Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Doesn't CVS Know that Homeopathy Is Quackery?

An old standby in the scam department is homeopathy.  

Here's how homeopathy is supposed to work:  It's based on the so-called "law of similars," in which a minute quantity of something that causes disease is supposed to cure it by stimulating the body's defenses against that disease. For example, onions, which cause eyes to tear, are used to treat hay fever in homeopathic cures. Homeopathic compounds are diluted 6, 10 or up to 30 times. How many molecules of a substance are left in the solution if one dilutes it so much? None or virtually none. It's all just water. 

But chemistry is of no importance to homeopathy because the water is supposed to retain a "memory" of the original disease-causing substance.  On Amazon, homeopathic remedies are often touted as having "no side effects."  At least that's true:  Of course they have no side effects, because homeopathic remedies are nothing but water.

There have been lots of studies about homeopathy, but not one valid study has shown homeopathy to work. 

Major drug store chains, supermarkets and other stores are shelving homeopathic remedies next to real medicine.  The ethical considerations aside --it's really wrong to put stuff that doesn't work in the same place as medicines that do work-- don't be misled just because a so-called medicine is sold in a place like CVS.  Take a good look at the label and if it has the word "homeopathic" on it, don't buy it.  

I know it rubs a lot of people the wrong way to hear that homeopathy is quackery, but when it comes to taking care of your health, knowing what works and what doesn't has no price.  But if you still believe in homeopathy, ask yourself if you also believe in intelligent design or creationism. Belief in homeopathy is no different from belief in intelligent design or creationism: None have any evidence to support them.  None have any foundation in science. Sadly, belief in homeopathy is just another aspect of scientific illiteracy.

Scientific literacy is one of the cornerstones of an informed democracy. Scientific illiteracy breeds confusion over issues like global warming (no doubt about it - the planet is getting hotter and we're the cause) and vaccines and autism (no, vaccines don't cause autism).  Do you believe in homeopathy? Then take a moment to understand the non-science behind it. 

1 comment:

  1. Homeopathy is magical, wishful thinking. Why do people waste their money on something that 1) has no scientific basis, and 2) has no clinical evidence to support it? It's a shame really, and a double shame that CVS and other large corporations are taking advantage of people's gullibility.