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

homeopathy

I am sure that I am not the only one who feels with or friend, regular contributor, and expert in uncritical thinking, Dana Ullman. His heart-warming defence of homeopathy entirely depends on the notion that homeopathy is nano-medicine. As Dana’s views are more and more discredited, the poor man understandably gets more and more desperate. This development has now gone so far that Dana seems on the brink of cracking up.

Who would not feel with him?

What we urgently need to save Dana’s sanity is a new concept that could be used to defend the indefensible.

In the nick of time, here comes a lone researcher of homeopathy from India. Amarnath Sen has just published his hypothesis that will surely save the endangered mental stage of our friend, Dana Ullman. Here is the abstract:

The apparent absence of drugs in ultra-diluted homeopathic medicines and contested clinical trial results plague homeopathy. In this paper, it is argued that other than drugs, homeopathic medicines contain proteins as components of microbial lysates (products of lysis or disintegration of microbial cells), given that ubiquitous microorganisms from the surrounding environment are unknowingly and unavoidably incorporated into the homeopathic medicines during their preparation and are killed and lysed in ethanol/water drug vehicle forming immunomodulatory microbial lysates during ‘potentization’ (dilution and vigorous shaking) of the medicines. The drugs present in the homeopathic medicines bind to the proteins, which are the major ingredients of the microbial lysates. The drug/protein interaction modulates the conformations and in effect, the immunogenicity of the proteins (designated as modulated proteins). In ultra-diluted medicines even in the absence of drugs, unmodulated proteins are modulated through interactions with allosterically coupled modulated proteins (protein-protein interaction). The modulated proteins of characteristic immunogenicity present in the homeopathic medicines mediate antigen-specific mucosal (sublingual) immunotherapy like vaccine therapy via ‘similia principle’. In addition, immunomodulatory microbial lysates present in the homeopathic medicines mediate non-specific immunotherapy and also provide adjuvants for antigen-specific immunotherapy. The proposed hypothesis without invoking any controversial concept can explain the basic ‘laws’ of homeopathy. Incidentally, immunomodulatory activities of homeopathic medicines reported by different workers support the hypothesis. As immunotherapy in homeopathy is accidental and hence, in crude form, clinical trial results may occasionally show inconsistencies. However, probing and refining homeopathy from the perspective of immunotherapy may bring forth a simple, reliable and affordable immunotherapy for various diseases.

Convinced?

Me neither!

The concept is clearly as bonkers as all the others trying to explain homeopathy. Yet, I am optimistic that it might save our friend Dana Ullman. After all, it is not more silly than the notion that homeopathy is nano-medicine – and remeber: even an US judge certified Dana:

The Court found Mr. Ullman’s testimony to be not credible. Mr. Ullman’s bias in favor of homeopathy and against conventional medicine was readily apparent from his testimony. He admitted that he was not an impartial expert but rather is a passionate advocate of homeopathy. He posted on Twitter that he views conventional medicine as witchcraft. He opined that conventional medical science cannot be trusted.

So, there is hope!

Amarnath Sen and is ‘concept’ might just do the trick and restore Dana’s state of mind.

he German press reported yesterday that the country’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach plans  to remove homeopathic treatments from the benefits catalog of statutory health insurance companies. “Services that have no medically verifiable benefit should not be financed from contribution funds,” states a recommendation paper by the minister. “For this reason, we will remove the option for health insurance companies to include homeopathic and anthroposophic services in their statutes, thereby avoiding unnecessary expenditure by health insurance companies.” However, private supplementary insurance should still be possible.

Lauterbach had already announced last year that he would review the funding of homeopathic treatments. “Although homeopathy is not significant in terms of expenditure, it has no place in a science-based healthcare policy,” the SPD politician told “Der Spiegel” last October. The measure would save merely a maximum of ten million Euros. This is because firstly not all health insurance companies offer the option to reimburse homeopathy, and secondly, because not that many Germans use homeopathy.

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Before I was joined about a decade ago by a group of excellent and effective skeptics, I seemed to be a lone, lost voice in Germany cautioning against the misunderstanding that homeopathy and anthroposophical medicine were backed by evidence. Thus, you probably think that I am rejoicing at this spectacular success. At first glance, it does indeed seem to be great news for those who support evidence-based medicine. But sadly, I also have second thoughts.

