Posted in: Medicine

Homeopathic Treatments May Be Putting Patients At Risk

Homeopathic Treatments can pose health risks in patients who forgo standard treatment

Homeopathy is an alternative medical philosophy based on the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself.

To a point that is true, as the body does have immunological processes in place to prevent potentially harmful infestations and infections from occurring. For example, when a surface injury happens, the immune system responds with various systems related to cicatrisation.

The normal physiologic process of wound healing is immediately set in motion the moment the skin is breached; triggering an inflammatory, proliferative, and remodeling response. A complex cascade of biochemical events takes place in order to repair the damage.

Factors that can inhibit or slow this process include diabetes, venous or arterial disease, biological age, hormones, and degree and type of infection. If the area becomes further infected, septic or gangrenous medical attention is required.

Healing is not as easily seen, such as with cancers or foreign growths within the body, blood pressure fluctuations, and symptoms of other ailments.

Homeopathic medicine views symptoms of illness as normal responses of the body as it attempts to regain health.

According to WebMD, homeopathy is based on the idea that “like cures like.” Specifically, if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person a very small amount of the same substance may cure the illness.

In theory, a homeopathic dose enhances the body’s normal healing and self-regulatory processes – using pills made up of sugars and lactose or liquid solutions containing a little of an active ingredient (a plant or mineral) for treatment of disease.

There has been some evidence homeopathic medicines may have beneficial effects, but many homeopath practitioners have been found guilty of making unproven, exaggerated health claims, offering false hope to patients, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK, tarnishing the practice.

Research has shown that the levels of the substances offered to patients are so small or even virtually non-existent that they cannot have a biologically beneficial effect, reports the Daily Mail.

Additional scientific research has repeatedly found homeopathic remedies ineffective and their postulated mechanisms of action implausible. Homeopathic remedies have been the subject of numerous clinical trials, revealing at best in some cases, no effect beyond placebo, at worst an actively harmful treatment. These results can depend on numerous variables.

Therefore, patients who commingle standard treatment with alternative medicine, especially depending on the type of illness, may be putting themselves at risk.

Marketed homeopathic remedies have been regulated in the US since 1938, but it is important to tell your medical doctor if you decide to use an alternative treatment.

This includes vitamin and herbal supplements.

Always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo standard medicine and rely solely on an alternative therapy for certain conditions.

There is also the possibility of negative drug interactions.

Doctors need to have a full scope of what you are doing for health in order to help you make an informed decision.

You can buy some homeopathic medicines at health food stores without a doctor’s prescription, but preparations from different suppliers and practitioners may vary.

[Image via Shutterstock]

 

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Comments

83 Responses to “Homeopathic Treatments May Be Putting Patients At Risk”

  1. Roger Bird

    Homeopathy has worked very nicely for me and my family for the past 43 years. My personal experience trumps your theory.

  2. James R. Pannozzi

    I think we've all heard, over the last several years, enough fear, uncertainty, doubt and questionings, as well as fear mongering, about Homeopathy. Yes, I think there has been some exaggeration of its merits and much too much inaccuracy and pseudo science in the attacks against it. There are those who use, have used and will use Homeopathy. Have been. Always will. There are outstanding well trained medical professionals who go through the long training and deep learning required of it and there are new age amateurs who talk about capturing light from Saturn and other utter nonsense and then calling that "Homeopathy".

    What I'd like to see now are articles about CONVENTIONAL medicine treatments putting patients at risk…about so called chemotherapy and the statement that the patient is now "cancer free" (sic). How about some articles on killer pharmaceuticals, dangerous and sometimes totally unnecessary surgeries, expensive medical tests of dubious or uncertain worth such as the PSA test and the whole panoply of conventional medical advice. If everybody is going to start getting accurate and…"scientific", let's apply that to ALL branches of medicine, not just Homeopathy.

  3. Christine Jahnig

    I've used homeopathy with great success and satisfaction for many years. I came to homeopathy when conventional medicine could do nothing to help me after the disabling effects of an auto accident. Homeopathy got back me back on my feet, working and gardening again and taking on family responsibilities I wasn't able to handle before. When I suffered from chronic insomnia con med could do nothing but offer addictive pills. Homeopathy resolved that problem safely, gently, dynamically, permanently and inexpensively.

