MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

2003 has been marked by many terrifying things, but perhaps the most surprising of the 2023 horrors was … eye drops. ArsTechnica reports that the seemingly innocuous teeny squeeze bottle made for alarming headlines numerous times during our current revolution around the sun, with lengthy lists of recallsstartling factory inspections, and ghastly reports of people developing near-untreatable bacterial infectionslosing their eyes and vision, and dying.

Recapping this unexpected threat to health, the Food and Drug Administration released an advisory titled “What You Should Know about Eye Drops” with this stark pronouncement: No one should ever use any homeopathic ophthalmic products, and every single such product should be pulled off the market.

The point is unexpected, given that none of the high-profile infections and recalls this year involved homeopathic products. But, it should be welcomed by any advocates of evidence-based medicine.

In the US, these products are marketed as legitimate treatments and sold alongside evidence-based treatments (though consumer advocates are trying to change that). The reason this is allowed for now is because of a regulatory quirk: Based on the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, homeopathic products are generally considered exempt from pre-market FDA safety and efficacy reviews as long as the active ingredient in the product is included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia.

In recent years, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have cracked down on homeopathic products, though. And it seems from today’s advisory that the FDA is not holding back on homeopathic products for the eyes. The regulator notes that any products meant for the eye “pose a heightened risk of harm” because the eyes are an immune-privileged site in the body. That is, innate immune responses are restrained in the eye to prevent damaging inflammation, which could threaten vision. “Any drug used in the eyes must be sterile to reduce the risk of infection,” the FDA said.

But whether or not homeopathic eye drops are labeled as sterile doesn’t seem to matter to the FDA. The regulator cautions:

Do not use ophthalmic products that are labeled as homeopathic, as these products should not be marketed.”

SAY NO MORE!

 

71 Responses to “No one should ever use any homeopathic ophthalmic products”

  • “because the eyes are an immune-privileged site in the body. That is, innate immune responses are restrained in the eye to prevent damaging inflammation, which could threaten vision. “Any drug used in the eyes must be sterile to reduce the risk of infection,” the FDA said.”
    This assessment by Edzard indicates his comprehensive knowledge of the inflammatory reactions in the eye, which can indeed often be classified as immunological.
    However, as is so often the case, he forgets to mention the banal therapeutic reality of so-called scientific medicine (SCSM):
    Completely disregarding the above background, antibiotic eye drops are simply administered – not in line with the guidelines – and if these “strangely” do not help, cortisone drops are applied on top.
    Homeopathic eye drops with active ingredients from “Euphrasia” seem to me to promise even more “Euphrasia” [AUGENTROST germ.] when used responsibly!

    • Oh, Heinrich!
      – It’s not my assessment.
      – “antibiotic eye drops are simply administered – not in line with the guidelines – and if these “strangely” do not help, cortisone drops are applied on top” … by whom? by irresponsible docs like yourself? And what has this to do with the topic of the post?
      – “Homeopathic eye drops with active ingredients from “Euphrasia” seem to me to promise even more “Euphrasia”” really? any evidence? or just wishful thinking of an irresponsible doctor? [Euphrasia did not significantly improve treatment success, defined as no ocular discharge at 96 h and no use of topical antibiotic therapy during the 96-h intervention.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32850558/%5D

      • Until now I thought that only Quakers knew how to quote selectively…..
        “However, results suggest that Euphrasia may be of benefit for symptoms such as reddening and tearing, and thus improve the comfort of patients.”

        “Use of topical antibiotic therapy during the 96-h intervention” as a definition of treatment success is exactly the point I made above as a point of criticism…..

        And:
        “irresponsible doctor” says the one, who never in life worked with out-patients!

        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32850558/%5D

        • “However, results suggest that Euphrasia may be of benefit for symptoms such as reddening and tearing, and thus improve the comfort of patients.”
          Not the primary outcome measure and thus not relevant.
          And:
          “irresponsible doctor” says the one, who never in life worked with out-patients!
          1) one can be an irresponsible doc whereever one works
          2) I have seen outpatients in my Uni posts in Munich, Hannover, and Vienna; so, you are yet again posing nonsense.

  • One thing I cannot understand: On the one hand homeopathic remedies should have no effect (as claimed on this forum repeatedly) – on the other hand there are warnings for strong adverse effects …

    • Not difficult:
      – if highly diluted and produced with adequate quality control, they are harmless;
      – these criteria are however not always fulfilled;
      – eyedrops can get non-sterile very quickly and then cause infections.

      • “– eyedrops can get non-sterile very quickly and then cause infections.”
        Wala Euphrasia ED !!!! (means Single Dose!!)

        • You are not the brightest, Heinrich, are you?

          – these criteria are however not always fulfilled;
          – eyedrops can get non-sterile very quickly and then cause infections.

          Single dose means nothing, if no GMP rules are followed during production or quality control.

          FDA has also documented many serious violations of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) requirements by some manufacturers of homeopathic drug products, raising significant concerns about the safety of products made with inadequate process controls.

          https://www.fda.gov/media/163755/download

          • In your cowardly way of posting anonymous ad hominem, you are better off at Psiram and GWUP, which seem to be doing themselves in.
            So if I were to respond in the same way, I would be putting myself on the same level as you, which feels pretty sinister.

          • RPGNo1 on Thursday 21 December 2023 at 14:12

            “FDA has also documented many serious violations of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) requirements by some manufacturers of homeopathic drug products, ..”

            https://www.nytimes.com/article/eye-drops-recall-explained.html

            “Global Pharma recalled eye drops in February after they were tied to a drug-resistant bacteria strain that has since been linked to at least four deaths. Several other companies have also recalled eyedrops this year.”

          • @”Hare” Krishna

            [em]Whataboutism or whataboutery (as in “what about…?”) denotes in a pejorative sense a procedure in which a critical question or argument is not answered or discussed, but retorted with a critical counter-question which expresses a counter-accusation. From a logical and argumentative point of view it is considered a variant of the tu-quoque pattern (Latin ‘you too’, term for a counter-accusation), which is a subtype of the ad-hominem argument[/em]

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

            😂

          • @ Dr. Heinrich Hümmer

            Mimimi mimi mi 😉

          • Coward!
            Can you even look in the mirror without crying with shame?

