In the last post, I mentioned the conversation I had with my friend regarding homeopathic remedies. During this conversation was revealed the source of my friend's strange and firm beliefs in this quackery. He presented several anecdotes about members of his family as living proofs of the benefits of homeopathy.
Well, it turns out that the symptom - that homeopathy had apparently helped him and others to be rid of - was the occurrence and persistence of painful hemorrhoids (a.k.a 'piles'). The usual treatment in most cases, according to him, is surgical removal of the hemorrhoids (N.B. I discovered that this is not completely correct; see below), but they recur. Homeopathy 'cured' him and people he knew. He asked me to explain how this was possible, if there was nothing in the homeopathic remedies.