MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

 

‘Rationable’ has recently published a remarkable article on homeopathy. Its author starts admitting that for most of my life, I have taken it for granted that homoeopathy worked. I didn’t know how or why, I just knew that my parents and most other people swore by it, so there had to be something to it. I was treated with homoeopathy several times. In one case, it actually made things worse. The homoeopathic doctor responded with, “Things sometimes have to get worse before they get better.” I have to admit, as much as I wasn’t impressed with that answer, I liked the taste of the medicines. Always sugary and sweet or even with that little bit of alcohol. What more does a kid need in his life than to eat something sugary sweet for medicine!

The article is lengthy but well worth reading. I take the liberty of merely quoting its conclusion:

Here I am, a decade later, seeing homoeopathy from a completely different perspective than what I used to. It’s probably one of the most profound discoveries in my life and has been one of the factors that have led me to question everything, including, most importantly, myself.

Now, homoeopathy has become one of the most studied fields in the world, with an impenetrable mountain of evidence that has piled up against its claims. These studies have been done by many independent teams and analysed and reviewed by some of the most reliable scientific organisations in the world. There’s just no denying it. There is no evidence for it working…ever. Why? Because it’s just water. And if it’s brought into contact with sugar, it somehow transfers its memories to it. The more I think about it, the more implausible it sounds.

And it’s not just me. Many governmental bodies like UK’s National Health Service (NHS), The American Medical Association, the FASEB and National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, have stated that there is no evidence to support the use of homoeopathic treatments. Even representatives of the WHO have said that homoeopathic remedies should not be used to treat tuberculosis or diarrhoea.

So, what do you think? Is it worth your time and money to buy water and sugar pills that have shown no evidence of working, or would you instead go to a regular doctor and get real medication that has a good chance of treating you? I, for one, will be going to the latter.

TL;DR

As promised, here’s the short version of this topic:

Homoeopathy is an ancient practice created in the 1700s as a counter treatment to bloodletting and other rather horrific medical practices

Homoeopathy is a process of diluting a small amount substance in more water than the whole earth can contain to treat your ailment

There has been no evidence to show that it works any better than a placebo, even after hundreds of clinical trials have been conducted.

Dig Deeper

https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2012/apr/03/homeopathy-why-i-changed-my-mind

https://skeptoid.com/blog/2011/09/18/homeopathy-a-drop-in-10-billion-oceans/

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/homeopathy

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/homeopathy

https://www.livescience.com/31977-homeopathy.html

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/homeopathy/

___________________________________________________

I am always delighted to see how individuals who start thinking critically can change things for themselves and others. The evidence suggests that people who are strong on either intelligence or critical thinking experience fewer negative events, but critical thinkers tend to do better. I hope that, one day, all readers of this blog manage to benefit from the great potential of critical thinking.

63 Responses to Homeopathy, “no evidence … even after hundreds of clinical trials”

  • Bioresonance, not chemistry. Why not go talk to the people at the Homeopathic hospital in London or Glasgow.

    • can you try to make some sense, please?

    • Religion, not medicine. And “Homeopathic hospital” is just your posh name for a church, so not sure what they’d offer over you lay preachers beyond than a more polished performance. That you believe in it really really really hard does not alas make it any more true.

    • Bioresonance, not chemistry.

      This raises some fundamental questions right away.
      – What, pray, does this ‘bioresonance’ entail? What exactly is ‘resonating’ or vibrating, and at what frequencies? Can you provide objective evidence for the existence of this resonance phenomenon?
      – What is the source of the original vibration? Can you provide objective evidence for the existence of this vibrational source?
      – What provides the energy to keep this vibration/resonance going? And what type of energy are we talking about? Can you provide objective evidence for the existence of this type of energy?
      – What is the medium through which these ‘vibrations’ propagate? Can you provide objective evidence for the existence of this medium?
      – How can a simple ‘resonance’ (which, by definition, involves only one frequency) affect the hugely complex and intricate processes in living beings? Can you provide objective evidence for the existence of such a mechanism?

      My apologies if I’m not believing you on your word, but as a biomedical electronics engineer specialized in the interaction between electricity/electromagnetic energy and biological structures, I’m quite interested in learning new things in my area of expertise. However, in the past thirty years, nobody has managed to answer even one of the above questions in a satisfactory manner – and I severely doubt if the people at any homeopathic hospital can provide those answers after all. Quite the contrary, actually. In my experience, most homeopaths are not very knowledgeable about anything much. They mostly teach each other myths and fairy tales (e.g. that simply shaking water turns it into a medicine, and that effective medicines can be identified without any testing with real ailments and real patients) and insist that these fairy tales must be true. They merely keep repeating these myths, and after a few years, their belief in said myths is strong enough that they not only manage to convince (read: fool) merely themselves, but many other people too, often in a very emphatic, not to say arrogant and derogatory manner (one of the latter category is often found responding here, just see if you can spot him).

