Due to the low amount of dosage in homeopathic remedies, many critics say that the medicines are so diluted that they are essentially placebos. Some homeopathic medicines are diluted beyond what’s known as the Avogadro’s number (dilution 10-23). It is the threshold in which liquids are so diluted that all traces of molecules from the original substance would be gone.
Although this makes sound sense, you can’t argue with results. Nobody really knows the science behind homeopathy, but we do know that a number of studies show that highly-diluted homeopathic medicines do have biological effects that you wouldn’t see from mere placebos.
One study shows conclusive evidence that adding homeopathic histamine to basophils (white blood cells) can trigger the release of histamine. 28 scientific papers have been published about this topic, 23 of which reported positive results. 11 publications were deemed to be of high quality, and 8 of those reported positive results.
Another study shows that homeopathic thyroxine slows down the rate which tadpoles turn into frogs (even at the ultra-high dilution of 30). The hormone thyroxine stimulates metamorphosis in amphibians. Over the course of almost two decades, scientists have tested the effects of homeopathic dilutions of thyroxine on frogs. 22 experiments were conducted and all 22 showed the same trend. Thyroxine 30x (diluted beyond Avogadro’s number) still inhibits the metamorphosis of amphibians.
Conventional medicine requires the molecules of the original substance to directly interact with the body’s biochemistry in order to combat the disease. This predicates the belief that if there is no trace of the original substance left, then the medicine must be useless.
Potency is determined by how many times the original material is diluted then agitated (succussed). For example, a 30c remedy is diluted 1 part in 100, the succussed 30 times over. This added succussion maybe the key to homeopathy’s effectiveness. Every time the substance is diluted, it appears to imprint information from the original substance into the water/alcohol used for dilution.
This would explain why experiments have shown that unsuccussed dilutions are inactive, but succussed dilutions can cause biological changes. Scientists are still trying to figure out the Physico-chemical changes that succussion causes and what it means when imprints of the original substance are left in the water. Until more is known about the true nature of homeopathy, it should be fair to rule out the argument that homeopathic medicines are just sugar pills.
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