Wikipedia on Homeopathy: Chemistry and Physics

A series of posts examining some of the statements made on Wikipedia regarding Homeopathy. (These comments derive from a 2012 edition of the Wikipedia article. Only those statements have been reproduced which are misleading and should be corrected.)

Wikipedia: “Several of the key concepts of homeopathy conflict with fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics.”

The key concepts of homeopathy are (1) that the disorders of health seen in one organism belong to the organism as a whole rather than one or another body system, (2) that treating those symptoms homeopathically will cure those disorders as long as (3) the organism receives the most similar substance in (4) the smallest dose possible to elicit a healing reaction.

Not a single one of these concepts conflicts with the fundamental concepts of chemistry or physics. Not one.

Wikipedia: “Patients who choose to use homeopathy rather than normal medicine risk missing timely diagnosis and effective treatment of serious conditions.”

Sure, and people who work too hard or become obsessed with collecting butterflies might also neglect to visit their physicians. The assumption here is (1) that homeopaths are not smart enough to refer people to physicians when they need physicians, (2) that homeopaths are not themselves physicians (which many are) and (3) that people who use homeopathy do not also see physicians (which they mostly do).

This is how the fundamentalists try to convince people not to try homeopathy even though homeopathic remedies are safe and nontoxic. The operational phrase in this sentence is “rather than.” If their homeopath is not a physician, most people just see a regular physician in addition to their homeopath.


One response to “Wikipedia on Homeopathy: Chemistry and Physics”
  1. […] “Although many people assume that all homeopathic medicines are highly diluted and therefore unlikely to cause harm, many of them contain high concentrations of active ingredients and therefore can cause side effects and drug interactions.” By far the hardest thing to swallow from a medical fundamentalist is the idea that a homeopathic remedy is too concentrated. These are the same folks dedicating 30,000 words on Wikipedia to the idea that homeopathy doesn’t have enough medicinal substance in it to work! Indeed, there are homeopathic medicines that we use in tincture. These include plant remedies like Hypericum (St. John’s Wort), Valeriana (Valerian root) and Urtica urens (Stinging Nettle), substances that can be used directly as herbs without being prepared homeopathically. Some of these can be used internally as an herbalist would use them, but the most common homeopathic use for tinctures is for external application. So, while there are some low potency homeopathic preparations out there that might, if taken repeatedly and unsupervised for a period of time, cause a toxic reaction, they account for a very small proportion of homeopathic prescribing. No one under the supervision of a homeopathic practitioner is likely to come anywhere near a toxic reaction to a remedy, no matter how frequently repeated. Most importantly, none of these preparations are as “highly concentrated” as a tablet of ibuprofen. NEXT: The Key Concepts of Homeopathy […]

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