Homeopathy4health

18 January 2008

Homeopathy myths: It’s a drop in the ocean

A response to my explanation today by Jeff Garrington:

“In homeopathy each succussion takes place in the small environment of a closed test tube and involves a relatively very small amount of water.” Surely this isn’t the case with Helios, Nelsons and other manufacturers of Homeopathic Water.
Or am I mistaken, are thousands employed shaking test tubes.

My reply:

“JG: You are mistaken.

Remedies were laboriously handmade but now many homeopathic pharmacies use Korsakoff machines where ONE vial is emptied (the small residue in the bottle being considered the ‘one drop’) and refilled and succussed to the required potency over hours or days.”

Here is Helios’s page: http://www.helios.co.uk/Helios%20Potentising%20machine.html

Here is a picture of the machine:

Helios Homoeopathy High Potency Korsakoff Machine

No swimming pools or oceans required.

More myth-busting at http://www.homeopathyworkedforme.org/

It continues to amaze me how skeptics are ignorant of the facts of the therapy they love to hate (although to be fair to Jeff he isn’t too bad).

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26 Comments »

  1. So its done by hand up to 200c, how many people involved. Beyond that what happens to the waste water, succussed up to 200c that is discarded. Is this water treated as chemical waste (it is active in a homeopathic sense). If not why not.

    Comment by Jeff Garrington — 20 January 2008 @ 2:56 pm

  2. Good questions. Unfortunately I don’t have access to the inner workings of homeopathic pharmacies. I’ll ask.

    If you think about it there will be 100 drops of 29C so that can be used to make 100 separate 100 drops of 30C. So I would store the 29C so that I could make up 30Cs quickly if I needed more. It’s not as labour intensive as you think.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 20 January 2008 @ 11:09 pm

  3. Thanks for the reply,
    I imagine that would be the same for each stage of the dilution, you could store for later use, suitably marked.
    Can you tell me if this is the case, if so, is there a shelf life etc. If it is not the case, that the water is stored, how is the water dealt with. Is it classed as pharmaceutical waste. Also the Korsakoff machine, is only one in use for each remedy, or is the machine cleaned between each dilution process. What are the turn around procedures between each remedy in order to ensure no cross contamination.

    Comment by Jeff Garrington — 21 January 2008 @ 9:42 am

  4. H4H, It may amaze you” how skeptics are ignorant of the therapy they love to hate” Please answer my questions if you can. It would be much appreciated, it would resolve my ignorance.

    Comment by Jeff Garrington — 30 January 2008 @ 9:23 am

  5. I don’t have any new information for you Jeff. I have invited someone to comment but they may be suspicious of your motives.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 30 January 2008 @ 9:30 am

  6. Jeff,
    Some homeopathic remedies use a ‘mother’ source
    that may be decades old. The remedies are produced
    rather like a graft taken from a tree. Some practitioners
    prefer to use Hahnemann’s original methods and tools.
    It seems that each practitioner has his or her personal
    preference.
    Thus, will your education will be limited.

    Comment by Humber — 31 January 2008 @ 3:09 am

  7. ‘It seems that each practitioner has his or her personal preference.’

    It seems that Humber is under the misconception that homeopaths make up their own remedies from scratch, this would obviously be very time consuming and would ridiculously duplicate effort all round the country/world. This is why homeopaths use professional pharmacies and share the same source and therefore remedies are consistent from one practise to another.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 31 January 2008 @ 8:08 am

  8. Suspicious of my motives? Its a question, with so far not very convincing answers. Isn’t it the case that its important to educate the sceptic about homeopathy. The “some practitioners” are not I presume producing in volume. Helios provide information on contamination prevention measures for Homeopaths. So how are these Decades Old Mother sources stored. From my understanding of Helios literature contamination can easily happen. Also the waste produced by practitioners, how is this disposed of. Plus an extract from Helios “. Always regard every work surface, LM tray, board of holes and any other item which in the course of time has been in contact with potentised alcohol to be permanently contaminated. ” How is this overcome with the Korsakof machine.

