Live Tweeting my homeopathic overdose.

Christina here…

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.

agree??

Okay!

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: hello
  but it cant fail
me: But hypothetically, what if it does?
 CHRISTO: i am 100% sure that it works
me: But hypothetically, what if it does not work?
 CHRISTO: i cant think a situation like that-sorry
me: It’s hypothetical – that means you use your imagination.
CHRISTO: because i too had doubt in the action of homeopathic medicne
  but after i took this medicne my doubt was cleared
me:Right. So you say that it is impossible that I will not get a headache.
 CHRISTO: yes
me: 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 immpossible
me: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 you
me: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 medicne
me: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 medicne
me:We can avoid that if we know the medicine is prepared correctly.
CHRISTO: or i will send u the medicine
  now you get it from a pharmacy near you
me: I am going to order it from the link I gave you, I cannot order it easily from the local pharmacy.
 CHRISTO: ok i agree
me: Do you know what an ad hoc fallacy is?
 CHRISTO: no
me: 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 it
  later i will tell
me:Well, I have to pay for shipping, I want to order them at the same time.
 CHRISTO: i will send it for you
  dont worry
me: What is your reason for not telling me?
 CHRISTO: because u dont belive in homeopathy till now
me: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 change
 me: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 experience
me: So no evidence will convince you that homeopathy does not work.
 CHRISTO: so from experience faith comes
me:So is your position on homeopathy’s efficacy based on evidence?
 CHRISTO: i may fail but homeopathy never fail
 i may fail in selecting correct remedy for a case but homeopathy never fails
 me: 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 ok
me: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 voice
me: I have already ordered the remedy, I can do no action until it arrives.
 CHRISTO: ok i will wait
  do msg me when u get the remedy
  ok
 ok bye take care
me: Are you a very well known homeopath in India?
 CHRISTO: no
my patients knows me
 me: 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.

-Christina

About christinastephens
  • Nick Johnson / Remijdio

    So, 10 pills every 2 hours for 4 days. You’re not going to get any decent sleep are you? I don’t understand why you have to take so much. I know there are legit drugs that are a bit more difficult to overdose on but it’s still not something as obtuse as 120 pills a day.

    • christinastephens

      He said that I don’t have to do it overnight. Thankfully. Otherwise, I would not be doing this!

  • samantha

    So you are taking pills to prove you have a negative reaction? How does that prove homeopathy is effective?

    • christinastephens

      It doesn’t. But it at least might be anecdotal evidence that homeopathic preparations do *something*.

  • Joven

    huh, the comments are on the side of the page…thats weird, no wonder I couldnt find where to put them in lol.

    Not to sound…cynical, but TBH, I wouldnt accept pills from someone whose preparing them themselves with the express purpose of having something happen (i mean its not like homeopaths are untrustworthy or something…surely they’ve never faked experiments before, or stacked them in their favor…)

    Also, it may be worth finding out what the filler or whatever is in those pills, not that I’d expect it to really be anything other than standard sugar pills, its just a good idea I think to not really trust these kinds of people (I doubt the filler has anything to do with it, lets be honest…the reason he wants to spread it out over a longer time is because in case any kind of minor malady comes up, he can say its because of that.)

    • christinastephens

      Fixed the side comments, I think.

      I didn’t get the pills from the dude, I bought them from a homeopathic drug manufacturer in the states.

      • sqlrob

        Yeah, but I interpreted that conversation as “if, by some small chance this doesn’t work, I’ll send you the next set”

  • http://TheSweaterVest.com Ben Blanchard

    Im really looking forward to this…. Im sure he will find an excuse as to why it didn’t work, but they are always so interesting…

    Also: To keep up with the style, you may want to make ” me: 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.” bold…. It confused me in my tired state…

    • christinastephens

      Fixed!

  • Joven

    Best watch yourself, thats some serious shit your (not) taking.

