Homeopathy. One is entitled to like it or not, to use it or to criticize it. But something that one shouldn’t do is deny facts or make up alternative truths. To find out if one’s right to think what one thinks, as far as homeopathy is concerned, it requires some efforts and to document oneself. This is what we’re going to do. We’ll first interest ourselves to the origins of this practice. Learning who invented it, in which context, for which reasons, by which means is a good start to know what we’re talking about. And for that, we’ll go back to 1796, because homeopathy is an old thing. Context first. Let’s put the european scenery of 17th and 18th centuries. We have in Europe a medicine qualified later on of ‘heroic’, not a very positive qualifier. It was on the contrary the mark of procedures that presented an important risk to leave serious sequels to the patient, and had to be considered as last resort measures only. I’m talking about a time where a medicine doctor was a fearsome being. It scares the living daylights out of people… Heroic medicine advocated very strenuous treatments: bloodletting patients, Gui Patin was nicknamed ‘The Great Bleeder’ and served as a model of bad doctor for Molière, purging patients with laxative or emetic substances, patients were treated with substances like mercury, and other relatively toxic substances not used anymore nowadays. One plebiscited invasive, hefty, tiring, crippling and often ineffective interventions, which is a shame… As a result, patients treated with the so-called heroic medicine had lower chances of recovery compared to patients left alone. I repeat: it was often preferable to not be given any care to be cured. That was 2 centuries ago. Back then, one didn’t know how the immune system worked. Blood circulation was barely discovered. Developers of heroic medicine didn’t see in symptoms an attempt of the body to cure itself, but complications that had to be avoided at all costs. We know nowadays that fever has a purpose in the elimination of pathogens. According to heroic doctors, a medication had to have a strong effect, and be used at high dosage. In this context, Samuel Hahnemann gives up on practicing medicine, worn out by bad treatments inflicted to patients. He’ll choose later on to do the exact opposite: curing with tiny dosage. And sincerely, why not. But here is the thing: Hahnemann is a man of his time, his solitary initiative is not more scientific than the medicine practiced back then that he criticizes. This absence of scientificity is found in homeopathy’s origin, in its principles that we’re about to review, in its ways to inform and communicate, and up to the arguments still used to defend it nowadays, and that’s a bit stupid. During the 2 centuries following its invention, the homeopathy never submitted to the demands of the scientific method. It’ll be considered as a pseudo-medicine, except in a few countries, like for example France. Other unconventional practices are invented at the same time as homeopathy: Mesmer’s magnetism, Lavater’s physiognomy or Gall’s phrenology. All of them had to face the evidence of their inefficiency, and have been widely abandoned. So it’s possible. Homeopathy knew another fate. It would be interesting to wonder why. In this video series, we’ll interest ourselves in the content of homeopathic products, to the chatter that goes with them, to the scientific evidence of their efficiency, do the evidence exist, yes they do! Do they? You’ll be surprised. But first, one must understand the basics of the homeopathy “theory”, in quotation marks. This “theory”, in quotation marks, relies on a very small number of principles, there are 4 of them. The principle of similarity The very first principle, the one on which all homeopathy relies on, is the principle of similarity. Let’s read the description of the homeophyto.com website, colon, open quotation mark: “A toxic product induces lesions. This same product, prepared according homeopathic technics, will be able to cure a sick presenting lesions of the same type.” One could paraphrape this and say that one cures the harm by the harm. It’s a principle found well before Hahnemann, with Hippocrates: “Similia Similibus Curentur”, and also with Paracelse, but with some magical connotations: “Everything nature creates, it shapes it after the virtues it intends to attach it.” According to this principle, the shapes of creatures, and plants in particular, highlight their purpose and their function. Red beans have the same shape as our kidneys. So, they can cure kidneys. Nuts look like small brains, this is why their consumption is good for developing cerebral functions. For whoever is versed into the ways of discovering and testing the active substances coming from plants, such an approach is absurd. But after all… That could be absurd… and yet, work nevertheless. The principle of dilution After that comes in the principle of high dilutions. The higher the dilution, the better the medication should be, including and mostly at dilution rates where no molecule of the initial solution remains. Why is that? Hahnemann wanted to cure his patients with substances that made people sick. But he wasn’t an idiot, and he knew he shouldn’t give these substances at strong dosage, because poisons at strong dosage are not very good for sick people. We can already see that the principle of dilution is the necessary consequence of the principle of similarity, when taken seriously: for the principle of similarity to remain true, it’s required to dilute the products that make people sick. We’ll see that those dilutions became so huge that they induced a logic issue, that Hahnemann couldn’t have anticipated for the Avogadro constant has only been conceptualized from 1800, and calculated in the 20s by Jean Perrin. “Products displaying a dilution higher than 12CH contain on average less than 1 molecule of the starting substance, ” “i.e. about 0. I’m told in the earphone that 0 is not very much at all.” The principle of potentization Third great principle: potentization. Each of you knows that the more something is diluted, the lower the effect is. I hereby hold a glass of viola syrop diluted 100 times, it’s not that much but still. Let’s have a taste. That’s it. It’s viola flavor is absent, so to speak. The more you dilute, the more you remove everything, except the solvent, water in our case. And water is not a medication. Fortunately, Hahnemann figures a solution out: it’s the principle of potentization. To prepare a remedy, serial dilutions are carried out: one dilutes, then one takes a fraction of the dilution that is in turn diluted, and the process is done several times, and between each dilution, the remedy is shaken. It’s potentization! Thanks to this potentization, the dilution doesn’t annihilate the therapeutic power of the solution. -Why? -Why?
