These days, I spend much of my time in France (my wife is French), and one striking thing about this country is the popularity of homeopathy. For instance, it is hard to find a pharmacy where the pharmacist does not approach you trying to sell you a homeopathic remedy for your health problem. But, of course, this is all far too anecdotal. The question therefore is, are there any reliable data on France’s usage of homeopathy?
The answer is YES: the aim of this new paper was to analyse data on medicines, prescribers and patients for homeopathic prescriptions that are reimbursed by French national health insurance.
The French national health insurance databases were used to analyse prescriptions of reimbursed homeopathic drugs or preparations in the overall French population, during the period July 2011-June 2012.
The results show that a total of 6,705,420 patients received at least one reimbursement for a homeopathic preparation during the 12-month period. This number equates to 10.2% of the French population, with a predominance in females (68%) and a peak frequency observed in children aged 0-4 years (18%). About one third of patients had only one reimbursement, and one half of patients had three or more reimbursements.
The cost of all homeopathic treatments prescribed during the 12-month period was approximately €279 million (based on the retail price). The observed mean reimbursement rate was 34%. This cost corresponded to nearly €98 million for the French national health insurance and amounted to 0.3% of France’s total drug bill. The most commonly prescribed stock was ‘Arnica montana’, followed by ‘Influenzinum’, Ignatia amara’ and ‘Gelsemium sempervirens’.
A total of 120,110 healthcare professionals (HCPs) prescribed at least one homeopathic drug or preparation. They represented 43.5% of the overall population of HCPs, nearly 95% of general practitioners, dermatologists and pediatricians, and 75% of midwives. Homeopathy accounted for 5% of the total number of drug units prescribed by HCPs. Conventional medicines were co-prescribed with 55% of homeopathic prescriptions.
From these data, the authors concluded that many HCPs occasionally prescribe reimbursed homeopathic preparations, representing however a small percentage of reimbursements compared to allopathic medicines. About 10% of the French population, particularly young children and women, received at least one homeopathic preparation during the year. In more than one half of cases, reimbursed homeopathic preparations are prescribed in combination with allopathic medicines.
So, my impression that homeopathy is much more popular in France than elsewhere was not entirely correct. Like in most other countries, it is used by a minority; but this minority is fairly vocal and gets plenty of press coverage. When discussing homeopathy with friends in France, I have regularly discovered that they have very little understanding about what homeopathy is truly about; they seem to favour it because it is heavily advertised as a harmless solution to benign health problems. In no other country have I seen regular TV commercials for homeopathy! The ones who earn by far the most from this is, of course, the pharmacist – in France, homeopathic products can only be found in pharmacies!
Seen from this angle, the French usage of homeopathy is a triumph of profit over reason: the two most popular preparations (Arnica and Influenzinum) are not just not evidence-based (like all other homeopathic remedies), they have been shown in systematic reviews not to work better than placebos.
I’m glad to see the latest study being misinterpreted by homeopaths has finanlly been explained so that laymen like me can understand it.
Needless to say Ullman will certainly go on claiming this means 95% of French GPs regularly prescribe homeopathy.
Robert G Hahn http://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/355916
The author has never practiced, received, or studied homeopathy, but has worked in clinical medicine and performed traditional medical research in anesthesiology and surgery for the past 30 years
Clinical trials of homeopathic remedies show that they are most often superior to placebo.
Researchers claiming the opposite rely on extensive invalidation of studies, adoption of virtual data, or on inappropriate statistical methods.
Further work with meta-analyses should abandon the concept of summarizing all available clinical trials and focus on the effects of homeopathy versus placebo or other treatments in specific diseases or groups of diseases.
One way to reduce future emotional-driven distortion of evidence by investigators and skeptics would be to separate the evidence-seeking process from the formulation of clinical guidelines more clearly.
With R G Hahn, you have found the true expert.
How curious! Hahn doesn’t list this article among the 446 in his CV. Is he not pleased to have written a paper for the journal Research in Complementary Medicine?