            Bernd Harder
            29. Januar 2022 um 15:50
            @zazie61:
            Danke – aber ich finde es bisschen schade, dass Sie zu dieser dezidierten Kritik, über die man gut diskutieren könnte, nicht namentlich stehen bzw. etwas zu Ihrer persönlichen Verortung sagen.

            https://blog.gwup.net/2022/01/26/homoeopathie-unwiderlegt-ein-neuer-dokumentarfilm-im-kino/#comment-144115188075955482

          • you need to explain what this is all about!

          • RPGNo1 on Thursday 21 December 2023 at 14:12

            You are not the brightest, Heinrich, are you?

            Sorry to say:
            Cowardice, not potentiated by spilling, but by ad hominem arguments that need to hide anonymously

          • if you think that a link to a discussion from a blog in German explains your comments in German on a blog conducted in English, you might indeed not be the brightest.

          • For you and the english readers (RPGNo1 knew at once what it ment):

            gwup=psiram=RPGNo1:

            Bernd Harder in a post on GWUP:

            Bernd Harder

            January 29, 2022 at 15:50

            @zazie61:

            Thank you – but I think it’s a bit of a shame that you didn’t respond to this
            criticism, which would be good to discuss, and that you don’t
            by name or say something about your personal position.

          • “I think it’s a bit of a shame that you didn’t respond to this
            criticism”
            I know nothing about it and am not even remotely interested in it.

          • @Dr. Heinrich Hümmer

            gwup=psiram=RPGNo1

            You actually believe that I am identical with GWUP and psiram? A word of advice, Heinrich: Find a good therapist to help you with your paranoia.

            As for my anonymity: When I read the aggressive arguments and attacks from you, Dana and the other homeopathy supporters against critics who comment here on the blog, I am very comfortable with it. And if you call me a coward, so what? I do not give a damn about this insult.

            The real cowards are you and Dana and all the other believers in homeopathy who cannot admit that they are wrong. Because then your faith would be destroyed, which you have been working on for 2 centuries. Or even worse: you would lose your income.

          • Find a good therapist to help you

            Thanks, I am a good therapist

            When I read the aggressive arguments and attacks from you..

            From above:”Please remember: if you make a claim in a comment, support it with evidence.”

            Because then your faith would be destroyed…

            It seams as if your GWUP is one the way, to be destroyed from within…

            which you have been working on for 2 centuries..

            4 !! (four) centuries

            Or even worse: you would lose your income.

            I am retired!

          • @Heinrich Hümmer

            Thank you for proving once again that you can neither read nor understand text.

            Note 1: By therapist I do not mean one for the body but for (your) psyche. Keyword paranoia.

            Note 2: I am not affiliated with either GWUP or Psiram, but just an attentive commentator and observer. The fact that you always react so indignantly and aggressively to my comments proves to me that my assessments of you are correct.

            😉

      • Homoepathic remedies are prepared under strict rules. If you buy from a “good” company (Companies I know are e.g. DHU, Spagyra, Gudjons, Remedia), you can trust that they follow their SOPs which guarantees the process of potentiation.

        In general, it is believed that this is a process of dilution which is the strongest argument against this kind of medicine, as we can expect no traces from the original solution left in the final product. You may remember, that I do believe, that the process is not a process of dilution but of fractionating followed by multiple cleaning of the fraction which would keep larger molecules in a very pure form left in the final product. If my idea of the process should be true, we would keep some substance left in the product and the core critic against homeopathic remedies would vanish.

        If it is a process of dilution, we will never keep a rest of the initial substance in the remedy. If the number of potentiations is so small that you have a rest of the substance, it will most likely be no true homeopathic remedy.

        Any eyedrops are prone to get non-sterile. This is not an item that is only true for homeopathic remedies.

        • “Homoepathic remedies are prepared under strict rules”
          Except the ones that aren’t!

        • Homoepathic remedies are prepared under strict rules.

          No. This is not always the case

          If you buy from a “good” company (Companies I know are e.g. DHU, Spagyra, Gudjons, Remedia), you can trust that they follow their SOPs which guarantees the process of potentiation.

          Trust is good, control is better. That is why health authorities carry out audits. The results of these audits were often not to the advantage of homeopathic manufacturers.

          FDA has also documented many serious violations of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) requirements by some manufacturers of homeopathic drug products, raising significant concerns about the safety of products made with inadequate process controls.

          https://www.fda.gov/media/163755/download

        • “You may remember, that I do believe, that the process is not a process of dilution but of fractionating followed by multiple cleaning of the fraction which would keep larger molecules in a very pure form left in the final product. If my idea of the process should be true, we would keep some substance left in the product and the core critic against homeopathic remedies would vanish.”

          Yes, I do remember. It’s a quaint explanation, especially for ‘remedies’ such as 30C drops of
          Natrium muriaticum = sodium chloride = table salt
          Na multiple-cleaned, very pure cations
          Cl  multiple-cleaned, very pure anions

          • Yes, I do remember. It’s a quaint explanation, especially for ‘remedies’ such as 30C drops of
            Natrium muriaticum = sodium chloride = table salt
            Na⁺ multiple-cleaned, very pure cations
            Cl⁻ multiple-cleaned, very pure anions

            Do you think they will use pure NaCl for homeopathic remedy? I won’t. I would think of any natural source of NaCl, having impurities, being typical for this kind of natural mineral.
            If you think what happens to NaCl in alcoholic solution, you will find that there will start a process called precipitation. You will find your NaCl at the bottom of your glass and no longer in solution. However, there will be substances typically being part of impurities of natural NaCl minerals — and these may act as info-chemicals, tiny amount of molecules setting a trigger in the body of the person who takes the remedy.

            Again, my statement that this is nothing but hypothesis!

          • “If you don’t understand the basics of a subject, it’s easy to form conclusions that seem logical, but these same conclusions seem silly to those who have a deeper understanding of a subject.”
            — Peter Lipson, MD

            “Often people get into trouble when they confuse their lay understanding of a topic for a deep expert understanding, usually resulting in them becoming cranks.”
            — Steven Novella

            The body of an adult contains 150–300 grams of sodium chloride so your so-called hypothesis does indeed seem silly to those who have a deeper understanding of the subject.

