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

It has been reported that the Middlesex University is cutting its ties with the UK’s biggest provider of homeopathy training after it peddled vaccine misinformation and encouraged the use of homeopathic potions made with phlegm to protect against and treat Covid-19. The Centre for Homeopathic Education (CHE) had been validated by the Middlesex University since 2004 and was the only UK homeopathy college to offer a University-accredited degree in homeopathy.

Now the CHE has been criticized for its “actively anti-scientific teaching”. Robbie Turner, a director at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said the unproven medicines being promoted by the college were “highly risky”. He added: “It is not just irresponsible, it’s downright dangerous.”

In webinars offered by the CHE Online, the lecturer Robin Murphy claimed the idea that vaccination was effective at eradicating disease was “delusional” and told students how to buy or make homeopathic “nosodes” made from bodily material of an infected Covid patient. He said the nosodes could help prevent and treat even the most severe cases of Covid, recommended their use among healthcare workers and carers exposed to the virus, and claimed he had helped administer the remedies to up to 200 people, including children. “I treated a 14-year-old girl and I gave her the nosode … she got fevers and chills. I followed up with mercury and between the nosode and mercury, that took care of the case,” he said.

In another case, Murphy said a client locked her son in his bedroom after he was exposed to Covid-19 to make him take the remedy. “If the husband comes home with a positive test and is sick … get the dose to everybody in the family,” Murphy said. “We’ve seen it work. A couple of my patients locked their son in the bedroom and wouldn’t let him come out. We gave him the remedies and everyone’s fine.”

He began the session with a “disclaimer”. “This is medical and historical information and blah blah blah and all this and that,” he said as the slide was shown. “This is for your own information … I feel we’re on solid ground to really help people like this.” Murphy is a regular lecturer at the CHE and director of the Lotus Health Institute in Virginia in the US. His other courses include one on 5G “toxicity”, promoting the debunked theory that 5G is dangerous.

Michael Marshall, project director at the Good Thinking Society, described claims that the vaccine “alternatives” were effective as “tremendously dangerous” and said it was “very concerning” that homeopaths were being taught their use by an accredited college. He said the teachings were “actively anti-science. For some people, the worst-case scenario is that they go on and contract and spread that disease. It fundamentally undermines public health messaging and puts the public at risk.”

The CHE was the largest homeopathy training provider in the UK providing a range of courses including, until last week, a bachelor of science degree validated by Middlesex. Under the 17-year partnership, the university — ranked 121st in the UK in the Good University Guide — would receive a £700 registration fee per student on the part-time, four-year course, and up to £3,500 went to the college in annual tuition fees.

A spokesperson for the University said it was “alarmed to hear about the allegations.”  Middlesex declared it is terminating the partnership with immediate effect.

33 Responses to HOMEOPATHY – “It is not just irresponsible, it’s downright dangerous.”

  • I have never understood how Universities can justify being associated with homeopathy in the first place or how they can imagine that it is even vaguely appropriate to award diplomas or degrees in magical thinking and fantasy pseudoscience.

    Do they not think they have some responsibility to ethics, integrity, truth, public and private sources of funding, society as a whole and their students to ensure that what is being taught at their institutions is based on solid facts and not merely delusions and Tooth Fairy Science? If taught at all homeopathy should be taught as an historical curiosity, an example of logical fallacies and group delusions, and how badly done research pollutes the infosphere.

    But of curse the reason they actually run these courses is because they can collect large fees from gullible punters by selling degree courses in nonsense with nonsense content – and taking zero responsibility for the harm done to the even more gullible patients who will suffer by taking medical advice from these “qualified” homeopaths and their delusional quackery. It is profiteering by causing vicarious harm and it highly irresponsible and totally immoral.

    But as long as the money rolls in and there’s no bad PR who cares?

    • a long time ago, I was on several panels for validating such courses. I always argued against it and was thus not asked any more.

  • About time as well! Whilst it is perfectly possible to design an offer a degree level programme in the ethics and issues around homeopathy and other alternative “medicines” I can’t for the life of me see how a university could be associated with an organisation that believes and promotes quackery.

  • That’s a bit rich from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. They have been facilitating quackery for decades:

    https://majikthyse.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/not-my-problem-mate/

  • Oxford and other Russell group universities award degrees in Theology.
    I suppose there is no requirement the students believe any of the faiths they study, and certainly not for them to practice any, but it’s a moot point.

  • OK – if they want to say, that homeopathy is dangerous, they will have to give facts: number of death cases of people that did not survieve Covid 10 treated with nosedes compared to people waitung for vaccination and getting no nosodes or homeopathch treamtent. That would prove their wording right. Otherwise it’s nothing but dogmatism from closed minds.

    There were times when universities were open minded, where they were on a way to find out new things, to go new ways. Actually, they seem to have become stiff like catholic church in the middle ages.

    If they want to find out what is wrong or right about homeopathy, they should no longer focus on Hahnemanns strange theories and the myth of dilluting towards nothing. Most preparations of homeopathic remedies look like classic extraction methods followed by an intense procedure of cleaning up of settlement of molecules that always reach the same fraction in the dillution glass before being taken away for a next step of cleaning and purification. This is my hypothesis about the mechanism of proparation of homeopathic remedies.

    How can somebody who claims that in homeopathic remedies is nothing but solvent, call himselves a scientist, if he has not made a study to verify his theory? Science should be far away from dogmatism and nobody should follow a theory just because somebody claimed it to be true.

    If homeopathy keeps the people from getting treated in the best way, it may not be harmless (but it is up to the free decision of the people to go this way). If homeopathy helps those people, who get ill from Covid 19 before they had a chance to get vaccinated, to keep a stable condition without the need for a hospital, homeopathy did a great job and it would be a harmful act to keep people away from it!

    • may I ask, Holger: what is your professional background?

    • No, no, no. There is no justification for providing any information to criticise homeopathy just as we don’t need clinical data to determine that banging a rusty nail into the head is dangerous.

    • @ Holger

      “This is my hypothesis about the mechanism of proparation of homeopathic remedies.”

      Your hypothesis as expounded makes no sense to me. What evidence do you have that it is any better than Hahnemann’s?
      Regardless there is an abundance of scientific evidence that homeopathy doesn’t work for any indication. Period,

      “If homeopathy keeps the people from getting treated in the best way, it may not be harmless (but it is up to the free decision of the people to go this way)”
      NO – not if they are being misinformed by clueless homeopaths telling them nosodes work when there is nothing to suggest that they do. Homeopaths cause a great deal of harm by spreading misinformation, by being anti-vaccine, by telling people that their useless pills can substitute for real anti-malarials when folks go to malaria infested areas and so on. Homeopaths tend to be deluded into believing that their nonsense remedies actually work – and that is dangerous.

      ” nothing but dogmatism from closed minds.” Saying that Homeopathy doesn’t work is NOT dogmatism or being closed-minded. It is simply stating a self-evident fact. For homeopathy to work much of well established physics, chemistry and biology would have to be proven totally wrong. Many of the supposed dilutions are simply mind boggling requiring volumes larger than the Pacific Ocean or many multiples more molecules than there are atoms in the entire known visible universe. Yet these impossibilities never bother homeopaths.