      And oh, as an electronics expert, I have also looked into some electronic ‘bioresonance’ devices (e.g. the ‘Vega-test’ device in several of its incarnations). These usually turn out to be devices that measure bodily resistance and/or low-voltage electrical noise, and then apply some filtering to single out one or more frequencies that can be turned into a pretty graph on a screen. There is, however no difference between the ‘bioresonance pattern’ of a living human being and that of a herring that’s been dead for a week already (barring perhaps some variations due to muscle movement). In other words: it’s all made-up nonsense and fraud.

  • Ernie, Ernie, Ernie.

    I now challenge you and the other people who read your blog to read this link because it will help you all to understand the significance and the power of nanodoses and nanoscale phenomena.

    I predict (again) that you will soon become leading advocates for nanomedicine and nanopharmacology.

    You may laugh at this comment, but not AFTER you read and understand the significance of this link and (especially) the illustrative graphic provided at this link at Nano.gov

    https://www.nano.gov/nanotech-101/special

    This link will destroy your skepticism of homeopathy and nanopharmacology. Welcome to the 21st century!

    • Dr. Neal Lane, former director of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) said, “If I were asked for an area of science and engineering that will most likely produce the breakthrough of tomorrow, I would point to nanoscale science and engineering.” A 1999 report from the NSF Technology Council predicted that nanotechnology’s impact on the health, wealth, and security of the world’s population is expected to be “at least as significant as the combined influences of antibiotics, the integrated circuit, and human-made polymers.”(1)

      Homeopathic medicine will soon be known to be the original nanopharmacology, and it is only a matter of time that other nanoscale technologies be utilized in a wide variety of fields so that various portrayals of the future as epitomized in science fiction works become reality.

      Roco MC, Williams S, Alivisatos P (eds.). Nanotechnology research directions: IWGN Workshop report, National Science and Technology Council, Committee on Technology, Interagency Working Group on Nanoscience September 1999. http://www.wtec.org/loyola/nano/IWGN.Research.Directions/IWGN_rd.pdf

      • you keep saying thus Dana, but it is not happening for homeopathy, is it?

      • “Homeopathic medicine will soon be known to be the original nanopharmacology”

        No, Dana. It won’t. If it was, it would be known as it already. Homeopathy is not nanomedicine or nanotechnology. It is non-medicine.

        We’ve explained to you why this is many times but you seem to have forgotten this, as with all the times we patiently point out the errors in your muddled thinking.

        The failings of your memory appear to be a bit of a problem, Dana. You might want to see someone about it.

        Not a homeopath, though.

    • you are one of those people, Dana, whose predictions are most valuable … because one can be sure that the opposite is going to happen.
      therefore: many thanks!

    • The article in the link is just a fairy tale. Does not make any sense at all.

    • “nanomedicine”

      Oh dear. The clue is in the name, Dana. “Nano” isn’t even 5C. IANAH, and even I can tell that is supremely weak sauce! Your willingness to throw Hahnemann under the bus in your desperate clasping for credibility is massively embarrassing even by homeocrank standards. I’m honestly surprised that gaumless Greg hasn’t No-True-Scotsman-ed you already, you do your common belief system such a humiliating disservice.

      • “Nano” isn’t even 5C.

        Indeed, if Dana wants an appropriate prefix, much of homeopathy should be described as yoctomedicine. It’s the smallest SI prefix, and beyond that any further dilution isn’t going to make any difference anyway.

      • ‘Gaumless Greg?’ So says moron ‘has’. This topic is done and dusted with Mr D.Ullman.

        Dana Ullman
        Ernie, Ernie, Ernie.
        I now challenge you and the other people who read your blog to read this link because it will help you all to understand the significance and the power of nanodoses and nanoscale phenomena.
        I predict (again) that you will soon become leading advocates for nanomedicine and nanopharmacology.
        You may laugh at this comment, but not AFTER you read and understand the significance of this link and (especially) the illustrative graphic provided at this link at Nano.gov
        https://www.nano.gov/nanotech-101/special
        This link will destroy your skepticism of homeopathy and nanopharmacology. Welcome to the 21st century!

