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

I recently came across a short article from 2009 in the BMJ reporting that: “The World Health Organization has said that homoeopathy should not be used to treat several serious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria...”

At the time most people (including myself) were rather pleased that the WHO took what was considered a clear stance, I remember. Reading the short paragraph again today, I must say I am underwhelmed. In fact, if I analyse it carefully, I have to admit that the statement is nonsense.

This would be inconsequential or trivial, were it not for the hundreds of similar statements warning people that HOMEOPATHY SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR SERIOUS CONDITIONS.

Have I confused you?

No, I am not claiming the homeopathy SHOULD be used for serious conditions! I am saying that the statement is misleading and can easily be misunderstood. Some people might interpret it as meaning that, alright homeopathy must not be used for serious diseases, but can be used for all other conditions. Come to think of it, the WHO has often been seen promoting so-called alternative medicine (SCAM), and therefore I cannot be sure that this is not the message they wanted to send out.

Highly diluted homeopathic remedies contain nothing; they are therefore biologically implausible. Crucially, the best evidence fails to show that they work beyond a placebo effect. Therefore, employing it for a serious condition might hasten the patient’s death. But using it for a less serious condition is surely not much better.

Imagine someone takes it for asthma, or psoriasis, or coronary heart disease, or rheumatoid arthritis, or flu, or food poisoning, or the common cold, etc, etc. If he uses it as a sole treatment, he will suffer needlessly. If he uses it as a complementary treatment (Hahnemann did expressly forbid such combinations), he might not be affected negatively except for the time and money invested. But his health would not benefit, and therefore the WHO (or anyone else for that matter) should not imply that this is fine.

It follows that the warning HOMEOPATHY SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR SERIOUS CONDITIONS is nonsense. The only sound advice is this:

HOMEOPATHY SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR ANY CONDITIONS.

 

146 Responses to “Homoeopathy should not be used to treat serious diseases…”

  • HOMEOPATHY CAN AND SHOULD BE USED FOR ANY CONDITIONS – as long as –

    “…….It goes without saying that any purely homeopathic tumor therapy may only be used with close monitoring of success. It may be necessary to switch to, or supplement, conventional radio-chemotherapy. There must definitely be no unjustified delay in established therapies backed up by evidence.”……

    https://homoeopathiewirkt.wordpress.com/2020/06/16/when-is-sole-adjuvant-homeopathic-tumor-therapy-permissible-and-useful/

    When is sole adjuvant homeopathic tumor therapy permissible and useful?
    Case Report
    Immediate Remission of an Inguinal Lymph Node Afflicted with Large-Cell B-Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Under Sole Homeopathic Treatment with Conium: When Is a Sole Adjuvant-Homeopathic Tumor Therapy Permissible and Useful?
    Hümmer H. · Wiecken T. · Pachmann K.
    Keywords
    B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma · Adjuvant homeopathic tumor therapy · Conium · Remission ·
    Abstract
    A large-cell B-cell non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (LCBCL) was diagnosed bioptically in a female patient (age 63 years) in one left inguinal lymph node. Immediately after beginning homeopathic treatment with Conium C 30, the lymph node started to show a reduction in size. Two weeks after starting homeopathic therapy, histological examination of the excised lymph node showed no evidence of a residual tumor – suggestive of a complete remission. The patient remains disease free until now. The homeopathic remedy Conium (hemlock) is frequently applied for adjuvant homeopathic tumor therapy as well as for the treatment of enlarged lymph nodes.

    Complement Med Res https://doi.org/10.1159/000500122

    https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/500122

    https://t.co/r3wJSsVWd8

    … and you can save yourself the argument of the individual case, the anectotic case, the accidental coincidence or the implausibility, because
    – there are hundreds of such cases described in the literature
    – the chance coincidence is as likely as the proverbial drop in Lake Constance ….
    – implausibility is a completely unscientific argument …

    • “you can save yourself the argument of the individual case, the anectotic case, the accidental coincidence or the implausibility”
      ahhahh – so you know it’s BS!

    • … and you can save yourself the argument of the individual case, the anectotic case, the accidental coincidence or the implausibility, because
      – there are hundreds of such cases described in the literature
      – the chance coincidence is as likely as the proverbial drop in Lake Constance ….
      – implausibility is a completely unscientific argument …

      You don’t seem to have a very good grasp of probability, or how numbers behave.

      Incidentally, according to Wikipaedia the volume of Lake Constance is 48 cubic kilometres. Approximating 48 as 50 and assuming the size of a drop to be 0.05ml, this means that there are 10^18 drops in Lake Constance, so one drop represents an 18x dilution.

      It has been estimated that about 1 in 30 people that have ever lived are still alive (I’m sorry, I can’t remember where I got that from). This would mean that there are about 3×10^8 more drops in lake Constance than people, ever, let alone cancers.

      A one-in-a-million coincidence is about 1,000,000,000,000 times more likely than “a drop in lake Constance” and one-in-a-million coincidences happen all the time (quite regularly to all of us eve, as wew all encounter more than a million events over the course of a few weeks).

      I would suggest, Dr Hummer, that you take a course in medical statistics, which is in any case part of oncology training in the UK.

    • “Dr.” Hümmer once again exercises himself in self-referencing his blog and a worthless piece of paper (a case report on lymphona) written by him, which every scientifically thinking person tears up in the air.

      An embarrassing self-exposure, as usual.

    • @ Dr. Heinrich Hümmer

      implausibility is a completely unscientific argument

      Au contraire …Implausibility is a key factor in scientific research. The less plausible something is, the better the evidence must be to accept this something.

      Something so utterly implausible such as homeopathy requires a LOT of high-quality and independently replicated(!) trials with strong positive outcomes before we can even begin to accept its viability.
      However, the exact opposite is the case: homeopathy trials with positive results are almost always of an appalling quality, and rarely exceed the level of “We saw positive results, so it works” – basically the same as the cases you mention.
      One excellent example is Jacques Benveniste’s ‘water memory’ trial: he was the only one who could produce positive results; all attempts at independent replication failed.

      And this has been the case every single time an attempt was made to replicate a positive result in homeopathy.
      There is not a single test or experiment that consistently finds an effect of homeopathy. Not one.

      So, once again, please memorize these words: HOMEOPATHY DOES NOT WORK.

      • Opinion:
        “And this has been the case every single time an attempt was made to replicate a positive result in homeopathy. There is not a single test or experiment that consistently finds an effect of homeopathy. Not one.”

        Versus facts:

        -Maddox (1988):

        “We have not been able to pay as much attentio as we would have wished to the data collected at other laboratories and cited in Davenas et al, … there is also some evidence of degranulation at high dilution

        -Hirst (1993):

        “Our results contain a source of variation for which we cannot accout, but no aspect of the data is consistent with the prevously published claims”.

        -Sainte Laudy (1993):

        “We confirmed here that high dilutions of histamine were capable of inhibiting anti-IgE induced basophil activation, calculating the intra-assay significance of the observed inhibition”

        -Belon (1999):

        “These data confirm previous findings that histamine, at very high dilutions, inhibits anti-IgE induced basophil degranulation. In 3/4 of the independent laboratories a statistically significant inhibition was found and in the fourth
        laboratory the results approached significance.”

        -Sainte Laudy (2001):

        “We thus confirm here the activity of high dilutions of histamine on anti-IgE induced basophil activation and show,
        in particular, that dilution 13C induced a of co-activation of the cells.”

        -Sherstoboev (2003):

        “Our results indicate that PAB-IFN in specific doses given perorally to mice or in vitro added to the culture of peripheral blood mononuclar cell from healthy donors produce a strong immunotropic effect”.

        -Bellavite (2009):

        “Our results confirm and build upon the hypothesis that high dilutions of biologically active compounds may indeed
        have an effect which mimics that of lower dilutions/higher doses”

        -Mannianoni (2010):

        “It is conceivable that ultra-low doses (ranging from ng to µg/kg), when distributed in an average body mass of about 70 kg, would reach the receptor area as ultra-high dilutions, thus implying the possibility that ultra-low doses may still be active at infinitesimal concentrations in selected individuals. Further investigations in this field are highly recommended”

        • @Lollypop on Sunday 21 June 2020 at 22:22

          Hilarious. All conjecture and nothing of any substance, just like homeopathy.

        • a) In how many of those travesties of science were the experimenters properly blinded?

          b) If this was true, all that we know about science would have been turned on its head. Nobel prizes would have been handed out. Textbooks re-written.

          Hasn’t happened, has it, Lollypop.

          Almost as if this is a load of specious nonsense carried out by scientifically-ignorant homeopaths desperate for some evidence which they hope will validate their beliefs in magic shaken water.

          As you were, everyone

          • Lenny:

            a) “properly blinded” does not exists in methodological text books. Or it’s blined or o not. You’re telling me James Randi didn’t know how to do a proper blinding?

            b) Fortunately, there is no evidence that if homeopathy were correct you would have to throw away everything you know about the science.

            c) Most of the conclusions described there are not from “homeopaths”, or are you telling me that Hirst and Maddox were homeopaths?

            I have carefully read the comments on this blog, and you never contribute anything but attacks, insults and slander.

          • Lollypop:

            Fortunately, there is no evidence that if homeopathy were correct you would have to throw away everything you know about the science.

            It isn’t a matter of evidence. The principles of homeopathy fundamentally contradict established principles of science, such as the atomic theory of matter, for which the evidence is consistent and overwhelming.

            While scientists are always hoping for new discoveries that will show them to be wrong, extraordinary claims require extraoridinary evidence to support them.

            I have carefully read the comments on this blog, and you never contribute anything but attacks, insults and slander.

            I would like to point out that the legal definition of slander applies to the spoken, not the written word, at least in most of the jurisdictions that I know of. Perhaps you mean libel? Of course I don’t know what country you are from – maybe where you live the laws are different.

            If the accusations you are making here are not actually true then they may fulfill the definition of libel, which is roughly speaking the act of publishing false statements that may expose another party to hatred, ridicule or contempt.

          • Lollypop

            For something to be slanderous, it has to be untrue.

            You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.

            And I suggest you look up what blinding is and the differences between single, double and triple blinding.

          • “It isn’t a matter of evidence. The principles of homeopathy fundamentally contradict established principles of science, such as the atomic theory of matter, for which the evidence is consistent and overwhelming.”

            Really? Homeopathy cannot contradict the atomic theory of matter because many homeopathic medicines are not diluted beyond Avogadro’s constant, in other cases it has been shown that nanoparticles are present, and for the case of “high dilutions” a materialistic interpretation can be correctly made.

            “While scientists are always hoping for new discoveries that will show them to be wrong, extraordinary claims require extraoridinary evidence to support them.”

            There’s no evidence of what you’re saying either. No one has demonstrated what is an “extraordinary” evidence/claim, it is a belief that was taken by C. Sagan from M. Truzzi, end he rejected it later!

            “If the accusations you are making here are not actually true then they may fulfill the definition of libel, which is roughly speaking the act of publishing false statements that may expose another party to hatred, ridicule or contempt.

            Indeed, you can be sentenced to defamation and mobbing.

          • I have refrained from commenting on several occasions, despite seeing you make hundreds of mistakes. The truth is, you’re not worth it.

          • Lollypop,

            The truth is, you’re not worth it.

            I think you will find that you will be taken more seriously if you restrict your comments to what other people are saying.

            I was brought up to believe that all people are of equal value, and I have endeavoured to maintain this view in my clinical practice over the years.

        • @Lollypop
          First you may want to look up the meaning of the following words:
          – ‘to replicate’
          – ‘independent’
          – ‘significant’
          – ‘consistent’

          Then, once you have mastered the meaning of these words, you may want to look for one or more homeopathic test procedures that can be replicated by any independent person, group or laboratory to produce significant and consistent results.

          Just like the good old litmus test: take a bit of litmus paper (or even red cabbage extract), add a dash of vinegar, and hey, presto: it turns red every single time. The result is not dependent on who does the test, or where, or exactly how, and it most certainly is not a highly dubious, singular result like all the things you come up with.

          So please come up with an analogous procedure with a homeopathic preparation. And to make it easy on you, I’ll just ask for any test that can distinguish between plain water (or sugar) and any type of ‘potentized’ homeopathic product in liquid or pellet form.

          Just don’t expect me to hold my breath.

