MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

I just came across this hilarious yet revealing article by Italian authors defending homeopathy. It is far too remarkable to keep it for myself, and I therefore decided to quote its abstract here in full:

Throughout its over 200-year history, homeopathy has been proven effective in treating diseases for which conventional medicine has little to offer. However, given its low cost, homeopathy has always represented a serious challenge and a constant threat to the profits of drug companies. Moreover, since drug companies represent the most relevant source of funding for biomedical research worldwide, they are in a privileged position to finance detractive campaigns against homeopathy by manipulating the media as well as academic institutions and the medical establishment. The basic argument against homeopathy is that in some controlled clinical trials (CCTs), comparison with conventional treatments shows that its effects are not superior to those of placebo. Against this thesis we argue that a) CCT methodology cannot be applied to homeopathy, b) misconduct and fraud are common in CCTs, c) adverse drug reactions and side effects show that CCT methodology is deeply flawed, d) an accurate testing of homeopathic remedies requires more sophisticated techniques, e) the placebo effect is no more “plausible” than homeopathy, and its real nature is still unexplained, and f) the placebo effect is nevertheless a “cure” and, as such, worthy of further investigation and analysis. It is concluded that no arguments presently exist against homeopathy and that the recurrent campaigns against it represent the specific interests of the pharmaceutical industry which, in this way, strives to protect its profits from the “threat” of a safer, more effective, and much less expensive treatment modality.

Despite (or is it because?) of such nonsense, homeopathy seems to be very popular, especially in the treatment of small children, and particularly for conditions where conventional medicine has no effective treatment. Teething problems are thus an ideal target for the homeopathic industry.

A survey of British GPs found that the most frequently prescribed homeopathic remedies were for common self-limiting infantile conditions such as colic, cuts and bruises, and teething. Similarly, the Avon-study suggested that homeopathic Chamomillia is popular to alleviate the pain of teething. And prominent homeopaths recommend that “teething often responds to Chamomilla.

One website also recommends Chamomilla as well as several other homeopathic remedies leaving little doubt about their efficacy:

Chamomilla 6c: When teething is very painful and the child becomes quite cranky, satisfied with nothing and pacified only by being carried, then Chamomilla may help. Sometimes, the child seeking some relief from the discomfort will demand one thing after another, rejecting each one when it does not give relief. Children who could benefit from this remedy are very irritable, with a cry that sounds as if they are in pain. Chamomilla 6c can be taken every thirty minutes, up to six times per day, while symptoms persist.

Mercurius sol 6c: This remedy may be of help in cases where teething is accompanied by excessive salivation and drooling. In addition, the gums are likely to be red and sore, and the child may have diarrhea with a foul smell to it. Mercurius sol 6c can be taken four to six times per day for two to three days; its use should be discontinued when the symptoms diminish.

>Belladonna 30c: For children who tend to develop a fever with a flushed, red face when they are cutting teeth, Belladonna may be a good choice. Often the eyes have a glassy look due to the dilation of the pupils. The child may be irritable and crying as if angry. Belladonna 30c can be taken every thirty minutes up to four times per day, while symptoms continue.

Aconite napellus 30c: When the symptoms come on quickly and include physical and mental restlessness, this remedy may be useful. The affected gums will be hot, swollen, and inflamed and there may also be an earache with aversion to loud noises. The condition may come on following exposure to cold, dry winds. Try Aconite napellus 30c every hour for up to six times per day.

Calcarea carbonica 6c: When children are finally cutting teeth that have been late in erupting, Calcarea carbonica could be helpful. This remedy is often helpful with “late bloomers,” babies who develop a little more slowly, crawling, walking, and cutting teeth on their own schedule, weeks or months later than some other babies or toddlers. Children likely to benefit from Calcarea carbonica often have sweaty heads and feet and may have a tendency to develop cradle cap or yeast infections. With teething, they often do not show the extreme irritability that calls for Chamomilla, or the fever that indicates Belladonna, but they may have teeth that seem permanently on the verge of breaking through the surface. Calcarea carbonica 6c can be taken three times per day, for up to ten days; its use should be discontinued when symptoms improve.

Given this level of assurance, it not really surprising that manufacturers of homeopathic remedies want to profit from all this. Anxious mothers must seem like sitting ducks to the homeopathic industry.

