MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

As many of you know, my own verdict on homeopathy has changed over time. As a young clinician straight out of medical school, I was taken by homeopathy. Years later, as a researcher, I had to realize that the scientific evidence spoke quite clearly against it (those who are interested should read the full account here). Since then, I have expressed this in several ways. Perhaps the most scientific (based on a sound assessment of the totality of the data) way was here: “…the best clinical evidence for homeopathy available to date does not warrant positive recommendations for its use in clinical practice.” This was 15 years ago, and meanwhile the evidence has become – if anything – more definitively negative.

When I tell this to homeopaths and their followers, they often seem to get annoyed with me and claim that I have an axe to grind, am not objective, am paid by ‘BIG PHARMA’ etc. It is hard or even impossible to persuade them that they are mistaken, and I certainly don’t expect anyone to blindly take my word for anything, not even for my verdict on homeopathy. Therefore, I have tried to collect all the ‘official’ verdicts that I could find. By ‘official’ verdict I mean recent a statement from national or international organisations (rather than from single individuals) with research expertise that:

  • are independent,
  • employed a thorough assessment of the evidence,
  • have a reputation of being beyond reproach,
  • and represent scientific consensus.

For obvious reasons, I excluded statements from organisations of (or close to) homeopaths and those with an ideological or commercial interest in homeopathy. It is important to stress that the direction of the verdict (positive or negative) was NOT a selection criterion.

HERE ARE THE VERDICTS I MANAGED TO FIND:

“The principles of homeopathy contradict known chemical, physical and biological laws and persuasive scientific trials proving its effectiveness are not available”

Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

Homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.

National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia

“These products are not supported by scientific evidence.”

Health Canada, Canada

“Homeopathic remedies don’t meet the criteria of evidence based medicine.”

Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary

“The incorporation of anthroposophical and homeopathic products in the Swedish directive on medicinal products would run counter to several of the fundamental principles regarding medicinal products and evidence-based medicine.”

Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden

“We recommend parents and caregivers not give homeopathic teething tablets and gels to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives.”

Food and Drug Administration, USA

There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition

National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health, USA

There is no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition

National Health Service, UK

Homeopathic remedies perform no better than placebos, and that the principles on which homeopathy is based are “scientifically implausible”

House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, UK

I suspect that there are many more statements from similar organisations that I failed to locate. So, if any of my readers know such verdicts, please post them (if possible with a link to the source) in the comments section below. With your help, I might then be able to publish a complete list.

174 Responses to ‘Official’ verdicts on homeopathy

  • NCCIH is the biggie here. They were set up specifically to fund validation of alternative medicine, and they have spent a lot of money on that ($3bn is one estimate I have seen) without actually validating a single one.

    NCCIH is probably the most woo-friendly part of the US healthcare system. And according to Dr. Novella they won’t even fund homeopathy studies any more, because it’s a busted flush.

  • You are clearly becoming desperate. If governments were to acknowledge the value of homeopathy, then big pharma will suffer which would have a serious financial knock on effect, so how can anyone believe any report issued by a government source. It is far too easy for the data to be cherry picked as you well know! We live in times where people want answers and are prepared to try alternatives for themselves and that I am sure is the seat of your desperation.

    • that is hilarious!
      does homeopathy not have a cure for paranoia?

      • I agree, I don’t have a view of governments, in at least the top 20 of the World Audit of corrupt governments, as skewing state health policy to favour ‘big pharma’; in fact, in these countries ‘big pharma’ is a highly regulated industry. Policy making decisions in accountable, responsible governments are based on best quality research and evidence and there is no doubt that if homeopathy or any other medical field showed promising results for benefiting the health of the population, they would have a serious consideration towards it.

        Homeopathy needs to get its evidence base sorted out in order to gain acceptance at this level.

        • “[Greg] Homeopathy needs to get its evidence base sorted out in order to gain acceptance at this level.”

          We’ve waited 221 years for homeopathy “to get its evidence base sorted out”. How much longer will it take?

          But much more importantly: What have homeopaths been doing for 221 years, and are still doing, considering that, by your own admission, everything they’ve done and currently do is based in only non-sorted-out evidence?

          They’ve been doing what they’ve always done, and will continue to do for as long as they can get away with it.

          There is a mountain of empirical evidence to confirm that homeopathy is efficacious for its practitioners and manufacturers, but not for its clients, unfortunately.

          • I would put “like” here if it was possible. Homeopaths are like flat earth supporters, the evidence is out there, mountains of evidence, but absolutely no one can put finger on something concrete. And they both are exactly in same place where they were when things started out. No progress since then.

          • Pete, since its inception it has always been outside the mainstream so it missed the opportunity for science to step in earlier and study it carefully.

            It is happening now, and hopefully in future it will be better known what contribution it can make to healthcare.

          • how is science supposed to test the claims of homeopathy? They have no rational basis. Homeopaths want science to explain how life cures like, but scientists will start by asking: is this a valid question? Is there any evidence that like cures like as homeopaths claim? And the resounding answer is: no. There is no evidence this is true, there is no property of matter that would support it.

            Virtually all investigations of homeopathy have been conducted by true believers trying to validate their faith. They have mainly been clinical trials, which by their nature cannot disprove anything, but which are always consistent with the null hypothesis. The few attempts at basic science, such as by Benveniste, have been risible.

            Science has largely ignored homeopathy not because it predates science – so do electricity, combustion, the chemical composition of matter – but because there is no reason to think there is any question for science to answer.

            Homeopaths ask science: how does this work? Science responds: first, show us that it actually does work. And that has never been done. In fact, the most honest and rigorous tests show that it doesn’t.

          • “Pete, since its inception it has always been outside the mainstream so it missed the opportunity for science to step in earlier and study it carefully.”

            What utter tosh! As if science is ever some mysterious entity that “steps in” to investigate a topic. Science lies entirely in the hands of people. Anyone competent has always been free to apply the tool of science to anything. If supporters of homeopathy have been too pathetic to subject their pseudo-medicine to adequate scientific scrutiny for more than 200 years, that’s their lookout.

            In fact, there have been thousands of ‘scientific’ studies of homeopathy in vitro and in vivo since Hahnemann first pulled its ‘principles’ out of his fundament. Most of them are of deplorable quality and don’t merit the paper they’re printed on. Anyone with a high school knowledge of chemistry and biology should be able to laugh homeopathy out of consideration. The existence of this and other homeopathy threads on the Ernst blog is testament both to the serious ignorance of its supporters and the remarkable tenacity of blind faith and self-delusion that characterizes many members of the human race — to its enormous detriment.

        • Homeopathy needs to get its evidence base sorted out in order to gain acceptance at this level.

          It’s more fundamental than that: homeopathy needs to acquire an evidence base. It’s never had one.

          Clinical trials cannot address the missing theoretical framework, they are not evidence to support the doctrine of similars, the doctrine of infinitesimals, or any of the other conjectures on which homeopathy is based, because all clinical trials of homeopathy turn out to be consistent with the null hypothesis (this is true of most clinical trials of most things, it’s not unique to homeopathy).

    • Every single government level review of homeopathy, has found no evidence it works. NCCIH, the body set up to validate quackery in the US, won’t even fund studies any more because it’s a waste of money, brains and time.

      To call this “desperate” is pure projection.

      Homeopathy is dead, but like the corpse of a snake it retains the ability to move and even to reflexively attack.

    • OMG!

      So, we should only believe what the sellers of homeopathy tell us because, well, they never cherry-pick and would never let their business interests get in the way of providing comprehensive and accurate information on the efficacy and safety of homeopathy.

      Gotcha.

    • If governments were to recognise and promote the benefits of diet and exercise that would threaten the profits of Big Pharma as well. So the concept of Five A Day and Sport For All are figments of our imagination then, Colin?

      • Good point basically of course, but the ‘5 a day’ business was as I understand it a n artificial construct, just like ‘drink gallons of water’ and the ‘Ploughman’s lunch”. At least the ‘5 a day’ thing is rooted in truth,. But is really meaningful only if followed to its sensible conclusion.

  • Spanish Ministry of Health (2011) Homeopathy has not definitively proven its efficacy in any specific indication or clinical situation https://t.co/BOHGLnji3H

  • Even by Colin’s foggy standards, that’s pretty desperate.I generally think of him as being cluelessly inn ocuous, certainly in comparison with one or two of the vindictively malevolent creatures who appear here regularly, but I suppose he’s dangerous in his own way..

  • “As a young clinician straight out of medical school, I was taken by homeopathy. Years later, as a researcher, I had to realize that the scientific evidence spoke quite clearly against it”

    My experience is exactly the opposite. I have seen family members, including me, being cured of typhoid, malaria, herpes , diaorhea, follow up on broken bones, eczema, small pox, etc over past 50 years with homeopathic medicines. I now use it for my children for similar problems. It gives positive results everytime. This includes ill effects of vaccination.
    I am not paid by anyone to write this. It would hardly matter what the government has to say.