          • The difference is that the litmus test is a very “simple” system compared to basophil sensitization which requires very careful conditions to be replicated. And even with Maddox’s, Randi’s and Steward’s bad practices, they managed to witness exocytosis of basophils in at least two of three double-blind trials, supervised by them. A similar thing happened with Hirst, his results were just as consistent with those of Benveniste, but for some strange reason they rejected them by saying the opposite, even though the original manuscript said otherwise. A third case is in the Horizon/BBC test, where statesman J. Martin Bland found highly significant differences in one of the groups, but then attributed it to lack of randomization. This problem has since been overcome.

          • @Lollypop
            You clearly have no understanding of scientific research at all. And what’s worse: you don’t even know the most basic thing about homeopathy.

            to basophil sensitization which requires very careful conditions to be replicated

            Yes, and I know exactly what these conditions are:
            – gullibility
            – a strong belief in what you’re doing
            – a tendency towards bias

            NOT ONE scientist has managed to replicate Benveniste’s results, no matter how careful they replicated the actual experiments. IIRC, even Benveniste’s last three own attempts failed. This simply means that THERE IS NO EFFECT. Benveniste messed up, that is all.
            And no reputable scientist managed to find an effect in any other homeopathic trial either, before or after Benveniste’s gaffe.

            So once again: There is not a single test or experiment that consistently finds an effect of homeopathy. Not one.

            And as others have said before: if you can come up with such a successful and repeatable test, you have a good chance of getting awarded a Nobel prize for physics, chemistry AND medicine. Because homeopathy is utterly incompatible with current insights in any of these three fields of science.

          • “Yes, and I know exactly what these conditions are: – gullibility – a strong belief in what you’re doing – a tendency towards bias

            Those are very serious accusations, and if you don’t have evidence they can be dismissed.

            “NOT ONE scientist has managed to replicate Benveniste’s results, no matter how careful they replicated the actual experiments. IIRC, even Benveniste’s last three own attempts failed. This simply means that THERE IS NO EFFECT. Benveniste messed up, that is all.”

            I just showed you that there are dozens of scientists who have replicated Benveniste’s results using much more objective methods than visual counting. And I’ve also shown you that even the critics consistently found effects. Are you really saying that Maddox, Randi, Steward and Bland don’t know how to do their jobs?

            “And no reputable scientist managed to find an effect in any other homeopathic trial either, before or after Benveniste’s gaffe.”

            I don’t know what you mean by “reputable”, but J. Benveniste was considered a very reputable scientist. So is Luc Montagnier, and he and other emeritus scientists have managed to replicate the results in China, Russia, Mexico and India. Instead, you don’t seem to be a reputable scientist, so you don’t get a vote.

            “So once again: There is not a single test or experiment that consistently finds an effect of homeopathy. Not one.”

            It happens that previously there were no stable models that were replicated by everyone. But that has changed today with the robust in vitro models that have been introduced.

            “And as others have said before: if you can come up with such a successful and repeatable test, you have a good chance of getting awarded a Nobel prize for physics, chemistry AND medicine. Because homeopathy is utterly incompatible with current insights in any of these three fields of science.”

            You are not the chairman of the Nobel Prize committee, nor do you seem to have the authority to nominate anyone. Time will tell, and there are now dozens of candidates to be nominated for those Nobel Prizes, and among them there is neither you nor E. Ernst.

          • Richard,

            I would be a bit careful about “significant” as this simply refers to the likelihood of getting a similar result entirely by chance if there is no actual effect. Mostly the threshold chosen is 1 in 20. The argument is that because this is unlikely then the effect seen is probably real (though that probability depends on many other factors, such as how likely it was before the study was carried out, and is often much less than 95%).

            Of course if you look at enough different things in one study it is very likely that at least some of them will be statistically significant, albeit clinically meaningless. Ditto if you do enough studies (a tactic used by unscrupulous drug companies, who simply do not publish the studies that don’t reach significance).

          • @Dr Julian Money-Kyrle
            Yes, I know that one should be careful with the term ‘significant’. I was using it in the vernacular meaning of ‘obvious’.
            And certainly there is always a chance of false positives purely by chance. I’d say that this goes for most positive homeopathy trials that appear to be done in a scientifically acceptable manner.

          • @Lollypop
            Even though I’m getting rather tired of your foolish insistence that homeopathic trials are being replicated (which they are NOT in any clear and consistent manner), I shall waste another few minutes of my precious time addressing your claims.

            First of all, I shall archive those purported confirmations of Benveniste’s experiments for further study at a later date. They are almost certainly flawed or the result of statistical noise – otherwise, we would have seen Nobel Prizes being awarded for discovering and documenting a phenomenon where said dilutions without a trace of other molecules except water still exert a noticeable influence. But it is interesting all the same to see where the researchers went wrong (and perhaps this has already been documented somewhere).
            All this apart from the fact that man the conclusions you quote are already highly tentative (‘.. may have an effect’ etc.).

            Then there is this earlier disclaimer of yours:

            basophil sensitization which requires very careful conditions to be replicated

            So even in vitro, this experiment relies heavily on external parameters being exactly right, otherwise nothing will happen. And this appears to be the case for most if not all homeopathic ‘experiments’ that are even worthy of critical appraisal by real scientists.
            And this extremely fragile hint of ‘effects’ supports your notion that homeopathy produces noticeable and robust effects in humans?
            Do you know what proportion of successful in vitro experiments with far stronger evidence than this carry over successfully to actual living beings? I’m not going to bother looking up the numbers, but IIRC, the figure was somewhere around 1 in 10,000 or even less.

            And oh, from another one of your replies:

            Benveniste was considered a very reputable scientist. So is Luc Montagnier

            The past tense is correct here. Both Benveniste and Montaignier appear to have succumbed to Nobel Disease, just like Linus Pauling with his orthomolecular quackery, and even Newton avant la lettre, who took up occultism and alchemy later in life.

            So no, you have not delivered any credible evidence whatsoever that homeopathic dilutions have unmistakeable effects that can be replicated at will. You are merely clutching at straws in a rather pathetic attempt to stay afloat in your quagmire of quackery – totally ignoring the fact that you can simply stand up and walk out over the solid ground that we call ‘science’.

          • It is like someone listening to endless hours of static on an un-tuned radio, and every so often exclaiming “That sounded like a word!”

          • Richard:

            “I shall archive those purported confirmations of Benveniste’s experiments for further study at a later date. They are almost certainly flawed or the result of statistical noise”

            So you’re saying that they don’t even know the experiments and that you already have a conclusion before you read them and analyze them, it’s an anti-scientific attitude. If you believe that the experiments are “failed” and “result of statistical noise,” you should prove it with evidence, not with word of mouth. Otherwise you’re slandering the investigators.

            “So even in vitro, this experiment relies heavily on external parameters being exactly right, otherwise nothing will happen. And this appears to be the case for most if not all homeopathic ‘experiments’ that are even worthy of critical appraisal by real scientists.”

            Your comment reflects an astonishing ignorance on the subject. Basophils by their nature are very delicate in their handling, which is why M. Ennis and others have taken many precautions and Benveniste knew it. This is not like the “argument” you throw to the parapsychologists saying that if the “skeptic” does not believe there will be no effect. Nor remotely is it analogous. On the other hand, you’re talking about “REAL Scientists,” does that mean they’re not real if they don’t agree with you? Your comment sounds like Orwell’s Ministry of truth.

            “Do you know what proportion of successful in vitro experiments with far stronger evidence than this carry over successfully to actual living beings? I’m not going to bother looking up the numbers, but IIRC, the figure was somewhere around 1 in 10,000 or even less.”

            Even if that is true, if in vitro experiments are reproducible and consistent the argument that they have no “effect beyond the placebo effect” can be dismissed.

            “So no, you have not delivered any credible evidence whatsoever that homeopathic dilutions have unmistakeable effects that can be replicated at will. You are merely clutching at straws in a rather pathetic attempt to stay afloat in your quagmire of quackery – totally ignoring the fact that you can simply stand up and walk out over the solid ground that we call ‘science’.”

            There is no scientific evidence of the”Nobel disease”. The only thing you share is a website dedicated to defamation. Nor is it clear that you understand “credible” evidence, since science is supposed to be undemocratic, so your belief is irrelevant. Your comments reflect an astonishing ignorance on the subject, you are nothing but a troll.

            There is no scientific evidence of the”Nobel disease”. The only thing you share is a website dedicated to defamation.

    • Congratulation, Dr. Hümmer, to this GREAT paper in this GREAT journal
      (a case report in Complementary Medicine Research (impact factor: 1,053, LOL!)).

      You really can be proud. With this paper, there can be no doubt: you are NOT an irrational homeopathy zealot (as some of us might have thought), you are indeed a world-class scientist!
      😉

      • Co-Autor of the above Case-Report: Prof. K. Pachmann

        One of the hundreds of publications of Prof. Pachmann:

        https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/10/11/407
        The Value of Monitoring the Behavior of Circulating Tumor Cells at the End of Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer Patients
        by Katharina Pachmann
        Cancers 2018, 10(11), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10110407
        IMPACT FACTOR 6.162

        Latest publication:
        https://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2020.38.15_suppl.e15596

        Chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assays as a model of xenografts derived from circulating cancer stem cells from breast cancer patients.
        Journal of Clinical Oncology

        Another Publication together:
        https://studylibde.com/doc/1435068/adjuvante-hom%C3%B6opathische-therapie-bei127

        Adjuvante homöopathische Therapie bei konventionell behandeltem Mammakarzinom
        Verlaufs- und Therapiekontrolle mittels quantitativer Bestimmung
        im Blut zirkulierender epithelantigen-positiver Zellen

        And what did you publish Mr. Jashak????

        • Dr. Hümmer, why are you asking? Since I do not intend to reveal my real name, my answer seems somewhat pointless. I could tell you anything and you will not be able to confirm it. But ok, since have typed so many question marks, I will give you this answer:

          If you are willing to take “Jashak´s” word for it, then I have published a doctoral thesis and am author/co-author of >30 peer reviewed, scientific papers (Journal I.F. up to around 10).

          But even if I did not have any scientific papers, I could still criticize that the paper that you cited was published in “Complementary Medicine Research”, a low-impact journal which can hardly be called scientific. Am I wrong?

        • May I enquire what the highest rated journal for an article on homeopathy you or Professor Pachman have published in?

          • Leigh,

            I have followed Dr Hummer’s link to the paper in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and can confirm that a Katharina Pachmann (from the Transfusion Centre, Bayreuth) was one of the co-authors of this paper, which is about ways of growing human cancer cells outside the body. I have no idea whether it is the same Katharina Pachmann (affilliated to Praxis für Allgemeinmedizin) who co-authored Dr Hummer’s paper.

            The Journal of Clinical Oncology is the official journal of ASCO, the American Society for Clinical Oncology. Most UK oncologists attend at least one of their meetings or symposia every year.

          • I would like to know the highest rated publication for an article on homeopathy.

          • probably the Lancet reviews by Linde et al and Shang et al

          • My question was specific to publications by Hummer or Pachman.

    • Two possible explanations: misdiagnosis and spontaneous remission. Conium C30 is not an explanation according to known science. An explanation that would require new science is not an explanation at all.

      • @Leigh Jackson
        Journal of Clinical Oncology
        Impactfactor: 26.303

        Misdiagnosis: the histologist could not believe it either, which is why he repeated the previous examination, but came to the same conclusion ….
        Spontaneous remission:
        IWrote about this possibility…….

        • Spontaneous remission:
          IWrote about this possibility…….

          And dismissed it as being “as likely as the proverbial drop in Lake Constance”.

          Though this is still 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times more likely than finding a molecule of Hemlock in Conium C30.

        • An explanation which requires unknown science is not an explanation.
          Does the JOCO article make claims or provide evidence to support homeopathy?

          • Does the JOCO article make claims or provide evidence to support homeopathy?

            It’s usually shortened to JCO. It made no mention of homeopathy, and was entirely concerned with a new lab-based assay for circulating tumour cells which involved culturing them in eggs. Mainstream cancer research, in other words. Dr Hummer, however, was not a co-author.

          • Thanks, Dr Hummer was slow to answer my question. I had confirmed the journal but it didn’t look like it was related to homeopathy. It’s generally easier to get science into highly rated science journals, but sometimes nonsense non-science does make an appearance.

        • the histologist could not believe it either, which is why he repeated the previous examination, but came to the same conclusion …

          In the UK it is usual to get a second opinion on the histology before embarking on treatment for any cancer. If there is any doubt then an acknowledged expert in the field would be consulted, and I have on occasion sent specimens across Europe and occasionally to the USA, as well as once requesting one from New Zealand for our own pathologist to examine.