    Comment by Jeff Garrington — 31 January 2008 @ 8:22 am

  9. I can’t answer all your questions Jeff because I haven’t worked in a homeopathic pharmacy. I also can’t *make* anyone who has comment here. You could just ring up a pharmacy and ask or perhaps ask for a visit.

    But I can respond personally to: ‘also the waste produced by practitioners, how is this disposed of.’

    Well I don’t generate a lot of ‘waste’. Most remedies I have I have bought in ready prepared from the pharmacy in the form of medicated tablets. Some which I use a lot I make up myself by adding drops of medicated alcohol to blank tablets. The only ones which actually involve water are LM remedies in which a very small grain-type pill is added to a small bottle of water, I use 8mg bottles. When I have used LM remedies myself, when I have finished using it I have disposed of the remains down the sink (a couple of spoonsworth). I don’t fear that this affect the population at large as the water will be exposed to all sorts of sewage and its chemical treatment which will have a far greater effect.

    The ways of antidoting homeopathic remedies are potentially: exposure to sunlight and the addition of camphor. I say potentially because I haven’t had occasion to do this.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 31 January 2008 @ 8:44 am

  10. So basically you don’t know. I have contacted Helios in the past,and they won’t discuss their machine’s nor the waste disposal question. Its odd that Homeopaths are in such a state of ignorance about their own medicine. Thank you any way.

    Comment by Jeff Garrington — 31 January 2008 @ 12:13 pm

  11. Touche- (that’s meant to be an e-acute). I just ‘love’ the way sceptics *have* to have the last word.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 31 January 2008 @ 3:46 pm

  12. I did not say that all homeopaths make their own, though some do.
    There are suppliers who will manufacture to customer’s
    requirements or in accordance with specified methods.
    Practitioners choose from the available sources according to
    their preferences or experience. There are no regulatory bodies
    or standards governing their preparation or disposal.

    Perhaps in my ignorance, I can attempt to answer Jeff’s question, though not specifically concerning Helios.
    The disposal of excess remedies may not pose any significant threat because
    according to SOME homeopathic hypothesis, the remedies have no local
    allopathic effect, and will not be activated until administered by a
    Homeopath in accordance with due process. Also, it is claimed that remedies will not have a significant effect if the patient does not have the remedy’s target condition.
    Thus, by asking a Homeopath, will your education be limited.

    Comment by Humber — 31 January 2008 @ 11:35 pm

  13. ‘according to SOME homeopathic hypothesis, the remedies have no local allopathic effect’
    remedies in theory could have a proving effect (generate the symptoms of the remedy) but if there is no susceptibility it takes several doses in reasonably quick succession to generate symptoms.

    ‘and will not be activated until administered by a Homeopath in accordance with due process.’
    not sure what you mean here, we just give them to people who seem to be susceptible to the symptoms of the remedy.

    ‘Also, it is claimed that remedies will not have a significant effect if the patient does not have the remedy’s target condition.’
    this is the ‘susceptibility’.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 1 February 2008 @ 5:58 pm

  14. Some Homeopathic researchers believe that interaction between the remedy, the remedy selection and practitioner are part of the treatment. This appears in various guises such as quantum entanglement or fields of consciousness. These hypothesis implies that the remedy’s potential is not simply contained within the remedy itself.

    Yes, susceptibility is the term that I should have used.

    These remarks go to the question of disposal of waste remedy, and the consequences of inadvertent consumption.

    I found an old post from Helios on JREF regarding quality control.

    “No one has yet invented a machine for measuring the energy of homeopathic
    remedies. We quality control the material in the remedies such as the
    alcohol, the carriers and the tinctures. It is a facinating area of
    research, measuring energy remedies.”

    Regards Helios (Judi)

    Given that any succussed effect cannot be measured, I suppose that disposal would be governed by the usual by-laws concerning chemical waste, and therefore measured by standard chemical assay.

