This article originally appeared on the now-defunct ZUG.com
There’s a secret cure that some doctors don’t want you to know about. Simply shaking some easily available ingredients produces potions of magical well-being which cure all known ills. These elixirs are called “cocktails”. Those doctors are hepatologists.
There’s also a drizzle of bullshit called homeopathy, but you’d pass out before cocktails could get you drunk enough to believe in that. Homeopathy says that minute traces of other ingredients in water and sugar can solve all your problems. When your medical expertise is identical to Coca Cola’s advertising strategy, you might not know what you’re doing. The core concept is that the more you dilute an ingredient the stronger it gets. You might recognise this as the exact opposite of everything that exists. And from the fact that you don’t get drunk, high, stoned, poisoned, and whatever happens when you drink the urine of everyone who ever lived and died with every glass of water.
They apply “absence makes the heart grow fonder” to medication. For example, when you’re dying of a heart attack you’d be extremely fond of real medicine. And probably wish that homeopaths didn’t prescribe diluted cardiac poison.
Homeopathy likes to call itself an “alternative medicine”, as compared to treatments with proof that they work, known as “actual medicine”. Usually shortened to “medicine.” You’d be better off shouting that you’re Zeus, connecting your genitals to the power grid, and claiming to provide “alternative electricity”. At least then you’d be removing yourself from the gene pool. And would receive the electroshock therapy you so clearly need.
On the other hand I’m a freelancer, and temporarily living in a Travelodge, so getting infinite free drink and drugs out of the tap is worth a try. Behold as I prepare homeopathic potions!
I’ve got three physics degrees and have spent my life learning as much as I can about how the world works. I’m not just unqualified in homeopathy, I’m actively anti-qualified. I’m going to need help. And I have the most perfect book.
Technically a Complete Idiot’s guide is the only kind of homeopathy guide. But maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe this is just a time-killing hobby, like knitting but without making anything useful or learning from obvious repetition. But then I opened the book:
This book has emergency homeopath reference sheet. The only possibly homeopathic emergency advice is PLAYTIME’S OVER CALL 911 YOU ASSHOLE. When someone has a heart attack on a Harry Potter tour, the tour guide doesn’t try to cast restorative magic, he drops the wand and calls medical professionals. The very first medical advice in the book is to catch bumblebees, extract their venom, and then rub it on any painful rashes. That’s exactly what I’d tell people to do to check how gullible they were.
Joy! This book has already been used, so I get to see directly into the deepest thought processes of the previous owner. Though I could probably achieve that if I stood near them and could lip-read.
The first step in preparing a solution is grinding up the source material with a mortar and pestle. This part was underlined. It seems the previous owner was a-okay with the idea of magically flavoring reality with parts of plants, but just couldn’t work out how to grind them into smaller bits. Note: if your medical equipment would be recognized by Merlin the Magician, you may be missing a few centuries of scientific progress.
Nevertheless, I’m going to make the most powerful potion possible.
Homeopathy is two parts witchcraft to one part willful ignorance. Neither is a useful clinical treatment.
Many homeopaths claim that nature wants to cure us of all our ills. I know that nature created the common cold and the goddamn hanta virus.
Homeopathy works on the principle of “like cures like”, so if you’re suffering from intense chest pains, you take a cardiac poison like digitalis, or belladonna, lachesis muta snake venom, aconitum, or homeopathy might secretly be an attempt to upgrade the species by killing all the idiots. They’re lucky this stuff is so diluted that there’s none left. This is the closest the world has ever come to two wrongs making a right ,and it’s still the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
Almost anything can be used in homeopathy, a wonderful freedom it shares with imagination, Irish stews, and other things utterly unconnected with the realities of the human body. But I’m going to give homeopathy a fair shot with the most powerful ingredient possible. I have some of the most powerful natural anythings, ever, from a previous experiment. A chemical I could taste through six inches of lead, and which plunged me in burning agony for longer than even the angriest god.
That’s pure capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers, and a single drop is more powerful taste than chewing a battery. And probably as damaging. The capsaicin is still in perfect condition, because I keep it airtight and refrigerated. I don’t think I’m even legally allowed to dispose of it any way short of firing it into the sun. Which would probably cause a supernova. The Pure Cap has a rating of 500,000 Scovilles. This means it would have to be diluted by a factor of half a million before the taste fades. The only things with less fear of being plunged in water are Aquaman and Jaws.
