Embellishment, part 2.
Embellishment is that confusion of ideas that extrapolates an entire sand castle out of a single grain of truth. The illogic goes, “if X is true, then it is true because of P and J; things without any provable causal relationship. Something, however, is going on to reinforce this perception. In homeopathy, that something is water. For those not aware of the pseudoscience of homeopathy, it differs from herbal and folk medicine in that, in its modern practice, the compounds are so diluted as to have no measurable ingredients except water. For a more detailed look into this bemusing subject, try Hellbound Alleee May archive and scroll down to May 12. Even though it is actually and measurably only water, you will find people who swear that they, or a loved one, was actually helped. So what’s going on here? Is it all just the Placebo effect? Perhaps, but perhaps not. There might be a combination of answers.
Many of the reported success stories involve children with asthma-like, or other allergy-like symptoms. Has there ever been a child born that didn’t at least once exaggerate cold symptoms to gain the attention and sympathy of their principal care giver (usually Mom)? Now, imagine an attention-starved child, amping up symptoms for attention. Suddenly, Mom starts visiting every 4 hours, asking how they’re feeling, and giving a dose of medicine. Just like love in a bottle, and now, the need for attention is being filled without the dramatics. The “symptoms” seem to abate.
Another possibility for efficacy lies in the water itself. Many of these homeopathic (alleged) compounds instruct the user to take several drops in a glass of water, or sublingually. Those who put the drops in (more) water, are unconsciously benefiting from increasing their daily water consumption. Additionally, they are taking in water at regular intervals. According to Dr. Weil , “Many people fail to drink enough of it” ( water ). Increasing one’s water intake will increase the efficiency of the kidneys, making them better able to filter impurities from the body. If one has a sensitivity to a common substance, like lactose, or corn, or sulfites, drinking more water will reduce the duration or the intensity of the symptoms. Of course, selling a water cure went out with the 19th century, and even at bottled water rates, there is nothing like the markup obtained by selling homeopathic "cures".