Complementary and alternative medicine Humor Quackery

Best anti-homeopathy poster ever?

You be the judge!


Clicking on the picture will lead you to a blog post where you can download a high resolution version suitable for printing up and either distributing or putting up on a bulletin board or wall. I particularly like that it was made by The American Institute for the Destruction of Tooth Fairy Science.

My only objection to the poster is the use of the word “shit.” Don’t get me wrong here. Yes, it’s accurate. Yes, it’s appropriate. No, I’m not some sort of prude who never uses the word and wilts at the very sight or sound of it. My problem with it is that its inclusion on the image means that I can’t actually print up and post this beautiful (and brief) mockery of homeopathy on my lab door or on the bulletin board in my office. I can’t put something like that up in public at work. So I started thinking of alternatives that get the message across but without any curse words.

How about something like:

If water has a memory, then homeopathy is full of crap
Homeopathy: Potentized poo in sugar.

Yes, I do watch Dirty Jobs a lot, with its host, Mike Rowe, who likes to use the word “poo” a lot. Come to think of it, perhaps Mike Rowe should do a segment of Dirty Jobs segment at a manufacturer of homeopathic remedies. Why? Think of the potentized poo!

Come to think of it, we skeptics need to be doing more of this sort of thing: Getting the message across in pithy, well-designed illustrations that can be put on posters, flyers, and such. If anyone out there has mad Photoshop or Illustrator skillz, a skeptical mind, and a warped sense of humor, let’s see what you can do! Send me your illustrations, and I’ll post them, along with credit and a link to your blog. My only requirements is that they be skeptical and suitable for posting virtually anywhere.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

85 replies on “Best anti-homeopathy poster ever?”

As an uneducated Nortern Barbarian (from Norway, that is, where swearwords are not made much a deal of), may I ask what the big difference between “shit” and “crap” is? Both are fairly crude, no? Why is one not okay and the other is? Puzzling!

Poo is a good word, though. Has a nice ring to it. Poo. Poo. POO! And I love the poster <3

Hahahaha that poster is amazing.

Caro, it is one of the oddities of American culture. You can have ten words describing the same thing, and nine words are permitted and the other one isn’t. They’re all describing the same thing so what the hell is the difference?

This is especially true for Orac’s example of Dirty Jobs, where the host has literally shoveled shit. It is right there on TV in all it’s HIDEF glory but he has to say poo. Just hearing the word is too offensive but seeing it is OK. They also, amusingly, scramble the visual of crew members vomiting but don’t censor (as far as I can recall) images of manually inseminating cows, for example. I don’t know how discovery network’s standards and practices people make their decisions 😛

Personally, I like the way Mike Rowe uses the term “poo.” It’s mellifluous. It somehow fits, and it often makes me laugh in a way that, even if it were allowed, saying “shit” wouldn’t.

Ok so I had to look up mellifluous. I’ll agree that there is a certain entertainment value to the use of “poo” while using a hose to water down the piled up, dessicated shit that’s blocking the door to the broken pump in the sewage treatment plant. Followed by the hydrogen sulfide alarm going off and them running away before they die.

Howzabout “If water has memory, then homeopathy is excretiable”??

This poster was so funny, I believe I pooed myself. BTW, poster was printed and now placed on my office door. Someone will complain I’m sure. I’ll survive.

To our Norwegian friend, our country just has a hang-up about scatological humor. American males are particularly fond of it.

Any copyright issues to worry about if you save it, then photoshop the offending word out and put in a word of your choice? e.g. crap, poo. That won’t be hard to do at all…in fact, I’m going to do it so I can post it in public places.

But it’s fine that it has the memory of excrement and any nasty you like: E. coli, C. diff, VRE, S. typhinus, V. cholerae. Because that 30X dilution of a toxin or pathogen is the remedy for the toxin or pathogen.

Your local tap water cures everything.

