After all these years, I am still fascinated by what proponents of homeopathy try to tell others about their trade. Recently I found a long article in this vein. It is aimed at an audience of HEILPRAKTIKER and their patients. It should therefore be responsible, thorough, and evidence-based (yes, I am an optimist).
“With this article”, the authors state, “we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of homeopathy and help people make informed decisions about their health. Whether you already have experience with homeopathy or simply want to inform yourself, we hope that this article will provide you with valuable insights and information” (my translation).
Here I present to you just the relatively short section dedicated to the ‘pros and cons’ of homeopathy. Here we go:
Advantages of homeopathy:
- Holistic approach: homeopathy considers the human being as a whole and takes into account both physical and emotional aspects. It aims to support individual balance and the body’s self-healing powers.
- Gentle and non-invasive treatment: Homeopathic remedies are usually taken as globules, drops, or tablets and are therefore easy and convenient to use. They rarely cause side effects and are generally well tolerated.
- Individualized treatment: In homeopathy, each patient is considered unique and treatment is based on individual symptoms and characteristics. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, but a personalized approach.
- Support for chronic diseases: Homeopathy can be an alternative or complementary treatment for chronic conditions where conventional medicines offer limited relief. It can help improve quality of life and promote overall well-being.
Limitations of homeopathy:
- Placebo effect: Much of the effect of homeopathy is attributed to the placebo effect. It is argued that the improvements patients experience occur because of belief in the efficacy of the remedies and positive expectations, rather than due to a specific effect of the diluted substances.
- Lack of scientific evidence: The scientific evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy is limited and controversial. Many studies have failed to demonstrate benefits beyond the placebo effect. There is a lack of well-conducted randomized controlled trials that clearly show the effectiveness of homeopathy.
- Delay or rejection of conventional treatments: In some cases, the choice of homeopathy as the sole method of treatment may lead to delays in the diagnosis and timely treatment of serious or acute illnesses. It is important that serious illnesses are examined by a doctor and treated appropriately.
- Difficulties in standardization: Homeopathy involves a variety of remedies used in different potencies and dilutions. This makes standardization and the conduct of reproducible studies difficult. There are also controversial debates about whether the dilutions go beyond the extent to which molecules of the original substance are still present.
I am sure that you have heard the BS about the alleged advantages of homeopathy often enough. Therefore, I will here not bother to comment on them again. More interesting, in my view, are the limitations of homeopathy, as seen by its proponents. Please allow me, therefore, to discuss them briefly.
- The authors state that “it is argued that the improvements patients experience occur because of belief in the efficacy of the remedies and positive expectations”. This sounds as though this is a mere aberrant opinion or at least an ongoing debate amongst scientists. In fact, it is the scientific consensus supported by tons of evidence.
- This is the same point expressed differently.
- The admission that “the choice of homeopathy as the sole method of treatment may lead to delays in the diagnosis and timely treatment” is yet another way of stating that homeopathy is not effective. What is, however, not expressed clearly enough, in my view, is the fact that homeopathic treatment usually amounts to medical neglect which is unethical and can cause serious harm, in extreme cases even death.
- It is not true that the range of potencies renders “the conduct of reproducible studies difficult”. There are plenty of examples to demonstrate this, for instance, this study. “There are also controversial debates about whether the dilutions go beyond the extent to which molecules of the original substance are still present.” Yes, I did translate this correctly. I am sorry to say that this sentence does make no sense in German or in English.
What I find particularly interesting is that the authors do not mention disadvantages that non-homeopaths would rate as quite important, e.g.:
- The assumptions of homeopathy fly in the face of science.
- Hahnemann strictly forbade homeopathy to be combined with ‘allopathy’ (yet proponents now claim this option to be an advantage).
- Treating a patient with homeopathy violates even the most basic rules of medical ethics.
- Homeopaths have no choice but to lie to their patients on a daily basis.
- Many homeopaths have the nasty habit of advising their patients against using effective treatments, e.g. vaccinations.
- Homeopathy undermines rational thinking in a general way.
In summary, the authors’ “aim to provide a comprehensive overview of homeopathy and help people make informed decisions about their health” has not been reached.
Seven Reasons Homœopathy is Not Placebo Effect
1. Homeopathic remedies work on babies, animals, plants and people in a coma. Biodynamic farmers use homeopathic remedies to repel pests and treat plant diseases. Some organic ranchers rely on homeopathic remedies to treat their herds. Some “placebo by proxy” effect has been shown for children but its doubtful that it could be shown for a herd of cattle or crops in a field. Farmers can’t rely on wishful thinking to stay in business.
