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Homeopathy Explained – Gentle Healing or Reckless Fraud?


Homeopathy may be the most controversial but also the most popular alternative medicine. While some argue against it, others swear by its great power and effectiveness. How does homeopathy work? How did it become what it is today, and what can modern medicine learn from it? The first principle of homeopathy is “like cures like.” Remedies use ingredients that cause the symptoms you want to cure. In practice, that means that remedies against fever could, for example, be made from belladonna, which also causes fever. A mixture based from bee venom is used to treat itchy swellings, and so on. The second principle is the special method of preparation called potentization. The idea is that diluting and agitating the ingredients activates their curative powers and enhances their effect. To do this, the ingredient is dissolved in alcohol or distilled water. Homeopaths take one part of the solution and mix it with nine parts of water, diluting it down to one tenth of its original concentration, and shaking it. What you have now is a 1X potency: one-part ingredient and nine parts solvent, named after the Roman numeral X, for 10. Now, this process is repeated. Take one part, mix it with nine parts of pure water and shake it vigorously. Now you have 2X. You do this again and again until you reach the desired grade of potency. The finished remedy is then taken orally, or sometimes it’s applied as little sugar pellets that are sold as globuli. A 20X potency, for example, is like dissolving one aspirin pill in the water volume of the whole Atlantic. But many are much more extreme, like 30C, for example. C means that the mixture has one part ingredient and 99 parts water. So the commonly sold 30C mixture means one part ingredient and one million billion billion billion billion billion BILLION parts of water. If we wanted a globuli pill with a single atom of the original ingredient, then our pill would be the diameter of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. 150,000,000 kilometers A pill so massive, that it would collapse into a black hole under its own mass. Because of this, potentization is one of the biggest criticisms of homeopathy. The extreme dilution is supposed to make the ingredients more potent, but on a physical level, this doesn’t really make sense. Most homeopathic remedies are diluted so much that not a single atom of the active ingredient is left in them. The explanation of why the mixtures still work is that shaking the mixture after every dilution leaves behind a spirit-like essence of the ingredient. Basically, the idea is that water remembers what was put into it. But if this were true, then every substance that ever met a drop of water would leave an essence behind and lead to unpredictable effects when it was accidentally ingested. Think of all the stuff that lives and floats in the oceans. Every sip of water would be a supercharged homeopathic cocktail. So how did homeopathy become the most successful alternative medicine? In the 18th century, medicine was very different from today. Treatments like bloodletting left the patient worse off than before. So German physician Samuel Hahnemann wanted a non-invasive, natural way of healing and developed homeopathy. And, in fact, homeopathic hospitals were soon successful because doing no harm beats doing harm. Hahnemann imposed very strict rules on his patients. First you had to avoid coffee, tea, alcohol, spicy food, sweet food. No old cheese, no onions, no meat. No clothes made from sheep’s wool, but also no sedentary work, no sitting inside in stuffy air, no warm rooms, no riding horses, no napping, no playing games, no masturbation, and of course, no reading pornographic texts, and many more. Then, and only then, would his remedies work, according to the inventor of homeopathy. Of course, all of these instructions are ignored and not talked about today. Medicine has changed a lot in the last 150 years. Never before in human history have we enjoyed a comparable level of health. Never have we lived as long, and this is largely due to the new tools we’ve developed. Modern diagnostics, double-blinded studies, and scientific evaluation to check and prove which stuff works. Thanks to these tools, after countless studies and reviews, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that homeopathy does not have any effect beyond placebo. But even so, who cares why it works if it helps people? Maybe you tried it and felt better, or you know someone that got over a horrible disease while using homeopathic remedies, and there are plenty of reports of it working for children and animals. What do we make of these experiences? The Placebo Effect is very real and not imaginary. No matter how smart you are, you’re not immune to it. If people believe that something will help them feel better, their trust alone has the desired effect. And it’s been proven that the Placebo Effect can be transferred. Children and animals rely on their parents or keepers and are in tune to their emotions. If a parent has a lot of trust in a treatment and eases up, this can help a child relax and help relieve symptoms. This could also be observed with animals who react strongly to the body language cues of the people caring for them. But the most powerful tool of homeopathy is time. Our bodies are survival machines. Infections pass on their own after a few days. But if you take some remedy when you already feel sick, and then start getting better, it feels like it did indeed cure you, when actually, it would have happened anyway. The homeopathy industry likes to play the gentle alternative to Big Pharma. But the homeopathic industry IS Big Pharma. Billions of dollars are made with extreme profit margins. The homeopathy industry has its own lobby organizations and fights its enemies as hard as it can. A lot of money is on the line. Globally, the market is expected to reach over 17 billion by 2024. Some critics even argue that the homeopathic industry is bad for public health because it creates distrust in proven medicine. The belief in homeopathy correlates with skepticism about vaccinations. This can discourage people to seek the help they need when their lives or the lives of their children are on the line. But there is actually a key to the success of homeopathy that we could, and should, copy. The first consultation with a homeopath can take hours and is very personal. For a patient who’s already been on a pilgrimage from doctor to doctor, this level of attention and empathy can make a huge difference to their well-being, even if the conversation was not the point of the therapy. Modern medicine is efficient. It saves millions of lives each year. But it’s also a strictly organized system. Tight budgets force doctors and nurses to deal with lots of patients. Consultations need to be time-efficient, diagnoses made quickly, treatments fast, which can leave patients feeling invisible, scared, and left behind. This is what modern medicine can learn from homeopathy. It meets a human need that has been left unfulfilled. We need to make time for the individual again. See people, not numbers. But as important as empathy is, it’s not a substitute for actual treatment. Faith can move mountains, but sugar water can’t cure cancer. After a short break of a few years, Kurzgesagt is back in German. Thanks to the support of Funk, we have relaunched the German channel and are beginning to upload a video every 1-2 weeks. Besides redoing our favorite videos, there’ll be a number of videos that will not exist in English for a while. Check out the channel here, tell us what you think, and subscribe and watch a few. If the channel goes well, the German videos might become a regular thing for years, and we might even do more languages.