“They also, amusingly, scramble the visual of crew members vomiting but don’t censor (as far as I can recall) images of manually inseminating cows, for example.”

The most egregious example I can remember was on the horse breeding episode. They blurred out the genitalia of the stallion when Mike was collecting the semen, but when he stuck his arm up the mare’s vagina to inseminate her (and later, up another mare’s vagina to transfer an embryo into the surrogate’s womb), that was not blurred. I guess female animal genitalia are okay, but male genitalia are holy-freakin-heck-that’s-obscene!

It also amuses me that the film crew takes the time to lovingly film other crew members vomiting. They obviously greatly enjoy embarrassing one another. 😉

They blurred out the genitalia of the stallion when Mike was collecting the semen

Didn’t want to give male viewers an inferiority complex?

Well, you could have a Norman Rockwell type picture of a handful of little kids all decked out in silly gear like flippers and goggles and snorkels and masks and enormous towels and silly-looking bathing suits, playing on and around a dock on a lake, or in the spray of a fire hydrant, or in a bathtub, or with hoses and sprinklers, or whatever, and have the slogan “If water has a memory, then homeopathy is plain goofy.”

Not nearly as good, but appropriate for a wider audience.

Or just white out the word. It’s not like there’s anyone who won’t fill in the blank themselves.

Instead of Full of Poo, you might try Full of Woo.

Homeopathy is distilled diarrhea.

Homeopathy – You may pretend it has a memory, but you don’t want to know where it’s been.

Homeopathy – Flush it with the rest of the unmentionables.

I definitely favor the “If water has a memory, then homeopathy is full of crap” version, because a person doesn’t have to know much about homeopathy to understand it, so it will get the message across better. I only wish I had a nice printer so I could hang this on my wall!

Here are some graphics from our Blog:

the antivaccionist(Homo microcerebrus):

an antivaccionist (Petek-Dimmer):

Matthias Rath:

an UFO flying over the anthroposophic Goetheanum:

a customized cover of a magazin about CAM:

And this beautiful one was for celebration of Darwins birthday:

About a month ago I commented to my wife:

“If homeopathy is true, I’m never going swimming again.”

Put that text onto a pic of a crowded swimming pool…

Fear not, cleaner crap and poo versions are forthcoming. I just figured I’d put out the intercooled, turbo V-12 version first. The Institute will be releasing more in the series.

While the inability to post it publicly is certainly problematic, I find a certain elegance to the slogan, probably deriving from the alliteration in “Shit and Sugar.”

“Poo” is good, too, though. I am also an avid watcher of Mike Rowe (among the coolest guys ever to live, I am convinced), and have as a consequence found myself saying “poo” more often than I ever did before.

Great poster (in both senses – both Orac and Pareidolius).

Having been pointed to the Hell’s News Stand by Orac in a previous post (the reference to “Medical Wackaloon Monthly”) I have the honour of being the first follower of Pareidolius.

(Now I need to be careful here but I seem to recall that Pareidolius is a she (so apologies if I got this wrong – I am just trying to be polite))

She did point out that the font is “Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed” should you wish to sanitise the poster for more delicate souls.

She also asked that if you change the poster drastically that you:

“””1) Please don’t credit me since it will no longer be mine and . . .
2) Don’t include the Institute logo on the bottom.”””

In England you could use “shite” which is more acceptable than “shit”, probably in the same way that “bullshit” is more acceptable than “shit” elsewhere. (How on earth does that work ? Funny species aren’t we ?).

you guys are so ignorant like your orac and randi. homeopathy is a great science and it is doing wonders around the globe in treating patients.

you guys are so ignorant like your orac and randi. homeopathy is a great science and it is doing wonders around the globe in treating patients

Says the person who thinks shitwater is good for what ails you.

You’ve forgotten about the magic ingredient in homeopathic shit: succussion (is that how you spell it?).

The quacks might come back with their own counter- slogan: “Homeopathic shit: shaken, not stirred”.