    • but you still have not understood the meaning of EVIDENCE!!!

      • “but you still have not understood the meaning of EVIDENCE!!!”

        http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2139/rapid-responses

        Over 251000 understood the meaning of EVIDENCE in the USA and paid for it with their lives!!!!
        Poor stupid idiots.

        • Problems with reality-based medicine validate homeopathy in exactly the same way that plane crashes validate magic carpets.

        • It’s funny how Iqbal manages to repeatedly screw up his own argumentation. This time by linking to swathing criticism of an article rather than to the article itself. There are scores of responses there, six pages full, many of them with very rational and well supported arguments against Makary and Daniels sensationalistic overestimation.

          Here is just one succinct example:

          Comparison with the most recent high quality research on avoidable in-hospital mortality suggests the authors’ dramatic estimate of 251,454 annual deaths in the US may be an 18-fold over-estimate.

          In the UK, the 2015 in-hospital mortality rate was 1.05% (1). A recent study of UK hospital deaths estimated that 3.6% were avoidable (2), giving an overall preventable lethal adverse event rate of 0.04%. This is an order of magnitude lower than the 0.71% estimate calculated by Makary and Daniel. If the true rate is closer to 0.04%, the total number of annual preventable deaths in US hospitals may be 14,166 rather than 251,454. This would mean that medical error doesn’t even come close to the top 10 causes of death in the US.(3)

          As Guy points out, even if Makary and Daniels were right, this still would not be an argument in favour of homeopathy or any other simulated substitute for real medicine

          • “There are scores of responses there, six pages full, many of them with very rational and well supported arguments against Makary and Daniels sensationalistic overestimation.”

            It is time for you to send in a suggestion to replace Bernie Sanders, John James, PhD Founder Patient Safety America Houston , TX , Ashish Jha, MD, MPH Professor of Health Policy and Management
            Harvard School of Public Health Boston , MA , Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH President, National Patient Safety Foundation; Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Boston , MA , Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality and Director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality Johns Hopkins Medicine Baltimore , MD , Joanne Disch, PhD, RN Professor ad Honorem University of Minnesota School of Nursing Minneapolis , MN ,
            and Lisa McGiffert Director Safe Patient Project, Consumers Union Austin , TX.
            The replacement should be David Gorsky, and among others you.

            The only question you should truthfully ask yourself: is any of you capable enough to carry the shoes of the above doctors?

          • Iqbal forgot to name-drop himself (herself??) as a dignity misled by very questionable and inappropriately interpreted information.
            And to read what he(she?) linked to and I pointed out argued againt his or her own pompous claims.
            And to try to understand why the fact that medicine is imperfect does not substantiate homeopathy.

    • Iqbal-isn’t this the same delusional nonsense you posted before? Have you ‘succussed’ it in the meantime to make it more powerful? You can commit any crime upon yourself as far as I care, but why do your children deserve this?

    • Really? That’s odd, because as far as I can tell, having researched this at some length, there is not one single independently authenticated case where homeopathy has been objectively proven to have cured anybody of anything, ever.

    • Anyone who claims “it gives positive results every time,” Igbal, is usually lying!! Even the best, legitimate treatments rarely give positive results “every time.”

  • Only slightly off topic: The current Sunday Times (April 9th 2017) has an insightful review of a biography of the Prince of Wales – News Review section, page 24.
    A sad life really.

  • Poland – National Medical Council:

    “There is a constant increase in the quantity of evidence and the conviction of the scientific community in medicine, that homeopathy should be treated as one of the unscientific methods of the so called ‘alternative medicine’, which proposes worthless products without scientifically proven efficacy.”

    http://awe.mol.uj.edu.pl/~jjb/izba.pdf

    “National Medical Council expressed its view that no scientific evidence exists that would support efficacy of treatment with these [homeopathic] products…”

    http://www.nil.org.pl/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/3936/rs0002-09-V.pdf

    Rough translation mine.

    The council got into a lawsuit over this and won in both instances.

  • Belgium – KCE report – see the english text in the document
    https://kce.fgov.be/sites/default/files/page_documents/kce_154a_homeopathie_in_belgi%C3%AB_0.pdf

    “From a purely clinical perspective, the fact remains that there is no valid empirical proof
    of the efficacy of homeopathy (evidence-based medicine) beyond the placebo effect.”

  • The conventional medical doctors continue to push their agenda through government officials and when push comes to shove, they back out. In India, Ayush supports alternative medicine and China has its age old medical wisdom. There are reasons:

    My son, has a case of weeping eczema. It started as a small rash on the back of his hand in January 2017 during his trip to Colorado (cold and dry). It vanished when he returned to Dallas and the resurfaced in February. By end of February it covered both his arms up to the shoulder. Rashes appeared over his legs. Different homeopathic remedies were used that showed little effect. The rash would subside one day and return again. He avoided scratching but would find himself doing so during sleep as this would be severe enough to wake him. Fluid started oozing from the back of hands that were the most effected area with roughing and hardening of skin.
    In the first week of March he consulted a dermatologist. A biopsy was done. Report was to be received in 5/7 days. By now his ears and part of face had become effected. On 15 March when he went to review the report with the doctor, his left eye would not open properly because of swelling on the face. The affected area of the ear was oozing fluid. The biopsy report defined the problem as Psoriasiform Spongiotic Dermatitis. The doctor recommended to start with steroids immediately as the problem had aggravated substantially and creams may not be effective. The homeopath doctor in India nixed the steroid prescription and suggested we ask our son to visit India as the homeopathic treatment was expected to aggravate the symptoms. He suggested Rhus Tox 200 for 15th evening and asked my son to review of short and long term adverse effects of steroids to keep him from taking the prescribed steroids.
    On 16th morning the swelling on the face had reduced and he could open his eyes. There was no new appearance of rash. Two doses were repeated daily. On 18th his face was normal with dried crusts in place of oozing fluid on his ear as also hands. The itch had vanished. On 20th he reached India and was looking better than the pictures we had seen on What’s app. The hands were dry, the rash subdued. He received Sulfur 200 on 21st morning. By evening the itch returned and continued until 24th. Between 26th and 27th he received 3 doses of Tuberculinum 1000. On 29th morning his condition was similar to that of 15th: the fluid oozing from hands started again, swelling appeared on his face and the subdued rash on arm and legs was fiery red again. The extent was marginally lower than that of 15th..
    There after the condition has improved continuously. Now his arms are normal with light colored welts in place of rash. The rash on his legs is totally cleared. The face has no marks. The problem is limited to the back of his hands only. The skin is a rough from where it oozed fluid but no more hard. He is prescribed Rhus Tox 200 one dose daily. The doctor expects complete normalcy in about next 60 days with no marks left of the rash on the skin any where.

    Evidence: Why were Rhus Tox, Sulfur and Tuberclinum used out of the possible 2000 remedies? How would the homeopath doctor know of impending aggravation?
    My son has a Master’s in bio-chemistry and reviewed his activities to locate possible trigger: there was no change in any variable.

    • As your claims are so outlandish I can only think that you just make up your stories.

      • markko

        The message above describes exactly the situation. My son will be back in Dallas on April 21.

        The homeopath doctor had a more interesting story to recount: one of his patient for asthma had skin eruption on taking the prescribed medicine. The itch when scratched led to severe burning sensation. The condition was unbearable. The doctor had advised him to avoid coffee as this would act as antidote to the prescribed medicine.
        He therefore proceeded with taking number of cups of coffee and the skin eruption subsided.

        For the period he had skin problem, he did NOT have breathing problem. Once the skin eruption subsided, his asthma returned.

        He explained the predicament to the doctor. This has happened 2 more times. The patient continues to live with asthma as he has not been able to decide if he would live with asthma of suffer temporary skin problem.

        • What a silly man. The ‘doctor’ told him not to drink coffee, and so he did precisely the opposite.I’m not greatly helped here by the fact that I”m reading about Vivian Stanshall and ‘Sir Henry At Rawlinson End’, and this and some of the homeopathic tales here are starting to meld somewhat as one flips backward and forward.

        • As you went even more confusing then whatever. And I can cure cancer with a touch. You just must take my word on it.

        • The problem with this anecdote is that homeopathic prescribing has all the rigour of reading chicken entrails. If the patient has an autoimmune reaction to coffee, or an interaction between coffeee and asthma medication that causes an autoimmune reaction, then that is worthy of study, but first you’d need to demonstrate that it is coffee and not some coincidental association. Maybe the patient drinks latte and is sensitive to milk,for example. Milk is a well known cause of autoimmune reactions.

