Imagine you have caught a cold. You think it is not necessary to see a doctor, but you want to take something that helps your body to get better. What is your choice of remedy? There are many options provided by conventional medicine as well as by so-called alternative medicine (SCAM).

Many people opt for SCAM to address health issues or prevent diseases. Yet, the evidence for SCAMs is either lacking or controversial due to methodological weaknesses. Thus, practitioners and patients primarily rely on subjective references rather than credible evidence from systematic research.

This study investigated whether cognitive and personality factors explain the differences in belief in SCAM and homeopathy. The researchers investigated the robustness of 21 predictors when examined together to obtain insights into some key determinants of such beliefs in a sample of 599 participants (60% female, 18-81 years). A combination of predictors explained 20% of the variance in SCAM belief. These predictors were:

  • ontological confusions,
  • spiritual epistemology,
  • agreeableness,
  • death anxiety,
  • gender.

Approximately 21% of the variance in belief in homeopathy was explained by the following predictors:

  • ontological confusions,
  • illusory pattern perception,
  • need for cognitive closure,
  • need for cognition,
  • honesty-humility,
  • death anxiety,
  • gender,
  • age.

The authors concluded that some of the predictors from previous research replicated whereas others did not. Demographics and certain cognitive variables seem to be key determinants associated with beliefs in SCAM and homeopathy. Those individual differences and cognitive biases might result in a different perception of the world. However, variables related to abilities did not predict the beliefs. Thus, they might not be a result of inability but rather of ignorance.

Previous studies have shown that SCAM believers tend to believe in paranormal phenomena and conspiracies. I think that, in the discussion sections of this blog, we have ample evidence for this to be true. Paranormal beliefs are usually built on a magical worldview without reasoned review, which is shared by SCAM proponents. Such beliefs advocate emotional criteria for truth instead of data and logical considerations. Another belief, namely spirituality, is closely related to paranormal beliefs and religiosity and also associated with being a SCAM user. Lindeman found that SCAM belief could be best explained by intuitive reasoning, paranormal beliefs, and ontological confusions, defined as category mistakes in which properties of living and lifeless entities are mixed.

The authors point out that their results do not replicate previous findings that showed predictive value of certain cognitive variables such as cognitive style. An explanation could be that rather inattention to accuracy than the inability to consider empirical evidence fosters the beliefs. People might simply not be aware of the absence of evidence. Another possibility is that people are aware of the absence of evidence but are reluctant to engage with it. Practitioners and patients often claim “whatever works is good” or “the main thing is that it works”. Thus, it is ignorance rather than a lack of capacity to appropriately process the evidence.

The authors of this study are well aware of the limitations of their research:

“As with most cross-sectional studies using questionnaires, our results are based on self-reports. Additionally, single items were used for measuring belief strength. Even if multi-item measures often have advantages, single items can be advantageous in terms of practical benefits, e.g., adapting to subjects’ limited attention and time resources. There are several single item measures successfully used to measure diverse concepts including attitudes. Also, the variance on those items in our sample shows that participants were able to reflect their beliefs and rank them on the scale provided. Another limitation is that the findings are based on regression analyses, which do not provide insight into causality. Thus, the relationship remains correlational. Even if our sample was broader than in many other psychological studies—it was slightly unbalanced, especially in comparison to the German population. It over-represented educated individuals which may lead to an inadequate variation of the cognitive variables if we consider the relationship between cognition and education. However, education and the cognitive variables are only weakly correlated. Thus, it can be assumed that the unbalanced sample did not affect the distribution of cognitive variables to a great extent.”

55 Responses to Why would anyone opt to use so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) and homeopathy?

  • Well I dont know what “magical views” the other several hundred million (300-800 million depending on which estimate) regular users of homeopathy world-wide have. I doubt if you could characterize the millions in India or Mexico or most of the world that use homeopathy in the ways this study has done. I am sure for most its just the medicine that they use. But I will give you my views which verge more on the practical than the magical:.