What an eviscerating comment. We are well and truly put in our places by the depth of your scientific analysis. Your coruscating critique leaves us stunned into silence.

I would expect nothing else from someone, one of whose (presumed) political heroes regularly drank his own urine. Maybe the poster is therefore totally correct.

You are what you eat/drink. You presumably live on a diet of air, sugar pills and piss, which is reflected in your vacuous drivel.

Swiftsure, you beat me to it. I was going to say that woo-likers will defend themselves by saying that toilet water wasn’t pounded on a magical rubber mat, so it won’t remember the poo.

I’m not sure that there’s a whole lot of difference between shaking and flushing. Probably interchangeable. 🙂 I’d put up a poster with “crap” in lieu of sh*t.

Well, I’m pretty sure raw sewage does quite a bit of sloshing about before it reaches a water treatment plant. At least the equivalent of 10 taps on a leather bible. Multiple times. If succussion truly potentizes water (which it doesn’t), your sewage would definitely be homeopathic by the time it’s getting cleaned.

For what it’s worth though, if you dumped a 1 kilo bag of suger into the ocean somewhere, after an even distribution across the globe, the amount of sugar molecules still found in one liter of water one year later would still be higher than what you would find after a 10C dilution.

Since it’s more likely for the water to “remember” something it’s still carrying than something that’s already long gone, you decide which is going to be the stronger remedy/antidote.

I also dare any homeopatists to refute my claims with actual science or results from reputable scientific studies …

I’d keep the image, but change the text to “Does water have a memory? I do hope NOT! Homeopathy: Sugar and Sewage”

Sewage may get beaten and sloshed a lot, but it’s not done against a magical rubber mat.

But if all water does have poo memory, isn’t that supposed to protect us from poo? I wonder how that works. Does it make us not have to poo anymore?

I never understood why homeos could believe the ‘water memory” bit, yet not consider that the consequence is that so much water would then be full of, not only shit, but every vitamin, heavy metal, alcohol, spoiled milk, and so many other substances commonly flushed down toilets. So everybody downstream of my septic system ought to be healthy as a horse!

I’ve just had a thought: we accuse homeopaths of talking shit; could they now accuse us of the same? Erm…

How about this: if each skeptic grabbed a homeopath and gave him or her a damned good succussion, would that increase or decrease their potency?

you guys are so ignorant like your orac and randi. homeopathy is a great science and it is doing wonders around the globe in treating patients.

It’s funny how you drag Mr. Randi into this. Why? Do you think he has anything to do with his site? Or are you just bitter about how thoroughly he’s discredited homeopathy?

you guys are all dumbos who knows nothing but just talk rubbish. i think you are paid for this. I included randi orac because they symbolizes people like you who are so scared of homeopathy and other systems of treatment. you guys know nothing about health and sickness. what all you can do is talk bullshit. thats what your minds are. this is confirmed by millions of people getting good health from homeopathy. idiots like you talk and eat bullshit and when fall sick silently go to homeopaths to get treatment.

you guys are all dumbos who knows nothing but just talk rubbish. i think you are paid for this. I included randi orac because they symbolizes people like you who are so scared of homeopathy and other systems of treatment. you guys know nothing about health and sickness. what all you can do is talk bullshit. thats what your minds are. this is confirmed by millions of people getting good health from homeopathy.


You hear that Orac? All those years in medical school and residency mean bupkis. You don’t know anything about health or sickness.

idiots like you talk and eat bullshit and when fall sick silently go to homeopaths to get treatment.

Again, says the person who thinks shitwater is good for what ails you.

I’ve never been to a homeopath unless you include buying a bottle of water at the gas station.

I’m thinking this is the woo version of Poe’s law in action here.

That is awesome, Pareidolius. Now if I can just get some of my family members to understand it.

@ Schwa – Aw, man, Photobucket shrunk it. Dunno what to do about that.