          The pathological diagnosis and classification of lymphoma is particularly problematic and it seems a little rash to me that you chose to publish an unusual case report without seeking independent review.

          • A telling remark: “the histologist could not believe it”. Dr. Hummer can apparently read minds.

            There was an initial histological analysis of the punch biopsy, and another one after the excision. It appears that chemo was put on hold to have a better examination of the suspected tumour.

  • Dr. Hümmer, I see that “adjuvant” can have a number of meanings, in a medical context (I am not a medical person).

    In the case you have referenced, can you please specify the meaning of “adjuvant”? Specifically, was Conium 30C administered after, or along with, any other therapeutic measure?

    Also, what is your definition of “immediately”, in the Abstract?

    • 1) adjuvant, since we do not consider the sole homeopathic therapy regimen primary in this disease
      2) Lymph node size decrease from the first day after starting homeopathic therapy with Conuim C 30.
      3) No other accompanying therapy at any time up to the present day (patient has so far been free of recurrence since 2 years) with regular oncological aftercare.

    • You are quite correct that “adjuvant” can have a number of different meanings in a medical context. For instance it can refer to a substance added to a vaccine to increase its effectiveness. In oncology it is used in the context of radical treatment (i.e. treatment given with intent to achieve long-term cure) to refer to something used in addition to the primary treatment in order to increase its chances of success.

      An example might be a breast cancer which has spread to lymph nodes under the arm. The primary treatment is surgery, which by itself will cure many patients. The additional use of chemotherapy will result in more cures (or put another way it will reduce the number of recurrences).

      It is rather difficult to work out what Dr Hummer means when he uses the term “adjuvant”, or indeed many other medical and scientific terms that he throws around freely with no regard to their accepted meaning.

      “sole adjuvant homeopathic tumour therapy” is not a phrase that conveys any meaning to me, and I suspect it is rather like a snake-oil salesman using the term “quantum” in their promotional material to give it some semblance of respectability.

      Indeed I can’t really work out what was going on in the case of the lymphoma case history that he refers to, where he provides very little relevant information. Most pathologists specialising in lymphoma would insist on having a whole lymph node to examine in order to make a proper diagnosis, and as inguinal nodes are usually straightforward to remove surgically it is not clear why this was not done in the first place.

      Dr Hummer’s link takes me to what appears to be a blog, from which I have taken this strange exerpt:

      Summery

      A 63-year-old patient was diagnosed with a large-cell B-non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by biopsy of a left-linginal lymph node. Immediately after starting homeopathic therapy with Conium C 30, the lymph node in the left groin begins to recede. When the lymph node was excised fourteen days after the start of therapy, no residual histological findings can be detected and complete remission can be assumed. As a result, the patient remains relapse-free. The homeopathic agent conium (hemlock) is used in adjuvant homeopathic tumor therapy and in enlarged lymph nodes as a frequently indicated remedy

      To me, “no residual histological findings can be detected” suggests either an empty slide or else that the report has been lost. “complete remission can be assumed” sounds rather hopeful. We are not told what symptoms the patient reported, what the clinical findings were (other than presumably a lump in the groin) or what was the duration of follow-up. What did the staging CT scan show? Blood tests? What was the duration of follow-up and was sort of assessment was carried out?

      I followed the link to the full text of the report, but unfortunately it is in German so I am unable to determine how informative it might have proven to be.

      • Likewise, I found the information available on Dr Hummer’s link unclear. It seems that a patient waiting to start standard medical cancer treatment began a course of homeopathy. Homeopathy is being described as “sole adjuvant” to standard medical treatment. No other CAMs involved. Not entirely clear, but this is the best sense I can make of it.

      • “Histopathological assessment:
        The changes in the material available so far correspond to regressive changes (treatment sequence?). Even if the previous punch biopsies are reviewed again, there is no doubt about the primary lymphoma diagnosis. However, the lymphoma evidenced in the punch biopsy is no longer detectable in the material available so far. There will be more Material embedded, after evaluation there is a follow-up report.
        PD Dr. Chr. Brinkschmidt”

        “Additional report:
        Even after the rest of the material has been completely embedded, there are no new aspects compared to the initial diagnosis. There are still no clear residuals of the pre-diagnosed large-cell diffuse B-cell lymphoma.
        PD Dr. Chr. Brinkschmidt”

      • I followed the link too, and used Google Chrome to translate the web page. It doesn’t get us a great deal further forward.
        Not being a medic, I am struggling to interpret whether the translated paper says there was, or was not, a confirmed diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma:

        “The lymph node punch biopsy performed on July 11, 2018 of the lymph node, which has meanwhile grown to a sonographically 4 cm diameter , does not yield the histopathological and histochemically confirmed findings shown in Figure 1 of a malignant non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the B cell series of the type of a diffuse large cell lymphoma Germination center type according to Hans”. And: “The examination of the bone marrow aspirate from July 18, 2018 shows no evidence of bone marrow infiltration through lymphoma. A colonoscopy from June 18, 2018 shows, apart from diverticulosis, normal findings up to the terminal ileum. The gynecological examination is without pathological findings”.

        The paper acknowledges: “The high number of individual case reports of homeopathic doctors has previously been given a rather anecdotal character, since they mainly describe changes in subjective criteria without providing objective progression parameters” but says “In contrast, the influence on objective tumor progression parameters in adjuvant homeopathic tumor therapy could already be shown in a case history study in 2005 [ 8 ]. Likewise, in the more recent literature on homeopathic tumor therapy there are numerous cases that are secured and documented with close-meshed diagnostics under sole homeopathic therapy [ 9 , 10 ].

        Adequate number of individual case studies from real practice and with sufficient follow-up time (especially in view of the problems with the preparation of clinical controlled homeopathic studies) can be a suitable method of proof of effectiveness”.

        And it notes in the Conclusion:
        “The fact that a potentiation of C 30 was successfully used when conium was administered speaks against the principle of action of this substance, since the agent in a dilution or potentiation beyond the

        Avogadro constant N A = 6’022 × 10 23 1 / mol

        is present, which in turn implies that no molecule of the starting substance is present in the solution.

        Consequently, an active principle beyond the principle of matter must be adopted for this homeopathic remedy. Increasingly high-quality in-vitro studies can be found in the literature regarding the biological effects of potentized and highly diluted solutions. One of these studies showed a change in the gene expression pattern of human nerve cells after incubation with highly diluted gel semium solution [ 18 ]”.

        This individual case may be interesting, but does it constitute real evidence of safety and efficacy?

        • David B,

          I have just followed the link, and the pathology report is given as a graphic, not text, so I would expect Google Translate to ignore it. Unfortunately to translate and interpret it properly would require a German-speaking doctor familiar with cancer pathology reports.

          Most of the technical terms are more-or-less the same in German and English, which means that I can at least get the gist of it. I am quite surprised that there is very little description of the detailed microscopic appearance, as I would normally expect a histopathologist to give a detailed justification of how they arrived at their conclusions, highlighting any uncertainties or ambiguities in their findings. In other words I would expect the report to be a page or two longer than it is.

          Although I treated lymphomas as a traineed oncologist, that was many years ago and they have long been the province of haematologists, not oncologists, since then. I am therefore not particularly familiar with the immunohistochemistry of lymphomas (this is a technique using antibody-based stains to identify specific proteins, mutations and markers associated with the cells and therefore to distinguish between cells that otherwise look identical on microscopy, such as the many different types of lymphocyte). Nor am I familiar with the current classification of lymphomas, which has always been horrendously complicated; when I was a trainee it used to change every year and different systems were used in different parts of the world and even in different centres in the same country; I hope that has changed now. Unfortunately subtle differences can be very important in predicting the behaviour and optimum treatment of lymphomas, which is why the pathology should always be reported in detail by more than one expert.

          The immunohistochemistry in this case states that the tumour was positive for CD20 and BCL2 and negative for CD10 and Cyclin D1, with 90% of the cells expressing Ki67. I’m afraid I don’t really know how to interpret this in detail, for instance how specific these findings are in making a diagnosis, but I think they are at least consistent with what I know as a large diffuse B-cell lymphoma non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which I would expect to behave aggressively and require chemotherapy to give a reasonably good chance of long-term cure.

          I have come across too many badly-prepared slides and reports from pathologists straying beyond their expertise, not to mention misprints by non-medical typists (and these days voice-recognition systems) to take this at face value.

          I remember one report referring to square mouse cells instead of squamous cells, and a secretary once asking “who is this Sir Vical Smears, and am I spelling his name correctly?”

        • I can see why true believers would find case studies like this to be proof that homeopathy works.
          At the very least, it’s evidence that can be placed against the possibilities of spontaneous remission or misdiagnosis. For the science minded it’s very, very far from convincing.

          I am at least reassured that in this case the intention was to use chemo with homeopathy to be used as adjuvant. In and of itself it is a particle of evidence of safety and efficacy. We have far more evidence than this one study. Accepting what is stated in the histopathology report here, that there are other similar cases in the literature, is that sufficient to prove that homeopathy is safe and effective?

          At the end of the histopathology report Dr. Brinkschmidt nods at possible scientific support for homeopathy – “high-quality in-vitro studies… change in the gene expression…”.

          No mention of the possibility of spontaneous remission or misdiagnosis. Dr Brinkschmit’s conviction that his original diagnosis was correct ruled out, for him, the possibility of misdiagnosis. A second opinion would have added weight on this point. Odd that he does not consider the possibility of spontaneous remission. Or is it odd?

          I would here introduce an analogy with the Roman Catholic Church’s system of validating miracles which includes scientists as part of the process.

          For true homeopathy believers case studies like this one are holy treasures. For scientifically minded non-believers they lack credibility. Could Dr. Brinkshmitt be a true believer, I wonder?

          • I am at least reassured that in this case the intention was to use chemo with homeopathy to be used as adjuvant.

            I am perhaps less reassured. I am not reassured that anybody might be considering high-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma-type chemotherapy, which is very toxic, on the basis of this rather inadequate histology report, without the review that is standard practice in the UK. I am also puzzled as to why the poor woman was subjected to the unpleasantness of a bone marrow biopsy (I have had four of these myself) which is not normally part of the staging of this type of tumour. I don’t know the rest of the case history in enough detail to be able to comment further, however.

          • Discussion

            Homeopathic therapy must prove itself in everyday therapy according to the scientific and medical evidence criteria if it does not want to remain classified as placebo – or suggestion therapy [3]. It will also have to meet the requirements of high-quality RCTs (randomized controlled trials). Previous meta-analyzes on the homeopathic study situation came to different results depending on the selection criteria of the available RCT studies regarding the question of whether homeopathy is more effective than placebo [4, 5]. Lüdtke and Rutten [6] were able to show, however, that the meta study most frequently cited by critics as evidence against the efficacy of homeopathy by Shang et al. [7] is not scientifically reliable.

            The high number of individual cases of homeopathic doctors that have existed up to now has been given a rather anecdotal character, since they mainly describe changes in subjective criteria without providing objective progression parameters.

            In contrast, the influence on objective tumor progression parameters in adjuvant homeopathic tumor therapy could already be shown in a case history study in 2005 [8]. Likewise, in the more recent literature on homeopathic tumor therapy there are numerous cases that are secured and documented with close-meshed diagnostics under sole homeopathic therapy [9, 10].

            Adequate number of individual case studies from real practice and with sufficient follow-up time (especially in view of the problems in the preparation of clinical controlled homeopathic studies) can be a suitable method of proof of effectiveness.

            In the case shown here of a 63-year-old patient with biopsy-confirmed involvement of a left-lingual lymph node with large cell B-non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a clear, sonographically objectifiable size reduction can be seen immediately after the start of EXCLUSIVELY HOMEOPATHIC THERAPY with Conium C 30. In the further course the lymph node is hardly palpable any more, and 2 weeks after the start of therapy there are no residues of the prediagnosed large-cell diffuse B-cell lymphoma in the histopathological preparation of the excised lymph node except for “regressive changes (treatment sequence?)”.

            SPONTANEOUS REMISSIONS were occasionally observed in low-malignant B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas, but are extremely rare in aggressive, highly malignant lymphomas – as is the case here – 11. A single case of spontaneous remission of a B-non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which could be classified as highly aggressive due to new immunohistological parameters (co-expression of the proto-oncogenes MYC [myelocytomatosis gene] and BCL2 [B-cell lymphoma 2]) by Potts et al. [12] reports.