100 thoughts on “Homeopathy Explained – Gentle Healing or Reckless Fraud?

  1. According to a homeopath if you drink a bottle of alcohol you won't get booze…but if you dilute 10 or 100 or 1000 time of it to water use will get booze…what a nonsense…..b

  2. I just thought of a joke of homeopathy so please don’t get mad:
    Is homeopathy is a cure for psychopath and sociopaths?

  3. My aunt had skin problem for years….. But after using homeopathy and yoga she is almost cured….. Sure it several months……for me doing yoga everyday for 20 min is nothing less a miracle….. It helps me stay focussed…..

  4. thanks for this video, as a researcher it is important to listen to things that sound unscientific, alot of things where uncientific at first and only proven true later. Listening doesn't mean believing but new knowledge should always be obtained not just cementing the older things. but honestly homeopathy i can't even, it is just too hard, i'll just try to not laugh straight in someones face out of respect for different opinions. wait but if people spend money on not working homeopathy then their money can't be spend on developing real medicine that could save future diseases.

  5. This is very poor on medical side that medical professionals are pulling each others legs instead of holding hands together.
    I am a Homoeopathic doctor and I had seen effective results in my cases.
    Moreover,I had received all vaccinations in my childhood still I suffered from measles twice so do not criticize any medical science this way.Every science has its scopes and limitations.
    Widen your horizon.
    And by the way modern medicine pharma is far bigger than homeo pharma which is the reason they are creating misbelief and rumours for homoeopathic science and not allowing the science to spread.
    Last thing,it's better to have placebo effect than to deteriote the health taking ruthlessly prescribed high dose antibiotics and suffering from its threatening side effects.
    Dare to be wise.

  6. Me: *casually plays terraria*
    *finds “sugar” item*
    huh!? What’s this *looks recipe (craft along with water bottle)*
    *obtains “literal sugar water”*
    Also me: what’s this *misclicks*
    [ RETARD TWINS HAVE AWOKEN] (DOUBLE BOSS: ANTIVAXX KAREN AND HOMEOPATH KYLE)
    Me yet gain: … I’m sooooo very dead right now…
    [DEMON XD was slain…]

  7. if faith can move mountains then why can't sugar water cure cancer..
    faith is bigger than all the medicines put together

  8. I dont know much science but i hv seen a old homeopathic dr did cure my relative mouth cancer due to tobbaco use……….. Believe it Or not but homeopathic has some science. I'm myself don't want to spread a lie but thats wat I hv seen

  9. "Placebo effect is real." No kidding, American ER: 3hrs waiting, +6hrs until seeing a physician, +6 more until blood work returns, +6 more until any diagnosis, +10 or more until discharge or admittance. Might as well just stay home and fool yourself with sugar water. That's the value proposition of homeopathy, which is sad.