You could put a full size one up on any number of file sharing sites – rapidshare, megaupload, etc. I think flickr will also host large images, you just have to click through a bit to get to them. Also, Pareidolius requested that altered posters have the seal removed.

Nisha Singh comments:

“you [sic] guys know nothing about health and sickness.”

You, on the other hand, know nothing about capital letters. Look to the sides of your keyboard – the keys marked “shift”, when depressed, allow you to type capital letters. Every sentence should begin with one.

“idiots [sic] like you talk and eat bullshit and when fall sick silently go to homeopaths to get treatment.”

Wrong on all counts, Nisha Singh. Homeopaths, on the other hand, talk bullshit, sell bullshit and when they get sick, quietly go to real doctors. So will you, if you get a real disease that isn’t self-limited. Or you’ll die. Either way, your outlook on health care will be permanently altered.

Good luck with that.


Go easy on poor Nisha Singh–you probably can’t speak his native tongue as well as he speaks English. And give him a chance; no doubt his next comment will include references to clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals that report on the efficacy of homeopathy, as well as its mechanisms.

no i will not write about research in homeopathy. net is full of that including double blind trials and metaanalysis. i know you guys know that homeopathy and others like acupuncture ayurveda are all effective and helping millions around the globe. i know that you are also aware how conventional medicine is not capable to give complete health solutions specially the medicinal treatment because surgery is not medicine. that poster is true reflection of your minds. all shit. the good point is that people are free to choose what is good for them that is why despite all attemps by pharmaceutical companies to kill homeopathy and other holistic sciences these are growing all over the world. people know that your dirty thoughts are not going to give them relief from suffering. when your child suffer and shrieks in pain give him or her your shit thoughts. and those who use homeopathy change their minds forever (rather clean their minds forever).

Nisha Singh wrote “no i will not write about research in homeopathy.”

Because real research shows it does not work.

All it the research that shows it “works” is hand waving over teeny tiny studies going ballistic over teeny tiny changes with spurious symptoms.

BUT… if you ask about real diseases, that is a different story. One goof-ball homeopath claims that homeopathy works better than real medicine for rabies. Rabies is pretty much 99% fatal, so showing that homeopathy works better should be easy. Get some mice, vaccinate half of them for rabies and then inject all of them with rabies. Then treat the half that was not vaccinated for rabies with homeopathy.

Which group do you think will survive?

Come on, Nisha, tell us! Give us the data, and evidence that homeopathy works on rabies! That it works for type 1 diabetes! That it works for syphilis (you know that is one of the “miasms”, right?)!

Stop with the insults and give us evidence.

mark said “And give him a chance; no doubt his next comment will include references to clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals that report on the efficacy of homeopathy, as well as its mechanisms”

Um, nope, that did not happen. It was just a string of random statements including: “people know that your dirty thoughts are not going to give them relief from suffering.”

Oooh, asking for evidence is considered a “dirty thought!”

Like the central message. For the secondary message, instead of “homeopathy is execrable pseudoscience” (NB spelling!) or similar, could I suggest:

“Homeopathy: selling magic water to the gullible since 1807”

or perhaps:

Homeopathy: “magic water” + gullibility = $$$

PS 1807 was the year that Hahnemann first specifically used the term homeopathy, though he had started expounding the concepts several years earlier.

Not to poke fun at a tragedy but rather at homeopathy.

Homeopathy: Head to Italy for tap water that cures tremors.

Just wondering: If a water molecule is taken apart and put back together again, does it still remember?

/fake stupidity.

Okay, no, really…if homeopathy worked, then spring water would be the best of cures. Unless it remembers the BPA junk in the plastic bottle..

cohen: The Dalai Lama repeatedly says you need to use the best, most scientifically proven medicine availiable. So while he’s not come out againist traditional Tibetan medicine because he believes it’s better than no treatment at all (maybe some of it is), he definitely is of the mind that if you can chose between traditional medicine and scientifically proven medicine such as is found in the West, you should go with the Western medicine.