        Greg
        Dana,
        I looked up ‘homeopathy’ on nano.gov and found nothing.
        Please would you provide some information on the link between nano research and homeopathy as it would be helpful towards saving ‘homeopathy’ from scientific obliteration if it is part of nano-medicine initiatives.
        Thanks

        Dana Ullman
        Greg,
        If you do not wish or cannot learn from what is known about nano-scale phenomena, I can’t help you.
        I suggest that you re-read the short article about nano-scale phenomena…and review that important graphic.
        I then recommend that you re-read the LANGMUIR to which I have referenced dozens of times.

        Greg
        Dear Mr D.Ullman,
        I am not asking you to ‘help me’, but to explain what you know about the chemical properties of highly potentised homeopathic preparations. I am sure that you have made your own remedies and will know that it really is a puzzle how something as ‘diluted’ as 30C or higher could do anything at all in the body but it does and there is the ‘mystery’?
        Langmuir is a study of a liquid process: ‘Extreme dilutions, especially homeopathic remedies of 30c, 200c, and higher potencies, are prepared by a process of serial dilution of 1:100 per step. As a result, dilution factors of 1060, 10400, or even greater are achieved. Therefore, both the presence of any active ingredient and the therapeutic efficacy of these medicines have been contentious because the existence of even traces of the starting raw materials in them is inconceivable. However, physicochemical studies of these solutions have unequivocally established the presence of the starting raw materials in nanoparticulate form even in these extreme (super-Avogadro, >1023) dilutions. In this article, we propose and validate a hypothesis to explain how nanoparticles are retained even at such enormous dilution levels. We show that once the bulk concentration is below a threshold level of a few nanograms/milliliter (ng/mL), at the end of each dilution step, all of the nanoparticles levitate to the surface and are accommodated as a monolayer at the top. This dominant population at the air–liquid interface is preserved and carried to the subsequent step, thereby forming an asymptotic concentration. Thus, all dilutions are only apparent and not real in terms of the concentrations of the starting raw materials.’
        However, as you know, homeopathic remedies are produced by trituration as well. Does this flotation of nano particles also occur in the lactose used in trituraration? How could nano particle ‘levitate’ to the top of a pestle with lactose?
        Thanks,
        Greg

        https://homeopathyofhahnemann.blogspot.com/2019/05/homeopathy-is-spiritual-medicine.html

        • Greg, I’m not sure what point you think you’re making by amalgamating, copying and pasting your previous exchanges with nano-Dana, but you seemed to have missed his response to your question about trituration.

          “Greg,
          Trituration undergoes a similar process as a liquid dilution, although instead of in glass, it is in porcelin. The mixtures of minerals from which porcelin is made attaches to the medicinal substance, although instead of floating to the top, it is simply grinded directly into the lactose base. Conventional pharmacological research has confirmed that lactose provides an ideal substance for the transfer of nanodoses…and here’s that reference:

          Benito‐Alifonso, D, Tremel S, Hou, B, Lockyear H, Mantell J, Fermin DJ, Verkade P, Berry M, and Galan MC. Lactose as a “trojan horse” for quantum dot cell transport. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 15 Dec, 2013;53: 810-814. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201307232

          So there we are — it’s all explained by the porcelin; and Dana should know, he’s the captin of homeopathic wisdom and he’s grinded on about nanoparticles agin and agin and agin.

    • Dana, I followed your link. The site says nothing about homeopathy. My scepticism is totally intact.

  • A few years ago, Glaxo Smith Kline pleaded guilty to criminal behaviour and were fined over three billion US dollars – I don’t need to give you written proof here Edzard, it’s on the Public record. Here is another example of corruption at its most obscene – the point being that mainstream medicine is sick and doing far more harm in this world than a few ‘quack alternative practitioners you keep focusing on. Here is the BBC report for your interest:
    … More than 40 US states have filed a lawsuit accusing pharmaceutical firms of conspiring to artificially inflate the cost of common medicinal drugs. The lawsuit alleges that as many as 20 companies have been involved in fixing prices for over 100 drugs, including treatments for diabetes and cancer.
    One of the firms accused is Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world’s largest producer of generic medicine

    There are numerous cases of corrupt and negligent ‘conventional’ health professionals that you never mention or acknowledge in your ramblings – I wonder why?

    • you wonder why?
      in this case you have not read what this blog is about or are too dim to understand it!
      it’s about alternative medicine [because this is where my expertise is].
      I have no intention to defend or to promote the wider pharmaceutical industry [of which alt med is a part].

    • I don’t understand Helen. How do the shortcomings and wrongdoings of the pharma-industry corroborate homeopathy?? That is like arguing the value of using flying carpets because Boeing bungled the Max 8 and is being sued for billions.

      Why are you not discussing homeopathy and telling us why we should give shaken water to the sick?

    • Dear Helen, you say this as if it is not possible that two things can both be true at the same time—in this case that Big Pharma is corrupt, AND Big Altie is corrupt too. The only significant difference is how hard they’re regulated to keep that corruption in check, and what (if any) benefits they provide beyond that corruption.

