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Skeptic Offers $1 Million for Proof Homeopathy Works

homeopathy, james randi

Cure or snake oil?

Makers of homeopathic remedies could easily make a million dollars: All they have to do is prove their products work. Sounds easy, right? Well, turns out its not.

Even though you may think you couldn’t live without homeopathic products like Hylands teething tablets, oscillococcinum for the flu or Boiron Calendula cream, turns out you can. You might even live better without them.

Magician James Randi, who has lately turned his attention on exposing scams, frauds and charlatans, has put up $1 million of his own money to anyone who can prove a homeopathic remedy works.

He made his announcement in a video while also gobbling down a bottle of homeopathic sleep supplements, which had no effect on him.

Randi says what other natural remedy critics say, which is that there is no credible evidence that the active ingredients on the label do treat the ailment they are intended to. Randi’s also asking major drugstore chains to pull the pills from their shelves and quit deceiving buyers.

According to the LA Times, which reported on Randi’s offer, gave a short history of homeopathic treatments. From the LA Times Booster Shots blog:

Homeopathy was invented in 1796 by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, apparently solely out of his imagination. He reasoned, without any physical proof, that if a chemical compound such as arsenic caused symptoms such as poisoning in high doses, then low doses of the same compound could reverse those symptoms, curing the problem. The therapy was achieved by diluting the chemical to such high dilutions, however, that none of the active ingredient actually remained in the drug. Advocates claim that the water retains some mystical “memory” of the chemical that has curative power, but no clinical trial has ever shown a homeopathic remedy to be effective — and there have been lots of them.

Do you rely on homeopathy to treat yourself and your family? Or are you suspicious of the claims? Do you give your kids homeopathic treatments, either ones you make or from a store?

Photo: stana.ca

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