What is a homeopathic remedy?
In homeopathy, “decimal” (1:10) and “hundredths” (1:100) dilutions are used, denoted by the Roman numeral X (or letter D) and the Roman numeral C, respectively.
These dilutions are repeated multiple times, with the number of repetitions indicated by a number in front of the dilution symbol.
For example, a decimal dilution repeated three times (1:1000) is designated 3D, and a “hundredths” dilution repeated twelve times (1:1024) is 12C. Sometimes dilutions of 1:50,000, designated LM, are used. In other words, a homeopathic solution may contain only one molecule of the active substance, or may not contain it at all.
Thus, a homeopathic remedy is actually water. However, for many diseases, in particular with acute respiratory viral infections, doctors recommend taking as much liquid as possible, so there will be no particular harm from homeopathic treatment, unless, of course, they replace traditional treatment.
What is homeopathy and how did it originate?
Homeopathy was invented by Samuel Hahnemann, a doctor who was disillusioned with the medicine of his time.Hahnemann lived and worked in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and it must be said that he was disappointed for a reason.
At that time, homeopathy really proved to be a very effective method of treatment and saved many lives, because it did not kill patients in the way that bloodletting and huge doses of arsenic or opium were then popular.
The homeopathic method of treatment according to Hahnemann is based on two main principles:
Like is cured by like.
The homeopath selects a substance that causes in a healthy person the symptoms that are observed in a diseased person. If the patient vomits, then you need to take a substance that will cause vomiting in a healthy person. If the patient has a fever, we take something that will cause a healthy person to have a fever.
Classical homeopathy uses arsenic, toadstool juice, mercury cyanide, acetone and other substances that cause various unpleasant symptoms in healthy people.
Fortunately, Hahnemann believed that in high concentration such substances can only increase the disease, so he came up with a second principle – dilution.
The medicine must be diluted strongly.
This process is called “potentiation” or “dynamization” by homeopaths. In homeopathy, decimal dilutions (denoted X or D) and centesimal dilutions (denoted C) are used, which are repeated many times.
One of the common dilutions in 30C homeopathy is the centesimal dilution, which must be repeated 30 times. We take any substance, for example, caffeine: on the websites of homeopaths they write that it is indicated for exhaustion, overwork and headaches.
We use a dilution of 30C: dilute 2 ml of caffeine in a glass of water – 200 ml of water, then take 2 ml from this dilution and dilute it in a glass of water – and so only 30 times.
Already after the 13th dilution in one mole of this solution, only one molecule of the active substance will remain, and then we will dilute the water with water. How much water helps with exhaustion, overwork and headaches is a separate question.
Why Homeopathy Doesn’t Work
We are lucky to live in the 21st century, when science and medicine have stepped far forward. Therefore, homeopathy is now considered a type of alternative medicine: it includes all methods of treatment, the effectiveness and safety of which have not been proven by the scientific method.
According to Hahnemann’s theory, a homeopathic remedy should work by activating the vital energy of the substance, and a strong dilution helps the water “remember” the information that needs to be treated.
Knowledge was lacking in Hahnemann’s time, but now science can explain why homeopathic remedies do not have any physiological effect on the body:
- Water cannot “remember”. Studies have not found any memory in water.
- Substances do not have life energy.
- The number of molecules in any substance is finite, therefore, after homeopathic dilutions, not a single molecule of the active substance remains in the solution – there is nothing to influence the body.
And although homeopathy does not have any physiological effect on the body, there are people who really feel better thanks to such drugs.
This is due to the placebo effect: an improvement in a condition occurs due to the fact that a person believes in the power of some effect, which is actually neutral.
Some people believe in the power of water memory and various energy effects, and this explains the effect of homeopathy – there is nothing unscientific in such an effect.
Also, due to the placebo effect, homeopathy is sometimes used in the treatment of children or animals: they have the experience that after taking the pill they get better, and they expect and believe in such an improvement.
In addition, thanks to the work of the immune system, people in principle recover over time, if the disease is not very serious. If a person took homeopathy, for example, during a cold, then he can connect his recovery with its action.
Although in fact, the body just coped with a cold on its own.