      Remedies that require trapping rays of Saturn’s rings or moonbeams in a jar or the belief that a computer monitor or “Berlin Wall” can somehow be a remedy for anything WITHOUT EVIDENCE – nothing is too fantastical for a homeopath.
      The whole system is based on magical thinking and Tooth Fairy Science. And now you are inventing your own variation of Hahnemann’s rules to make the system more appealing to your own cognitive biases. Do you have so little insight and introspection to see what is going on here?

      Even homeopaths admit that they cannot differentiate one “remedy” from another except by the label. If you look at the ingredients of any ultradiluted “remedy you will see that the actual ingredients of water, sucrose etc add up to 100% – and there will be a figure of 0% for the actual “remedy” e.g. nux vomica or whatever. What more proof do you need that even homeopaths admit that there is no “there” there? That their “remedies” contain NO remedy?

      This is why they bang on so much about the “memory” of water – what else did you suppose all that was about? Of course it has been established time and again that water HAS no memory. And if it did how would it so conveniently manage to FORGET all the raw sewage and other noxious stuff it comes in contact with?

      “How can somebody who claims that in homeopathic remedies is nothing but solvent, call himselves a scientist, if he has not made a study to verify his theory?”

      You seem to have a serious misconception as to how science works – i suggest you learn about this before you start waffling in a public forum. It is not up to scientists to disprove every idiotic and madcap hypothesis that every loon comes up with. It is up to the person making the claim to provide the evidence. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And in the way of science claims must be falsifiable – i.e. there must be some means by which it would be possible to test the claim and prove it was false if indeed it were false. See Carl Sagan’s claim to have an invisible dragon in his garage for an example of an unfalsifiable claim.

      But in spite of this many scientists HAVE looked at ultradilute solutions – and have found nothing in them but the diluent. Homeopaths have tried to muddy the water with talk of nanoparticles and quantum theory (which none of them seem to understand in the remotest sense btw) but none of this makes homeopathy actually work or appear any more sane.
      The most likely explanation of any nanoparticles found are contaminants and particles from the containers in which the diluents are contained – there is precious little evidence they have anything to do with any “remedies” in spite of much wishful thinking from delusional homeopaths.

      Homeopathy is not a science – it is barely a pseudoscience. It is more akin to a religion with fervent believers whose faith cannot be shaken no matter how strong the evidence against it. It would appear that you are an acolyte, firmly caught up in the belief system. You are asking not whether there is evidence that homeopathy works, but rather FOR evidence THAT IT DOES. Starting an endeavour with your mindset already made up is not science – it is a cognitive bias. It does not end well.

      “OK – if they want to say, that homeopathy is dangerous, they will have to give facts: number of death cases of people that did not survieve Covid 10 treated with nosedes compared to people waitung for vaccination and getting no nosodes or homeopathch treamtent. That would prove their wording right. Otherwise it’s nothing but dogmatism from closed minds.”

      Are you suggesting a Randomized Controlled Trial of homeopathic nosodes? An alleged preventive modality with absolutely zero plausibility and zero evidence base? Are you serious? I would love to see the response of any Ethics Committee that was asked to approve the trial protocol for such a study – I imagine men in white coats and straight jackets would be involved. The informed consent would be an interesting document to draw up as well.
      I seriously don’t think you have thought this through.

      In any event you are entirely missing the point in the article and the established facts. Homeopathic nosodes have never been proven to be of any efficacy for any condition. Promoting their use is dangerous as it gives a false sense of security and makes subjects less likely to take other precautions. In addition they may be less likely to take the real vaccine when that becomes available thinking they are protected by the useless nosode.

      Homeopaths as a group tend to be anti-vaccine and spread anti-vaccine misinformation as well as anti-science misinformation and lies. This is supported by the article above. As a result many people are persuaded to avoid having protective vaccines by homeopaths which puts their lives and health in danger. This is highly irresponsible.

      None of this is a matter of debate or opinion. These are all matters of FACT. If you happen to disagree then you are just WRONG. Homeopathy is dangerous NONSENSE. It is pure PSEUDOSCIENCE. It does not work for any indication. PERIOD. Anything else is delusional nonsense.

      This is why it is not allowed on the NHS and why Australia disallowed its use in their Government healthcare system. Patients deserve to be treated with real treatments, not fantasy based imaginary remedies based on magical thinking and where the “remedies” contain no actual “remedy” at all. Any effect from homeopathy is pure placebo and that means the homeopath is deceiving their patient each and every time. Any system based on deception is unethical – especially if the therapist is also deceiving themselves.

      Now do you understand?

      • “Your hypothesis as expounded makes no sense to me. What evidence do you have that it is any better than Hahnemann’s?”
        My hypothesis does not work with ideas out of the range of traditional science. If the process of making homeopathic remedies is not a stepwise dillution but an extraction followed by a purification of certain fractions of the solution, we have to expect a pure substance with a defined coefficient of sedimentation. The process we actually think of as diluition is a purification instead.
        Now, the person getting a homeopathic remedy does no longer get just a little bit of sugar but sugar with some well defined molecules on it.
        Pheromones may work with a very small amount of molecules.
        That’s the difference to Hohnemanns approach: The theroy may work fine inside the common thinking of natural science.

        I don’t talk about “memory of water” or spirits or something like this – I talk about molecules.

        My background is that I am biologist. This is my link to science. My background according homeopathy is personal experience. I and my family are almost never ill. Before talking homeopathic remedies I often had coughs and sneezes pretty often. I take globuli in a form of selftreatment and it works very fine for me. I live in a stable and healthy condition. I can’t say that it’s not placebo effect alone. However: what’s the target of medicine? I reached it and if it is just “placebo effect” that helped me to reach this condition, it is fine to me.

        The main problem of homeopathy to me, is a charged discussion with lots of prejudices. If you talk about studies: How do you want to conduct fair studies with globuli where the public opinion is full of prejudice against it? There is alos something like a Nocebo effect and I am pretty sure that there is no change of doing a study with homepathic remedies without having a Nocebo effect in it.

        There are also some studies that show that homeopathy works. However, there are not many of them.

        Most critics regarding homeopathy starts at the nonsense of its theory. But what will happen, if we have a theory that brings homeopathic remedies into the range of scientific reasonable explaination?

        It’s a hypothesis triggered by my experience on the one hand (which has no scientific siignificante, of course) and my scientific background being a biologist with knowledge over a range of dimensions and disciplines. This way I got some “feeling” for biological mechanisms and ideas about biological options. It was not a thesis or aexam that made me a biologist (even though I have it) – it was an intense studying in a variety of fields of biology that gave me an idea about the prinicples of life.

        Bringing together aspects of different discipines, we know about external DNA that gives information about forms of life maybe still for away from the place where it was detected. We know about organisms being able to detect smalles amounts of molecules as infochemicals. We can imagine the evolutionary advantage a pre-trained immune system would have if it comes to diseases – maybe even in a pandemic dimension.

        I am aware that this is nothing but hypothesis. However, it is a hypothesis that is inside the options and limits of scientific thinking, which would be a progress if think about homeopathy.

        I have not the position nor the money to test this hypothesis. However, it makes me feel sad, that maybe some people who get vaccinated lately would have get healed or at least would not have to be treated in hospital, if there was a remedy they or the experts they trusted in neglected, as they were more misslead by means of a politically supercharged discussion. And if homeopathy should be nothing but Placebo, maybe it was the placbo that was missing to safe their life. We know that psychology has a deep imapct on the way an organism fights against a harm …

        Don’t get me wrong: I am not against classical medicine. I am not against vaccination. However, I am also against artifical limiting of medical options we have, based on a supercharged political debate.