Don’t lump him in with homeopaths.

one question plz. Why do all diseases run into ‘remission’ under (zero molecule) homeopathic medication? I treated a patient (Citizen of USA) who for last five years had taken huge quantity of (Molecular) ‘evidence’ based medicines, innumerable courses of antibiotics, multiple surgeries but alas his sinusitis was not impressed. But under (zero molecule) homeopathic medication within a month his sinusitis ran into remission. This is one of millions of cases. I agree with you guys it can’t be because of any medicine effect as there are no molecules but why all these diseases get into ‘remission’.

And not only diseases getting better. One patient again from USA was diagnosed with oligospermia. Couple was depressed.Again loads of (molecular) medicines for more than seven years but his sperm count could never improve. And under homeopathic (zero molecule) treatment in one month his counts started getting better and 3rd month his counts got positive and wife conceived. Take more. One US doctor (yes MD doctor) suffering from sarcoidosis was fast becoming emaciated, coughing day and night. As always loads of (molecular) medicines but result nil. He came for treatment. Even steroids were not helping.I told him that there are no molecules in homeopathic medicines. He said I am willing to eat zero molecule medicine even if with memory of shit because all I want is relief. I said OK, gave (zero molecule) medicine and his cough along with sarcoidosis got better (proved by investigations). Why should diseases get scared by (zero molecule) homeopathic WATER with memory of shit.

@60 & 61 nisha singh,

If these things really are happening, why does homeopathy always fail when scientists are observing?

The same as any other fraud, when you watch closely enough, the fraud is observed.

Take this

there are millions more and not the least

(No wonder no body replied to this)

Hello Friend,
I would like to tell you my story. On 7th Jan 2008 While doing exercise in Gym my epididmytics (cord in testicle, where sperm stored) get streched and it get swollen to 5 times the normal size and I was on bed for 3 days. I had taken generation 3 level antibiotics, anti-inflamation, pan killers and vitamin capsules all suggested by MD doctor (well know in our locality). Swelling was gone in 3 weeks and i was back on track but again when I resume exercise after 2 months, same thing happen. This continued for about 1 year and belive me that time was like going through hell. You don’t fell like doing any thing.
Then I consult BHMS (Homepathic doctor), he asked me several question, which were annoying, but later he told me that in homepathy we judge the type of personality for each indiviual. And he gave me one homepathic medicine and believe me even I was amazed at the result. My swelling gone in 3 weeks, I start felling good about life and I fully recover in 3 months. Today 9 oct 2009, I am completey fine. Not only my epididmytics problem get well, I was having some back pain I also get a great refief from that.
Now I am so impressed with these medicine that My kids, wife and all family members also start switching to homeopathic medicines.
Jan Sammel

Good Job! Dr Nisha..

I appreciate your contribution.

The world just needs to understand one thing… humans are not super-humans… even Einstein, the most intelligent human of the last century strove to explain mysteries as he believed there was a lot more to this universe than what a human eye can see, human ear can hear, human skin can touch or a human mind can perceive.

For something as non-material and universal as an energy, no material human-made instruments or experiments suffice to explain the existence or working of, but that does not change the fact that it does exist. Universe is not waiting for us potentially restricted “Humans” to understand or not understand something.

For people who do understand, nature welcomes them with open arms and offers solutions to their problems…in a very subtle way.

To make use it of it and apply it to the well-being of our fellow-humans is left to us.

This truth was perceived by all the healers who offer nature and its powers to healing sick.

‘Real’ diseases will always remain ‘Real’. ‘Real’ humans (read ‘common man’) will seek ‘Real’ remedies (read ‘readily available, easily explained and understood and not too difficult to apply’) and the side-effects and the harm done then can be easily ignored.

The fact does not change whether or not you are able to prove how it works.