We should, I think, be concerned that Lauterbach intends to leave homeopathic and anthroposophical remedies reimbursible via private supplementary insurance. Most Germans have such insurance which means that, despite Lauterbach’s grand announcement, very little will probably change. Homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine, both pure placebo therapies, will still be able to pretend to be real medicine.

Moreover, we should be concerned about Lauterbach’s reasoning. It is, of course, laudable to point out that homeopathic and anthroposophic remedies are not demonstrably effective. But clearly, this is only half of the truth. The full truth is that they are based on totally ridiculous assumptions, that, in other words, they fly in the face of science. Only if we manage to get this message across, will we inform the public responsibly, in my view.

A total ban then? No, personally, I don’t want to ban homeopathic or anthroposophical remedies. If someone loves esoteric nonsense or placebos, he/she should, in my view, be able to buy them. But he/she should use their own money for the purchase. We should remember that wasting notoriously scarce public funds from either statutory or private health insurances is not just uneconomical but foremost unethical.

 

 

He came to my attention via the sad story recently featured here about patients allegedly being harmed or killed in a Swiss hospital for so-called alternative medicine (SCAM). What I then learned about the doctor in charge of this place fascinated me:

Rau states about himself (my translation):

Early on, Dr Rau focused on natural therapies, in particular homeopathy and dietary changes. The healing success of his patients proved him right, so he studied alternative healing methods with leading practitioners. These included orthomolecular medicine, Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and European holistic medicine. With his wealth of knowledge and over 30 years of experience, Dr Rau formed his own holistic theory of healing: Swiss Biological Medicine – Dr Rau’s Biological Medicine. It is based on the principles of detoxification, nutrition, digestion and sustainable strengthening of the immune system.

Career & studies:

  • Medical studies at the University of Bern
  • Final medical examinations in Switzerland and the USA
  • Subsequent work in rheumatology, internal and general medicine
  • Member of the Swiss Medical Association FMH since 1981
  • 1981 to 1992 conventional physician & medical director of a Swiss spa centre for rheumatology and rehabilitation medicine
  • 1983 to 1992 Doctor at a drug rehabilitation centre
  • 1992 to 2019 Establishment of the Paracelsus Clinic Lustmühle as medical director and partner
  • until 2020 Head of the academic network and training organisation “Paracelsus Academy”

Rau also states this:

  • 2019 mit dem Honorarprofessoren-Titel von der Europäischen Universität in Wien ausgezeichnet (2019, he was awarded the title of homorary professor at the European University in Vienna)

This puzzles me because there is no such institution as the ‘Europäische Universität in Wien’. There is a Central European University but this can hadly be it?!

Now, I am intrigued and see what the ‘honorary professor’ might have published. Sadly, there seems to be nothing on Medline except 2 interviews. In one interview, Rau explains (amongst other things) ‘live blood analysis’, a method that we have repeatedly discussed before (for instance, here and here):

Darkfield microscopy shows a lot. We take 1 drop of blood and look at it under a very large-scale magnification. The blood is life under the glass. Once it’s on the glass, there isn’t oxygen or light or heat. This is a giant stress for the blood. So we see how, over a time, the blood reacts to this stress, and how the blood cells tolerate the stress. You can see the changes. So we take a drop of blood that represents the organism and put it under stress and look at how the cells react to the stress, and then we can see the tolerance and the resistiveness of these cells. Do they have a good cell-membrane face? Do they have good energetic behavior? Do they clot together? Is there a chance for degenerative diseases? Is there a cancerous tendency in this blood? We see tendencies. And that’s what we are interested in, tendencies.

Question: If you saw a cancerous tendency, what would that look like?

Rau: Cancerous tendency is a change in the cells. They get rigid, so to say. They don’t react very well.

Question: And how long does blood live outside the body?

Rau: It can live for several days. But after 1 hour, the blood is already seriously changed. For example, a leukemia patient came to my clinic for another disease. But when we did darkfield, I found the leukemia. We saw that his white blood cells were atypical. Look at this slide—the fact that there are so many white blood cells together is absolutely unusual, and the fact that there are atypical white blood cells. This shows me that the patient has myeloid leukemia. The patient had been diagnosed as having rheumatoid lung pain, but it was absolutely not true. The real cause of his pain was an infiltration of the spinal bone by these lymphocytes.