        Regarding my theory, I would be glad someone could give it a try. It should be possible from coefficient of sedimentation and observing the process of preparing the dillutions to get an idea about which molecules will be extracted and purified by the process. If it is something in the range of DNA, it should be possible to find it on globuli by meeans of PCR. However, I know that there are also non-organic homeopathic remedies, which will have different matter in the purified fraction.

        I am pretty sure that our bodies will be able to detect much more than we are aware of. The finding of a mechanism that would help to get insight of a thread before coming in contact with it directly, would be something worth higher scientifc honor.

        However, that’s not for me – but if anybody would like to risk a way into searching for it, your welcome!

        • @ Holger

          your “hypothesis” makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There is no rationale or scientific thinking behind it.

          your belief that since trying homeopathy your health has been better is pure motivated reasoning and confirmation bias. You yourself admit that it may be due the the placebo effect. Are you quite certain that you are a scientist because you display absolutely no signs of thinking like one. At best your story is an anecdote with zero evidence of anything.

          “My hypothesis does not work with ideas out of the range of traditional science.”
          So now you are inventing your own branch of science? You don’t thing this is a little grandiose? Perhaps running before you can walk? I think if your hypothesis requires that you invent a whole new system of science to explain it then it is far more likely that there is a flaw in your “hypothesis.”

          You go on about “molecules” – but how would these survive the massive ultradilutions required by homeopaths such that there could be NO molecules of the original substance left in the end solution? You are aware of Avogadro’s Constant? There are only so many molecules of the original substance to go around – you do realize that don’t you? (Or at least the chances of you having one of the very few containers containing one molecule would be miniscule and a matter of random chance.)

          You talk about prejudice against homeopathy – I have already addressed this. Homeopathy has already been given serious consideration by scientists and deemed to be NONSENSE. It is based on MAGICAL THINKING. It was dreamt up on nonsense principles – there has never been any reason to suppose it would work. None of its basic precepts has been shown to be in the least factual or reasonable. It is based on pseudoscience.
          It contradicts basic principles of physics, chemistry and biology – does that not trouble you?
          There is no evidence or reasoning behind the law of similars or any of the other “principles” that homeopaths believe in.

          You claim that it has been shown to work. This is not true – there are no good quality RCTs that reliably demonstrate that homeopathy has a greater effect than placebo for treating any disease. You are deceiving yourself.

          “if we have a theory that brings homeopathic remedies into the range of scientific reasonable explaination?”
          Pigs might fly too. Homeopaths have been desperately attempting to do this for 200 years and still haven’t come up with one. They try to mangle quantum physics for the uninitiated and all manner of other voodoo but none of it actually flies.
          And none of it gets round the fact that IT DOESN’T WORK!

          “This way I got some “feeling” for biological mechanisms and ideas about biological options.”
          You have a most unscientific way of approaching these things. A “feeling” might be the basis for a hypotheses that one would explore further, but you seem to take it as the basis for a whole belief system and expand that into a whole new system of science. I really don’t think you have grasped the “scientific method.”

          “I am aware that this is nothing but hypothesis. However, it is a hypothesis that is inside the options and limits of scientific thinking, which would be a progress if think about homeopathy.”
          Complete fantasy with no basis in fact just to back up your bias towards homeopathy – i.e.motivated reasoning. Nothing to see here.

          “However, it makes me feel sad, that maybe some people who get vaccinated lately would have get healed or at least would not have to be treated in hospital, if there was a remedy they or the experts they trusted in neglected, as they were more misslead by means of a politically supercharged discussion. And if homeopathy should be nothing but Placebo, maybe it was the placbo that was missing to safe their life. We know that psychology has a deep imapct on the way an organism fights against a harm …”

          Now you are truly going down the rabbit hole…. this is sheer lunacy. You are suggesting that people forsake vaccines ( a well established and scientifically proven method of preventing infections) in favour of HOMEOPATHY even if that works just by a PLACEBO method? Do you realize what sheer and utter lunacy you are uttering here?
          Or that people requiring TREATMENT in hospital should forego that and instead take HOMEOPATHIC PLACEBOS!

          That you claim to be a biologist, a scientist, and yet are stating the above is unbelievable.
          What exactly is a PLACEBO VACCINE? How would that even work? And how successful would it be against say Covv-19?
          Do you think that would be ethical, moral or safe? Or would it just be idiotic?
          Even “real” homeopathic “vaccines” i.e.nosodes DON’T WORK for anything so they would be equally useless. The whole idea is simply INSANE!

          And the idea of treating people with serious medical conditions with homeopathy or placebos instead of real medical treatments is unbelievably insane. How can you even begin to justify that ethically, morally or legally?
          Especially when all of this is based on your half-baked “hypothesis.”
          Why not just shoot them instead – it would be more humane?

          And what would be the advantage of doing things your way? what is the great saving grace of treating people with this wonderful homeopathy instead of conventional medicine? Why is it such a shame to be neglecting this favourite therapy of yours? What is so wonderful about it?
          You have gone the way of all homeopathy acolytes – you are a “true believer” and are incapable of any kind of rational thought or doubt about your new religion.
          It is the “one true way.” And you will make up all kinds of false rationalizations to cover up all and any holes in your arguments and suggest ridiculous uses for your nonsense remedies.

          Please take a serious look at what you are suggesting here!

          • @Richard Rasker:
            First of all: Thanky ou very much for your reply!

            Citiation:
            “The similia principle: There is no credible evidence whatsoever that the similia principle is real. ”

            From Toxciology we know the effect of hormesis. First discovered by Arndt and Schulz and refused by scientific community for ideological reasons (same as reception by science of homeopathy), it is proven well at the moment. Who ever works in the field of toxicology finds it often. It’s described by Edward Calabrese and his team in a good way. Here we have the effect, that at low doses the effect is opposite of the toxicological effect at higher doses.
            This principle is same as in homeopathy. However, theory of homeopathy as it is at the moment, does not include any material whereas hormesis is found at very low doses. Now: if we have to expect material in homepathich remedies as wrong physical system was used for theory (solution instead of a mixture of non soluble molecules where a certain fraction if cleaned within a process repeated many times), we get a wrong picture about what homeopathy does in real life instead in theory.

            Citation: “The principle of potentization: There is no credible evidence whatsoever that diluting and shaking increases any effects that a substance may have – reality very consistently shows the exact opposite.”

            If you think about physics of solutions/dillutions this is correct. However: did you ever managed to solve an onion in alcohol? That’s impossible! But this is the matter that starts in the process of preparation of a homeopathic remedy of Allium cepa. We can’t use the physical chemistry of a process that does not fit with what we got in reality – we have to choose for the correct context of formulas and theories. And if it comes to homeopathy, this has nothing to do with the theroy of solubility – at least not for many parts of the initial maceration. If we think about the process of potententiation not as a process of dilluting but as a process of cleansing of a certain fraction, our expectaion about the properties of the final product should change.

            Citation: “Science says you’re wrong. Even the most sensitive analyses of homeopathic preparations beyond 12C show that they contain nothing but water and the normal contaminants that can be expected. No other molecules are found, regardless whether they are settled, cleaned or purified.”