The last article in CV: 2011.
a) We’re talking about a paper from 2013, not 2011 (see comment from andyourewonderful above)
b) In any case there is no publication in Hahn’s CV that I linked to that appears in Forschende Komplementärmedizin.
So what the heck are you on about?
People are not idiot as to pay for something inoquous. The majority of physiciens denying the effectiveness of Homeopathy has never studied or tryed it. My wife studied the traditional Medicine for 6 years before studying Homeopathy for 2 years. She knows both sides of the coin and practices Homeopathy in Brazil. I’m convinced by the evidence of almost 30 years of exelent results: there is no doubt that Homeopathy works. Among her patients there are inumerous Alopathic Doctors as well as their families.
“almost 30 years of excellent results” is not what we call evidence;
perhaps you should read this:
About 160 years ago, the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis discovered, after numerous and in-depth research, the importance of hand hygiene in the control of hospital infections
He was persecuted by the status quo even after demonstrate that his method had worked in various hospitals, in the same way homeopathy is undergoing these days.
Fortunately, the science is near to understand the explanation for the way how homeopathy works. Exactly as previewed by his founder, it would be necessary 200 years for the science to understand Homeopathy.
a perfect example of the Galileo fallacy (The claim that because an idea is forbidden, prosecuted, detested, or otherwise mocked, it must be true, or should be given more credibility. This originates from Galileo Galilei’s famous persecution by the Roman Catholic Church for his defense of heliocentrism when the commonly accepted belief at the time was an earth-centered universe.).
“…science is near to understand the explanation for the way how homeopathy works…” I am afraid this is wrong. there is nothing to understand because it does not work beyond placebo.
“Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment; you must also be right.” – Robert Park.
As you are obviously a straight-thinking, science-minded erudite fellow I am enthusiastically making an important offer to you! You can be one of the first enrollees in my new, revolutionary health-care method called Heteropathopathy!! It is destined to make homeopathy a thing of the past!
I will guarantee you that in only 146 years my principles will be proven true! How could they not?
The premise? Whatever disease or malady a patient presents with, I determine the most divergent, unrelatable, heterogenous “thing” in the world to it. Once determined, a picture of that “thing” is given to the patient to stare at for 4 hours and 11 1/2 minutes every other day. Eventually the utter divergence of ‘that-thing’ to the present disease will drive it out of the body based on the scientifically proven principle of “like-rejects-unlike” i.e. heteropathopathy!
Just recently a patient with Malaria was given a picture of a clutch pedal from a 1963 Ford Econoliner. Even though he died last Monday it has given me some very valuable insights that I will share with you at the upcoming seminar (hint: it was a 1966!).
Looking forward to hearing from you and getting your credit card information!
All the best.
Sadly, in Paris homeopathy is ubiquitous. If there is a pharmacy that does not stock homeopathy of some description, I have yet to find it. Virtually everywhere, oscillococcinum is displayed right in the centre of the cold remedy displays behind the counter. The words “Homéopathie” and “Phytothérapie” are displyed in most pharmacy windows and it’s not uncommon to see them in large illuminated letters on the store front, right next to “Pharmacie”.
Fortunately at no point in 15 years has anyone ever suggested a homeopathic remedy to me and I struggle to recall even more than one or two of my entourage who have ever mentioned it. Based on my own purely anecdotal evidence with no serious study, I have little reason to believe that the use of homeopathy is in any way as widespread as its appearance in pharmacies might suggest. Sadly, I can have confidence in that assertion looking to the future. Boiron advertised heavily this last winter. «Les medicines douces» (literally “soft medecines”, a term which covers everything imaginable form of CAM) seem to be getting more press coverage.
For a country so proud of it’s scientific and intellectual heritage, I find it pretty depressing.
Spain, too…at least, Catalunya: if you go into a chemist, you are surrounded by this (and other) rubbish: chemists pride themselves on being a source of health advice, but sell these foolish nostrums every day.
If you go into a pharmacy for anything, it is assumed you want something “natural” and if you grow your own veg., it is assumed you are “organic”, anti-GMOs and a host of etceteras: it’s the zeitgeist or summat….