    I first used it for jet lag and had instantaneous relief from the fatigue, vision disturbance and then from the sleep issues that night.

    Then I went to a practitioner for chronic treatment for the sequelae of allopathic & ayurvedic treatment of dysentery that I had been experiencing for several months. Within about a month I was free of the severe digestive, insomnia, bleeding gums and other issues I had.

    The next major issue was a sprained ankle with a concomitant issue of restlessness that cleared up within about a half an hour after taking the remedy. Following day it was as if it never happened.

    In 1995 I traveled to the Indian state of Maharashtra where I found out later they had a malaria epidemic that killed 10,000 people. I contracted malaria, as diagnosed by a conventional doctor, with the typical 24 hour cycle. I tried to self-treat with homeopathy for three days without success. So I finally went to a homeopathic MD who gave me a remedy, having cured many others before me. Within three days I was symptom free with no relapse, ever.

    During another trip to India I got dysentery from eating a cold egg biryani dish. I suffered with that for a couple weeks until I was able to acquire the right remedy, and cured it over night.

    Since then I have treated myself for multiple 1st & 2nd degree burns (kitchen, sunburn, etc) with immediate success. Pain gone in half an hour. Complete relief the following day.

    Of course I have used Arnica remedy for blunt injury trauma with bruising, on multiple occasions with rapid results; almost like watching time lapse video of the healing.

    I have used homeopathy for many other issues, without suffering from any ontological confusions or death anxiety.

    So any So-called Skeptic can give it a try for themselves. Unfortunately I dont expect many reading this blog to take me up on this challenge. But maybe a few stray readers will wander by who arent so committed to the mechanistic paradigm, who might challenge their beliefs and try it out.

    I would say probably the biggest limitation of the research reported on here is that they limited their inquiry to westerners who are so thoroughly indoctrinated by allopathic mind-set. The only ones willing to step out of that self-imposed mental box are those who have more honest humility and agreeableness.

    • “allopathic mind-set” – sounds as though the indoctrination is on your side!

    • A remarkably similar yarn to that of commentator “Roger” on the article
      Homeopaths should carry public health warnings!

      • The similarity is certainly interesting. Roger said:

        “In India I contracted malaria as diagnosed by a conventional doctor. I had the typical 24 hour cycle and symptoms of malaria. Many others in my location also caught it. I was in the Nashik district of Maharashtra where Asian Business Week reported that 10k people died that year during that epidemic. I went to a homeopathic MD in Nashik city and he gave me one dose of 200c Rhus-tox and was completely cured in 3 days with no relapse to this day.”

        Well now, Den: Assuming you are not Roger, can you provide some further information, by way of evidence?

        1)Were you also prescribed Rhus tox 200c?
        2) Can you provide evidence of the diagnosis by way of a laboratory report showing that you had malarial parasites in your blood.
        3) Can you provide evidence of cure by way of a laboratory report showing that after treatment with Rhus tox 200c you had no malarial parasites in your blood?

        Your claim is so extraordinary, Den, that we will not be able to believe it unless, as requested in the banner at the top of this blog, it is SUPPORTED WITH EVIDENCE.

        Remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs.

        A Nobel prize awaits.

        • All I can say is that a regular non-homeopathic doctor diagnosed the malaria. As you might imagine in India doctors have a lot of experience diagnosing and treating malaria. Many others at the same location received the same diagnosis at the same time. I had the common 24 hour cycle of malaria of aggravation and amelioration with the common symptoms and signs. It was published later that 10K died in that epidemic of malaria in that particular district of Maharashtra, India. I have never had malarial symptoms since three days after taking the dose that the homeopathic physician prescribed. You can accept my evidence if you wish or not. You could also go to India and witness for yourself homeopathic doctors routinely treating equally serious cases. The doctor I worked with had eight different remedies that he had used in that epidemic to cure patients. I am merely encouraging the skeptical to try it for themselves.

          • I am afraid Den that we cannot accept your evidence, as it is not evidence. It is anecdote, testimony.