    • This is pathetic.
      Iqbal unashamedly tells of reliance on make-believe instead of proven expertise for a serious condition.
      Giving sugar pills that have been doused with shaken magic water and then dried is not even unlikely to help, it is impossible it can help. And what is more, in this case there is no indication it did! The condition hasn’t even cleared up, only improved, as is to be expected in such cases. The idiots who “practice” homeopathy usually hedge their bets by saying the condition may aggravate before improving. That is a useful trick to support the delusion.
      Iqbal has been negligent in his care and education and caused the son unnecessary suffering that imperiled his health. These parents were not so lucky when they decided to ignore facts and knowledge and use make-believe instead. Their baby was only nine months old, too small a body to tolerate the same burn-wound equivalent condition grown ups usually suffer through without the same peril of death. Neglecting to treat such a serious case of dermatitis may increase the likelyhood of it becoming chronic.
      If Iqbal had the sense to read and trust even the simplest online texts on dermatitis Iqbal could learn that such conditions are often self-limiting. The change of environment may have been enough in this case, to name only one obvious factor.
      The homeopath chose the said “remedies” because he is a delusional idiot[sic]. If you had asked another idiot homeopath, it would very likely have chosen some other make-believe remedy. Would be interesting to do a blind test of a group of homeopaths. Give them all the same information and see the consistency in prescription.
      That the condition aggravated before improving was a very likely course of events, that’s why the homeopath guessed it. And for crying out loud… the condition hasn’t even cleared up yet. What a lousy “miracle”!

      • Björn Geir

        ” The condition hasn’t even cleared up, only improved, as is to be expected in such cases.”

        A small patch is left to clear up on my son’s left hand. This would roughly mean 98% cleared.

        “The idiots who “practice” homeopathy usually hedge their bets by saying the condition may aggravate before improving.”
        We could have communicated the 2 medicines Sulfur and Tuberculinum on the telephone. The question was the outcome: The problem had continued for 6 weeks of which last 2 weeks were difficult. What was he expected to do during aggravation: our assessment was that he would use prescribed steroid (Predenisone) with out telling us for temporary relief and later on ask for homeopathic antidote. We therefore agreed to call him to India and he agreed to spend $ 1100 on his ticket. This was because of his past experience with homeopathic medicine and what he read about the adverse effects of steroids. The outcome was exactly as the doctor predicted: so in this case you are the idiot.

        ” been negligent in his care and education and caused the son unnecessary suffering that imperiled his health.”
        Not if you ask my son. More so, now. My wife used allopathic medicines for first 26 years of her life. She has never used allopathic drug thereafter for the past 32 years. When she compares the effect of drugs with homeopathic medicine for the same medical condition, one can never get her to try allopathic medicine in future.

        • “We could have communicated the 2 medicines Sulfur and Tuberculinum on the telephone.”

          Or sent healing remedies via e-mailing an mp3 file, or by mailing the Silent Healing audio CD:
          http://adailydoseofsoundtherapy.com/physical-health/a-double-shot-of-sound-healing/

          The Silent Healing CD contains over 34,000 different Homeopathic type remedies, which have been sampled and stored on the CD. When played on a Hi Fi or other CD player it releases the Homeopathic type patterns to harmonise imbalances. Every imbalance in the body has a complementary energetic pattern that will bring it back to optimum health, the body knows best and responds through resonance and accepts the patterns it needs.
          http://ethosplan.com/silent-healing-demonstration.aspx

          • What on earth is a ‘homeopathic type pattern?Is it a real homeopathy pattern or not? IIt reminds me of Private Eye’s ‘Neasdiloaf Bread-Style Substitute’. They may as well be knitting patterns.

          • I defy you to prove that real homeopathy is more effective than telehomeopathy, be reference to objective measurements.

      • contd.

        Having limited clinical evidence for their decision-making is not the only gap in physicians’ scientific certainty. Physician judgment—the “art” of medicine—inevitably comes into play, for better or for worse. Even physicians with the most advanced technical skills sometimes fail to achieve the highest quality outcomes for their patients. That’s when resourcefulness—trying different and potentially better interventions—can bend the quality curve even further.

        And, even the most experienced physicians make errors in diagnosing patients because of cognitive biases inherent to human thinking processes. These subjective, “nonscientific” features of physician judgment work in parallel with the relative scarcity of strong scientific backing when physicians make decisions about how to care for their patients.

        The problem is that physicians don’t know what they’re doing. That is how David Eddy, MD, PhD, a healthcare economist and senior advisor for health policy and management for Kaiser Permanente, put the problem in a Business Week cover story about how much of healthcare delivery is not based on science. Plenty of proof backs up Eddy’s glib-sounding remark.

        Here is what Eddy has found in his research. Give a group of cardiologists high-quality coronary angiograms of typical patients and they will disagree about the diagnosis for about half of the patients. They will disagree with themselves on two successive readings of the same angiograms up to one-third of the time. Ask a group of experts to estimate the effect of colon-cancer screening on colon-cancer mortality and answers will range from five percent to 95 percent.

        Ask fifty cardiovascular surgeons to estimate the probabilities of various risks associated with xenografts (animal-tissue transplant) versus mechanical heart valves and you’ll get answers to the same question ranging from zero percent to about 50 percent. (Ask about the 10-year probability of valve failure with xenografts and you’ll get a range of three percent to 95 percent.)

        Give surgeons a written description of a surgical problem, and half of the group will recommend surgery, while the other half will not. Survey them again two years later and as many as 40 percent of the same surgeons will disagree with their previous opinions and change their recommendations. Research studies back up all of these findings, according to Eddy.

        Because physician judgment varies so widely, so do treatment decisions; the same patient can go to different physicians, be told different things and receive different care. When so many physicians have such different beliefs and are doing such different things, it is impossible for every physician to be correct. ”

        The above is contributed by Dr David Eddy who is NOT a homeopath. And if you didn’t know all this ……….. ……………….
        https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/demand-better-health-care-book/

        “That the condition aggravated before improving was a very likely course of events, that’s why the homeopath guessed it. And for crying out loud… the condition hasn’t even cleared up yet.”
        If you provide your id I can share some images: before and after from our Whats app file. But then you have nothing to contribute except your ignorance and amazement.
        What a lousy “miracle”!
        Funny you add the word “miracle” for homeopathic results. For the homeopath, this was one of his many cases. I had finalized the same remedies but his experience helped sequence the remedies and arrive at proper dosage.

        • iqbal keeps on cutting and pasting items he or she thinks show the shortcomings of modern medicine but is still missing the point completely. Even if David M. Eddy’s opinionated listing of old controversies were generalisable for all medicine, which is far from the truth, the fact that medicine (real) is imperfect does in no way prove or corroborate the utility or efficacy of homeopathy.
          Is that so terribly difficult to grasp?
          Iqbal’s son became better. It is neither likely nor plausible that it was thanks to sugar pills. Iqbal can keep cutting and pasting till the sun burns out, it will not change the fact that homeo-remedies contain nothing.

          • Björn Geir

            ” the fact that medicine (real) is imperfect does in no way prove or corroborate the utility or efficacy of homeopathy.

            Your new rhetoric. Guy Chapman has a better one: “in exactly the same way that plane crashes validate magic carpets.”

          • Björn Geir

            “…. son became better. It is neither likely nor plausible that it was thanks to sugar pills. Iqbal can keep cutting and pasting till the sun burns out, it will not change the fact that homeo-remedies contain nothing.

            This has happened many times. When I had typhoid. My brother and me had whooping cough. Or my elder son had malaria. Then my mother had herpes. Or when I had a stomach infection. When my mother had rheumatism. Or when my elder son had pneumonia. My wife’s frozen shoulder. Her aunt’s corns on the soles of her feet. The many stomach disorders of my wife due to bad eating habits………………..
            There are 24 members in the family: eldest at 95 youngest at 2 months. 4 generations. Over 1200 years between us.

            The nor-plausible sugar pills deliver results always. ……..Similar to the skin problem faced by my son above.

          • And yet I am unable, despite diligent study and numerous requests to practitioners, to locate a single independently authenticated case where homeopathy has been objectively proven to have cured anybody of anything, ever.

            The obvious explanation is that you are mistaken, as people were mistaken in their beliefs about medical and pseudomedical treatments for pretty much all of human history until well after Hahnemann’s time. Coincidentally, this also explains all the known observations in respect of homeopathy.

          • ” the fact that medicine (real) is imperfect does in no way prove or corroborate the utility or efficacy of homeopathy.

            Your new rhetoric. Guy Chapman has a better one: “in exactly the same way that plane crashes validate magic carpets.”

            Now that “Iqbal” has learned that these sentences have a common meaning, can we hope he/she will some day understand them? I am not hopeful.

        • So, medical science has questions that are not yet answered and deals in balance of probabilities. I don’t know why you would ask heart surgeons about xenografts, they are consumers of that product, you should be asking the research scientists, but no matter.

          This is in stark contrast to homeopathy, which is based on dogmas that cannot be questioned. All homeopaths begin from the assumption if Hahnemann’s doctrines, none begin by testing them to see if they are true.

          Does cinchona cure malaria because the symptoms of cinchonism are similar to those of malaria? No. It works by killing plasmodium parasites that cause the disease.

          • Guy Chapman

            “I don’t know why you would ask heart surgeons about xenografts, they are consumers of that product, you should be asking the research scientists, but no matter.”