Do they stock it because they want to, or because rules force them to? Norwegian pharmacies are obliged to sell homopathic remedies because (as far as I’ve understood as a layman) said remedies are covered by medical regulations and as such only pharmacies are allowed to stock them. Which could theoretically, funnily enough, mean that homopathy could at some point be “banned” in Norway, if pharmacies stop selling them due to lack of effect, and no one else are allowed to stock them.
^^layman’s post, take with a grain of salt.
I find it strange that pharmacies would be forced to sell any particular product: do you actually mean that or do you simply mean that they are the only places permitted to sell homeopathic products and can do so if they so choose?
Sorry, in the last paragraph, that should read “Sadly, I can have no confidence in that assertion…”
Yesterday I spent half an hour talking to a lady (in Scotland) who has used homeopathy several times on herself, her dogs and her horses, and who has twice send some hair to a person who “accurately” diagnosed a painful tooth abscess on the first occasion and an injured leg on the second. Like all people who believe this stuff is real (from my conversation I’m sure the hair diagnoses were based on cold reading) this lady was utterly oblivious to what homeopathy is about. “It lists all the stuff that’s in it on the bottle” was her response when I asked her if she knew the principles of homeopathy.
My UK friends are just like your French friends, Edzard. They are genuinely ignorant of the “reasoning” that underpins the various forms of CAM, and — as the French statistics show — the usage is mainly complementary, rather than alternative. I’d have hoped that anyone taking two therapies — orthodox and occult — for the same condition would realize they’ll never know which of the two actually effected the cure (if either). But the default always seems to be to praise the Big Snakeoil product and take proper medicine for granted.
Maybe the time has come for us to stop impressing small children with fairy tales. We have a pretty massive population of adults who seem unable to distinguish batshit crazy fantasies from reality.
I often think that placebo is the wrong word for homeopathic ‘remedies’: they are pacifiers. Giving a homeopathic ‘remedy’ to a child does not help the child at all, it just pacifies the parent(s).
Unhappily is the same here in Brazil, the only country in the world where homeopathy is a medical specialty recognized by law like neurology and cardiology and the number of “homeopathic physician” is the half of the number of cardiologists.
All because some homeopaths and homeopathic pharmacists who made pressure on the Physician Association that approve this because it would give more clients to the doctors.
Your comment comes from pure prejudice. I’m from BR too (I’ll write in English in order to other readers may understand it). Homeopathy does work. I’ve treated my allergies and anxiety-related issues purelly on homeopathy, and so did my mother and grandmother. My wife’s whole family also uses it. It even works with my dogs (which suffer of lupus and some bone diseases). Personally, I don’t think of homeopathy as “placebos” or mere “pacifiers”. Like many areas of human knowledge, it is being target to many counterfeit prejudices in order to favour someone else’s interests. Nowadays, in order to a scientist get the funds to his researchs, he has to follow some really specific line of thought (the mainstream), which is making science, in general, too much biased.
The allopathic industry is the main source of biased studies against homeopathy.
“The allopathic industry is the main source of biased studies against homeopathy.”
so, homeopathy does not seem to work against paranoia.
Oh, dr., you’ve offended me on the internet! How am I going to live with that now? Please, do tell me, which allopathic medicine would you recommend to treat my paranoia? But, please, it must be one that wouldn’t cause me any side effects, such as (and not limited to):
Are these studies (to pick just a few) paid for by various homeopathic organisations biased?