            Before and after microscope slides of your blood, together with a record of homeopathic dosage might be a beginning of evidence.

            Physician William Withering’s observation about a woman with cardiac insufficiency in the late 1700s was a beginning, but not of itself evidence. Proper, replicated investigation led to the highly significant medicine Digoxin, derived from Foxgloves. There is plenty of evidence for its efficacy.

    • @Den
      If homeopathy works so well, then why does India rank quite low with regard to life expectancy and public health? After all, homeopathy is widespread in India and even has an official status as system of healthcare.

      Here’s an interesting comparison:

      So what happened in China from about 1965 onwards that didn’t happen in India? Answer: China adopted western (‘allopathic’) medicine at a very high pace, resulting in a huge jump in life expectancy – even while Mao’s Great Leap Forward just a few years before caused massive famine, killing up to 45 million people.

      Even now, Indian people still have a relatively low life expectancy, especially in rural areas, where people rely more on traditional medicine and homeopathy:

      So it would appear that homeopathy doesn’t help all that much, and that a more western approach to medicine and living condition makes all the difference …

      • I notice that on this website
        homeopathy in not mentioned at all, despite its prevalence in India, as a factor in improving malaria incidence:

        “The good news is that the World Malaria Report has also documented the remarkable decline in malaria incidence in India, the estimated malaria cases were reduced by 24% in 2017 compared to 2016 and 28% in 2018 compared to 2017.

        In May 2015, the World Health Assembly endorsed the Global Technical Strategy (GTS) for Malaria Elimination 2016-2030, which lays down clear global goals, milestones and targets till 2030. In accordance with the GTS, the Government of India launched the National Framework for Malaria Elimination 2016-2030 in February 2016 and the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination 2017-2022 in July 2017 with WHO support. India has a vision of a malaria free country by 2027 and elimination by 2030. WHO supported the country to accelerate malaria elimination activities in the states as per NSP 2017-2022. WHO’s High Burden to High Impact (HBHI) strategy has been initiated in four high endemic states i.e. West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in July 2019.

        Malaria is entirely preventable and treatable. Use of long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) by people at risk and indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticide to control the vector mosquitoes are useful. Early diagnosis and complete treatment of malaria reduces disease and prevents deaths. It also contributes to reducing malaria transmission. The best available treatment is artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). Increased malaria prevention and control measures have dramatically reduced malaria in India.”

        • Conventional medicine tries to control the narrative in India and in International medical bodies, just as it does in other countries. In the early days the USA medical association, AMA, made it a banish-able offense to consult with a homeopath. One doctor was kicked out for consulting with his wife who was a homeopath.

          Btw, the medicine now used to treat malaria “Artemisinin is extracted from the plant Artemisia annua, sweet wormwood, a herb employed in Chinese traditional medicine.”

          • I know very well about the Artimesia plant and its role in making a new malaria medicine. What has that got to do with homeopathy? There was a very good science documentary here years ago abut the discovery of the chemistry of the Artimesia plant. The team had decided to look into plants used in Chinese medicine to treat malaria. The investigated some TWO HUNDRED different plants, and only in Artimisa did they find a useful new chemical compound. Proper science produced that result, not homeopathy.

          • @den

            ” In the early days the USA medical association, AMA, made it a banish-able offense to consult with a homeopath. One doctor was kicked out for consulting with his wife who was a homeopath.”

            And many thought that the practice of cancelling MD’s was new with the covic pandemic…. lol

      • If we take the average of the estimated number of people using homeopathy worldwide, at say, 500 million. With worldwide population of 8 billion. That means about 6 percent of the world’s population is using homeopathy regularly. If the popularity in india is double, that would only mean 12% of the population is using homeopathy.

        Since conventional medicine is the third leading cause of death in the USA, it must be at least as bad a situation in India with poverty and poor health. I doubt if homeopathy is any more or less popular in the rural areas than in the cities. Certain states have more access to homeopathic doctors than others.

        So I really dont think you can blame homeopathy for the low life expectancy in India. Homeopathy cant overcome poverty and its concomitant effects alone.

