MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Which illnesses can be treated with homeopathy?

The answer to this question could not be more simple: none!

This is not my opinion but the general consensus amongst critical thinkers and people who adhere to the principles of evidence-based medicine – a group that evidently does not include homeopaths. Take this website, for instance; it advocates homeopathy for almost every conceivable condition:

START OF QUOTE

Homeopathic medicines can be used for numerous illnesses, both acute and chronic. In an acute illness such as the flu or gastroenteritis, for example, the homeopath will choose the homeopathic medicine by taking into consideration and assessing the signs and symptoms exhibited by the patient from the beginning of the illness.

This is the medication or medications that will be administered to the patient with the aim of quickly reversing the pathological process and restoring optimal health.

In the case of a chronic illness such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis or chronic gastroenteritis, the homeopathic physician will, in addition to assessing the current clinical symptoms of the illness, also take into consideration other general signs in the patient.

He will give equal importance to the person’s pathological background, their build, character, personality, attitude towards life etc.

All of this information will enable the homeopathic physician to identify the best medicine or medicines needed for the patient’s recovery.

Homeopathic treatment can space out the relapses that occur in chronic conditions, until they eventually disappear.

Numerous illnesses can be treated with homeopathy – in many cases the treatment is curative and in some cases it is palliative, when the illness is irreversible.

Some of the illnesses that respond best to homeopathic treatment are as highlighted below:

ENT and bronchial problems

  • Ear infections,
  • rhinitis,
  • sinusitis,
  • pharyngitis,
  • tonsillitis,
  • tracheitis,
  • bronchitis,
  • asthma.

Digestive problems

  • Stomach complaints
  • acidity,
  • heartburn,
  • fullness,
  • poor digestion,
  • flatulence,
  • duodenal ulcer,
  • diarrhoea,
  • constipation,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • canker sores.

Cardiovascular problems

Osteoarticular complaints

All types of muscle and/or joint pain due to arthrosis or arthritis:

  • neck pain,
  • shoulder pain,
  • elbow pain,
  • wrist pain,
  • Back pain,
  • sciatica,
  • knee pain,
  • ankle pain,
  • Sprains,
  • contractures etc.

Traumas

Urological disorders

Gynaecological problems

Dermatological problems

  • Eczema, hives,
  • Acne vulgaris, acne rosacea,
  • Recurrent boils, verucas, plantar warts,
  • Molluscum contagiosum,
  • Herpes simple and zoster
  • Psoriasis

Neurological disorders

  • Headaches and migraines.
  • Eye problems
  • Conjunctivitis,
  • blepharitis,
  • styes, dacryocistitis,
  • uveitis.

Behavioural and psychiatric disorders

  • Anxiety,
  • depression,
  • stress,
  • mental fatigue,
  • Pediatric problems,
  • Ear infections,
  • tonsillitis,
  • bronchitis,
  • asthma,
  • diarrhoea,
  • vomiting,
  • skin complaints,
  • canker sores,
  • teething problems,
  • sleep disorders,
  • educational attainment issues,
  • behavioural issues.

Endocrine disorders

  • Obesity,
  • hypothyroidism,
  • hyperthyroidism,
  • Depleted immune defences,
  • Recurrent infections affecting the throat,
  • sinuses, nose, ears,
  • connective tissue, larynx,
  • bronchial tubes,
  • lungs,
  • skin,
  • bladder etc.

Palliative care

For the treatment of the diverse symptoms that appear over the course of the illness. Homeopathy can improve the patient’s general wellbeing and counteract the side effects of other treatments.

These are just a few examples, but the list could be endless – it is important to stress that homeopathy is very effective in pathologies that are difficult to establish or those with contradictory or paradoxical symptoms.

In recurrent illnesses, homeopathic medicines can boost the defences and help to regulate the sufferer’s body in order to prevent further relapses.

Homeopathy is an excellent preventive medicine.

END OF QUOTE

Some of us wonder why homeopathy continues to be popular in many parts of the world. The answer seems obvious: homeopathy is popular mostly because consumers fail to understand what it really is and therefore fall for the uncounted lies published by homeopaths and other interested parties.

If this is so, we urgently need factual and easy to understand information for consumers – and guess what: this is precisely the aim of the book I have just published – for the 1st review of this book, see here.

60 Responses to Which illnesses can be treated with homeopathy?

  • For once I take a contrary opinion to the professor.
    In answer to the question, “Which illnesses can be treated with homeopathy”, I suggest “All”.