2. The correct curative remedy will initially cause a worsening of the condition being cured if it is given in too strong (i.e. too dilute) a dose. A placebo might only cause a temporary improvement of the condition being treated; certainly not an aggravation.
3. One can do a “proving” of an unknown homeopathic remedy by taking it repeatedly over several days and it will temporarily cause symptoms that one has never experienced previously – symptoms it will cure in a sick person. This is a repeatable scientific experiment used to determine the scope of a new remedy, or confirm the effects of an already proven remedy. A placebo might possibly have an effect if the individual taking it has been “prepared” by being told what they are taking but it likely wouldnt match previously recorded symptoms in the literature.
4. One can treat simple acute (self-limiting) conditions (e.g. minor burns, minor injuries, insect bites, etc.) and see unusually rapid cures with homeopathic remedies. A placebo might only cause a temporary improvement of the condition being treated while taken. Placebos have been found mostly effective in conditions with a strong psychological component like pain.
5. One can get homeopathic treatment for long term chronic (non self-limiting) conditions and see a deep lasting cure, as has been documented clinically for a couple centuries. A placebo might only cause a temporary partial improvement of the condition being treated while the placebo is being taken.
6. There is over 200 years worth of extensive documentation from around the world, of the clinical successes of homeopathy for both acute and chronic conditions of all types. As Dr Hahn has said you have throw out 90% of the evidence to conclude that homeopathy doesnt work. The Sheng et al meta-analysis in 2005 Lancet that was supposedly the death knell of homeopathy used only 8 studies, excluding hundreds of others. Unsurprisingly homeopathy was found wanting. So-called Skeptics see what they want to see in the science. There is relatively little documentation of placebo usage. A few recent studies have been done showing the limited temporary benefits of placebos.
7. Homeopathic remedies have been shown to have a very weak electromagnetic signature and contain some nano-particles. Some believe this explains their mechanism. An exciting new potential field of research is the subtle cell signalling that has been found to direct the development of stem cells. Scientists have created double-headed planeria worms and this trait has been found to be inherited by their offspring without any change in the genes or epigenetics. Until now we had no idea how a single fertilized ovum could evolve into a complex creature that is bilateral and has multiple cell types. It is possible that the very subtle electromagnetic signature or some other unknown effect of homeopathic remedies is effecting this subtle cell signalling.
Every conventional drug has “side effects” that match the symptoms for which it is indicated! Aspirin can cause headaches and fever, ritalin can cause hyperactive effects, radiation can cause cancer. Conventional doctors are just practicing bad homeopathy. They are prescribing Partially similar medicines. If their drugs were homeopathic (i.e. similar) to the patients symptoms on all levels they would be curative. Radiation sometimes does cure cancer instead of just suppressing it per usual.
Dr Hahneman did forbid mixing homeopathy and conventional medicine. In his day doctors commonly used extensive blood letting and extreme doses of mercury. Its not Quite as bad now.
Just because we dont know how extremely dilute homeopathic remedies work, doesn’t discount that they Do work. Homeopathy seems to fly in the face of Known science. In no way is it irrational or unscientific. There are lots of phenomena in the universe that cant be explained yet, like dark energy and dark matter effects and even consciousness!
There seems to be a principle that the longer the comment the less value it carries. Also you have forgotten the rule on this blog. Please provide evidence for your claims.
Well, Mr. Leonardo di Vinci, why did you select such an awful frame for your painting?
Instead of referencing any statement that Stan has written, you instead refer to meaningless length of his statement! THAT is such a perfect “placebo” response that means absolutely nothing. Thanx for verifying that you’ve got NOTHING!
I challenge ANYONE here who is a clinician to provide only placeboes during a week of clinical treatment…and see what little benefits you provide your patients. In comparison, as the LANCET once noted, there are 100 million people in India who rely upon homeopathy for ALL of their medical care needs. In comparison, your little week of “placeboes” won’t even get close to matching what homeopaths do every day and provide real and positive results to people with all types of medical care concerns.
do you really think that this is an argument?
how about some convincing evidence?
Mr Ullman, please explain why you told an outrageous lie in this blog. You said that you had ‘many times’ answered the question put to you 64 times by me and several times by others. In fact you have not answered once. Why did you lie about this?
Several reasons why you are wrong:
No, they do not work in any real sense. There are several far more plausible mechanisms than a mysterious, so far unproven ‘water memory’ to explain improvements observed after administering homeopathy. Occam’s Razor dictates that these simpler explanations have precedence over any magical explanations:
Regression to the mean. Given time, most conditions resolve or improve all by themselves.