Camilia, a homeopathic teething remedy that contains Chamomillia in the 9c potency from Boiron, the world’s largest producer of homeopathic products, will be launched shortly in the UK. The PR-agency in charge of the UK campaign to promote camilia announced that they will focus on a “national awareness drive through earned and paid-for media along with influencer engagement.” The agency is also responsible for re-building the brand’s website and implementing a strategy to drive discovery online. Amanda Meyrick of Clarion Communications, said: “Launching a product into a new market gives us the opportunity to work in partnership from the beginning to establish Camilia in the UK, and we are looking forward to seeing the results of our planning and creativity.” Remarkably, nobody seems to mention efficacy as a factor in the promotion of camilia.

However, the product is already available in the US, and from the US website we learn that this remedy “temporarily relieves symptoms of teething, including painful gums and irritability.” So, there are clear claims of efficacy after all!

Boiron is not the only firm who aim to profit from the vast market of teething problems. Nelson’s Teetha, for instance, is already available in the UK. Each 300mg sachet of TEETHA contains “the active ingredient of Chamomilla 6c.” Even Boots, the UK’s ‘trusted’ high street pharmacy, sell a product called ‘TEETHING PAIN RELIEF’ which also contains Chamomilla 6c, its only ‘active’ ingredient. Even the name of their product carries a therapeutic claim for efficacy, in my view.

But hold on! A 6c dilution equals one ml of plant extract diluted in 1 000 000 000 litres of water (add 6 zeros to that figure for the Boiron product)!!! Is that really going to alleviate teething problems?

Of course not!, you will say. Dilutions of this nature will do nothing whatsoever.

But they are not just dilutions, they are potentiations! would the homeopaths counter; they have been succussed at each dilution step, and this process transfers a vital force from the Chamomilla extract to the remedy. Yes, of course, how could I forget – it’s homeopathy where LIKE CURES LIKE and people believe in the tooth fairy.

But this does not make any sense either!

Chamomillia is nothing other than chamomile, a plant known to sooth through its anti-inflammatory actions. So, in highly diluted homeopathic products, the actions of this plant should be reversed according to the ‘like cures like’ principle. That means that these teething products, according to homeopathic ‘logic’, is not for treating inflamed gums but for treating the absence of inflammation.

My mind boggles because nothing seems to make sense any more:

  • according to real science (or just common sense), the dilutions are far to high to have any effect at all,
  • according to homeopathic ‘logic’, these products should, if anything, produce inflammation and not alleviate it,
  • according to the best clinical evidence, homeopathic remedies are not effective for teething; I am not aware of a single rigorous trial that would show its efficacy, and current reviews do not recommend homeopathy for teething problems,
  • regardless of all this and despite of regulations prohibiting it, therapeutic claims are being made for these over-priced placebos.

Puzzled?

Don’t be!

IT’S HOMEOPATHY STUPID!

38 Responses to Teething problems in homeopathy’s wonderland?

  • “However, given its low cost, homeopathy has always represented a serious challenge and a constant threat to the profits of drug companies.”

    Or just a marvellous opportunity for giant like Boiron to do maximum benefit with minimum R and D.

    “a) CCT methodology cannot be applied to homeopathy”

    This one is just like “f*** you”, no one can test homeopathy. Why ? Because it’s like Chuck Norris : you don’t test homeopathy, it’s homeopathy that test you.

    “e) the placebo effect is no more “plausible” than homeopathy, and its real nature is still unexplained,”

    Is he saying that homeopathy is not “plausible” ?

    “f) the placebo effect is nevertheless a “cure” and, as such, worthy of further investigation and analysis”

    Wait I thought placebo effect is not plausible ?
    – Plausible : having an appearance of truth or reason; credible; believable. –
    I’m not sure if he knows what he is saying or if he use something like http://writing-program.uchicago.edu/toys/randomsentence/

  • Not only do these teething products break the homeopathic ‘logic’ that “like cures like”, they also break the homeopathic mandate that remedies must be individualised to the patient.

    The word “patient” is highly appropriate in homeopathy: able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. It never means: a person receiving medical treatment!