This is, of course, complete nonsense. As I explained in my blog post, live blood analysis (LBA) is not plausible and there is no evidence to support the claims made for it. It also is by no means new; using his lately developed microscope, Antony van Leeuwenhoek observed in 1686 that living blood cells changed shape during circulation. Ever since, doctors, scientists and others have studied blood samples in this and many other ways.

New, however, is what today’s SCAM practitioners claim to be able to do with LBA. Proponents believe that the method provides information about the state of the immune system, possible vitamin deficiencies, amount of toxicity, pH and mineral imbalance, areas of concern and weaknesses, fungus and yeast infections, as well as just about everything else you can imagine.

LBA is likely to produce false-positive and false-negative diagnoses. A false-positive diagnosis is a condition which the patient does not truly have. This means she will receive treatments that are not necessary, potentially harmful and financially wasteful. A false-negative diagnosis would mean that the patient is told she is healthy, while in fact she is not. This can cost valuable time to start an effective therapy and, in extreme cases, it would hasten the death of that patient. The conclusion is thus clear: LBA is an ineffective, potentially dangerous diagnostic method for exploiting gullible consumers. My advice is to avoid practitioners who employ this technique.

And what does that say about ‘honorary professor’ Rau?

I think I let you answer that question yourself.

 

Some articles are just too remarkable for me to alter them in any way. This one impresses already by its title: “Ameliorative effects of homeopathic medicines in the management of different cancers“. By way of a ‘Christmas treat’, here its summary:

Homeopathy is a commonly used complementary and alternative system of medicine for the treatment of various sorts of ailments throughout the world. Homeopathic medicines are made up of potential therapeutic natural products that are primarily acknowledged for their low doses as well as extended patient survival results. Homeopathic medicines are derived from plants such as arnica (mountain herb), red onion, poison ivy, stinging nettle, and belladonna (deadly nightshade); minerals including white arsenic as well as from animals such as crushed whole bees. Homeopathic medicines are synthesized as sugar pellets to be placed under the tongue and may also be used in the form of gels, ointments, drops, tablets, and creams. Homeopathic medicines can be used to treat various disorders including migraine, depression, gastrointestinal diseases, joint pain, inflammation, different sorts of injuries, flu, arthritis as well as sciatica.

Cancer is the 2nd major reason behind global mortalities. It is revealed that developing countries around the world shoulder most of the cancer burden. According to a survey conducted in 2020, low- and middle-income countries face 70% of the total mortalities worldwide which accounts for approximately 10 million people of these countries. Homeopathic medicines ensure low-cost cancer treatment with little or no side effects on the bodies of humans and animals. Besides, it is applied as a supportive and palliative therapy in a broad range of cancer patients to enhance the body’s fight against cancer, alleviate discomfort resulting from disease or conventional treatments as well as improve the general well-being of the patients. In this chapter, our primary focus will be on the anti-cancerous effects of homeopathic medicines against different cancerous conditions in the body along with their mechanism of action.

Let me just mention a few fairly obvious points:

My conclusion:

Those who advocate homeopathy don’t know what it is, while those who know what it is, don’t advocate it.

The NZZ recently published a long and horrific report about a natural health clinic and its doctors. Here is a  version translated and shortened by me; perhaps it makes a few people think twice before they waste their money and risk their health:

It is a narrow mountain road that they are racing down on this spring evening. Over the green Appenzell hills, towards Herisau hospital. Kathrin Pfister* is fighting for her life in the car. At the wheel is Thomas Rau, internationally renowned practitioner of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) and director of his own luxury clinic, the Biomed Centre Sonnenberg. Three days later, Kathrin Pfister is dead. The most likely finding according to the experts: Pfister was injected with a drug that was not authorised in Switzerland at the time, the side effects of which killed her.

Pfister is not the only woman to have lost her life following treatment at the Sonnenberg. Other experts accuse Rau of serious breaches of duty that led to the death of a patient. Rau and another doctor are thus being investigated for involuntary manslaughter.

