Recently Nobel Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan was all over the news for calling homeopathy bogus and no points for guessing, received a large amount of criticism. A large number of patients who have been successfully cured by homeopathic medicine stood up against his statement and called it foolish. Of course, it would be hard to convince someone who has seen positive results.
The title of this article already gives you a hint about what I am going to talk about. So, drop your prejudice on the ground and let me prove to you why homeopathy is bogus!
Let’s talk Science!- How is a homeopathic medicine prepared?
Before you claim we are talking nonsense, this recipe is taken from an official homeopathic medicine reference website.
Let’s suppose you have to make Homoeopathic Pepsi. This is what you have to do! Pour a small amount of Pepsi in a beaker and add water to it such that it is 90% water and 10% Pepsi. Now, ‘Succuss’ this solution (pound the bottle into your opposite palm) 40 times and after having done that, get a piece of paper and write down “Pepsi 1X”–meaning that you now have Pepsi in the 1X potency. But this is not it. Now pour out 90% of this solution and refill half way with distilled water, Succuss 40 times and name it Pepsi 2X. Do the same thing again and you get Pepsi 3X. Most remedies today varies from 6X to 30X. You can imagine the amount of dilution by this number.
As we said earlier, most homeopathic remedies today are diluted in this fashion 60 times. At this dilution, you would have to drink 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of homeopathic remedy to get one molecule of active ingredient. Assuming that a cubic centimeter of water contains 15 drops, this number is greater than the number of drops of water that would fill a container more than 50 times the size of the Earth.
Talking in chemistry terminologies, the laws of chemistry state that there is a limit to the dilution that can be made without losing the original substance altogether. This limit, which is related to Avogadro’s number, corresponds to homeopathic potencies of 12C or 24X (1 part in 1024). This is one big reason why Chemistry and Science disprove Homeopathy!
But, Vaccines are highly diluted too! What’s your logic behind that?
Many people believe that homeopathic products resemble Vaccines because both provide a small stimulus that triggers an immune response and both are highly diluted too. This comparison, though, doesn’t make any sense. The amounts of active ingredients in vaccines are much greater and can be measured. Moreover, immunizations produce antibodies whose concentration in the blood can be measured, but homeopathic products produce no measurable response. In addition, vaccines are used for prevention while homeopathy is used to cure disease.
Chuck all that, I got cured by Homeopathy, You can’t beat that!
Well, Sorry to burst your bubbles but this can be explained as well. The term is “Placebo effect”. In simple terms, Placebo treatment can be thought of as fake treatment where an inactive substance like sugar, distilled water, or saline solution — can sometimes improve a patient’s condition simply because the person has the expectation that it will be helpful. It is a fun way to explain the pseudoscience involved behind homeopathic medicines and how it works. In fact, it has been a way to explain healings since historic times. Many a times, people are tricked into believing that they are alright and are treated perfectly well. The Brain then acts accordingly and body starts to heal. There have been thousands of cases where this has proved to be an effective way of treatment. To know, how it actually works and the history behind it, read here.
We would expect this would have answered most of your questions and doubts. But if you have more, keep pouring your questions in the comments section.