-Because! -How? -How?
-But why not! I mean… Have an open mind! You’re just… This skepticism will not drive you towards happiness, you know. One doesn’t know what is supposed to happen during potentization but according to practitioners, it activates the strength of the product. I don’t know what it means at all, and I suspect despite me that not everybody would agree to confess the same thing, what should be done. It’s said that Hahnemann came up with potentization when he realized that patients were reacting better to the treatment when he rode quickly to their home, and thus shaking his panniers and the vials of remedy inside. Ok. What is the best protocol to follow to potentize a remedy? Practitioners are very silent on the matter. At Boiron, it’s 240 shakes within 7.5 seconds. Why 240 shakes within 7.5 seconds? It’s a very good question, and the answer doesn’t seem to be available. So I release an official call to Laboratoires Boiron for them to explain the reason of this very specific protocol. When one prepares a medication, it’s very important to know exactly what one’s doing, and the purpose of each step to check out if the processus unfolds as expected. I don’t know how homeopathy manufacturers check out that a remedy has been nicely or incorrectly potentized. How is a quality control performed? For any other real medication, this question has a very clear answer. If manufacturers provide me with an answer, I commit to talk about it in a next video. To sum it up: for the first principle to be true, the principle of similarity, Hahnemann needed the principle of dilution, otherwise one gets poisoned, and the principle of potentization, otherwise it’s just water. Hahnemann asserted the existence of those principles because he needed them to be true, but without demonstrating them, or explaining them, or experimenting them. And 200 and a few years after the Organon, on that particular point, we’re exactly at the same stage. Homeopathy’s starting point is the assertion that the principle of similarity has to be true, it’s an affirmation of a dogmatic nature, defended by Hahnemann himself on the tone of revelation. An example: “And you, working youth who only seeks truth, come to me for I bring it to you, this divine revelation of a principle of everlasting nature.” “You shall bless the Providence for this tremendous benefaction it has brought down on Earth through my mere intervention,” “for I’ve only been a modest instrument of its power before which all must bow.” Hahnemann’s speech, given during the session opening of the ‘Société Homéopathique Gallicane’ on September 15th 1835, Geneva. The principle of individualization For Hahnemann, diseases are the consequences of miasmas, air’s degraded properties and acting on the organism, inducing all symptoms an individual will present. This defective logic proposes a monocausal explaination, found in many discourses that’ll assign all diseases to a single origin. Gluten. Vaccines. Sugar. Electromagnetic radiations. Chronic Lyme disease. GMOs. Screens exposition. Et cetera. For Hahnemann, monocausal explaination is miasmas, and they unbalance our vital energy. There, I shit you not, that’s really how it’s said. The practitioner must study the patient’s general condition, read his symptoms and find if possible the unique remedy, matching his general condition and that’ll be efficient on all his symtpoms, but only for this particular patient and not necessarily for another one. What’s fantastic with individualization is that it’s exactly the kind on principle that one would need to promote a therapeutic practice that doesn’t work. Individualization is a major hurdle to a remedy’s efficiency assessment, look: if it doesn’t work, what do we do? One could say that the doctor didn’t read the details, he missed weak signals. Or even that the patient wasn’t receptive. Making the patient responsible for the failure of the therapy is the most obvious signature of a problematic therapy on all levels, and mostly on reliability. We can see the the principles of homeopathy, when looked at with a skeptical eye, make this care practice highly suspect. Everything happens as if an idea drawn from a hat had compelled his inventor to find a whole lot of ad hoc concepts to add to it, to force us to believe it’s true from the moment one acknowledges its veracity at the start… Circular reasoning? Yes. But having said that, I haven’t proved anything. Homeopathy, discovered through unlikely means, elaborated by a semi-prophetic character, and weirdly close structurally to pure deception, might actually be a practice that works anyway. Perhaps it’s effective and one’ll have to accept it and start thinking to understand how it works. But the fact is that if it works, it must be noticeable, and quite easily: we know nowadays to easily assess a therapeutic efficiency. If it works, it upsets everything we know or think we know about physics, chemistry, biology, which is a clue on the level of evidence we’re entitled to demand before we start to believe. But to see it clearly, I propose we interest ourselves in the most famous, the most sold homeopathic product, you guessed it it’s the oscillococcinum. It’ll be for the next video. See you soon! Written, directed, presented by Acermendax Musics – Vled Tapas
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“Do you know the homeopathy?”