The events remained hidden from the public for over two years. It’s not just about one doctor, not just about one clinic. The events are politically explosive for Appenzell Ausserrhoden. The canton is the centre of alternative medicine in Switzerland. SCAM doctors are an important economic factor in Ausserrhoden. Wealthy people from all over the world fly here for therapies that most conventional doctors just shake their heads at. Treatments lasting several weeks with a hotel stay cost five-figure sums.

The 73-year-old Dr Rau is the star among Swiss alternative medicine practitioners.He describes himself as the “Mozart of medicine”. The Biomed Centre Sonnenberg is “Mozart’s” last big project. The clinic has a hotel and gluten-free vegan restaurant from the Tibits chain. Even the feather pillows are replaced with bamboo ones. All for the “detox” that Rau praises.

Kathrin Pfister’s case began in mid-April 2021, just four months after the Sonnenberg centre opened. She is actually healthy and comes to the clinic anyway; because of some digestive problems and headaches. The hospital records show that Pfister received infusions. Initially only those containing vitamin C and homeopathic remedies. Then one with artesunate, a preparation against malaria. And finally, on a Friday, Pfister was injected with a solution of alpha-lipoic acid into his bloodstream. The infusion is used in Germany for long-term diabetics with nerve damage. It was not authorised as a medicinal product in Switzerland at the time. According to the forensic experts, it was this substance that was “ultimately causally linked to the death”.

A few hours later, Pfister had severe abdominal cramps. Then pain throughout the body. The number of platelets in her blood drops dramatically. Anxiety sets in at the clinic. The intensive care doctors in Herisau and later at the cantonal hospital in St. Gallen can do nothing more. Pfister had a massive blood clotting disorder. Her liver and kidneys were no longer functioning.

Mary Anne Hawrylak meets Thomas Rau by chance at the clinic that weekend. She too is a patient, recently flown in from the USA. Hawrylak had massive side effects after infusions that Friday. “When I told him about it, he turned white as a sheet, like a ghost,” says Hawrylak. “Doctor Rau told me in horror that I had received the same infusions as ‘Kathrin’ and that he had to test my blood.” The tests showed that her blood platelet count had also dropped, says Hawrylak.

The forensic experts point to a central fact: Alpha lipoic acid can cause blood clotting disorders.  They come to the conclusion that this is “most likely a lethal side effect of a drug”. The use of drugs that are not authorised in Switzerland is legal if they are authorised in a country with a comparable procedure. However, there is no real reason to inject this medication into the bloodstream of healthy people. It was authorised in Germany for diabetes patients with nerve damage. So, Pfister did not have this authorisation.

Experts refer to such applications as “off-label use”.  Off-label treatments should only be carried out “on the basis of valid guidelines, generally recognised recommendations or scientific literature”. The guidelines also require that patients are given comprehensive information about off-label use. This counselling session should be documented in writing. None of this can be found in the clinic’s files. No written consent, no documented risk-benefit assessment, no reference to the risk of blood clotting disorders. The forensic experts state: “The scant documentation from the Sonnenberg Biomed Centre does not contain any corresponding information document.” The question arises as to “whether the medical treatment at the Sonnenberg Biomed Centre was carried out with the necessary medical care”.

Patient Hawrylak also says: “I was not told exactly what was in the infusions. I was never told that the medication was not authorised in Switzerland or that its use was off-label. I spoke to Dr Rau about what had happened to ‘Kathrin’ because I was worried about myself,” says Hawrylak. “He said to me: ‘I don’t think it was the infusions. I think it was the Covid vaccinations.” He only justified this with his “intuition”.

The Pfister case triggered an investigation by the public prosecutor’s office. But what hardly anyone knew at the time was that it was not the first questionable death at the clinic – not even the first in a month. Ruth Schmid*, a 77-year-old Swiss woman, had died just three weeks earlier. In this case, the forensic pathologists accused Rau: He had made mistakes that not even a medical student should have made, thus causing Schmid’s death.

Schmid was also in the clinic for a kind of cure. When she was about to leave, she began to tremble violently and had extreme stomach pains. She screamed “like an animal”, her partner said during the interrogation. Ultrasound examinations were carried out at the clinic and Rau gave Schmid painkillers, including morphine. According to the partner’s statement to the public prosecutor’s office, he asked Rau whether Schmid needed to be taken to hospital. Rau said no. Schmid stayed in the hotel room overnight. The next day – according to Rau, she had been feeling better since the previous evening – she travelled home. According to Rau’s confiscated notes, “she was to report closely” and return in four days. At home, Ruth Schmid fell into a coma-like state overnight. Admitted to Zurich University Hospital in an emergency, Schmid died there of cardiovascular failure due to septic shock.