            As a trigger factor for spontaneous remission in non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, immunomodulation by accompanying viral infections including HIV and EBV or by surgery is discussed above all [13-17].

            Even with careful literature research, however, NO CASE OF REGRESSION AFTER exclusively puncturing a malignant degenerate lymph node was found. In NONE of the reported cases of spontaneous remission, an IMMEDIATE REACTION and regression, as can be seen from the above case, was reported, nor was the accompanying use of homeopathic remedies (as a possible influencing factor) explicitly requested or excluded.

            The decision for homeopathic therapy with conium (hemlock) was based on its medicinal product, which primarily includes the use of enlarged lymph nodes and adjuvant for tumor diseases as well as precancerous diseases, fatigue syndrome and special forms of dizziness.

            In order not to delay the start of chemotherapy, which is clearly indicated oncologically, homeopathic therapy was started BEFOR ONCOLOGICAL THERAPY STARTED with the absolute stipulation that only immediate and objective signs of a response to homeopathic therapy justify a delayed start of chemotherapy. Thus, just two days after the start of therapy, the decision to continue (initially provisional!) Sole homeopathic therapy could be made.

            The fact that a potentiation of C 30 was successfully used when conium was administered speaks against the principle of action of this substance, since the agent in a dilution or potentiation beyond the

            Avogadro constant NA = 6’022 × 1023 1 / mol

            is present, which in turn implies that no molecule of the starting substance is present in the solution.
            Consequently, an active principle beyond the principle of matter must be assumed for this homeopathic remedy. Increasingly high-quality in-vitro studies can be found in the literature regarding the biological effects of potentized and highly diluted solutions. One of these studies showed a change in the gene expression pattern of human nerve cells after incubation with highly diluted gelsemium solution [18].

          • @ Dr Julian
            Of all the commentators here I have no greater respect than for you. On matters of pure medicine you are my reference point. What I meant was that what I assumed to be standard medical practice was the intended primary treatment. Why on earth homeopathy was tagged on I cannot comprehend.

            As always your comment is most instructive.

          • Dr Hummer,

            In contrast, the influence on objective tumor progression parameters in adjuvant homeopathic tumor therapy could already be shown in a case history study in 2005 [8].

            There ARE NO objective tumour progression factors with adjuvant therapy since adjuvant therapy is used after a tumour has been definitively treated, usually by surgery, and is no longer detectable at that point. In an individual case it is not possible to determine whether adjuvant treatment has had an effect unless the tumour recurs, and even then the adjuvant treatment may have delayed the recurrence. The only way to assess the effectiveness of a specific adjuvant treatment is with large, randomised prospective studies, with sufficiently long follow-up that any difference in recurrence rate (and ideally survival) between the interventional and control group has had time to become apparent. This takes many years, even decades, with interim analyses published every five years or so.

            In the case of NEOADJUVANT therapy, which is adjuvant treatment given before the definitive treatment (such as chemotherapy for bladder cancer prior to radical cystectomy) the end-points are still the same – recurrence rate and long-term survival. An early response is encouraging but tells us nothing about whether the treatment is worthwhile in the long term.

            I have provided a link to your reference [8] here, a report by Alan Potts et. al of spontaneous remission of a high-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma:
            https://www.hindawi.com/journals/crihem/2017/2676254/

            This shows the proper way to report a case history of this type, and the details that you should include. Read it and take note.

            Please also note the authors’ conclusion:
            “This case emphasizes the potential for spontaneous remission in NHL and demonstrates that this phenomenon can be observed despite contemporary high-risk histopathologic features.”

          • Leigh,

            On matters of pure medicine you are my reference point.

            You are very kind, but I feel that my role here is simply to explain what is going on, for the benefit of non-professionals, since there are some important technical points.

            Listening to the arguments of homeopaths and other alternative practitioners trying to convince us that there is some legitimacy to what they are doing always puts me in mind of the Alibi sketch by Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones for their BBC television programme “Not the Nine O’Clock News” in the 1980’s:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdHDrqS33EQ

          • “The decision for homeopathic therapy with conium (hemlock) was based on its medicinal product, which primarily includes the use of enlarged lymph nodes and adjuvant for tumor diseases as well as precancerous diseases, fatigue syndrome and special forms of dizziness.”

            “The fact that a potentiation of C 30 was successfully used when conium was administered speaks against the principle of action of this substance, since the agent in a dilution or potentiation beyond the Avogadro constant NA = 6’022 × 1023 1 / mol is present, which in turn implies that no molecule of the starting substance is present in the solution.”

            The fact that there was no medicine present in the medicine does not indicate a successful medicine. It completely defeats the justification given for using for it. One cannot talk sensibly about a successful absence of medicine. Unless one is a true believer.

          • We say alibi, you say aleebee…

            good to see again

          • @Leigh Jackson
            “The fact that there was no medicine present in the medicine does not indicate a successful medicine. It completely defeats the justification given for using for it. One cannot talk sensibly about a successful absence of medicine. Unless one is a true believer.”

            Now I am really disappointed with you: Do you really want to postulate, contrary to all physical knowledge since over 100 years, that the effect of matter (germ. Materie) is the only possible effect ?
            Magnetic resonance, quantum or similar effects completely hidden?

            @Dr Julian Money-Kyrle
            “I have provided a link to your reference [8] here, a report by Alan Potts et. al of spontaneous remission of a high-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma:
            https://www.hindawi.com/journals/crihem/2017/2676254/

            This shows the proper way to report a case history of this type, and the details that you should include. Read it and take note.”
            ??????????
            Discussion:
            “…..SPONTANEOUS REMISSIONS were occasionally observed in low-malignant B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas, but are extremely rare in aggressive, highly malignant lymphomas – as is the case here – 11. A single case of spontaneous remission of a B-non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which could be classified as highly aggressive due to new immunohistological parameters (co-expression of the proto-oncogenes MYC [myelocytomatosis gene] and BCL2 [B-cell lymphoma 2]) by POTTS ET AL. [12] reports.
            As a trigger factor for spontaneous remission in non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, immunomodulation by accompanying viral infections including HIV and EBV or by surgery is discussed above all [13-17].
            Even with careful literature research, however, NO CASE OF REGRESSION AFTER exclusively puncturing a malignant degenerate lymph node was found. In NONE of the reported cases of spontaneous remission, an IMMEDIATE REACTION and regression, as can be seen from the above case, was reported, nor was the accompanying use of homeopathic remedies (as a possible influencing factor) explicitly requested or excluded.”
            ….
            Literatur
            …..
            [12]. Potts DA, Fromm JR, Gopal AK, Cassaday RD. Spontaneous Remission of an Untreated, MYC and BCL2 Coexpressing, High-Grade B-Cell Lymphoma: A Case Report and Literature Review. Case Rep Hematol. 2017;2017:2676254.
            External Resources
            Pubmed/Medline (NLM)
            Crossref (DOI)

          • “Do you really want to postulate, contrary to all physical knowledge since over 100 years, that the effect of matter (germ. Materie) is the only possible effect?”

            Homeopathy postulates something contrary to basic science. The study contains no discussion on effects which are completely hidden. How could it? Nor does it mention magnetic resonance or quantum mechanics. Why should it?

            “The decision for homeopathic therapy with conium (hemlock) was based on its medicinal product, which primarily includes the use of enlarged lymph nodes and adjuvant for tumor diseases as well as precancerous diseases, fatigue syndrome and special forms of dizziness.”

            Hemlock was prescribed for its putative medicinal properties. Plants’ particular medicinal properties are due to particular molecular structures.

            No molecules, no medicines.

  • “Misdiagnosis: the histologist could not believe it either, which is why he repeated the previous examination, but came to the same conclusion ….”

    I can’t see any mention of disbelief by anyone. Nor of repeat histological checks.

    • “Misdiagnosis” is always the stupidest argument before admitting that the other is right….
      But if you still need more evidence, I will be glad to serve..

  • Histopathological finding of punch biopsy of left-linginal lymph nodes.

    “The report is printed out again with an additional report.

    Type / origin of the material
    Punch biopsy left lymph node inguinal

    Histopathological assessment:
    Microscopy:
    Three stacked 2.2 cm long punch biopsy cylinders made of very densely packed cells with relatively large, partly vesicular cell nuclei and predominantly several prominent nucleoli. Sprinkled in small nucleus lymphocytes. No follicular structure can be seen.
    Evaluation:
    Punch biopsy from a lymph node with an atypical cell infiltrate, compatible with malignant lymphoma.
    Immunohistochemical staining is required for further classification. An additional report follows.
    PD Dr. H. Nagel
    (Internal second assessment in the context of quality management by PD Dr. W. Müller)

    Additional report:
    Immunohistochemical studies are now available. The atypical cell infiltrate consistently strong positive for CD20 and BCL2 with no discernible follicular structures. No co-expression of CD10 and no expression of cyclin D1 in the tumor cells. KI67 is expressed by approximately 90% of the cells.
    Evaluation:
    Punch biopsies with an aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the type of a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. For further subclassification, additional immunohistochemical tests and another additional report are carried out.
    PD Dr. H. Nagel
    (Internal second assessment in the context of quality management by PD Dr. W. Müller)

    Additional report:
    In the meantime, further immunohistochemical tests have been carried out. About 50% of the tumor cells show a strong staining for MUM1 and more than 80% of these cells are positive for BCL6.
    Evaluation:
    Malignant non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the B cell series of the type of a diffuse large cell lymphoma. Non-germ cell center type according to Hans.”

    • Thank-you for these additional details; it is reassuring to know that this centre had at least two pathologists looking at the specimen before making the diagnosis, though we don’t know whether one of them was a lymphoma specialist.

      To my mind there are several explanations for this unusual case history. In order of likelihood:

      1. The diagnosis was wrong
      2. The patient was given additional treatment (e.g. corticosteroids, which cause a rapid shrinkage of lymphomas and are often found in traditional Chinese medicines)
      3. The paper as published does not accurately reflect the facts
      4. This was a spontaneous remission
      5. This is a true example of witchcraft, magic or some other phenomenon which has not yet been characterised by science and contradicts fundamental principles already established in physics, chemistry and biology

      • very well summarised!
        thanks

      • @Dr Julian Money-Kyrle

        “To my mind there are several explanations for this unusual case history. In order of likelihood:”

        “1. The diagnosis was wrong”
        To 1)
        Extremely unlikely in view of clear clinical (tactile) findings, repeated sonographic findings with malignant imposing sound patterns, CT findings, IMMUNHISTOLOGICAL FINDINGS in addition to clear other histological findings as well as the course under TARGETED homeopathic therapy with an APPROVED agent for malignant degenerations.

        “2. The patient was given additional treatment (e.g. corticosteroids, which cause a rapid shrinkage of lymphomas and are often found in traditional Chinese medicines)”
        To 2)
        NO OTHER ADDITIONAL TREATMENT: No Corticosteroids or any other medicines including Chinese medicines

        “3. The paper as published does not accurately reflect the facts”
        To 3)
        This is an assumption that, in view of the meticulously listed examination methods, lacks any fair assessment.

        “4. This was a spontaneous remission”
        To 4)
        This cannot be ruled out, but is extremely unlikely given the IMMEDIATE REGRESSION of the lymph node 1 day after the start of homeopathic therapy (..one drop in Lake Constance …)

        “5. This is a true example of witchcraft, magic or some other phenomenon which has not yet been characterised by science and contradicts fundamental principles already established in physics, chemistry and biology”
        To 5)
        If MR interactions, ultrasound, sun rays and X-rays are still witchcraft for you, then I may agree with you when assessing the homeopathic effect as witchcraft therapy, and since homeopathy indeed does not have a proof of the mechanism of action (with the CURRENT Measurement methods), it appears as such. Real scientific thinking, however, looks at these phenomena from a different perspective.

        In any case, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to defend my work under strictly scientific standards.

        • So, tell me: if it was your homeopathy that prompted the cure, why are there not hundreds of similar cases described in the literature during the last 220 years?

        • Dr Hummer:

          “1. The diagnosis was wrong”
          To 1)
          Extremely unlikely in view of clear clinical (tactile) findings, repeated sonographic findings with malignant imposing sound patterns, CT findings, IMMUNHISTOLOGICAL FINDINGS in addition to clear other histological findings as well as the course under TARGETED homeopathic therapy with an APPROVED agent for malignant degenerations.