1 Mathie RT, Wassenhoven MV, Jacobs J, et al. Model validity and risk of bias in randomised placebo-controlled trials of individualised homeopathic treatment. Complement Ther Med 2016;25:120–5. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2016.01.005
2 Mathie RT, Van Wassenhoven M, Jacobs J, et al. Model validity of randomised placebo-controlled trials of individualised homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy 2015;104:164–9. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2015.02.004
3 Mathie RT, Wassenhoven MV, Rutten ALB, et al. Model validity of randomised placebo-controlled trials of non-individualised homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy 2017;0. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2017.07.003
4 Mathie RT, Hacke D, Clausen J, et al. Randomised controlled trials of homeopathy in humans: characterising the research journal literature for systematic review. Homeopathy 2013;102:3–24. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2012.10.002
5 Mathie RT, Lloyd SM, Legg LA, et al. Randomised placebo-controlled trials of individualised homeopathic treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis. Syst Rev 2014;3:142. doi:10.1186/2046-4053-3-142
6 Mathie RT, Ramparsad N, Legg LA, et al. Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of non-individualised homeopathic treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis. Syst Rev 2017;6. doi:10.1186/s13643-017-0445-3
7 1 Jacobs J, Guthrie BL, Montes GA, et al. Homeopathic combination remedy in the treatment of acute childhood diarrhea in Honduras. J Altern Complement Med 2006;12:723–32. doi:10.1089/acm.2006.12.723
Oh Rafael… There is no hope! Have you tried not taking the remedies in some cases to see what happens? Have you tried taking identical inert products that are not homeopathic to see what happens? Have you tried doing so without knowing if what you take is really a homeopathic product?
No? Well, I understand… How could you, you have to use someone else to assist you in not knowing.
Until you have tried all these things to make sure that the effect of the products steadily persists, you cannot conclude jack about their effects! If you desperately want them to work, however, your condition is an entirely different story…
So, the industry, which would be extremely happy to find an actual effect, so it could profit from it, did try all of the above suggestions extensively. In the most carefully organized settings, the results were devastatingly clear. There is no effect! Then, the industry realized they were checking something bogus all along, based on pure fantasy. The industry was so sad to have spent time and money on such a bogus piece of excrement of an idea that it decided to make money from it anyway. Thanks to faithful believers like you, to this day, the industry makes money out of gullibility. What is certain, in any case, is that the industry has compensated, in money, for the more-than-two-centuries’ worth of useless research!
It’s “all you”, bro! No “allopaths” involved…
“In no other country have I seen regular TV commercials for homeopathy!”
Interestingly, in France advertising for drugs is absolutely forbidden. But not advertising for homeopathy, since these are not drugs, they do not contain any active ingredient, so they’re entirely harmless! It is by the same reasoning that French law does not require homeopathic treatments to prove any efficacy and any absence of harm. Talk of double standards…
As far as I know, Arnica exists as a real treatment, with meaningful dosage (e.g., http://www.medicinenet.com/arnica_arnica_montana-topical/article.htm). Therefore I don’t understand why it is systematically described as homeopathic.
arnica is toxic; therefore the herbal version can be used externally only. all oral arnica is homeopathically diluted and thus harmless – but also ineffective.
I currently live in Austria and I find it incredible that Homeopathy is placed on a par as real medicine. You can only buy it in a pharmacy, and most Dr’s here will attempt to prescribe it. Many Austrians will proclaim “oh its accepted here” in a tone that implies the Austrian’s have enough evidence, or know something we don’t. I find its something you can’t really discuss without upsetting people here, not sure why it provokes such a response.
You’ll even find it in the intensive care units (although its the nurses pushing it not the Dr’s there).
A pharmacist friend tried to push some homeopathic Zäpfchen (en: suppository) on my partner for our newborn. I can understand why parents wouldn’t want to give paracetamol to a young baby unless absolutely necessary, but why give something which causes distress and is ineffective.
Another worrying aspect of the homeopathic suppositories is that they have some ingredients in extremely high doses (relatively speaking).
E.g. Bella Donna D1.
For me this is worrying, why would I give a 1 in 10 dilution of a toxic substance to a baby? The other problem with Homeopathy is that they don’t say what the original concentration of the original substance was. What is D1 in this case? 1 in 10 of the pure substance, or it was already just a few molecules?.
Somehow it feels like there is an active propaganda campaign in Austria in support of Homeopathy. Despite that I don’t think that many people actually understand what Homeopathy really is.
Anyway thanks for your interesting articles, and I loved your Trick or Treatment book you did with Simon.
You should learn how homeopathy works. The fact that you say “For me this is worrying, why would I give a 1 in 10 dilution of a toxic substance to a baby?” shows you know nothing about it.
In fact, homeopathy is the safest medicine for a baby. It works well, and without side effects.