The Zurich forensic pathologists performed an autopsy on Schmid’s body. Their findings: Schmid had suffered from intestinal paralysis. As a result, bacteria entered her body and poisoned her blood, leading to a heart attack. “From a forensic medical point of view, it is incomprehensible why the attending physician, Dr Thomas Rau, did not carry out appropriate diagnostics.” The irritation of the forensic experts is evident in almost every line. There had been several warning signs of intestinal paralysis. The forensic experts wrote: “This knowledge is taught in medical school and is considered basic knowledge in human medicine.” Rau’s behaviour was “a breach of the doctor’s duty of care”. With timely treatment, the prognosis for intestinal paralysis is excellent. The sad conclusion: Ruth Schmid did not have to die.

During questioning by the public prosecutor’s office, Rau denied any guilt. Schmid had left in “good condition”. There was no causality between what happened in the clinic and the death. The findings and conclusions of the Zurich forensic pathologists were wrong. Schmid did not have intestinal paralysis or septicaemia. He had been able to rule out intestinal paralysis because intestinal noises had been audible in the morning. The dose of morphine had been very small, so that it had had no effect. There were no indications of a serious condition. Rau testified that he had acted professionally, as would be expected of an internal medicine doctor.

In the Kathrin Pfister case, the doctors treating her also deny any culpability and question the forensic medical report. The doctor’s lawyer writes that the criminal investigation will show that there was no breach of the doctor’s duty to provide information. Alpha-lipoic acid was not responsible for the death. The expert opinion is not convincing in terms of method or content: “When analysed in depth, it contains no justification that the use of alpha-lipoic acid was in any way causal for the patient’s death.”

During the hearing on the Pfister case, Rau said that restricting the use of alpha-lipoic acid to diabetics was “a joke” and far too narrowly defined. He claimed that Pfister had polyneuropathy, a complex nerve disease. However, there is no mention of this in the files of Rau’s clinic.

The criminal investigation is ongoing in both cases. But did more happen on the Sonnenberg? A former hospital employee, who independently reported to the police, told the public prosecutor about other hair-raising incidents. During the interrogation, she testified that she had seen a young woman being carried out of the clinic extremely weak after an infusion. Days later, she had overheard parts of a telephone conversation between Rau and the patient’s angry husband which made it clear that the woman had died. The former employee also recounted a conversation with Rau’s wife, who is a trained nurse. She said that she had driven a patient to a hospital in Zurich in a private car with Rau because Rau was determined to take her to a particular specialist. The patient was so unwell that she was afraid the woman would die on the way. If this is true, Rau would have travelled past several hospitals with a seriously ill patient.

Hawrylak has one last memory of Appenzell etched in his memory. The departure. She was just leaving the clinic when Rau wished her good luck: “I could only say to him: I wish you good luck too, Doctor Rau. I think you’re really going to need it.”

*Names were altered.

2003 has been marked by many terrifying things, but perhaps the most surprising of the 2023 horrors was … eye drops. ArsTechnica reports that the seemingly innocuous teeny squeeze bottle made for alarming headlines numerous times during our current revolution around the sun, with lengthy lists of recallsstartling factory inspections, and ghastly reports of people developing near-untreatable bacterial infectionslosing their eyes and vision, and dying.

Recapping this unexpected threat to health, the Food and Drug Administration released an advisory titled “What You Should Know about Eye Drops” with this stark pronouncement: No one should ever use any homeopathic ophthalmic products, and every single such product should be pulled off the market.

The point is unexpected, given that none of the high-profile infections and recalls this year involved homeopathic products. But, it should be welcomed by any advocates of evidence-based medicine.

In the US, these products are marketed as legitimate treatments and sold alongside evidence-based treatments (though consumer advocates are trying to change that). The reason this is allowed for now is because of a regulatory quirk: Based on the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, homeopathic products are generally considered exempt from pre-market FDA safety and efficacy reviews as long as the active ingredient in the product is included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia.

