PDA

View Full Version : Confused about homeopathy

Ryokan
26th May 2005, 04:11 PM
My step mother is an alternative medicine freak, with a degree in reflexology and cupboards full of homeopathy crap. I really want to get her stuck in a debate, but I'm afraid I lack the 'education' needed, never being interested in this stuff myself.

Could someone explain real easy like what the 'C' system of homeopathy means? How many times it's dilluted?

Lisa Simpson
26th May 2005, 04:16 PM
From skepdic.com:

Two potency scales are in common use: the decimal, which proceeds by 1:10 steps, and the centesimal (1:100). Starting from the original "mother tincture" (in the case of a plant this is an alcoholic extract) a 1:10 or 1:100 dilution is made. This is succussed and the resulting solution is known as the first potency. This now serves as the starting point for the next step in dilution and succussion, which results in the second potency, and so on. The 1:10 potencies are usually indicated by x and the 1:100 by c; thus Pulsatilla 6c means the 6th centesimal potency of Pulsatilla, which has received six succussions and has a concentration of one part in a thousand billion.

Mojo
26th May 2005, 04:27 PM
This is being discussed on a couple of other threads at the moment, for example the last few pages of the "Dr. MAS - Please use this thread to explain homeopathy to us" thread or here (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=56635).

Basically, the C stands for 100 (from the Roman numeral, presumably). For a 1C preparation, take 1 part of the "mother tincture" (itself apparently of uncertain concentration) and dilute with 99 parts of solvent. for 2C take 1 part of the 1C solution and dilute with 99 parts solvent, for 3C take 1 part of the 2C solution and so on.

The upshot of this is that you pretty rapidly arrive at a solution too dilute to have any actual effect, and by 12C it is virtually certain that not a single molecule of the original remedy is left.

Ryokan
26th May 2005, 04:32 PM
Thanks, Lisa, I'll work the numbers :)

Edit : And thanks, Mojo, that makes it even easier to work the numbers. Wow, that's even more diluted than I thought!

Ashles
26th May 2005, 05:00 PM
Ryokan, what might be interesting before you explain the concept to your stepmother would be to ask her what she thinks the dilution terminology means.

Chris Haynes
26th May 2005, 05:06 PM
Also, if you have a high speed connection you can watch the first part of this Prime Time program from Ireland that shows with test tubes and colored water the mixing of homeopathic "remedies":
http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/2042799.smil

Ryokan
26th May 2005, 06:09 PM
Oh, I will, Ashles.

And I do have high speed broadband, HC, but not here. I'm at work, but will check it out when I get back home.

Thanks for the ammo, guys, although I doubt it'll convince her. But my father and brothers, who are fence sitters, just might do.

27th May 2005, 01:42 AM
Originally posted by Ryokan
Thanks for the ammo, guys, although I doubt it'll convince her. But my father and brothers, who are fence sitters, just might do.

I would also highly recommend the episode on Reflexology from the Season 1 DVD of Penn and Teller's unnamable show.

clarsct
27th May 2005, 02:43 AM
Trust me, a lot of us are confused about homeopathy.

Why are people paying \$10 US for 10mL of tap water? Or even DI water?

I find it very confusing, indeed.

GOOD LUCK!