surgery.)

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Leech-breeding is a rigorously scientific endeavour. Didn’t you read the section in OTOoS on “Variation under Domestication”? Even if you don’t have set criteria for selecting the organisms that you breed, the changes that you introduce into the breeding environment to make breeding more efficient than wild collection (e.g., removal of significant predators) will significantly alter the environment of the species, and eventually show up in the genome.

  4. jaxkayaker
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Brenda actually is aware of the principles of homeopathy and the mathematics of dilution. Sincere question. I would like her to summarize her understanding of those things.

    • Draken
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Let’s begin at the beginning: the basic principles of (double) blind testing, significance margins, and placebo results.

      Most people have no idea what they are and why they were invented, and why anecdotal proof has no value. Some people even refuse to understand after you’ve explained it.

      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        I would love for someone to figure out how many people would be dissuaded from trying homeopathy if they understood the Avogadro limit. (In my view this would be nice, because then we could save the money on all these trials of something with zero prior plausibility, to say the least.)

  5. Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Dear Brenda

    Do not worry. If you don’t want to go to a real doctor, nobody is going to stop you.

    • Kevin
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Ditto. It is Brenda’s freedom. I doubt Brenda’s kids go to my kid’s elementary school…she would know who I was. I do not take kindly to anti-VAXers.

  6. BobTerrace
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Apparently, Brenda either did not read what the FTC is doing or did not comprehend it.

    Her statement is a non starter from the first statement, which is not true.

    This is an example of the people who are uneducated in the results of modern science or refuse to listen to common sense or reason.

    She can feel free to do whatever she pleases with her ignorance but she should stand aside and let us educated adults live our lives making use of facts and evidence.

    The only ‘water’ pill I take is generic Lasix, which expels the excess water from my lungs and kidneys and to keep excess salt from my system.

  7. jknath1
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Once again facts supported by evidence die by the sword of ignorance

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Only in the mind of the … is “be-wielder” a word?
      “be-sworder”?

      • Wunold
        Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:20 am | Permalink

        Bewilderer.🙂

  8. Michael Finfer, MD
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    First, you need to make sure you know what homeopathy is. The basic principle is that, if you take a teaspoon of sugar, dilute it in the equivalent of a sphere of water 30 billion light years in diameter (a 100C dilution) a volume larger than the observable universe, while shaking it a little bit along the way, and give it to diabetics, it will make them better.

    Anyone who has ever taken chemistry should see that this is ludicrous. A teaspoon of sugar contains a large, but finite, number of molecules, and idea that water has a memory violates the laws of thermodynamics.

    It is not we who are pushing ideology. We are just trying to stick to the science. It is you who are pushing ideology, a form of denialism every bit as bad that that being pushed about climate change by Donald Trump and many Republicans.

    Of course your physician was pushing real medicine. Most of us object to using nonsense to treat disease in the strongest way. Those who do not are appropriately subject to censure.

    As for your symptoms, it is hard to comment without more information, but, based upon your attitude, they are most likely psychosomatic.

  9. Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Keeping one’s head in the sand is usually only useful for ostriches.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      I never believed that ostriches did that, but you’ve inspired me to research how these magnificent theropod dinosaurs acquired that lamentable urban myth.
      Oh dear, Mr InBetween need to go and talk o his Elder. “but their stupidity is no less remarkable; for although the rest of their body is so large, they imagine, when they have thrust their head and neck into a bush, that the whole of the body is concealed.”
      P>Well, if it’s Pliny, then the odds are pretty strong that he never saw an ostrich without a seriously traumatic recent history from it’s capture and transport. Plus, being insectivorous, it doesn’t seem unlikely that ostriches would look in a convenient bush as you and I would look into a convenient secondhand bookshop, and be equally difficult to dislodge.

      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        Well, I meant this as a metaphor obviously! No one would read the literal interpretation of something that is purely a folk tale!😉

        • Diane G.
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:15 am | Permalink

          Ostriches are actually pretty formidable!

          We need some sort of “sticking your head in the sand” metaphor, just like we need some sort of “frog not noticing it’s being boiled alive” metaphor, but the ones we’ve got fail dismally in light of the facts.

