Homeopathic Dilution Delusion

My first introduction to homeopathy was at a summer camp when I was a kid. This wasn't a normal summer camp. It was a vegan, granola munching, Birkenstock wearing, tie-dyed, folk dancing, hippy camp. How I ended up there involves my ex-boyfriend getting me a summer job at the camp. I worked in the kitchen making vegan food and homemade granola. Learning how to cook for 350 people at a time was fun, I have to admit.

One of the counselors was big into natural healing and explained homeopathy to me. She had all kinds of remedies in little bottles. She would put a drop of this or that in her mouth. I thought it was weird. Then again, I thought Cheryl was weird. And that's saying something considering the entire summer camp was straight out of the musical Hair.

Maybe because Cheryl introduced it to me, I've always viewed homeopathy as flaky. I didn't bother learning more until I got sick. There's something about the word incurable that sets my teeth on edge. Incurable and hopeless are synonyms in my thesaurus. It's hard not to let them become synonyms in my life. I fight harder than words can say to keep that from happening to me.

Western medicine has no cures for muscular dystrophy or type 1 diabetes. I would like to stop giving myself shots of insulin. I'd much rather drop magic water in my mouth. Insulin is expensive. Wouldn't it be great if we could dilute it and make it last longer? Maybe we could even make it more powerful.

The founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann (1755 - 1843) believed that the process of succussion activated the "vital energy" of the diluted substance,[1] and that successive dilutions increased the "potency" of the remedy.

We can also assume that Samuel Hahnemann had never heard of antibiotics, or insulin, or chemotherapy, or anesthesia. So, we can forgive his ignorance. Cheryl the hippy camp counselor has no excuse.

The idea that successive dilutions increase the potency of the remedy makes no sense. Take two aspirin and crush them into powder. Put the powder in a swimming pool. Pull out an eye dropper full of water from the pool, and put that in another swimming pool. Then repeat the process. Diluting eyedroppers full of water, again, and again 60 times. And poof! You have super charged, extra powerful, homeopathic headache banishing medication.

Or, maybe you have an eye dropper full of water.

Maybe it's how they shake the remedy that makes it work. Shaking can make a huge difference. Insulin N is cloudy when shaken. It looks like milk. Rolling the vial in your palms mixes the insulin so it can be used. That kind of mixing is lifesaving. A unit of insulin (1/100th of a cc) dropped in a five gallon bucket of water, does not make the diluted insulin more powerful. Any kindergartener could do an example with one drop of food coloring in a bucket of water. After enough dilutions, no color remains. No medicine remains, either.

Homeopathy should have disappeared a hundred years ago, but it's still around. People like kooky Cheryl are still buying water in fancy bottles. They're still claiming that western medicine is evil. To me, what's evil is selling water and calling it medicine.

How about we force companies to put a label on homeopathic remedies that says in bold red letters, "THIS IS WATER AND NOT MEDICINE. PUT YOUR MONEY BACK IN YOUR WALLET." Maybe that would be a good place to start. But, then again Cheryl would chant over the bottle, and wave incense in clockwise circles, and play a finger cymbals. Ding! Now it's medicine. Good luck with that, Cheryl.

Stupid. More incurable than diabetes.

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