        • @Holger

          I do believe, that the process is not a process of dilution but of fractionating …

          Huh? I have never seen homeopaths mention, let alone use, a distillation column. Could you please show us even one homeopath who uses distillation or any other targeted(!) separation method?

          … followed by multiple cleaning of the fraction …

          And how is this ‘cleaning’ done? I can’t recall ever seeing e.g. liquid separation or vacuum filtration in the context of homeopathy either.

          … which would keep larger molecules in a very pure form left in the final product.

          There is a problem: analysis shows that at 30C+, there are generally NO molecules of the original substance found in the final product at all. What is found, is an assortment of molecular contaminants from the environment and from the equipment used. Sure, we’re usually talking a few parts per billion, but those are HUGE concentrations in the homeopathic universe (as in: 4C-5C). But for some strange reason, all these substances tht are actually present do not get ‘potentized’, contrary to the one substance that the homeopath has on his mind.
          Also, many homeopathic preparations are made from substances that are already naturally abundant in the body, such as table salt. Yet homeopaths still maintain that the infinitely diluted ghost of table salt (‘Natrium Muriaticum’) actually has all sorts of effects. This alone already tells us that homeopaths are deluded fools who believe in magic.

          If my idea of the process should be true, we would keep some substance left in the product and the core critic against homeopathic remedies would vanish.

          Nope, wrong. Substances only have an effect in high enough dosages, and this ‘high enough’ depends on the substance. Hormones and enzymes can sometimes have an effect in picomol doses, but only because they have evolved together with extremely specific receptors. We don’t have such receptors for homeopathic substances.
          And even if painstaking analysis of a homeopathic preparation finds a couple of molecules of the original substance, then I can guarantee you that this preparation still won’t do anything at all. It’s easy to see why: we ingest molecules of myriads of substances all the time, including many substances that homeopaths use, e.g. arsenic. These small amounts of substances don’t do anything at all in our body – and that is a Good Thing, otherwise we’d be subject to endless random effects of every molecule that we come into contact with. This is also why Dana Ullman’s ‘nanodose’ as an explanation for homeopathy is just nonsense.

          • It sounds like Holger isn’t using ‘fractionating’ in its real sense but in some imaginary way, as if the active molecules are somehow persuaded to cluster in the portion of the solution which is retained rather than that which is thrown away. I can’t think of any other way to make sense of it, not that this makes real sense.

          • @socrates
            Ah, so shaking and diluting stuff somehow purifies it in an effective manner? And also makes the remaining molecules far more potent in some unexplained way?

            Well, I know lots of people in the chemical and especially the pharmaceutical industry who would give their right arm for a simple and cheap procedure like this to work as claimed … And maybe we should also notify the Nobel committee …

          • I think about a mechanism like it is known from the Brasil nut effect: Our initial dilution is a mix of very different parts of plants or whatever, molecules of different size — all in alcohol-water matrix.
            What happens, if you shake them well? The large ones will come up, and the smaller ones will go down, according to the Brasil nut effect. Prof. Metin Tolan, Physicist and actually leader of the university of Göttingen, Germany, who likes to explain physical interesting effects he found in films, mentions as reason why James Bond likes his Martini shaken, the Brasil nut effect, which will bring the larger and more tasty molecules to the top — only if the drink is shaken.
            During preparation of a homeopathic remedy happens the same. The mixture is shaken, the molecules will find a certain order (and will form a thick shell of water molecules with will have an effect on the order of the molecules after shaking the mixture).
            If you drop off the top of this mixture into a next solution, you will do a fractionating at the first step. Only molecules of a certain size class will come into the next solution.
            In the next steps, the procedure remains exactly the same — which means, that exactly the same size class of molecules will be transferred and be cleaned more and more. And there will be no or only a minor loss of molecules from one dilution to the next, as always the same size class of molecules will be transferred into the next step.
            For this reason, I do believe, that dilution is no dilution but cleaning of molecules of a certain size.

            This is nothing but Hypothesis so far. An idea how things could be in an alternative way of thinking about the process of preparing remedies in homeopathy.

            In defense of illness, the body of a person will be in favor, if it detects hints on problems at an early stage and with low amount of molecules giving the hint. This way, the immune system can be prepared even before infection happens. A person having a “feature” like this will have an evolutionary advance compared to others. We know that there are hints on illness even in water. Even though we do not know about a mechanism like this, I would expect the existence being a biologist. Homeopathy could trigger this system and use the mechanism to force reactions of the body in order to defense threads and bring back the system towards more stability.

            I do not believe in stable structures of the water being formed by molecules having once had contact to the water, or in any effect without at least traces of substances. My hypothesis could bring a more reasonable mechanism of homeopathic mode of action into discussion.

          • Holger wrote: “My hypothesis could bring a more reasonable mechanism of homeopathic mode of action into discussion.”

            You seem to be using terms that you haven’t even bothered to look up, let alone understand:

            In pharmacology, the term mechanism of action (MOA) refers to the specific biochemical interaction through which a drug substance produces its pharmacological effect. A mechanism of action usually includes mention of the specific molecular targets to which the drug binds, such as an enzyme or receptor. Receptor sites have specific affinities for drugs based on the chemical structure of the drug, as well as the specific action that occurs there.

            In contrast, a mode of action (MoA) describes functional or anatomical changes, at the cellular level, resulting from the exposure of a living organism to a substance.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanism_of_action

          • I know about the traditional definition of “Mode of action”. In pharmacology or toxicology, you try to get dose-response relations by testing. The more substance, the more effect in an almost sigmoid curve with a slow start, a rapid gain and again lower slope towards 100% – and you will be interested in that part of the resulting graph that serve your needs best.

            However, we also know about the Arndt-Schulz rule which gives a different view on mode of action (and a mode of action is to me simply the way an organism reacts towards a certain impact) that says that slight stimuli will activate, medium stimuli will support and strong stimuli will stop reaction.