    Oxford Dictionaries define ‘treat’ as, ‘to try to heal or cure.’ And that is what homeopaths, and quacks, indeed try to do. Some, I presume, actually believe they can effect cures by using homeopathic remedies.

    The important question is, “Which illnesses can be treated with homeopathy, in the expectation that the illness (distinguishing from the patient’s emotional response to the illness) will be affected.” The answer to that is “none”.

    This is not semantic sophistry. This is the basis of the deceit and deception employed by so many camists – using ‘dual reality’ as if they were magicians putting on an act of mind reading, or inviting race track punters to ‘find-the lady’.

    Let us hope Edzard’s latest book stimulates a more rational understanding of the bizarre belief in the phenomenon of infinitesimal potentisation, and helps those interested more forwards. I only reflect that ‘humorism’ in Western medicine held sway for over two thousand years.

    • “For once I take a contrary opinion to the professor.
      In answer to the question, “Which illnesses can be treated with homeopathy”, I suggest “All”, stated Dick.

      Dick went on to state, “Oxford Dictionaries define ‘treat’ as, ‘to try to heal or cure.’ And that is what homeopaths, and quacks, indeed try to do. Some, I presume, actually believe they can effect cures by using homeopathic remedies.”

      The important question, according to Dick, is, “Which illnesses can be treated with homeopathy, in the expectation that the illness (distinguishing from the patient’s emotional response to the illness) will be affected.” The answer to that is “none”. Dick thinks himself an expert regarding logical fallacies of other posters, yet he commits a blatant one in his attempt at humor here: a fallacy of amphiboly. LMAO! His misunderstanding of grammatical construction and interpretation reared its ugly head again in his response to HAS when he blurted out his oft-used “Tu Quo Que”! Good ol’ Dick doesn’t seem to appreciate relevant examples of the failures of “modern medicine.” Go figure!

    • Dear Richard

      Before writing this reply, I looked you up on Google and found zip so, unfortunately, it is difficult to determine the perspective that you are operating from. My guess is that you are a medical doctor that knows something about the principles and practice of homeopathy but little about the actual practice of homeopathy. Edzard at least experimented with homeopathy on his patients over a 20 year period so he knows something about homeopathic practice.

      Whether homeopathy can cure illnesses or not is a question that you have already decided: no. Strangely for you though, you need to overlook the fact that it has been around for over 200 hundred years and has hundreds of millions of users worldwide. All fools I presume.

      If you are bold enough (remember Hahnemann: Dare to be bold!), why don’t you and Edzard get together and do an experiment to ‘prove’ a homeopathic remedy? Edzard could do this very ‘scientifically’ and you could be the recipient of the chosen remedy. Now, if you honestly follow the proving process then the remedy (that you call ‘the belief in infinitesimal potentisation’) will make you sick and you will know that it is real cause – effect of the remedy because your symptoms will correspond to those of the remedy. Edzard will be good at identifying these before remedy and after remedy states and determining mental and physical alterations to your state of health.

      My guess Richard, and it is only a guess, not a prediction, is that you may be bold in words but not follow through with action. So I await Edzard’s publication of this ‘report’ on his proving. Ignorance truly is BLISS!

      My guess also is that you and Edzard have invested so much energy in anti homeopathy that you will not be willing to do what a real scientist would do: test it out.

      Meanwhile, I wait and see and continue to read Edzard’s entertaining sproutings from his intellect.

      • 1) the onus to prove the claims is on those who make it
        2) I recommend you read up about logical fallacies.

        • Hello Edzard

          According to the scientific method rather than the pontificating method, replicating experiments to see if the results can be reproduced is a valid approach to testing an experimental outcome or a scientific hypothesis.

          Homeopathy has tested remedies for over 200 hundred years and it has documented the results since the time of Hahnemann. The homeopathic materia medica contains the symptoms of provings, clinical experiences of homeopaths and data from toxicology. It is undoubtable that incorrect information has entered the materia medica during the many years of its compilation but the essential symptoms of the well established remedies are clear to most homeopaths.

          What’s the problem with testing a remedy: Nux Vomica, Nitric Acid, or whatever you may like to test? This is the only way that you will find out if it is true or not.

        • Ps: I did philosophy at university and I know what logical fallacies are. I recommend that you do some real science rather than armchair philosophising (see: Sulphur)

          • in this case, you also know that your comment is an ‘ad hominem’.

