1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Homeopathic?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Wreybies, Aug 4, 2008.

    Homeopathic?

    When did this word take on the meaning of all-natural? I was always under the impression that the word means like cures like*. I can see it clearly in the roots of the word: Homeo (same or alike,) pathic (illness.)

    When did marketing companies alter the meaning of this word to mean all-natural? Has it always meant this and I’m just slow on the draw?


    *Quinine was often given as a homeopathic remedy for malaria. It would relieve the symptoms of malaria for those infected. For those not infected, large doses would bring on the same symptoms associated with malaria. Hence the phrase, like cures like.
     
  2. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    i'm not aware of it being used as "all-natural." the meaning i customarily see is the one related to the field of homeopathy, which is a branch of medicine/alt-medicine indeed based specifically on "like cures like."

    where have you seen it used sloppily?
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In TV adds. I see it all the time. To the tune of:

    “Fall asleep fast without drugs by using our all-natural, homeopathic formula.”

    That is a direct quote from a SleepMD advertisement. I get hot under the collar when words are prostituted to mean something they don’t. Especially when it happens in advertisements.
     
  4. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    how do you know that the drugs in question weren't formulated by the process of homeopathy? you don't need a degree to create homeopathic compounds, after all.

    i can make something homeopathic myself with as little as some water, a bottle, and some measuring cups.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed, as far as the process to create said remedy is concerned. But, after looking up the ingredients, one by one, painstakingly on the internet, not one of them fits the like cures like definition.
     
  6. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    by whose definition?
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Strictly speaking, "the hair of the dog" is a homeopathic cure.

    Homeopathy is treating a disease with small quantities of a material that would produce the symptoms of the disease in a healthy person.

    That is certainly not the meaning applied by most advertising material that uses the word homeopathic!
     
  8. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    The thing is, even if it is actually homeopathic, the way it is said makes it sound like homeopathic is the same thing as all-natural, and that would definitly give the wrong impression to those who don't know what it means.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The SleepMD remedy is meant to help with insomnia. Insomnia is the pathology. Large doses of the items in SleepMD will not cause insomnia in someone not suffering from insomnia, hence, no like cures like for this brand of remedy.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    And yes, my point exactly. By association, the ad is making homeopathy one and the same with all-natural.
     
  11. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    if i can be more clear-

    based on hahnemann's work and the work of an international panel on homeopathy, there is a very specific database of the like1's, like2's and their causality. is that what you're using to make your conclusions about the ingredients of the sleep md stuff?

    EDIT: it's because the efficacy and the illness treated can change in any compound prepared for use as a homeopathic remedy. so what may be listed as an ingredient can have two possible causalities.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    How is that homeopathic? What are you trying to cure with it?
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In all truth, before this thread derails completely, the issue in question is one of purest linguistics. The use of the word homeopathic as a synonym for all-natural. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less.

    I am neither a proponent for homeopathy or all-natural or alternative medicine, nor am I a detractor of the aforementioned. I’m just talking about the use of the word homeopathic and an apparent shift in meaning that appears to be related to the advertising sector.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed, Wrey. The definition I gave above is from several sources that are in accord, and it fits with what the etymology would suggest.

    From what I have read, I don't think it's possible to speak of a homeopathic remedy without associating it with a particular ailment for it to be homeo (simiar) pathic (suffering) to.
     
  15. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    it doesn't matter what i'm trying to cure. all i was talking about was making a remedy based on a known substance. it's the database that would determine the remedy for that substance, if it had one.

    to make a homeopathic preparation you use the principles of dilution and vibration, if that helps to explain.

    i agree that it would be bad if the word was being used incorrectly. what i disagree on is your evidence that it actually is being used incorrectly. AFAIK i see no evidence to say that.

    let me take one more shake at explaining what i mean. let's take st. john's wort:
    http://www.abchomeopathy.com/r.php/Hyper

    POPULAR USE: anti-depressive.
    HOMEOPATHIC USE: minor injury and nerve pain.

    see what i'm saying? any substance has at least two potentially valid but different uses depending on whether it was prepared or not prepared homeopathically. so the question- did you consider the homeopathic use of all ingredients listed?


    EDIT: anyone who knows how homeopathy works in practice, feel free to chime in. i'm having difficulty explaining to these guys, i think.
     
  16. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Like dad always said, "Son, don't waste your time in life picking fly specks out of the pepper!"

    Homeopathy is often confused with the principles of holistic medicine. Strictly defined homeopathy involves the use of small amounts of a pathogen to condition the human immune system. For example, allergy shots use tiny amounts of allergens to help a patient develop less sensitivity to the target irritant. It takes months or years, but eventually the person loses their sensitivity to the offending allergy.

    Under holistic medicine, "natural" means of treating the human body (including diet and exercise) are thought to produce homeostasis (metabolic equilibrium) which resists or even cures illness. In effect, holistic practitioners believe such biological balance results in disease fighting capacity, rivaling contemporary treatment modalities that focus on specific organs or attempts to isolate conditions. I suspect the close sounding terms "homeostasis" and "homeopathy" causes confusion . . . and there is some overlap as both may rely on "natural" means to deal with illness.

    On the other hand, who gives a damn? If most people think homeopathy means "natural", then they're not too far off from the correct meaning. Like dad said, screw the fly specks, pass the pepper!
     
  17. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    actually, no such pathogen is required in homeopathy. most homeopathics are prepared from inert mineral or herbal material.

    EDIT: homeopathy and immunology have one thing in common, but other things almost completely at vary, including basic concept. homeopathy works on the quantum molecule level. immunology works by pre-preparing white cells and other tissue to deal with a potential germ attack.

    this is all public knowledge.
     
  18. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I won't debate fly specks in pepper . . . it's a waste of time.

    Wrey was right. That term is being used out of proper context by the advertisers. This practice is common in our society and not worthy of argument.
     
  19. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    i agree the practice is common, especially on things like food labelling, but my interest in this subject is if it's being used in terms of homeopathy.

    i still haven't seen any evidence on that point.
     
  20. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The issue concerns the little linguist trick of always mentioning one word along with another in order to lend the qualities of one to the other, whether they belong or not. Again, I am not arguing for or against anything.

    This is a language question; otherwise I would have posted in the Lounge.

    Mentioning all-natural along with homeopathic is a psychological ploy on the part of advertisers to lend the perceived qualities of one word to the other. No different than when anti-integrationists were taught always to say, “I’m against integration and communism,” in the same breath. No one would argue with being against communism, so maybe being against integration is a good thing too!
     
  21. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    agree, and if you can find any any evidence of that case with homeopathics then feel free to let me know. not as a language issue but whether it's true in this RL case.

    sorry if i took the thread off track but i thought since the beginning that you were interested in getting to the bottom of the homeopathic angle. since i have some knowledge of homeopathy, i thought i'd lend a hand.

    *shrug*
     
  22. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No worries, Gig! :D I have always been intrigued by homeopathy. My concern is with advertisers taking the very scientific sound of the word homeopathic and lending it to products that may not be very scientific at all. :rolleyes:
     

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