    “I used, in my early practice, to carry a small vial of the 1st dilution in my case on purpose for those who were inclined to sneer at the young doctor and his sweet medicine, and many a disbeliever have I convinced, in about five or ten minutes, that there might be power in small doses of sweet medicine, by dropping on the tongue a drop of this preparation, for it seldom failed to produce its characteristic throbbing headache within that time.”
    “No one ever asked after that experiment for any more proof of the power of homeopathic medicine.”

    ” No remedy equals this one for producing sudden and severe congestion of the head, and none can cure it quicker when indicated by the symptoms.”

    http://www.vithoulkas.com/en/books-study/online-materia-medica/3423.html

    Also, make sure to avoid hats, or you invalidate the experiment (or something.)

    I do like how in his anecdotes, it never follows from ‘haha, I used a 1x dilution of this poison to make someone ill’ to ‘yeah, thats actually medicine’, its just, if you assume homeopathy is real, then because this makes you sick then homeopathy is real…somehow.

  • Renshia

    Do you have to wake up every 2 hours to take the pills or is it only during your normal waking time?

    Hell if I had to wake up every 2 hrs four 4 days I would have a headache, even if I was taking aspirin.

    • christinastephens

      I don’t have to take them at night: I added that part of the conversation to the post above. Thanks for asking!

      • Renshia

        Somebody needs to add a friggin edit button.
        Thanks for the answer. )

  • oolon

    Depending on the sugar pills it is quite a bit of glucose to be ingesting, sugar can cause headaches but probably when you stop taking it ;-)

  • Ted Seeber

    Seeing how my migraines have responded to CPAP treatment for sleep apnea, I strongly suspect the sleep dep caused by that medicine schedule will cause headaches even if they are sugar pills.

  • Mary

    My only problem with all of this is that you don’t really know what’s in the pills you’re taking. They say they are lactose/sucrose, but how do you know that? I do not trust people this much. That is a lot of pills, and if there is an unlisted ingredient in them, then you are putting a lot of an unknown substance in your body. Can you get proof of what is in the tablets?

  • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Ah, but you see, after you take a homeopathic overdose you’ll be homeopathically dead! You won’t contain a single particle of death, but you will contain the essence of death as a memory in the particles within you.

  • http://www.peicurmudgeon.wordpress.com peicurmudgeon

    The only downside I can see to this experiment is that the manufacturer of the pills made a sale.

    • christinastephens

      True.. of like.. $6.00.

  • Mieke

    Hi there,

    my guess for your homeopath´s escape: since you habitually have slight headaches this is a medication you OUGHT to take anyway. So: not unnecessary medacation, no overdose, no headache. Or maybe he´ll come up with something else but, well, he says so himself: nothing that can happen could change his mind. He´ll change the world to fit his worldview instead of the other way around.

  • http://johnm55.wordpress.com johnm55

    I have often thought about taking part in on of these “homoeopathic overdoses”, but as an insulin dependant diabetic I have always worried that that amount of sugar involved might be less than beneficial for my blood sugar control. Though I suppose according to homoeopathic theory the sugar overdose should cure my diabetes.
    Actually the first time I came across this idea I misread it as “homoerotic overdose” which sounded a lot more fun.

  • Stan

    I think you should be careful about this, these days some of that over the counter homeopathic crap actually contains real medicine. I was surprised to find some recently that had actual recognizable active ingredients, not just dilutions of some sort. Maybe they’re trying to go legit?

    • Rowan

      No, its just sleezy people being more sleezy.

      Because if something is ‘homeopathy’ then it doesnt have to do almost any tests for either effectiveness (obviously) or safety. I believe that was pushed through by some congressman who is either a homeopath, or just snuggly with them.

      All it takes is for something to have some kind of ‘homeopathic’ ingredient, from some gigantic list, declare it homeopathic, and then you get to bypass any pretense of trials. Then you end up with stuff like Zicam.

  • Sam

    So, whats the result and outcome ?


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