In recent years, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have cracked down on homeopathic products, though. And it seems from today’s advisory that the FDA is not holding back on homeopathic products for the eyes. The regulator notes that any products meant for the eye “pose a heightened risk of harm” because the eyes are an immune-privileged site in the body. That is, innate immune responses are restrained in the eye to prevent damaging inflammation, which could threaten vision. “Any drug used in the eyes must be sterile to reduce the risk of infection,” the FDA said.

But whether or not homeopathic eye drops are labeled as sterile doesn’t seem to matter to the FDA. The regulator cautions:

Do not use ophthalmic products that are labeled as homeopathic, as these products should not be marketed.”

SAY NO MORE!

 

In Germany, two doctors, Dr. Christian Denné (from Vechta), Dr. Hans-Werner Bertelsen (from Bremen), and myself have initiated a petition. Here is my translation of its full text:

We, the undersigned, demand that the “homeopathy” training certificates be revoked. After the deletion from the further training regulations of the vast majority of state medical associations (13 out of 17), as well as the deletion from the model further training regulations (MWBO), it is no longer acceptable that medical fees are paid from the solidarity community pot for a sham therapy. The clear vote of the German Medical Association must be followed by consequences for doctors in private practice in order to avoid continuing to support the organised self-deception of a minority that clings to outdated and thus dangerous forms of medical practice.

1. Dubious cash flows – parallel shadow financing

In addition to the payments made to doctors via the associations of statutory health insurance physicians, there is a second method of cash flow that enables the doctors who bill to generate funds for “homeopathy”, bypassing any control functions of the associations of statutory health insurance physicians (plausibility checks, time profiles). The selective contracts concluded for this purpose with the participating health insurance funds, which were concluded directly by many statutory health insurance funds with the “German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors” (DZVhÄ), above all Barmer GEK, Techniker Krankenkasse and DAK, are not suitable for building trust, but rather enable medical billing fraud due to the lack of any independent control functions on the part of the health insurance KV.

Enabling parallel billing channels while bypassing the KV’s control function means that the important instrument of billing control is boycotted because neither plausibility checks nor time profiles can be created. The Barmer GEK and Techniker Krankenkasse were informed of the criticism of the implementation of this dubious and non-transparent shadow financing. The management boards of both health insurance funds firmly rejected any interest in changing this situation, for example by cancelling the contracts concluded with the DZVhÄ.

2. Dubious therapies instead of talking medicine

It is no longer acceptable that “homeopathy” will still be used in 2023 to pay for sham therapies in a medical context with annual amounts of up to €530 per patient, while talking medicine remains remunerated with single-digit amounts. Talking medicine must no longer be associated with esotericism in order to generate medical fees. The organised self-deception of inclined sections of the medical profession must be stopped for ethical reasons.

3 Dubious social consequences and dangers

It is no longer acceptable that doctors allow themselves to be conditioned into self-deception by participating in expensive, so-called “advanced training courses” and ignore elementary scientific laws in order to fulfil the need for causality of their patient clientele. Numerous – sometimes fatal – consequences, such as missing an indicated therapeutic time window, have been documented. In addition to serious individual medical consequences, social effects such as denial of science, refusal to vaccinate, etc. are increasingly becoming a problem with far-reaching, unforeseeable consequences.


You can go to the petition here.

Carola Javid-Kistel is a German medical homeopath who states on her website that “homeopathy is a very powerful yet gentle medicine with no side effects, which accompanies me as a doctor for the rest of my life. Thanks to homeopathy, I was completely cured of my ailments…” (my translation).

She is famous in Germany – not so much for her devotion to homeopathy but for repeatedly breaking the law and evading justice.

Now, finally, the doctor from Duderstadt has been arrested. The Göttingen public prosecutor’s office confirmed that she was handed over to the German authorities by the Swiss judiciary in Constance. She has been charged with issuing false medical certificates for exemption from the obligation to wear a mask.

Carola Javid-Kistel has since been released from custody. As a condition, she had to pay 30,000 Euros bail and surrender her passport and identity card. She also had to report regularly to the Duderstadt police station.

According to the Göttingen public prosecutor’s office, the 57-year-old physician was arrested on arrival at Zurich airport. Javid-Kistel had fled to Mexico last year to avoid a criminal trial that had already been scheduled at the Duderstadt district court. She was due to stand trial there for issuing false certificates, among other things.