  10. Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Anecdote is not an antidote. Once you have conceded the placebo, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.

  11. dev41
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Brenda-
    You have been very fortunate to have lived a healthy life using homeopathic remedies when necessary. Can you give us examples of illnesses that you successfully treated with such remedies? Also, what were the illnesses for which you were forced to undergo allopathic treatments? Also, by whom were you forced to endure these treatments? Thanks.

    • Ralph
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      I’m unsure what you’re getting at here. Isn’t the whole point that anecdotes are not informative about whether a treatment is successful? Or is that what you were planning to explain if Brenda returns with concrete examples?

      • dev41
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        I think it could provide some insight into her thinking to learn which of her illnesses have responded, in her mind, to homeopathic remedies, and for which illnesses she was “forced” to accept traditional medical treatment.

        • Diane G.
          Posted November 20, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          I agree and think those were very good questions.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      using homeopathic remedies when perceived necessary.

      There are plenty of serious diseases whose early stages are essentially symptom-free. Pretty much all cancers, for a start. At 50-odd, both Brenda and I are entering the peak age for showing cancer – which may have been growing and evolving inside us for decades. Ditto heart diseases. And reproductive tract diseases.
      Is it time for the joke about the man who jumped out of the 100th floor of the Burj al Khalifa? At the 10th floor he was heard going past, whistling and saying “everything is fine so far”.

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    A review of Brainwashing might be in order here. It usually includes forcibly inducing someone to do or give up something. I don’t see how a posting on this site is doing that to you. You don’t even have to read it let alone comment. Now, if you came by your homeopathic remedies by watching half hour commercials on TV, you can avoid that brainwash by changing the channel or hitting the off button.

  13. Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I am 50 + and never resort to alopathy, except on two occasions when it was literally forced upon me by people with your idealogy.

    If you were ‘literally forced’, that’s assault. Presumablt you report it to the police? What was their response?

    If you just mean you were unconscious or otherwise incapacitated and someone called the paramedics thinking that was what you wanted then it’s likely the ‘side effects’ you mentioned were actually the symptoms of whatever had incapacitated you in the first place.

    I’m the same age as you. I’ve never had an illness that put me into hospital. That’s not because I’m particularly fit or because I take alternative medicine; it’s just because, so far, I’ve been lucky.

    • Jamie
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      There are at least two other categories of people prone to having treatments “literally forced” upon them, psychiatric patients and children. I mention this not to imply that the op is crazy but to dispel some of the illusion that modern western medicine is totally benign and above criticism.

      Yes, doctors pay attention to science, but they are also subject to intense pressure to run a profitable business. Science is practiced in the medical research lab, not in the doctor’s office. Being human beings, like the rest of us, they have their fair share of larcenous mountebanks (I hear this is especially a problem in the field of pain management)and even the honest ones, being human, are not immune from occasional bouts of avarice or emotional decision making. To blur the distinction between medical science and medical practice is “ideological” in the sense that E.T. Jaynes defined it, i.e. the selective omission of pertinent information in decision making. Treating all doctors as perfect representatives of medical science is absurd. We simply don’t have enough information about the op’s situation to declare that she must be wrong or lying about being forcibly treated or that no harm could have come from her treatment. The literature is full of historical examples of routine practices that were later discovered to be harmful and widely used medical devices that later had to be banned.

      • Blue
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Ms Jamie, for this rebutting clarity. Particularly as you recount re “routine” psychiatric and pediatric practitioners / practice, this re forced harm could not be truer.

        Blue

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          I agree with Blue.

          Whither wentest your Gravitar image? The way they change those little thingies, whatever they’re called, for no apparent reason, Blue will be green or red.

      • nicky
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        Very true, Jamie, children and psychiatric patients. Since Brenda is 50+, and probably does not refer to her childhood, we may presume she is a psychiatric case. 😆

        However, there are other situations where (in some countries) treatment can be forced, such as prisoners, slaves and carriers of dangerous communicable diseases such as MDR-TB. In the latter case, I think this ‘forcing’ could be reasonable defended.