            The comment from Björn Geir was:

            “The homeopath chose the said “remedies” because he is a delusional idiot[sic]. If you had asked another idiot homeopath, it would very likely have chosen some other make-believe remedy. Would be interesting to do a blind test of a group of homeopaths. Give them all the same information and see the consistency in prescription.” Can any one be more idiotic. And he claims to be a qualified doctor.

            So I picked some similar information from the net: actually lot more damaging: You may read at your leisure: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/demand-better-health-care-book/

            Some snippets:

            “Medical decision-making itself is fraught with inherent subjectivity, some of it necessary and beneficial to patients, and some of it flawed and potentially dangerous. For these reasons, millions of Americans receive medications and treatments that have no proven clinical benefit, and millions fail to get care that is proven to be effective. Quality and safety suffer, and waste flourishes.”

            “Patients with the same health problem who go to different physicians will get wildly different treatments.”

            “We could accurately say, “Half of what physicians do is wrong,” or “Less than 20 percent of what physicians do has solid research to support it.” Although these claims sound absurd, they are solidly supported by research that is largely agreed upon by experts. Yet these claims are rarely discussed publicly.”

            “Give surgeons a written description of a surgical problem, and half of the group will recommend surgery, while the other half will not. Survey them again two years later and as many as 40 percent of the same surgeons will disagree with their previous opinions and change their recommendations. Research studies back up all of these findings, according to Eddy.” (Dr. Eddy is a highly respected doctor and considered the founder of Evidence based medicine.)

            This is extra: “Pronovost said that we (that is, physicians) knew that we were killing people with preventable central-line blood-stream infections in hospitals and we accepted it as a routine part, albeit a toxic side-effect, of practice. We were killing more people that way, probably, than those who died of breast cancer. We tolerated it because our practices didn’t use available scientific evidence that showed us how to prevent such infections. We ignored the science and patients paid the price with their lives. ”

            “Does cinchona cure malaria because the symptoms of cinchonism are similar to those of malaria? No. It works by killing plasmodium parasites that cause the disease.”

            Homeopathic Cinchona does not cure by killing plasmodium parasites. It will help body over come attack by adjusting response accordingly. And this will NOT cure ALL cases. Each case will require remedy based upon symptoms. (INTERMITTENT FEVER (ague, malarial))
            http://www.homeoint.org/books4/boerirep/fever.htm#typeoffever

          • “Homeopathic Cinchona … will help body over come attack by adjusting response accordingly.”
            THIS IS A VERY, VERY DANGEROUS CLAIM!!!
            FAR TOO MANY PEOPLE STILL DIE OF MALARIA.
            to make a claim of that nature without evidence is criminal, in my view.
            SHOW US THE EVIDENCE [and no anecdotes please].

          • As you noted from my earlier response, problems with reality-based medicine validate homeopathy in exactly the same way that plane crashes validate magic carpets.

            Snipping the trip down your paranoid rabbit hole, I address your misunderstanding of my point re chinchona:

            Homeopathic Cinchona does not cure by killing plasmodium parasites. It will help body over come attack by adjusting response accordingly. And this will NOT cure ALL cases. Each case will require remedy based upon symptoms. (INTERMITTENT FEVER (ague, malarial))

            No, homeopathic cinchona doesn’t cure anything. Hahnemann took cinchona in pharmacologically active doses knowing it to be a cure for malaria, he suffered an idiosyncratic reaction, and based on this he decided that cinchona cures malaria because the symptoms of cinchonism are like those of malaria. He was wrong in every material respect, and yet this remains the basis of the doctrine of similars. There is no actual science showing that like cures like as a general or even common principle, and there is no property of matter by which such an effect could be produced. Homeopathy uses a vast array of different materials, it would require a fundamental property of matter, and none has ever been suggested let alone proven.

          • Edzard

            “THIS IS A VERY, VERY DANGEROUS CLAIM!!!”
            FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ZERO KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HOMEOPATHY.

            “FAR TOO MANY PEOPLE STILL DIE OF MALARIA.”
            MOST DIE BECAUSE THEY GO TO ALLOPATHIC SYSTEM THAT OFFERS NO OPTION AGAINST DRUG RESISTANT MALARIA.

            “……….a claim of that nature without evidence is criminal, in my view.”
            My mother, brother, maid servant, son and me have been through malaria that was resolved through homeopathy remedies. Your view has no meaning.

            “SHOW US THE EVIDENCE [and no anecdotes please].

            This is solid evidence. You can count dead people for evidence. And those who remain alive, suffer for ear problems requiring hearing aids: an additional effect of drug used.

          • my grandmother smoked 20 cigarettes per day all her adult life and did not die of lung cancer.
            PROOF THAT SMOKING DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER?
            you are so far off the track – it is comical.

          • Edzard

            “my grandmother smoked 20 cigarettes per day all her adult life and did not die of lung cancer.”
            PROOF THAT SMOKING DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER?”

            What about patients suffering from lung cancer even if they have never smoked a cigarette? This is a good example of homeopathic thinking. Not all organism’s behave in the same way for the same stimuli. And therefore they have to be treated individually.

            https://www.verywell.com/the-japanese-lung-cancer-smoking-paradox-2248990
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11700268

            If the Japanese reduced number of smoked cigarettes per day lung cancer due to tobacco would reduce dramatically. What will be the state of your evidence then?

            “you are so far off the track – it is comical.”

            May be your grandmother had a Japanese gene line. Or may be you are so used to fudging data that you have lost understanding of real science.

          • you are truly hopeless!

    • Iqbal, a dermatitis might be a self limiting disease. Your story reminds me of the stories of the great master himself, Samuel Hahnemann who tells almost *exactly* what you tell here with regard to a case of sore throat and hemorrhoids. If you investigate the timeline closely it is clearly a case of with homeopathy it would have been gone in two weeks, without in 14 days.

      If your son has a master’s in biochemistry and could not see the trigger, well, that is not good. You yourself have told us a very possible trigger: “It started as a small rash on the back of his hand in January 2017 during his trip to Colorado (cold and dry). It vanished when he returned to Dallas and the resurfaced in February.” the climate. This also explains the Indian adventure b/c the climate in India is very different from that in Dallas.

      This, Iqbal, is a prime example why one never should trust such stories and it sheds light on your capability to dissect cause-effect relationships. It is not there.

      • My son is back in Dallas now. The trigger should be around him.

        Let us see the out come.

        • whatever the outcome is, please don’t pretend it’s evidence!

          • You should realize that this evidence or anecdote is not a number from the statistical data base for me.
            From the information shared until now, it is clear that homoeopathic medication is effective and is based upon provings defined in the materia medica.

          • “From the information shared until now, it is clear that homoeopathic medication is effective and is based upon provings defined in the materia medica.”
            SHOW US SOME REAL EVIDENCE!!!

          • Edzard
            “SHOW US SOME REAL EVIDENCE!!!”
            Evidence for prescribing Rhus tox: Homeopathic Quick Bed side Prescriber: JN Singhal Page 163 Eczema, Blister like (3 cardinal symptoms: restlessness, thirst and chilliness)
            Evidence for Sulfur: When carefully-selected remedies fail to act, especially in acute diseases, it frequently arouses the reactionary powers of the organism. (http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/s/sulph.htm)
            Evidence for Tuberculinum: Homeopathic Quick Bed side Prescriber: JN Singhal Page 161 reason (6). Option Tuberculinum as our family carries TB miasm. If not fully resolved, Syphilinum will follow.
            Rhus tox will remain the main remedy finally followed by Bovista. http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/r/rhus-t.htm (In urticaria follow with Bovista.)

          • I DON’T SUPPOSE YOU WILL EVER LEARN WHAT EVIDENCE IS!!!

          • (http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/s/sulph.htm)

            This book is from 1927, the page contains NO evidence whatsoever, just claims that are – at least – 90 years old. Where is the promised evidence?

          • he may be working on it

          • he may be working on it

            Or not, as the case may be. [Rt Hon Jim Hacker MP]

          • Edzard

            “I DON’T SUPPOSE YOU WILL EVER LEARN WHAT EVIDENCE IS!!!”

            Go into semantics: Read “evidence” written earlier as information.

            My son getting well is the EVIDENCE. And all based upon information 90 years old that is valid even today.

            You guys should be ashamed of your self. You have no drug that cures eczema, considered among the most basic medical problem. At best manage it with creams and steroids that end up suppressing the disease. In the end, the patient retains eczema and gets lung infection.

            Suppress rheumatism and cardiac attack follows. Vioxx was no exception.

            Homeopaths observed this 100 years ago.

            You are looking for biased evidence. Evidence that seems to satisfy your requirement to prove homeopathy wrong not the evidence that shows effect on patients. This is the reason allopath doctors kill patients : knowingly (we were killing people with preventable central-line blood-stream infections in hospitals and we accepted it as a routine part, albeit a toxic side-effect, of practice. We were killing more people that way, probably, than those who died of breast cancer. We tolerated it because our practices didn’t use available scientific evidence that showed us how to prevent such infections. We ignored the science and patients paid the price with their lives. ) and off course by mistake. (3rd largest killer in USA: allopath doctors.)

