Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Homeopathy: medicine that's hard to swallow?

From the Telegraph (UK):
At 10.23 on Saturday morning, Simon took a vial out of his pocket. He examined the instructions on the label: two pills to be taken every two hours for the first six doses. The contents should not be touched by hand, but be administered directly into the mouth. The vial should be kept both out of reach and sight of children. The middle-aged man then knocked back all 84 tablets and swallowed.

As Simon Singh stood in a public square in London, and waited for the effects of his overdose to take hold, hundreds of other despairing men and women around him poured scores of pills and medicines down their throats.

What has been called a mass overdose attempt is perhaps better described as a cry for help. By taking remedies in quantities far beyond the dosages recommended by their manufacturers, Singh – a television presenter and author of several books on science – joined campaigners attempting to demonstrate the case against homeopathy, and those who supply it.

Many scientists say theories behind homeopathy – which relies on the extreme dilution of animal, plant, mineral as well as synthetic substances so that remedies do not contain a molecule of the original substance – are a nonsense. ...more

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