  14. scottoest
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The fact that she even uses the term “allopathy” (generally considered pejorative), suggests a deeply ingrained antipathy towards traditional medicine. I don’t think this person wants to be reached by reasoned discourse, and that is certainly their right.

    I’d just point out that the FTC is not restricting her choices – they are doing what a good regulator SHOULD do, and requesting actual data demonstrating the efficacy of these various “remedies”. If they work, then that should be easy enough to collect, right?

    It’s an interesting world we live in, where people are despondently arguing for their right to buy snake oil, and not be told that it’s snake oil by the government.

    • p. puk
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Choice will (eventually) be restricted as fewer people will be conned into taking ‘meds’ that have zero effect. The profitability of snake-oil will decline removing much of it from the market place.

      Hooray!

      Also, my aunt refers to every illness as ‘dis-ease’ in the same way as the OP refers to allopathy. It’s fucking annoying.

  15. Ralph
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, healthcare is an area that’s so susceptible to human cognitive bias. That’s why quack remedies have always been so widespread, and it’s the reason that “folk medicine” contains a few effective treatments hidden among thousands of old wives’ tales.

    The fact is, of course, that the vast majority of minor ailments resolve naturally when left untreated. But, given the course of events:

    Sick -> Treatment X -> Healthy

    …trying to convince even the most rational scientifically trained person that there may be no causal relationship and no merit to X is almost impossible.

  16. Rob
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I’m glad Brenda is reading here. This is a good site for learning, thinking, considering, etc.

  17. KenS
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I find it interesting that Brenda even reads this blog. But, hey, maybe, just maybe, she deserves credit for seeking out proponents of beliefs that conflict with her own.

    It seems clear, however, that science isn’t going to sway her opinion on homeopathy.

  18. chris moffatt
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I think the gummint is just trying to control fraudulent claims made by homeopathy. If anyone wants to use such demonstrably worthless nostrums after being informed by the gummint that they have no scientific value whatsoever and cannot cure disease or alleviate symptoms, more power to them. The placebo effect sometimes works.

  19. Wunold
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Hello Brenda,

    are you aware of the nocebo effect? It’s the evil twin of the placebo effect. It’s “when a negative expectation of a phenomenon causes it to have a more negative effect than it otherwise would.” (Wikipedia)

    So, if you are feeling that you are forced to do something against your firm conviction, like taking a treatment you extremely distrust, the nocebo effect will make it very likely for side effects to occur and/or be more severe. P

    Placebo (getting better from good expectations) and nocebo (getting worse by bad expectations) are both well researched, as is homeopathy, which in hundreds of studies and metastudies (combined reviews of multiple studies) didn’t show any signs of being more than a placebo.

    In the light of this, you accuse Jerry Coyne of “brainwashing” people with his “ideology”. On your part, you support your claims by just your personal experiences. My question to you is: If two people have different experiences in the same matter (like Jerry and many more people don’t have your kind of experiences from homeopathy and scientific medicine), which method would you propose to find out whose experiences are closer to the truth? (Ideally also accounting for possible placebo and nocebo effects.)

    Best regards
    Wunold

  20. kelskye
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t get why the term ideology comes into it. Isn’t there just science? i.e. either homoeopathy is well supported by evidence, in which case it should be adopted as a treatment; it’s not supported by evidence, in which case it should be disregarded as a treatment; or the evidence is absent either way, in which case further study is needed.

    In the case for homoeopathy, the science is clear. Homoeopathy is indistinguishable from a similarly administered placebo, and there are been cases of outright fraud in the attempt to show otherwise. There’s nothing ideological going on, there’s just science.

    • Jamie
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Ideology comes into it because the existence of evidence and people’s willingness to pay attention to that evidence are two different things. Although the evidence against homeopathy is clear to anyone who investigates it, people sometimes choose to dismiss it without due consideration. That is ‘ideological’. And accusing Jerry of being ideological is the same as saying that he is ignoring the ‘evidence’ (op’s personal experience) in favor of homeopathy. Of course he is not ignoring that. He has a rational explanation for it that is well tested (placebo) and a rational framework for decision making that tells him that numerous empirical studies count for more than one person’s anecdotes. But the point is, the term ‘ideology’ is a proxy for selective attention to evidence, and its use here is quite appropriate, though op is wrong in thinking that Jerry is being ideological.

