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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Homeopathy = Lactose PIlls

Homeopathy is bunk. It's a fraud, a scam, a hoax, a means to make money from people in need. Spare me your letters about how studies have proved that homeopathic medicines work: those studies have been discredited.

The reason I tackle it here is lactose–related. Turns out that homeopathic pills don't have any medicine in them, but they do have lactose. Nearly pure lactose at that.

From Alternative Medicine and the Laws of Physics, by Robert L. Park, which first appeared in the September/October 1997 issue of The Skeptical Inquirer.

I recently examined the dilutions listed on the labels of dozens of standard homeopathic remedies sold over the counter in health stores, and increasingly in drug stores, as remedies for everything from nervousness to flu. These remedies are normally in the form of lactose tablets on which a single drop of the "diluted" medication has been placed. …

The notation 30X means the 1:10 dilution, followed by succussion, is repeated thirty times. That results in one part in 1030, or 1 followed by thirty zeroes. I don't know what the name for that number is, but let me put it this way: you would need to take some two billion pills, a total of about a thousand tons of lactose, to expect to get even one molecule of the medication. In other words, the pills contain nothing but lactose and the inevitable impurities. This is literally no-medicine medicine.

No-medicine medicine. A good name for it. For those of us with lactose intolerance, however, a better name would be Lactose Pills.

Avoid them at all costs.

(If anyone can show that the practices of the homeopathic industry with regards to lactose have changed since 1997, that's information I'll be happy to post.)

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Anonymous said...

It works on an energetic principle, not a chemical one like allopathic remedies. That's why it's a separate form of medicine. Still, avoid the lactose.

Anonymous said...

What about the people who claim to have the benefits?
The medication has a different philosophy, the more the dilution, the higher the energy.
The pharmaceutical companies will never let any other form of medication compete with them and hence will come up with studies that dispute it.
There are two ways to credit a medication:
1. The actual understanding of how it works in the body.
2. A certain number of years of data of Improved symptoms that were targeted in patients.

There are lots of allopathic medications that are accredited based on the 2nd point. Acutane - used for relieving acne is one of them for example. No one knows how it works in the body, but years of data shows it works. There are many more like that.

Homeopathic medication can easily be accredited based on the 2nd point.

Anonymous said...

It works for me! Some of the pills (Bioron, in blue tubes) have less lactose I think. I too am stymied why there are no lactose-free homeopathic OTC, as I am lactose intolerant. Homeopathy cured me of years of set in hives (Hylands), relieves my asthma (Spongia Tosta), relieves anxiety (Calms Forte products), dulls my pain (topical arnica), and cured my skin warts (thuja).

If you do not take them on a "clean mouth" they will not work. So, if you brush your teeth, chew tobacco, smoke, eat, chew gum, have a snack, use mouthwash, take regular medicine, or drink anything 10 minutes before and after the tablets, they will not work much, if at all. Also, they are sublingual, under the tongue, so if you just swallow them with water they won't work.