      There are already numerous individuals and agencies already tasked to identify corruption in Big Pharma, which is why the general public hears all about it regularly. As Prof Ernst says, his rare expertise is in identifying similar corruption in Alt Med; something the public doesn’t understand or hear about nearly enough.

      You think Teva’s bad, consider the profits on Boiron’s water products: half a billion in revenue, for pennies on production and “research”. They spend more on advertising; and no prizes for guessing where all the rest goes. And hardly a regulator in sight. Hell, Big Pharma only wishes it had freedom and margins like that.

      Nobody likes being ripped off, so people are mad and rightly so. But you tell us which is worse: being price-gouged for medical products that generally mostly work, or being price-gouged for faux-medical products that don’t do squat beyond plump the egos of wishful-thinking rubes?

      “Quacks citing problems in pharma make me laugh. FLAWS IN AIRCRAFT DESIGN DO NOT PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF MAGIC CARPETS.”—Dr Ben Goldacre

    • @illogical Helen: one more time, for those in the back row or with impaired comprehension skills:
      POINTING OUT OTHERS’ BAD BEHAVIOR DOES NOT EXCUSE YOUR OWN BAD BEHAVIOR.
      The world is filled with all sorts of criminals, but pointing them out as a defense to your own criminality doesn’t win at trial….ever.

    • In the “skeptic” doctrine only alternative therapies are criticised. And the conventional therapies are skipped .
      It has always been so.. “Skeptics” are not taken seriously by many people because of this one-sidedness.
      They could get much more followers if they also criticized regular things in healthcare that go wrong.

      On this blog there is only -one- person that is not so rigid as the majority here.

      I do not know if this dr. calls himself a “skeptic” person, but for me he is a “liberal” and sympathetic skeptic person who can put things into perspective (does not think so black and white) and also shows empathy and some wisdom in his carefully formulated comments.
      Everyone knows which person I mean ;-). You can (all) learn from him..

  • Helen, I agree there is much wrong with ‘medicine’ – and much is being done about that.
    But, so what?
    This blog is about the absurdity of homeopathy.
    Focus please.

    Dana, I agree nanotechnology may have much to offer, but what has that got to do with the absurdity of homeopathy?
    You should know better than anyone that homeopathic preparation removes the last vestiges of any active molecule and even nanotechnologists do not claim to have discovered a new form of energy.

    • “Helen, I agree there is much wrong with ‘medicine’ – and much is being done about that.”

      QFT.

      In fact, I’ll wager there isn’t a single practised critic of AltMed here who cannot also list the numerous ways in which real medicine has both helped and harmed them and theirs over the years. We don’t habitually do it on this particular forum because it’s off-topic, though I’m sure if Prof Ernst were to open an occasional OT “Tell us your real medicine stories” thread we’d all be happy to chip in. That’s because we understand that medicine, like everything in life, is a benefit-vs-cost equation. Unlike these staunch defenders of AltMed who dare not entertain even the possibility that their core beliefs may be doing more harm than good, lest their entire sense of purpose and self-worth (and frequently social status and income too) be wiped out as a result.

      If AltMed cannot stand on its own flaws and merits, quite independently of what the rest of the world is doing, that’s because it doesn’t have any merits to stand on in the first place. Including the courage to admit its own faults. Thus these constant cries of “Look Over There!” not only fail to defend AltMed, but further expose it as the hollow man we already thought.

      TL;DR: If you can’t even be honest with yourself, how can you be honest with anyone else?

  • I have never spoken to or been treated by a homeopath person nor have I any family member that swears by that type of treatment.
    On the other hand I have had conversations with a naturopath for a particular ailment that I had. I felt ths medical profession had offered me few options for the very painful hip bursitis that I was experiencing. The naturopath asked me to try enzyme therapy for the inflammation and pain, suffice to say I was very happy with the results
    I can’t comment on homeopath but like lots of alternative stuff some people will swear that it worked for them. Each to their own.

    • each to their own
      BUT BASED ON SOUND EVIDENCE, PLEASE!

    • Oh, and by the way… Mr. duggan just happens to be running a website selling all the wonderful “natural” products that he promotes for arthritis, bursitis and whatnot.
      I call this blatant spamming.
      Much of the information on his website he is false and misleading so I think the link can be safely removed.

  • I love it. You guys are so in deep cement that you have now deemed the U.S. Government’s website, NANO.GOV, to be a strange and weird website (I’m in GOOD COMPANY)…while you folks are in the 20th century. Enjoy your rotary phones and tranquilizers.