  • Of course, homeopathic remedies are the PERFECT agent to submit to placebo-controlled trial (from a design sense, this is not meant to endorse their use). Their lack of obvious tell-tale signs associated with administration make them ridiculously easy to mask. MEDLINE lists a ton of trials that have done exactly this, although they have largely either failed to show benefit or have pretty serious methodologic issues.

  • Since when is teething a “disease”?

    For the last time, I am not connected with the pharmaceutical industry in any way, nor do I play such a person on TV. Nor (sadly) do I receive any remuneration whatsoever from said industry for campaigning against pseudo medicine (or anything else for that matter). I DO, however use cheap, generic pharmaceuticals to control my blood pressure–which is the likely reason I have reached an age to collect Social Security.

  • EE refers to 6C preparation as being “one ml extract diluted in 1 000 000 000 litres of water”.
    True, but may I suggest the situation would be clearer if the units had been consistent:
    One ml (or litre) of extract in 1 000 000 000 000 ml (or litres) of water.
    6Centum is 1.0 to the power of 12. Is that right?
    Might it be better if we wrote that as (1.0>12)? (Avoiding use of superscript and using > to indicate ‘to the power of’)?

    And Hahnemann described “adding one unit of mother tincture to 100 units of water” which is 1:101, not 1:100 (which would be 1 added to 99).
    1% out – at first ‘potentisation’!
    And by the time the 30th potentisation’ had been reached? How much ‘out’ would that be?
    Are manufacturers selling 30C preparations shortselling their customers?
    The remedy is less potent than claimed.
    Oh dear.

    • @Richard

      I think your sums are right and it’s an interesting point that homeopaths are not adhering to their guru’s gospel. But, hey, it’s only 1% and homeopaths aren’t exactly known for their accuracy or attention to detail. I’ve certainly seen many videos of homeopaths not even measuring the amount to add to their next 100 ml – it’s usually just done as one (uncalibrated and undefined) drop, so who knows what the precise dilution is!

      BTW, the usual way to show exponentiation if you can’t superscript it is to use the caret symbol, ^ (Shift-6), such as 10^12.

    • @Richard,
      The error caused by using 1:101 instead of 1:100 after 30 dilutions is 35% more dilute. However, converting this back to the C-scale gives 30.065C instead of 30C. After 200 dilutions it is 732% more dilute, but this is 200.432C instead of 200C, which is reasonably close.

      Considering that homeopaths have no means of measuring their products, therefore no means of quality assurance and control, small errors are the least of their problems!

      Homeopaths avoid mentioning the fact that if, say, a 30C or 200C product does happen to include a single molecule of the original substance then it is only a circa 12C product — i.e. not fit for its intended purpose and it is incorrectly labelled, which is a violation of trading laws.

  • Can you supply the reference please Dr Rawlins/Alan for the 1:101 dilution from Hahnemann?
    Alan can’t have recalled it written in one of his many emails from the MHRA as they use the ?????? as a reference which details 1 part to 99 parts which is based on Hahnemanns ****** paragraph ??? ?th edition for c dilutions.
    Applause for anyone who can fill in the blanks and get this right.

    • I have it right in front of me: Hahnemann’s Organon of Medicine [sic], sixth edition (the Künzli, Naudé and Pendleton translation), Orion 2003, London, ISBN 0-75284-972-7, aphorism 270, page 191:

      For reasons explained in footnote f, a grain of this triturate is first of all dissolved in 500 drops of a mixture of one part brandywine and 4 parts distilled water, and a single drop of this is put in a vial. One adds a hundred drops of rectified wine spirit to this and gives 100 strong succussions to the tightly closed vial by hand against a hard but elastic object.

      (Original emphasis)
      This gives a dilution factor of 1:101 as Richard said (which is equivalent to a dilution ratio of 1:100).

      Was Hahnemann wrong?

      • Alan
        You are quoting Hahnemann’s 6th edition of his Organon. Aphorism 270 clearly deals only with the making of potencies in the LM dilution which are 1 in 50000 dilutions. The 1 drop to 100 drop process you quote involves the manufacture of the first LM dilution from the 3C trituration.
        Richard and yourself were clearly talking about C potencies. It is Hahnemanns 5th edition of the Organon that you have to refer to for the manufacture of C potencies.