Indeed. Here’s a good website that helps: How does homeopathy work?.
I’m happy that at least the pharmacists in France haven’t completely bowed down to the pharma vampires. I stopped being a skeptic when a remedy cured my gastritis that doctors were killing me with regular meds.
The problem is, that for some medical problems, homeopathy works too well. This scares big pharma, so they’re up in arms about it.
I stopped taking about three different types of meds, in exchange for 1 remedy for a month, and I was cured. That’s lost profit for them right there.
Why it gets people’s knickers in a bunch, especially those who don’t use it, I can’t say. What I can say, is that they’re attempting to take away a health choice from people, that’s just plain evil.
“…for some medical problems, homeopathy works too well…”
PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES
Arthritis, acne, psoriasis,Herpes, Tonsillitis, Gastritis, Enuresis, Allergy, Asthma, Panic Syndrome, Infertility, Hypertension, Autoimmune Diseases and thousands of other non-surgical diseases.
Any “Big Pharma” CEO who doesn’t immediately start manufacturing homeopathic “medicines” on the basis of the anecdotal evidence that you (and many others who’ve commented on this blog) provide is not doing his job properly for her or his shareholders. Water and sugar pills are dead cheap to put in bottles, there’s no expense on research required, and the sheer size of the pharmaceutical infrastructure with its marketing and sales divisions would wipe out the smaller existing competition. The profits are immense (as balance sheets from companies like Boiron will confirm).
So why don’t the big pharma people sell the (widely popular) witchcraft products? Is it possible they’re ethical about the businesses they run?
“…they’re attempting to take away a health choice from people, that’s just plain evil.” As a matter of fact, we usually expect governments and knowledgeable experts to take away consumer choices that are shown not to work or to be dangerous. There is no consumer choice for new cars not to have exhaust emission controls, for electrical goods to have unsafe chargers, or for tobacco and alcohol to be sold to people regardless of age: the list goes on endlessly, and few people would regard these choice limitations as ‘evil’. For some inexpicably curious reason, matters related to health seem for ever to exempt themselves from the same umbrella of rational protection. Is healthcare in fact the last bastion of consumer life in which we are totally free to fool ourselves?
Are they? What makes you believe this?
“I stopped taking about three different types of meds, in exchange for 1 remedy for a month, and I got better
Fixed that for you.
since I am also suffering from a chronic gastritis (not caused by H. pylori), it would be very helpful and kind of you to tell me what remedy helped you.
Best regards Esther
Can someone explain to me why arnica is considered homeopathic? I use the topical form to reduce the appearance of bruises (doesn’t help the pain), but I’m not using arnica to treat arnica poisoning (or something), so how is that homeopathic?
this is from my book HOMEOPATHY, THE UNDILUTED FACTS about to be published by Springer:
Homeopathic Arnica is made from ‘Arnica Montana’, a perennial herbaceous, toxic plant, which grows abundantly in the Alps and many other mountain ranges worldwide. Homeopathic Arnica remedies must not be confused with herbal preparations of the same plant. The latter are poisonous, if taken by mouth, and therefore only for external use.
Homeopathic Arnica products are highly diluted; therefore, they are non-toxic and for both external and internal administration. Homeopathic arnica is used mostly in ‘clinical homeopathy’; that is to say it is employed by clinicians and patients – it is readily available as an OTC-product – for ‘cuts and bruises’ without the need to account for the individual characteristics of the patient.
Several clinical trials have tested whether homeopathic Arnica is better than placebo for healing injuries. Two independent systematic reviews evaluating the totality of this evidence have cast serious doubt on its effectiveness.
finally someone in France has the courage to speak out (https://www.connexionfrance.com/French-news/Doctors-condemn-alternative-medicines):
A total 124 doctors sign an open letter criticising alternative medicines such as homeopathy as having ‘no scientific basis’
More than 100 doctors and health professionals have written an open letter protesting against the use of alternative medicines such as homeopathy.
The letter, published in Le Figaro, with 124 signatories says such ‘esoteric disciplines’ are ‘fed by charlatans’ and ‘have no scientific basis’ but are ‘based on beliefs promising miraculous healing’.