            If it comes to classic dose-response, we can often find a hormesis effect, where we have an improvement of vitality at very low rates. The classic dose-response will start at higher rates. I would call this effect also a certain “mode of action”, even though the effect is not driven by a certain amount of pharmaceutically active product in terms of e.g. blocking enzymes or structures of a cell but by giving the organism a trigger to start protecting mechanisms. If you want to calculate a dose response for cases with hormesis, you have to take equations like Brain-Cousens model, which cuts off the hormesis part and you get your ECx values for the part of the relation where the classic large slope happens and you have your EC50 for most times at the turning point of the curve.

            The mode of action I think of in respect to my hypothesis is not the one where we look at molecules having direct impact on physiological processes, but giving the organism a trigger to start a certain process in order to compensate for the thread the trigger gives a hint on.

            I see the homeopathic remedy as an info-chemical that triggers a process. This is even different from a hormone based system, where the presence of a hormone or a hormone analogon defines the way a physiological system acts. It is simply a trigger that is given, an information processed unconscious, preparing the organism for a thread that seems to start in its environment.

            As far as I am concerned, we do not know about the existence of a biological system like that. Being biologist and knowing that traces as signs of threads before the thread starts would bring the organism in a much better position of defense, I would expect the existence of a system like this, as it would be a big advantage on the evolutionary scale.

            Technically, we manage to find traces of drugs, microorganisms, DNA in wastewater or generally in water. If you want to check for the presence of a hidden living species in a river, you will have a good chance to detect it by freely occurring DNA in the water before you find the organism itself.

            There are traces in the environment and if we would be able to read them, we could prepare for the thread that has to be expected.

            Simple nematodes can identify their own species by certain sugars on the skin. So why should a much more complex organism like a mammal not be able to identify chemical structures that would do them a great favor in keeping healthy?

          • when you find yourself in a hole: STOP DIGGING!

          • As it was not possible for me to react on single comments, here is a gathered answer:

            @Pete Attkins: regarding mechanism of action or mode of action: in my hypothesis I am postulating an entire unknown mechanism of information transfer where we have no idea where it would be located. For this reason, we can’t use “mechanism of action” and “mode of action” for sure. However, I have to describe roughly what I would expect. This is some kine of mode or mechanism of action – there is a molecule or few molecules that set a trigger and a mechanism turning on a useful reaction of the organism to prepare for the thread that is indicated by the molecule.

            @Edzard: when you find yourself in a hole: STOP DIGGING!
            We would still be living in holes if people had followed advice like yours in former times. It needs some esprit and maybe even boldness to open new doors. If it does not work, it was at least a trial. Better than sitting in a hole and doing nothing.

            @Richard Rasker: Your comment would be useful if we would work within water solutions. Situation in alcoholic solutions is completely different. There was a lot of work on structure of alcoholic solutions, in contrary to water they allow small molecules to sink very fast while bigger molecules stay on top. It is a matrix that would allow a Brasil nut effect on molecule dimension. And you could even give it a try shaking a Martini cocktail (maybe end with a bump on a semi-hard surface like it is done for preparation of homeopathic remedies) or mixing it. Does it taste different? If there is a difference, you will know that your idea about an alcoholic matrix was wrong.

            @Pete Attkins: There are very different homeopathic remedies. I was thinking of plant material in the first line. Regarding sodium chloride, I told you that we can expect that it will vanish very fast from the matrix, as it tends to form a sediment in alcoholic matrix. My idea about possible molecules would be towards impurities within crystalline sodium chloride that do the job for this type of remedy. Even if impurities would just make 0.5% they are the parts of crystalline NaCl that give it the taste. For this reason, it makes no sense to focus on the main content of the salt, as it will not have any impact for multiple reasons.

          • @Holger

            Better than sitting in a hole and doing nothing.

            Absolutely, digging the hole deeper and deeper is an excellent idea. In fact, that is what homeopaths and homeopathy stans have been doing for the past 200+ years with nothing to show for. They are so deep in the hole that it is impossible for them to climb out of it. If they keep it up for another 200 years, they may reach the other side of the earth. Therefore, dig baby dig!

          • @Holger
            Imaginative though your explanations may be, they merely betray your profound ignorance on the subjects of chemistry and medicine, and are contradicted by even the simplest everyday observations.

            Granular convection (the Brazil nut effect) only works for macroscopic objects, not molecules, and it is easy to see that this is the case. For instance sugar molecules in lemonade (which are rather larger than water molecules) do NOT end up on top after shaking. And of course no such mechanism of separation by shaking has ever been observed in all the history of chemistry. In fact, the observation is that shaking does the exact opposite of what you claim, and can even mix up substances that normally separate in different layers, in the form of emulsions and colloids.
            And, of course, homeopathic dilutions 30C+ have not been found to contain any molecules of the original substance, regardless if the sample was taken from a top layer or further down.

            Your ideas about illnesses are equally flawed. The body does not receive ‘hints’ before it is infected with a pathogen, and even homeopathy itself says that there must be clear symptoms before treatment can begin (as the choice of treatment is in fact based on those symptoms). Not to mention the fact that most complaints that homeopathy pretends to treat are not caused by infections at all and do not involve the immune system.

            But this is completely moot anyway. It is pretty pointless to discuss all sorts of hypotheticals about how homeopathy might work if there is no credible evidence that it works in the first place. And oh:

            … being a biologist

            Just started your first study semester, by any chance? Because you obviously have a LOT to learn …

          • Holger provides us with a marvellous demonstration of the pseudoscientific method:

            You start with a conclusion, then scratch around for anything that could possibly support your conclusion (despite counterfactual evidence); in the meantime charging clients for your pretending to know things you don’t know.

            Now, sodium chloride (common name: table salt; homeoquack[1] name: natrium muriaticum) has a
            • molar mass ≈ 58.443 g/mol
            • solubility in water ≈ 360 g/L (25°C)

            As previously stated, the body of an adult contains 150–300 grams of sodium chloride so your so-called hypothesis does indeed seem silly to those who have a deeper understanding of the subject.