            Could you please provide me with some literature. What matter (molecules, chemical substances) was serched for in these studies? Any work using PCR technique?
            My expectaion would be, that you will find DNA fragments from the inital source.

            Citation:
            “These same contaminants (and far, far more) are found in homeopathic preparations, even if only from the moment that they are ingested.”

            Were these “contaminants” compared to parrallel process where there was no inital substance but pure solvent? Without thsi blind control the studies may have regarded the effective substance to be a “contaminant”.

            You always say that there is no prove for effectiveness of any homeopathic remedy. There are a few studies showing some effect. However, most do not. I do believe that one problem is the role of homeopathy in medicine as remedy where classic medicine has come to an end of options. It’s pretty clear, that in a situation like that success hardly can be expected. Another problem is the wide availbilty of different remedies and the profession of the people who treat the people. A homeopathic study using just one remedy will hardly succeed, as each person should get a different remedy that fits for his/her special situation.

            Looking to India, where homeopathy is widely used, and comparing ist COVID19 data with those of other countries in similar climatic and cultural situation could give some starting points for further analysis.
            I find it interesting, what remedies are given in those countries that use homeopathic medicine. India staarted with Arsenicum album which should take away fear – keeps away panic and fear, which would block immune system to some extend.
            I wonder that nobody used snake venome or substances that have similar effect like Abrus precatorius as homeopathic remedies, as this would refer to the internal threads of Covid 19 for humand bodies.

            Now, let’s think about a person taking those remedies to protect himself agains Covid 19. Where is the adverse effect of that treatment? At the moment, there is no cure of Covid 19 aside of vaccination. A lot of people wait for vaccination. If these people take homeopathic remedies and benefit from an placebo effect (if this should be the enitre effect of those treamtents) – they are in a position of advance compared to those who don’t have this shield having a psycological effect. If this should reduce the number of people who end up in hospital, the treatment would have its pay-off.

            Now a few thoughts about my idea about the way homeopathic remedies may could cause a ture effect in human organisms (aside of placebo effect):

            Let’s think about a population of peole living close to a river. For old cultures, rivers were important places of human civilasation. The river gave life in terms of water and food, the river was the way to get rid of rubbish, the river was also a source of danger and transprotation of infective material.

            Now let’s imagine more close to the starting point of the river there is a population that got ill from a dangerous disease. If some people more towards the sea would get informed about that disease in form of DNA molecules, single first germs or fragments of the germs, these people would have a very important advantage on personal but also on evolutionary dimension.

            If a mechanism should be possible, being bioplogist, I would expect that it is present and could be used – in days where we are no longer exposed to contaminated water (at last not on a dayly basis) in form of traces that transfer that information. My idea of homeopathy is that, it addresses to a system like that.

            I am well aware, that we don’t have insight to a system like that. However, I would recommend to search for it. It should be found somewhere in the mounth, being closely related to immune system (lymph system?), we know some remedies that are said to block it like camomile tea, we know remedies that are taken to rest a treatment like camphor. We would have to search for structures that would allow molecules to dock to them. On the other hand there could be structures that let molecules pass inot the blood system so they can come in contact with the mmune system in an exposed way.

            These are nothing but hypothesis without any prove – I know it! However, I would expect the existence of a system like that, as it would be a giant evolutionary advantage.

            Let me again make this statement: I am not against classic medicine! However, I would be glad, if medicine could think more open minded and generous about homeopathy. I would be glad if someone could use PCR to look for DNA on e.g. Allium cepa globuli at different potency classes.

            Being a scientist, I feel free to express and discuss my thoughts. I am not in the position to do any research on this matter and so I can’t bring anything forward on a practical way. However, giving a different look on homeopathy may help anyway. I do believe, that the consept of dillution is utterly wrong and leads to wrong consequences, which lead to a wrong position in regard to this kind of medicine – from the position of classic medicine even more than form the position of homeopahty, as they often do their job without much refelction on theory.

          • @ Holger

            “The similia principle:” you still provide no evidence for this effect

            Hormesis is a complex and controversial area – but in any event it is NOT to same as the “similia principle” i.e. “like cures like.” Hormesis refers to low doses of a substances having reverse effects to higher doses.
            So I think you are getting similia confused with dilutions! Are you quite certain that you understand homeopathy?

            So you have not defended similia at all – it remains a nonsense notion and has no evidence for it and is not observed empirically.

            Hormesis does not prove the homeopathic belief in the effects of succussion and diluting a substance making it more effective, especially the bizarre belief that ultradilution to the point where none of the original “remedy” remains makes that solution super potentized and ultra powerful.
            This is contrary to logic, reason, science, empirical experience and practical experiment.

            Your waffling about dissolving onions in solution is irrelevant nonsense.

            You want some information about ultradilute solutions – I thought you were a scientist? Are you not capable of conducting a literature search yourself? I thought you knew about homeopathy?
            Since many of the substances put into solution are inorganic I am not sure why you would expect to find DNA?
            Homeopaths are terrible at science – they will grasp at straws and use confirmation bias to claim any result as positive and deny any claims to the contrary.
            They use use experiments not to discover IF something is true but to prove that their beliefs ARE true, and if the results turn out contrary to their cherished beliefs they will spin them so that they appear to be true anyway.
            Have a look here to start you off:

            https://inscientioveritas.org/homeopathy-nanoparticle-chikramane/

            https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/homeopathy-and-nanoparticles/

            https://debunkingdenial.com/portfolio/homeopathy/

            You claim that there are some studies proving homeopathy is effective. The only studies that have shown marginal benefit for an odd indication here and there have been inconsistent, poorly conducted, with dubious methodology and other flaws such as poor blinding or no placebo groups etc, and have had small numbers and not been capable of being reproduced. See the statements made by the very authoritative Cochrane Collaboration and the NHS/NICE guidelines in the UK. Similarly in Australia homeopathy is not permitted in publicly funded healthcare as it has been deemed ineffective for any condition.
            The vast bulk of the evidence and authoritative medical and scientific opinion is against you.

            https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20402610/

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

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

            You mention India as an example of a country that uses homeopathy extensively? what is your point? It has already been argued extensively on this blog that the reason for India’s relatively lower rate of Covid-19 is due to demographic features and most certainly NOT due to their use of useless homeopathic nonsense.
            Additionally their AYUSH government department witlessly pushes CAM treatments for the lower socioeconomic groups in society while the upper castes get conventional medicine – similar to what Mao did in China. The fact that none of this pseudoscientific CAM nonsense actually works seems to faze them not a jot.
            This is a scandal – not something to be proud of or encouraged by witless outsiders.

            “A lot of people wait for vaccination. If these people take homeopathic remedies and benefit from an placebo effect (if this should be the enitre effect of those treamtents) – they are in a position of advance compared to those who don’t have this shield having a psycological effect.”

            I find it difficult to believe that you are really a scientist. You make the most ridiculous statements.
            For one thing it would be highly unethical to push worthless homeopathic remedies onto people KNOWING THAT THEY ARE MERELY PLACEBOS while telling them that they are some form of protection against Covid.
            Can you not see that?

            Secondly all the effort that went into distributing and administering your useless placebos would be better spent on EFFECTIVE vaccines!
            Thirdly what evidence do you have that placebos have ANY effect against Covid-19?

