Just thought i'd share this. It started with the critique on ben goldacre's bad science website and led me to do some more research and some sums. It made me smile.
Homeopathy is based on dilution of an active ingrediants using a centesimal or "C scale"
One part ingrediant mixed with 100 water is a 1 C dilution. Mix one drop of that solution with 100 parts water you have a 2 C dilution (or one part in 10,000). One drop of the result in 100 drops water gets you 3C or one part in 1,000,000 . And so on. Get the picture?
Most remidies are sold as 30 C. Thats one part ingrediant to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 parts water.
The total volume of water on the planet is estimated as 1,400,000,000,000,000,000,000 litres
Thats 1,400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ml.
That means if you dropped one ml of active ingrediant in any body of water on the planet and it instantly dispersed by brownian motion you would still only have made an approx 24C dilution!
To make a 100C solution (which is the concentration sold for many problems) in one go you would need 71428600000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000
times more water that exists on the entire planet just to make a solution with 1ml of active ingrediant.
If you were to fill an olympic swimming poor with a 15C solution you would have to drink 25 metric tons of water to get a single molecule of the ingrediant!
bewl water resevoir, the biggest body of standing water in south east england contains a mere 31,300,000,000,000ml of water. So all you'd have to do would be dump 0.0000000000000000001 ml of ingrediant in it and presto! Free homeopathy from everyone in Kent. Hooray. I feel better all ready.
So the moral? Just drink some water. Show it a picture of the ingrediant if you must. But make sure its a SMALL picture or your remedy might be too concentrated. In fact, come to think about it you'd best dilute the water. You never know if a bird did a crap in your resevoir and inadvertanly created a 6C solution. (based on a 5 ml bird crap).