Hi! I contribute to JT’s blog! Isn’t that swell? Most people say I’m nicer than JT. I’m really not. I just pretend to be nicer. Grrrr!
I write about whatever I feel like: JT says I have complete freedom to put whatever I want in this space. So I’m going to hang up all of my frilly curtains and candles and flowers and… just kidding, I’m actually going to put up my creepy taxidermy and antique wooden wheelchairs.
Usually I write about atheism, science, research, alternative medicine, gay rights, disability, politics, and religion.
It’s raining in St. Louis, so I decided to overdose on homeopathy.
If you’re not familiar with homeopathy, your best bet is to go and Google “Homeopathy Skeptic” and see what comes up. I’m going to basically assume in this post that you know what homeopathy is, how it supposedly works, and why claims of efficacy for it are problematic. Onward!
A few years ago I did this overdose of homeopathy on youtube:
Why? Well, because I have not seen any evidence that suggests homeopathy is any more effective than a placebo, and the mechanism by which homeopathy is supposed to work defies logic and physics.
One of the complaints made by a licensed homeopath, Dr Christo Attokaran, who is from India, was that downing a whole bottle of homeopathic pills didn’t amount to a real overdose – instead, all of the pills counted as a single dose.
I’m not going to go into why I think this is silly, but the homeopath gave me what is, in his opinion, a “real” homeopathic overdose.
He instructed me to purchase Glonoinum 30C from the homeopathic practitioner of my choice. Here it is:
The doc instructed me to take 10 pills every 2 hours (excuse his language, English is not his native language):
so our topic is Homeopathy? can u do a test for me? please take homeopathic medicne GLONOINE 30C,5 pill 2 hourly for four days. and can you report me what happened to you. According to you sugar cant cause any symptoms, be genuine to your self if u are a true researcher.
Thanks for accepting to do some real research. go to the pharmacy and ask for Glonoine 30c(pills/liquid), and take 5 pills 2 hourly for four days.(The reaction which is going to happen is severe headache) this process is called drug proving in homeopathy
After he saw the tiny little pills I ordered, he upped the dose:
CHRISTO: take 10 pills every two hourly for 4 days
Wait.. do I have to take them overnight? What about my consumption of Mountain Dew? Won’t the caffeine negate the effects?
Coffee never block the action of our medicne glonoine 30, so u can continue your habit., and you have to take the medicne only during the day, ie. from morning 6 am to 10 pm, just for four days. (head ache caused by glonoine will never disturb your sleep -dont worry, it will cause only headache in the mornings,night its rare)
I’m going to take 10 pills every 2 hours. I already took my first dose and set my phone’s timer for 2 hours. I’m recording every dose via my phone’s video camera.
I’m also Tweeting about it, so if you’re interested, go find me @Ziztur
Along the way, the homeopath and I had an interesting conversation:
me: So, what will you say to me if this proving causes no symptoms?CHRISTO: hellobut it cant failme: But hypothetically, what if it does?CHRISTO: i am 100% sure that it worksme: But hypothetically, what if it does not work?CHRISTO: i cant think a situation like that-sorryme: It’s hypothetical – that means you use your imagination.CHRISTO: because i too had doubt in the action of homeopathic medicnebut after i took this medicne my doubt was clearedme:Right. So you say that it is impossible that I will not get a headache.CHRISTO: yesme: So hypothetically, what will you say if I do not get a headache? I am sure you can answer this question.CHRISTO: i cant, because it is immpossibleme:Well, it is impossible that my husband is a horse, but if I woke up this morning and a horse were in bed with me instead of my husband, I would have plenty to say.That’s why the question is based on a hypothetical schenario.CHRISTO: i know that, so i should answer youme:I want to know if your certainty in homeopathy is amenable to contrary evidence.CHRISTO: ok then many factors are there, it start from the preperation of medicne to storage which effects the action of medicneme:Perhaps you should prepare the medicine and send it to me, then. I am more than willing to order it, but I want to rule out any conflicting variables.If, for example, I don’t get a heacache, you can say, “well, the medicine was not prepared correctly.”CHRISTO: i will ask you to do the test again with different brand of the same medicneme:We can avoid that if we know the medicine is prepared correctly.CHRISTO: or i will send u the medicinenow you get it from a pharmacy near youme: I am going to order it from the link I gave you, I cannot order it easily from the local pharmacy.CHRISTO: ok i agreeme: Do you know what an ad hoc fallacy is?CHRISTO: nome: Also, I want to order the remedy which will cause a rash in proving for my husband, but I need to know which one to order.CHRISTO: wait…first u do itlater i will tellme:Well, I have to pay for shipping, I want to order them at the same time.CHRISTO: i will send it for youdont worryme: What is your reason for not telling me?CHRISTO: because u dont belive in homeopathy till nowme:I don’t understand why that is a reason to not tell me a remedy which you believe will cause a rash.CHRISTO: and after this proving you are going to changeme:You are very sure of your work.Is there any evidence you can think of that would convince you that homeopathy does not work?CHRISTO: no…because i am a physician and i get enough experienceme: So no evidence will convince you that homeopathy does not work.CHRISTO: so from experience faith comesme:So is your position on homeopathy’s efficacy based on evidence?CHRISTO: i may fail but homeopathy never faili may fail in selecting correct remedy for a case but homeopathy never failsme: If no evidence will convince you that homeopathy does not work, then it is not possible for your position on the efficacy of homeopathy to be based on evidence.CHRISTO: dear friend, please do the test and reply okme:If no evidence will convince you that homeopathy does not work, then nothing I do or say, and nothing that happens to me can be provided as evidence to you that homeopathy does not work.I will definitely do the test.CHRISTO: because i feel action speaks louder than voiceme: I have already ordered the remedy, I can do no action until it arrives.CHRISTO: ok i will waitdo msg me when u get the remedyokok bye take careme: Are you a very well known homeopath in India?CHRISTO: nomy patients knows meme: I must go, bye!
So, from now and for the next four days, I’ll be taking these little sugar pills. Christo’s hypothesis is that I will experience an extreme headache. My hypothesis is that I will experience no measurable increase in headache activity over my typical headache activity.
Edit: I bought the pills from here.