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

If homeopaths can make the Berlin Wall into a homeopathic remedy, they can use anything!

That’s true; I am not aware of any material that could not be used by clever manufacturers of homeopathics to make a fast buck. But I did not think that they would venture as far as visiting the vagina. This website taught me that I was wrong. VAGIN is a homeopathic remedy made by Boiron out of vaginal mucosa (tempting to make all sorts of bad taste jokes, but I will resist):

Muqueuse Vaginale Pillules is a homoeopathic remedy created by Laboratoires Boiron.

Homeopathic Potency

4C 5C 7C 9C 12C 15C 30C same as 4CH 5CH 7CH 9CH 12CH 15CH 30CH

Ingredients

Muqueuse Vaginale

Dilutants with known effect: lactose, saccharose

Do not use

Do not use the homeopatic remedy if you are allergic to some sugars

To be taken

The Muqueuse Vaginale pillules have to be taken orally

Instructions for Use of Muqueuse Vaginale

For adults and children over 6 years, allow to melt under the tongue.

For children under 6 years, dissolve in a small quantity of water.

Packaging

Tube of homoeopathic pillules.

Approximately 80 to 90 pills per tube.

About Laboratoires Boiron

Laboratoires Boiron, a French pharmaceutical company, produces and distributes homoeopathic drug preparations both within France and overseas.

______________________________________________________________

So far, so good!

But what is VAGIN good for?

I tried to find out, but unfortunately was not very successful. To be absolutely honest, I haven’t got a clue. I suspect, it might be good for Boiron’s profits, but for what ailments do homeopaths recommend VAGIN?

Perhaps someone could enlighten me?

77 Responses to Boiron’s homeopathic visit to the vagina

  • We’ll have to see the results of the proving, won’t we?

    I’m sure Dana or Benneth will enlighten us to the miraculous powers of this remedy.

    (Others less charitable than I may point out that homeopathic c*** could be made from a mother tincture of the two of them but I would never do such a thing)

  • “But what is VAGIN good for?”
    Penis envy, maybe?

  • And can anyone advise what potency has the best effect?

    Leaving it up to the patient to decide seems like a deriliction of professional duty by Boiron, unless it makes not the slightest difference…

    • The practitioner decides. Picking the right remedy is of prime importance; posology is secondary. The patient would not pick such an obscure remedy on their own. But patients can get kits of the more common remedies and with some basic understanding pick remedies for acute conditions. Even an ignorant pseudo-skeptic could get a few basic remedies and some documentation on homeopathy and pick remedies for themselves for common acute conditions. The results would amaze them, maybe even shock them out of their arrogant complacency.

  • A healthy man seing a vagima will generally loose control. It means that if a man who has lost control gets thus pill, will regain his control.

  • Perhaps this??

  • Another bs post from Dr E.! Homeopathic remedy manufacturers dont make a “fast buck” on a huge percentage of the many hundreds of remedies that they make & stock. They dont sell enough to cover their costs. They make them and keep them available for practitioners who see in a patient the unique constellation of mental, emotional and physical symptoms that indicate their use. Homeopathic manufacturers & pharmacies only make real money on the combination remedies that are popular and sold widely.

    Why dont those of you making these smart comments, do a homeopathic proving and experience first-hand what Vagin remedy causes and cures? Then you can enlighten the rest who are too afraid to do a proving.

    • “Why dont those of you making these smart comments, do a homeopathic proving and experience first-hand what Vagin remedy causes and cures?”
      there are many reasons for that; I, for instance, doubt that you would believe my findings, and feel that those who offer Vagin for sale should be able to tell me which unique constellation of mental, emotional and physical symptoms indicate its use.

      • Why do you care that I would doubt your findings? Does it matter? Do it because you are a “skeptic” and you are trying to honestly evaluate the basis of the science of homeopathy that has been in use world-wide for 200 years, going beyond a flawed intellectual misunderstanding of homeopathy.

        The homeopathic pharmacies dont keep the indications for the use of the remedies. They make them at the request of the homeopathic practitioners who use them.

        At this time there are many schools of thought on the use of homeopathic remedies. The classical school prescribes on the basis of the unique constellation of symptoms matching the patient’s. There are other approaches as well. This remedy may not have been proven, and may be being used based on other criteria.

    • and another ‘smart comment’, if I may:
      Boiron used to make a turn over of ~ 600 million Euro per year?
      How many single remedies like Vagin and how many combination remedies do they offer?