          You have a lot more faith in the skill of your pathologists than I have in many of the ones that I have worked with over the years. Also in laboratory processes and systems to avoid mislabelling of specimens, cross-contamination of immunohistochemistry assays etc.

          Ultrasonography and CT scan will tell you there is a lump but are not diagnostic in this situation. Lumps in the groin are very common and few of them are lymphoma.

          However, to base a diagnosis of lymphoma on the fact that the symptoms regressed following targeted treatment is a huge leap of faith and doesn’t even follow what I understand of the principles of homeopathy (though as I have no homeopathic training I may be missing something here).

          “2. The patient was given additional treatment (e.g. corticosteroids, which cause a rapid shrinkage of lymphomas and are often found in traditional Chinese medicines)”
          To 2)
          NO OTHER ADDITIONAL TREATMENT: No Corticosteroids or any other medicines including Chinese medicines

          Do you know EVERYTHING that the patient might have taken? Something they were given by a friend or relative? Some over-the-counter preparation they bought? Something that has been sitting in the bathroom cabinet for years? Something that they might have been embarrassed to tell you about? Your patients must be very different from mine in this regard.

          “3. The paper as published does not accurately reflect the facts”
          To 3)
          This is an assumption that, in view of the meticulously listed examination methods, lacks any fair assessment.

          It is a suggestion, not an assumption, and indeed such a common explanation for this sort of phenomenon that some might think I was being charitable by putting it third on the list. I am not suggesting deliberate fraud, simply that you may not have been fully aware of all relevant details.

          “4. This was a spontaneous remission”
          To 4)
          This cannot be ruled out, but is extremely unlikely given the IMMEDIATE REGRESSION of the lymph node 1 day after the start of homeopathic therapy (..one drop in Lake Constance …)

          Every oncologist I know has had of patients who have shown unexpected spontaneous remission, or who have done surprisingly well.

          Even if we don’t consider mechanisms and look at it as a purely statistical phenomenon, the fact that outcomes roughly follow a skewed version of a normal distribution the occurrence of spontaneous remissions and other miracle cures, while not common, are nevertheless expected.

          I think you are unwise to mention the drop in Lake Constance again as I have already shown that there are very many more of these than people who have ever lived, and you have even referenced a published account of a lymphoma remission yourself.

          “5. This is a true example of witchcraft, magic or some other phenomenon which has not yet been characterised by science and contradicts fundamental principles already established in physics, chemistry and biology”
          To 5)
          If MR interactions, ultrasound, sun rays and X-rays are still witchcraft for you, then I may agree with you when assessing the homeopathic effect as witchcraft therapy, and since homeopathy indeed does not have a proof of the mechanism of action (with the CURRENT Measurement methods), it appears as such. Real scientific thinking, however, looks at these phenomena from a different perspective.

          As a UK clinical oncologist using radiotherapy I have quite a good understanding of nuclear magnetic resonance, ultrasound, electromagnetic radiation from the sun and elsewhere, X-rays and other kinds of ionising radiation. These phenomena have been explained long ago in great detail by science and are not in any way controversial, and form the basis of much of our technology, including their use in medicine.

          Homeopathy, on the other hand, not only has no proof of the mechanism, it has no mechanism that anybody has been able to demonstrate satisfactorily and no explanation that is consistent with our current state of knowledge. Nor, so far, has there been any verifiable evidence of its efficacy. Apart from the fact that no society that I know of has ever routinely burnt homeopaths at the stake I can’t see any clear distinction from witchcraft.

          I would be interested to know what you understand to be real scinetific thinking.

        • No assumption of a mysterious mechanism is required.

          Chemisty before 30C dilution: Water and:

          Apiaceae: Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) contains piperidine alkaloid, coniine and related alkaloids, N-methyl-coniine, conhydrine, pseudoconhydrine and gamma-coniceine.
          https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/coniine

          Chemistry after 30C dilution: Water.

      • I also suspected the diagnosis was probably wrong. You are far better qualified to judge, so I’m quite pleased to find you also think so – and as Edzard says, nicely summarised.

  • Dr Hummer, you say:

    “If MR interactions, ultrasound, sun rays and X-rays are still witchcraft for you, then I may agree with you when assessing the homeopathic effect as witchcraft therapy, and since homeopathy indeed does not have a proof of the mechanism of action (with the CURRENT Measurement methods), it appears as such. Real scientific thinking, however, looks at these phenomena from a different perspective”.

    Real scientific thinking follows willingly where the evidence leads. Real scientists will bow to a weight of new evidence, and revise understandings accordingly.

    To accept that a 30C potency homeopathic medicine has real, predictable, reliable physiological effects, however, would require very substantial revision of current, verified understandings of physics, chemistry and biology. There would have to be an ENORMOUS weight of good evidence, for such revisions to be made. And it simply isn’t there. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs”.

  • @Dr Julian Money-Kyrle
    – Yes, my patients are very different from yours in this regard. I work in a place and a practice where the relationship with the patient is very personal, trusting and open. Since I predominantly offer CAM medicine, the patients are not afraid to tell me about all other medications and powders that they otherwise take – which they don’t dare to tell an oncologist, in order not to be immediately judged by them.
    – The patient mentioned had been with my “family-praxis” for over 20 years before the acute illness and has agreed to be available for personal questions. Prof. Hübner from Jena, recognized expert for CAM medicine, expressed interest in further details of the work and possibly contacting the patient [but then pulled in the tail]
    – Dr. Kappauf, a recognized specialist in the field of spontaneous remissions (Spontaneous Remission of Cancer – Enigma and Paradigm, https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/92029), conceded in a personal conversation that he had previously done all research on spontaneous remissions but did not find an equal case.
    – You are welcome to ask the pathologists who examined the samples to what extent they are certain of the diagnoses made.
    – Until gravity was explained by Albert Einstein’s theories, the phenomenon was witchcraft….

    • when gravity was unexplained, it still existed; its effects was clear and demonstrable; the apples did fall from trees!
      with homeopathy, the effects disappear, if we control for confounders and bias in rigorous clinical trials.
      I think you could do with a course in basic logic, Dr Huemmer.

      So, tell me: if it was your homeopathy that prompted the cure, why are there not hundreds of similar cases described in the literature during the last 220 years?

      • In Temple S. Hoyne “Praxis der homöopathischen Heilkunst”, Originally published in 1880 [!!] you can find
        2693 [!!] cases
        described in detail
        https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015068372864&view=1up&seq=13&size=175

        Tumor-cases, healed with CONIUM case nr. 1109 till case nr. 1120

        And since that thousends of Cases published……

        If someone wants to find, he will find plenty of case-evidence…..

        • yes, I know.
          the homeopathic literature is littered with such things. however, I do not find them useful or ‘described in detail’. all what we would consider as essential details are missing simply because in 1880 there was no modern technology.
          but you are right, these old cases exist. and, in a way, they strengthen my point: why are there no convincing cases, or better, controlled trials? in view of all these ancient hints, one would think that homeopaths had stayed on the ball and kept up with new technologies.
          I think they probably tried – and failed because homeopathy is no way near what it pretends to be.
          that’s why there are no convincing cases or trials.

        • Blood letting had an ancient pedigree, thousands of cases over centuries. What happened to that…
          Oh yes, it was replaced by homeopathy, that was an advance of sorts.

    • Yes, my patients are very different from yours in this regard. I work in a place and a practice where the relationship with the patient is very personal, trusting and open. Since I predominantly offer CAM medicine, the patients are not afraid to tell me about all other medications and powders that they otherwise take – which they don’t dare to tell an oncologist, in order not to be immediately judged by them.

      Oncologists know that you can’t treat anybody for cancer without first winning their trust, and it is counterproductive for all concerned if you are not open. On the whole I don’t think my patients expected me to judge them, but nor did I expect them to reveal all of their innermost secrets. Are you sure that they never hold anything back from you?

      Dr. Kappauf, a recognized specialist in the field of spontaneous remissions (Spontaneous Remission of Cancer – Enigma and Paradigm, https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/92029), conceded in a personal conversation that he had previously done all research on spontaneous remissions but did not find an equal case.

      I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this sentence.

      A colleague of mine at the St. Luke’s Cancer Centre where I worked had a special interest in spontaneous remissions, and was collecting cases from everybody in the department so that he could get hold of the biopsy specimens for DNA analysis. None of them had previously been published as case reports, which suggests to me that not very many such cases make it into the literature. Lymphomas in any case can follow a very variable course and lymph nodes can go up and down, so anybody treating a lymphoma would have to be very certain of the completeness and durability of such a remission to consider it worth publishing. Though as you pointed out, Dr Potts managed to find one even if Dr Kappauf didn’t.

      – Until gravity was explained by Albert Einstein’s theories, the phenomenon was witchcraft….

      Let me draw your attention to the discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge, where I was later an undergraduate, more than 200 years before Einstein. The Apollo missions were able to put men on the Moon using entirely Newtonian mechanics without having to invoke Einsteinian physics at all. Or was NASA using witchcraft?

      Of course these days we have systems that require a greater degree of precision than that. The SatNav in your car or smartphone, for instance, relies on relativistic corrections to the signals to allow for the differences in the strength of the Earth’s gravitational field at the altitude of the satellites in comparison with sea level due to its effect on time.

    • Vain foolish Dr. Hümmer. Poor patients.

  • Indeed.

    When Dr William Withering followed up a single anecdote in 1775, his good science led to a highly significant discovery and to a medicine still widely used.

    His patient had ‘Dropsy’ – oedema due to congestive heart failure – and Dr Withering could do nothing to improve it. His patient experienced a very marked improvement after taking a herbal remedy given by a gypsy woman.

    Dr. Withering was intrigued enough by this anecdote to follow it up. Was there something in the herbal preparation that could really help a patient with dropsy? He visited the gypsy woman and discovered that the herbal medicine contained Digitalis purpurea, Purple Foxglove.

    Could Purple Foxglove reliably help in cases of congestive heart failure? Yes! The story of how this anecdote-based discovery was followed up, and how we now know that Digitalis purpurea (and Digitalis lanata) contain cardioactive glycosides and saponins, is history. These medicines have been refined and are more reliable in concentration due to modern laboratory methods, and they are still widely used.

    All stemming from a single anecdote. BUT, the anecdote was followed up with proper science (twenty years before Hahnemann thought up Homeopathy) and the results are incontrovertible, and beyond shadow of doubt.

    And now, is this single anecdote concerning Hemlock 30C and a patient with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, going to lead to a discovery of equal magnitude and robustness, 240 years on from Withering, and 220 years since Hahnemann’s ‘discovery’?

    I, for one, believe not. But let us wait and see (perhaps bearing in mind Cecily from The Importance of Being Earnest: “I shall wait for you my whole life, if you are not too long”…..).

  • “And now, is this single anecdote concerning Hemlock 30C and a patient with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, going to lead to a discovery of equal magnitude and robustness, 240 years on from Withering, and 220 years since Hahnemann’s ‘discovery’?”

    I do (did) my best!

    https://studylibde.com/doc/1435068/adjuvante-hom%C3%B6opathische-therapie-bei

    Adjuvante homöopathische Therapie bei konventionell behandeltem Mammakarzinom
    Verlaufs- und Therapiekontrolle mittels quantitativer Bestimmung
    im Blut zirkulierender epithelantigen-positiver Zellen

    Adjuvant homeopathic therapy for conventionally treated breast cancer
    Follow-up and therapy control by means of quantitative determination of
    Epithelial-positive cells circulating in the blood

    Von Heinrich Hümmer, Katharina Pachmann und Ulrich Pachmann

    Conclusion
    So far, homeopathic therapy has remaint guilty the evidence of their effectiveness in General and for the claimed effect at serious diseases such as tumors.
    Based on the presented Case control studies the attempt was made to test the effectiveness of (adjuvant) homeopathic therapy in a pilot study to subject them to objective measurement criteria and to judge them accordingly.

    The present work could on the one hand confirm the value of this – compared to tumor markers – more timely therapy and success control for conventional tumor therapies, on the other hand also give hints for the independent effect of homeopathic remedies in tumor diseases.

    For the final validation of homeopathic therapy, further studies must follow which include two study arms (conventional therapy versus conventional therapy with homeopathic therapy).