    Daft to the max…and so crazed that you’re proud of your daftness! Wow!

    • Tiresome Dana,

      Kindly either point us to the pages on nano.gov that discuss homeopathy, or stop trying to pass off other folks’ work as something it’s not.

    • dana: when have you last been able to post an insult-free comment?

    • Dana

      Your foolishness becomes tiresome. Homeopathy as nanomedicine exists in one place only. Your head as you flail desperately for a veneer of science to lend credence to your laughable nostrums.

      Nanomedicine is A Thing. It is measurable and produces actual effects via established physiological pathways.

      Homeopathy isn’t. People like you believe that the risible efforts in data-torturing and noise-sieving produced by its adherents are proof. They aren’t. Which is why science and medicine either ignores you or points and laughs at you.

      But we’ve told you this many times before. Your foolishness keeeps being demonstrated, Dana. Post after post, time after time. That you keep returning demonstrates it only further.

      You are a strange little man, Dana. And so are the workings of your mind.

    • Dana,

      I looked up ‘homeopathy’ on nano.gov and found nothing.

      Please would you provide some information on the link between nano research and homeopathy as it would be helpful towards saving ‘homeopathy’ from scientific obliteration if it is part of nano-medicine initiatives.

      Thanks

      • Greg,

        If you do not wish or cannot learn from what is known about nano-scale phenomena, I can’t help you.

        I suggest that you re-read the short article about nano-scale phenomena…and review that important graphic.

        I then recommend that you re-read the LANGMUIR to which I have referenced dozens of times.

        • I suspect that nobody can help poor Greg
          and that poor you can help nobody

        • Dana

          Would that be the Langmuir piece which you have referenced many times that has been shown to you to be utter rubbish just as many times?

          You and your memory, Dana. It’s just as poor as your powers of comprehension and critical appraisal.

        • @Dana

          “I then recommend that you re-read the LANGMUIR to which I have referenced dozens of times.” And I refer you to my own critique of that paper, which you may not have read, because it was a response to a comment from someone else.

          And it’s been pointed out to you seemingly endlessly that ‘nano’ has nothing whatsoever to do with homeopathic dilutions which go many orders of magnitude beyond even ‘yocto-‘ (and which itself is 10^5 times more dilute than ‘nano-‘).

          I’ve come to hold no hope that you’ll ever be capable of the intellectual qualities required to appreciate when you’re just plain wrong.

        • Dear Mr D.Ullman,
          I am not asking you to ‘help me’, but to explain what you know about the chemical properties of highly potentised homeopathic preparations. I am sure that you have made your own remedies and will know that it really is a puzzle how something as ‘diluted’ as 30C or higher could do anything at all in the body but it does and there is the ‘mystery’?

          Langmuir is a study of a liquid process: ‘Extreme dilutions, especially homeopathic remedies of 30c, 200c, and higher potencies, are prepared by a process of serial dilution of 1:100 per step. As a result, dilution factors of 1060, 10400, or even greater are achieved. Therefore, both the presence of any active ingredient and the therapeutic efficacy of these medicines have been contentious because the existence of even traces of the starting raw materials in them is inconceivable. However, physicochemical studies of these solutions have unequivocally established the presence of the starting raw materials in nanoparticulate form even in these extreme (super-Avogadro, >1023) dilutions. In this article, we propose and validate a hypothesis to explain how nanoparticles are retained even at such enormous dilution levels. We show that once the bulk concentration is below a threshold level of a few nanograms/milliliter (ng/mL), at the end of each dilution step, all of the nanoparticles levitate to the surface and are accommodated as a monolayer at the top. This dominant population at the air–liquid interface is preserved and carried to the subsequent step, thereby forming an asymptotic concentration. Thus, all dilutions are only apparent and not real in terms of the concentrations of the starting raw materials.’

          However, as you know, homeopathic remedies are produced by trituration as well. Does this flotation of nano particles also occur in the lactose used in trituraration? How could nano particle ‘levitate’ to the top of a pestle with lactose?