    It's been equally wonderful in resolving acute problems like bronchitis, poison ivy, sore throats, stomach virus and warts (with homeopathic treatment they never come back).

    My family and friends saw what it did for me and tried it themselves. They were as pleased with the results as I am and told their friends and their families. That's how homeopathy has become the second most used system of medicine in the world today. It's use continues to grow by rates of 10% to 30% annually in countries around the world because it's effective, safe, causes no side effects (iatrogenic diseases) and is inexpensive.

    In no way could what homeopathy achieves be exaggerated. Homeopathy does not interact with any other system of medicine in any way. It can be used with con med without interference to either system of medicine.

    As to the charge that homeopaths make unfounded health claims, exaggerate what they can accomplish or put their patients at risk that is just plain baloney! Referencing prejudiced opinions of an advertising standards agency doesn't constitute the facts.

  4. Christine Jahnig

    The ASA hired an expert to assess the homeopathic literature. That expert is trained only in………..pharmacology.

  5. Sandra Courtney

    Homeopathic medicine saved my life when conventional medicine told me there was nothing else they could do for me. I was suffering from mercury poisoning, could not work and was down to 82 pounds and in constant severe pain. All of the doctors who tested me told me my pain was "all in my head." I was given a business card for the local psychiatrist. The message to me was I could be sedated to the point that I was dysfunctional and could then just await a slow painful death. I wanted to live. I have two sons I wanted to see grow up and marry. I wanted to be a grandma.

    I see this article as one of the many examples of those who oppose using fear mongering tactics. There are many well-funded and highly-organized disinformation operations in full-swing throughout the internet. From forums to comment boards and even professional websites that have only one purpose: Defame, distract, and destroy the truth.

    However organized, the tactics are very predictable in a world filled with lies and half-truths. This, sadly, includes every day news media, one of the worst offenders with respect to being a source of disinformation.

    Stephen Barrett’s Quackwatch.com and supporters such as skeptic.org.uk, skepticblog.com and The Nightingale Collaboration are are examples of websites which promote both synthetic and organic disinformation on almost any topic that does not concur with mainstream thought.

    Source: http://www.realfarmacy.com/25-rules-of-disinformation/.

    Thankfully homeopathy has survived similar assaults over the past 200+ years and survived. It will continue to survive unless those who oppose it can burn all the books, censor freedom of speech on the internet and elsewhere. This is not going to happen.

  6. Jonathan 'Groucho' Lawrence

    Unlike the iatrogenic devastation wrought by conventional medicine, homeopathy does no harm.

  7. Katalin J Cowan

    If the claims in this article were true, then how would you explain countless documented cases of a large variety of pathologies all cured by Homeopathic remedies? If these claims that Homeopathy does not work were true how do you explain all the times that it has and still does work; where people were suffering and then all of a sudden after homeopathy not suffering and are not only out of suffering but are now enjoying a full quality of life? When Homeopathic principles are applied effectively and the appropriate remedy is given, the results are miraculous. With only 30 years of experience with Homeopathy, don't take my word for it. Take the word of thousands upon thousands of people who have found relief over the years and whose lives have changed for the better thanks to this phenomenal method of healing. I am absolutely dumfounded that anyone would want to eliminate such a tremendous treasure that is Homeopathy. One would want to question what the motives are behind such a malevolent movement? Certainly not the welfare of mankind!

  8. Jatinder Aulakh

    And time should soon be coming when it will not just survive, but will thrive. No amount of disinformation can change the minds of the people like me who have seen and felt the power of homeopathy on numerous occasions. While ethical medical practice in conventional medicine is to be respected, main threat to "money medicine/science" is from Homeopathy, that is why they feel insecure and attack it so vigorosly.
    (especially after Cuba success
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20674839 ).
    Hopefully more people will get exposed to this wonderful art of healing called homeopathy, read the book written by DrDooley (Free copy at http://www.drdooley.net/Book.pdf) for realistic expectations of it, and benefit from it for the rest of their lives. GOD bless homeopathy.

  9. Liss Gillilan

    it's only just another opinion – it's a shame that one opinion is taken more notice of if the person has a few letters after their name, while years of experience is disregarded!!!

