Homeopathy - alive and unwell in New Zealand
Homeopathy – alive and unwell in New Zealand
Hi, I'm freethinker, I'm from Auckland, and I'm a skeptic. I'm not going to use this post to introduce myself any more than this as I hope to get to know most of the members through the forum.
This post is going to be used as a response to the following article published on scoop.co.nz. I use the term article here very loosely as this is actually a press release from the NZ Council of Homeopaths.
To start with I had no idea there even was a council of homeopaths, it brings forth an image of wizened elders in great hooded robes sitting around a crystal ball! But before I get into too much slanderous commentary I might describe briefly what the council actually does.
Their mission statement states that;
- "The Council aims to promote homeopathy as 'everybody's choice' through education, professionalism and accessibility, and strives to develop and maintain high standards for the practice of homeopathy in New Zealand."
It is the term ‘everybody's choice’ that probably most rankles me as it attempts to place this ridiculous pseudoscience on a par with actual medicine and purports that the patient should be able to choose between two equally effective therapies. Homoeopathy has absolutely no scientific basis, no proof of effectiveness, and no place in 21st century medical care!
So what exactly is homoeopathy, and how is it supposed to work?
The basis of homoeopathic treatment is that "like cures like". This is based on the fact that the original founder, German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1796, found that a herb which induced malarial like symptoms in healthy people could cure patients suffering from malaria when diluted to undetectable levels.
This is another quote directly from the New Zealand homoeopathic website;
- “Homeopathy is not herbalism or naturopathy. While we do use many of the same natural substances homeopathic medicines are uniquely different from naturopathic products because of the way they are made.”
Right so homoeopathic remedies work because of the way they are made!
All homoeopathic remedies are based on serial dilutions of a particular ingredient, that ingredient become so dilute that none of the original compound remains in the treatment.
Again a quote from the same Web site;
- “How is the strength of Homeopathic medicines shown?
Homoeopathic medicines are ultra dilute using a method of dilution called potentization. This involves a dilution process and a succussion process (i.e. vigorous shaking).
To make a 'C' potency the dilution ratio is 1: 99 (i.e. 1 drop of substance to 99 drops of water/alcohol). Between each dilution step the medicine is succussed e.g. 30C means the dilution step followed by succussion is done 30 times.
If a medicine is a '1M' potency, the dilution/succussion step has been completed 1000 times.
The 'X' or 'D' potency is made with a ratio of 1:9 (1 drop of substance and 99 drops of water/alcohol).
The 'LM' or 'Q' potency is diluted by the ratio of 1: 50,000 (i.e. 1 drop of substance to 50,000 drops of water/alcohol).
You can see from this homeopathic medicines are extremely dilute. Converse to conventional medicine, the more dilute the medicine the greater the potency or strength (because it has been succussed more times).”
The fact that homoeopaths can claim to treat any illness with pure water is itself blatantly ridiculous, yet they go even further in this latest article by claiming that they can cure you of the 'swine flu' H1N1 virus!
Spreading these kind of unsubstantiated lies and claims should in my opinion be illegal. I expected more from what I considered to be one of New Zealand's best news sources, and I only hope that they will lift their standards in the future.
I thought I would finish off by posting a link to an extremely funny video about homeopathy.
This is my first post, so please be kind in the comments, I will try to go into more depth on the stupidity behind homeopathy in future posts, but wanted to get in a quick response while the scoop article was still fresh.
I will hopefully be able to decode my thoughts in a more readable manner at some point in the future as well. When I wite about something that makes me angry I tend to rant and rave rather than talk coherently, again my apologies.
--- Ignorance can be cured, stupidity is forever.---