    • Hmmmm… That leaves about seven billion that do not use homeopathy.
      Seeing that there is a negative correlation between homeopathy use in popularions and longevity, I think it is a good question how healthy it is 🤓

    • My gosh…some people want to “getcha” if you have the SAME story as in the past OR if you have a DIFFERENT story.

      I guess people at this website distrust anyone and everyone who has had a seemingly positive experience with homeopathy. THAT is the only way that they can imagine “the truth.”

      Gad, imagine if that is way good scientists thought and acted?

      To me, there are many sources of information about what works and doesn’t work…not just randomized placebo controlled clinical trials.

      • I distrust people at this website who tell an outrageous lie on it.

        Why did you tell an outrageous lie about answering my question, Mr. Ullman?

      • Anyone smell burning pants?

        Oh look. Lying Dana’s here again. And is daring to talk about “truth”?

        You brass-necked, grifting buffoon, Ullman. You wouldn’t recognise truth if it bit you on the arse. You’re a witless liar, devoid of moral, scruple or integrity. This is not an ad hom. This is a statement of objective, evidenced fact.

      • Dana Ullman- most people, I guess, look to all sorts of information about treatments for their illnesses or their feeling unwell. Perhaps far less number of people take the time or opportunity to consider the range of evidence or otherwise that could sustain the belief in the benefit of that treatment. If the evidence ( in it’s many guises) is of low quality or absent then it probably wouldn’t be irrational to try out the treatment or substance to see if it ‘works’ , as is claimed by others. BUT when said treatment or substance has been tested in a variety of contexts using the very best devices and methods that scientific practice can devise ( such as a well conducted RCT) and has been shown to have little if any benefit THEN if the recipient of the treatment, if they know of this knowledge, continues to administer it, they are being irrational in their choice. Unfortunately this is a common fault with many people.
        A good example might be, as Edzard mentioned at the beginning of his piece, the treatments for the common cold. As far as I know both conventional and alternative remedies have no benefit ( other than placebo), after a great deal of experimentation, in the course of the common cold in spite of the vast commercial industry that says otherwise, and sells useless ( almost) products.

        • “A good example might be, as Edzard mentioned at the beginning of his piece, the treatments for the common cold. As far as I know both conventional and alternative remedies have no benefit ( other than placebo), after a great deal of experimentation, in the course of the common cold in spite of the vast commercial industry that says otherwise, and sells useless ( almost) products.”

          if I cannot sleep or have a headache because of a common cold, I can do better than taking a homeopathic remedy.

          • Edzard- what ‘remedy’ would you consider suitable for the common cold. The symptoms are more manageable with some suppressive over the counter ‘remedy’ – certainly better than a homeopathic remedy that may contain no measurable active ingredient but I am referring to altering the course of the common cold to shorten it’s duration. No such treatment has been demonstrated after research by the Common Cold Research Unit in Salisbury between 1946 and 1989

          • I am talking of symptomatic treatment

          • Edzard- I know you are writing of symptomatic treatment and I am writing of lack of effective treatment for the viral disease and it’s progression. There is no treatment for this be it conventional or alternative.

          • agreed!
            now, tell me who ever claimed otherwise.

          • Edzard- well you wrote ‘…you want to take something that helps your body get better…..there are many options provided by conventional medicine…as well as SCAM’ So again, and you seem to agree, that there are no medical or other options that help your body get better from the common cold. I believe it to be the immune system that does the trick. Treating symptoms such as a headache or a snotty nose may make you feel better but it is not altering the disease process which the body, with it’s self regulatory processes actually provides the cure ( getting better). There are no known proven medicines that help the body get better from the common cold.

          • A symptomatic therapy helps your body get better; so, what on earth are you rambling on about?

          • Edzard- you’ll have to forgive my ramblings. Just tell what conventional medicine(s) help your body overcome the common cold. Not for all types of symptomatic treatments , just for the common cold. Does ‘help it get better’ mean it shortens the duration of the disease compared with if you take no medicine? If that is the case then you are re-educating me. I would like to see the evidence for that proposition.