            150–300 grams of sodium chloride ≈ 2.57–5.13 mol
            × 6.02214076E23 (the Avogadro constant)
            ≈ 1.5E24 – 3E24 molecules, which yields
             1.5–3 septillion (short scale) sodium cations
             and the same number of chlorine anions
            already in the body.

            However, some quacks claim that adding a few more, via their magic ‘remedy’, has a clinically significant effect. As I’ve stated before:

            I think it is important to know how to differentiate genuinely knowledgeable persons from numpties, quacks, woomeisters, and fecking eejits.

            NB that isn’t an ad hominem.


            Reference
            [1] not to be confused with HomeoQuack©, a homeopathic vaccine for autism:
            https://instsci.org/s7.html

          • It seems my guess as to what Holger meant was about right. Ignore the implausibility of his hypothesis for a moment. If he is correct then homeopathic remedies should contain a super concentration of the alleged active ingredient.

            Not what we actually find I believe.

          • @Holger

            Situation in alcoholic solutions is completely different.

            No, alcohol as a solvent does NOT behave completely different from water.

            You appear to be a troll trying to waste our time, given the level and nature of your comments (i.e. made up on the spot, without any scientific merit).

          • No, alcohol as a solvent does NOT behave completely different from water.
            Just think about the dipole characteristics of water and those of alcohol. Both have different properties of solving substances. If you have a water-alcohol mixture, things become completely wild. You will have clusters of water molecules and you have alcohol cluster – however the binding strength of alcohol is less intensive and for this reason smaller and less polar substances will go towards the ground much faster than in a water solution. And this complex structure of an alcohol-water mixture gives a good matrix for Brasil nut effects.

            Some simple websites that give hint to the theory behind:
            https://water.lsbu.ac.uk/water/aqueous_alcohol.html
            https://uhdilutions.com/library/the-nature-of-complexity-features-of-water-alcohol-solutions/

            If you want to dig deeper you will find a lot of paper at google scholar.
            I would be interested where you learned that alcohol-water mixtures have same properties as pure water or alcohol matrices. Even a pure alcohol matrix acts different from a water matrix.

          • Holger trolled: “Regarding sodium chloride, I told you that we can expect that it will vanish very fast from the matrix, as it tends to form a sediment in alcoholic matrix.”

            Good grief!

            Sodium chloride (table salt):
            • solubility in water 360 g/L (25°C)
            • solubility in methanol 14 g/L (25°C)
            • solubility in ethanol 0.65 g/L (25°C)

            All attempts to dissolve more sodium chloride per litre than the above values will fail: the excess amount will accumulate on the bottom of the container. The same result as adding too much sugar to a cup of tea or coffee.

            Using ethanol as the solvent, the liquid above the undissolved table salt will contain:
            (0.65 g/L) ÷ (58.443 g/mol) ≈
            • 0.011 mol/L
            • 11 μmol/mL, which results in:
              6.7 quintillion (short scale) sodium cations per millilitre,
              and the same number of chlorine anions per millilitre.

            It would seem that the following word, and its synonyms, apply to the content of your comments:
            piffle
             absurdity
             asininity
             babble
             balderdash
             baloney
             bull
             bunk
             drivel
             flapdoodle
             foolishness
             gibberish
             hogwash
             hokum
             hooey
             inanity
             poppycock
             prattle
             rubbish
             silliness
             stupidity
             utter nonsense

          • Pete Attkins on Friday 22 December 2023 at 21:24

            Normally adjectives are used in an argument when logic runs out.

            https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0014299987906807

            “There was no effect on the synthesis of lyso paf-acether. These results demonstrate clear ex vivo cellular effect of high dilutions of silica, that cannot be explained in our present state of knowledge.”

          • @Pete Attkins,
            Oh Pete, if you would read my comments, I told you that I would not expect any effect of Sodium chloride in Natrium muriaticum but maybe an effect of impurities that cooccur with NaCl in natural crystals. These may make 0.5% of the mass of the crystal. However, they make the taste of the salt and would be for this reason possible candidates for the mechanism I postulate.
            Pete, I was writing of this circumstance multiple times – however, you come with an argument against my method that I understand but that I took into consideration while thinking of possible effects of Natrium muriaticum.

            By the way: Your way of leading a discussion seems to be far away from good scientific standards. Too much of contempt, too much of hate. This usually happens, if someone came to an end of his arguments. And this is something I can understand, as it is hard to find any arguments for this reason: I talk about a hypothesis where a lot of parts are open. It is just a construct of ideas that have to be checked. The Brasil nut effect of molecules in alcoholic solutions seems to me extremely likely – and everyone can make a check by drinking Martini shaken (with a final bump of the glass on the table before drinking) compared with the taste of a Martini stirred.
            This way we would get a sorting (I call it fractionating) of molecules inside the solution column of a homeopathic remedy during production process of it. The solution is not homogeneous but fractionated. And now think about a process that always take the same fraction of this column: Would you expect a dilution or a transfer of exactly the same material from one step to the next? What will happen is, that this fraction of molecules of certain size will be passed over to the next potentizing step and be cleaned more and more. This way, we would end up with a remedy that has some content – maybe of molecules that are extremely tasty (the big ones that managed to get a thick water envelope through the process).

            If you think of homeopathic remedies, never think of pure chemical clean substances but of material right out of nature. A crystalline material will include typical impurities of a crystal, etc.

            I hope I managed to avoid inspiring you to find a lot of dismissive words but makes you open-minded for new ways of thinking about possible processes that are part of the preparation of homeopathic remedies.

            The other side of the concept would be receptive mechanisms on the side of the organism that can detect traces of molecules that give hint of dangers in the environment. As this would give the organisms an enormous evolutionary advantage and as we know that prior to a mass occurrence we have traces in the environment, I would almost postulate the existence of a mechanism like this.

            These are both parts of my idea about homeopathy.
            By the way: I do not expect that the procedure of preparing homeopathic remedies will give the perfect remedy for this mechanism. I would expect that if we know about the mechanism, we would get able to prepare optimized remedies or even feed the system with artificial molecules that can do the job.

            Thinking about Arndt-Schulz rule, actually we use exclusively the blocking part of the spectrum by using strong signals. There would be a lot of new options, if we would identify useful signals on the minor strong spectrum of the Arndt-Schulz scale.