Further charges from the Göttingen public prosecutor’s office could include:

  • Incitement to hatred, defamation and insult.
  • At a rally in Herzberg, Javid-Kistel had claimed that the coronavirus measures were “worse than the Holocaust”.
  • She also accused a fellow doctor in a video of “vaccinating patients sick and to death”.
  • Furthermore, she is alleged to have said to police officers and officials during a search of her practice: “This is fascism, you’re all crazy.”

The date for her new trial has not yet been announced.

Sources:

Dr. med. Carola Javid-Kistel (naturheilpraxis-duderstadt.de)

Ärztin aus Duderstadt in der Schweiz festgenommen (aerzteblatt.de)

Flüchtige Corona-Leugnerin Carola Javid-Kistel gefasst | NDR.de – Nachrichten – Niedersachsen – Studio Braunschweig

In May this year, I reported that my ex-friend Michael Dixon had been appointed as HEAD OF THE ROYAL MEDICAL HOUSEHOLD. The story was picked up by Gabriel Pogrund, one of the top investigative journalists of THE SUNDAY TIMES, who published a long article about Dixon yesterday which I encourage you to read in full.

In it he revealed many things about Dixon including, for instance, that some of the academic titles he often carries might not be what they seem. On ‘X’. Pogrund commented that “He [Dixon] faces Qs after three unis could not confirm his academic roles”. The article prompted many other newspapers to report on the matter.

The Guardian, for instance, contacted The Good Thinking Society, which promotes scientific scepticism. Michael Marshall, project director at the society, said: “It [promoting homeopathy] isn’t appropriate. I think the role of the monarchy, if it has one in current society, isn’t to be advocating for their own personal projects and their own personal beliefs or using the power and influence they have to further causes that run directly counter to the evidence that we have. “It’s absolutely unequivocal that homeopathic remedies do not work and just because you happen to be in a position of extreme power and privilege, that doesn’t change that.” Marshall said the appointment was also worrying because it suggested the king might still be supporting complementary medicine behind the scenes. He added: “Before Charles became king, he was the patron of homeopathic organisations, he was an outspoken advocate in favour of homeopathy and pushing back the bounds of science towards pseudoscience. And the argument was that he would stop doing that once he became king. This appears to be a sign that he isn’t going to do that, that he isn’t going to stop. What’s worrying is, as we’ve seen from the black spider memos, Charles is someone who also wields his power and influence quietly behind the scenes as well as publicly, so if this is the kind of step he’s willing to make in public, it raises questions about whether he’s willing to make even more steps in private.”

The Guardian also asked me three questions and I provided my answers in writing:

Q: Do you think it’s appropriate that the king has appointed Dr Michael Dixon to such a prestigious role? If not, why?
A; Surely, the King can appoint who he wants. In the realm of health care, he often seemed to favour people wo promote dubious therapies [Charles, The Alternative King: An… by Ernst, Edzard (amazon.co.uk)
Q: Do you think the king’s public position on homeopathy is problematic? and if so, why?
A: Anyone who promotes homeopathy is undermining evidence based medicine and rational thinking. The former weakens the NHS, the latter will cause harm to society.
Q: Do you think homeopathy has a place in medicine and if not, why? What has your research shown on its efficacy?
A: We and others have shown that homeopathy is not an effective therapy, which has today become the accepted consensus. To me, this means its only legitimate place is in the history books of medicine.

Within hours, the story became an international isse. For example a short article in DER SPIEGEL informed Germany as follows (my translation):

He works with Christian healers and prescribes goat weed for impotence: Dr Michael Dixon looks after the health of the British royal family. Scientists are appalled.

King Charles has appointed a homeopathy advocate as head of the royal medical household and has been heavily criticised by scientists. They call the decision worrying and inappropriate, as reported by the Guardian, among others. Dr Michael Dixon, who promotes faith healing and herbalism in his work as a general practitioner, has quietly held the senior position for a year, writes the Sunday Times. Although 71-year-old Dixon is head of the royal medical household, this is the first time that this role has not been combined with that of a doctor to the monarch. His duties include taking overall responsibility for the health of the King and the entire royal family – and also representing them in discussions with the government. He once invited a Christian healer into his practice to treat chronically ill patients. He also experimented with prescribing devil’s claw for shoulder pain and goat’s weed for impotence, reports the Sunday Times.