This is what science calls a “positive control”. If this comes out negative, nothing could come out positive. But can it stand up against homeopathy?
(I won’t mention that capsaicin is hydrophobic. Based on my reading of the book, that sentence is several syllables beyond homeopathy’s comprehension.)
Wow. Everyone should make their own homeopathic remedies. It’s the most incredible cure I’ve ever experienced, and it cures the worst plague in medicine: belief in homeopathy.
I decided on a basic 30 C potency solution. The “Centesimal” scale requires the initial solution be diluted by a factor of 100 to go up 1 C. Then you remove a tiny amount of that, and dilute it in 100 times as much water again to go to 2 C. I prepared my advanced scientific apparatus.
I’ve marked off 1/100th of the height, 1.3 mm from the bottom, adjusting for the conic section volume of the cup. I carefully diluted a drop of capsaicin solution in 100 carefully drops of water, then diluted that in the cup of water. We’re up 2C. Then I emptied most of that down the toilet, reducing it to the mark, and refilled from the tap. Then I did it again. And again. And again.
It is astonishing. There’s nothing like this. Saints have had visions less clear. I was taking everything that had any chance of doing anything and then pouring it down the toilet, refilling with water, and then doing it again. And again. And again. Again past the point of chemistry. Again past the point of sanity, and we’re only at 12 C, which is where point at which there stastically shouldn’t be a single molecule in the entire cup. Again. Again. At this point I’m not even wasting medicine, I’m wasting perfectly good water. Again. Then fifteen more times.
Every single subscriber to alternative bullshit should be made to do this. I knew homeopathy was medically less useful than horseshit before I started, but this brings an almost mantric clarity. It is impossible to do this and think it works. Any brain capable of controlling enough fingers to grip the cup would could see it was nonsense. This cup is now cleaner of any ingredients than when I started. At 30 C there wouldn’t be a single molecule left if this cup was the size of every ocean on the planet. Also, I’ve just poured an ascending overdose of incandescently hot super-spice solution down the toilet. If this stuff worked every fisherman in the world would catch some pre-cooked spicey fish this week then else nothing ever again.
On the upside, fifteen minutes of pouring things down the toilet moves past analogy and into homeopathic modern art. Then I drank some. It is by far the safest and most painless thing I’ve ever drunk for ZUG, and still the stupidest.
But wait! Homeopathy has a secret weapon. And so do I.
Homeopathy is like the lottery, a tax on people who don’t understand mathematics. Except the odds of a winning ticket are a generous 1 in 175 million, while the odds of a single molecule of medicine in a 30 C solution are million quadrillion times worse. Which sounds like a number a child would make up. Though you can save time by asking that child “Would you like it if I put a drop of coke in a glass of water, then threw most of the water away?”
I’m making my own homeopathic preparations, and just found that even the most concentrated pain juice imaginable is rendered completely inert. Of course, homeopathy claims that it’s because I simply haven’t been being magic enough yet. The book claims that that to activate the Wonder Water powers of chemical amplification I must “succuse” the solution. Which really does suck to use. This is where you repeatedly hit the dilution container off a surface to “potentize” the solution. Presumably they’re trying to wake the water up.
Samuel Hahnemann, the imaginer of homeopathy, would repeatedly strike the container against his books. Because he clearly wasn’t reading them. This tactic of gripping a liquid filled container and banging it off nearby surfaces was presumably learned by watching sulking babies.
This scientifically advanced shaking is apparently the on-switch for water’s magical memory, like some sort of inverse Etch-a-Sketch. Every guide I’ve checked points out how vital it is to shake it the right number of times, and every guide gives a different number. I went with “10” to minimize the amount of time I spent literally and figuratively jerking off the fantasy life of quacks. I’d feel more dignified manually masturbating actual ducks, because at least then I’d be doing something real, involved with how nature actually works, and would produce an undeniably different fluid.
Homeopath scam artists even have tragic techno-succussers to shake it for them. That’s how you torture technology, building machines to do something that opposes every invention and intelligence that created them. Using electricity to make homeopathic remedies is like tearing the ignition out of a Bentley as an offering to the horse spirit.
If all you have to do convert water is add the key ingredient and then shake repeatedly, my first night out would have turned me into Tequila Man. Pub urinals should have already turned the planet’s entire hydrosphere into the ultimate cocktail. So I decided to test the succession system with a well-known natural remedy. For everything.
I ran into a problem when I realized I’m damned if I’m wasting this much whisky, so I began the dilution process early.