    Yes, susceptibility is the term that I should have used.

    Comment by Humber — 2 February 2008 @ 12:04 pm

  15. Well I thought you might be alluding to entanglement but I wasn’t sure. Lionel Milgrom has written papers concerning the entanglement of patient, practitioner and remedy with reference to Weak Quantum Theory which I found interesting:

    http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2005.11.831

    I am unqualified to analyse this document in great detail however.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 2 February 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  16. I am able to email the full copy.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 2 February 2008 @ 5:25 pm

  17. My own view on entanglement is that a deep understanding of the patient’s state through empathic skills enhances the ability to select a suitable remedy. I’m not sure whether this entangles patients with me personally in any way but I have sometimes experienced a sensation like a relief of tension before finding out that a remedy has worked.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 2 February 2008 @ 5:39 pm

  18. Before you all wander off into areas you don’t understand. Here’s a link to somebody who has read Milogram’s paper and demolished it.
    http://shpalman.livejournal.com/3264.html
    I have followed the debate between Homeopaths and “sceptics” with interest. I have posted questions to Homeopaths with out receiving any kind of answer that makes sense. I rather imagined that the recent growth of Homeopathic blogs would glean some information. However my questions to H4H and answers above simply confirm my opinion of an Homeopaths understanding of their own medicine.
    Helios treat their waste as grey waste, non pharmaceutical, dirty water if you will(this is as much as I can find out) Not very encouraging for the planet eh! Homeopathic water entering the water table. You all believe it works on plants and animals
    and the more dilute the stronger it becomes. What are you people doing.
    I can imagine that the sensation of the release of tension before finding out a remedy works is your conscience, at least I hope so.

    Comment by Jeff Garrington — 2 February 2008 @ 9:33 pm

  19. ‘and the more dilute the stronger it becomes’. But not for everybody, it has no pharmaceutical effect. And the word stronger should be ‘potent’ in the sense of ‘effectiveness’ and is in relation to the totality of symptoms. For example, a person who gets a throbbing headache after being in the sun for a long time would be prescribed Belladonna on a small totality of symptoms: only the headache and its cause. This would usually be given in a low potency e.g. 30C.

    Belladonna is a very toxic psychoactive substance in its natural state and its potential for creating symptoms in provings is very large: it has a large ‘picture’. It is suitable for psychiatric conditions: think Mrs Rochester in Jane Eyre, the mad woman in the tower setting things on fire, being violent, singing. This is where a high potency of Belladonna e.g. 10M would be appropriate, it suits the person and all their symptoms over a long period of time and would be potentially very effective.

    …I have more to say in response but need to leave it for now…

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 3 February 2008 @ 11:32 am

  20. As I said earlier, homeopathic waste is likely to be very small, go into the sewage system which is likely to have counter-contaminating effects far greater than the power of any drops of homeopathic water.

    And you can’t have it both ways: ‘homeopathy is nonsense and homeopaths are selling nothing AND it gets into the water table’. (Not that I’ve noticed you doubt it directly, but I don’t doubt that you do).

    As for my conscience, no bad feelings from having helped people get better, no.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 3 February 2008 @ 6:19 pm

  21. And I think this illustrates the ‘not a drop in the ocean’ point quite nicely.

    The effect of many many succussions on a very small amount of water in a test tube is potentially very powerful where susceptibility is present in the individual.

    But those few drops released into a vast quantity of dirty water with no further succussions have no power to affect anyone.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 3 February 2008 @ 6:23 pm

  22. I’m sorry, you use “small” above (comment 20). Surely the water is homeopathic and small makes it stronger, correct?
    The water is succussed in the test tube then thrown away, or put onto a lactose pill. Why is the water thrown away, not as potent as the water, put onto the pill? Both are prepared in the test tube, as you describe. The pill enters the body, stomach etc and presumably survives that, why not an open drain. I’m not trying to have it both ways. Either it has an effect or it doesn’t. Skeptics say no effect, you disagree, until it suits your agenda.
    Pasted from the top of this page.”It continues to amaze me how skeptics are ignorant of the facts of the therapy they love to hate ”
    It appears from your answers that you are equally as ignorant about the production of Homeopathic remedies, as skeptics. As for entanglement, how does that work with plants?
    So many questions very few answers.