            I do not want to destroy pharmacy as it’s done these days. However, I think an addition of new technics would do some favor for the entire system.

            If you simply block new ways of thinking, you are doing science no favor.

          • yes, one should keep an open mind


            but one also needs to avoid the brain from falling out!

          • @Edzard
            People who say that we should have an open mind almost never have a mind open enough to entertain the notion that they may be wrong. Which in my opinion makes them pretty close-minded…

          • hear, hear!

  • Iqbal Krishna wrote on Saturday 23 December 2023 at 04:47

    Pete Attkins on Friday 22 December 2023 at 21:24

    Normally adjectives are used in an argument when logic runs out.

    Good job I used the noun piffle.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0014299987906807
    “There was no effect on the synthesis of lyso paf-acether. These results demonstrate clear ex vivo cellular effect of high dilutions of silica, that cannot be explained in our present state of knowledge.” [1]

    I’ve noticed that acolytes of quackery [compound noun] try desperately hard to change the subject whenever their current piffle [noun] isn’t working as well as they hoped it would.

    The subject of my comments in that thread was natrium muriaticum; it was not “…ex vivo cellular effect of high dilutions of silica, that cannot be explained in our present state of knowledge”. [1]

    Natrium muriaticum is highly soluble in the solvents used in homeopathy; silica is not.

    Reference [1]
    Elisabeth Davenas, Bernard Poitevin, Jacques Benveniste,
    Effect on mouse peritoneal macrophages of orally administered very high dilutions of silica,
    European Journal of Pharmacology,
    Volume 135, Issue 3, 1987, pp. 313–319.
    PMID: 3034632
    DOI: 10.1016/0014-2999(87)90680-7

    Excellent: Jacques Benveniste, 1987, 36 years ago !
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Benveniste

    • @Pete Attkins
      [Krishna pulling an Old Bob(*)]

      *: I.e. dumping random droppings from a big dung heap of nonsense.

      Excellent: Jacques Benveniste, 1987, 36 years ago !

      Not just that, but also never replicated.

      And, of course, silica is the main constituent of glass. Which means that virtually all of us ingest homeopathically diluted silica all the frickin’ time. But somehow, it only does something special when believers in homeopathy are involved …

      • Richard Rasker on Saturday 23 December 2023 at 11:36

        “Despite my reservations against the science of homoeopathy,” says Ennis, “the results compel me to suspend my disbelief and to start searching for a rational explanation for our findings.” She is at pains to point out that the pan-European team have not reproduced Benveniste’s findings nor attempted to do so.

        Jacques Benveniste is unimpressed. “They’ve arrived at precisely where we started 12 years ago!” he says.

        https://www.theguardian.com/science/2001/mar/15/technology2

        “P53 functions as a potent tumor suppressor. However, there is virtually no practical way to utilize the function of P53 clinically. If the information wave of P53 could be transferred to water or any medium contacting water, various strategies could be possible. In this study, information wave of P53 was firrst transferred to UM (mixture of ceramic balls which makes alkaline reduced water), and then UM produced alkaline reduced water with P53 information by contacting water. The water containing information wave of P53 inhibited cancer proliferation, showed anti-metastasis, and increased apoptosis. Water memory effect could be very useful for future cancer therapy.

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326781477_New_Approach_Controlling_Cancer_Water_Memory

        • @Krishna
          Ennis’s results could not be replicated independently and were most likely the result of repeated systematic errors, just like Benveniste’s positive results. They can be safely dismissed.
          And NEVER EVER AGAIN promote your stupid quackery for the treatment of cancer; this has just cost you the last bit of respect and compassion that I had for deluded fools like you.

          – Homeopathy cannot work, as its core tenets violate basic principles of chemistry and pharmacology. Yet the deluded fools merrily keep on diluting water with water, and pretend that they are making ‘remedies’.
          – Homeopathy does not work, as there are no homeopathic preparations that show a significant, consistent and repeatable effect in any experiment or treatment. There is not even one homeopathic experiment that always produces the same positive result, regardless who carries it out. In fact, Madeleine Ennis has the largest number of replications in homeopathy to her name: 2 – but those do not count, see above. Yet the deluded fools keep on claiming that they ‘see it work every day’.
          – Homeopaths are also idiots because they believe that they can test the therapeutic properties of their shaken water by administering it to healthy people, with no actual patients or illnesses involved. And then they assume (not: test, or research) that it does something in sick people – which of course it never does, apart from placebo effects; also see previous point. Yet the arrogant fools are right at the forefront in criticizing real pharmaceutical products and vaccines, which ARE tested to extremely rigorous standards for both efficacy and safety.
          So IMO, homeopathy can be characterized by three keywords: stupidity, hypocrisy, and arrogance.

        • Iqbal Krishna regurgitates, yet again, basophil degranulation:

          Iqbal Krishna
          https://edzardernst.com/2016/09/lets-be-blunt-homeopathy-is-bogus-but-homeoprophylaxis-is-worse-much-worse/#comment-81588

          https://edzardernst.com/2016/09/homeopathy-and-the-closeted-gay/#comment-82077

          Dana Ullman
          https://edzardernst.com/2018/04/its-hahnemanns-birthday-today-so-lets-honour-him-by-quoting-his-words/#comment-100871

          John Benneth
          https://edzardernst.com/2019/10/homeopathy-the-complete-alternative-to-vaccination/#comment-118042

          https://edzardernst.com/2019/11/homeopathy-as-an-alternative-to-antibiotics-its-official-the-bavarian-government-has-gone-barmy/#comment-118046

          Lollypop
          https://edzardernst.com/2020/06/homoeopathy-should-not-be-used-to-treat-serious-diseases/#comment-124088

          New Approach Controlling Cancer: Water Memory
          Kim et al.,
          Fluid Mech Open Acc 2013, 1:1
          DOI: https://doi.org/10.4172/2090-8369.1000104

          Introduction
          In 1988 Benveniste and colleagues published a controversial article showing a biological reaction of ultra high diluted solution, which could be called as ‘water memory’. In the paper, it was demonstrated that human basophil degranulation was triggered by extremely diluted antiserum against IgE.