    • Boiron‘s annual profits are around 90 million €.

    • Roger

      If I did a proving of Vagin 30C and told everyone I was doing so, lots of them would probably tell me I was making a c**t of myself so presumably this would be empirical proof of its efficacy.

      In the nonsense stacked upon nonsense that is homeopathy, “provings” stand amongst some of the most laughable elements of the charade. That homeopaths cannot recognise and admit the heap of valueless uncontrolled confirmation-bias they represent is another of their failings.

      “Homeopathic manufacturers & pharmacies only make real money on the combination remedies that are popular and sold widely”

      The combination remedies go against all the principles of classical Mad Sam homeopathy. Remedies MUST be individualised, Roger. You know that, surely? Dana has told us this many times. (Apart from the times when he’s not because Dana can never say homeopathy is self-contradictory) So the manufacturers are wrong? Are they knowingly selling ineffective remedies to gullible people only as a means of earning profit?

      • Combination remedies are popular. I didnt say they are used in classical homeopathy. Lots of things are called homeopathy now, 200 years after homeopathy was defined. Combinations are not necessarily ineffective. They just arent deeply curative like a single remedy, individualized properly. Manufacturers are meeting a demand for something easier and it keeps them in business. Classical homeopathy is a process that not everyone is willing and able to do, not a thing.

        If it is so laughable, then have some fun and do a real proving.

        The arrogance of pseudo-skeptics always amazes me. They are so certain of their paradigm, that they are not even willing to investigate to even a superficial level. “Homeopathy is dilute, therefore it cant work. QED” Its almost as superficial as saying “X didnt cure my Y, therefore allopathy doesnt work”. Maybe you are a c**t without doing a proving of Vagin.

    • “Why dont those of you making these smart comments, do a homeopathic proving and experience first-hand what Vagin remedy causes and cures? ”

      I’d get in serious trouble with my wife.

    • I already know the results of my proving, even though I haven’t done it yet.

      Skepticism, mild queasiness, and uncontrollable laughter.

      Provings do not work on skeptics.

      • You are the perfect example of the arrogance that skeptics bring to this subject. Absolutely convinced of your paradigm and not open to any experience that might threaten it. But it did work on the One skeptic that I was able to convince in person, to do a proving. He was a lawyer bringing a lawsuit against homeopathic manufacturers.

        • But it did work on the One skeptic that I was able to convince in person, to do a proving. He was a lawyer bringing a lawsuit against homeopathic manufacturers.

          Any actual evidence for that, or is it just another unverifiable homeopathic anecdote that we are meant to unquestioningly accept?

          • Why are you always asking for someone else’s evidence? Do a real homeopathic proving yourself and trust your own experience.

          • Roger, so much in what you wrote is so silly that it’s not even wrong, that it’s difficult to know where to begin:

            Why are you always asking for someone else’s evidence?

            1. Evidence does not have personal ownership. It either exists or it doesn’t. If it exists, it is everyone’s.
            2. A reason I asked for evidence is that I simply do not believe your anecdote about the lawyer. Only evidence will convince me otherwise.
            3. You are making claims for the efficacy of homeopathy; the onus is therefore upon you to provide evidence for your claims. It is disingenuous to try to shift the burden of proof in the way you appear to be doing in your following instruction:

            Do a real homeopathic proving yourself and trust your own experience.

            1. A sample size of one in uncontrolled conditions is not “evidence”; it is, at best, unverifiable anecdote.
            2. Nothing I can do can provide evidence for your anecdote about the lawyer.

            I’ve got a better idea: You take the challenge outlined in http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2007/12/simple-challenge-to-homeopaths.html

            (The followup post at http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2007/12/100-homeopathy-challenge-update.html is instructive. Also instructive: A few years ago a homeopath on Twitter said he could do tell which “remedy” was the one he specified and which were the placebos; it was never done because he was only willing to do it under conditions where he could cheat.)

          • Steve, I see it over and over again, where pseudo-skeptics find something to discount in every study that shows homeopathy is effective. And of course they fully accept all the studies that seem to show it isnt effective.

            Neither side is going to be convinced by “the evidence”. Its not going to happen. Homeopaths look at the studies that “fail” and say “that is not homeopathy”. Pseudo-skeptics look at the studies that “succeed” and say “thats not science”. They will always talk past each other in that realm.

            What you say about homeopathy sounds silly to someone who uses it day in, day out, successfully treating serious chronic and acute diseases. Your understanding of homeopathy is limited by your paradigm.