      • kelskye
        Posted November 22, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Whether people believe something isn’t really relevant to the science of it though. Yelling ideology is the equivalent of “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”. It’s the discussion we have in place of what ought to be the only consideration that matters – where the evidence lies.

        My lament wasn’t why things are the way they are, but what they ought to be. Ideology shouldn’t come into it; that it does is one of the problems of any discussion.

        • Wunold
          Posted November 23, 2016 at 12:30 am | Permalink

          Whether people believe something isn’t really relevant to the science of it

          Reading this, this t-shirt comes to my mind.🙂

          (No advertisement intended, I’m not affiliated to the shop in any way.)

  21. nicky
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Would homeopathic deer penises be very, very tiny penises, or how does that work?

    Maybe there is a market for homeopathic deer penises and rhinhorn? The latter could help the rhino’s, since a single horn would be sufficient to supply the world population for centuries. One of the very, very few advantages of homeopathy, I’d say.

    • eric
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Ironically, I think you just touched on one of the advantages; which is that once you have a solution of rhino horn, there is no need to ever kill another rhino to get any more. Just keep adding water to (and drawing water from) the original solution. As you make it more dilute, your homeopathic rhino horn solution should just keep getting better.

      Of course because homeopathy is more of a scam than a medicine, we cannot trust the producers to have a product that matches the label. In some cases, they will be giving people less active ingredient than the label promises (though given homeopathy, this is going to be rare). In other cases, they will be giving users more active ingredient than the label lists or biologically active chemicals not listed at all. People have actually gotten sick from the latter, which is why DSHEA needs to go away. Health supplements need to be labeled and their QC regulated in exactly the same way as any other drug.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Would homeopathic deer penises be very, very tiny penises, or how does that work?

      I have a mental image of the deer-shooting community of $STATE$ getting together, taking their knives to their haul that doesn’t consist of game wardens and pure-bred Jersey cows, and then flooding the market for powdered deer penis with powdered deer clitoris … and waiting for the complaints to come rolling in. Or not.

  22. nicky
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Seriously though, my apologies for making fun (that was a bit childish). If your condition is not serious and/or is selflimiting (many, if not most, are), homeopathy is undeniably safer than ‘allopaty’. A bit of water or a tiny sugarpill is bound to have less side effects than, say, a course of antibiotics or steroids.
    However, if your condition is serious, say TB, or breast cancer, you better go for ‘allotherapy’. TB therapy may among other things, induce blindness, sometimes irreversible, but it will cure your TB.
    In the latter case -breastcancer- chemo and surgery (and radiation therapy) agree proven to be the best ootion; these have serious, horrendous side effects, but if you are 50+ they will give you a 10 year survival rate of 90+% (depending on your staging, of course) .
    [Sadly this is not true for younger females (<30), especially when 'black', as I found out to my great personal sorrow (I'm still distraught). They die quickly, with or without 'allo'- or homeo-pathy. 'Allotherapy' buys them just a year or two at best, unless diagnosed in the very early stages.]*

    When you say'forced', does that mean your condition was so serious as to warrant some evidence based medicine? If not, how were you'forced'?

    *[Note that about 1 in 5000 metastasized cancers -'given up' by mainstream medicine-heal spontaneously (probably the immune system somehow recognising the cancer as alien). This gives a lot of anecdotal evidence for all kinds of snake-oil, since the dead are not prone to give testimony]

    • eric
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      If your condition is not serious and/or is selflimiting (many, if not most, are), homeopathy is undeniably safer than ‘allopaty’

      This is a common opinion. It is wrongity wrong wrong. Dangerously wrong. In theory homeopathic treatments aren’t dangerous because they’re only water. But in practice, since homeopathy falls under the DHSEA we have no idea what’s in them. There is no independent check of quality or ingredients. Look up Zicam; it was a homeopathic product that turned out to have so much zinc in it that some people who took it permanently damaged or lost their sense of smell. Think about that the next time someone claims homeopathy is undeniably better than real drugs.