          Thanks,

          Greg

          • Greg,
            Trituration undergoes a similar process as a liquid dilution, although instead of in glass, it is in porcelin. The mixtures of minerals from which porcelin is made attaches to the medicinal substance, although instead of floating to the top, it is simply grinded directly into the lactose base. Conventional pharmacological research has confirmed that lactose provides an ideal substance for the transfer of nanodoses…and here’s that reference:

            Benito‐Alifonso, D, Tremel S, Hou, B, Lockyear H, Mantell J, Fermin DJ, Verkade P, Berry M, and Galan MC. Lactose as a “trojan horse” for quantum dot cell transport. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 15 Dec, 2013;53: 810-814. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201307232

  • Came to think of this website (link below) when I saw the title of the article. Should be simple enough explanation, even for Mr. Ullmann and our other resident homeopathy devotees.

    http://www.howdoeshomeopathywork.com/

  • Ladies and Gentlemen-I read the article, and at least some of the comments, with interest. The truth is, anecdotally, homeopathy has worked as a form of medicine, although it is complex. You can teach a 10 year old to practice conventional medicine, or at least, I probably could, if I was really interested in doing so. All you need is a diagnosis, or a guess of a diagnosis, which happens a lot more than any of you will admit, given accurate diagnosis happens perhaps 60% at teaching hospitals, far less in other institutions, then have them look up community standards treatments, and hope something good happens, which is typically about 30% of the time. Of course, if you are treating symptoms, instead of the patient, it’s relatively easy to get a result. Something will likely happen, because that’s what medications are designed to do, stir up biochemical and physiological processes. And, it’s not that creating more comfort and less distress is a bad thing. But, when you are so eager to support a form of healing that actually doesn’t heal anything, I’m surprised at the amount of vitriol sent towards homeopaths. If we do our best, profound changes can occur. If we do our worst, usually nothing happens. If you do your best, you suppress symptoms, weakening the immune system, while your patients feel more comfortable for a limited period of time. If you do your worst, you kill people. At least in the USA, iatrogenic related death is up there with cancer and heart disease, killing hundreds of thousands per year. So, I am not quite sure what you are celebrating, and what you are criticizing? Homeopathic physicians actually had much higher rates of success in helping patients recover during cholera and flu epidemics, 70% of their patients lived, whereas 70% of traditional medicine patients died. I’m sure Dana has all those statistics. I don’t actually find them as important, lately, for a particular reason–homeopathy is not a form of physical medicine, at least not as practiced today. Yes, I suppose that the stats could be attributed to coincidence, or the placebo effect. But, if the placebo effect is so successful, why do you insist on chemotherapy and radiation for cancer? I mean, with a 97% failure rate of chemotherapy, even though it does generate at least 100k per year per patient, which is nothing to sneeze at, unless healing actually has a moral or ethical component for you, why not just give the patient a pretty flower and tell them it has secret properties that will heal their cancer? Who would scoff at a potential 70% cure rate from placebo?

    However, from my perspective, homeopathy is not a form of medicine. Yes, it was developed by a German physician, and many licensed health practitioners use it, and I, too, once wrestled with the concept of homeopathic medicine for many years. Perhaps it depends on the definition of medicine, which may have changed over time. Yes, it has been used clinically, and continues to be. However, and this is important, it does not, cannot diagnose physical ailments, nor directly treat physical diseases. That does not mean it cannot work, although it is sometimes not so easy to find a remedy that acts for a patient’s well being. However, I have seen bleeding and trauma stop in seconds, people recover from the flu in an hour or two, people lifted from grief or depression in an instant, when the correct remedy is given. Remember, any diagnosis is simply a tool to describe a set of symptoms. A diagnosis is usually of little value to a homeopath. However, yes, in an emergency, it is possible to look at physical symptoms as a part of a dynamic or spiritual expression of the moment. For example, immediately following a trauma, most people will respond to Arnica montana. Not because it’s a placebo. You can give it to someone in a coma, and they may awaken. You can give it to an infant, or an animal, and it will work. I once gave arnica 200c to a 2 year old who had been dropped down 2 flights of stairs when he was a baby, suffering brain trauma. I had 2 symptoms, the etiology of the initial fall, and also that he became agitated and anxious as soon as i stepped into the room, 15 feet away from him. You can look it up in a homeopathic remedy, anxious/aversion to be approached. It’s an Arnica symptom. He changed on the spot, becoming quiet and relaxed for the first time in 2 years. Placebo? No, I didn’t spend 15 minutes telling him he will feel better when he takes the little sweet pellet. Hardly. Yes, there is a methodology involved, but it is a construct, more akin to Gestalt than to western medicine. If the gestalt of the patient fits the remedy, if certain key symptoms of the patient fit the recorded symptoms of the remedy, there is a very good chance it will act. The pattern of the remedy, key aspects of how it affects people, must match the key aspects of the illness of an affected person. But, the most significant aspects of the affected person are not material, they are immaterial. What is immaterial is not really within the bounds of clinical medicine, even when the results, however directly or indirectly related, are clinical. And so, it is actually descriptive, and subtle, and obviously complex.