        Please go to http://homeoint.org/books/hahorgan/organ260.htm#P270E5 where you can see the differences between the 5th and 6th editions.
        From the 5th edition paragraph 270
        ‘and this process is repeated through twenty-nine more phials, each of which is filled three-quarters full with ninety-nine drops of alcohol, and each succeeding phial is to be provided with one drop from the preceding phial’

        Although the 6th edition was obviously the last edition it was not published for 80 years so it was the 5th edition that was used hence the fact that C potencies are more common today than LMs.

        Anyway I have now proved that the 1:101 dilution stated for C dilutions does not come from Hahnemann.

        So what do you think about this then Alan?

        • Grumpycat said:

          You are quoting Hahnemann’s 6th edition of his Organon.

          Yep. That’s what I said.

          Aphorism 270 clearly deals only with the making of potencies in the LM dilution which are 1 in 50000 dilutions. The 1 drop to 100 drop process you quote involves the manufacture of the first LM dilution from the 3C trituration.
          Richard and yourself were clearly talking about C potencies.

          Not so fast…

          Aphorism 270 starts with Hahnemann taking the substance he wants to turn into one of his so-called remedies. He says to take ‘about a grain’ of it and triturates it with 100 grains of milk sugar for an hour, three times. He calls this a ‘third centesimal trituration, or 3C’. He then says to take one grain of this and dilute it in 100 drops of ‘brandy wine’ and 400 drops of water (of unspecified purity, etc). He then call this (after banging it about a bit, of course) his ‘first degree of dynamization’. You seem to want to call this an LM potency, a 1 in 50,000 dilution, but is it really?

          LM certainly means 50,000 (actually, it’s a bastardisation of Roman numerals: LM means 950 (1,000 minus 50), but homeopaths like to think of it as 50 times 1,000, giving 50,000, so it’s probably better to refer to them as Q potencies) and it might look like the numbers Hahnemann gave multiply up to 50,000, but it would be a fundamental mistake to do so. The starting amount of the substance being diluted is the not-very-accurate ‘about a grain’. A grain is – according to the translator’s notes – 0.062 g (6.2 x 10^-5 kg) or thereabouts. At the end of the three rounds of trituration – and assuming it’s all been properly mixed – the final mixture will contain 1 part in 1,000,000 of the original substance, or, in Hahnemann’ nomenclature, a 3C trituration. So far, so good.

          He then takes one grain of this and dissolves it in the 500 drops of the water/alcohol diluent. This 1 in 500 ratio is the supposed start of the overall 1 in 50,000 dilution, the remaining part being the final 1 part in 100 to supposedly give an overall 50,000. However, the starting point wasn’t one drop added to other drops of diluent: the starting point was one grain of powder and this was added to drops of liquid. Hahnemann doesn’t record why he thought one grain of powder might be equivalent to one drop of liquid, so we are left wondering. So, the numerical ‘dilution’ was 50,000 times, but the actual dilution was 0.062 g in 50,000 drops of various diluents – whatever that works out to be – Hahnemann doesn’t say.

          Homeopaths may like to ignore issues like these and brush them aside, but such fundamental inaccuracies of measurements would bother any competent and inquisitive scientist.

          However, you also assert that aphorism 270 was only about LM potencies, not 30C potencies. I don’t think Richard had any particular potency in mind, but aphorism 270 goes on to take this so-called LM potency to create even more dilutions.

          Instead of just taking one drop of the liquid, he tells us to go through another bizarre ritual: take an unspecified amount of it, soak an unspecified number of sugar globules of unspecified composition, size and weight with the liquid in a small container with a hole in the bottom and immediately turn them out onto filter paper to dry. Put these in a bottle and label this I, the ‘first degree of potency’.

          How much of the liquid from the dilution is left…Oh! Wait. None – because the globules were dried out. How on earth anyone now thinks Hahnemann’s nomenclature has any meaning in the real world in terms of the actual dilution is beyond me.

          He then goes on to tell us how to make the next dilution: take one of the sugar globules, dissolve it in one drop of water and add it to 100 drops of alcohol. Label this II.

          And so on, all the way up to XXX, the ‘thirtieth degree of dynamization’. Now, Hahnemann doesn’t explicitly refer to this as 30C, but it clearly represents a 30C dilution of the triturated substance. Perhaps Hahnemann had a different way of diluting liquid MTs?