          • Edzard, you are a master of ad hominum’s that you use in regard to homeopathy. You call homeopaths quacks and say the that science of homeopathy is rubbish. I can understand though, that you may find it difficult to swallow some of your own medicine (see: Sulphur).

            In the UK, you appear to have commanded a swathe of people in decision making regarding medicine regulation to bow to your view but I have to say that even your own research project on asthma that you did with those two homeopaths is really something that you could revisit. Is it not funny that the subjects were required to retain the use of their inhalers whilst on the homeopathic trial. I do understand the safety aspect of doing this but two factors that should have been considered were not. The overriding chemical effect on the subject’s body of the asthma medication and 2. the limit on the potential for further improvement with the ‘individualised remedy’ given that the asthma medication holds the bar high.

            The other thing that I find really amusing is that you and many other people have wasted years of your life on drivel: trying to evaluate homeopathic remedies by using the same methodology as conventional medicine. In my opinion, it is completely ludicrous to even imagine that a correspondence between homeopath drug and medical illness could even be remotely established. Medical trails for homeopathic drugs are a waste of time, and instead time would be better used retesting the homeopathic drugs to determine if they have any effect on the human organism.

            As you say, this would work better using a large group of testers. For you to say that it is not worth taking a remedy yourself because you may get an itching nose or some farts etc subsequently does not help in establishing a correlation is something that I consider to be nonsense. I offered this same proposal to a sceptical pharmacist many years ago and he also declined to do it. In my opinion, it is fear that maybe you will discover that you have been wrong all along. How embarrassing that would be (see: Sulphur).

          • I never said it’s not worth it, nor that I have not done it.
            what I did say is that the results would be meaningless.
            your story merely shows that people do not take you serious – and I don’t blame them.

          • Greg said:

            In the UK, you appear to have commanded a swathe of people in decision making regarding medicine regulation to bow to your view

            Please do tell…

            Is it not funny that the subjects were required to retain the use of their inhalers whilst on the homeopathic trial.

            Do you understand nothing about clinical trial ethics?

            In my opinion, it is completely ludicrous to even imagine that a correspondence between homeopath drug and medical illness could even be remotely established. Medical trails for homeopathic drugs are a waste of time, and instead time would be better used retesting the homeopathic drugs to determine if they have any effect on the human organism.

            Have you told Mathie, Bell, and all the other homeopathy researchers who have conducted RCTs (even if badly)? They would appear to disagree with you.

            As you say, this would work better using a large group of testers. For you to say that it is not worth taking a remedy yourself because you may get an itching nose or some farts etc subsequently does not help in establishing a correlation is something that I consider to be nonsense. I offered this same proposal to a sceptical pharmacist many years ago and he also declined to do it. In my opinion, it is fear that maybe you will discover that you have been wrong all along. How embarrassing that would be (see: Sulphur).

            You are simply putting your ignorance of science and what constitutes good evidence on display. It’s not a good look.

          • @Greg

            In my opinion, it is completely ludicrous to even imagine that a correspondence between homeopath drug and medical illness could even be remotely established.

            So you’re starting a campaign to get pharmacists to stop selling homeopathic products over the counter? People seem to buy them when they have particular medical symptoms: they’re wrong according to Hahnemann and , from your quote above, according to you.

            The other thing that I find really amusing is that you and many other people have wasted years of your life on drivel: trying to evaluate homeopathic remedies by using the same methodology as conventional medicine.

            How about this, then. People visiting a homeopath get a proper consultation with prescription of a remedy or remedies deemed to be appropriate. What they receive is either the correct homeopathic product or identical bottle(s) containing water or lactose pills (placebos) on a random basis, the randomization determined by a third party so the homeopath and the patient are blind to the nature of what they receive. On the return visit, all the homeopath has to do is distinguish which patients received the ‘real’ product and which the placebo.

            I believe Edzard may previously have involved homeopaths with something along these lines, but I don’t know the references or if the results were ever published.

          • in 1995, we published a trial design along these lines:
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=ernst+e%2C+resch%2C+optional+cross-over
            when we tried to get funding for a study with this design, we never were successful; but others [Iris Bell] have used it and published their findings.

          • I searched and found one study of fibromyalgia by Iris Bell that used your optional crossover design. It sat, like so many altmed studies, behind a paywall; but the full paper was available via my institution. Bottom line: rates at which verum patients opted to cross over to placebo and vice versa were not significantly different. With N=53 this was a typically tiny homeopathy study: even so, it failed to provide any evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy.