“We wish to dissociate ourselves completely from practices that are neither scientific nor ethical, but rather irrational and dangerous,” the letter reads.
They said that alternative medicines promote a ‘mistrust’ of conventional treatment and can ‘delay diagnosis’.
The writers demand that the Conseil de l’ordre des médecins et[des] pouvoirs publics to stop recognising alternative treatments as medical, stop teaching them in medical training, and call for a halt to covering the costs of such treatments.
The whole thing should be treated not as religion or politics. Everybody knows that the placebo effect exists, but only in few cases, sometimes without statistical significance (*). On the other hand, how to explain the courage of thousands of homeopaths around the world, prescribing their remedies to little children and babies (therefore, immune from placebo effect), in cases as pneumonia, tonsillitis and other infeccious deseases, without appealing to antibiotics, without fear of a millionary judicial process. You can say they are crazy, I prefer say that they know by experience that it works.
Michael Kenny on Tuesday 08 May 2018 at 23:57
“As you are obviously a straight-thinking, science-minded erudite fellow I am enthusiastically making an important offer to you! You can be one of the first enrollees in my new, revolutionary health-care method called Heteropathopathy!! It is destined to make homeopathy a thing of the past!
I will guarantee you that in only 146 years my principles will be proven true! How could they not?”
Sorry if I was not clear. Hahnemann made that statement 200 years ago. It is arriving the time to face the truth. If you take a look in the later works of the Nobel-Prize French virologist, Luc Montagnier, you’ll understand what I tryed to say. It’s not the first time in history that the science disregard things that exist, although not completely explained.
So one (1) deluded smart guy and millions of really dumb followers over the last hundreds of years making outlandish claims that defy reason, logic and experimentation…..and you think Homeopathy ISN’T about “religion”??? I’d suggest it’s only ever been about religion.
An ancient Professor of Homeopathy used to say: “if you think Homeopathy does not work, give me fifty cases of proven Pneumonia and let me treat them with Homeopathy without anything else. In the term of a few weeks, let me know your opinion.” This kind of prove – not accepted by the traditional Medicine -, is the only one that has something to do with the ultimate objective of the Medicine: patients’ health.
How do you think ancient homeopaths went about confirming pneumonia?
Your insight into and knowledge of medicine and health care leaves much to be diesired.
Homeopaths say all sorts of things. This is only evidence that homeopaths say stuff.
And seriously, do you imagine that invoking the pronouncements of an ancient authority as “proof” makes your position look less like a religion?
Luiz:: How “ancient”? More than 200 years ? How often did he ‘used to say it’? And how many times did this Professor cure “50 cases of proven Pneumonia” with his “ancient homeopathy”? What formula? How did he make it? And where did he write down this amazing evidence so future naysayers could be duly dismissed ?
Fraud needs vague, nonspecific, ill defined stuff to survive….and you are apparently happy to oblige.
There are some problems with the people who attack homeopathy.
First of all, why are they concerned about the fact that some minority use it? I am trying hard to find an answer to this question. There is none whatsoever. It seems that those “seekers of the truth” need to impose and force this “truth” on others even if the others are not interested in it.
Secondly, they always use two or three stupid arguments: “homeopathy doesn’t work because there is no molecule of the remedy in the final dilution” and “homeopathy is placebo, that’s why it works” (they should however agree on this point, but they are so biased and obsessive about their particular “truth” that they get to be rather incoherent even about the results of homeopathy: does it work or not??).
Truth is that if placebo effect would be soooooooo good we – all of us on this planet – would be totally healthy because anything that we take as a remedy – be it homeopathy, allopathy, Chinese medicine, ayurveda, Coca Cola, wine, chalk powder, chemo or whatever – would work splendidly because it would be a placebo. We all would be cured of everything forever.
But as we all know – I hope – none of this is true. Placebo doesn’t work always. There are double blind studies where placebo or allopathic remedies are used and clearly the groups using placebo have no effects on their health.
Please stop attacking homeopathy. No one forces you to use it. If you do not believe that it might help you in any way, just do not use it. But let other people use it, as there are real and splendid results and cures with homeopathy.