Will all this have consequences? Will the King reflect and reconsider his affiliations with those who promote quackery? Will Dixon change?

Personally, I will not hold my breath.

Every now and then, I come across a paper that is so remarkable that I feel like copying it for you in its full and untouched beauty. The recent article entitled “Revisiting the therapeutic potential of homeopathic medicine Rhus Tox for herpes simplex virus and inflammatory conditions” falls in this category. Let me present to you its unchanged abstract as recently published in the ‘J Ayurveda Integr Med’:

Background: Herpes simplex virus type-1 and type-2 cause a viral disease named Herpes. Genital herpes is mainly caused by HSV-2 with symptoms of painful and itchy blisters on the vagina, cervix, buttocks, anus, penis, or inner thighs with blisters that rupture and convert into sores. The homeopathic remedy Rhus Tox has been widely used to treat herpes and has shown invitro anti-inflammatory effects in previous studies.

Purpose: The presented review focuses on relapses and harmful effects caused by acyclovir in modern medicine and the probable antiherpetic activity of Rhus Tox on HSV infection based on its pathophysiology, preclinical findings, on primary cultured mouse chondrocytes, mouse cell line MC3T3e1 and a comparative study of Natrum Mur with Rhus Tox on HSV infection.

Study design: The design of the study focuses mainly on the descriptive data available in various literature articles.

Method: Databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, Medline and ScienceDirect were used to search the articles. Articles are selected from 1994 to 2022 focusing solely on the competence of Rhus Tox against herpes. Keywords used for the study are antiviral, Herpes, Rhus Tox, in vitro and homeopathy.

Results: The review includes fifteen articles, including 4 full-text articles on HSV, 6 in vitro studies of homeopathic compounds performed on the herpes virus, and 5 articles based on the pathophysiology and effects of Rhus tox. The review article proposes the anti-inflammatory and antiviral action of the homeopathic remedy Rhus Tox which can be used in crisis conditions when the physician doubts the simillimum, as it prevents further outbreaks of HSV infection.

Conclusion: The homeopathic medicine Rhus Tox has no cytotoxicity observed under in vitro conditions and can be used to treat herpes infection. Further studies are needed to confirm the results under in vitro and in vivo conditions as well as in clinical trials.

Considering that the paper was based on ‘descriptive data available in various literature articles’, the conclusion that “Rhus Tox … can be used to treat herpes infection” is surprising, to say the least.

In the paper itself we find many more baffling statements, e.g.:

  • Modern medicines target only specific organs at a time, but there is a risk of widespread infection which influence complications such as meningitis or HSV-2 radiculopathy which are not observed after the use of homeopathy as the disease progression does not involve vital organs and the disease level stays on the skin layer itself.
  • Homeopathy treats patients holistically taking into consideration all the physical, mental and characteristic ailments of the patient. Rhus tox can effectively relieve all the symptoms of herpes infection, including pain, blisters, redness, restlessness, etc. Rhus Tox can effectively penetrate the capsid structure of the infected cells and cure the patient. Rhus tox in different potencies is currently being used to treat inflammatory and viral diseases
  • In homeopathy, many treatments have been clinically proven to have some impact, and in individual cases a solution for herpes viruses. Homeopathy can prevent further outbreaks of herpes simplex infection.
  • Homeopathy strengthens immunity to fight infections and contributes to mental, physical, and social well-being, hence complementary therapies should be used along with the traditional antiviral drugs to give maximum comfort to the patient.

I am sure that some readers of the paper are impressed. These statments leave little doubt about the notion that homeopathy is the best thing since sliced bread. What a pity though that, for none of them, the authors (who incedently are affiliated with prestigeous sounding institutions: Homeopathic Materia Medica Department, Bharti Vidyapeeth, Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Dept. of Postgraduate & Research Centre, Pune-Satara Road, Dhankawadi, Pune, 411043, India, ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, 73 G MIDC Bhosari, Pune, India, ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, 73 G MIDC Bhosari, Pune, India) provide any evidence whatsoever.

Homeopathy, it seems to me, is a cult characterised not just by a total lack of active ingredients but also by an equally total void of proper evidence supporting the delusions of its proponents.

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