          According to the translators’ introduction, this translation is of the manuscript Hahnemann completed in 1842, the year before he died. They say the sixth edition introduced important changes to the previous edition. Did Hahnemann have a deathbed conversion from 99 drops to 100 drops?

          This is a fascinating angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin discussion, but please point out any errors I’ve made – I’d really like to get to the bottom of this and make sure I understand it properly.

  • I wrote

    the MHRA as they use the ?????? as a reference which details 1 part to 99 parts which is based on Hahnemanns ****** paragraph ??? ?th edition for c dilutions.

    Alan couldn’t see that I was giving a big hint here.

    The MHRA use the Ph Eur as a reference
    1 in 99 parts of course is from Hahnemann’s Organon
    Paragraph 270- Alan knows this

    Now the important bit. It is the 5th edition. Alan didn’t know the crucial difference between the 5th and 6th editions. I don’t expect Dr Rawlins to know these details but by now Alan really should.
    I am just trying to help correct misinformation posted on your blog Edzard.

  • I wrote

    the MHRA as they use the ?????? as a reference which details 1 part to 99 parts which is based on Hahnemanns ****** paragraph ??? ?th edition for c dilutions.

    Alan couldn’t see that I was giving a big hint here.

    The MHRA use the Ph Eur as a reference
    1 in 99 parts of course is from Hahnemann’s Organon
    Paragraph 270- Alan knows this

    Now the important bit. It is the 5th edition. Alan didn’t know the crucial difference between the 5th and 6th editions.
    Never mind Alan. At least your own latest blog post looks ok to me.

    • Grumpycat said:

      the MHRA as they use the ?????? as a reference which details 1 part to 99 parts which is based on Hahnemanns ****** paragraph ??? ?th edition for c dilutions.
      Alan couldn’t see that I was giving a big hint here.
      The MHRA use the Ph Eur as a reference
      1 in 99 parts of course is from Hahnemann’s Organon
      Paragraph 270- Alan knows this

      Of course I did, and of course I have a copy of both the Eur Ph and the BP. But the copies I have make no mention of Hahnemann or any of his writings so it’s not certain what it’s based on.

      However, they both certainly say 1 part in 99 so anything not manufactured to this ratio would presumably be in breach of this. Do all manufacturers abide by this?

      Now the important bit. It is the 5th edition. Alan didn’t know the crucial difference between the 5th and 6th editions.

      I do. Aphorism 270 is different for some reason in this earlier edition, but it does not describe how to make a 30C dilution. Yes, it mentions that 99 drops is to be used for 29 steps, but for the first step he says:

      Thus two drops of the fresh vegetable juice mingled with equal parts of alcohol are diluted with ninety-eight drops of alcohol…

      That is 2 drops of the juice mixed in 100 drops of alcohol, giving a dilution factor of 2:102 or 1:51. This would give a final ‘potency’ which is only 51% of 30C, that is, a 29.85C potency. Maybe homeopaths don’t bother with such errors. Or did Hahnemann get it wrong?

      But the Pharmacopoeia makes no mention of this different first step, so maybe they didn’t pay much attention to the fifth edition either and maybe all manufacturers are making their potions all wrong as well?

      Do they make them the way the Pharmacopoeia says or the way Hahnemann says? It looks like it has to be one or the other.

      Never mind Alan. At least your own latest blog post looks ok to me.

      Phew.

  • @Grumpycat,
    You have demonstrated the crucial difference between the editions: they serve only to show that homeopaths continue pissing into the wind while remaining totally oblivious to how soaked they’ve become by their own excreta and how silly they look.

    Homeopathy is rubbish! It will still be rubbish after the n-thousandth edition of its abjectly false tenets.

  • I have to say that this is the most useless, homeopathically diluted dialog about homeopathy I have ever seen.
    This discussion is about as useful for understanding reality as it would be to discuss whether Jesus fed five thousand with five loaves and fish or four thousand with seven… or whatever.

    Let’s watch Dara O’Briain instead one more time. It is the one most important lecture on homeopathy and quackology ever. Nothing more needs to be said really.
    Whether homeo-quacks use 1/99, 1/100 dilutions or don’t bother to check if the agitated water wets the pillules at all, they belong in the sack.