    Comment by Jeff Garrington — 5 February 2008 @ 4:30 pm

  23. ‘small makes it stronger, correct?’ : oversimplified and imprecise, see 19, I’d stop repeating it if I were you.

    ‘The water is succussed in the test tube then thrown away, or put onto a lactose pill. Why is the water thrown away, not as potent as the water, put onto the pill?’ Can you rephrase this because I’ll have to guess what you mean.

    ‘The pill enters the body, stomach etc and presumably survives that, why not an open drain.’ Well the body is a living thing which is affected by the dose at the point of contact (the mouth) and a drain isn’t, so the dose goes into the dirty water in the drain and contaminated by the dirty water and by the treatment chemicals and is effectively lost in the huge volume of water.

    ‘Pasted from the top of this page.”It continues to amaze me how skeptics are ignorant of the facts of the therapy they love to hate ”
    It appears from your answers that you are equally as ignorant about the production of Homeopathic remedies, as skeptics.’ I gave you this point in 11. Get over it else we can’t go on.

    ‘So many questions, very few answers.’ Indeed. Stop complaining about it and get a team together and investigate it scientifically and properly if it’s that important to you. But you won’t will you because we all know what happens when scientists do, they get pilloried.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 5 February 2008 @ 6:37 pm

  24. And *imagine* that homeopathic effect is due to changes in water structure due to succussion, what do you *imagine* might happen to the structures when mixed with sewage and treatment chemicals. Do you think they might change?

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 5 February 2008 @ 6:44 pm

  25. So how did the homeopathic solution affect the wheat grains. Your reference on your blog, although I understand you did not read the paper. So if Homeopathic dilutions are claimed to affect wheat growth, isn’t it fair to assume that all plant growth could be affected. “Effectively lost in the huge volume of water”. If that is the case and the solution is no longer effective, why is it that the solution remain effective when no molecule remains, or are their molecules still present in Homeopathic pills. If so how many. Or is it an energy medicine that plays by different rules as yet unknown. A statement made by yourself and others. If that is the case, your answers above are pure speculation.
    To clarify my point above. (23- paragraph 2) “The only ones which actually involve water are LM remedies in which a very small grain-type pill is added to a small bottle of water, I use 8mg bottles. When I have used LM remedies myself, when I have finished using it I have disposed of the remains down the sink (a couple of spoonsworth).” Its the couple of spoonsworth I am referring too. Your comment to changes in water structure due to succussion, are speculation. However to follow your point, you do “imagine” that these structures remain intact once administered to the patient. To reach their target, do you think they change. If they don’t, why not. The human digestive system is pretty effective at breaking down solids and liquids, the structure survives that, why not a sewer. Remember the recent foot and mouth outbreak, resulting from a leak into a sewer.
    Again I am trying to glean information from Homeopaths about their medicine.

    Comment by Jeff Garrington — 6 February 2008 @ 8:39 am

  26. I am unable to answer your questions in depth. As you know the explanation for exactly how homeopathy works is unknown and subject to speculation and requires much scientific analysis to answer your questions. Observations tend to come first and science after, as I have said before, science needs to catch up.

    I did read the paper on wheat and sent it to DC.

    I don’t imagine that the water structures remain intact once administered to the patient but they do have to remain intact BEFORE reaching the patient (i.e. not mixed with sewage and treatment chemicals).

    Hahneman says remedies act ‘dynamically’ i.e. in an energetic way on the energy body of the patient (person or plant) i.e. on their vital force.

    This post is now closed.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 7 February 2008 @ 11:27 am


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