            What I want you to do is get a personal direct experience. It seems to be the only thing that has ever convinced pseudo-skeptics. Do a proper proving.

          • [sceptics] “fully accept all the studies that seem to show it isnt effective.”
            you really don’t understand how science works.
            nobody needs to accept negative studies because studies are no tool to prove a negative.
            as long as there are no convincingly positive studies, any therapy – not just homeopathy – must be considered unproven.
            WHY DON’T YOU READ A GOOD INTRODUCTION INTO SCIENCE OR CLINICAL RESEARCH BEFORE YOU MAKE A FOOL OF YOURSELF?

          • Roger, you wrote:

            Steve, I see it over and over again, where pseudo-skeptics find something to discount in every study that shows homeopathy is effective. And of course they fully accept all the studies that seem to show it isnt effective.

            You really haven’t a clue how scientific trials are conducted, have you? Nobody conducts a study to “show it isnt (sic) effective”. And why should a flawed study not be discounted?

            What follows is somewhat over-simplified, but serves to illustrate the point it seeks to make.

            When one conducts a scientific test, one needs what are called “controls”; the purpose of these is to ensure that any changing observations are due to the parameter that the experimenter is changing. When testing pharmacologically active compounds for potential use as medicines, if it is ethical to do so the control usually takes the form of a placebo.

            You may have encountered the saying that “you can’t prove a negative”. For this reason, the test takes the form of disproving a negative. The experimenter formulates what is called the “null hypothesis” (the negative). This takes the form of a testable statement of the form: “There is no statistical difference at a significance level of [p-value given] between [test substance] and placebo in their effect on [specify condition being tested].” (NB significance testing, and “p-values” are minefields that are poorly understood by most people. If you are interested in why, there is a superb article on this on the Royal Society’s website: http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/1/3/140216 ).

            The tests are then conducted, adhering to experimental protocols that are established before the test is conducted and should include “blinding” (neither the experimenter or the test subjects know if the latter are being given the placebo or the test substance) and “randomising” (the selection of the control group is random in order to prevent bias). This adherence to protocols means that, for example, if you are testing something for its analgesic properties and you suspect from the outcomes that it may have, say, antihypertensive effects, you must design a new test for the antihypertensive effects.

            A key point is that the experiment determines whether or not the null hypothesis (i.e. the statement that there is no statistical difference) is refuted. The outcome is binary, i.e. there are exactly two possible outcomes: either the null hypothesis is refuted or it isn’t refuted. There are no other possibilities. If the null hypothesis is refuted, the test is deemed positive for the test substance. Otherwise, the test is deemed to be negative. There are no intermediate states such as the “inconclusive” one so beloved of quacks; what they term “inconclusive” is what honest researchers call “negative”.

            The test is then written up in detail and published to enable other scientists to evaluate and independently replicate it (outcomes that can’t be replicated aren’t a lot of use!).

            Another key point is that the burden of proof of a claim is placed where it belongs, i.e. it is for the person who claims that a substance is efficacious to prove it, not for others to disprove the claim. The touts for pseudomedicine do not like this, but the simple fact remains that there is no such thing as an independently replicated robust-quality double-blinded randomised control trial that demonstrates that homeopathy is distinguishable from placebo. Now, Roger, I have made a bold closing statement there (in bold) — see if you can refute it. If you can, then I will eat humble pie and apologise.

            Neither side is going to be convinced by “the evidence”. Its not going to happen.

            Please do not project your own close-mindedness onto others. You may be determined never to be convinced, but I am regularly forced, by evidence, to change my opinion. (And one of those changes, some 30-ish years ago, was my belief that homeopathy works.)

            You want me to waste my time doing something that is so uncontrolled as to be worthless. If (when?) it doesn’t work, you will be able to pretend that I cheated or didn’t do it properly or something.

            This is what would begin to convince me: I am suggesting that you do something where experimental design does not permit cheating and whose outcome can be statistically analysed (the Quackometer proposal, above). If you’re so sure of yourself, why won’t you do it?

          • What, exactly is a “pseudo-skeptic”? Someone who is skeptical of pseudoscience? Count me in!

          • You are the one making the crazy claim. YOU provide the evidence. Oh, that’s right. You don’t have any.

  • Roger: “You are the perfect example of the arrogance that skeptics bring to this subject. Absolutely convinced of your paradigm and not open to any experience that might threaten it.”

