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Homeopathic Practitioners: One Million Dollars Offered for Proof

Are homeopathic medicines effective?
Martina inspecting a bottle
of homeopathic medicine.

How would you like a million dollars? Read on and I'll tell you about a challenge; that if you can prove it, will make you a million dollars richer. This isn't a joke and it isn't a limited time offer. I'm going to tell you how you can earn one million dollars, just for being the first to prove something.

One of the problems we deal with in the fitness world is the huge number of worthless products. Equipment that doesn't work as promised, programs that hurt rather than help and supplements promoted without a shred of proof. But it's the supplements labeled "homeopathic" that are the worst offenders and the ones at the center of this million-dollar challenge. Here's a little background.

Herbal versus Homeopathic

Many people confuse "homeopathic" with herbal. Big mistake. According to The New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd ed.) "herbal" refers to any plants "with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or parts of "such a plant as used in cooking."

If you're looking at a medicine that claims to be herbal, that generally means it came from a plant rather than being synthesized. Some herbal things work, some don't. The designation "herbal" is simply referring to the original source of the medicine. Products labeled "homeopathic" are different.

How Homeopathy (Claims) to Work

Homeopathy can trace its roots back to Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). Mr. Hahnemann said that "like cures like." If a substance can cause the symptoms of a disease in healthy people, it can cure the disease in a sick person. For example: if you're feeling dizzy, you should take some medicine that would make a normal person dizzy. The medicine that makes you dizzy, combined with your dizziness symptoms, will cancel each other out.

But that's not all. Mr. Hahnemann believed that you didn't need much medicine to affect a cure. He taught that you could dilute the medicine in water, dozens or even hundreds of times, so that there was virtually no medicine left.

In between each dilution, the container would go through a "succussion" to make the mixture more potent. Succussion means to shake or rap the container.

You may be wondering, if it's so highly diluted that there's no medicine left, how would it work? Mr. Hahnemann taught that the water molecules would retain the "vibrational frequency" of the medicine that was originally mixed in. Water with the correct "vibrational frequency" could cure people.

Here's where it gets really strange. Homeopathic practitioners believe that water will NOT retain the memory of the water pipe it came through, the sewer it sat in or the lake where it originated. It only remembers the vibrations the homeopathic practitioner wants it to remember.

Now, much to Mr. Hahnemann's credit, when he came up with his theories medicine was dangerous. Doctors would draw enormous amounts of blood to try and cure people, while giving them noxious and dangerous mixtures that were often more damaging to the patient than the disease. By simply eliminating so many dangerous treatments and giving people water, they had a better chance of surviving.

But that was over 150 years ago. Now we know how viruses and bacteria infect the body. We have clinically proven medicines that can alleviate suffering and actually offer cures.

Physicists and chemists have never been able to show that water has any sort of "memory." Pharmacology has proven that, the higher the dose of an active ingredient, the stronger it's effects are. Those scientific proofs contradict the very core ideas that homeopathy is based on.

Here's why homeopathy is so dangerous.

When you're sick, you take medicine to get better. People who buy homeopathic products BELIEVE they're getting medicine, but they aren't. It's just water or a sugar pill. The longer you leave something untreated, the more likely serious complications can occur. Homeopathic products don't hurt you directly, they're dangerous because people use them instead of proven treatments, allowing illness to get worse.

Now for the million-dollar prize. The professional skeptic, James Randi has said, "if anyone can show that homeopathy works, the James Randi Educational Foundation will pay them the million-dollar prize..." You read that right. One million dollars, simply to prove homeopathy works. You can watch the video challenge below.

Don't write me claiming how wonderful homeopathy is or how well it's worked for you. I'm not interested in testimonials. Figure out how to prove it. Or ask the manufacturer of the homeopathic products you buy to prove it, in a simple double-blind clinical trial. If you do, you'll make history and be able to claim a million-dollar prize. But until that happens, put those homeopathic supplements and "medicines" in the trash where they belong.

(Unfortunately, the Amazing James Randi passed away on October 21, 2020 at the age of 92. His foundation is no longer accepting applications from the general public for the Million Dollar Prize.)

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The FDA does NOT require homeopathic medicines to prove they work, they do NOT need to have an expiration date on the packaging, they are NOT tested to verify the ingredients claimed on the label are inside the package and they may contain much higher levels of alcohol than allowed in actual drugs

In 1988 the FDA released a document titled "Conditions Under Which Homeopathic Drugs May be Marked." But that has now been withdrawn. The reason, as stated by the FDA is:

Since the issuance of CPG 400.400, the Agency has encountered multiple situations in which homeopathic drug products posed a significant risk to patients. There is a broad misconception that all homeopathic products are highly diluted and generally composed of “natural” ingredients, and that they are therefore incapable of causing harm. However, as with all drugs, the safety of homeopathic drugs depends upon many factors, such as the product's intended use, dosage form, frequency of use, manufacturing quality, intended patient population, and the quantity and combination of ingredients. CPG 400.400 does not directly address all these important considerations.

The FDA is working on revising those guidelines, but you the consumer should BEWARE. Since there is NO science showing homeopathic drugs are of ANY value, YOU SHOULD STAY AWAY.

National Council on Health Fraud

To read the position paper on homeopathy from the National Council on Health Fraud CLICK HERE.


To read the Quackwatch article: "Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake" CLICK HERE.

Consumer Reports

To read the Consumer Reports article: "Homeopathic Remedies Can Cause Confusion" CLICK HERE.

Bear in Zicam Ad

The makers of Zicam keep making outrageous claims!

An ad in the February 2013 issue of Better Homes and Gardens shows a bear on its back and the following headline.

"Bears. Bears love the taste of berries. Bears don't cough. You draw the conclusion."

Then they introduce Zicam Naturals in "mixed berry and honey lemon flavors."

Here are all the problems with that ad.

1. Bears do cough. In fact, nearly every animal with lungs coughs. The reality is that most people don't see bears regularly and it would be even rarer to see one that's sick. So it's not surprising most people haven't ever seen a bear cough. But they do. The headline is a lie.

2. The headline tries to draw a connection between berries and no coughing. But the product they're advertising (Zicam Naturals) doesn't have berries IN it. It has berry FLAVOR and honey lemon FLAVOR. Unless FLAVORING suppresses cough, there is no conclusion to draw.

3. Zicam Naturals are homeopathic. As we've pointed out in this article, NO homeopathic medicines have ever been clinically shown to be any more effective than a placebo. In other words, virtually worthless.

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Updated 2/28/2013
Updated 10/29/2019
Updated 10/22/2020

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  • Zicam Nasal Gel is a product that was clinicaly proven to reduce the length of a cold by almost seven days. There was just one little problem.

    It was also shown to irreversibly damage human nasal tissue and lead to significant smell dysfunction.The product was pulled from the market.

    But by the time it was pulled, millions of people associated the name "Zicam" with reducing the length of a cold. So the company released a line of "homeopathic tablets" claiming to reduce colds. They even claim on their website, "Clinically proven when taken within 24 hours of symptom onset."

    So we wanted to know, clinically proven to do what? Where is the study?

    (We asked on 8/20/2012 and nobody ever got back to us.)

    This was a product (the nasal gel) that worked, but also had a devastating side effect. So the company slapped the name on a "homeopathic" remedy and they continue to make money on a product that has no proof it works.

    Did you hear about the suicidal homeopath? He took 1/50th of the recommended dose.