            You just have a totally irrational belief in the magical powers of homeopathy which you hold in spite of all the arguments and evidence to the contrary. In the face of all of this you would be willing to endanger people’s lives because of your illogical and dangerous views. You are not a scientist. You are not even rational.
            You are quite insane.

            “These are nothing but hypothesis without any prove – I know it! However, I would expect the existence of a system like that, as it would be a giant evolutionary advantage.”

            This is all built on wild speculation and your “belief” that camomile and camphor actually have some magical effect because homeopaths “say” they do. Do you have any idea how irrational that sounds? It has no more basis that Hahnemann’s silly idea of the “Law of Similars.”

            “I would be glad, if medicine could think more open minded and generous about homeopathy.”

            Why? It is based on irrational nonsense. There is no logical reason to think it would work. If it did work it would contradict well established laws of physics, chemistry and biology. It is counterintuitive and contrary to empirical evidence. Numerous studies have failed to find any good evidence that it is effective for ANY condition.
            Homeopaths believe that they can treat serious medical conditions with what amounts to a placebo and that they can substitute nosodes for effective vaccines. Their delusions are DANGEROUS.

            Why should medicine or science be “generous” and to what end? Why should be accept pseudoscientific nonsense and not call it out for what it is? To do otherwise would be a great disservice to patients and the public at large, and would further erode the public image and understanding of science and medicine.
            Homeopaths are anti-science and anti-vaccine and have by and large got fixed beliefs that are immune to reason and evidence – as you seem to have. We don’t need to encourage them any further by by being in any way “generous!”

            “Being a scientist,” I don’t believe you are. Nothing you have said gives me to believe that you have the faintest notion of what it means to be a scientist. You display no knowledge of the scientific method. Your thinking is irrational, illogical and very muddled.
            You do not appear to be able to search for appropriate references yourself.
            You make wild speculations based of simple beliefs.
            You seem to be immune to rational argument and evidence.

            You seem to have fixed beliefs in the power of homeopathy and placebos that are simply irrational and unscientific.
            Some of your suggestions for treating people are highly unethical and dangerous and display a remarkable ignorance about scientific ethics and integrity.

            You are no real scientist.

        • @ Holger

          I’m afraid you are still missing the point!

          There is no evidence that what you are saying about “purification” is true!
          And it still doesn’t get around the problem of Avogadro’s Constant. There are only so many molecules in the original solution. If you keep diluting it you eventually reach a point where you run out of molecules and you will have aliquots where THERE ARE NO MOLECULES! Eventually at ultra high dilutions most of the vials will not have any molecules of the original substance in them! Can you not understand this simple point? Your idea about “purification” nonsense does not get around this basic fact. “Purification” cannot magically call into existence molecules that do not exist!

          I explained to you that even homeopaths acknowledge this fact in that ultradilute solutions (or in the mad world of homeopathy very “powerful” therapies) will have an ingredient list that will have a 0% content for the actual “remedy – e.g. 0% nux vomica or whatever the actual “remedy” is meant to be. i.e. there will not be a single molecule of the substance in the vial. So even if your irrational theory of purification were true it would still be irrelevant – the “purified” molecule would still be ABSENT!

          Why do you find this so difficult to understand?

          “I am also against artificial limiting of medical options we have, based on a supercharged political debate.”

          I think you will find that the debate is rather more limited on the basis of sound science, logic and and the tedium of hearing homeopaths raving about their fantasy and magical thinking – yet again.

          “I am aware that this is nothing but hypothesis. However, it is a hypothesis that is inside the options and limits of scientific thinking, which would be a progress if think about homeopathy.”

          There is nothing “scientific” in the thinking about homeopathy. Your meanderings have added nothing meaningful to the debate either.

          “But what will happen, if we have a theory that brings homeopathic remedies into the range of scientific reasonable explaination?”

          But you don’t have one – and neither does anyone else!

          “I am pretty sure that our bodies will be able to detect much more than we are aware of. The finding of a mechanism that would help to get insight of a thread before coming in contact with it directly, would be something worth higher scientifc honor.”

          So you have a loony idea with no sound basis in anything and think someone else should spend a lot of money and time investigating it – why exactly? What makes your barking idea any more worthy of investigation than that any of the stuff scrawled on the walls of public latrines everywhere?
          I am afraid that your fantasy of this winning a Nobel Prize for someone is delusional – as are all things homeopathy related. I suggest you you reconsider before proceeding any further down this particular rabbit hole.

          Your thinking is most unscientific – you are clutching at straws, using motivated reasoning to back up vague notions that have no basis in reality, are using confirmation bias to support your belief that homeopathy “worked for you” and have a religious like belief in homeopathy itself which would appear to be based entirely on fact and evidence free speculation.
          I don’t know how you managed your work in biology but if it was in this unscientific and irrational manner then it must have led to some very interesting results!

    • @Holger

      Otherwise it’s nothing but dogmatism from closed minds.

      This is in fact an adequate description of homeopathy.

      Anyway, homeopathy is wrong in more ways than merely the aspect of infinite dilutions that cannot possibly have an effect. In fact, ALL of its premises and claims are unproven, highly implausible, and often at odds with real science:
      The similia principle: There is no credible evidence whatsoever that the similia principle is real. There is not one experiment that can consistently demonstrate that administering something that evokes symptoms similar to those that a patient is suffering from has beneficial effects, regardless of its dosage or concentration. Modern science also provides no mechanisms or reasons how this could happen.
      The principle of potentization: There is no credible evidence whatsoever that diluting and shaking increases any effects that a substance may have – reality very consistently shows the exact opposite.
      And there are many more problems with this dilution process, such as the fact that you can’t simply dilute all kinds of cells without destroying them (and thus radically altering the dilution’s composition), or the fact that after half a dozen dilution steps at most, the amount of contaminants from the environment and the equipment that is used far exceeds the amount of targeted substance, to mention just a few.
      Proving: Anyone who believes that the therapeutic effects of substances can be reliably established without involving actual patients or illnesses is a fool, period.

      [cleaning and purification of molecule settlements] This is my hypothesis about the mechanism of proparation of homeopathic remedies.

      Science says you’re wrong. Even the most sensitive analyses of homeopathic preparations beyond 12C show that they contain nothing but water and the normal contaminants that can be expected. No other molecules are found, regardless whether they are settled, cleaned or purified.
      But even less diluted homeopathic preparations that still contain a measurable amount of molecules of the original substance usually have no effect either. E.g. arsenicum album D6 is by definition a 1 ppm dilution, which means that 1 gram of this preparation contains 1 microgram of arsenic – the same amount that is found in a spoonful of rice. This has no effects whatsoever (unless you ingest several kilograms of rice every day – but then arsenic poisoning will still be the least of your problems). And talking about ‘purification’ and ‘cleaning’ makes no sense, as even a simple glass of the best quality drinking water contains dozens of different substances that can be called contaminants. These same contaminants (and far, far more) are found in homeopathic preparations, even if only from the moment that they are ingested.

      • DEar Richard,

        you wrote:
        “Science says you’re wrong. Even the most sensitive analyses of homeopathic preparations beyond 12C show that they contain nothing but water and the normal contaminants that can be expected. No other molecules are found, regardless whether they are settled, cleaned or purified.”
        I don’t have any paper that make statements about the content of the molecules found at the globuli. I would like to see PCR from a solution of globuli.