As for the third stupid argument – “it doesn’t work with everybody” – people, are you serious? Let me tell you something obvious: allopathic remedies have the same problem, it doesn’t work with everybody. They do not cure in very many cases. And in some others they directly worsen the very condition they pretend to cure.
I do not understand why do you pretend from homeopathy to be better than allopathy. I mean, a little bit of coherence here, guys.
So just slow down and hold your horses, and just let people around you use whatever WORKS for them. Do not use it yourself, but stop imposing your problems on others. Because you know what? Homeopathy works, people, for so many patients, it just works, and I do not give a damn on the reason, or if there is any molecule or placebo or whatever, IT SIMPLY WORKS. Who cares if it is placebo/whatever when it works?? My aim is to get healthy, and I do not care how, as long as I or others do not get harmed in the process. So, guess what? Homeopathy never harms anybody, guys. Not children, not adults, not animals, no one.
Once again, I do not care how or why it works. Because my final goal is to be cured.
Stop beating the bush about why it “shouldn’t” work; focus on the final goal: IT WORKS, IT CURES. Because, as someone else commented here before, no one would buy it if it did not work, mark my words. No one.
I am happy to address your questions.
1. “(…) why are they concerned about the fact that some minority use it?”
The reasons why people criticize homeopathy are as multifaceted as the people doing it are. Speaking for me, I am trying to promote REASON, LOGIC, SCIENCE and HUMANITARIAN VALUES. Therefore, I am against all unproven BELIEVE SYSTEMS (religion, CAM, etc.).
2. “Secondly, they always use two or three stupid arguments: (…)”
FAR MORE than two or three arguments speak against homeopathy, e.g. that practicing it is against ethics. Just read one of Prof. Ernst´s book on this topic. And why do you call these arguments “stupid”? Isn´t it more stupid to believe that ANYTHING gets more concentrated/effective when you dilute & shake it?!
Scientists rely on REPRODUCIBLE experiments, not on believe and most (if not all) agree that a (not very reliable) placebo effect exists and that it is ONE of the factors that can lead to the FALSE conclusion that homeopathy has a specific effect.
Of course, placebo does not work always, but why should this be a reason that homeopathy works?! Placebo is only one of SEVERAL reasons that can lead to the alleviation of symptoms AFTER a CAM treatment (but beware: not as a CONSEQUENCE of the treatment). You might want to read up of “regression toward the mean”. Many diseases get better over time with or without treatment, thanks to our immune system.
3. “let other people use it, (…)”
As long as they are adults and pay out of their own pocket, that’s fine for me. However, I am strongly against health insurance coverage, because it is a waste of time and money.
4. ” allopathic remedies have the same problem (…)”
They are tested far more rigorously than homeopathy. Of course, nothing works for everybody but instead of homeopathy, specific effects must have been shown before licensing.
5. “(…) IT SIMPLY WORKS.”
Repeating this statement over and over does not make it true (even if you use capital letters). Most well-made studies show that indeed in DOES NOT work. Furthermore, the GWUP has put out a challenge for EVERY homeopathy believer worldwide (feel free to accept it yourself). If ANYONE can show via this objective and fair test that ANY homeopathic remedy has ANY specific effect, he/she will immediately win 50.000€ (and a Nobel prize will certainly follow).
I wonder why NOT EVEN ONE homeopath (or group of homeopaths) has registered to accept this challenge.
6. “Homeopathy never harms anybody, guys.”
Since nothing is in it, the remedy itself will of course have no toxic effect. However, big problems can arise if you delay an EFFECTIVE TREATMENT because you try homeopathy first (e.g. in case of an acute sepsis, as recently experienced by my father, where time is of the essence).
Prof. Ernst recently mentioned of this sad cases:
7. “no one would buy it if it did not work, mark my words. No one.”
Are you serious? People buy into MANY things that do not exist/work and always have done so.
One example regarding medicine would be bloodletting, which was a common treatment for many centuries. Only because of the advancement of science and evidence-based medicine, we can make progress in determining reliable treatments of health issues.