          • Just tell what conventional medicine(s) help your body overcome the common cold.
            I said; help your body to get better.
            Are you some sort of a moron?

          • Edzard- I don’t think ‘moron’ covers it. I quoted verbatim the essentials of what you wrote then asked you what ‘helping to get better’ means
            .You insult rather than answer. Do any of your conventional medicines affect ANY physiological process that is known to operate in overcoming the common cold? If you were to have stated that your medications can make you FEEL better while say the immune system is doing it’s work- getting you better- then there is no quarrel. Placebo treatments like homeopathy also can produce these feelings of ‘betterness’ but they do not help get better from the cold! Or is that moronic also?

          • I give up;
            I stated ‘agreed’
            you keep on misquoting me

    • “In 1995 I traveled to the Indian state of Maharashtra where I found out later they had a malaria epidemic that killed 10,000 people” Then, the 10,000 people who died of malaria were not treated with homeopathy? If homeopathy is so popular in India and so effective against this infectious disease, why didn’t those 10,000 people come to it?

  • Of the hundred or so surveys ever conducted on WHO uses homeopathic medicines, virtually every survey found that a primary predictor is that people are MORE EDUCATED than those who don’t use it.

    So, people here might benefit from becoming more educated…and then, you are more likely to use homeopathic medicines.

    In the meantime, your spin on this new study will be fun to watch as you try to explain (with a straight face) that ontological confusion is an objective measure that has meaning across cultures.

    • Mr Ullman,

      Why did you answer me in this Blog with an outrageous lie?

      You lied that you had “many times” answered my respectful question, asked sixty-three times by me, and additional times by others here. You have not answered the question ONCE, and now you have lied outrageously about it.

      You are a good advert for avoiding homeopathy.

      • It is so much fun watching you pretend to be open to hearing about evidence…and yet you ignore it when it is provided.

        And you have ignored that new study published in this material sciences and engineering journal

        And this one:

        And others…

        • Oh another lie.

          We discuss your supposed evidence and show you why it is rubbish. You ignore what is told to you. This is why you are an inconsequential idiot.

          And flapdoodle published by your fellow loons is similarly of no consequence.

        • material sciences and engineering

          Yet another demonstration of your ontological confusion, Mr Ullman. Two previous demonstrations here:

        • Mr Ullman,
          Your comments show you as a liar as well as a rather stupid person. No, you have NOT answered DavidB’ s questions, and no, that paper where a bunch of scientifically incompetent quacks recreated a primitive metal detector does NOT constitute evidence that they can in fact distinguish homeopathic shaken water from ordinary water – they only managed to detect metal particles that were actually present in concentrations of one part per thousand (3X) and higher.
          There is in fact nothing ‘homeopathic’ about what those clowns did, except that they called their metal filings ‘homeopathic medicine’ instead of ‘metal samples’.
          I have explained this to you on at least three occasions, including once with a slightly more extensive analysis (as electromagnetic fields and their interaction with metals are part of my field of expertise). I can only conclude that you deliberately chose to ignore my analysis because the quacks’ narrative fits your system of belief, whereas my analysis shows those homeopaths for the liars and fools that they are.
          In fact, you not only swallowed this utter nonsense hook, line and sinker, but ever since wave this piece of second-hand toilet paper around as if it somehow proves something about homeopathy(*).

          And no, that other paper also proves nothing. When nanoparticles are present, then by definition, you have no homeopathic dilution 12C+ any more, but rather 3C or perhaps 4C (i.e. parts per billion of actual matter, which can be detected using state of the art analytical equipment). You have NEVER shown us evidence that any true homeopathic dilution of 12C and higher can be distinguished from plain water, or has any consistent effects that can be independently replicated.

          Really, I would almost think that you are even completely ignorant about homeopathy …

          *: Which it certainly does: it once again underscores the notion that homeopaths – ALL homeopaths – are gullible fools who are woefully incompetent when it comes to doing actual science.