    As a skeptic, I believe in science. It’s not about owning a particular paradigm or latching on to a belief system for dear life despite the evidence. Science is about learning. We take facts and, as more facts come to light, we change our understanding—and often our minds. But that IS science. That is it’s very point.

    That hardly makes me or other skeptics arrogant. I am perfectly willing to constantly learn facts that add to my understanding of the world. I am open to every experience that challenges my beliefs. But I prefer FACT-based experiences. Those are the only ones that will ever change my mind.

    Now, if you want to talk about arrogance, I offer Exhibit #1: The homeopath. Based on nothing but a fanciful notion based on I’m not sure what (magic?), s/he goes forward into the world vacuuming money from the pockets of the uneducated and desperate without a second thought to their actual wellbeing. It absolutely shameful. And yes, it’s arrogant.

    To conclude, I would gladly believe in homeopathy or any other woo woo—if you show me the evidence!

    If I had a dollar for everytime this request was met by dead silence, I’d be rich.

    • Great! I believe in the scientific method too. So you should be thrilled to do the scientific repeatable process of homeopathic proving. Sit down with a supervisor and have your recent health history carefully recorded in detail (side,time,modality, extensions, location, sensation, etc, etc.). Start taking the unknown (to both you and the supervisor) homeopathic highly potentized remedy daily until you start to experience new, never previously experienced, mental, emotional and physical symptoms. Then have those symptoms carefully recorded in detail until they wear off. Repeat if you are still skeptical as to the cause of the new symptoms. Then compare the symptoms that you experienced to those of other provers of the same remedy.
      That way you dont need to trust my “woo woo” evidence or the biased truthiness you read in wikipedia, you can trust your own direct experience. You can paypal me the dollar when you develop your own evidence.
      Btw, Id love you to point me to a single homeopath who is vacuuming any significant amount of money for the difficult exacting work of practicing homeopathy. They investigate each patient’s entire symptomology with the same excruciating detail that is done during a proving. They do that for a fraction of what doctors charge for a 10 min in, here is your prescription, and out.

      • …the scientific repeatable process of homeopathic proving.

        That sounds interesting, can you provide an example or two where a number of homeopathic provings of a remedy giving significantly consistent results?

        • From personal experience I have taken the wrong (not curative) remedy a couple of times and developed proving symptoms of that remedy. I have had several clients over the years who had aggravations of the remedy that was ultimately curative.

          The lawyer that I challenged to do a proving, developed symptoms of the remedy he was taking that was unknown to either of us initially. We had the homeopathic pharmacy give us 10 bottles labeled only with a code known to the pharmacy. He picked one of the bottles at random for the proving. The code was broken at the end of the proving.

          Dr Hahnemann and his colleagues did a proving of Belladonna. 100 years later the proving was repeated with 57 provers in various locations around the world. None of the provers or supervisors knew what remedy was being proven. They developed the same constellation of mental, emotional and physical symptoms during that proving that Hahneman’s group did.

          • link please

          • @Roger
            How disappointing. I asked you to provide substantiation for your claim of scientifically repeatable process of homeopathic proving.
            I am afraid you do not seem to understand what the word ‘scientific’ means even if you used it.
            I was hoping for something that provides support to the exceedingly improbable theories underpinning the practice of homeopathy.
            Of course you can repeat homeopathic provings, endlessly, that is not the point. The point is that the results, in order to be plausible, need to be independently repeatable under controlled circumstances so as to avoid mistakes and bias-induced results. The independent repetitions have to produce consistent enough results so that you may infer that the cause is likely to not be due to chance.
            From what I have seen of homeopathic provings, and I can promise you that I have read through many, the results are totally haphazard and random subjective symptoms that often seem to be induced by the esoteric expectations of the participants. I am in no way suggesting that those participating in homeopathic provings are more prone to mental illnesses than the general population but sometimes the symptom descriptions resemble the ramblings of someone under the unhappy influence of psychosis. One wonders why, so I was very interested when you said there exist scientifically repeatable provings.

            To all effects and purposes, my only plausible conclusion hitherto is, that homeopathy must be a make-believe practice involving make-believe diagnostics, make-believe pharmacology and make-believe therapeutics. Your stories Roger, can all be explained by more probable factors than some immeasurable quality of water that has been shaken and diluted to astronomical proportions and then evaporated from sugar globules.