        Here is video that shows the process:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReqsIM_fahg

        The comment is in German. However, you see what they are doing. The onions (allium cepa) cut in small pieces are given into the brown bottle with alcohol, shaked well from time to time and it stays in the bottle for 10 days. This is the original solution – it is filtered and from that fluid the process of dillution starts.

        If I see the process, I try to imagine from scientific point of view what happens with the onions. The cell walls should break and most cells will give their content into the solution. I don’t know to which extend singel structures of the cells will keep its form. However, I know that DNA is stabilized by alcohol. You don’t hafe the DNA in solution. However fragments of DNA should pass the filter.

        Now look at the next steps. They propare c-potencies: 1 drop of original (or fluid from the step before) is taken and 99 drops of an alcohol-water mix (unfortunately I don’t know the concentration) is added. The the bottle is hit for a defined number on a leather foundation.

        What happens here? Do you see a preparation of a solution that would fit with what we should siee if Avogradros number should ever become relevant? Is this a process of continous solving? If it would be a salt that is soluble in alcohol: Yes, of course! We would have to exprect no material left after the process.
        But look here: The droplet with the content of the cells is given into the bottle. The bottle is hit several times on its bottom. What would you expect? I would expect a process of sedimaentation where the bigger parts reacht the ground and the smaller parts will take longer to settle down and be still more towards the top of the bottle after the process. The hit ob the bottle to the leather ground could act a little like a cetrifuge (OK, very little).

        Now look what she does with the bottle: The bottle is placed on the desk in front of here for a few moments (chance for sedimentaion!). She takes the fluid for the next run with a simple pipette from a region close to the ground at the bottle (but not directly at the ground). Now she takes the pipette and the solution with in is kept in a way that again sedimentation can be effective. The next drops will come from the very bottom of the fluid column inside the pipette.

        Edit: I just saw that they used a different bottle for giving the droplets in that film than in one I have seen before – thus, sedimentation may not be active to the extend I expected. However, even if the bottle is hold bottom up, the more heavy parts will come out first.

        This procedure happens again and again. Being scientist, I would not expect a process of solving but a process of concentrating molecules of a certain sedimentation property and cleaning of this fraction.

        I would most likely expect DNA fragments of roughly defined size being transfered this way. That’s an expectation based on what I see in the video. I know I have no prove. However, I would like to get it.

        These thought are just about remedies that come from biological material – not for anorganic substances.

        I do expect that the idea of continuous solution does not work the way they claim. And for this reason the critics about this matter bocomes questionable.

        The simile principle comes from the idea that the organism receives some information given a hint on a thread (this could work with DNA fragments) and activate internal processes to fight against the threat or prepare itself for a fight against it. Working in toxicology with very small concentrations we often observe an effect caused hormesis. This happens even more often than one would expect. We don’t know the reason for sure – however I could imagine, that a similar process is triggered: the body starts to fight agains the threat and becomes more active and vital.

        I don’t know what they have searched for when analysing content of homeopathic remedies. I would not expect very small particles as they should stay in the top alcohol column of th bottle. I would also not expect very heavy particles – but something in between. Most likely DNA (maybe also RNA) fragements of a crtain size. Don’T know if anybody has already searched for them PCR would be a nice method to get information on it the quick way.

        The prove of therapeutic effects is another problem. These substances are not used like classic pharmaceutic products. They don’t fingth against anything, they dont’ want to cure a certain problem directly but by activating the body to do it on its own. This needs more time, therapy should start more early – and there is no general remedy for a single problem but the entire organism has to be seen as entity.

        The other problem is that homeopathy suffers from a mantra that it does not work since almost 100 years. We know the presence of placebo effect. We also know that there is something like a nocebo effect where even medicine with known capability fails as the recipients of the medicine are briefed that the medicine does not work. Maybe they better take tablet form instead of globuli for a fair study and don’t mention the homeopathy approach.

        • Dear Holger,
          You appear to miss the point here: even the most thorough analysis of homeopathic ‘remedies’ consistently finds no molecules, apart from the solvent (or sugar, in the case of globuli) and its normal contaminants. There are no DNA fragments or other complex or information-bearing molecules, or any other ‘structures’ that may have a specific effect on human health.

          But even if there were a few DNA fragments in homeopathic preparations, so what? When we eat, we ingest HUGE amounts of DNA fragments WITH EVERY SINGLE BITE. And yes, these fragments contain (genetic) information, not only from the original organism (e.g. lettuce, or chicken), but also from countless moulds, bacteria and viruses that are all around us and have ended up on the food.
          Those DNA fragments are broken down in our intestinal tract, and contribute to the nutritional value of our food in the form of amino acids (although this nutritional value is very small, as DNA makes up only a tiny fraction of the nutritional mass of said lettuce or chicken).

          However, our body does exactly NOTHING with the actual genetic information in what we ingest, regardless whether it is normal food, or just shaken water (or sugar pellets) with a few bits of DNA in it. And this is a Good Thing indeed, otherwise every meal would not just be nutritious, but also akin to eating the contents of a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

          So sorry Holger, interesting as your ideas may sound, they are not compatible with reality. Homeopathy has a placebo effect at best, and that means that we can do away with it – because as you correctly mention at the end, people can experience placebo and nocebo effects already from simple, inert pills (big, brightly coloured capsules appear to work especially well).
          So why stick to all those silly rituals and long-obsolete concepts? The only reason that I can think of is because homeopaths make money by making people feel better. But they can’t make people better.

        • @ Holger

          – you don’t seem to grasp that ultimately at very high dilutions matter ceases to be divisible. You are aware of the problem of the molecular structure of the compounds that are allegedly dissolved in a homeopathic solution? e.g. arsenic or whatever?
          Even if you were to argue that the molecular structure is somehow magically broken down by the magic of succussion then it is at least finally indivisible by its atomic structure.

          SO allow me to explain how this ultradilution DESCENDS into sheer lunacy. Oscillococcinum a very popular homeopathic remedy which is allegedly at a potency of 200C -i.e.diluted at 10 to the power of 400.
          This is an extraordinary feat since there are only 10 to the power of 84 atoms IN THE ENTIRE OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE!
          Yet there are thousands of bottles of this stuff sold all the time.

          How is this miracle achieved? Is succussion really powerful enough to achieve nuclear fission in a vial?
          Or is a more likely explanation that homeopaths are just out of their tiny minds?

          “The simile principle comes from the idea that the organism receives some information given a hint on a thread (this could work with DNA fragments) and activate internal processes to fight against the threat or prepare itself for a fight against it”

          NO – the similia principle comes from Hahnemann’s embrace of the magical thinking that a “remedy” that caused symptoms similar to a particular medical condition would be useful in the “treatment” of that condition. There is absolutely NO reason to suppose that this would be true – that is why it is magical thinking. It is illogical and irrational and it has never been demonstrated to have any basis in fact.

          Equally your interpretation of it above is also without foundation or evidence. For someone arguing so strongly in favour of homeopathy you seem to be strangely badly informed about it.

          You again argue that hormesis is relevant to homeopathy – don’t you even read the replies to your posts? You might actually learn something! Please see above where I explained to you why hormesis does not make homeopathy true!
          You claim to be a scientist yet you are plainly incapable of absorbing facts or understanding the simplest logical explanations or of changing your opinion when it is contradicted by better information. That would indicate you have a fixed mindset that is impervious to logical argument and facts.