          • Iqbal,

            let me explain something to you: Homeopaths also “observed” that Belladonna prevents scarlet fever. A review of the data done by JW Begbie rebuked that absolutely solid.

            What you present is not evidence, it is fairy tales from Lalaland.

            Let me further lecture you: Would homeopathy be used as a cancer treatment, chances to die of breast cancer within 5 years would triple. Homeopaths do not treat, they kill by negligence.

          • Iqbal, let me explain something to you. That your son is getting well is good for him, but it is NOT evidence. It could be everything from coincidence to some other factors like climate.

            What you do is citing fairy tales from homeopaths. This has already been debunked with the great master himself, namely Hahnemann. Hahnemann used to marked packages of Belladonna as a “drug” to prevent scarlet fever. This approach was heralded as break through in fighting this disease. Then came JW Begbie who looked at the mortality rates. The verdict was damning for homeopathy. NO DIFFERENCE.

          • You are looking for biased evidence

            You could start by showing us your biased evidence. It would be dismissed, but it would be a start. So far, you have not even shown us biased evidence. Just empty claims. That may be sufficient for the simpletons your QuackMeister was talking about in Mein Kampf, but it doesn’t work too well for those fellow primates who actually do know the difference between evidence and claims.

          • Thomas Mohr
            “Homeopaths also “observed” that Belladonna prevents scarlet fever. A review of the data done by JW Begbie rebuked that absolutely solid.”
            JW Begbie was a poorly informed researcher. To quote him as a “solid source” you only demean yourself and expose your lack of knowledge about a subject that you discuss.
            http://www.homeoint.org/books1/clarkeprescriber/s.htm#scarlatina
            Can you count the number of remedies?

            “Would homeopathy be used as a cancer treatment, chances to die of breast cancer within 5 years would triple.”
            The reason behind cancer is the rampant use of allopathic drugs.
            Dr. Martin Blaser cites antibiotics. Or drugs like Actos. The allopathic system.
            So if you use homeopathy, you do not get cancer. Treatment with homeopathy will CURE cancer without killing the patient from chemotherapy. Forget the 5 year rule. This rule is made to get a median and cover up numerous deaths due to allopathic treatment.
            http://www.pbhrfindia.org/video-links-2/111-successful-treatment-of-cancer-with-homeopathy.html
            http://www.drramakrishnan.com/cancer.php

            “Homeopaths do not treat, they kill by negligence.”
            I do not know if this is a valid statement. Stupid and people with hidden agenda are found in all profession, including blog writing. But I see a report that says allopaths kill knowingly and by negligence. While for homeopathic deaths you will be able to show some minuscule numbers over many years, the number of deaths due to allopaths totals millions EVERY YEAR.

            ““Pronovost said that we (that is, physicians) knew that we were killing people with preventable central-line blood-stream infections in hospitals and we accepted it as a routine part, albeit a toxic side-effect, of practice. We were killing more people that way, probably, than those who died of breast cancer. We tolerated it because our practices didn’t use available scientific evidence that showed us how to prevent such infections. We ignored the science and patients paid the price with their lives.”
            https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/demand-better-health-care-book/

            Doctors are the 3rd biggest killer in the USA, and shortly would be number 2.

          • Try again, this time citing credible sources.

          • Well, Iqbal,

            I can count the remedies and NONE of them works in scarlet fever. John Henry Clarke and William Boerike are tellers of fairy tales. They are idiots and the same goes for you.

    • Dermatitis is a condition that waxes and wanes, so it is not surprising that a flare up would be followed by regression. I have the same (or very similar) condition, mainly affecting my feet. It comes and goes. If it gets bad I use steroid cream which clears it up in under a week, but it’s not good to use steroids long term.

      Using homeopathy to treat this kind of skin condition has led to several deaths and even the imprisonment of the neglectful parents. And homeopathic prescribing is a joke.

  • As homeopathy works on animals how can it be argued it doesn’t work?
    The fact that science cannot ‘prove’ it works is meaningless. It simply hasn’t found out how to. I reverse lab tests using homeopathy.

  • Go through the procedure of Drug proving..
    Every missunderstnding about homeopathy will be clear……

    • Dr Shahikant-
      What ‘misunderstanding’ about homeopathy?

    • Certainly a look at the so-called “proving” of homeopathic nostrums is informative. I strongly believe that a solid understanding of the “proving” process is sufficient in itself to disabuse any rational person of the idea that there might be anything to homeopathy other than delusion. Especially if that review also includes some of the repertories, with their fanciful claims to have asymmetric effects on symmetrical anatomy.

  • It is nice to have people around to support a debate for homeopathy but I have some concerns about Iqbal’s report on his son’s Psoriasiform Spongiotic Dermatitis . Since he has disclosed that his son has Master’s in biochemistry, his son is an adult.

    Two worrying things here: firstly: a lifetime of homeopathy by his family expertise in homeopathy has not forestalled this condition from suddenly arising. Secondly, even if it did suddenly appear on his hand in January 2017, it is unlikely that a physical manifestation of this kind would be that easily subdued by a quick succession of remedies.

    In my view, this report should be disregarded.

    If it is true, I apologise for expressing my reservations.

  • Pete
    Bechamp vs Pastuer, utter tosh that the money followed Pastuer’s approach?

  • Pete
    Bechamp vs Pastuer, utter tosh that the money followed Pastuer’s approach?

    Looks like “Greg” is a germ denialist as well, who’d have guessed? 😀

    • What ‘utter tosh’ (Pete). Dr. Leifsson that is ‘rubbish’ (Bjorn Geir Leiffson) , how can you extract that from the statement:
      Bechamp vs Pastuer, utter tosh that the money followed Pastuer’s approach?

      Are you ‘talking out of your arse?’ (Professor Edzard Ernst).

      I am not against antibiotics or vaccines. See: you really have not got a clue, have you Dr. Leifsson?
      Geir has had a few drinks to recover and now has returned for some more pounding. Pity he hasn’t got a clue about homeopathy.

      • “What ‘utter tosh’ (Pete)” Sorry Greg, but it was me (I’m called “Frank”) who used that expression, not Pete.

        “Bechamp vs Pastuer”. It’s spelled ‘Pasteur’: once is happenstance but two repetitions of the same spelling error is ignorance. And computers have been able to handle an e acute, as in ‘Béchamp’, for more than 20 years, but you’re probably not bright enough to appreciate that level of finesse. Pasteur’s ‘approach’ was eminently correct, as he demonstrated with robust, reproducible experimentation, but the fantasy world you inhabit — amply supported today by inane websites run by similarly unknowledgeable people — would apparently never appreciate the difference between reality and something just plain wrong, like Béchamp’s arguments against germ theory.

        I’m sorry to say the only person who comes over consistently as “not having a clue” on this blog is you, Greg, but you’re so prolific in foghorning your cluelessness I guess everybody has now already recognized that.

        • Frank gets the credit for his finesse spelling skills and use of spellcheck, and the phrase ‘utter tosh’ (give credit where it is due). Hope you are happy now?

          Trump and Pasteur are sidetracks to the discussion on homeopathy and I am not interested in discussing these topics further; thanks, try someone else for this.

          The thing that you are not knowledgeable about enough to comment on is homeopathy. Talking ‘out of your arse’ (Professor Edzard Ernst) too?

          • “The thing that you are not knowledgeable about enough to comment on is homeopathy.” Courtier’s reply.

          • One of the less charming traits of quacks in general and homeopaths in particular is the tendency to assert that anyone who does not believe in their magical nonsense, does not understand it. This is, of course, common to most religions: to know is surely to believe.

            The problem, of course, is that most of us here actually do understand homeopathy – it’s the homeopaths who don’t.

  • Special notice for Dr. Bjorn Geir Leifsson:

    Just One Drop will be screened at Reykjavik (Surdargarta 35, 101) on April 30, 2017.

    Enjoy.

    • Greg should obviously not be trusted with the simplest of communications. He forgot a lot of important details and bungled the address.

      For those interested, the screening will take place at a Homeopathy Clinic in Suðurgata 35 in Reykjavik, Iceland on Sunday april 30th at 15:00. Here is an announcement.
      Admission is ISK1800, which is about 15 Euro’s or 13 UK Pounds.

      I am surprised Guðrún Tinna (prominent homeopath and Tarot reader) and the other Icelandic water shakers are not making a bigger event of this. The locale is a rather small older residential house in central Reykjavik. They could surely have fixed an auditorium or one of the many movie showrooms? But I guess the homeopathic ‘Echo Chamber’ is not very large in our little land and maybe they just want to gather for themselves among the vials and pill bottles, free from heckling non-believers?