    • Dr. Hummer:

      It’s really not worth spending time on this blog. It’s full of dogmatists who think they own the truth, talk about science but actually engage in mere rhetoric full of fallacies. It’s better to spend time doing basic, theoretical and clinical research.

      • alright how much research have you published?

        • It is really not worth arguing with someone who in his book believes that a proven fact such as the presence of nanoparticles in high dilutions are “mere theories”.

          • I don’t think you can read; I said that the claim that homeopathy works via nano-particles is a mere theory. A BIG DIFFERENCE!

          • “I don’t think you can read; I said that the claim that homeopathy works via nano-particles is a mere theory. A BIG DIFFERENCE!”

            From your book:

            “Today many homeopaths have moved on and point to basic science studies which, in their opinion, might go some way towards providing a rational explanation for homeopathy’s mechanism of action. For instance, some experiments have suggested that water molecules can, in fact, form structures which might preserve the memory of the substances previously contained in that water. Other homeopaths believe that, during the process of succussion, tiny particles, called nanoparticles, are formed, which in turn explain the health effects of highly diluted remedies. Others again think that hormesis—the phenomenon that, at very low doses, some toxins can have the opposite effects from those at high doses—could provide a scientific explanation for homeopathy’s mechanism of action. Unfortunately, all of these theories have one very obvious thing in common: they are just theories! As such they are shared by some but not by the majority of scientists, and a scientific consensus as to how homeopathy works simply does not exist at the moment. In fact, if we are close to a consensus, it would be that there is no explanation for homeopathy’s mechanism of action (other than a placebo effect) which would be in keeping with the known laws of nature.”

            It is obvious that the paragraph puts as a mere belief the presence of nanoparticles. However, you do not completely deny that in some cases there is evidence of water memory. However, together with the explanations you dismiss them as “mere toories”, and you confuse the concept of theory with that of hypothesis. Your confusion is identical to that of religious fanatics who dismiss evolution as mere “theories”. It is also not clear what consensus you are talking about, since if it were true the earth would still be flat!

          • Lollypop

            Theory. In science, the term “theory” refers to “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.” So absolutely nothing to do with homeopathy.

            As you say, A theory that lacks supporting evidence is generally, more properly, referred to as a hypothesis. So everything to do with homeopathy.

            What we do have, though, are conclusions. Reached time after time after considering the totality of the evidence. That homeopathy has no effect beyond placebo.

            Homeopathy is to medicine as rain-dancing is to meteorology. Of course, I could be wrong, but the evidence shows otherwise, unless you have something ground-breaking to bring to the table.

            For 200 years, science has been laughing at homeopathy and the quasi-religious zealots who believe in it. It will still be doing so in 200 years time because there will still be fools then as well.

          • Lollypop

            “Theory. In science, the term “theory” refers to “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.” So absolutely nothing to do with homeopathy.

            E.Ernst says these are theories, if you disagree with him, complain to him.

            “As you say, A theory that lacks supporting evidence is generally, more properly, referred to as a hypothesis. So everything to do with homeopathy.

            The same as above.

            “What we do have, though, are conclusions. Reached time after time after considering the totality of the evidence. That homeopathy has no effect beyond placebo.

            Your opinion is irrelevant.

            “Homeopathy is to medicine as rain-dancing is to meteorology. Of course, I could be wrong, but the evidence shows otherwise, unless you have something ground-breaking to bring to the table.

            Without evidence from you, your opinion is no longer worth my time.

            “For 200 years, science has been laughing at homeopathy and the quasi-religious zealots who believe in it. It will still be doing so in 200 years time because there will still be fools then as well.

            Insult and slander is not evidence. As I said before, you confirm that your comments contribute nothing, you are useless, you are just a troll.

          • @Lollypop

            Dodge. Obfuscate. Ignore. Misrepresent. The tactics we’ve seen homeopaths use for years when trying to defend the indifensible.

            You have nothing to support your assertions and as such have to resort to name-calling. I’ve asked you for the knock-down evidence. You can’t provide it.

            I can link to the conclusions of review after review conducted by governments. All of which conclude that homeopathy is nonsense.

            https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/45/4502.htm

            The homeopaths, of course, don’t like this and predictably indulge in pathetic bouts of special pleading using some of the words they see scientists use when they dismiss the risible evidence for homeopathy. I’ll provide the link for you.

            https://homeopathy-soh.org/resources/systematic-reviews/

            As ever, you confuse assertion with fact. Homeopaths get confused very easily in my experience.

          • Lenny:

            You seem to be in a hurry to always respond to the last comment. And I’m not a “homeopath”.

            I’ve decided to read the links you provide. The first is a report that was not peer reviewed and consists of just a few pages (43 in total plus annexes and discussions). There are very strange things, the report cites as authority a person who calls Tracey Brown, director of a lobbying group that has links to Monsanto. But aside from the obvious conflict of interest, the report is based on Shang’s metaanalysis and the discredited Ernst’s review published in 2002.

            The second link es is more useful, You don’t even read what you share, Lenny?

            “Additionally, the UK government itself responded to the recommendations outlined in the EC2 report by dismissing them, and a number of MPs rejected the report as unsound. The homeopathic profession also responded to the Select Committee’s EC2 report, thoroughly critiquing it. More detailed information on the issues around this report can be found Overall, the EC2 is rejected by the homeopathic community as being biased and scientifically unsound, yet it continues to be used as a reference point by non-homeopathic organisations for the evidence behind provision of homeopathy in the UK.”

          • Oh dear, Pops. The difference between a journal article, a Parliamentary review and what the peer review process is seems to be yet another thing you don’t understand.

            Anyway.

            “The second link es is more useful, You don’t even read what you share, Lenny?”

            Yes, Popsykins. I do. Which is why I said about the link: “The homeopaths, of course, don’t like this and predictably indulge in pathetic bouts of special pleading using some of the words they see scientists use when they dismiss the risible evidence for homeopathy. I’ll provide the link for you.”

            So appears to be you who has the problem with reading comprehension, Lolly. Don’t worry. If you need any assistance building up the big words or looking up what they mean, we’re always happy to help.

          • 1.

            “Oh dear, Pops. The difference between a journal article, a Parliamentary review and what the peer review process is seems to be yet another thing you don’t understand.”

            Parliament’s report was not peer-reviewed.

            2.

            “Yes, Popsykins. I do. Which is why I said about the link: “The homeopaths, of course, don’t like this and predictably indulge in pathetic bouts of special pleading using some of the words they see scientists use when they dismiss the risible evidence for homeopathy. I’ll provide the link for you.”

            It’s still more useful than your insults and opinions devoid of evidence and logic.

            3.

            “So appears to be you who has the problem with reading comprehension, Lolly. Don’t worry. If you need any assistance building up the big words or looking up what they mean, we’re always happy to help.”

            What a little originality, copy what I’m telling you, is that your strategy, Lenny? When you show me your scientific articles you talk to me, otherwise you’re still a waste of time.

          • @Lollypop

            1. What, specifically, do you believe is wrong with the Select Committee’s report?

            2. What more recent, unbiased, robust, scientific evidence do you find most convincing?

          • Alan:

            In NHS web https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/homeopathy/

            1. “The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee said there’s no evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition. There’s no evidence behind the idea that substances that cause certain symptoms can also help treat them. Nor is there any evidence behind the idea that diluting and shaking substances in water can turn those substances into medicines..

            In other words, the NHS argues that there is no evidence that the similar can treat the similar or the memory of the water based on the British report. The problem arises when the UK reports is nothing than a bunch of opinions of “experts”: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/45/4504.htm#a14

            The only evidence they cite is a “contra” experiment published in Nature as a letter to the editot: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03383

            Cowan’s experiment expose their experiment in “ultrapure” water, which is hardly used in homeopathy.Cowan does not in any way study the impact of succusion or dissolve any substance in water, so to take it as a rebuttal is absurd. If the paper would have as evidence in the Tournier’s review, Cowan would have obtained a very low methdological qualiy: zero blinding, zero control group, zero randomization.

            2. About the similia principle, the UK report:

            “Provings using ultra-dilutions: the similarity with hormesis breaks down further if provings are carried out using ultra-dilutions. Hormesis is a dose-response: it provides no rationale for expecting an ultra-dilution to cause symptoms in “healthy” people and the same ultra-dilution to cure those symptoms in “unwell” people.”

            It is known that even in ultra dilutions it is possible to find hormetic dose response. Many in vitro, in vivo and human trials have unequivocally demonstrated this.

            The question if for you: What more recent, unbiased, robust, rebuttal do you find most convincing?.

          • @lollypop

            1. You’ve quoted what the NHS said about the report, but I asked you what you believed wrong with the Select Committee’s report.

            Here’s a link to the report: Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy – UK Parliament

            2. My second question was “What more recent, unbiased, robust, scientific evidence do you find most convincing?” Can you respond to that? I’m hoping for some DOIs.

          • Alan:

            1. Only the first quote is from NHS, the second quote I got them from the report you told me (page 15). I used the NHS quote because the report uses as “rebuttal” the Cowan’s experiment. Another passage is important for a keyword in bold:

            “The notion that water could hold imprints of solutions previously dissolved in it is so far removed
            from current scientific understanding that, as Professor David Colquhoun, Professor of Pharmacology at UCL, put it: “If homeopathy worked the whole of chemistry and physics would have to be overturned”.69 Professor Jayne Lawrence, Chief Scientific Adviser to the RPSGB, put it a little less dramatically”

            That’s why I said they put “experts”, Sally Davies and David Harper are physicians and D. Coulqhoun is a pharmacist, they have no idea of the experiments in physics and chemistry carried out in numerous public and private universities. Nor do they provide arguments to support that if the memory of water were real “it would throw the foundations of physics and chemistry”.

            2. Because I have given evidence, my question is valid: what do you think is the most reliable rebuttal (video, book, paper, experiment, pamphlet) that exists? Don’t worry, just tell me Author or authors and name and I’ll take care of the rest to analyze it.

      • @Lollypop

        As ever, where is the unarguable knock-down evidence which shows that magic sugar pills work? If homeopathy was so wonderful, the evidence would be there for all to see from the “basic, theoretical and clinical research”. But somehow homeopaths are unable to produce any. Just a load of dubious and unwarranted conclusions from tortured, noisy data. Or straightforward fraudulent work which results in papers being retracted.

        Obviously you’re going to explain, with evidence what our “rhetoric of fallacies” is. And we’ll shake our heads and laugh.

        Homeopathy remains the insignificant nonsense it always has been.

        • I told you I’m not interested in answering you. You bring nothing but insults and ad hominem’s. You’re a troll.

          • Spoken like someone who has absolutely nothing to back up their assertions apart from the usual handwaving and flimflam.

            And why is it that homeopaths have no understanding of what represents an ad hom?

            I think they see other people pointing out the logical fallacies in their arguments and think that they can do the same. Much as they see other people using science to point out the flaws in their reasoning and think that they can do the same.

            As you were, everyone.

          • Again, you do not contribute anything to the discussion, I will not waste my time pointing out the fallacies you commit in every comment, because you could write a full book of 300 pages.

          • “I will not waste my time pointing out the fallacies you commit in every comment, because..”

            You can’t.

            Dodge, obfuscate, handwave, bluster, insult. The same tactics every time.

            But still no concrete evidence. Because you have none.

            I’m seeing a pattern here, Lolly, darling.

          • “You can’t. Dodge, obfuscate, handwave, bluster, insult. The same tactics every time. But still no concrete evidence. Because you have none. I’m seeing a pattern here, Lolly, darling.”

            I haven’t insulted you in this forum. I rectify that you have nothing to contribute. And the evidence, I have noted several conclusions from experiments and scientific reviews.

          • And the evidence, I have noted several conclusions from experiments and scientific reviews.

            Yes. You have. And what a load of specious inconsequential nonsense it was. And why it was so was patiently explained to you.

            Come on. Clinical studies. Proper ones. If magic shaken water was so great it should be easy to demonstrate it. But somehow homeopaths never can.

            Strange, that.

          • “Yes. You have. And what a load of specious inconsequential nonsense it was. And why it was so was patiently explained to you.”

            Like I said before, you don’t contribute anything and you just defame me.

            “Come on. Clinical studies. Proper ones. If magic shaken water was so great it should be easy to demonstrate it. But somehow homeopaths never can. Strange, that.”

            You’re prejudiced, you’re not objective. I won’t waste any more time with a troll.

          • You’re prejudiced, you’re not objective.