      With a real drug, the stuff on the label may cause you side effects. With a DHSEA health supplement, what’s not on the label could seriously injure your health.

  23. haymanj
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Drinking water is very good for your health.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Drinking water above a particular level kills, reliably and surprisingly quickly. As Paracelsus said in the 15th century (or so), the dose makes the poisons.

  24. Diane G.
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Brenda–it’s possible you simply haven’t read this post yet, but if you have and have decided not to answer, I can’t say that I blame you.

    However, I hope you do take seriously the posts which explain the errors in your thinking and the real dangers involved. We are concerned for you and others who have received the same misinformation.

  25. Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    A thousand anecdotes do not a clinical trial make. If a well-designed and executed clinical trial showed that any homeopathic treatment had a real effect, doctors would use it.

    A homeopathic dilution of sodium cyanide certainly wouldn’t kill anyone, as it is indistinguishable from distilled water, but I’m sure it wouldn’t help anyone who ingested a lethal dose of the stuff.

    • Wunold
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      A homeopathic dilution of sodium cyanide certainly wouldn’t kill anyone

      That’s another important issue of homeopathy. Its proponents never explain (AFAIK) why only the desirable, healing properties of the “mother tincture” (“Urtinktur” in german) are “potentiated” by dilution, and not the neutral or harmful ones. (Why does “Arsenicum album” not kill you? Why does “sepia” not dye your mouth black?)

      Also, dilution C3/D6 and higher contains more contaminants than molecules of the mother tincture. Why aren’t they potentiated?

      These questions can’t be dismissed by the common sidestepping to “etheric” properties, since they raise the same questions (among many more).

      • eric
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Homeopathy was invented in the same year as one of the earliest, somewhat effective smallpox inoculations – 1796. Vaccination relies on a somewhat similar concept, i.e. that exposure to a little bit of something will help you resist the negative effects of a lot of that something later. So in its historical context, it wasn’t a stupid hypothesis to try, and your ‘missing explanation’ is that the proponents thought it worked like an inoculation or vaccination – even though they didn’t really understand at the him how those things worked.

        This doesn’t provide any excuse for why people should believe it works in 2016, but it does provide some insight into why it got off the ground in the 1800s. It probably seemed like a reasonable extrapolation from observations made at the time.

        • Wunold
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          Correct, and in view of many brutal medical treatments of that time, like bloodletting and purging which often killed the already weakened patients, Hahnemann’s efforts to find milder treatments are notably laudable.

          It’s not surprising how a less harmful form of (pseudo-)treatment like homeopathy could have arisen back in those times when mainstream medicine itself wasn’t much more than superstitious quackery.

          But I didn’t mean explanations about the birth of homeopathy, but about the aforementioned gaps in its teachings which I have never seen adressed by today’s homeopaths.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Why does “sepia” not dye your mouth black?

        Because sepia (the exudate of squid or cuttlefish) is dark brown?

        • Wunold
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:13 am | Permalink

          Thanks for the hint, I confused it with the black ink of octopi. :*)

  26. friendlypig
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    The greater the dilution, i.e. the weaker the solution, the more potent and therefore more powerful and potentially dangerous your ‘medicine’ can be.

    So, looking at it logically another few dilutions and you have an untraceable poison. Thank you, I’m going to try that on a few well deserving people that I know.

    Thank you again.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Before you go about your “little list, of people who will not e missed”, spare a moment to pity the poor person washing the bottles from the homeopath’s recycling bin. Obviously these efficacious drugs cannot be allowed to get into the general water circulation by being tipped down the sink … therefore the bottles must be cleaned before being sent for re-melting or re-filling.
      But washing the bottle dilutes the agent. Making it stronger.
      Does the internet have an animation? This’ll do.

      • friendlypig
        Posted November 23, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Mea culpa! I hadn’t thought of that.

  27. Dominic
    Posted November 23, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Dear Brenda,
    The world is full of – pardon my Anglo-Saxon – shit. Much of it diluted. There is an oft repeated saying that London drinking water has passed through someones kidneys numerous times. How then can you separate the diluted shit or urine effects in the water from the supposed homeopathic effects that you seek?


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