  10. Roger Bird

    I don't think that it is just malevolence and greed that powers allopathic medical dominance and their strident attack on especially homeopathy. Allopathic so-called medicine will always prevail so long as materialism (the belief or philosophy) is dominant. Look at India, where the majority of people believe with all of their minds and hearts that there is lots of important things above and beyond the physical. And homeopathy is doing very well in India. Then look at the USA, the richest and most powerful country in the history of the world, but the stupidest and the most pathetic with regard to the people's anger, frustration, diet, and illness from chronic degenerative diseases. And look at it's materialism. Materialism is running wild in my country. Most people have absolutely no clue whatsoever that they are not their bodies.

    Homeopathy is not about any physical atoms left in the remedy. The math and physics simply won't sustain that thought. ALL of the physical atoms are LONG gone by the time that we get to 30C, and the dang remedies just keep getting stronger the higher the dilutions/banging. So, whatever homeopathy is doing (and I sit here typing mostly out of pain thanks to homeopathy), it is not physical. Some people call it energy, but then they ruin their explanation by equating that energy with physical energy and then write silly things like E = MC^2. This spiritual or bio-energy that is the foundation of homeopathy is not physical energy.

    When we equate homeopathy energy with physical energy or we try to explain it with things like nano-particles still left in the solution, we simply set ourselves up to look like a bunch of morons to savvy science types, and then they gleeful rip us apart.

  11. Christine Jahnig

    A great post! You and I are living testaments to what homeopathy can accomplish. There are hundreds of thousands of people who can give the very same kinds of testimonies about their homeopathic treatments, people who are alive today thanks to a homeopath, people whose conditions, quality of life and global health were greatly enhanced by a homeopath.

    I could not agree more wholeheartedly with Jatinder Aulakh. We see so much disinformation about homeopathy on the internet simply because it is a massive threat to big pharma. Homeopathy ameliorates and quite often cures. It does it safely and inexpensively.

  12. Roger Bird

    You are right, Liss, but no one can confirm that I have had 43 successful years experience with homeopathy except my word.

  13. Jean Doherty

    I had a client who was pathologically agitated about the minor ailments of her children. I prescribed Rhus Tox in a high potency on finding thr rubric Concerned about health of family and knowing she was of a restless nature. She told me later that had been on the verge of driving into the country in her van and putting an end to her own and her children's life. She was returned to a balanced state.

  14. Be Well With Homeopathy

    Homeopathy is not only good for people. It is good for pets too. Will Falconer, DVM and homeopath posted the following comment elsewhere on 6/2/13. I have his permission to post it here:

    "I think the heart of it lies in our not being able to understand HOW homeopathy works. We just don't. It doesn't follow the laws of Newtonian physics, that's a given. When people can't understand how something CAN work, it's easier to assume that it doesn't, and write others off as delusional who know differently.

    And yet it works. On animals. On children. Neither of which know how to put on a placebo response. And it works in adults, too of course, independent of their "believing" that it will work.

    In homeopathic veterinary practice, I see serious illnesses that turn around with the careful application of homeopathic medicine, following the guidelines of the masters of old. These animals were not getting well with all that conventional medicine had for them, and their owners often spent thousands of dollars trying.

    While treating chronic illness of a serious nature is not easy with homeopathy, I can often get results in a positive, curative direction pretty early on in the course of treatment. And the animals are "harsh critics" if you will — if they don't receive a correct remedy prescription, they just don't get better. And, it's back to the drawing board, trying to analyze in a new way, looking for a better remedy.

    When a proper remedy is found, the results in the sick animals are profound. Not only does the "chief complaint" get significantly better, but other positive effects come to light. The dog who came in with itchy, allergic skin, may also respond positively in becoming less aggressive, more social, as the skin disease improves. The teeth often get cleaner, the breath improves, the joints get more limber. When we see several different organ systems all improving at the same time, we're confident the remedy made a deep, curative difference in the patient.

    In my mind, there's no better proof that homeopathy works than in veterinary homeopathic practice. You'd have a hard time telling an overjoyed animal owner that her animal got this much better due to "quackery."

    http://VitalAnimal.com

  15. Akshay Shetty

    you say "Additional scientific research has repeatedly found homeopathic remedies ineffective and their postulated mechanisms of action implausible. Homeopathic remedies have been the subject of numerous clinical trials, revealing at best, no effect beyond placebo, at worst a treatment could be actively harmful"! so a remedy which has no effect beyond placebo, reveals nothing best, yet it could be actively harmful? would not it be wise to clears your own doubts before posting? have lived in homoeopathy for years and will so for many to come. and really the anti-homoeopathy posts make no difference now. it has survived 'BEYOND DOUBTS', and the question does it work in non-existent now.