            One line in the paper caught my eye: “In addition, psychological disturbances were greater n the switch subgroups compared with the stay subgroups. The POMS data in the verum switch subgroup raise the possibility that dysphoric emotional states play a role in lack of adherence and for limited responses to homeopathic treatment.” In other words, as others have pointed out elsewhere on this blog, if you don’t respond to sCAM it’s your fault, not the fault of the particular witchcraft to which you expose yourself.

            I like your optional crossover design slightly less than the one I suggested, in which the homeopath, not the patient, has to make the call of whether the patient received verum or placebo. Homeopaths like Greg put much value on the whole finessed experience, with the ridiculous ‘provings’ taken as dead earnest data to be recorded. They obviously have special powers to see past the natural effects of regression to the mean, spontaneous resolution, placebo effects and purely subjective trivia so it is they who should be given the hot seat.

          • @Greg:

            Ps: I did philosophy at university and I know what logical fallacies are.

            Pity you didn’t learn to spell them. Or when to use an apostrophe.

      • @Greg

        Dear Richard
        Before writing this reply, I looked you up on Google and found zip

        You probably searched for “Richard Rawlings”. Try “Richard Rawlins” and your zip will be undone. You might benefit from having a read of his recent book, Real Secrets of Alternative Medicine: An Exposé.

        [homeopathy] has been around for over 200 hundred years and has hundreds of millions of users worldwide. All fools I presume.

        Look at Edzard’s point 2: this is the argument from popularity, aka 10 billion flies can’t be wrong: eat shit!

        why don’t you and Edzard get together and do an experiment to ‘prove’ a homeopathic remedy?

        ‘Proving’ is a homeopath’s mistranslation of Hahnemann’s ‘Pruefung’ — an examination or test. So your comment is tautological. Who doubts that undiluted substances like arsenic or toxic plant materials have physiological/pharmacological effects? The point is they can’t have effects when diluted beyond the point at which no molecule of the original substance exists. The contaminants present even in ‘ultrapure’ water will have more effect! And what about ‘dream provings’, where something is stuffed under the tester’s pillow and its effects are made manifest in dreams? One homeopathic remedy, luna, is literally moonshine!

        Your own level of ignorance must leave you in a permanently blissful state. Remember: if you think you’re smart you’re comparing yourself with the wrong people.

        • Dear Frank

          I have only one question for you, and I think the answer will be: no.

          Have you tried ‘proving’ or ‘testing’ a potentised homeopathic remedy? Your semantic argument is not impressive and indicates clearly the answer to the question. TESTING a drug is SIMPLE, all you have to do it take it and see what happens.

          Cheers Frank

          • 1) it is not for Frank or any other critic to test your assumptions. the onus is on those who make them.
            2) testing a drug is not that simple at all. imagine I take a remedy and observe what I experience during the following hours. let’s assume I feel a slight itch on my right toe, some flatulence, heavy legs, some sadness and a headache. any such experience could have occurred spontaneously and might be entirely unrelated to the remedy. the only way to exclude this possibility is to run such tests like placebo controlled RCTs with sufficiently large groups of volunteers.
            most provings were conducted as you seem to suggest, and their findings are therefore totally meaningless [but they nevertheless are the basis for your material medica].

          • @Greg

            “Have you tried ‘proving’ or ‘testing’ a potentised homeopathic remedy?” I drink water all the time but have never bothered noting down every tiny, utterly subjective feeling I might have.

            “TESTING a drug is SIMPLE, all you have to do it take it and see what happens.” Just because I experience something after ingesting something doesn’t mean the experience was caused by what I ingested. That’s the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy. Edzard already explained in detail the faults in your reasoning.

          • By the way, Greg, have you not noticed that all types of CAM, not just homeopathy, rely on people’s subjective responses after they experience something? “Somebody stuck needles in me, I felt better.” “Somebody manipulated my spine, I felt better.” “Somebody waved their arms at me, I felt better.”

            Basically, all of CAM depends entirely on the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Ditto personal religious experiences. Of course, sometimes a thing that happens after another event is connected, but once you move away from the bleeding obvious, e.g. hit by bus causes injuries or death, you need the tool of scientific investigation to provide evidence of causality.

            FWIW, another common error is to imagine that correlation is evidence for cause and effect. See http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations for more detail.