            If you wish to participate and be taken seriously in a discussion using words like ‘scientific’, then please try first to learn what the term means and what ‘evidence’ is and what it is not. Professor Ernst has written a very good post about this, which you can easily find by clicking the tag “Evidence” here on the right.
            I also highly recommend his books. They are available on Amazon at very moderate prices, both paperback and Kindle versions. I suggest you start with his autobiographical “A scientist in wonderland”, then read his books on homeopathy and end with the most important one of them all, his and Kevin Smith’s book “More Harm than Good?: The Moral Maze of Complementary and Alternative Medicine” If you read through them all, you will be both be enlightened and influenced, I promise.

          • I am looking for the documentation of the second major proving of Belladonna so that you can compare it to the first which is thoroughly documented in Dr Hahneman’s Materia Medica Pura.

            I think you have some expectation that provings are going to be a neat listing so that you can say A exactly equals B. Human beings are messy so the results of a proving are somewhat messy. They are not like the so-called “controlled clinical trials” which only look at a very limited subset of the experience of the subjects, just the few symptoms that constitute the so-called disease. Drugs (& remedies) are not the magic bullets that allopaths would like. They affect the entire mental, emotional and physical state of each unique individual in somewhat unique ways. Its like history; it doesnt repeat itself exactly but it rhymes.

            You should read through the provings and then look at the clinical case histories of serious diseased individuals that are cured with the same remedy.

            Or do a proving yourself and directly experience a similar unique constellation of symptoms to what someone before you experienced on the same remedy and you will be enlightened and influenced, I promise. Until then you & Dr Ernst will have no idea.

          • Do us all, yourself included, a favour. Stop using “proving” to mean anything remotely similar to “evidence.” It just isn’t.

            You continue to use it in that context at your own peril.

            Oh, oh. Too late. People already think you are loopy.

          • Roger

            The uncontrolled, unblinded, subjective, cherrypicked pieces of nonsense that are “provings” only make people with the faintest of understanding of trial design chuckle. It is counting angels on pinheads. An act of faith. A religious ceremony. You want me to do one? Sure. I’d be delighted. And when I report that absolutely nothing happened you will splutter and grumble about my lying and my bias against homeopathy.

          • Lenny,
            Sure there are some uncontrolled provings. And there are allopathic doctors that experiment on the sick by giving off-label drugs (despite “first do no harm”). At least we arent using sick people as guinea pigs. But have you read Jeremy Sherr or Paul Herscu’s books on how to conduct a proving? Most provings Are Controlled, Blinded and carefully vetted for only new symptoms. In the sphere of medicine there is Always subjectivity. You are trying to make the patient feel better which is subjective. That is actually one of the weaknesses of allopathic medicine is that they too often treat the test, not the patient, to the detriment of the patient.

            Great! You want to do a proving. Where are you located so we can get the remedy to you? Neither of us will know what remedy you are taking, only the pharmacy. I will take your case before the proving and supervise the proving process. You have to eliminate other medicinal substances from your diet ie. essential oils (including peppermint, tea tree, etc), coffee, weed, etc. before the start of the proving period. You should eat a somewhat bland diet during the proving period.

          • You have to eliminate other medicinal substances from your diet ie. essential oils (including peppermint, tea tree, etc), coffee, weed, etc. before the start of the proving period. You should eat a somewhat bland diet during the proving period.

            Why? Do you have to do this when using homeopathy as a remedy? Am I allowed to touch the pillules? Do I have to stop taking my vitamin D supplements?

          • “Why? Do you have to do this when using homeopathy as a remedy? Am I allowed to touch the pillules? Do I have to stop taking my vitamin D supplements?”

            Yes Lenny, many homeopaths require this of their patients, including Dr Hahnemann as written in the Organon. You just dump the pillules from the bottle into the cap and then dump them under your tongue; no need to touch them. I have never found supplements to be much of a problem whereas herbals can be, but I have my clients keep their regime constant, no changes. Remember this is an experiment and we are trying not to introduce too many variables. Your normal life will have enough ups and downs as it is. Everyone’s susceptibility is unique, so the best approach is to remove substances that might interfere, as much as possible.

          • ” many homeopaths require this of their patients, including Dr Hahnemann as written in the Organon.”
            I do not think this is true.
            fanaticising again?

          • You should read through the provings and then look at the clinical case histories of serious diseased individuals that are cured with the same remedy.

            I have, and it only reaffirms the image of make-believe and fantasy. As I said, you do not seem to understand what it takes to establish evidence.

