Helios demonstrate the scientific rigor of their processes… not!
Helios, one of Britain’s leading manufacturers of homeopathic remedies, released a video designed to astound viewers with the rigorously scientific processes involved in preparing their so-called medicines. If their intention was to surprise, then they’ve achieved their aim. But probably not in the way they’d hoped. Watch the video or read on to satisfy your curiosity.
To manufacture the pills or tinctures that can supposedly cure everything from arthritis to depression, the first thing you need to do is gather the natural substance – usually plant or mineral – that will form the base of the remedy. The preparation process differs slightly depending on whether the remedy is plant-based or mineral-based, but fear not: Helios has gone to the trouble of explaining both methods.
First, if the remedy contains plants – or pretty, orange flowers like the ones in the video – these must be chopped into small pieces and placed in alcohol. This – what homeopaths call mother tincture – is the source of the remedy. Well, sort of… Because you won’t find much of this supposed active ingredient – the flower or plant in question – in the final product. Why not? Because of ultra-dilutions: one of the fundamentals of homeopathic magic. Otherwise known as ‘how to lose almost every trace of the plant that is supposedly going to heal you.’
In fact, just one millilitre of this miraculous flower concoction is diluted in 99 millilitres of water. At first glance it might appear that this tiny drop of mother tincture could still be powerful enough to cure all your ailments and make you as strong as on ox. But we’re not finished yet. The tiny drop extracted from the first dilution is diluted again in 99 drops of water. This operation is repeated as many as 100 times, depending on the malady being treated.
The question that might come naturally into the head of anyone watching the video is ‘but is there anything of the plant left there at all?’ And the answer is no.
After a dozen dilutions, all that’s left is basically just water. A 2010 report by the British Science and Technology Committee said:
‘We consider the notion that ultra-dilutions can maintain an imprint of substances previously dissolved in them to be scientifically implausible.’
But perhaps we’re just being naïve. Perhaps the healing power of these remedies arises from the highly-complex process known as succession that’s implemented at each stage of the dilution.
In the Helios video, you can see the man in his lab coat pick up a test tube of the solution and whack it up and down vigorously on a big book.
According to Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy, the book used for this purpose should be a leather-bound Bible.
As for homeopathic preparation of mineral based remedies… Well, the process is basically the same, except instead of being mixed with water, the substance is mixed with sugar. That’s it.
Although these processes may seem highly unscientific – and despite numerous studies stating that homeopathic remedies perform no better than placebos – the homeopathy industry generates around €1.7 billion a year in Europe alone.
Faced with this fact, the question many are asking is this: since homeopathic remedies have been proven not to work, why are they still allowed to be sold?