Most homeopathic products contain sugar, simply sugar or pure water. And factories, before selling them, do not make any double blind test to verify their effectiveness. I bet that some of you, now is already writing a comment like: “False! Who pays you? Bullshit! It works for me! What are you saying!” It works for me! It works for me! Hello everybody, and welcome back on the channel of your friendly neighbourhood chemist. If you are among those that reply: “Well, it works for me!” Well, today we are not talking about homeopathy but about you. What I explained is known by any homeopath. You can ask, but it is declared on the websites of the homeopathic companies: Boiron, Guna and so on. Both in the comments of the previous video and on my Facebook post, I read many comments of the type: “I have taken homeopathic products for 10 years, I give them to my son and he never fell ill!” “SO, so, homeopathy works!” Clearly this, from a logical point of view, is not a meaningful reasoning. As somebody replied, statistically if one has good health even without taking nothing would not fall ill I, when my children were little never gave them anything and they never fell sick either. And it is clear that in this case the sugar pills are more effective in reassuring the parents than in reinforcing the immune system of the child, since we are talking about sugar. But let’s analyze these replies in more details: The two previous videos were specifically built around two facts. The pure sugar content of the majority of homeopathic pills and the fact that the constant dilutions make sure the final pill does not have any molecule of the active principle present in the beginning, if any despite then bearing their names like Belladonna, pulsatilla, oscillococcinum, and so on. And these are facts, certainties which aren’t challenged even by homeopaths and not even, as I said in the videos, by the manufacturing companies. To these video I get ill-concealed peeved replies: “Well, but for me it works!” Or: “you belittle homeopathy!” Or even: “before talking you should study!”. I think I already showed that when I talk about a topic it is because I know it very well and in this case too I obviously documented myself on this, and several other texts. The main thing is that none of these reaction is protesting at all the fact it’s like I said in the video: “Ah, 2+2 gives 4” and somebody replied: “Well, but for me it works!” What’s the connection? None! And indeed the reason for such replies is not to question the fact, as we’ll soon see. But you who use homeopathic pills before proceeding, do you accept the fact that they only contain sugar? I am now absolutely certain that many of you got agry got angry at me if you watched this video maybe you already posted furious comments on the video or blog or Facebook post, and so on. It is something I saw very often during the years and not for the last time on the previous videos there are even insults. All good: it is a perfectly human and normal behaviour, and it has been studied extensively by psychologists. All human beings have profound beliefs and the brain acts to protect them so to say, when it is exposed to facts – to FACTS that could destroy these profound beliefs especially if they are certainties correlated to the opinion we have of ourselves to our values, to the perception we have of the world, our brain lifts some walls to defend them at all costs we are resistant to changes in certainties. Our brain has no issue in discarding facts and ignoring them. This is a well-studied phenomenon for psychologists and it is useful to know and keep it in mind when you do communication on scientific subjects that are controversial in the public opinion such as homeopathy, vaccinations, nanoparticles, GMOs, stem cells, climate change and so on. These type of certainties solidify and are extremely hard to change and especially one should not harbor the illusion of being able to change them simply by telling some facts that are surely important in the scientific communication process, in this case, but they cannot be the only mean to reach the audience one wants to reach. A classical and very widespread wall I read hundreds of times in the comments, is the reply: “But I don’t care what you say, because it works for me” “so” – this is implied – “what you are telling me is false”. It is without doubt that it can work for some things, because for small troubles the so-called “placebo effect” acts. So, in practice, if the brain is convinced it is getting something that it thinks can create some physiological effect, the brain itself starts working to produce at least partly the same healing effect and this can work, for instance, for light anxiety or pain. Clearly it cannot work if you have a bacterial or viral infection spreading or poisoning or many other things on which placebo effect has no bear. But the placebo effect is so strong, and it works of course for conventional medicine too, that during clinical trials of medical effectiveness it must be filtered out and this is why the so-called “double blind” tests are done so they take a group of people but the drug they want to test is given only to half of them, the other half gets the “placebo”. But the people must not know if they are taking the placebo or the real drug otherwise the “placebo effect” is activated by the brain To start selling a new drug among other things this test must be passed in which the drug effectiveness must be superior to that of the placebo. You understand now why double-blind trials are not done to evaluate homeopathic medicines. Nobody forbids the companies to do classical experiments to start selling a real homeopathic drug. This cannot happen because, as I told you, since they contain simple sugar, they are supposed to prove that, in blindness, sugar pills are more effective than placebo pills which also contain sugar, and this is clearly impossible. Placebo is such a powerful effect that even those giving the pill must be protected, it acts that way too. So “double blind” not only means that the patients must not know during the test if they are taking a drug or a sugar pill, but not even the doctor giving them out because it has been proven that by simply knowing the fact, through non-verbal mechanisms it is possible to somehow influence the patient and the placebo effect occurs, even if many still claim the contrary in the comments but I can assure you that some studies prove that the placebo effect is found in children and animals too. How? Like I said: through the people giving them so through the animal owner or the parents. The fact that it is just a placebo effect is often not accepted and therefore rejected. Fine: as I said I am not interested in