  16. Roslyn Ross

    What a lot of rot! Homeopathic remedies can be taken with Allopathic if people wish to pursue both at the same time and I never cease to be amazed at how little those who seek to discredit Homeopathy, actually understand it.

    This is a classic example -

    Homeopathic medicine views symptoms of illness as normal responses of the body as it attempts to regain health.

    No, Homeopathic medicine views symptoms as the language of the body as it reacts to those factors, emotional, psychological, physical and perhaps spiritual, which have thrown it out of balance. The symptoms are the language the body uses to speak to us – Homeopathy listens to that language and seeks to understand in order to find a remedy which will trigger a re-balance which will lead to regained health and Allopathy seeks to repress or remove symptoms, thereby driving the problems out of sight but not curing in any real sense.

    On the plus side, an article like this is such waffle and yet the mere fact that it says you need to tell your doctor, suggests that Homeopathy does have an effect – which of course it does – and therefore, inadvertently, the writer is actually validating Homeopathy as a medical treatment with verifiable effects.

  17. Shaun Hamer

    All alternative and natural therapies are to be banned under agenda 21.
    As will growing your own veg, organic health scares will be created to achieve this deception.
    You are going to have to fight for your medicine.

  18. Roslyn Ross

    I don't believe it will happen Shaun. Even if they tried it would be impossible to monitor. What I do believe is that as the failures of Allopathy grow, more and more people will look for alternatives. When there is an infection epidemic for which there is no antibiotic, then Homeopathy will come to the fore.

  19. Heidi Stevenson

    What a crock! The idea that people are incapable of making their own decisions is absurd. This article is promoting the ridiculous idea that homeopaths have some sort of magical power to control people, to force them not to choose homeopathy.

    It's obvious that the antihomeopathy people have no legitimate arguments, so they must resort to ones that assume most people are idiots and homeopaths are magicians.

  20. Helena Andrews

    Excuse me for being dense, but how could anything (never mind homeopathy), be 'at best, no effect beyond placebo, at worst a treatment could be actively harmful.' ??????? Can anyone explain that logic to my dumbass homeopathic head?

  21. Heather Forbes Caruso

    That would only be so if someone was held hostage not to go to their doctor, which we know is not the case. They fail to mention that people who seek homeopathy are upper income, higher educated folks. They are not stupid and are well able on going to a doctor as needed. They r searching for reasons why they shouldn't go to a doctor.

  22. Heidi Stevenson

    The claim that homeopathic remedies cannot have any effect on biological tissues is simply false. The fact is that study after study has demonstrated their effect on cell lines in vitro. While we may not know how it happens, we do know that it does happen.

    These claims that homeopathy doesn't work because it can't are simply absurd. That is the antithesis of science. Science investigates phenomena, such as the fact that cell lines respond to homeopathic preparations. Real science does not use circular reasoning like, it can't work so it doesn't. That's religious thinking, not scientific thinking.

  23. Christine Jahnig

    Shaun, hundreds of millions of people have enjoyed improved health and quality of life with homeopathic treatment. Many hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved with homeopathy. Although conventional medicine is great for surgical interventions and making substances the body doesn't like insulin, it's also known for the iatrogenic diseases and deaths it causes. And yet you are so very pleased by your belief that homeopathy and CAM will be banned.

    Not a very humanitarian view, is it?

    I agree with Roslyn Ross: more and more people will look for alternatives to con med. That's why homeopathy is growing in use in countries around the world at rates of 10% to 30%. That's why homeopathy is being attacked.

  24. Sandra Courtney

    If it were not for the homeopathic principle of “like treats like”, the discovery that Nitroglycerin in a small dose produced cardiac angina chest pain (the exact symptoms a patient with cardiovascular heart disease experiences) this safe therapy would have never been discovered.

    Nitroglycerin lactose (milk sugar) tablets (sugar pills too) are now manufactured by many pharmaceutical companies under different names. It is noteworthy that lactose tablets are the safest way for drug delivery for a patient who is unconscious because they can be placed under a patient’s tongue and do not require that a patient be able to swallow.