          • Greg,

            Over the decades of being invited to parties, I’ve brought with me the non-alcoholic versions of some of my favourite drinks (because I’m one of the volunteer drivers amongst my friends). Even though I know that they are non-alcoholic drinks, they have the same effect on me as the alcoholic versions. This isn’t just my personal anecdotal observation; some of my friends have been so fascinated by the effect that they’ve confirmed it by experimenting on themselves and each other 🙂

            This effect is, of course, just a positive response to a placebo. Placebos are, on average, effective for circa 30% of the population: with the caveat of the very wide, case specific, error margins that apply to all such non-Gaussian probability mass functions.

            I have repeatedly stated, and I shall continue to reiterate for the rest of my life, that: Statistics become increasingly meaningless as the sample size reduces below thirty. This is why the pleural of anecdote is not “data”, it is nothing other than a totally meaningless collection of anecdotes[1].

            The “provings” listed in the materia medica of homeopathy is, perhaps, the most voluminous and ever-expanding collection of abject bullshit that has ever been created. I think it outranks TCM, or it soon will, because even TCM doesn’t have provings of “electrical hum” and “Tyrannosaurus rex”.

            [1]:
            Poisson distribution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisson_distribution
            Small number statistics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization
            See also: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/The_Fine_Art_of_Baloney_Detection

      • “…remember Hahnemann: Dare to be bold!”

        Shouldn’t that be dare to be bald?

      • why don’t you and Edzard get together and do an experiment to ‘prove’ a homeopathic remedy? Edzard could do this very ‘scientifically’ and you could be the recipient of the chosen remedy. Now, if you honestly follow the proving process then the remedy (that you call ‘the belief in infinitesimal potentisation’) will make you sick and you will know that it is real cause…

        No, they won’t, because your study design doesn’t include a control.

  • Which illnesses can be treated with homeopathy?

    All

    Everyone needs water. In fact I am self-medicating as I type. Nothing like glass of nice cold water.

  • Dehydration maybe?

  • Dear Edzard,

    I am surprised with your idea of making fun of Homeopathy. Rather than asking common peope about the efficacy of homeopathy, who do not know the scientific and rational information. I openly invite you to see me for any illness and experience the truth.

    It seems that you only know, how to critisize and defame a very scientific and natural system of medicine, but will not accept any challenge. Please take this my invitation, as I am sure that you will experience something, that you are missing till now.

    With best wishes

    • @Mr. Sharma
      According to your elegant website, you offer treatment for unspecified diseases in the following categories:

      Autoimmune Diseases
      Blood Related
      Cardiovascular
      Digestive System
      Endocrine Disorders
      Gastrointestinal
      Infectious Diseases
      Locomotor System
      Muskulo-Skeletal
      Neurological
      Respiratory
      Skin and Hair
      Psychological disorders

      This is an extremely impressive list. I cannot immediately think of a category of human ailments not mentioned there. This must be very effective treatment modalities, a panacea perhaps?

      For successful therapists like you it must be a matter of pride to be able to report on one’s therapeutic outcome. In my line of healthcare we are constantly documenting what we do, how it progresses and everything that happens with our patients. We learn very much by strictly documenting adverse events or outcomes and comparing our data with those dealing with the same problems.
      It is not prudent to take up space here to list everything but I can provide links to annual audit reports and peer reviewed publications that describe both our successes and failures and show how they compare (favourably of course 😉 ) to what others achieve.

      I am very impressed by your fantastic repertoire and would be honoured if you would share with us, at least some of your publications and outcome audit results.
      I tried to find your work on Pubmed, Researchgate and some other places but your name seems common so I found only publications that seemed unrelated, like for plastic surgery etc. And one lady with a similar name. A search for your name in different versions plus “homeopathy ” did not turn up anything
      It would be enough for you to provide a link to your publication repository and audit reports.

      It would also be interesting to know how you follow up your patients. What percentage do you see for return visits and how do you follow up on those who do not return for evaluation of outcome? What is your average one and two year follow-up rates? Do you call those who you do not have data on to increase your FU-rate?
      How do you record adverse events and outcomes? Do yo use a standardised system like we use the ‘Clavien-Dindo classification of surgical complications’.
      What is your 30-day morbidity and mortality for the most common therapies, and what is your long term cure rate for them.
      I am especially interested in obesity and type II diabetes. What is your EBMIL% at one year and five years and what is your relapse rate of DMII? We are preparing a publication of our own results from a large number of cases.
      And gallstones – what is your long term surgery free survival of US-confirmed stones and what percentage develop cholecystitis of those treated solely with homeopathy?
      Oh, there are so many questions, but you sound so confident I am sure you have everything documented and do regular audits so you have all these figures at hand.