    • ALAN!!!! The first potency dilution steps are detailed in the blasted Ph Eur.
      Don’t you know anything!
      At least you now know the difference between the 5th and 6th editions.
      Can you get Malleus on this please as you clearly need help.

  • So Alan have you got yourself the Ph Eur yet? You should be able to view a copy quite easily.
    That is my reference where it clearly states 1 parts to 99 parts for centesimal dilutions.

    • @grumpycat

      Why are you still going on about the 1 drop in 99? I already said the Ph Eur says that and I thought we’d moved on to discussing what the Ph Eur says about the first dilution as he decreed in the fifth edition? And whether Hahnemann got it all wrong in the sixth…

      As I said, I can’t find this text you refer to in the Ph Eur, but I’m sure you could easily copy and paste it to back up your claim. Better still, if you have a paper copy, provide a scan of the page.

  • The first 1c step is also 1 part to 99 parts of stock. For tinctures the strength is taken into account depending on the tincture. It is still calculated at 1 part of stock to 99 parts alcohol/water.
    The PhEur is copyright so ask someone at one of the pub meetings for a copy. You will see all the methods.

    I was beginning to think I was reading ‘Alan in Wonderland’.

    • Let me recap for you… 🙂

      I quoted the fifth edition:

      Thus two drops of the fresh vegetable juice mingled with equal parts of alcohol are diluted with ninety-eight drops of alcohol…

      …as the first step. (This says nothing about varying according to the strength of the MT.)

      You replied:

      The first potency dilution steps are detailed in the blasted Ph Eur.

      I cannot see that in my edition of the Ph Eur. Which edition do you have? Is your edition different?

      Oh, and ‘fair use’ would no doubt allow you to copy the relevant small extract from it.

      • I do not have a copy of the Ph Eur Alan- I don’t work for Glaxo. I have a friend who can view it and I have seen the relevant bit of 8th edition. There are lots of methods depending on the stock. All of them state 1 part to 99 parts from 1c. Homeopathic Medicines regulations appear to be a great interest of yours so I suggest that you might find a copy useful. I could easily get bored with it myself.
        Say what you like about ‘LM’ potencies Alan. I don’t use them. If you don’t think that they are exact 1 in 50000 dilutions then write lots of letters and try and get them called ‘Q’ potencies- I might support you on that one. That really would save the world.

        • That’s odd; I can’t see anything on the Council of Europe website that indicates that the European Pharmacopoeia is only supplied to employees of Glaxo.

        • Here’s a very relevant question for Grumpycat and other commentators and audience here, who are experts in the preparation and potentisation of homeopathic remedies. Maybe the two academic homeopaths I am about to refer to will see this and explain?

          The eminent specialist homeopaths, Peter Fraser and Misha Norland have discovered a remedy made from the primary substance (is that what it’s called) water.
          To be sure the water that is intended to supply the remedy with its healing powers is as pure and uncontaminated as possible, they produced it by making water ‘de novo’ by combustion of a Brown’s gas (Hydrogen/Oxygen) mixture. As far as I know they have not injured themselves by this production, which apparently involves violent explosions.
          The experts have performed provings on the resulting remedy that seem to indicate great potencies. Now, I get quite confused when I read these proving-reports but it seems like this is really strong stuff in many ways. At least if you can judge by the terrible symptoms produced. Here are some examples of the dramatic effects
          this remedy can have on healthy(?) individuals taking one dose of a 30C (= 10^-60, right?) ‘Aqua nova’ remedy. First, some examples of registered proving effects on the mind:

          Quite confused, names, words coming out wrong and in a jumble, and drove 40 miles in the wrong direction thinking it was the way home.
          01P 03 XX:XX NS

          I have felt invisible over the last few days, and with one particular person, it was as though I hadn’t existed as she hadn’t thought of me. People didn’t register my presence.
          01P 04 XX:XX NS

          (out of curiosity, does someone know if these are similar to the effects of LSD?)