Scientists are still struggling to ‘explain’ millions of facts of universe, let them do their job… we are here to observe nature, and accept its gifts, humbly and honestly.

Dr Nisha has given ample evidence of what homeoapthy is all about and how it has helped millions of people around the globe, and no matter what people say about it, it will turn out to be the leading mode of therapy all over the world, unless people prefer to remain ignorant and thrive on pharma company’s mercies.

Good Luck!

Homeopathic remedies saved my life! To all those who don’t believe it then just continue to take all that toxic synthetic shit that doesn’t cure but makes the evil ones rich and laughing all the way to the bank. FOOLS!

And of course, no medicine ever came from a natural source, or was originally found in a natural source. It is all synthetic. I am curious if MP feels that synthetically derived, natural compounds are dangerous. I can also think of a few natural and rather toxic substances.

Manufacturers of homeopathic medicine give it away for free now? I would think that one might be able to describe people who sell water for exorbitant prices might laugh all the way to the bank as well.

FYI.. REAL homeopathic medicine is NOT just use of herbs etc for effect of the mind..
Inform yourself and simply google some illness and you will find homeopathic treatments for illnesses .. and they are legitatiment.. Also a top homeopathic doctor can diagnose you from observation and talking to the patient.. few homeopathic doctors are at this level…
ignorance from missinformation on what homeopathic really is IS amazing.. its not what most think AT ALL…

Mark Panegos:

FYI.. REAL homeopathic medicine is NOT just use of herbs etc for effect of the mind..

Well, that is true. Especially when Nat Mur is based on table salt.

Why should we google anything? Why don’t you tell us exactly how effective with evidence homeopathy is against bacterial infections, Type 1 diabetes, rabies and a whole list of of non-self-limiting conditions.

Bet you won’t. Because for homeopathy, there is nothing in it!

Umm, Mark, finding “treatments” for an illness using a google search does not mean those treatments actually work. Or that they can diagnose anything. You make claims but have backed them up with nothing.

I am curious, what do you think most of us think homeopathy is? I have a feeling you might have the wrong idea.

i just read the first one “Qualitative systemic review of randomized controlled trials…”
And you really are a MORON.
The abstract explains that the ‘good’ results are well below statistical significance!!!!!!!!!!
One group ‘feeling’ better by placebo effect, or a subject by simply finishing with the illness naturally, gives the numbers quoted.
“The average methodological quality of the identified studies was fairly low” – this is high-brow language, which i’ll translate for you: “the methods used were shite!”
PS. i see someone called you Dr. i get those spam emails aswell.

I am what you would call an “allopath” and I personally am very skeptical of Homeopathy. Having said that, I’d also like to point out that being primarily a scientifically minded person, I would like to believe that homeopathy works, PROVIDED I am given UNQUESTIONABLE proof that it works.
Many of you don’t realize why “It worked on me” is not proof enough and neither is “It didn’t work on me”. Since many of you are not able top grasp the validity of this, I would like to elaborate.
The human body is such a complex system that we don’t yet know everything about it. Which is why when something sometimes UNEXPECTEDLY works or UNEXPECTEDLY doesn’t work, it can be due to factors not entirely known to us and hence cannot be taken to be a proof of effectiveness or ineffectiveness, respectively. However, when you observe in large groups of RANDOMLY selected people, the unknowns get cancelled out and a more accurate picture is obtained. This is a statistical approach which is perfectly scientific and fits in well with theories AND practical applications in ALL branches of science.
To give an example, the sahara dessert is an arid area where it hardly ever rains. If you were to go there on a day when out of sheer chance it rained, would you then conclude that it almost always rains in the sahara dessert? Not really. Similar is the case with proof of effectiveness. This is precisely why anecdotal evidence is not accepted. This is why the calls for larger, randomized trials for proof. These, so far have not proven the effectiveness of homeopathy UNQUESTIONABLY.

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