      I humbly look forward to your response Mr. Sharma.

    • Because ‘tu quoque’ is a logical fallacy.
      Because this thread is about homeopathy.

      If you wish to consider the treatment of psychopaths, may I suggest you start you own blog.

      • Wut? Richard, you’re a good egg, but I think your Altdar needs a quick alignment check.

        Homeopathy is part of AltMed. The quack clinic that Mair attended the day before for mental health advice is part of AltMed. Did you actually read the article? Related link of interest, posted for folks here because it is pertinent to the general question of what illnesses are treatable with AltMed at all.

        Mair was likely failed by the real medical system too, because we all know there’s faults and failures in that too; especially when it comes to unpopular fields such as geriatrics and mental health. The difference being is that that system is also tasked to critique, correct, and improve itself.

        Dispensing with an AltMed pseudo-system that is both wildly demonstrably wrong and utterly willfully incapable of self-correction or improvement in any form (except revenue growth) would just be the easiest, lowest-hanging, most rotten fruit to discard at the start. The NHS is already overly deferential towards it, and given what a bag of spanners our higher education system is these days it would be nice not to see it go full-blown “Quackademia” too, to borrow a phrase from the US-based Dr Gorski.

        (Full declaration of COIs, just so you know: One-time premed crash-n-burn-out, an entire adult lifetime of rotten mental health, and a TCM bullshitter and a Hollands & Bollocks now moved in under my office, where I can already feel their radiant auras of intellect rotting stupidity permeating the floor. Which is no doubt why I’m bumming on the internets instead doing any useful work.:p)

      • @ Dick

        Take Paxil, when prescribed for children, for example. It would seem that “modern medicine” itself is guilty of misconduct…..and its ramifications often are dire.

        A major reanalysis just published in The BMJ of tens of thousands of pages of original trial documents from GlaxoSmithKline’s infamous Study 329, has concluded that the antidepressant paroxetine is neither safe nor effective in adolescents with depression. This conclusion, drawn by independent researchers, is in direct contrast to that of the trial’s original journal publication in 2001, which had proclaimed paroxetine “generally well tolerated and effective.” The new paper, published under the restoring invisible and abandoned trials (RIAT) initiative, has reignited calls for retraction of the original study, putting additional pressure on academic and professional institutions to publicly address the many allegations of wrongdoing.

        Troubled from the start
        Few studies have sustained as much criticism as Study 329, a placebo controlled, randomized trial of paroxetine and imipramine carried out by SmithKline Beecham (which became GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2000). In 2002, a US Food and Drug Administration officer who formally reviewed the trial reported that “on balance, this trial should be considered as a failed trial, in that neither active treatment group showed superiority over placebo by a statistically significant margin. Yet this same year, according to the New York State Attorney General’s office, which sued GSK, over two million prescriptions were written for children and adolescents in the United States, all off-label, after a marketing campaign that characterized Study 329 as demonstrating “REMARKABLE Efficacy and Safety.”

        The disparity between what the manufacturer and study authors claim the trial found and what other parties say the data show was an important element in the US Department of Justice’s criminal charges against GSK. Imagine that….a drug company(pillar of “modern medicine”) failed to disclose pertinent research findings and instead allowed and encouraged physicians to prescribe the “no benefit”(for children) drug to millions of their patients. Paxil has been associated with hundreds, if not thousands, of serious side effects, even death. How many years passed before the recommendations for Paxil’s use were modified?

        One must agree with HAS that “great disgrace, all round”(including “modern medicine”) is indeed present.

        Be well, Dick

  • Welcome to Australia Prof Ernst!
    Have a great time in Melbourne at the Australian Skeptics conference!

    • THANKS see you there later, I suppose?

      • Not in Melbourne unfortunately otherwise would have enjoyed talking. Good lineup of speakers especially Lawrence Krauss! Would have also enjoyed chatting to Harriet Hall as well! Say Hi to Mick Vagg!
        Pity the Chiropractic critics talking are not chiropractors! The likes of bloggers Rogue Chiropractor, Chiropractic Trojan Horse and Elephantarium would have been an invaluable addition to the line up!