Candy! Babies and small children respond positively to homeopathic ‘remedies’ because it is basically candy. (I also describe this in my book.)
Expectation bias. When people expect to see improvement, they will see it in the tiniest details.
Beneficial attention. Especially social animals respond well to caring attention.
And there are even more mechanisms at work here, e.g. social reciprocity (i.e. patients will respond in a positive way to a practitioner with a positive attitude, even if there is no actual progress).
“Black = white”. Basically, homeopaths claim that ANY change is a sign that their magic ‘works’. This is of course a lie to keep their gullible customers’ spirits up even if they don’t get better at all, in order to keep bilking them for serious amounts of money. Incidentally, a friend of my family was killed by a homeopath this way.
This is not true. There is no scientific research at all confirming what you claim here.
This is not true. There is no scientific research at all confirming what you claim here.
This is not true. There is no scientific research at all confirming what you claim here.
The very opposite is true. One has to if reject or ignore a large part of scientific progress over the past centuries in order to ‘prove’ that homeopathy works. The far more plausible option is that homeopathy does not in fact work.
This is not true. So far, literally no-one has ever succeeded in distinguishing a homeopathic dilution 12C or higher from just the diluent.
This is called contamination (which is basically inevitable, as even the purest water will always contain or get contaminated by other molecules), or (if those ‘nano-particles’ are in fact the base material) sloppy work. If you perform thirty serial 1:100 dilutions in order to create a 30C preparation, and afterwards you find e.g. 10 nanograms of the base substance in 1 millilitre of end product, then in fact you do not have a 30C dilution, but a 4C dilution (10 parts per billion). However, even those 10 nanograms will not have any medicinal effects whatsoever.
This is an incorrect statement. There is no good evidence that homeopathy actually works. Given that homeopathy’s premises are hugely implausible in the face of our current scientific knowledge, this evidence should be really solid and repeatable before homeopathy can be accepted as a viable form of medicine. What we see is the opposite: homeopathy trials (and especially the higher-quality ones) come up negative most of the time, and any positive results are usually one-off as well as tiny, suggesting that the outcome is just statistical noise. All this apart from several other good explanations for any perceived effects (see above) that do not require ‘water memory’ and other so far unproven mechanisms.
Stan, you’re right! The “work” of homeopaths actually works beyond the placebo effect!
😂 😂 😂
Would it be financially better to give up the license as a doctor and retrain as a shaman or naturopath? It works!
💶 💶 💶
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👉 Blood glucose determination by a doctor á 1.5 €
👉 Carrying out the complete medical examination with repertorization according to the rules of classical homeopathy € 15.40 to 41€
Durchführung des vollständigen Krankenexamens mit Repertorisation nach den Regeln der klassischen Homöopathie
€ 15,40 bis 41
👉 Psychiatric interview, psychiatric treatment, counselling, discussion and/or clarification, duration at least 10 minutes, As a single treatment, á 17,70 €
Nope, it used 110 trials of homeopathy and 110 matched trials of real medicine. It then looked at how restricting the analysis to only higher-quality trials affected the results of the analysis.
The claims in support of homeopathy provided here are pseudoscientific and unsupported by robust scientific evidence.
The argument that homeopathic treatments work on babies, animals, and plants is ill-founded and deluded. Real science demands control groups and double-blind trials, not simply anecdotal stories or speculative correlations. The “placebo by proxy” effect is nothing more than wishful thinking.
The claim that the right homeopathic remedy will initially worsen a condition is simply absurd. There are no solid scientific studies to back up this assertion. It’s a deceptive spin on the natural ebb and flow of disease symptoms.
A “proving” is, by scientific standards, a joke. The method lacks rigor, controls, and is ripe for bias. This isn’t science, it’s a glorified anecdote collection.
The claim that homeopathy can quickly cure acute conditions is ridiculous. Conditions cited, like minor burns or insect bites, resolve naturally over time. Crediting homeopathy for this is just another deception, confusing natural healing with supposed treatment effectiveness.
The idea that homeopathy can effectively treat chronic conditions is pure fantasy. Anecdotal reports are not the same as proper scientific studies. Misinterpreting a placebo effect for genuine healing is misguided and potentially dangerous, diverting patients from seeking legitimate medical treatments.