    Link below to the American Heart Association article “Nitroglycerin: a homeopathic remedy” by W.B. Fye. Nitroglycerin lactose (milk sugar) tablets are now manufactured by many pharmaceutical companies under different brand names. It is noteworthy that lactose tablets are the safest drug delivery method for a patient who is unconscious since they can be placed under the tongue if a patient is unable to swallow.

    Source of article: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/73/1/21.citation.

  25. Christine Jahnig

    Very true! The monsanto-protection-act was signed by Obama. We are fighting across the country for labeling laws so that people will know what they're buying and eating.

  26. Xrene Xexixrxs

    if the patient chooses to use this therapy.. conventional doctors have no business asserting thier preference on that person.. i have more family memeber who are being murdered in a fashion by these criminals with a license to kill.. their irresponsible and thier criminal psychosis, thier religious like fervor of having everyone on a pill.. 2 people in stage four cancer.. 2 children with siezure disorders… those arrogant sacks of crap have some gall to go after people who want something alternative.. alternative has always worked for me wether it was purely nutritional, herbal or homeopathic.. it's not thier damn business to dictate other peoples choices to them..

  27. Xrene Xexixrxs

    those cancers were all medically induced.. it makes me sick.. and how many children i know who are negatively affected by vaccines??

  28. Roger Bird

    I love your language, XX. I love it with ever fiber of my being. "arrogant sacks of crap", "irresponsible and criminal psychosis", "religious like fervor of having everyone on a pill". Music to my ears.

  29. Roger Bird

    Anyone close to a dog knows that they are crazy about interspecies french kissing. I have two dogs who I adore, and they won't hesitate to go for my mouth. One is sort of placid and only goes for the mouth if it is close to her mouth. But the other one is as aggressive as a teenaged boy. I try to present my ear to her, and she gives it a slight lick, and then goes for the mouth. I have to hold her snout and place it back on my ear if I want to keep from having something disgusting happen to me.

    Now, I am sure that you are probably wondering why I am telling you this. After millions of years of being pack animals and NEEDING to establish social harmony, only those wolves/dogs survived who had this behavior hardwired in their brains. And the reason is that this french kissing imparts "vibes", "energy" similar to the homeopathic "stuff", to the other animal and it establishes the needed harmony.

    But, it goes beyond this. My dogs "believe" in this homeopathic kiss; they are enthusiastic about it. They LIKE it. I think that they experience the exchange of "vibes". I am not someone who thinks that some animals are just as smart as humans; that is just silly. But, according to Meher Baba, although their consciousness is not yet complete, their egos are much less tight. They are more likely to experience in some sense what we can no longer experience, the vibes of things, what we toss in our mouths along with the sugar pills when we take homeopathic remedies.

  30. Sandra Courtney

    Yes, an amazing treasure. I would not be alive today if it were not for homeopathy. I spent almost 5 years in Europe in the 1960's and it is still very popular there I believe. I scoffed at the thought of "those sugar pills" then. Why? I knew nothing about it. Now, because con med is failing miserably and most health care consumers are better informed and have more choices, BigPharma sees the competition raising its ugly head, that being homeopathy, thank goodness!

  31. Guy Chapman

    This is a hilarious bit of nonsense. As anybody who has even the slightest trace of scientific education will know, the core doctrines of homeopathy are either refuted or ludicrous. The "right" to use it amounts always to the "right" of quacks to defraud people.

  32. Guy Chapman

    Xrene Xexixrxs A question: if people choose to buy into a pyramid scheme, does that make it any less a fraud? Do we infringe their right to choose false hope of cash by making pyramid schemes illegal? That is what happens with homeopathy. It is a fake therapy, nobody buys it without being sold it.

  33. Roger Bird

    Guy, I am not a homeopath. I gain no money from homeopathy or from writing this. It has been working very nicely for me and my family for the past 43 years. And, yes, we know that there is NO physical substance left in the remedies after about 12C. But it not only continues to work, it gets stronger the more dilutions and succusses are done to it. Yes, I know, it is strange. I believe that it is magic. But I know that it works. What I believe doesn't take my pain away. The homeopathy does.

    If you can't understand that and insist that it is bunk, please, allow me my rights to do homeopathy and leave us alone.