            I am indeed prejudiced. I am prejudiced because I believe factual scientific evidence and not the fanciful claims of charlatans. Objectivity my dear Popsykins is not being influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts. The facts are that homeopathy is utter nonsense. This has been proven beyond doubt. That you are unable to accept this because it conflicts with your feelings and beliefs means that it is you who is utterly devoid of objectivity. You have nothing concrete to back up your claims and are, like all homeopathy freaks, nothing more than an inconsequential religious zealot.

            I won’t waste any more time with a troll.

            That’s the third time you’ve said that.

          • yes, trolls tend to repeat themselves

          • “I am indeed prejudiced. I am prejudiced because I believe factual scientific evidence and not the fanciful claims of charlatans.”

            You’re no good for science. As I told you earlier, I’ve read Ernst’s blog and you never provide anything, nor evidence.

            “Objectivity my dear Popsykins is not being influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.”

            Really?:

            “The facts are that homeopathy is utter nonsense. This has been proven beyond doubt. That you are unable to accept this because it conflicts with your feelings and beliefs means that it is you who is utterly devoid of objectivity. You have nothing concrete to back up your claims and are, like all homeopathy freaks, nothing more than an inconsequential religious zealot.”

            Your whole paragraph is a huge mass of insults, subjective prejudices, ad hominems, baseless accusations, lies, slander and mere projections of your sect.

          • “yes, trolls tend to repeat themselves”

            In your blog: “Please remember: if you make a claim in a comment, support it with evidence”.

            I’ve shared conclusions and evidence-based reasoning, and that’s your way of contradicting yourself?

          • Popsy

            1) “The facts are that homeopathy is utter nonsense. This has been proven beyond doubt.”

            This, Pops, is a fact. If you are able to provide robust evidence to disprove it please do so. You have not been able to thus far. If it worked, medical systems would use it. The NHS knows it is rubbish. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/homeopathy/

            2) “That you are unable to accept this because it conflicts with your feelings and beliefs means that it is you who is utterly devoid of objectivity.”

            Once again, because point 1 is an objective fact, so must this be.

            3) “You have nothing concrete to back up your claims”

            If you had, you would have done so. So we have another fact.

            4) “Ooh look. Another fact. Of course, feel free to prove me wrong with some decent science and evidence. You haven’t done so thus far and are, like all homeopathy freaks, nothing more than an inconsequential religious zealot.”

            Yep. All factual. You have been unable to show otherwise.

            So. Your statement “Your whole paragraph is a huge mass of insults, subjective prejudices, ad hominems, baseless accusations, lies, slander and mere projections of your sect” is, like homeopathy, complete cock. You really need to look some of those words up, Popsykins. They don’t mean what you think they do. Run along now.

          • Lenny:

            I won’t talk about your meaningless opinions, just the references you share:

            “This, Pops, is a fact. If you are able to provide robust evidence to disprove it please do so. You have not been able to thus far. If it worked, medical systems would use it. The NHS knows it is rubbish. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/homeopathy/

            So there’s evidence, but it’s not “robust.” This is quite rare, as the NHS cites as backing a document mentioning Mathie’s meta-analysis and admite that “The systematic review was considered high quality”. Alas, Mathie’s reviews talk about “There was a small, statistically significant, treatment effect of individualised homeopathic treatment that was robust to sensitivity analysis based on ‘reliable evidence’”.

          • Lenny:

            “If it worked, medical systems would use it. The NHS knows it is rubbish.”

            The United Kingdom is not the centre of the world, in several countries homeopathy is integrated into national health systems. And the United Kingdom does not in any way consider homeopathy “rubbish”, those are your words.

          • I’ll leave you to your insignificant and scientifically-ignorant delusions, Pops. As you march by with all the soldiers, you know that you’re the only one marching properly in time. Good for you

            I must remember that it is impossible to defeat with logic a position that is fundamentally illogical. But,as ever, the burden of proof remains with those making the claim. You claim that homeopathy has effect beyond placebo yet have been unable or unwilling to submit what you consider to be proof.

            I’ll take this as a victory for us.

            Seeya.

          • Again, there is not a single coherent response from you. Because many here don’t seem to understand the basics of homeopathy, you think it’s “illogical” because it is. Fortunately, from mathematics and logic it is possible to axiomatize the main principles of homeopathy.

          • Lenny,

            I must remember that it is impossible to defeat with logic a position that is fundamentally illogical.

            I don’t think there is anything wrong with the logic – it is the premises which are questionable. You can use logic to build a complex and reasonably consistent system out of anything. This applies to astrology, the Star Trek universe, many religions, psychotic delusions… Just because it is logical doesn’t make it true, however.

      • @Lollypop & Dr. Hummer

        “It’s really not worth spending time on this blog. It’s full of dogmatists who think they own the truth, talk about science but actually engage in mere rhetoric full of fallacies. It’s better to spend time doing basic, theoretical and clinical research.”

        I’ve been posting here for about 18 months now. I came to the same conclusion about nine months ago. I spend more of my time elsewhere now. I just hang around to be an arse-hole to the prima donnas here, and to keep sticking my knife in far enough to occasionally stir the pot.

        • Ha ha ha, yes. They’re like a sectarian dogmatic cultists, no matter how much evidence you put on them, they’ll always come up with the stupidest excuse.

          • You’ve not put up any evidence, Popsy, other than some mumbling about long-rubbished basophil degranulation experiments and a few passing references to the nonsense Chikramine et al got published in Langmuir. Your imagination appears to be working a bit too hard. Remember – just because you say something, it doesn’t automatically make it true.

          • “You’ve not put up any evidence, Popsy, other than some mumbling about long-rubbished basophil degranulation experiments and a few passing references to the nonsense Chikramine et al got published in Langmuir. Your imagination appears to be working a bit too hard. Remember – just because you say something, it doesn’t automatically make it true.”

            I’ve put the findings of only peer-reviewed scientific papers, plus a non peer-reviewed assessment done by Maddox, Steward and Randi where they themselves say there’s some evidence. Also, conclusions that replicated the Chikramane’s findings by specialists. On the contrary, you have not put anything, your judgment of value lacks logic, meaning and has no validity.

    • Lollypop, either you have not read Professor Ernst’s writing with sufficient care, or you are deliberately misrepresenting what he wrote.

      You say: “It is obvious that the paragraph puts as a mere belief the presence of nanoparticles. However, you do not completely deny that in some cases there is evidence of water memory. However, together with the explanations you dismiss them as “mere toories”, and you confuse the concept of theory with that of hypothesis. Your confusion is identical to that of religious fanatics who dismiss evolution as mere “theories”. It is also not clear what consensus you are talking about, since if it were true the earth would still be flat!”

      No, Professor Ernst does NOT say that nanoparticles are mere theory. Nor does he say that evidence for water memory is mere theory. Nor does he say that hormesis is mere theory. What he says is mere theory, is ideas about how any of those three phenomena could produce physiological effects in a human body via a homeopathic remedy.

      Lollypop, if a mechanism of action for any or all of these three phenomena is NOT mere theory, perhaps you would tell us the FACTS as to how they operate in a homeopathic remedy? Any, or all of them?

      Water memory structures last only for picoseconds. (It would be like shaking a box of toy building bricks, and seeing that for a moment, one balanced on top of another. But on the next shake….)
      Hormesis is not a general principle affecting all substances.
      Nanoparticles – and the evidence for them doesn’t seem to be that strong – have not been demonstrated to be medicines.

      • thank you; you have more patience than I!

      • David:

        1.

        “No, Professor Ernst does NOT say that nanoparticles are mere theory. Nor does he say that evidence for water memory is mere theory. Nor does he say that hormesis is mere theory. What he says is mere theory, is ideas about how any of those three phenomena could produce physiological effects in a human body via a homeopathic remedy.”

        You’re wrong:

        “Today many homeopaths have moved on and point to basic science studies which, in their opinion, might go some way towards providing a rational explanation for homeopathy’s mechanism of action. For instance, some experiments have suggested that water molecules can, in fact, form structures which might preserve the memory of the substances previously contained in that water. Other homeopaths believe that, during the process of succussion, tiny particles, called nanoparticles, are formed, which in turn explain the health effects of highly diluted remedies. Others again think that hormesis—the phenomenon that, at very low doses, some toxins can have the opposite effects from those at high doses—could provide a scientific explanation for homeopathy’s mechanism of action. Unfortunately, all of these theories have one very obvious thing in common: they are just theories! As such they are shared by some but not by the majority of scientists, and a scientific consensus as to how homeopathy works simply does not exist at the moment. In fact, if we are close to a consensus, it would be that there is no explanation for homeopathy’s mechanism of action (other than a placebo effect) which would be in keeping with the known laws of nature.”

        It is evident that Ernst calls mere belief in the presence of nanoparticles alongside the explanation. Another text support my interpretation: https://edzardernst.com/2017/06/is-homeopathy-nano-medicine/

        “The nano-particles have been shown by just 1 or 2 research groups. I would like to see independent confirmations of their findings because I am not convinced that this is not simply an artefact without real meaning.”

        Ernst assumes without further evidence that there are only two research teams that have demonstrated the presence of nanoparticles and believes that he can reject the evidence alleging it is due to mere contamination or artifacts. Today it is not difficult to find dozens of independent replications.

        2.

        “Lollypop, if a mechanism of action for any or all of these three phenomena is NOT mere theory, perhaps you would tell us the FACTS as to how they operate in a homeopathic remedy? Any, or all of them?
        Water memory structures last only for picoseconds. (It would be like shaking a box of toy building bricks, and seeing that for a moment, one balanced on top of another. But on the next shake….)
        Hormesis is not a general principle affecting all substances”

        .

        Explanations exist, which can be improved or discarded with better explanations is something science does. However, it is true that the individual duration of hydrogen bonds is very short, but this does not eliminate the formation and reformation of hydrogen bonds at another level. Your example is like saying that it is not possible to build houses because the cement without water is dust and melts in your hands.There are now hundreds of experiments that are consistent in that the phenomenon of water memory is real and has nothing mystical.

          • About your comment:

            1.

            “How does a nano-particle of coffee, for instance, affect the sleep centre in the brain to make the patient sleep? Or how does a nano-particle of the Berlin Wall or a duck liver affect anything at all in the human body? The claim that information has been retained by the diluent is no where near to an explanation of a rational mode of action, isn’t it?”

            According to P. Fisher, The Berlin Wall is not recognized in the official pharmacopoeias, it is a product of the imagination of some English homeopaths, unless they prove otherwise. In the other hand, Coffee nanoparticles can cross the blood-brain barrier. Bell has shown that in provings with coffee there is a different response to placebo when it is measured with EEG.

            2.

            “Most homeopathic remedies are consumed not as liquids but as ‘globuli’, i. e. tiny little pills made of lactose. They are prepared by dropping the liquid remedy on to them. The liquid subsequently evaporates. How is it that the information retained in the liquid does not evaporate with the diluent?”

            According to the Elia’s work, globules can retan nanoparticles and nanostructures of the liquid solution in solid form. The work has been replicated by other international teams. Tournier’s review has a second part concluiding:

            “The publications analyzed described 203 experiments. Less than 25% used blinding and/or randomization, and about one third used adequate controls to identify specific effects of homeopathic preparations. The most promising techniques used so far are nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation, optical spectroscopy, and electrical impedance measurements. In these three areas, several sets of replicated high-quality experiments provide evidence for specific physicochemical properties of homeopathic preparations.”

            3.

            “The diluent usually is a water-alcohol mixture which inevitably contains impurities. In fact, a liquid C12 remedy most certainly contains dimensions more impurities than stock. These impurities have, of course, also been vigorously shaken, i. e. potentised. How can we explain that their ‘potency’ has not been beefed up at each dilution step? Would this not necessitate a process where only some molecules in the diluent are agitated, while all the rest remain absolutely still? How can we explain this fantastic concept?”

            Based on the A. Konovalov’s and Demangeat’s works, impurities are factors that stabilize the result on the sequential dilution. There is a much more complete theory and its very complex!

            4.

            “Some stock used in homeopathy is insoluble (for instance Berlin Wall). Such stock is not diluted but its concentration in the remedy is initially lowered by a process called ‘trituration’, a process which consists in grinding the source material in another solid material, usually lactose. I have granted you that potentisation works in the way you think. But how is information transferred from one solid material to another?”

            See the second answer.

            5.