          And examples of symptoms on the “Rectum and Stools”:

          Feel constipated, straining.
          03P 10 XX:XX NS

          Stools are yellow coloured.
          06P 12 XX:XX MS

          For the first time since I gave birth to my daughter I had a return of haemorrhoids. I suffered of them for about three months after 1 gave birth: the pain was stitching like a pin, never bleeding. This time they were painless with lot of bleeding.
          07P 36 XX:XX NS

          Constipation with period. Normally my body feels need to expel with a period. Now feels stuck or motionless but it is not uncomfortable, no pressure.
          08P 02 XX:XX NS

          There is of course a lot more to it. Even graphic descriptions of the effects on the sexual organs and other quite private things so do not show your children this. You can examine the large (22.259 words, 94.016 characters without spaces, as counted by MS Word) tabulation of symptoms and their deciphering for yourself if you click on “Materia Medica” at this link. Quite an impressive effort these scholars put down when proving their discoveries it seems.
          But anyway, these small examples seem to signify that the remedy must be very powerful (at least in a homeopathic sense?) and if I am not mistaken it might, on the evidence produced, be used for among many other ailments, confusion and constipation.

          Now to the questions.
          What I do not understand is how it works that water molecules can copy, retain and multiply (potentise) memory of other exactly identical molecules? How do the thinning substance molecules know which water molecules are the new ones to copy and potentise the memory or whatever of?
          Don’t they get confused?
          And, if water can make memory copies of itself, which cause confusion and constipation and other even more terrible symptoms, in those who do not have these symptoms, how come that when for example a remedy like Sulphur 30C is potentised in water, the water does not also potentise a bit of itself i.e. a potentiation of water effects and then cause confusion and constipation??
           
          And furthermore.
          How can they be sure, that the distilled/purified thinning or rather “potentising” water does not contain minute contaminants, which is why they were making the “New Water” in the first place, to avoid contaminants in the substance to be potentiated.
          How come the potentisation carries on and potentiates the “memory” of the new water only and not also of the minute contaminants left in the distilled water? Wouldn’t they have to make the whole supply of diluting water by exploding gasses in the same way?
           
          And even more confusion…
          You have been discussing here whether the dilutions, eh… potentiations are or should be 1/99 or 1/100, right? How can 1 part water in 100 parts water be different from 1 part water in 99 parts water? it is still 100% water, right??????

          I am confused.
          Maybe somehow my tap water is potentiating itself in the pipes?
          At least I’m not feeling constipated – yet.

        • Grumpycat said:

          I do not have a copy of the Ph Eur Alan

          Well, why didn’t you say so last week?

          I don’t work for Glaxo.

          Snap! Neither do I. But see Mojo’s comment.

          I have a friend who can view it and I have seen the relevant bit of 8th edition.

          Unless you can produce the evidence, you’ll need to excuse my skepticism.

          There are lots of methods depending on the stock. All of them state 1 part to 99 parts from 1c.

          I’ve never disputed that the Ph Eur says 1 part in 99. The bone of contention is whether it agrees with the fifth edition of the Organon in what it says about the first step being “two drops of the fresh vegetable juice mingled with equal parts of alcohol are diluted with ninety-eight drops of alcohol”. (And why it doesn’t agree with the sixth.) You claimed this is what the Ph Eur says, but you’ve not provided any evidence that’s the case. In fact, you seem to want to go on about the 1 in 99 instead…

          Until we have good evidence to the contrary, all we can assume is that the Ph Eur does not agree with the fifth edition. So which is correct? Did the writers of that section of the Ph Eur (presumably homeopaths) get it wrong or is Hahnemann wrong?

          Homeopathic Medicines regulations appear to be a great interest of yours so I suggest that you might find a copy useful.

          Oh, I’ll be trying to get hold of it all right – I find discrepancies like this fascinating.

          I could easily get bored with it myself. Say what you like about ‘LM’ potencies Alan. I don’t use them. If you don’t think that they are exact 1 in 50000 dilutions then write lots of letters and try and get them called ‘Q’ potencies- I might support you on that one. That really would save the world.

          LOL!

          • Alan
            Homeopathic manufacturing methods for D,C and LMs managed to get through all the committees and find their way in to pharmacopoeia.
            The German Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia 2013 of which I don’t have a copy, gives the LM method in method 17 and calls them ‘1 in 50,000 (approximately)’. That should get an Alan LOL!