  34. Heidi Stevenson

    When your argument is nothing but ridicule and implications of intellectual superiority, then you are demonstrating that you have nothing of value to say on the topic. Ridicule is neither argument nor debate.

  35. Heidi Stevenson

    That's a false dichotomy. Pyramid schemes are not health care. Your claim that homeopathy is a false therapy is based on false claims, not on fact.

    It's so easy to say, again and again and again, that homeopathy doesn't work because it can't – but that's not science. Science does not make such decisions. Science investigates phenomena.

    It's so easy to claim – again and again and again – that science says homeopathic remedies have no effect, but the fact is that study after study has shown exactly the opposite, that it does have an effect, which is measurable. Saying those studies don't exist is simply untrue, no matter how many times you say it.

    Saying homeopathy is a fake therapy does not explain that it works on animals.

    People have the right to choose the therapy they want.

  36. Guy Chapman

    Homeopathy demands ridicule. It is ridiculous. The claim that like cures like is refuted. The claim that dilution increases potency is refuted. The claim that disease is caused by miasms disturbing the vital force is refuted. The purported mechanisms by which a substance with no tangible connection to a disease, diluted until none exists, can effect healing, vary between risible and incoherent. Every study of homeopathy is consistent with the null hypothesis, but homeopaths typically do not even understand what this is, still less why it's important.

    Homeopathy is a religion. There is nothing about it that is empirically verifiable. Anyone who wants to use it should be informed at the time of purchase that the remedies are inert, because otherwise people might believe it can work, and suffer serious harm. Like the people given ineffective (according to the Society of Homeopaths) homeopathic malaria prophylaxis. They get malaria. Or Penelope Dingle, who used homeopathy instead of surgery for a treatable cancer, suffered unspeakable agony and died.

  37. Guy Chapman

    Heidi, no studies convincingly demonstrate any effect in vitro. Benveniste's work was an unconscious fraud by his assistant, Montagnier's cannot be replicated and in any case he says it cannot be extrapolated to the substances used i homeopathy, the study claiming toxicity against breast cancer cells did not control properly for the alcohol (which kills cells).

    You must always remember that for homeopathic remedies to work, we would have to be wrong about pretty much everything to do with particle physics, chemistry and biochemistry. And not just a little bit wrong, spectacularly wrong. You can only read this because of science that is in fundamental conflict with the ideas of homeopathy.

    Against that background, you need a very robust result. No such result exists. If it did, the shockwaves would be felt throughout the scientific world. One major red flag is that no other field of science has ever encountered anything remotely like the claims of homeopathy. Like N-rays, the only people who can see the effect are those who already believe and are looking for it.

    The more parsimonious explanation is the null hypothesis. Placebo effects, observer bias, natural course of disease, regression to the mean. All these are mundane, observable in every field of medicine, and indeed expected.

  38. Guy Chapman

    Sandra: If you have convincing proof that homeopathy saved your life then that would make you the first person in history who can substantiate a claim that homeopathy has cured anything. But we have discussed this before: you have no such proof.

  39. Heidi Stevenson

    No one's talking about Benveniste. Try "Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells" by Moishe Frenkel, DOI: 10.3892/ijo_00000512. And it's been duplicated using other remedies.

    A "robust result" is a meaningless statement.

    Your condescension is entirely out of place. Your presumption of placebo effects should be applied to the results of pharmaceutical drug test – which you never seem to care about, and which have not shown results to be of any real difference than those of homeopathy. Since pharmaceutical results are about the same as homeopathic ones in journals, why don't you concern yourself with them, since they also have extremely severe and often deadly adverse effects? No homeopathic remedy does.

  40. Sandra Courtney

    Guy Chapman is a well paid member of the disinformation leagues funded by BigPharma all over the internet. Ignore him. He cannot speak from a position of authority. He is as dilute as a 1M potency! (Double entendre.) He cannot say that he has ever been treated by a classical homeopath, is a physician, a homeopath himself, a pharmaceutical chemist or any accredited professional who practices in anything related to the health sciences field. He and his ilk were exposed by the health sciences reporter Jerome Burne recently.

    http://jeromeburne.com/2013/06/27/why-hounding-homeopaths-is-both-batty-and-arrogant/

    “There are many well-funded and highly-organized disinformation operations in full-swing throughout the internet. From forums to comment boards and even professional websites that have only one purpose: Defame, distract, and destroy the truth.”