            “Everything we drink is based on water containing molecules that have been inadvertently potentised in nature a million times and therefore should have hugely powerful effects on our bodies. How is it that we experience none of these effects each time we drink?”

            You have a misunderstanding with the dinamization technique. If that were true, diluting a poison would get a very powerful poison, which is not something advocated by homeopathy.

          • 1) BW is sold as a homeopathic remedy and has had provings
            2) the 203 studies have nothing to do with my point
            3) pure nonsense
            4) see point 2
            5) you fail to understand my point.

          • “1) BW is sold as a homeopathic remedy and has had provings”

            And illegal allopathic drugs are also sold. What’s your point to my clarification?

            “2) the 203 studies have nothing to do with my point”

            I mentioned Elia’s work, which I suppose you know, and curiously you don’t quote in any of your books. As Tournier points out, Elia’s work has been independently replicated and evidently helps explain why tiny pellets can retain biological activity.

            “3) pure nonsense”

            It is obvious that the greatest “detractor” of homeopathy does not understand and is not interested in understanding the solid explanations that support the effect of homeopathy.

            “4) see point 2”

            See point 2 and 3.

            “5) you fail to understand my point.”

            It’s not true, your reasoning I’ve found throughout thousands of comments on the internet, press and supposedly skeptical books, and they all fall into the same error. It is scandalous that the greatest “detractor” of homeopathy ends up proving that he does not know elementary things about homeopathy.

        • I am not wrong, Lollypop.

          In the passage you quote, Professor Ernst is saying that nanoparticles, water memory, and hormesis AS AGENTS OF MEDICINAL EFFECTS IN HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES, are mere theory. He is NOT saying in that passage that nanoparticles, water memory and hormesis are, of themselves, mere theory.

          If English is not your native language, you can be excused for the incorrect understanding. If English is your native language, you cannot, and would fail the Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation component of English exams in Scotland. (And we may note in passing that English is not Professor Ernst’s native tongue, but he manages with great accuracy in it).

          • thanks again – but I would really not bother with this troll.

          • David:

            Ernst’s paragraph is clear in that it accuses a scientific fact of “mere belief” and “theory” in a totally derogatory tone. Even assuming my interpretation was wrong, which is not the case, Ernst assumes that they can only be taken into account if there is a consensus:

            “Unfortunately, all of these theories have one very obvious thing in common: they are just theories! As such they are shared by some but not by the majority of scientists, and a scientific consensus as to how homeopathy works simply does not exist at the moment. In fact, if we are close to a consensus, it would be that there is no explanation for homeopathy’s mechanism of action (other than a placebo effect) which would be in keeping with the known laws of nature.

            Imagine the argument when Harvey demonstrated circulation, it would have been discarded because it was “mere theory” not based on”consensus.” On the other hand, Ernst assumes that if there was a “credible” mechanism it would not be possible because it “contradicts the laws of nature”, but in the works I have read of him and of other of his colleagues -even of a German engineer – there is not a single argument demonstrating that homeopathy contradicts the laws of physics beyond the objection to vitalism which is not a homogeneous concept and does not depend on the other proposals of homeopathy.

          • oh dear!
            Harvey had a microscope and observed the circulation; he did not develop a theory about it.
            Nice try though.

          • Harvey had a microscope and observed the circulation; he did not develop a theory about it.

            Actually I think he used vivisected dogs.

          • plus a microscope from Leuvenhoek [misspelled, I’m sure] I seem to remember

          • plus a microscope from Leuvenhoek

            According to Wikipedia, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek developed his microscope in the 1670’s. Harvey died in 1657. As far as I know he didn’t describe the smallest blood vessels, believing that blood simply permeated the tissues prior to being collected by the venous system.

          • it seems that I got my med history wrong.
            thanks for correcting me.

          • Ernst:

            And today there is atomic force microscope to prove the existence of nanoparticles, as well as ultra-sensitive devices such as those used by Dr. Marc Henry and Dr. Konovalov to prove that the memory of water is a real phenomenon. You lost with your own example.

          • EVIDENCE!

          • Ernst:

            Chickramane (2012):
            On the basis of the results from our experiments, we have unequivocally shown that nanoparticles can be concentrated on the liquid surface in a manner similar to the traditional frothflotation process used in the metal ore purification of larger particles. We have demonstrated that lactose during grinding helped in the formation of nanoclusters, whereas the ensuing processes such as succussion and sparging producing numerous large air bubbles aided nanoparticle levitation to the liquid surface, forming a monolayer that was preserved in the serial dilutions.

            Chakraborty (2014):
            “From the DLS ad HRTEM studies we come to the conclusion that the homeopathic potentization, which is dilution follwed by succussion, changes the mean size of nanoparticles of nanoparticles.

            Gupta (2016):
            We also observed diversity in the shapes and the sizes of the NPs in the various medicines analyzed as well as in their different potencies. TEM analysis of Calcarea carbonica showed spherically shaped NPs of 20 – 40 nm in diameter at 30CH whereas at 200CH, it showed elliptical NPs with sizes in the range from 20 to 50 nm.

            Kumar (2017):
            Variation in size and shape of these particles may have taken place due to the strokes applied on the diluted solution of Mercurious Solubilis 200 as per specified method of homoeopathy procedure

            Kallitas (2017):
            Six starting homeopathic materials were investigated in this research. These materials were different both in their original form as well as in their physical origin. The experimental findings -grain size in micro or nanoscale -justified the grinding process, trituration, as the tool of turning the insoluble materials in soluble ones and so the preparation of homeopathic solutions is feasible.

            Basu (2019):
            The study focused on the dilution-induced physico-chemical changes of metal oxide NPs during trituration and slurry mixing via succussion. Trituration is the starting step to reduce the coarser particles to finer ones and prevent them from aggregating, whereas succussion is predominantly characterized by strong turbulence and breakdown of particles through cavitation, thereby forming NPs of size below 5nm. The study also supported the mechanism of retention of original particles in homeopathic medicines and showed similar structural property changes of the initial materials, as suggested by nano-particulate and silica encapsulation theory.

            Dei (2020):
            The whole set of experimental data, therefore, seems to be consistent with a definition of homeopathy as “nano-dose pharmacology”, where material entities interact with the biological substrate in agreement with the classic view of orthodox pharmacology: to make things clear, the therapeutic consequence is the effect induced by adduct formation by the remedy and the appropriate biological receptor or by modulation of the allostatic stress response network induced by an appropriate xenobiotic.

            Cruces (2020):
            In this study, a range of HDs was analysed to compare them with those used therapeutically, which shows that atropine HDs have aggregates of nanoparticles with different morphological and electromagnetic properties.

            About water memory:

            Elia (2012):
            The most logical conclusion of these observations is that, for instance, in the EDS therapeutic properties get recorded in aggregates of water molecules, that continue to exist in the solid state as well, whose shapes and sizes, in addition to their concentration, would be responsible for the specific therapeutic effects.

            Davidson (2013):
            Research evidence supports the view that exogenous interfacial water stress―an excessive increase in interfacial water tension at biological surfaces caused by chemical and biologic intoxicants such as, for example, the metalloneurotoxin cationic Al―is the primary means and locus of pathological extracellular and intracellular changes leading to cancer, neurologic disease, and infectious disease. Our view is thus primarily a supramolecular biophysical view of the etiology of cancer and other diseases. Both gene structure and protein structure, according to our thesis, are slaved to the biophysical status of interfacial water; hence, biomacromolecular structures react to supramolecular events..

            Demangeat (2013):
            “Proton NMR relaxation managed to demonstrate physical modifications of the solvent throughout the low to ultramolecular range of dilution. The findings suggested the existence of nanosized (>=4-nm) superstructures which originate stereo specifically around the solute after an initial destructuring of the solvent, then develop more upon dilution and persist beyond 12c.

            Konovalov (2014):
            We have thus discovered a fundamental phenomen connot known before: formation of nanomolecular assemblies, the nanoassociates, in strongly diluted solutions.

            Montagnier (2015):
            The experiments discussed in this paper suggest that also in the usual PCR processes the DNA duplication is obtained due to the EMS emitted by the parent DNA in the environment of reciprocal interactions with water molecules, enzymes, primers and nucleotides in the solution… We observe that thermal collisions could be in competition with electrodynamic attraction of molecules inside the CD and produce permanent fluxes of molecules between a coherent regime and a noncoherent one, and viceversa, although the total number of coherent and non-coherent molecules are constant for a given temperature T. Water is thus not a homogeneous liquid, rather it appears as a two fluid system, with coexisting coherent and non-coherent phases, like in the Landau theory of liquid Helium.

            Wassenhoven (2017):
            our study has shown that it is possible to monitor dilution and potentization processes via measurements of 1 H spin-lattice T 1 and spinespin T 2 relaxation times… It follows that the existence of a putative “Avogadro’s wall” for homeopathically prepared medicines is not supported by our data; instead, it should be understood that all dilutions may have a specific material configuration influenced by not only the potentized substance itself but also by the chemical nature of the containers, the chemical nature of dissolved gases and even by the electromagnetic environmen.

          • Lollypop, you say:

            “Ernst’s paragraph is clear in that it accuses a scientific fact of “mere belief” and “theory” in a totally derogatory tone. Even assuming my interpretation was wrong, which is not the case, Ernst assumes that they can only be taken into account if there is a consensus:”

            1) How does one accuse a fact? Facts are not subject to accusation; people are.

            2) Professor Ernst’s tone is not derogatory, either totally or partially. (That is my professional opinion as a teacher of English language and literature, and of English as a Foreign Language).

            3) Your interpretation of the passage you quoted IS wrong. It is quite clear that the passage isn’t stating that nanoparticles, water memory and hormesis are mere theory: It is stating that claims that any of these three phenomena can make active homeopathic medicines, are theory.

            To illustrate: If Dr. X claims that spider droppings can cure asthma, but no-one has ever used them to do so, I can say that Dr X’s claims are ‘mere theory’. That is NOT the same as saying that the existence of spider droppings is mere theory.

          • Hey. Lollyplops.

            Your fantastic nanoparticles.

            How do they explain the homeopathic remedies like dolphin sonar, light of moon and light of venus, all of which have been subject to provings and are available from Helios?

            You’ve claimed elsewhere that homeopathic Berlin Wall isn’t a proper remedy. Does the same apply to these?

          • Lollypop said:

            today there is atomic force microscope to prove the existence of nanoparticles

            What size are these nanoparticles?

          • David:
            Apparently being an English teacher doesn’t help you much. Ernst says that nanoparticles are a “belief,” and it’s not the only time he says so. If Ernst says that explanation is a theory then he has two: either he says it in a totally derogatory tone equal to the fanatics who reject evolution, or he recognizes that he does not know epistemology and gives letter of validity to that finally recognizes that homeopathy is a theory based on experiments and laws.

            Leny:

            “Your fantastic nanoparticles. How do they explain the homeopathic remedies like dolphin sonar, light of moon and light of venus, all of which have been subject to provings and are available from Helios? You’ve claimed elsewhere that homeopathic Berlin Wall isn’t a proper remedy. Does the same apply to these? “

            You have severe reading and comprehension problems. You think nanoparticles are fantasies? Well, then I’d like to see your experiments and analyses published in some journal, otherwise I’ll keep saying that your opinion has no validity. In any case, for the so-called imponderables, other analytical techniques could be used to measure if there are structural changes in the solvent, and if these did not have results do not nullify the results with those traditional medicines in which the presence of nanoparticles has been demonstrated. Try again, but with reasoning, evidence and logic.

            Alan:

            “What size are these nanoparticles?”

            At least you would have read the quotes.

  • Shouldn’t there be a third arm, “conventional therapy with inert placebo (that the patient believes could be a homeopathic therapy)” with the usual double-blinding?

    • Usually with trials of this nature placebos are given for both arms, i.e. conventional therapy plus placebo vs. homeopathic therapy plus placebo, with identical-looking pills and the packages coded so that only the pharmacist preparing them knows which is which. This is the only way to ensure proper blinding.

      In this instance, if both arms are given conventional therapy it should only be necessary for one arm to be conventional plus placebo.

      It is not always possible to achieve blinding, e.g. in cancer trials where one arm might be chemotherapy given by drip and the other is hormone treatment. Though there have been trials of surgery where the control group have sham operations (an incision but nothing else).

    • The obvious placebo for a 30C homeopathic dilution of water plus poison, is distilled water. This must surely have been done?

      Just for a laugh…
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymd48YqPzQ0

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