I homeopathed remainder, i.e. poured it down the toilet, remembering to succuse between each dilution. Sitting in the bathroom bashing the bottle off the wall was the worst possible interpretation of “An Irishman hitting the whisky”. It’s telling that the homeopathic secret is repeated jerking of the wrist. That’s their primary skill set. That, pretending to enjoy watery fluids, and a total lack of shame. If they were more honest they could make money with webcam porn.
I could only bring it up to 12 C before becoming too depressed at this utter waste of human time. I feel like I’m insulting the bathroom taps by making them pour this, and their main job is making sure people don’t have shit on their hands. Also, 12 C is a very common solution strength for commercially available water/homeopathic preparations. I drank the result and became more sober as my body flooded with rage-fueled adrenaline at the waste of whisky.
Water is the most important liquid there is. It’s literally vital on Earth and a huge part of our search for extraplanetary life. We can detect it clear across the universe. We’ve mapped it down to the quantum energy levels. If it really had homeopathic properties, metalworkers couldn’t cast new Nobel prizes fast enough for all the discoveries, and we’d all drop dead of an overdose of everything because we’re made of the stuff.
The idea that it suffers from reverse-shaken-baby-syndrome, suddenly becoming more capable if you vibrate it enough, is insulting to the entire human race.
You want a conclusion on this bullshit? I just put my dick in a cup of water, shook it ten times, and poured it down the toilet. It’s been flushed into the ocean and will be diluted across all the water on Earth. For most people that means nothing.
For the homeopaths, enjoy every mouthful for the rest of your lives, and suck it.
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Excellent post! Homeopaths, at least the commercial ventures who sell most of this crap, are either conmen or sociapaths.
I think homeopathy could theoretically work for allergies. (I’ve /heard/ of people overcoming peanut allergies by slowly increasing exposure.) But without a doctor to monitor dose, you might die in the process.
Anything that actually involves a material, like increasing exposure, isn’t homeopathy.
Ah, good to know. The mainstream media sure does suck at reporting science.
Ah the power of the placebo! Hurray for positive thinking! (something which has actually proven to have an effect, unlike homeopathy).
A bit late to the party, just wanted to thank you for a roller-coaster of laughter induced hyperventilation, tears, more tears, and now I know how it feels to completely purge your lacrimal apparatus in less than 10 minutes while cackling like a hyena.
It feels great.
You should pick up a book called The Fourth State of Water by Gerald Pollack to educate yourself. You sound like an ignoramus, but thankfully he writes in an easy-to-understand manner for beginners. Homeopathy has been scientifically proven for decades, and this book will tell you how it has, and many other bits of information that any intelligent person would be grateful to know. Get an education!
What? But if you imply I haven’t read a book, that implies that I’m uneducated and not to be listened to! >Throws centuries of verification of laws of physics into a box before running out the door while cryingBursts back in waving a book above head<
But my copy of Mr Tickle says that finding someone who uses big words about water doesn't empower your magical bullshit.
Susie, you should pick up a book called Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. You sound like you’re beyond help but he writes very well and will explain how homeopathy has been proven to not work and that every “proof” is the result of wildly skewed trials, flawed methods or just plain talking shite.
Also, the 4th state of water is plasma, no?
Brilliant article Luke!
Get an education…could you point me to an accredited higher learning institution that teaches a homeopathy program? Harvard doesn’t have one, University of Nevada Las Vegas doesn’t have one, hell, my local community college doesn’t have one. As a matter of fact, I can find no institution that teaches homeopathy that is an accredited place of higher learning or education.
No science has ever proved homeopathy. Ever. It’s a crock, and always has been.
I’m a couple of years late, but just SOBBING WITH LAUGHTER over this post.
I grew up being taken to a homeopathic doctor for everything shy of sports physicals. I got “drops” (bottles of those dilutions that you took a certain number of drops of a day) for everything from mold allergies to chicken pox to the flu to coughs to as-needed for hiccups.
As far as I can tell as an uninsured adult who still occasionally gets sick and has hiccups and allergies, judging by the severity and length of my illnesses and so forth the drops did exactly jack squat, which hilariously was also what I was pretty sure they were doing when I was 10, too.
Basically, fuck homeopathy, it’s bullshit and the weird pressure point testing thing they do said I was “allergic” to things like wheat (I’m not), dairy (slightly lactose intolerant, but I’m almost 30 and it only developed a couple years ago), and certain types of fish (nope, no fish allergies to this day).