Hornbeck on Homeopathy

By HJ Hornbeck

With 10:23 — the anti-homeopathy campaign — just around the corner, I shall now teach you how to make homeopathic medicine.

1. Get more of what ails you. If you’re suffering from a cold, gather up all the snot you can drain out of your nose. Feeling squeamish? Substitute an onion instead, since its odour gives you the same symptoms. Have a swollen mouth and can’t stand up? Grab some Cyanide of Mercury instead. Having difficulty peeing? Track down a little uranium.

2. Dump all of it into a flask or beaker, then add 100 ml of water. “Sucuss” the flask, or swirl the contents around while whacking it against something 10 times. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, preferred a leather-bound Bible.

3. Using an eye-dropper, pull out a 1 ml drop of the resulting solution. Place that drop in a new flask with 100 ml of fresh water.

4. Repeat step three. The amount of repetitions depends on the potency desired; the more you dilute it, the stronger it gets. The weakest commercially available dose requires two more dilutions, but strong ones need 200 or more. When in doubt, Hahnemann recommended 30 total dilutions. At that level, you have a greater chance of winning the lottery than ingesting a single molecule of puss or uranium. But don’t fret — homeopaths assure us that the Vital Force of the original substance remains.

5. Drink up! If the water seems a little bland, dribble some of it on sugar pills, or substitute alcohol for the final dilution.

Why am I sharing this recipe with you?

Well, first, homeopathy is big business. In a pond somewhere in France, fifty million dollars is happily sunning itself. A single duck, slaughtered for its heart and liver, will result in millions of medicinal doses. Worldwide, homeopathy is a billion-dollar industry. Pharmaceutical companies have been tripping over themselves to set up arms-length homeopathy wings, and for good reason. Researching new cures involves giving healthy volunteers a proposed homeopathic medicine for one month, during which they are banned from coffee, wine and chess. Volunteers keep a detailed journal of their feelings and dreams, which is then analyzed for interesting symptoms. Compare this to the expensive, decades-long trials that other medicines endure.

Second, most countries assume homeopathy is safe at any dose and put few regulations on it. This has opened up the door for what I call “non-homeopathic homeopathy,” or cures that violate the basic tenants of homeopathy but use the label. Zicam, for example, has zinc as its active ingredient, which by the laws of homeopathy should be diluted down to nothing. Instead, that popular cold remedy only dilutes it once! Zinc has been shown to reduce the symptoms of a cold, not increase them as homeopathy demands. And yet Zicam is free to call itself homeopathic, even as the manufacturer is being sued by customers who lost their sense of smell due to high concentrations of zinc.

These fakes are diluting the good name of homeopathy! Don’t fall for them. Ensure that any homeopathic remedies you take are pure, by making them yourself.

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