          Benveniste first used homeopathic method to activate water by shaking with each dilution. Later he has developed a new technology as follows: An aqueous solution in which molecules were dissolved was put into a copper tub, then white noise was applied to one side of the wall of copper tub and it was recorded from the opposite side of the wall of copper tub using a microphone which can record sound waves of 20 to 20,000 Hz. Thereafter, Benveniste and colleagues confirmed through repeated experiments that, when the recorded sound wave was converted into a vibration signal to vibrate the water using a transducer, a physiological reaction was also induced. He further showed that recorded sound wave file could be sent through email and transferred sound signal could also induce physiological reaction by vibrated water. These results suggest that there is inherent wave-like characteristic for each molecule, which could be transferred to water and could reproduce physiological reaction like the molecule itself. The inherent wave-like characteristic which interacts with environment was called as pilot wave by de Broglie and Bohm and as information wave by Tiller, as it decrease thermodynamic entropy (expressed as information wave in this paper).

          In this research, a new electrical device was devised to replace time-consuming homeopathy which needs repeated dilution with physical stimulation at each dilution (Figure 1). The device uses 7.8 Hz frequency, which is the resonance frequency of earth. Subtle magnetic field generated by 7.8 Hz frequency could activate and transfer the information wave of the matter. Using the device information wave of hormones and other cytokines could be transferred to water and other medium like ceramic balls. …

          “The device uses 7.8 Hz frequency, which is the resonance frequency of earth.”
          NO, IT ISN’T, irrespective of the number of quacks who make this claim !

          7.83 Hz is the global electromagnetic fundamental resonant frequency of the cavity between the surface of the Earth and the ionosphere (Schumann resonances). It is not the resonant frequency of the Earth.
          — Pete Attkins on Reiki: neither plausible, nor effective, nor harmless
          https://edzardernst.com/2013/04/reiki-neither-plausible-nor-effective-nor-harmless/#comment-92103

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schumann_resonances

          • Pete Attkins on Saturday 23 December 2023 at 21:04

            SO???????????????????????? This was for Rasker who uses adjectives “deluded fools”, “stupid quackery”, “stupidity, hypocrisy, and arrogance” in place of references.

            The topic was :“No one should ever use any homeopathic ophthalmic products”

            Where did you bring Natrum Mur from?

            “Global Pharma recalled eye drops in February after they were tied to a drug-resistant bacteria strain that has since been linked to at least four deaths. Several other companies have also recalled eye drops this year.”

            https://www.nytimes.com/article/eye-drops-recall-explained.html

            Which homeopathic companies are these killing patients?

          • Which would be the best treatment for blood pressure if Ohm’s law is followed?

            Which law of physics you know that works inside a human body?

            — Iqbal Krishna on Let’s be blunt: homeopathy is bogus – but homeoprophylaxis is worse, much worse!

    • @Richard:
      1) I am open-minded – however, I am far from not taking into consideration that I am wrong! What I prepared in my model is a hypothesis. A proven hypothesis is a theory. We are far from that and for this reason I never was never demanding that my hypothesis is true. That is not the idea of a hypothesis. The idea of a hypothesis is to open new ways of thinking followed by work to test if it true or not. Before this work, no one can think in dimensions of true or false of it – neither me nor you.
      2) Regarding the work on the macrophages, the mice and silica: I hope you take into consideration that homeopathic remedies never have pure chemical substances as starting point but natural products.
      https://aurumproject.org.au/homeopathic-remedy-silica/
      Have a look where silica in homeopathic remedies comes from. You can expect that it will content silica but also numerous other parts. For this reason, any theoretic model that builds on pure substances alone will have to fail. It has a focus on something completely different from what you have in real life. Same for thoughts about Natrium muriaticum.

      What would you do with the study you cited: You have clear results in a blinded study but no idea about the mechanisms behind. Doubt it at all – or take it as starting point into discovering something completely new. I know which way good scientists would go!

      • “I know which way good scientists would go!”

        I’m sure you do, which would adequately explain why your contrived comments are shaked baked and faked steeped in: pseudoscience and its methods; pseudo-arguments; fallacies; and repeatedly ignore the red banner
        Please remember: if you make a claim in a comment, support it with evidence.

        • Dear Pete Attkins,
          you wrote: “Please remember: if you make a claim in a comment, support it with evidence.”

          I would answer: same for you! Where is the evidence that at the preparation of homeopathic remedies we have a process of diluting instead of the way I think about it (fractionating followed by cleaning of a one unique fraction). All your critics are founded on the way Hahnemann saw the process. Is that evidence enough?

          Coming back to the Martini and James Bond: Why does he prefer the one way of preparing it? I give you the answer: In alcohol-water solvents shaking means fractionating while stirring means homogenizing. If you want to dilute, you have to stir it. You would have to put the remedy on a vortex mixer to do so. However, the procedure of preparation looks different.
          If you have evidence, that the dilution process works like you and Hahnemann thinks/thought, please let me know.

          I would like to mention another aspect of shaking an extract in an alcohol-water solvent: You get rid of free radicals. You will get a good contact of the substances within with air (O2) and as next aspect, you will prepare large water shells around polar molecules. This water-sheed will force the electrons towards the water shell. The spinning of the electrons inside their statistical distribution area will get a different distribution likelihood. Maybe this can be stabilized by the process and remain stable within the globuli. A consequence would be, that the so activated molecules become more tasty – the difference between silica in glass and the remedy.

          I do believe, that we have to think homeopathy completely new. My thoughts are a trial and if somebody wants to check them in lab: good luck! However, I see the necessity to rethink the process and found it on evidence. It is true, that I can’t deliver evidence. However, the classic model to think of it has no way better evidence!

          • Dear Troll,

            In the scientific method, the scientist says “Here are the facts. What conclusions can we draw from them?” In the pseudoscientific method… the pseudoscientist says “Here’s the conclusion. What facts can we find to support it?” The scientist asks IF something works; the pseudoscientist tries to SHOW that it DOES work.