The wealth of so-called documentation of homeopathy’s successes is a mirage. Most of it lacks scientific rigor, and the rest can be dismissed as poorly conducted studies riddled with biases. High-quality studies showing a significant positive effect of homeopathy are virtually non-existent.
The proposition that homeopathic remedies have an electromagnetic signature or contain nanoparticles is pure conjecture. This is a desperate attempt to attribute some pseudo-scientific explanation to an outdated belief system that contradicts the fundamental principles of physics and chemistry. Trying to compare it to mysteries like dark energy or consciousness is a cheap attempt to borrow credibility from actual scientific enigmas.
The misguided view that conventional drugs’ side effects prove homeopathy’s principles is fundamentally flawed. It shows a severe misunderstanding of basic pharmacology and the actual science behind these medications.
Comparing homeopathy to historical harmful practices is irrelevant and a desperate distraction from the glaring lack of proof of homeopathy’s efficacy. Modern medicine is based on evidence, not guesswork.
The concluding sentiment, “just because we don’t know how homeopathic remedies work, doesn’t discount that they do work,” is a tragic surrender to ignorance. In science, we demand evidence. We do not capitulate to unproven claims, particularly when they fly in the face of established scientific understanding. For homeopathy to be taken seriously, it needs to deliver convincing, replicable evidence, not baseless assertions or desperate grasping at poorly understood scientific phenomena. Until that time, these claims are nothing more than wishful thinking dressed up as science.
Actually, it is the piss-poor metaanlayses that suggest no difference between homeopathy and placebo. To date, no one has disputed the evidence that I have provided here: https://www.cureus.com/articles/62105-an-analysis-of-four-government-funded-reviews-of-research-on-homeopathic-medicine#!/
In comparison, the most comprehensive systematic review of clinical and basic sciences research, funded by the government of Switzerland, found significant benefits from homeopathic treatment.
STOP the lies that there is “no scientific evidence that homeopathic medicines can be beneficial.”
Oh Dana, you would not recognise a good meta-analysis if it bit you in the arse!
To do one you need training which you don’t have.
You need to be independent which you (or the Swiss group you mention) are not.
There is evidence – which I will discuss in 2 days – to show that independence is crucial.
PLEASE DON’T WAFFLE ABOUT STUFF YOU EVIDENTLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND.
And so, do you think that the Shang metaanalysis was perfect? Or even good?
I know that you KNOW that the Science and Technology Committee’s report on homeopathy was shit-poor…and I know that you KNOW that the “Australian Report” showed POSITIVE results towards homeopathy in its first report and then acknowledged FIVE conditions for which homeopathy has been shown to be beneficial.
So, which country’s reports on homeopathy do YOU base your analysis?
wrong on all accounts!
No Dana. The draft Australian report did. The evidence was evaluated incorrectly. Which is why the actual report said no such thing.
And if you’re happy that the report was good in finding positive evidence for these five conditions, you’ll have to be equally happy that it found homeopathy to be useless on anything else.
You can’t have it both ways, Dana.
This is why you are an ignorant, insignificant clown, Dana.
Mr Ulman, why did you tell an outrageous lie in this Blog? Anyone can see that you did.
You are not to be trusted.
that is putting it mildly!
I put things mildly, but I keep puttin’ ’em!
good on you!
Oh, homeopathic products can absolutely be beneficial – for the bank account of the ones selling these otherwise inert sugar crumbs and bottles of shaken water.
Please come up with studies showing that any homeopathic product 12C+ has substantial beneficial effects in independently repeated experiments.
As long as you fail to do so, we can safely say that there is no scientific evidence that homeopathic products can be beneficial – in a therapeutic sense, that is.
When it received the results of the research it had funded, what decision did the Swiss government make about homeopathy?
There’s only one person on this blog who’s a proven, demonstrable liar and it’s you, Dana.
That’s because nobody has bothered to read the vapid, ignorant bilge you spout. You’re known to be an insignificant lying clown.
How odd that you forget to mention that the ludicrously biased findings of a load of ignorant homeopathy freaks were recognised for the bilge that they were and were consequently ignored by the Swiss government. Strange, that.
Stan (whoever you are),
You are quite right: “Homeopathy is not a placebo effect.”
Homeopathy is a belief system with no evidential base.
And that is what patients must be told if they are to give informed consent to treatment.
Many might like it that way, but practitioners, of all sorts, must act with integrity.
Yes, ‘homeopathy works’ – and its effects, such as they are, are mediated through placebo responses and (IMHO) auto-suggestion – a version of hypnosis, assisted in the case of homeopathy by the attentions of the homeopath.