  10. As a med student I really thank you guys for opening up the conversation about alternative medicine and taking down some miths. Our western medicine has proven to be really effective treating deseases but not that much at answering people's concerns abouth their health. And that's when Alternative medicine enters the game, they give people the calm and the security they need in order to keep going, in those kind of sistems people feel embraced they feel like they're important, like others care about what's going on with them.
    We're failing at providing a full and integral treatment to those people, that's why other forms of medicine are so important because they cover up the blank spaces we leave. Of course, if you suffer an horrible accident and end up with several bleedings you'll go to an hospital but if you just need to cure a stressfull headache who says reiki is a bad idea?

  11. Homeopathy is good as it shows care to diseased ppl but it is wrong when it is
    taken as a substitute for proven treatment which is modern medicine..

  12. But there is one thing I can not understand. How got this whole idea in the market? How got people convinced that it would work?

  13. This is so strange. Every other year I develop tonsillitis. When I was little I had it every year and it always was severe. Now when I'm an adult, whenever I started feeling it coming, I would buy dozens of all kinds of non homeopathic medicine and only some had little affect, most of the time nothing. On few occasions I had tonsillitis that lasted weeks and I had to turn to antibiotics. Few years ago the pharmacist offered me these new homeopathic pills to treat tonsillitis. I heard about homeopathy before, but not enough to have my own opinion. I didn't look at it as good or bad, and didn't expected any kind of results. I just gave it a try like so many other medicines before. And just in one day or so, my tonsillitis was completely gone. Completely. Next year I had tonsillitis again and again I took the pills – boom! gone in overnight. This year I had it again, and again the pills worked. Why? Why so many others that I took before throughout my life had basically no effect, but suddenly these homeopathic ones work. Placebo? It's crazy.

  14. For all we know, the homeopathic remedies could be cyanide pills because the FDA doesn't regulate these things and allows lying on the lables.

  15. Natural Selection if you choose not to Vaccinate & your child gets a Curable Disease & Ends up Dying, thats the Universe reminding you that you are an Idiot and the Weakest of our Species…

  16. Homeopathy is pure bullshit !!dot ! And if they could sell all the homeopathic sugar balls as sugar balls it would be nice !!

    Homeopathy medicine ingredients =sugar + water .

  17. are the works of three Nobel Laureate scientists that have done studies on high dilutions( similar to Homeopathic) and have proven their effects included in this video? Looking at the comments, I doubt it was.

    1. Hans Von Euler –

    Nobel Laureate Chemistry 1929

    2. Brian David Josephson –

    Nobel Laureate Physics 1973

    3. Luc Montagnier –

    Nobel Laureate Physiology & Medicine 2009

  18. Homeopathy is a hold over from when there were no doctors and humanity was self medicating on plants, etc. At that time we couldn't get a balanced diet and developed certain diseases because of it. In this age most of us can get a Balanced and Varied diet which would eliminate the need for Homeopathy and a lot of Pharmaceutical medicines also. We need to eat our way out of minor everyday illnesses not constantly take a pill for it. Our body is the best healer ever created. All it mostly needs is the right nutrients from what we eat.

  19. Nobody can cure cancer. Even modern medicines can only cut it out or try to poison it out of your system. Then they can only watch and hope it doesn't return after that.

  20. T҉h҉e҉ ҉D҉a҉w҉n҉ ҉R҉i҉g҉h҉t҉ ҉B҉e҉f҉o҉r҉e҉ ҉ T҉h҉e҉ ҉S҉u҉n҉-҉R҉i҉s҉e҉ ҉I҉s҉ ҉T҉h҉e҉ ҉D҉a҉r҉k҉e҉s҉t҉ says:

    Homeopathy = The dragon scroll from Kung Fu Panda
    The secret ingredient is, NOTHING. To make something special, you just have to BELIEVE it's special.