            Tooth Fairy Science and Other Pitfalls: Applying Rigorous Science to Messy Medicine, Part 2
            Harriet Hall, MD
            Skeptical Inquirer
            https://skepticalinquirer.org/exclusive/tooth-fairy-science-part-2/

            I have fed you sufficiently to fatten you up for Christmas, so I shall feed you no further.

            I echo these comments previously made to you:

            You appear to be a troll trying to waste our time, given the level and nature of your comments (i.e. made up on the spot, without any scientific merit).

            — Richard Rasker (above) on Friday 22 December 2023 at 15:09

            Now, do us a favour and book a course of critical thinking!

            — Edzard on Ameliorative effects of homeopathic medicines in the management of different cancers

        • Fractionation is a term in chemistry that has a number of well-defined meanings, but you don’t seem to be using any of them.

          Exactly what do you mean when you say “fractionation”?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractionation

          • What would you call a process, that ends up with molecules sorted by size in a solvent column? To me, these are fractions and the process would have to be called “fractionation”. I know that the classic way would look different, however here we have a method with same result but different procedure and physicochemical background (Brasil-nut-effect).

            What would be the correct term? I am not a native speaker, and you may know a better expression.

          • You might like to explain the mechanism by which that happens. I suspect that it’s rather unlike either fractional distillation (where it separates on boiling point rather than molecular mass: ethanol has a lower boiling point than water, for example) or like column chromatography.

            I don’t know of any process by which solutes and solvents order themselves by molecular mass in a column of solute just by shaking them in a tube (even if they’re banged on a leather-bound bible).

            You say “we have a method”, but you seem reluctant to say how it works. If you have such a method, explain it, and if the explanation is coherent, than it might count as fractionaton if it works.

          • @prl
            Anyone who comes up with a way to reliably separate molecules in a solution simply through repeated shaking, can count on the Nobel prize for chemistry. Separating and refining chemical substances is one of the cornerstones of chemistry – in fact, our Dutch word for chemistry is ‘scheikunde’, which literally means ‘the art of separation’.

            Most claims of homeopaths would be eligible for a Nobel prize if they were true – but they never are. Homeopaths live in a fantasy world, fooling themselves as well as their gullible marks customers.

          • true!
            when I stared doing homeopathy research in earnest, 30 years ago, I used to say: either I get a Nobel or I’ll prove homeopathy wrong.

          • Holger mentioned “Brasil-nut-effect”.

            The technical term for which is:

            Granular convection is a phenomenon where granular material subjected to shaking or vibration will exhibit circulation patterns similar to types of fluid convection. It is sometimes called the Brazil nut effect, when the largest of irregularly shaped particles end up on the surface of a granular material containing a mixture of variously sized objects. This name derives from the example of a typical container of mixed nuts, in which the largest will be Brazil nuts. The phenomenon is also known as the muesli effect since it is seen in packets of breakfast cereal containing particles of different sizes but similar density, such as muesli mix.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granular_convection

          • Dear Pete Attkins,

            thank you very much for your comment about the Brazil nut effect and the link!

            Best regards,
            Holger

          • “thank you very much for your comment about the Brazil nut effect and the link!”

            I sincerely hope you use that far-reaching information. It will likely be of more use to your audience than to yourself: serving as a good indicator of your level of scientific literacy.

            Please don’t forget to include this buttressing information:

            List of unsolved problems in physics, Wikipedia

            Fluid dynamics
            • …
            Granular convection: why does a granular material subjected to shaking or vibration exhibit circulation patterns similar to types of fluid convection? Why do the largest particles end up on the surface of a granular material containing a mixture of variously sized objects when subjected to a vibration/shaking?

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unsolved_problems_in_physics

          • Granular convection is about solid particles in fluids. I don’t see any relevance to Holger’s claim about separation of solutes in solution.

          • prl wrote: “I don’t see any relevance to Holger’s claim about separation of solutes in solution.”

            Regardless, it’s relevant to homeopathy, as are:
            ● nanopharmacology
            radionics machines
            ● Quantum Psychics.

            E.g.,: “How Homeopathic Medicines Work: Nanopharmacology At Its Best”, Dana Ullman, HuffPost Wellness (Updated Dec 6, 2017)
            [https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-homeopathic-medicines_b_389146]

            Homeopathic medicines can and should be considered to be a type of “nanopharmacology” (Ullman, 2006). Although the word “nano” also means one-billionth of a size, that is not its only definition. In fact, “nano” derives from the word “dwarf,” and “nano” is the only word in the English language that is used on common parlance as denoting extremely small AND yet extremely powerful. Homeopathic medicines are both extremely small in dose and yet extremely powerful in their therapeutic effect.

            For 200 years now, millions of physicians and hundreds of millions of homeopathic patients have observed and experienced the power and effectiveness of homeopathic medicines.

            Precisely how homeopathic medicines work remains a mystery, and yet, nature is replete with mysteries and with numerous striking examples of the power of extremely small doses.

    • Pete Attkins on Saturday 23 December 2023 at 10:52

      “I’ve noticed that acolytes of quackery [compound noun] try desperately hard to change the subject whenever their current piffle [noun] isn’t working as well as they hoped it would.

      The subject of my comments in that thread was natrium muriaticum; it was not “…ex vivo cellular effect of high dilutions of silica, that cannot be explained in our present state of knowledge”

      This started as :“No one should ever use any homeopathic ophthalmic products”, Where did Natrum Mur come in from?

      “Global Pharma recalled eye drops in February after they were tied to a drug-resistant bacteria strain that has since been linked to at least four deaths.
      Several other companies have also recalled eye drops this year.”

      Global pharma a “homeopathic company”? Which “several other companies” are referred in the report?

      https://www.nytimes.com/article/eye-drops-recall-explained.html

  • I think they might have been alarmed by this case report
    Lin Chen et al. Clinical Medicine & Research, December 2017, Anisocoria secondary to anticholinergic mydriasis from homeopathic pink eye relief drops
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5849440/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new blog posts by email.

Recent Comments

Note that comments can be edited for up to five minutes after they are first submitted but you must tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”

The most recent comments from all posts can be seen here.

Archives
Categories