If you do not agree Stan, please provide references for the various claims you make – as this blog’s masthead politely requests.
Forgiveness! Do you want to delight us with esoteric malice? All browsers report when calling “https://dein-heilpraktiker.com/”:
⚠️ You have tried to access a web page that is in violation of your Internet usage policy. Category Phishing URL https://dein-heilpraktiker.com/ ⚠️
Behind the website “dein-heilpraktiker” is an enterprising web designer!
👆 The “Project Naturopathy” corresponds to the website “dein-heilpraktiker”
🙅♀️ However, this does not relieve healing gurus of their responsibility to spread nonsense.
can you explain what this has to do with the subject of the post?
what was the reason for posting this?
I just wanted to read the healing gurus in the original to find out about the “profound belief system”.
The fact is that healing gurus not only take money out of the pockets of gullible people for useless methods, but also act as cyber criminals.
⚠️ https://dein-heilpraktiker.com/ ⚠️
🤔 Who doesn’t agree with me?
Have you missed my very first sentence?
“After all these years, I am still fascinated by what proponents of homeopathy try to tell others about their trade.”
Daniel Wom constructed the pishing site “dein-heilpraktiker” and offers his services for naturopaths:
However, this does not mean that all other naturopaths act responsibly.
The problem with science-based medicine is that the scientific methods are flawed. Even though the RCT’s are considered to be the “gold standard” … RCTs are far from perfect. RCT’s have many downsides. Not to say that they cannot be valuable, but too much expectation can be given to a drug therapy that has only say… 55% efficacy. It is quite easy to design a RCT that can push a drug efficacy from 45% t0 55%. This can convert a failed drug into a successful drug by simple fraud…. and it happens more than some might believe. This is NOT science; this is business for profit. And this is precisely why failed medicine turns patients towards alternative medicine.
Everybody knows that alternative methods do not have the funding to engage in RCTs, and therefore the science-based medicine crowd (corporations) want to continue the monopoly on modern medicine.
why are you trying to talk about things that you cleary do not understand?
Evidently, I’m not the only one that holds my view.
yes, I know, you are proficient in misinterpreting stuff others wrote
You sound exactly like a creationist who tries to ‘prove’ the truth of their belief by pointing at (perceived) flaws in the theory of evolution.
So what you’re saying is that homeopathy must be accepted because medicine RCTs are not perfect? This is a fallacy called a non sequitur.
And if this is not what you’re saying, then what does your comment have to do with this blog post’s topic?
Evidently, all you are capable of doing is misinterpret and mindlessly regurgitate the stuff you happen to find on the internet.
No one really cares about your delusional rants on SBM. You are confusing this SCAM blog with that of SBM.
lol, I’m the one supplying the “evidence” as the blog heading requests. You and the professor offer nothing other than useless empty retorts.
Refute my evidence for once…. just once.
You tell us the SCAM is useless and harmful because the therapies have not been tested scientifically…. there is the connection to RCT’s…. get it ?
‘RG’ repeatedly demonstrates a profound inability to understand and inability to learn. Examples of their 45%, 55% efficacy nonsense [my bolding]:
You are telling porkies again.
1. We don’t say that SCAM is useless because it has not been tested. We say that it is useless because a) it has been tested and found ineffective, or, b) because it is at the very least evaluated against current scientific knowledge, and found utterly implausible, plus c) no evidence for its efficacy is produced in any way.
2. We don’t say that SCAM is harmful for much the same reasons. SCAM is deemed harmful if there is evidence of harm, e.g. a pretty strong correlation between chiropractic cervical manipulations and stroke, combined with a plausible mechanism. SCAM is also by definition harmful if its practitioners advise patients to forego regular healthcare.
About the claim that the SCAM community can’t do RCTs because of a lack of funds: this is also not true. In the year 2000, just in the UK alone, the gullible audience spent approximately £ 1.6 billion on SCAM. Even diverting just 0.1% of that amount would already be sufficient to fund several high-quality RCTs – every year again.
The real reason why the SCAM world is not interested in doing proper research at all is that it is not in their financial interest at all: they would spend money on research that would very likely show that what they do is mostly useless.
It is far more lucrative for these people to just claim that their treatments are effective without even mentioning evidence (or rather the lack thereof).
You supplied EVIDENCE? Evidence in support of what? I don’t see any in your delusional brain droppings that you so often deposit on this blog.
We are talking about homeopathy in this post and you are talking about how big pharma can exploit RCTs. Connection between the two is glaringly obvious. How did I miss that? 🙃