convincing any of you successfully using homeopathic pills with your criteria. I am concerned about doing scientific publication and telling to those whose certainties are not solidified yet what is exactly in these products. As I explained before it is completely normal for human beings to reject facts that go against their beliefs especially for identity matters. Think of a mother that in complete good faith gives a homeopathic product to her kid thinking either of healing them, or strengthening their immune system. She has good intentions. Now if I expose her to the fact that these pills are made of sugar, we can see, and often we do see, a rejection because subconsciously at least the brains reasons like this, it says: “Are you telling me I am an idiot because I am giving simple sugar balls thinking they are effects? To my child? Are you telling me I am not a good parent? Fuck you! This is the reaction the brain engenders as a defense to its own image of a good parent and so it rejects the fact that the pills are made of sugar and it rejects it with no rational process like: “there is this study, these lab analyses which proved that there is indeed something inside”. No! It rejects it based on whatever mental gymnastics it can think of even if it has no logical meaning. In my backyard it happens on this channel by saying: “Well, how can we trust somebody with Spider Man on his wall” or “with a spider on his lab coat” like this is relevant in any way; it is clearly not relevant. The fact that I am a fan and collector of comic books and I have Spider Man plastered on the wall, if you want, dunno, I also have “V for vendetta”, here, has obviously no logical connection at all with me giving accurate or incorrect information, false or true. But this does not matter because this reasoning is not a rational one, it is an idiotic reasoning! But people are not idiots, because as I said it is a well-known psychological effect. So it is pointless, as I see people do in the comments, to go and insult it is fruitless: it is a common behaviour we have in every field none of us are immune, not even me: maybe not in ths field, but in others I am sure I have certainties that facts are not able to crack open. Being aware of this can help us react in a less exaggerated manner when some people build their walls to defend their own certainties. So it is useless to go and insult people who think of using homeopathy. Much, much more dangerous instead, in my opinion, is the fact that doctors and pediatrician with degrees prescribe homeopathy not while thinking of placebo effects, but believing it is really effective. Somebody in the comments asked me how it is possible that doctors can prescribe homeopathic pills. Well, actually this is much more widespread than you might think also because doctors are used consciously or less so to exploit the placebo effect, which is undoubtedly effective for other types of conventional drugs and sadly often we go to the doctors even with simple annoyances but we do not accept to leave the office with simple recommendations such as “wait, it will be gone in a few days” or go have a walk in the mountains no, we want to leave the office with pills and so we have doctors prescribing useless drugs, we have an hyper-medication of the practice and this can bring severe consequences it is clear that a sugar pill is better than giving an antibiotic when it is not needed if I have a viral infection it is pointless at least initially to prescribe an antibiotic because this sadly causes issues, we see an increase in bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics we normally employ the problem is that sometimes the antibiotic or regular drug or a small treatment is indeed useful we should not give the impression that homeopathy is able to cure other things: tumor, diabetes (I am giving sugar pills to a diabetic…) we should not give this impression because then we create tragedies but let’s go back to doctors because we cannot deny that here there is only sugar as declared by many of the companies themselves. As I said in many doctors you can see a sort of cognitive dissonance they also have their own beliefs but evidently they recall from the first university year in the chemistry course that inside to be honest there cannot be not one atom, one molecule of the initial product they are unable then to reconcile this fact with their belief that homeopathy works they need to find an escape route and therefore we can explain the blossoming of a long series of hypotheses and weird fairy tales that have zero scientific proof and so they invent the “water memory” they make up “cluster structures” of the water molecules, they come up with a new thermodynamics, vibrations, weird energies, until they get to the quantum bullshit now in these years the fashion is to stick the magic word quantum mechanics to justify whatever falsehood, whatever load of crap I sometimes give lessons on quantum mechanics, actually this is my main research department and to my students I sometime tell that nowadays the term “quantum” is associated to the weirdest things quantum cosmetics, quantum agriculture, all bullshit because there is nothing true behind that but they serve a purpose as I said, for some people to justify in a semi-rational manner what is actually simply an attempt of their brain to join together a rational view of medicine with the fact that there’s only sugar here, and so the brain is somehow able to even accept such absurd ideas that nobody ever proved and that even from a purely theoretical point of view do not make any sense there is no experiment that ever proved that water has memory, that quantum effects are involved here in the sugar particles in reality as I mentioned it is a way for the brain to be able not to reject the fact outright but to include it inside the same pre-existing belief system, by making up something that in reality does not exist, so yeees it’s just sugar but there’s a quantum effect, there’s the water memory, there are water clusters, there are zero-point thermodynamics effect and so on from bullshit to bullshit scientifically however there is no need to come up with such fantastic theories an important point in science is that I should go and look for hypotheses, build theories that explain facts only after I ascertained with certainty that such facts actually exist in other words I don’t build a theory on how unicorns are able to fly if I don’t first prove that unicorns exist since unicorns do not exist it is pointless I don’t waste my time coming up with a theory to explain how unicorns are able to fly. For today it’s all, if you liked my video share it on your social media bye from your friendly neighbourhood chemist.