      From the description of the film (one version can be found under the link above), there is probably not much new there, it seems to be the usual cavalcade of anecdotes, cherry picking and patting each other’s back – topped by Rachel Roberts, CEO of Homeopathy Research Institute, giving the homeopathic version of an ‘in depth analysis’ of the Australian report, which found that none of the scrutinized health conditions could be helped by homeopathy.

      I rather like the name of the company producing the film: “Blind Dog Films”
      Blind (faith) is a factor in the survival of homeopathy

      I have spread the word among those I believe may be interested. It is important to stimulate the dialog about fake healthcare.
      As for me attending, I seldom enjoy religious ceremonies of any kind and I will be abroad anyway.

  • I will do a ‘systematic review’ of Edzard and his cohorts’ comments on homeopathy.

    It will be a hoot.

    • please don’t bodge it; a systematic review must follow a proscribed methodology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systematic_review

      • I will ask you for your advice; I can’t compete with you on this.

        The best person for you to have a debate on homeopathic systematic reviews is Dr. Robert Mathie

        • On what basis do you claim that Mathie is the “best” person? This sounds to me like proposing Ken Ham as the best person with whom to debate evolution.

          • Randomised placebo-controlled trials of individualised homeopathic treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis

            Robert T Mathie, Suzanne M Lloyd, Lynn A Legg, Jürgen Clausen, Sian Moss, Jonathan RT Davidson and Ian Ford

            Quotes
            A rigorous and focused systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of individualised homeopathic treatment has not previously been undertaken. We tested the hypothesis that the outcome of an individualised homeopathic treatment approach using homeopathic medicines is distinguishable from that of placebos.

            Medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects.

            https://systematicreviewsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2046-4053-3-14

          • Ah yes, “Randomised placebo-controlled trials of individualised homeopathic treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis”. See http://edzardernst.com/2014/12/homeopaty-proof-of-concept-or-proof-of-misconduct/

            Mathie was more honest than most homeopaths in admitting that individualised homeopathy may have specific treatment effects (i.e. the results are also fully consistent with there being no such effects), and if you accept the Mathie study at face value then you implicitly accept that only individualised homeopathy rises tot he point of possibly having an effect, and all other homeopathy does not. But Prof. Ernst’s criticisms of that paper are quite trenchant and I see no reason to doubt their validity.

            After more than 200 years, the best that can be said is that if you cherry-pick a few studies you get a result that, while it is consistent with the null hypothesis, might also support some specific effect, albeit with no remotely plausible reason why.

            And that’s why NCCIH no longer funds studies of homeopathy. The believers will always spin the result, no negative result will ever be accepted by them, and the sorts of studies they do cannot in any case settle the question because they are of the form “do dragons fly because of magic, or are they equipped with antigravity devices”.

          • Greg,

            Medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects. [my emphasis]

            I refer you, and other readers, to my previous response to you:
            http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/official-verdicts-on-homeopathy/#comment-89000

  • Dr. Bjorn Geir Leifsson:Greg should obviously not be trusted with the simplest of communications. He forgot a lot of important details and bungled the address.

    Check this Dr.: http://www.justonedropfilm.com/the-film/upcoming-screenings/

    As usual, Dr Leifsson does not have a clue: he will be the funniest guy in the ‘review’.

    • From Greg’s link, the showing in Reykjavik is at Surdargarta 35, which is the English equivalent of the Icelandic ‘Suðurgata 35’ in Bjorn’s comment. Greg’s link only gives the (anglicized) address of the showing, whereas Bjorn also tells us the admission price and the time.

      Now, Greg, please explain, from the profundity of your superior wisdom, in what way precisely did Bjorn forget “a lot of important details and bungled the address”? Do you imagine that, if you travel to a country where the main language is different from English the street names will miraculously appear in English for your benefit?! With each new post you push your foot deeper into your mouth.

    • Greg needs to learn to detect sarcasm… and to read what (s)he is responding to check his/her sources before submitting.

  • Frank: With each new post you push your foot deeper into your mouth.

    Read the comments again. See what I mean Professor Ernst? This is hilarious already, isn’t it?

  • Sorry about the delay in getting back online to respond. Today is a memorable one; I had a hearty laugh (thanks to Frank Odds and Dr. Bjorn Geir Leifsson) and, finally, the homeopathy discussion with Edzards rests: Edzard agreed that medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects.

    That is different from claiming that homeopathic medicines are pure placebos.

    Even homeopaths can’t say with absolute certainty that a patient who has been sick for years and then regains their health under homeopathic treatment was cured the remedy(s) or by the homeopathic process, or by God, or by placebo effect. What they can say is that patient x was sick and is now better.

    Yes: medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects.

    How fitting to conclude on: ‘Official’ verdicts on homeopathy.

    • ” Edzard agreed that medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects”
      where did I do that?
      you are fantasizing!

    • Even homeopaths can’t say with absolute certainty that a patient who has been sick for years and then regains their health under homeopathic treatment was cured the remedy(s) or by the homeopathic process, or by God, or by placebo effect. What they can say is that patient x was sick and is now better.

      By the same kind of naive misconception one may just as well deduce that homeopathic remedies should NOT be taken, as billions have through the ages been sick but gotten better by NOT taking homeopathic remedies.

      Even if Greg is a fountain of risible errors of reasoning, I never laugh at homeopaths or other delusional dilettantes. They are to be pitied for their idiosyncratic beliefs as are the people they fool and defraud, or even hurt, unwittingly or not by their peddling of make-believe medicine.

      • Dr Bjorn Geir Leifsson is unlikely to win the ‘Nobel price’ for work in Homeopathy:

        Björn Geir on Thursday 19 December 2013 at 19:52
        @ Marvin
        Seriously.
        Your statement that Randi is not serious tells me you’re chicken. Either you’re a genius who should be applying for the Noble price but to shy to come forth and save mankind… or you’re full of excrements.
        Not excrementum vaccinum mind you, just plain old excrementum vaccinum ( incidentally also used in a homeopathic remedy)
        Prove me wrong and win a million dollars while you’re at it. ((http://edzardernst.com/2013/03/the-four-types-of-homeopaths-would-hahnemann-approve/)

      • Dr Bjorn Geir Leiffson
        Björn Geir on Sunday 07 December 2014 at 18:35
        According to one of the resident trolls who claims (s)he knows the hidden magic of the alternative world (oriental version), the “Qi” leaves the body after death. Maybe that is the pungent smell that emanates from rotting flesh?
        End of quote

        The record of Dr. Bjorn Geir Leiffson’s comments on this site and on the Web is available to anyone who would like to assess his views and perspectives. Dr Leifsson, your comments certainly do require reading in context.

        • (A previous response seems to have failed to submit due to a glitch in the internet connection? If it appears again, please excuse the doublet )

          As before, Greg does not seem to appreciate wit and humour. This morsel is all the way back from 2014. Actually, I was rather pleased with this jocular ridicule of one of our incognito’s rambling about the nature of “Qi” that left the body at death. I was in effect asking if QI could be detected as the smell emanating from a dead body 🙂

          These pathetic projectiles would be more interesting if the person behind “Greg” had the courage to present itself. Also they would be more effective if he or she had the ability to understand the difference between humorous sarcasm and bad character.
          I participate in this discussion under my full credentials. This puts me at a disadvantage when assailed in this lowly way by incognito adversaries. Greg seems to think he can reveal something about me by adding my professional title and my patronym. Probably thinks this will facilitate Google and similar search engines to find what Greg seems to think is examples of bad character 🙂

          I stand fully and personally by what I write here but if this sort of irrelevant behaviour from nameless cowards continues, I may have to reconsider my participation. I am not going to stoop so low as to go under cover but I do understand those normal and intelligent people who have decided to use pseudonym’s despite wanting to be honest and upright.

    • medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects.

      Of course they *may*. Just as I *may* be a big tentacled blob of purple goo from outer space. Prince Charles *may* even be an honest genius.

    • Well Greg, this quote: “medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects” which is a quote from a metareview. In this metareview the quote continues: “which is constistent with homeopathy being a placebo.” (paraphrased). Greg, in medicine you do not want small effects. You want clinically relevant ones.

      • Well Mr. Mohr; I am sure that you do a good job in food technology research (thank you) but are you sure you are in the right position to comment on homeopathic treatment outcomes?

        • Greg, let me explain something to you:

          Quote: “I am employed as a staff scientist or scienitifc co-worker at the Medical University of Vienna, my task is doing computational biology in cancer research. I also run a company, ScienceConsult – DI Thomas Mohr KG which specializes in in-vitro test development and analyzing -omics data with regard to biologic context.”

          The biotechnology branch and computational biology encompasses – amongst other things – statistics and the ability to design and analyse clinical studies.

          Have you EVER properly analysed a clinical study ? No ? Did you EVER publish a scientific paper ? No ? Do you know how a prior probability affects the interpretation of a clinical study ? No ? Do you what the p-value says and what it NOT says ? No ? Do you know how one calculates the power of a study ? No ? Do you know what type-I and type-II errors are ? No ? Do you know what mixed linear models are ? No ? Do you know what paired testing is ? No ? Are you working in drug development ? No.