          ” These substances are not used like classic pharmaceutic products. They don’t fingth against anything, they dont’ want to cure a certain problem directly but by activating the body to do it on its own.”

          This and much else of your screed is just wild speculation with no evidence or basis in fact. Your fantastical musings are not a substitute for scientific research, a viable hypothesis or actual evidence. Can you not see that?

          Do you not understand that the human body takes in vast quantities of these sorts of substances through ingestion, inhalation etc every single day – so why are they not already having all kinds of therapeutic and noxious effects on us all the time? How would the body know to react differently to a piece of DNA or RNA or a certain molecule just because it has been “blessed” by a homeopath rather than just ingested as part of a sandwich?

          For a “scientist” you don’t think things through very much do you?
          May I suggest that you go back and actually READ the responses to your wildly irrational and unscientific musings and try to absorb why they are so far off the mark? Just because YOU believe them does not make them so. You seem to have immersed yourself in the beliefs of homeopathy without in fact understanding very much about it – and have just invented your own variation of it which is equally as ridiculous and unscientific and evidence free.

          HOMEOPATHY (AND YOUR VARIATION OF IT) IS PURE PSEUDOSCIENTIFIC NONSENSE!
          There is no reliable evidence that it can be used to treat any condition.
          Any effects is does have are pure placebo. This is NOT an adequate excuse for its use under any circumstances as it merely encourages belief in pseudoscience and confuses public perceptions.

  • The Centre for Homeopathic Education (CHE) has featured in news reports before. They hosted the premiere of the film VAXXED in rooms rented from Regents College. As a result, Regents College terminated their contract with the CHE. It is interesting to note that various homeopaths and their association publicly expressed support for CHE.

    The BSc degree validated by Middlesex University was closed to new entrants some time ago. It isn’t clear if the VAXXED business was the reason but it is unlikely to have helped. The degree is part time and notionally 4 years in duration although it is expected that some students will for various reasons take longer. However, the number of students who are yet to complete the BSc degree is likely very low. It is inferred from various sources of evidence that the numbers of those studying homeopathy has dropped considerably compared to the mid 2000s.

    Those few students affected by the Middlesex University decision to severe ties with the CHE may have some legal recourse against CHE but it seems unlikely that a homeopathy student would grasp that CHE screwed up and would likely blame Middlesex University for their BSc grinding to a halt. Of course, they can still obtain the meaningless CHE “licentiate”.

    Neals Yard Remedies (NYR) have a long and ugly history of renting out “therapy rooms” to all sorts of homeopaths including those that offered homeoprophylaxis for malaria. They have had issues with the MHRA over the sale of unapproved homeopathic remedies.

    It’s all very well for representatives of NYR to say that they fully support the COVID vaccination programme but this seems a little rich when their website advertising the services of militant anti-vaxxers and anti-lockdown homeopaths. Selling expensive bubblebath is one thing but providing space for people who actively seek to undermine public health measures completely another.

    • @ UK Homeopathy Regulation

      Neal’s Yard has history for selling homeopathic “anti-malarials” and tying themselves into a pretzel trying to defend it.
      Their defence of homeopathy in various guises is sickening.

      They deserve a mass boycott for damage to public health.

      • @John travis:
        You wrote: “They deserve a mass boycott for damage to public health.”

        I don’t know to which extend there is a sameness between people refusing vaccination and using homeopathy.
        At least I am a person, who does not fit with this scheme.

        We expect herd immunity at about 70% of the population having antibodies. Do you think, that there are more than 30% of people who would refuse vaccination? I can hardly imagine something like that. And we can expect, that from those people who refuse vaccination. a certain part will get their antibodies from becoming ill from the disease.

        I am pretty sure that it is impossible to ruin a heath system by neglecting its offers.

        This view has nothing to do with understanding or supporting their position. It’s simply a thought on possible consequences, which makes me calm down and let them go.

        • @ Holger

          but you are! earlier you said:

          “However, it makes me feel sad, that maybe some people who get vaccinated lately would have get healed or at least would not have to be treated in hospital, if there was a remedy they or the experts they trusted in neglected, as they were more misslead by means of a politically supercharged discussion. And if homeopathy should be nothing but Placebo, maybe it was the placbo that was missing to safe their life. We know that psychology has a deep imapct on the way an organism fights against a harm …”

          Neals Yard promotes pseudoscientific homeopathic nonsense in place of treatments that actually work, confusing and misinforming their clientele – for profit. All this anti-science misinformation comes at a cost to society at large. AS does the nonsense that you are spouting.

          • @John travis: Would you support treatment with Placebo in cases where classic medicine has no cure?
            The response of different people to Covid 19 infections is diverse with a wide field of options. The believe that you body has a cure or a treatment will help is substantial to the power of the immunsystem to resist. Even if having no more effect than just Placebo effect, Homeopathy could help. You also could give sugar pills in an expensive looking package. No matter how people get their placebo – in my opinion they should get one!
            Homeopathy is not dangeous in terms of side effects. Thus, I see no problem of giving it to those, where traditional medicine has no cure.

          • @ Holger

            you are utterly clueless! did you not understand what I set out above?

            – firstly is entirely unethical to dispense medication to patients under the guise that it is a real treatment when in fact is it is a useless placebo. At least ethical conventional doctors with integrity consider that to be the case.
            It is LYING to your patient! I know homeopaths have no problem with this – but real doctors do as a rule.

            – secondly you seem to be under the impression that placebos somehow have a predictable and consistent effect that is known in advance – this is WRONG! Much of the placebo effect is a statistical anomaly – e.g. regression to the mean an effect that would be pretty useless for fighting Covid-19.
            In any event any “psychological” effect which you are imagining placebos to have on the immune system to fight Covid-19 is entirely unknown, unpredictable, would likely be highly variable between subjects, would likely be highly be highly inconsistent and as far as I am aware there is no research evidence of any such effect except in your imagination.

            – thirdly placebos have only been demonstrated reliably to affect “perceptions” or symptoms – e.g. pain, nausea etc. There is no reliable evidence of placebos affecting disease states or biochemistry. This rather limits their usefulness beyond symptomatic treatment.
            It is therefore a giant stretch to imagine that placebos could somehow magically treat Covid-19! Where have you dragged this miracle up from? It is entirely without any scientific basis in fact. It would be wholly unethical and wrong.

            I find that you would even speculate upon such a notion yet further evidence that you are no scientist. You seem to have not the slightest clue about placebos or their workings.

            “Homeopathy is not dangerous” – yes it is. People who have been lied to and think they have received “treatment” for Covid-19 or have received a homeopathic “vaccine” may very well act differently and take fewer precautions with PPE and social distancing etc than if they had not – thus exposing themselves to infection.
            Furthermore treating people with pseudoscientific nonsense sustains the public belief in this arrant rubbish that is SCAM and further undermines public trust and knowledge in real science. So any course of action that gives the public cause to believe that homeopathy has any basis in fact is to be actively discouraged.
            THERE IS NO PLACE FOR HOMEOPATHY IN ANY MEDICAL SITUATION – PERIOD.

            The use of placebos for treating illness is problematic for ethical reasons.

            “Homeopathy could help.”