  • The single point that I have suggested that the philosophical school of homeopathic critique consider is that they take a scientific approach rather than a logical approach to testing homeopathic remedies. Edzard’s ‘logic’ is: it is impossible for homeopathic remedies to work because they are infinitely diluted therefore homeopathic remedies do not work.

    The group of people that have responded to my points may sincerely hold their views and it is easy to see why. However, just because a something is not understood does not mean that it is not true. Edzard and his followers assert that homeopathy is rubbish and that the materia medica is rubbish but where is the proof that this assertion is true. You guys have proved nothing at all. By the same token , you can assert that there is no proof of God therefore God does not exist. You guys have nothing, no evidence that homeopathy is not what it says it is.

    So, if you arrange a proper double blind testing of a remedy, you may then have some evidence to back your case up. At this point, where is this evidence?

    I mentioned Edzard’s trial of individualised homeopathic treatment and got no response to this critique of his report.

    Initially, Edzard responded to my comments by suggesting that I was using ‘ad hominum’. This from a man that called the Prince of Wales a ‘snake oil salesman’.

    I don’t think that it will be too long before the smoke lifts on the anti homeopathy UK group and people see your position for how empty it is of facts and mostly it is based on intellectual pontificating.

    • “Edzard’s ‘logic’ is: it is impossible for homeopathic remedies to work because they are infinitely diluted therefore homeopathic remedies do not work.”
      WRONG!
      I tested homeopathy in several ways and summarized the totality of the evidence repeatedly.
      only AFTER doing all this, I concluded that:
      1) highly dilute remedies are placebos
      2) they are implausible
      3) they are not free of risks.
      you are allowed to have your opinions, but you cannot make up your own facts.

    • Greg said:

      You guys have nothing, no evidence that homeopathy is not what it says it is.

      Are you sure you studied philosophy at university?

    • Good grief, Greg! You get worse with each comment.

      “just because a something is not understood does not mean that it is not true.” First, please show us reproducible evidence for the something.

      “Edzard and his followers assert that homeopathy is rubbish…” I am emphatically not a ‘follower’ of Edzard Ernst in any sense other than I frequently read this blog and make comments. We have never met, and I thought homeopathy was nonsense long before I ever heard his name.

      “You guys have nothing, no evidence that homeopathy is not what it says it is.” You claim to have studied philosophy; surely you know, therefore, there is no way rationally to prove a negative?

      “Initially, Edzard responded to my comments by suggesting that I was using ‘ad hominum’.” Actually, he called it an ad hominem, which is the correct speclling. You have now spelt the word incorrectly twice in this thread.

      “So, if you arrange a proper double blind testing of a remedy, you may then have some evidence to back your case up. At this point, where is this evidence?” Exactly! Of the hundreds of double-blind trials of homeopathy that have been published, most are of lousy quality or too small to power a significant conclusion. A few show positive results for homeopathy, a few show the opposite, and most are described — by their homeopath authors — as “inconclusive”. But “inconclusive” actually means “no clear advantage shown for homeopathy”: in other words, a negative result. The entire literature on homeopathy can be summed up as indicating that any data supporting efficacy become more meagre as the quality of the research becomes high.

      “I mentioned Edzard’s trial of individualised homeopathic treatment and got no response to this critique of his report.” I think many or most readers of this blog will react to this critique in a similar was as I did, and so felt no need for comment. But since you ask, “…two factors that should have been considered were not. The overriding chemical effect on the subject’s body of the asthma medication and 2. the limit on the potential for further improvement with the ‘individualised remedy’ given that the asthma medication holds the bar high.” So, very clearly, asthma medication is way more useful for controlling asthma than homeopathic nonsense.

      “I don’t think that it will be too long before the smoke lifts on the anti homeopathy UK group and people see your position for how empty it is of facts and mostly it is based on intellectual pontificating.” Please tell me where this notional “anti homeopathy UK group” is based and when it holds its meetings. I never ran across them in all the decades I’ve lived and worked in the UK. You seem to be offering the “courtier’s response”: how can these people just state baldly that the emperor is wearing no clothes when they haven’t tried putting on invisible shirts and trousers? Or reading the many books and websites that extol the benefits of invisible silk scarves and jackets?

      In the case of Edzard Ernst, the gentleman actually has put in his fair share of hands-on experience of, and research into, homeopathy (ref: his book A scientist in Wonderland) and has given a very even-handed overview of homeopathy (ref: his book Homeopathy: the Undiluted Facts) You should definitely read the latter; it might just answer the questions you’re raising in this thread.