            It is in German but I have seen a copy of the page and understand it. Maybe Edzard can locate the reference for you. Now you might not like this but there you go, LM potencies are in an EU pharmacopoeia! All of course based on the 6th edition of the Organon paragraph 270. Please send one of your best letters to whoever compiles that pharmacopoeia and to all the dozens of people involved.

            Now your query about 2 drops of Calendula tincture to 98 drops in the 5th edition which as I have already stated Hahnemann is where wrote about centesimals. Two drops are added because the fresh calendula plant is juiced and equal volumes of alcohol are added to the juice. Therefore Hahnemann considered the tincture to be 50% plant. Hence 2 drops are added to 98 drops to facilitate 1 drop of plant.
            Apparently all the methods of homeopathic manufacture from tinctures are based on this principle relating to the original stock. Please locate homeopathic methods 1.1.1 to 1.1.9 of the Ph Eur to see this.
            Soluble substances are clearly diluted 1 part to 99 parts and insoluble substances diluted by trituration 1 part to 99 parts.

            There are not as many discrepancies as you think. Hence these homeopathic methods have found their way in to a EU member pharmacopoeia and then the PhEur.

            Mojo- Thank you for advising me that establishments other than Glaxo use the Ph Eur.
            Björn- I am not a particular expert on homeopathic provings. So if you want to talk about provings I suggest that you speak to some homeopaths who know about this water remedy. I suggest you go onto an open homeopathic group and get stuck in there. On this blog post I am discussing C and ‘LM’ potencies.

          • I’ll be damned. The homeopath only wants to discuss the arithmetics of ridiculolutions. (It’s a word I invented just now for ultra-super-astrological dilutions).
             
            Well… it must be difficult to be a homeopath and have to constantly battle the onslaught of facts and sensibility. And at the same time try to ignore silly satire from people fed up with the nonsense.
            I guess that one way for them to avoid reality is to bury their head, like the proverbial ostrich, in trivial details about the difference between one part water in 99 parts water or one part water in 100 parts water.
             

          • Grumpycat just keeps trying to distract everyone from the blatant division by zero error committed in the theatrics of homeopathic dilutions.

            Let’s all be totally honest: The only means to distinguish 12C and beyond dilutions is by the label applied to the product. Rather than harping on about the difference between the potency of 99 divided by zero and 100 divided by zero, it would be at least marginally scientific to start arguing over the typography, language, and colour schemes used on the labelling.

  • I wonder why you are still here on this 3 week old blog post Pete. For the last 2 weeks the posts have been about alleged inconsistencies in texts. Maybe off topic but this discussion didn’t start until after 1 week of the original posting by Edzard. Alan seems interested anyway and don’t worry he does not have any problems standing up for himself. So why are you distracting yourself by reading this right now?
    Björn – I am not a practising homeopath. Do you always make assumptions?

    • since when are there time limits on comments?
      and even if there were any – WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE GRUMPYCAT?

    • @Grumpycat
      I never said you were practicing. That assumption is yours.
      Your deep interest and references to your own ‘use’ indicate you are a homeopath, practicing or not. No assumption needed.
      Or do you perhaps mean you are only pretending to be a homeopath?

    • @Grumpycat,
      Homeopathy doesn’t work. It isn’t even pseudoscience, it is well established rubbish, so why are YOU still here debating the fine details of it?

      Your points are more silly than debating the fine details of Santa and the tooth fairy: these two fairy tales do actually produce beneficial effects.

      • Björn I am a user of homeopathy not someone pretending to be a homeopath- Thanks for the compliment though.
        Pete- I was debating these ‘fine details’ with Alan who as we know has an interest in inconsistencies in homeopathic texts.
        It would be rude of me to ignore all these posts Edzard.

  • I was just wondering why they were still commenting on this being a pointless discussion as they had already made the point very clearly earlier. However, I think that you are right and I now look forward to seeing more ‘This is a pointless discussion as Homeopathy is rubbish’ statements from anyone should Alan reply about inconsistencies PhEur 5th/6th edition texts.

    • @Grumpycat,
      Alan’s points are interesting, useful, and well presented. Your comments are interesting and useful, but your poor presentation, which includes hostility, detracts from their value.

      As a user of homeopathy perhaps you can find a remedy that will help you to be less condescending towards all those who don’t share your totally-debunked belief system — a belief system that is far from being the benign and efficacious health care system that it claims to be.

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