          I have designed and analysed studies and written papers.In fact right now I am doing exactly that. You on the other hand have no idea whatsoever on that topic. Are you in the position to analyse a study – be it homeopathic, individualized or not, or Indian rain dances ? Nope, Greg, you are not. You are not even able to read properly and in context. Aside that, alone the attempt to kill the messenger is prima facie evidence that you have no substantial arguments whatsoever. In simple words, alone the fact that you attempt that proves that you have lost.

          • Your expertise in science is evident (congratulations) but are you are you sure you are in the right position to comment on homeopathic treatment outcomes?

            Which studies of treatment outcomes have you done? I have not been able to find any on the Web, please would you provide links to your homeopathic treatment outcomes studies. Thank you.

          • before you keep on asking pompously others, tell us what your qualifications are, please!

          • Once again Greg. To assess a study outcome you need to know statistics, probabilities, randomization and *not* homeopathy. An analysis of any clinical study is *not* done by the doctors. It si done by the statisticians. In fact for a valid analysis and/or metaanalysis the nature of the treatment is pretty irrelevant. It could be Indian rain dances, a new drug or individualized homeopathy. Study design, sampling, probabilities etc. is what counts. Heck, an RCT tests if the WORKFLOWS in the arms of a study may be EQUAL. It does NOT test a drug, it does NOT test if the workflow is different and it does NOT test a particular hypothesis like “homeopathy works”. The only thing an RCT answers is, how high is the probability that the observed data fit to the hypothesis that there is no difference.

            To put it in simple words for you: I know statistics, you know homeopathy. I can assess the methodologic correctness of a study, you can NOT. Therefore your conclusions about studies in homeopathy are irrelevant whereas mine count. Got it now ?

            And now, Greg, what are YOUR qualifications ? I asked a lot of questions, none is answered.

      • Thomas Mohr on Monday 23 January 2017 at 12:42

        Der Prof. Ernst,

        thanks for the complement. FYI, I am by trade a food and biotechnologist with a degree from the University of Life Sciences, Vienna.Currently I am employed as a staff scientist or scienitifc co-worker at the Medical University of Vienna, my task is doing computational biology in cancer research. I also run a company, ScienceConsult – DI Thomas Mohr KG which specializes in in-vitro test development and analyzing -omics data with regard to biologic context.

  • Edzard’s theory of homeopathic treatment effectiveness:
    edzard on Thursday 07 February 2013 at 16:16
    patients get better because of the lengthy, empathetic consultation not because of the homeopathic remedy. this is not only the simplest explanation of the apparent contradiciton, it is also supported by experimental evidence: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21076131
    to answer your specific question: there is no such “therapeutic action” of a homeopathic remedy

    Edzard on Sunday 19 May 2013 at 08:28
    the simple answer is no, it does not work. what might give the impression that it does are effects not related to the remedy, such as placebo, regression to the mean, natural history etc.
    homeopathic remedies are placebos and do not work beyond placebo.
    homeopathic consultations may work via the effects of an empathetic therapeutic encounter.

    Greg on Friday 21 April 2017 at 16:55
    Randomised placebo-controlled trials of individualised homeopathic treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis
    Robert T Mathie, Suzanne M Lloyd, Lynn A Legg, Jürgen Clausen, Sian Moss, Jonathan RT Davidson and Ian Ford

    Quotes
    A rigorous and focused systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of individualised homeopathic treatment has not previously been undertaken. We tested the hypothesis that the outcome of an individualised homeopathic treatment approach using homeopathic medicines is distinguishable from that of placebos.

    Medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects.
    https://systematicreviewsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2046-4053-3-14

    Edzard on Friday 21 April 2017 at 17:11
    MAY!!!

    End of quotes

    Conclusion: What evidence does Edzard have that his THEORY of why homeopathy is effective is correct when he admits they MAY have an effect. How does he KNOW (ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY) that the effects of treatments are NOT due to the remedies?

    Dr Bjorn Geir’s Leifsson’s interest in homeopaths:

    Björn Geir on Wednesday 18 December 2013 at 17:08
    I only have a phenomenological interest in what goes on in the muddled minds of modern homeopaths.

    Conclusion: the only muddled mind that he has revealed is his own

    • The scientific explanation of homeopathy does not require any special theory. The evidence for the existence of factors such as regresssion to the mean, natural course of disease, expectation effects, observer bias and so on, is sufficiently compelling that every single medical trial has to demonstrate that the experimenters have tried to eliminate these things.

      Mathie’s result becomes resoundingly negative if the inclusion criteria are applied correctly, as Prof. Ernst has pointed out before. And even if you accept Mathie, you have implicitly agreed that only individualised homeopathy might work, and even that is weak and speculative. Hardly a ringing endorse,ent after more than 200 years.

      Science does not have to prove an implausible claim false, the proponents of the implausible claim have to prove it true. Few claims are more implausible than those of homeopathy, and the evidence is getting weaker over time, not stronger.

  • Mr Chapman, I agree that homeopathy has not progressed due to the lack of application of scientific method to the research process.

    The only method of ‘homeopathy’ is the indivualised method. Other methods are other methods: isopathy, combination remedy homeopathy, allopathic/clinical homeopathy etc.

    I have stated before: I consider this to be an inappropriate site to discuss the technicalities of the homeopathic method as this site is dedicated to mocking traditional medicine and not discovering what is good in it. Therefore, I point out the absurdity of the ridicule and allow the light to be shined upon those that mock homeopathy without having experience of its effects.

    I believe the opposite to you: I believe that the period of experimentation with homeopathic methods is getting to a point of resolution, and that classical homeopathy will emerge stronger.

    ‘Medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects.’ (Mathie et al, 2014)

    Refinement of the method of individualised homeopathy, appropriate selection of potencies through the progression of treatment MAY!!! result in BIGGER, SPECIFIC treatment effects.

    • Greg, apparently you are not getting the fine points of what prior probability means, and the effect of metaanalyses. As I said, a p-value estimates the probability that your data fit to the assumption that there is no difference. To claim that a particular therapy workflow works, (“homeopathy works”) you have to take the prior probability of your alternative hypothesis into account. The prior probability of individualized homeopathy is practically zero. This means that all dependent probabilities, among them “homeopathy works”, are also zero.

      “Refinement of the method of individualised homeopathy, appropriate selection of potencies through the progression of treatment MAY!!! result in BIGGER, SPECIFIC treatment effects.”

      This statement alone shows that you have no idea about therapy development and therapy itself, for several reasons:

      First. homeopathy has failed consistently for 200 years and the “provings” are scientific hokupokus. They are hopelessly underpowered and reflect more the psychic state of the probands than anything else.

      Second, in India they have an own ministry, the AYUSH and since years they pour considerable effort and money into individulaized homeopathy, to no avail.

      Third, if one reads the abstract book of homeopathic conferences like recently the World Conference in Leipzig, one is astonished how an entire abstractbook can be published as part of a scientific conference that contains only three abtsracts with a reference to underlying statistics. I will tell you why: Would homeopaths apply stats to their work, the results would be abysmal. This is one of the reasons why homeopaths (falsely) claim their therapy can not be tested statstically (it can!) and that homeopathic remedies can not be patented. For a patent you need a proof of concept, and a working one at that.

      Fourth, drug development usually leads pretty fast to noticeable therapeutic effects. An example is the development of taxols that progressed from Phase I to Phase II trials within 1 year and resulted (unoptimized !!) in an effect size of whopping 30%. Homeopathy, after 200 years, has produced nothing like that.

      The fact that homeopaths are unable to resolve these difficulties, not only since yesterday but since more than a century is a very strong hint that homeopathy is nonsense. The fact that you fail to see this points towards severe gaps in your knowledge of how therapy development, and science in general works.

      The matter of homeopathy was already been resolved in 1835 with a very negative RCT with Natrium Muriaticum.

    • Mr Chapman, I agree that homeopathy has not progressed due to the lack of application of scientific method to the research process.

      No, that is not true. Homeopathy has not progressed because when the scientific method is applied, it shows homeopathy to be wrong in every important respect. Homeopathy is not founded on empirical reality, it is a belief system divorced from testable fact, so all that can ever happen when it is diligently investigated is that these problems are exposed with every greater clarity.

      The only method of ‘homeopathy’ is the indivualised method. Other methods are other methods: isopathy, combination remedy homeopathy, allopathic/clinical homeopathy etc.

      Virtually all homeopathic “remedies” are sold over the counter and are not “individualised”. Leaving aside for a moment the undoubted fact that the process of individualisation has all the rigour of reading tea leaves, it is a minority within the trade and – more importantly – a tiny minority among clinical trials. Mathie says that the majority of trial of homeopathy, i.e. all those which are not “individualised”, show it to be worthless. You now say that this is only to be expected because it’s not real homeopathy (the “no true Scotsman fallacy).