    Yes, there have been clinical trials using homeopathics, but in order to present the strongest outcome, homeopaths must prescreen the patients for a particular remedy, looking for ones whose illness pattern is the closest match. It’s not, what remedy do you give for the flu. Well, let’s see, there are 3000 to choose from. How are you experiencing the flu? Maybe that will narrow it down to 50, or 10, and maybe an objective, unprejudiced observer will notice a variable or two that suggests one particular remedy, out of the 3000. Sooo, yes, it’s complicated. It’s not for everyone to use, although it certainly is useful. How handy would it be to know that, if there is internal bleeding from any type of injury, there is a remedy that will likely stop it, in seconds, without the need for cranial or abdominal surgery? There is. Calendula. But, you may need to give 200c, or 1000c, or 10,000c, to match the energy of the original disruption. Not, a little liquid. Makes no sense, right, to create a stronger effect, give less of it. You see, that’s why this entire conversation and argument should be tabled. Apples and oranges are not the same thing. You don’t have to like it, or understand it, or believe it. Western medicine is physicallly based. Homepathy is spiritually or dynamically based. They are entirely different, in design, in philosophy, in operation. But, if you, too, could save a life for a dime’s worth of a homeopathic remedy you keep in your car? Why the hell not. Whether or not you consider it placebo, or voodoo, or God’s wish, all you need do is experience one time a remedy acting, and you will be very troubled, because it will not fit a medical paradigm, because it will not act according to any medical paradigm. Nevertheless, it will work.

    You see, (and I apologize to all of you who likely have heard this before, I didn’t review all the comments, nor your backgrounds,) the paradigm does not go, what homeopathic remedy do you give for the flu, or MS. It goes, what remedy would you give for the spirit of the person who is complaining of the flu, or MS, or cancer. However, the challenge is, it cannot be proven as such by using biochemistry or physiology, because there is nothing measurable in most homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy is an immeasurable healing therapy designed to heal what is immeasurable in a being. You get to decide what to call it. I call it spirit. You can call it dynamic healing, or immune support, or energy releasing, or anything else. The paradox of homeopathy is, there is nothing in a remedy, and there is also everything, provided it is used judiciously. It will only work when it matches the energetic state of the person taking it. In the case of a car accident, I would assume arnica will work most of the time with almost everyone, but I cannot guarantee it. So, if I came across someone who had just been in an accident, and they were willing to accept it, I would give them a homeopathic, even as I call 911 for emergency first responders to take care of the obvious medical issues. However, even if the bleeding stops, the trauma stops, the shock stops, they reoxygenate, their nervous system responds, they come back from a coma, their fractures heal in half the time, nothing i do acts on the physical, the biochemical, the physiological levels, nothing i do is to diagnose or treat their medical condition. Nevertheless, if and when these things happen, —-and, they do, because if they didn’t, why would people still be reaching for this, 200 years later, worldwide? — is it so important that you label it quackery or placebo, because it doesn’t fit your concept of how the universe works? I suppose you would have burned Copernicus, too, for insinuating the Earth is not at the center of the universe.

    But, Yes, by all means, declare that homeopathy is not medicine. I am fine with that. I am more of a shaman or witch doctor than a doctor as defined by medicine. Of course, if more doctors actually performed instead of practiced, and used Hippocrates as the oath was originally intended-primum non nocere–things would be very different, everywhere.

    I treat the wounded spirit. And, who amongst us, having experienced what we have experienced, can say they were not deeply affected, perhaps in a way that has contributed to their health, their life choices, their results, or lack of them, their perspective of all things? And, what would you say might change if, as ridiculous as it seems, a homeopathic remedy does act, exactly as it always has, on a wounded or deranged spirit? What would have happened to the Titanic if the Master had changed his nautical heading by even 1 degree 3 days before hitting the iceberg? Who is to say what would happen in each of our lives if we could make even a 1 degree course correction to something better in some way. And, that, really is the true crux of homeopathy. It is a form of attunement. It brings us more closely in touch with our self. Yes, I realize that sounds like feely feely stuff. So be it. Still, that is when homeopathy can be curative.