            NO IT COULDN’T!! Haven’t you read a single word that i have written? Please go back and try reading it. Do you have trouble with comprehension skills?
            Homeopathy is irrational nonsense.
            It is contrary to established scientific laws and empirical evidence.
            Cochrane and the UK NHS have determined that there is NO evidence that it can treat ANY disease.
            IT IS UTTERLY USELESS NONSENSE.
            Homeopaths labour under a delusional belief system that is immune to reason and evidence – are you admitting that this description fits you as well? In that case you are most certainly NOT a scientist.

            Homeopathy needs to be consigned to the scrapheap of history as a curious historical anomaly. It has NO place in 21st century medicine. It is delusional.

          • @Holger

            Homeopathy is not dangeous in terms of side effects. Thus, I see no problem of giving it to those, where traditional medicine has no cure.

            This is fallacious reasoning:
            – Homeopathy does not work better than placebo. This generally means that it involves deception, and that already is an ethical no-no in medicine.
            – Homeopathy costs money, sometimes – when a homeopath is involved – a significant amount of money (several hundreds of euros and upwards for a few consults + ‘remedies’). Taken together with the previous point, one could argue that this constitutes fraud.
            – Placebo effects of any alternative treatment, homeopathy included, can mask the seriousness or exacerbation of a condition, putting the patient at unnecessary risk. I recall a 3-arm trial where asthma patients received either acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or the preventive standard of care (inhaled corticosteroids). Patients in all three groups reported subjective improvement, suggesting that acupuncture was effective to a certain degree. However, objective measurements of the functioning of the airways and lungs (FEV1 IIRC) showed that the first two groups had a significantly diminished lung function, and were therefore at an increased risk of a severe, potentially deadly asthma attack.
            – One could make the same case for literally ANY other unproven treatment, e.g. shamanistic rituals, reiki (or any other type of hand waving), arbitrary herbal concoctions, intercessory prayer … so why suggest homeopathy? Acupuncture even appears to be better at evoking placebo effects than homeopathy, so that should then be the first choice …

          • John,

            Much of the placebo effect is a statistical anomaly – e.g. regression to the mean an effect that would be pretty useless for fighting Covid-19

            While I agree with much of what you say, I should point out that placebo effects are not statistical effects such as regression to the mean but occur in addition to them, which is why they need to be specifically controlled for in clinical trials.

          • Dr Julian Money-Kyrle

            well I think it’s fair to say that the “placebo effect” is the difference between a group receiving an active treatment and another matched group receiving an inert treatment where both groups believe there is an equal possibility of receiving the active treatment. and this is really how the whole thing started from an RCT perspective.

            there are some researchers who do actually argue that the placebo effect beyond the statistical effects are minimal.
            However there are undoubted psychological effects in that injections work better than tablets and some studies have shown that the colour of tablet makes a difference etc.
            But this “placebo effect” is highly variable between individuals and is unreliable.

            Some researchers have claimed that placebos work even when patients are told it is a placebo (Ted Kaptchuk) but there are all kinds of issues with his credentials and his studies are highly dubious in terms of what patients were actually told (high expectations) so in my view that position is unproven.

            But my point really is that the generally taken view of “placebo effect” is nothing like as straightforward as most people take it to be.

            As for placebo effect and regression to the mean – see here:

            https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6369471/

        • We expect herd immunity at about 70% of the population having antibodies

          The level of herd immunity required to prevent exponential growth of an infection is the reciprocal of a number known as R0, which represents the number of people each case infects without additional measures taken to prevent it spreading. R (not R0) has been substantially reduced by Lockdown, washing hands, wearing masks etc. and is currently below 1 in the UK, hence the reduction in the number of cases.

          R0 for coronavirus at the beginning of the pandemic was about 3, which is where the figure of 70% protection required for herd immunity comes from. By comparison the R0 for measles, say, is about 20, which means that 95% immunity is required.

          However, the new variants which are now largely responsible for most new cases are rather more infectious than the original strain, so R0 is going up – the level of immunity required to end the pandemic is therefore greater. Furthermore, there are some individuals (probably including myself – I am immunocompromised due to a haematological malignancy) in whom the vaccine may give very little protection and who are therefore reliant upon everybody else being vaccinated.

          Furthermore, although the vaccines have been shown to be very effective in preventing serious illness and death, it is not yet clear to what extent they prevent transmissable infection, and while it seems likely that they do, there is no reason to expect them to be 100% effective at this.

          For these reasons, the proportion of people who need to be vaccinated in order to end the pandemic and allow return to normal life is probably rather more than 70%, although I don’t know how much more.

          Furthermore, as long as the virus is able to circulate among unvaccinated populations, new and potentially more transmissible or more virulent mutations will continue to emerge, with the potential to infect even those with immunity against earlier strains. For this reason it is very important that the vaccines are rolled out as soon as possible to the whole world.

          In the UK our Government’s strategy of initially targeting those most vulnerable to serious illness has paid off in reducing hospitalisation and death, but for long-term control of the pandemic it would be more effective to target those most likely to spread the infection until it becomes possible to vaccinate everybody.

        • John,

          I have followed your link, though it is only to the abstract of the paper. I am a bit worried about the statement: “regression can yield sizeable improvements, even among biochemical tests” which makes me wonder how much the authors understand about the phenomenon. Regression to the mean affects EVERYTHING that is subject to random influences, so of course it applies to biochemical tests, just as it applies to the height of children born to unusually tall or short parents, and changes in the price of shares on the stock market.

          More relevant to clinical trials, regression to the mean affects treatment as well as control groups.

          I am sure that the placebo effect is stronger in some individuals than others, and also depends upon the condition treated and the treatment used, but thirty years of clinical practice have not given me any reason to doubt its existence. Certainly managing patients’ expectations is a key part of oncology practice – if somebody believes that a cytotoxic drug will make them vomit then there is very little that you can do to prevent it from happening, for instance, and the reduction in anxiety when someone in pain knows that they have taken a dose of morphine clearly reduces their pain long before the drug itself has had time to be absorbed and take effect.

          I certainly agree with you that it is a complex and variable phenomenon, and not one which should be relied upon alone for therapeutic effect.

      • Weleda are worse in some ways. Many people don’t know it’s an anthroposophic company and if they do they don’t always appreciated what anthroposophy is.

        Both NYR and Weleda have direct sales schemes.

  • This debate has shown me several things, including:

    Some excellent arguments have been presented, which clearly explain the many failings of homeopathy and the lack of evidence at every level, for plausibility, or demonstrable effects.

    Supporters of homeopathy usually have a very poor understanding of science, logic and critical thinking, Their responses to challenges rarely address points raised.

    I more that ever agree with the oft quoted maxim that you can’t reason someone out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into. In this regard it really does look like a belief system akin to a religion.

    I have seen concerns over the ethical standards of many homeopaths expressed regulalry. Even a cursory reading of comments on this site, on the subject of homeopathy, suggest that is a valid concern, as exampled by the homeopaths themselves. Including the shocking admission in a public forum of scientific fraud. Contrary to what they often proclaim, their own words often reveal a lack of real empathy for their victims, I won’t dignify their charade with the word “patients”. Their dogma trumps empathy. It is encouraging to see real empathy, and real critical analysis from many commenters. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Comments

Note that comments can be edited for up to five minutes after they are first submitted but you must tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”

The most recent comments from all posts can be seen here.

Archives
Categories