Sawbones: The Father of Homeopathy


This week on Sawbones, Dr. Sydnee and Justin introduce you to the father of homeopathy, an unconventional alternative method that has persisted for over 100 years. Also, Justin attempts to cure his non-existent asthma with chicken.

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Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Homeopathy CAN'T work

Echoing what others here have said, I was pretty disappointed that you didn't conclude by saying "the question isn't 'does it work' - it simply can't work, because it violates a ton of what we know to be true about chemistry, physics, and dose/response" instead of seeming to say that it was in some way plausible.

Anyway, this latest analysis is relevant:


Love the show. When I saw the title I thought - wow, this is exactly the stuff they said the wanted to avoid discussing. you know, crazy psuedo-science woo stuff that people right now, in this world, still believe in. I actually think you did a nice job of focusing on the history and understandably held judgments at a distance and kept it professional (also fun and funny). I'm OK with that. Justin's "I'm a layman but I don't know about this" works for me. I winced when I heard Sydnee say something like there's no harm but then felt better when she added something like no harm as long as you are actually treated with real treatment as well. of course the thought of anyone paying homeopathic prices for water with (no) holes in it disturbs me. the fact the it is even given a nod by the bureaucrats in the FDA hurts me too. good save on the idea that they are NOT medicines.


Please Sydnee, when you are talking about stupidity, say so. You hemmed and hawed around whether homeopathy was effective. You are a real Doctor. Take a stand. "Science good; quackery bad". OK, so homeopathy is less bad than draining blood; but not real science or real medicine.

Please speak for science, do not worry about offending people with the truth.

Mark Chandler
Croghan, NY

I enjoyed this episode but I

I enjoyed this episode but I find myself leaving a comment for the first time every because of the way you spoke about Homeopathy. You seemed to handle it with kid gloves and seemed to give this impression that it was potentially effective - though I doubt that was your intention. Call out bad science for what it is! It's why I listen every single week :D

Keep up the good work.


Liked the history. Dissapointed by your wishy washy statements about if it works. It contradicts everything we know about physics and chemistry. Call a fraud a fraud.

Homeopathic KFC was funny though.

If you aren't actually familiar with the evidence around homeopathy this is a good resource


I logged in to comment, but my fellow commentators got there first. Working in medical research in Norther California, it is so frustrating to be around smart people who pick up oscillium at Trader Joe's.*Rant over. Thanks for the fun and informative podcast.

I was disappointed

I think you could have had a little more fun with this topic and not as one other poster said "treat it with kid gloves". Thumping your dilutions to magically make potions?

The history was interesting.

Facts are facts though - homeopathy is a scam. A basic understanding of science is all that is required to say - "this can't work - don't waste your money.