            Dr Hahnemann and his colleagues did a proving of Belladonna. 100 years later the proving was repeated with 57 provers in various locations around the world. None of the provers or supervisors knew what remedy was being proven. They developed the same constellation of mental, emotional and physical symptoms during that proving that Hahneman’s group did.

            I have read through loads of provings amd materia medica listings. They can all be cherry picked to assemble similar symptoms appearing among the potpourri of subjectively reported experiences.
            I asked you for examples of studies properly controlled for the obvious confounders and bias of the proving-methodology, which show independently comparable results, what you have produced is not evidence of anything (other than the vivid fantasy of homeopaths).

      • Three things. To me, a proving is, at best, an anecdote. (Actually, it sounds a bit like a cult ritual.) Would it even come close to beating it’s biggest rival, the placebo? Phhht. . .

        Second, a homeopath taking ANY money from someone desperate enough to try that woo woo, is committing the unconscionable act of a charlatan.

        Finally, your description of a doctor’s role seems a little cynical. My doc talks to me—for as long as need be. She’s weird that way.

        • A proving may be an anecdote but it has a powerful effect on the prover. Give it a try.

          • Silly Roger: “A proving may be an anecdote but it has a powerful effect on the prover. Give it a try.”

            Why would I do that? Even if I were desperate (like the people you hoodwink into giving you their money), I know better. I not only read, but, unlike you (apparently), I understand what I read. And the evidence is clear. Science. It’s a thing.

            That you believe in this hocus pocus tells me nothing new about homeo—of course it’s nonsense—but it tells me everything I need to know about you.

            I’ll stick to real evidence, thank you very much.

            Can I ask, though. . . Is there a homeo “treatment” that cures the disease that prevents people from using even basic logic? If so, give it a try. You say it works? Prove it.

      • Roger, you wrote:

        I believe in the scientific method

        In which case, please cite one (yes, just one) independently replicated robustly conducted double-blinded randomised control trial that demonstrates unequivocally that homeopathy is distinguishable from placebo.

  • @Roger

    I’m quite fearful of the effects of ingesting high potency homeopathics. Do you think a dream proving, where I just put the bottle under my pillow and later report symptoms I had in my dreams is a reliable alternative?

    • Frank: Maybe for you.

      Bjorn: I understand that pseudo-skeptics will never accept any of facet of homeopathy based on the “evidence”. We could do hundreds of studies that show it works (and have) and always they are rejected for one reason or the other. It doesnt fit with your mechanistic paradigm. That is why I am trying to convince you to experience it directly through a proving. Get your head out of your nether regions and come up for air in the real world of direct experience. Do a proving. You would not do it to create more “evidence”; evidence is apparently useless in this debate. You would be doing it only for yourself for direct experience. Do you value that?

      • “We could do hundreds of studies that show it works (and have) and always they are rejected for one reason or the other. It doesnt fit with your mechanistic paradigm.”
        this is totally bonkers!
        1) there are about 500 clinical trials of homeopathy, and the totality of this evidence fail to show it works beyond placebo.
        2) this has nothing to do with paradigm.
        GROW UP!

        • The last meta-analysis of homeopathy studies that I read about, discarded all but 8 studies. Of all the 500 clinical trials it only considered 8 to be worthy of consideration. Of course their meta-analysis showed no effect from homeopathic remedies. No bias there? I dont think so.

          • when you pretend you understand science, you can almost get funny.
            ever tried your luck as a stand-up comedian?

          • @Roger

            In a meta-analysis the criteria have to be predetermined and clearly stated for excluding studies . The fact that only 8 of 500 trials of homeopathy were regarded as valid in a meta-analysis is indeed cherry picking: but the cherry-picked studies were selected on a rational basis. Take a look at Fig. 1 in this meta-analysis of pharmacological interventions for acute hepatitis C infection. (It’s from the Cochrane database, so well within the bounds of what you would pejoratively call ‘allopathic’ medicine.) The authors found 2803 published trials, and excluded all but 9 from the meta-analysis. That’s an even higher dropout rate than for your homeopathy meta-analyses. The (predetermined) reasons for the exclusions are, of course, clearly stated in the paper’s ‘methods’ section.

            The point is, your gut reaction that homeopathy trials are unreasonably cherry picked to produce negative results is a non-starter. It’s entirely common for meta-analyses to involve only a small number of trials from a much larger starting set.