        • Mr Ullman, why did you tell an outrageous lie on this Blog, claiming to have answered my question many times, when you haven’t answered it once?

  • Den, in the interests of further research, can you let us know, respecting the various health conditions you report having been successfully treated with homeopathic medicines, which medicines were prescribed for each condition, and in what potency?

    • @DavidB
      If you know a very little about homeopathy, which seems probable, then you would know that homeopathic medicines are not prescribed based on conventional medical disease diagnosis.

      Conventional “diseases” and conditions are diagnosed based on a small set of common symptoms e.g. “Insomnia” is difficulty sleeping.

      The homeopathic disease is All the symptoms that the patient is experiencing at any one time, so it might include multiple conventional “diseases”, eczema, migraines, insomnia, digestive conditions, etc, etc. Therefore any particular conventional “disease” might be treated with Many different homeopathic remedies since the combinations of conventional “diseases” that a particular patient might present with is infinite. This applies to chronic disease.

      For acute diseases the situation is simpler since fewer symptoms need be considered – only those that have changed with the onset of the acute disease.

      So me giving you the remedy names has no real purpose but I will give you a few that I can remember, for whatever it is worth.

      Jet lag – Gelsemium
      Dysentery sequelae – Lycopodium
      Sprained ankle – Rhus-tox
      Dysentery due to eggs – China-sulph
      Sunburn – Urtica urens
      Kitchen burns – Causticum (usually)
      Blunt injury trauma – Arnica

      Anyone with some curiosity and willingness, could acquire a small kit of emergency remedies and a book for a few dollars and try treating themselves for the simple acute conditions. All of the above except the dysentery.

      • if this were true, anyone with some curiosity and willingness could run simple tests to check how effective these remedies are.

        • The So-called Skeptics are always asking for “simple tests”. Homeopathy is not simple-minded like conventional medicine. In conventional medicine you slap a burn cream on it and call it a day. Easy to study. The rubric Generals – Burns in my homeopathic repertory has 112 remedies that are known to have cured burns. Generals – Sprains has 116 remedies in it. I thought as someone who claims to have studied homeopathy, you would know that, Dr Edzard.

          Homeopaths have been doing studies for years showing its effectiveness. The So-called Skeptics ignore all those studies. Preferring the few that dont. The widely cited Sheng et al meta-analysis of homeopathy in the 2005 Lancet used 8 studies, based on their arbitrary criteria ignoring the hundreds available. As your friend Dr Hahn stated, you have to ignore 90% of the evidence to conclude that homeopathy is ineffective. But that is what the skeptics choose to do repeatedly. That will never change.

          What I am asking the So-called Skeptics is to just try it out for themselves. Stop relying on 3rd party evidence. Think and experience for yourselves.

          • thanks for this – it made me laugh heartily!
            have you heard of systematic reviews?
            did you know that I was raised on homeopathy?

          • @stan

            The rubric Generals – Burns in my homeopathic repertory has 112 remedies that are known to have cured burns.

            Um, no. You have a huge load of identical sugar crumbs with 112 different labels, none of which actually helps with burns – which, incidentally, heal just fine all by themselves when not too serious.

            This large number of fake ‘remedies’ associated with individual conditions only serves to keep defrauding your patients for as long as possible.
            “Oh, the improvement of your complaints has ground to a halt? Well, my bad, I think that I didn’t get all the symptoms after all … Luckily, there are lots of other remedies that are known to be helpful with your condition. So, when shall we plan another full 90-minute consult? Yes, it is of course a bit expensive, but we really have to get the symptoms right as much as possible, otherwise we won’t get anywhere.”

      • Den, in what potencies?

        And the malaria evidence?

        • I dont remember.
          Go to India and get evidence yourself.

          • @den

            Go to India and get evidence yourself.

            No need. Homeopathy does absolutely nothing for the people in India. It’s One Big Scam, meant to save money by selling people cheap placebo treatments instead of effective healthcare.