  • Thanks Ed, those are the magic words: ‘you concluded that’

    You are entitled to your opinion about homeopathy and you are also entitled to despise and hate it if that is what you feel.

    But, for goodness sakes, please stop pretending that ‘your conclusion’ is irrefutable fact. The only reason that you get your way inside the UK governing group is because they don’t have a clue either so they just swallow what you say.

    It is sad that a man of your great talent has wasted so much of his life and energy on such a futile tirade. But Ed, there is still time for you to choose a more inspiring positive approach to life and perhaps discover something truly wonderful.

  • Edzard, your superlative ad hominem (see Richard ’em’ haha) comments about Charles possibly rank as the most thoughtless ones ever conceived. This whole charade makes it clear that your attack on homeopathy is not about scientific ‘truth’, it is politics and I think in the end it is you that will be ‘the end’.

    samples of EDZARDS quotes:

    ‘There is nothing wrong with Charles’ ignorance, of course. He is not a medic (if he were, his quackery might get him struck off the register!) and does not need to know such things! But, if he is ignorant about certain technicalities, should he write about them? At the very least, when giving such concrete medical advice about diagnostic methods, should he not recruit the expertise of people who do know about such matters?’

    ‘I MIGHT BE MISTAKEN, BUT IT SEEMS TO ME THAT CHARLES IS NOT JUST IGNORANT ABOUT MEDICINE BUT ALSO ABOUT THE ART OF CHOOSING EXPERTS.’

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Edzard, your superlative ad hominem (see Richard ’em’ haha)…

      At least you’ve learned something here.

      But you still don’t seem to know what constitutes an ad hominem argument. A conclusion about a person’s argument based on their claimed characteristics is an ad hominem; a conclusion about a person’s characteristics based on their arguments, statements or actions is not.

      An example:
      Ad hominem: “you are wrong because you don’t know what you are talking about.”
      Not an ad hominem: “you don’t know what you are talking about because you are wrong.”

      • Sorry, Mojo, but I much prefer the way you put it on Andy’s blog some time ago:

        It isn’t actually an ad hom argument unless you’re using the assertion that he’s a fecking eejit as the basis for your assertion that he’s wrong. Here you have clearly based your conclusion that he’s a fecking eejit on the evidence that he himself has posted.

        Ad hom: “You’re wrong because you’re a fecking eejit.”
        Not ad hom: “You’re wrong and you’re a fecking eejit”
        Also not ad hom: “You’re a fecking eejit because you’re wrong.”

      • @mojo

        I’m sure you’re both thrilled and flattered that Alan appears to be keeping a journal of your past comments. This seems a little creepy…… lol

    • Insults can only be considered ad hominem attacks when they’re committed by someone other than Edzard or his drones. Edzard’s thoughts and conclusions on most things CAM reek of self-serving bias and confirmation bias. Some are objective; many aren’t.

  • Ad hominem: ‘(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are’

    Thank you to all the contributors to this blog for their comments. I think that it is clear that some of the people associated with the UK anti-homeopathy group are a nasty/vicious type of person and, in my opinion, they have got away with their hatred for too long and caused far too much harm.

    The time for this to be brought to an end is now.

    Meanwhile, the key point raised here, that Edzard brushed off ( I must read up about medical ethics), is that his research project on individualised homeopathic treatment is a piece of trash. It does not seem to bother him that the allowance of the subjects to continue with their asthma medication whilst on homeopathic treatment would adversely impact on the outcome as I mentioned above.

    It will be interesting to get the views of real scientists, who don’t have a large chip on their shoulder with an axe to grind, regarding this particular trial.

    We will see what comes in future but I feel it is going to be the END for the anti-homeopathy mob.

    • ” It does not seem to bother him that the allowance of the subjects to continue with their asthma medication whilst on homeopathic treatment would adversely impact on the outcome as I mentioned above.” This is not a ‘key point’ but your totally unproven opinion. In case you want to dispute it, provide evidence. The indisputable fact is that asthma is a potentially fatal condition and therefore it is ethically mandatory that all children in this trial received effective therapies.
      THANKS FOR YOUR DISPLAY OF AD HOMINEMS:
      the anti-homeopathy mob
      nasty/vicious type of person

    • Greg said:

      I think that it is clear that some of the people associated with the UK anti-homeopathy group are a nasty/vicious type of person and, in my opinion, they have got away with their hatred for too long and caused far too much harm.

      To what ‘group’ are you referring?

  • is this website operational again?

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