            You have posted prolific comments on this blog. Your viewpoint is by now very clear to all readers. You regard the subjective, nebulous nonsense uttered by credulous believers in the pseudo-medicine of homeopathy as examples of good science and evidence favouring homeopathy. Sorry, but every account of a proving (i.e. a test) I’ve read has been palpable New Age or quasi-religious guff. For a start, do healthy people have ‘symptoms’? Most of the ‘experiences’ reported in provings are everyday thoughts and mental images, solemnly reported as meaningful by the participants, while any reader with an open mind would find them laughable.

            You claim to understand how science works, but you really don’t have the first clue. You’ve reached the stage where your prolific responses to those who try to reason with you are no longer even vaguely funny.

          • Frank,

            In this meta-analysis where they only chose 8 studies to include, several of the 8 studies were not properly conducted by homeopathic standards. They met “scientific” standards supposedly, but not homeopathy standards. That is cherry-picking for a predetermined goal.

          • @Roger, you wrote:

            several of the 8 studies were not properly conducted by homeopathic standards

            Which ones? Please cite both the meta analysis and the studies you claim were improperly conducted, specifying the improper conduct in each case.

          • Roger says (with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, right?):

            “In this meta-analysis where they only chose 8 studies to include, several of the 8 studies were not properly conducted by homeopathic standards. They met “scientific” standards supposedly, but not homeopathy standards. That is cherry-picking for a predetermined goal.”

            I damn near choked on my cheerios. I thought stand-up comics were banned from this list, no?

          • You readily discredit other peoples’ experience. That is easy to do from your armchair. Why dont you try a proving yourself and see if it is guff from first-hand experience?

          • While much of what they say is annoying, but perhaps the most annoying thing they try to get people to believe is that proving has something to do with proof.

            It does not.

            Maybe you just need to find another way to express this thing you do. Can I suggest “It’s-a-rather-worthless-protocol-that-will-likely-convince-you-of-nothing-but-my critics-(and-my-banker-)both-expect-me-to-bring-home-the-bacon-so-I-have-to-give-it-a-shot-anyway.”

            Admittedly, it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily but I think it’s far more accurate, don’t you?

          • …several of the 8 studies were not properly conducted by homeopathic standards. They met “scientific” standards supposedly, but not homeopathy standards.

            Aha! The truth is revealed. Roger wants scientists to judge homeopathy by a different set of standards from science!

            I’m sure by the standards of tasseographers, reading tea leaves is an excellent way of predicting the future. Astrologers, of course, use a different set of non-scientific standards to prove their horoscopes are meaningful. And scientologists use religious standards to convince themselves their beliefs are true.

            The point, Roger, is that the methodology and tools of science evolved, in the words of Carl Sagan, as “a way to not fool ourselves”. If you don’t understand what that means then, by golly, you’re surely fooling yourself; again and again and again. Subjective, anecdotal impressions from first-hand experiences are the basis of so much human folly. It would be funny if only the consequences of such sloppy self-delusion were not so often serious.

          • Frank,
            “Aha! The truth is revealed. Roger wants scientists to judge homeopathy by a different set of standards from science!”

            Did I say that? No.

            But if you are studying homeopathy you have to meet the standards of homeopathy. Of course you have to meet scientific standards also.

            Are you going to do a proving?

          • Of course you have to meet scientific standards also.

            Are you going to do a proving?

            Oh do make up your mind! You can either do a “proving” or you can meet scientific standards.

            Clue: They are mutually exclusive.

          • Roger asks

            Are you going to do a proving?

            Please note, Roger, that the correct English translation of Hahnemann’s German ‘Prüfung’ is ‘trial’ or ‘test’. English-speaking homeopathists much prefer the inaccurate ‘proving’, because it sounds like something more positive.

            No Roger; I’m not going to do a ‘proving’. I read stuff like this house-fly proving (from the New York School of Homeopathy, no less) and I can swiftly reach a conclusion I’m being confronted with arrant nonsense, generated by self-deluding fools. Just take a look at the long list of ‘repertory additions’ for a demonstration of total idiocy. I seldom suffer fools gladly, though I do try.

            You have copiously paraded your own foolishness in your comments to the point where I’ve reached saturation tolerance. I don’t know for whom I feel more sorry: yourself, or the people you purport to treat. But I shan’t respond to your remarks any more.

          • Frank, you know the correct words but you dont understand the substance of homeopathy, unless you are willing to experience it.