      Your fellow homeopaths, however, will try to claim the likes of arnica montana cream as validating homeopathy. Everyone here realises why that’s bogus, but you highlight a very real problem: homeopathy cannot establish objective answers to big questions – is isopathy valid? are imponderables valid? are nosodes valid? – because any properly objective test will show that there is no “there” there.

      Philosophical differences lead to schism, not to tests resulting in a common body of understanding. That’s one of the things that marks homeopathy out as a religion, not a science.

      I have stated before: I consider this to be an inappropriate site to discuss the technicalities of the homeopathic method as this site is dedicated to mocking traditional medicine and not discovering what is good in it. Therefore, I point out the absurdity of the ridicule and allow the light to be shined upon those that mock homeopathy without having experience of its effects.

      You are wrong on several grounds. First, it is a fine place to discuss homeopathy because lots of people here are very knowledgeable about it, especially Prof. Ernst. Second, this site is not devoted to mocking “traditional medicine”, it’s dedicated to exposing the fraudulent means used by quack to promote nonsense. Third, homeopathy is not traditional It was invented from whole cloth by one man in 1796. Traditional medicine can be traced back to prehistory and has many commonalities across traditions. You are basically comparing something like the Steiner cult with paganism. Fourth, many of us have experienced homeopathy and its lack of effects. Your assumption is common among believers in woo: if only people experienced its wonderful power, they would believe. But this is a fallacious view, because it discounts the proven case where people try it and it does not work.

      I believe the opposite to you: I believe that the period of experimentation with homeopathic methods is getting to a point of resolution, and that classical homeopathy will emerge stronger.

      And I think the trajectory of evidence shows pretty clearly that the more objective a test is, the less likely it is to show any effect. Which is what every single government level review to date has also concluded.

      Refinement of the method of individualised homeopathy, appropriate selection of potencies through the progression of treatment MAY!!! result in BIGGER, SPECIFIC treatment effects.

      And I MAY sprout wings and fly. The likelihood of both outcomes is about the same.

  • At Edzard: I keep asking pompously; that is funny Professor Ernst.

    Mr Mohr considers citing his qualifications as a means to override the validity of my comment.

    I asked him if he considered himself to be in the position to comment on homeopathic treatment outcomes. A yes or no would have been fine.

    Concerning your question: someone asked you this question and your reply was:

    edzard on Tuesday 05 February 2013 at 08:48
    and why should i provide such details to you? because you are looking for another reason to challenge me on the basis of misunderstood, half-understood, or not undersood facts?

    Alan contributed to this discussion

    Alan Henness on Tuesday 05 February 2013 at 09:52
    Eugen
    Why? Can’t you argue with any specific facts Prof Ernst has given?

    • in other words, you have no qualifications?

      • in other words, you have no qualifications?

        I can’t help but think he does. He qualifies for Broadmoor Hospital. I *may* be wrong, but it certainly doesn’t look good for him. He needs all the help he can get, and Broadmoor is the best place for that, I think. He/It/She is such a sad person. To be pitied.

      • That is an illogical inference from the information provided to you. Why should I provide such details to you?

        Mr. Mohr has answered the question: he evidently believes that he has the knowledge to comment on homeopathy and, according to him, ‘the matter of homeopathy was already been resolved in 1835 with a very negative RCT with Natrium Muriaticum..

        So why is research still being done today, and why is Professor Ernst dedicating so much time to discussing these studies?

        This site is my favorite comedy site, thank you Professor Ernst.

      • Provide qualifications to a group of homeopathy bloggers? That is very funny ‘Edzard’, you are a witty man indeed.

    • Greg, it is you who constantly harps experience in individualized homeopathy is necessary to assess the validity of studies. Well, I actually assess the validity of studies and demonstrated to you that you lack the – far more important – statistical knowledge by doing so serving you your ass on a silver plate. Now you are trying to backpedal but that will not work here. What exactly is your qualification with regard to study analysis ?

      • Why should I provide such details to you?

        • why you should give this information ? For starters, to have credibility. So far you have zero, zilch, nada.

          Do you know what a prior probability is and how the posterior probability of an alternative hypothesis is calculated ? Apparently not. It is calculated using Bayes Theorem which combines prior probabilities by means of multiplication to calculate the posterior probability, i.o.W. the probability that the hypothesis “homeopathy works” is true. Since the prior probability of homeopathy is zero, the posterior probability of the hypothesis “homeopathy works” is also zero. This is how clinical studies are analysed.

          Greg, you do not look farther than a p-value of a metaanalysis because apparently you lack the professional credentials to do so.

  • @Mr Mohr
    Medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects.
    https://systematicreviewsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2046-4053-3-14

    Please would you provide statistical analysis comment on Dr. Mathie’s study. Why do you think that he stated that remedies may have ‘small, specific effects’?

    Your statement is interesting: ‘Greg, in medicine you do not want small effects. You want clinically relevant ones.’ Do you not consider that minute effects on homeostatic functions may impact on the state of health of a human being?

    How does Edzard KNOW (WHAT EVIDENCE DOES HE HAVE?) that his beliefs regarding the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment is due his alternative hypotheses?
    the simple answer is no, it does not work. what might give the impression that it does are effects not related to the remedy, such as placebo, regression to the mean, natural history etc.
    homeopathic remedies are placebos and do not work beyond placebo.
    homeopathic consultations may work via the effects of an empathetic therapeutic encounter.

    As a statistician, is the range of potential outcomes relevant to your analysis of actual outcomes? If so, please explain the potential outcomes of administration of a similimum homeopathic remedy to a patient, and how the potential range of outcomes impact of the calculation of the actual outcomes values?

    Thank you Mr. Mohr, you input is appreciated.

    • Greg, apparently you have not understood what an RCT and a metaanalysis of studies measures. Once again: An RCT answers the question: “How much is the probability that my data fit to the hypothesis that there is no difference”. What Mathie actually saw was a small difference between the treatment arms of some studies. Nothing more. This could have been caused by a multitude of things, study design, placebo effects or pure coincidence. The probability of a finding by pure coincidence can be actually quite high.

      To claim that “Medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects” he should have taken into account the prior probability of homeopathy (which approaches zero due to it’s violation of several scientific theories) to assess the posterior probability that these treatment effects are due to homeopathic treatment and not by chance or any other factor. Since the prior probability even of a finding by pure chance is much greater than the prior probability of homeopathy working, the posterior probability of the hypothesis “this finding is seen by pure coincidence” is also much greater than the posterior probability of the hypothesis “this finding is due to homeopathy”. The same goes for the hypothesis “The effects are caused by placebo”. This in turn means that Mathie’s conclusion is vary far fetched to express it euphemistically. Indeed the observed effects vanish with more stringent analysis parameters which supports the hypothesis that we are seeing coincidential or placebo effects. If there would be a true effect that would not vanish.

      Greg, this is how such papers are analysed.

      • Thomas: I do admire your patience with this man. personally, I have given up on him ever understanding anything.

      • This in turn means that Mathie’s conclusion is vary far fetched to express it euphemistically.

        Thomas, I am sure that Dr. Mathie will be grateful that you have clarified this for him. Thank you for your reply. Edzard gets exasperated if comments don’t align with his views and it takes him much ‘patience’ to try and answer questions, and he seems to frequently deviate from the questions to irrelevant matters.

    • may

      What about looking up the meaning of *may*?

      • he may not want to do that; he may get disillusioned!

        • Edzard: to answer your specific question: there is no such “therapeutic action” of a homeopathic remedy
          Edzard: homeopathic remedies are placebos and do not work beyond placebo.
          Bart: What about looking up the meaning of *may*?
          Edzard: he may not want to do that; he may get disillusioned!

          No/MAY!!!

          Edzard can’t spot the difference.

          You guys are so much fun, thank you again.

          • well, Greg, YOU are fun and a prime demonstration that homeopaths do not understand science. As it is, I have a talk on homeopathy in June. Thanks so much with providing ample material how reasoning in homeopathy works. Another thanks goes – of course – to the world homeopathic congress in Leipzig.

          • Edzard can’t spot the difference.

            Can you?

          • If you buy a ticket, you MAY win the lottery. In fact, there is a plausible mechanism whereby this might happen

            If you ignore enough negative studies and include enough poor quality positive ones, you can conclude that individualised homeopathy MAY have specific effects. But this conclusion depends on cherry picking the studies and there is no remotely plausible mechanism by which it might work. So it’s much less likely than winning the lottery.

  • he may not want to do that; he may get disillusioned!

    Which, in turn, may indicate that he knows reality and that may indicate that he is a swindler, not just an ignoramus.

  • ONE MORE TO ADD TO THE LIST [SPANISH ROYAL ACADEMY OF PHARMAY]:
    http://www.ranf.com/images/
    “…FROM A SCIENTIFIC POINT OF VIEW, THERE ARE NO ARGUMENTS TO SUPPORT THE EFFICACY OF HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES

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