    Many years ago, there was a disagreement between Pasteur and Bechamp. Western medicine has long supported Pasteur’s position, but he was wrong, and he finally admitted it before his death, and western medicine has failed, and is doomed to fail. Why? They are looking in the wrong place, at the wrong thing. Pathology is simply an endstage product of a diseased, or nonharmonious condition. Where did it start? It did not start with the pathology. As long as medicine is preoccupied with pathophysiology or physiopathology, it will fail. Please, write it down, fold it up, put it away, take it out again in 30 or 50 years, provided we are still here. Medical statistics will be the same. Big pharma will be richer, hospitals will be larger, people will be sicker, no magic bullets will be discovered, because it is all based on a misperception of causality. Bechamp stated that when the inner environment changes, the hospitable bacteria mutate, and the opportunists show up to take advantage of a weakened organism. Improve the environment, heal it, strengthen it, and the opportunists will leave, and the inhospitable bacteria will mutate back. Homeopathy removes spiritual interference, creating a more hospitable environment. Now, that should sound about as anti science and medicine as you’ve all been celebrating, or stating, or shouting. Sure, why not. I’ll take my results over yours, any day. 85% of my clients get better, no matter what they originally came to me complaining of. I did not diagnose their condition, nor did I treat it, nor did I give a placebo. If you give the right voodoo, whatever that is, something will happen to create more harmony in the person, and then they will be able to heal themselves. That’s it. That’s all it always was. There is (still ) sunlight all around us. Nothing special. When you magnify it a particular way, something happens. When you give, or receive, the correct homeopathic remedy, something happens. But, it’s not medicinal.

    • @Robert Weinberger.
      It took you three words to prove you are very pleased with yourself, three sentences to prove you know nothing about health care or medicine and three lines of text to prove your intellectual abilities are not impressive.

      I don’t think it would be time well spent to read on.

    • Congratulations, sir. At no point in all that boring bollocks did you say anything of worth.

      At least Greg and Dana have the good grace to keep their horse hockey short.

    • Good grief

      “You can teach a 10 year old to practice conventional medicine, or at least, I probably could, if I was really interested in doing so”

      Has the Dunning-Kruger effect ever been demonstrated so explicitly?

      If anyone cares to take this fool to task regarding the rest of his halfwitted cut ‘n’ paste blathering it’ll be a lengthy but fruitless job. Such high-handed, ignorant pomposity is unlikely to be punctured by such minor matters as hard facts, science and evidence.

    • @ROBERT WEINBERGER

      Here follows my response to everything worthy of debate in your comment:

    • Robert

      You have made a tremendous effort to contribute a detailed and heartfelt contribution to this site.

      I agree with the essence of what you have stated here, however I reserve skepticism in regard to:

      1. providing an explanation of the mechanism of the action of homeopathy and the mystical chemistry of potencies. Mr D.Ullman is a passionate believer in homeopathy and so, of course, he is a friend but I find his unwillingness to acknowledge the limitations oh homeopathy in clinical practice and the belief that he has that there is an explanation for potencies (LANGMUIR) something that I cannot accept and leave unchallenged.

      2. I reserve sketpicism in regard to you providing the skeptics with such a big plateful of food as young seekers need to be nurtured and spoon fed milk and not fed meat. Without acceptance of Divine Intelligence/ God / Vital Force / Spirit/, the paradigm to understand homeopathy is not there and therefore you are trying to put a round peg in a square hole.

      3. I accept that many instances of recovery DO actually come down to placebo effect and natural course of the illness, and a way of separating out homeopathic cures from this has not been done. As far as I am aware, all the so called homeopathic trials have involved a clinical category: asthma, respiratory disorder, eczema, insomnia etc et. It is complete rubbish. Then Professor Ernst comes along and writes dumb comments like: ‘Greg you think you are the only one that knows homeopathy?’, ‘have you forgotten to take your Sulphur?’.

      The best examples of scientific clowns studying homeopathy that I have ever came across in my are on this site: Edzard, Frank and Bjorn are at the top of the list because they pretend to know about something that they know very little about.

      Edzard, knock knock, is homeopathy scientific medicine?

      No it is not; it is SPIRITUAL MEDICINE. Please for your sake, stop being a clown.

  • I find your description of conventional medicine unrecognisable. And what on earth do you mean when you say that chemotherapy has a 97% failure rate?

    I will reserve commentry on the rest of your post.

  • I was in a pharmacy the other day and spotted a copy of a health magazine with the beautiful Rosanna Davidson, Chris De Burge’s daughter, on the front cover, in which she dispenses health and wellness information as a trained dietician, good for her. I love to see celebrities are now listened to more than doctors for health advice. Give it up druggers, you’re beat, you’ll not turn back the tide.

    • another very dim comment!

    • Are you referring to Rosanna Davison, Chris de Burgh’s daughter?

      She’s not a Dietitian: she’s a nutritional therapist.

      I prefer to get dietary advice from those with professional qualifications and who base their advice on robust scientific evidence, not ‘celebrities’ with ‘qualifications’ in Personalised Nutrition and graduates of the College of Naturopathic Medicine and the Institute of Functional Medicine.

    • Joe, what has that got to do with homeopathy?

    • I don’t think wellness magazines have much to do with health.

      • In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. Maybe you should get someone to explain the ramifications of what the statement regarding the health magazine means in the wider context of the issues ‘discussed’ here.

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