            It would be like someone who reads about all the fraud and ghostwriting in medical research. Reads that one of the top three causes of death in the USA is medical “care”. Reads about Vioxx which killed from 50-150k by various estimates. Reads about thalidomide and all the other failed drugs that injured, maimed and killed. Reads about all the corruption in the CDC. Reads about the crass greed in the medical system where health decisions are made by insurance adjusters. Then decides they better not use allopathic medicine when they have a car accident.

            You read a bunch of crap about homeopathy, but you are not willing to go to the base of homeopathy which is the prufung (pronounce it how you wish). Afraid of experience.

            Homeopathy is not woo woo medicine in most of the world where its used. Its everyday clinical medicine. Unfortunate that you and your kind will never experience it. But more unfortunate that you feel like you have to protect others from it based on your ignorance.

          • Frank,

            Your link to the account of the house-fly proving makes quite remarkable reading. It is a good example of how you can start with a false premise and by then applying logic or at least some semblance of reason you can end up with a remarkably complex and almost self-consistent system of nonsense. The same thing happens in the case of acute psychosis, and to the psychotic their delusions seem not only true but reasonable. It also shows how any phenomenon can be readily accommodated in such a system. By comparison flat-earthers seem quite moderate in their beliefs.

          • The long path to self deception begins with a short hop to an appealing but false premise.

        • The totality of the evidence that pseudo-skeptics will accept shows what they want to believe. its called cherry-picking.

  • Edzard: ” many homeopaths require this of their patients, including Dr Hahnemann as written in the Organon.”
    I do not think this is true. fanaticising again?<<<

    See Aphorism 125 of the Organon of Medicine by Hahnemann which refers to diet during a proving.

    See Aphorisms 94, 150, 208, 245 and especially 259 where he talks about how the diet can be a maintaining cause of disease and interfere with the cure. I thought you studied homeopathy at one time?

    Anyone interested in doing a proving should read Aphorisms 108-145

  • So I guess none of you pseudo-skeptics have the courage of your convictions and is willing to do a proving. Im not sure why you are so afraid of your personal experience. It seems to be the occupational hazard of pseudoskeptics. Is it because you are afraid you might get kicked out of the “science club” because you arent being objective? The horror of anecdotes? Is it because it is easier to sit on the sidelines and not get dirty in the trenches?

    There are many fields of endeavor that require personal experience for validation. How could jumping out of an airplane be fun? Or skiing down a mountain? Sounds crazy to me.

    Wouldnt you be more willing to trust the science of meditation if you had meditated? How could you really believe scientific papers about just sitting there? Seems preposterous on the face of it. And there are so many forms of meditation; the science gets pretty murky. Maybe some forms have a powerful effect and others, not so much. How would you know?

    I read that on occasion pseudoskeptics will go to haunted houses on a lark. How about doing a proving on a lark? You would have to take on the process seriously, but you can brag about it later.

    • So I guess none of you pseudo-skeptics have the courage of your convictions and is willing to do a proving. Im not sure why you are so afraid of your personal experience.

      Oh, do grow up!

      That is just silly playground taunting because nobody here is sufficiently credulous to waste time on an uncontrolled process that gives you a massive loophole to pretend that the outcome is invalid.

      Now fess up: the reason you won’t take the Quackometer challenge is that you know you’d fail, isn’t it?

      • Steve, I am just trying to get you guys to experience it directly. I know what the outcome will be. Whatever you choose to say or not say about your experience is up to you.

        • What you don’t seem to realise is that I (and, I’m prepared to bet, others on here) have “experienced it directly”. Until about 30 years ago I used to believe this guff (girlfriend was a homeopath).

          (Turning point was when she gave me Vithoulkas’s “Science of Homeopathy” to read – it so obviously had exactly nothing to do with science… )

  • I read through the challenge to homeopathy on http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2007/12/simple-challenge-to-homeopaths.html . As typical, he has little idea about the amount of work that would be required to do 6 definitive provings. Nothing simple about it. He should read something about the process.

    Homeopaths are not in it to prove anything to him. We have plenty to do keeping up with our patients.

    But I have a counter challenge to you all. From a list of 10 or more known remedies, a third neutral party would pick one and send it in high potency (30c or more) to the all the provers. I would supervise the proving, also blind as to the remedy, and try to decide which remedy was given. If there were enough provers willing to be involved, it could be two different remedies, increasing the difficulty greatly.

    But the kicker is you all, the “skeptics”, would be the provers.

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