          • den/stan,

            Are you implying that DavidB should go to India, get infected and treated by a homeopath, to gather evidence?

            I hope that is not how you would.

          • Thank you for that helpful response den.

            Please in future have better regard for the red banner at the top of this Blog.

  • Edzard said: “Imagine you have caught a cold”….
    … at age 77 and in perfect health, I would be highly embarrassed if I ever suffered a sore throat, never mind a cold, flu, pnemonia or I became infected with one of those popular viruses!
    I must be a believer in SCAM – one of those ‘deluded’ folks that thinks it’s a good idea to support our immune system with nutrition and physical activity that stimulates the lymphatic system – yes we all have one of those.
    There seems to be a strange obsession on this forum to continually trash homeopathy. I have never used it and never met anyone who claims to have been treated by a homeopath. However, if this form of therapy provides a perceived benefit for some folks, then good luck to them.

    • Whatever makes you think those who dismiss homeopathy also dismiss supporting your immune system? Of course we all have an immune system and it is important to support it with good nutrition etc. Vaccination is also a way of supporting the immune system.

      We ‘trash’ homeopathy because it makes implausible claims, based on nonsensical pseudoscience and unsupported by any credible evidence. Of course none of that removes people’s right to use it if they wish but they also have a right to hear the alternative view if they wish. If they don’t want to hear it stay away from sites such as this.

    • Mr Grant, you are to be felicitated on your robust health.

      All reputable medically qualified clinicians of course favour sound diet and exercise as important contributors to maintaining good health. The same cannot be said of all SCAM practitioners, some of whom promote, for example, spinal manipulation of babies, or extremely restricted diets.

      There is no obsession to trash homeopathy in this Blog. You will have noted the banner at the top of the Blog, asking contributors to support health claims with evidence. Certain persons choose to make claims about homeopathy that are not supported by evidence, and sadly in some cases, to outright lie.

      This Blog serves a very useful public function, and is available for all with internet access to read. It is important therefore that when individuals make false, unsubstantiated claims about homeopathy or any other treatment modality, there should be counterbalancing factual comment.

      If you are aware of Professor Ernst’s work history (and if you are not, I suggest that you discover it), you should know that his work has been of major importance, and his aim not to ‘trash’ any treatment modality, but to investigate impartially and TO FOLLOW WHERE THE EVIDENCE LED.

      No proper quality evidence has ever demonstrated for homeopathy an efficacy greater than placebo in altering the course of any health condition. Placebo is a real phenomenon with real effects, and it’s just as good as homeopathy (and perhaps better, since it’s probably kinder on the wallet).

    • @Mike Grant
      John D. Rockefeller (and Carnegie) trashed homeopathy by shutting down all the homeopathic medical schools. He bribed and coerced them all to convert to “scientific medicine”. It was good for his business of selling petrochemical products including medicines. He lived to the ripe old age of 98. His personal choice for medical care was homeopathy. If you live so long at some point you might want some medical care. Keep John D. in mind.

  • Homeopathy has not been taken seriously for a long time because of the absurdities of its fundamental premises. For example, William W. Browning, a scrupulous physician of the late nineteenth century, argued that: “Having the similia similibus curantur as a guide for the treatment and totality of symptoms, the only subject that would require study to make a person a homeopath would be to understand the ‘power’ of homeopathic medicines to produce peculiar morbid sensations in healthy people.” He said that “the number of symptoms attributed to the most common homeopathic medicines is enormous, in some cases exceeding 2.000” (Browning, 1894; p. 9). Robert Reyburn, another physician of the late nineteenth century, published an article criticizing Samuel Swan’s catalogue of homeopathic preparations (1886), entitled Catalogue of morbific products, nosodes, and other remedies in high potencies. In this article, Reyburn questioned preparations based on moonlight, blue, red, or yellow rays of the light spectrum (bottled sun), East Indian cockroaches, Brazilian crickets, hairy spiders (tarantulas), goose fat, pubic lice, chimney soot, rabies virus, and pus from rectal abscesses (Reyburn, 1890).

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