  21. so I used a reckless scam to actually get rid of my nasal polyps for good?..hmmm..allopathic medicines seemed to be a scam for me back then

  22. Let's play the "critical thinking" game folks.  Supposed "natural" remedies and things like homeopathy have been around for a long time now………….a long-long time.  Yet in spite of this fact = people continued to suffer from idiopathic diseases as well as die like flies in the face of infectious diseases irrespective of taking all of these old wives tales cures. 

    Moral of the story:  if these things actually worked as claimed = there would have been no incentive for doctors and researchers long ago leading up to modern times developing more modern allopathic medicines and treatments.  They simply would have continued prescribing these pseudo-medical treatments.

    So the very fact that we see science expending resources to cure ailments = is because these age-old panaceas simply did not work as advertised.  So what used to be sold from the backs of wagons under the guise of patent nostrums = is today simply "repackaged" and sold via the internet.  They are just as useless today as they were back then with the only difference being you can buy them online.

  23. Remember that u have side effects for each n every drug u take ….whereas homoeopathy cures a patient without any side effects…& No side effects…. it's divine

  24. Potentisation is not just shaking water….it's process in which the workdone is converted to kinetic energy ..n stored as potential energy in medicine………………………..
    U….judge ….but see that u studied physics …n science properly..

  25. I continue to be surprised at how the homeopathy consumers double down when you confront them with the proof that homeopathy is worthless junk. Just like I continue to be amazed at how the most uninformed people believe they know more than anybody. Do you, Boo.

  26. Grabbed some homeopathy medicine from a local CVS. Didn't know what homeopathy was then. Tried it and it didn't do Jack shit, so I looked it up and realized homeopathy was psuedoscience. Idk why this shit is sold next to actual medicine. Bought some nyquil and that did the trick.

  27. If they knew what homeopathy even was they wouldn't fucking use it.

    You make the mistake of assuming that we're at all genetically similar to the birds..

  28. Some time in summer 2019, I visited my local Walgreens in NJ, looking for ear drop medicine. I had developed very painful swimmer's ear due to all the swimming I do. I find on the shelf various brands of eardrop, some clearly marked "homeopathic". I definitely avoided those and picked up what I believed to be REAL eardrop medicine. I have a question about its efficacy. So I ask the pharmacist on duty.

    Good thing I asked the pharmacist, because the pharmacist pointed out that the eardrop brand I had picked up was ALSO homeopathic. I later returned to the shelf to put it back and observed that Walgreens carried NO real eardrop medicine. Only the plain water/homeopathic scamming crap.

    I ask the pharmacist about the ingredients: how well they work to relieve ear pain, and I ask if I can get a more concentrated dose.
    That's when he pointed out that this brand was homeopathic by saying "all those ingredients would GIVE you an earache".
    To my shock & dismay, the pharmacist started rattling off the usual homeopathic bullshit about "some people believe that super dilute doses etc etc" In other words, the pharmacist seemed to be defending this homeopathic crap.

    It would be bad if this is what the pharmacist truly believes & that Walgreens had simply chosen a poor employee.
    But it would be infinitely worse and enrage me much more if the pharmacist did NOT believe the usual homeopathic dogma and instead Walgreens was FORCING him to say all this crap.

  29. Ayurvedic Medicine is best Alternative for Allopathy Medicines on so many Diseases and its safe and Proven.
    I had hepatitis B and i got cured by Ayurvedic medicine in just 3 days, as far as I know there is no Medicine in Allopathy which cures Hepatitis.
    But Preventions is always better then cure.

  30. My TSH came down from 9.6 to 5.5 in a month by homeopathic liquids without single allopathic pill. If interested I can show my lab report from same lab twice!
    People can doubt homeopathy, but it works!

    You can argue that I may feel better by thoughts which actually I do now, but how the lab reports are changed such drastically!

  31. "Belief in homeopathy correlates with skepticism about vaccinations"
    That's weird, because vaccines are the thing that looks the more like homeopathy in modern medicine. I mean, vaccines used an attenuated form of disease to prevent the disease in question, that's just homeopathy… but whith proven efficacity XD

  32. Orthodox medicine is efficient but it misses key areas of natural medicine. Natural medicine is about prevention and balancing the body and using natural plants and herbs that can relieve symptoms and cure disease. Also the placebo effect is very powerful in many cases as well. Orthodox medicine fails to tackle prevention. And the causes of many conditions. They both need to be used together. Alternative medicine the true real form is as powerful as orthodox medicine.

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