    However organized, the tactics are very predictable in a world filled with lies and half-truths. This, sadly, includes every day news media, one of the worst offenders with respect to being a source of disinformation.

    Stephen Barrett’s Quackwatch.com and supporters such as skeptic.org.uk, skepticblog.com and The Nightingale Collaboration are are examples of websites which promote both synthetic and organic disinformation on almost any topic that does not concur with mainstream thought.

    There are specific tactics which disinfo artists tend to apply, as H. Michael Sweeney has brilliantly detailed. Also included with this material are eight common traits of the disinfo artist which may also prove useful in identifying players and motives. The more a particular party fits the traits and is guilty of following the rules, the more likely they are a professional disinfo artist with a vested motive. “

    Source: http://www.realfarmacy.com/25-rules-of-disinformation/

  41. Christine Jahnig

    In the 1918 epidemic of Spanish influenza, in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, the mortality rate with homeopathic treatment was 1.05%. With allopathic treatment the mortality rate was 30%. These statistics were reported by Dean, Pittsburgh Hospital.

    drnancymalik.com/2013/01/23/epidemics-and-pandemics/

  42. Christine Jahnig

    During the 2007 hurricane season Cuba used its homeopathic nosode to prevent an epidemic of leptospirosis in certain provinces. It had previously used their conventional vaccine Vax-Spiral. With Vax-Spiral there were 100+ deaths. With the homeopathic nosode there were ZERO deaths. With Vax-Spiral there were thousands of infects. With homeopathy there were 10 or fewer infects per month.

    http://homeopathyresource.wordpress.com/2009/01/01/successful-use-of-homeopathy-in-over-5-million-people-reported-from-cuba

    The control group was the other 8.8 million people who did not receive homeopathy. The rate of infection rose as predicted. The argument that the infection was coming to an end doesn't "hold water" (you should pardon the pun) in view of the vastly different trends in the two groups on the same island. The only difference between them was that one group received homeopathy and one didn't.

  43. Christine Jahnig

    The lives of, at minimum, 12 cancer patients were saved by homeopathy alone. There are most likely many more, but documentation of these 12 is a matter of public record. They suffered from brain tumors, lung cancer, osteosarcoma, and cancer of the oesophogus and pineal and pituitary glands.

    http://www.pbhrfindia.org – click on "Case Studies" to see case records, CT scans, x-rays and histopathological reports

    Her conventional doctors treated this young woman, who was diagnosed in 1996, with chemo and radiation but told her the treatments were causing more damage and that she was terminal. Instead of going into hospice, she decided to go home. She also decided to try homeopathy. Today — 2013 — she is a homeopath.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqrGW8D-CuU

  44. Christine Jahnig

    And here's Martin J. Walker's opinion of the ASA: A bogus organization that has taken pot shots at a variety of CAM modalities over the past 25 years but never says a word about conventional drugs even though they're readily advertised and brought into public view in all kinds of underhanded ways.

    Walker goes on to say that big pharma has been supporting an extensive campaign against non-pharmaceutical healthcare since 1988 including the bogus charity Sense About Science. These science promotional groups have used the ASA at every opportunity to support their cause. One of the most recent campaigns against natural medicine is the Nightingale Collaboration.

    http://www.homeopathyheals.me.uk/site/featured/3101-martin-walkers-opinion-of-the-asa

  45. Sandra Courtney

    Just to inform all the readers here, Guy Chapman who rates homeopathic remedies and books on Amazon as “GuyChapman Just zis Guy, you know” continues to abuse the Amazon.com review of products sections to post negative reviews about homeopathic books and remedies (over 60 and counting, perhaps more) accompanied by his recommendation that people purchase other books that oppose homeopathy instead. Based on Mr. Chapman’s radical stance against homeopathy, his reviews are therefore very dishonest. Posting a link below so that everyone can see how he distorts the truth. Wonder how much he is paid for each negative review?

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A18N0CLOB4HZYL/ref=cm_aya_bb_pdp

  46. Sandra Courtney

    Oh, and the readers here should see the posts from someone named Jonathan to the Nightingale Collaboration and how he has hounded homeopaths. There are also posts directed towards me and I have not even commented on their comments forum. I wonder why that is? Was it because I exposed their shameful hounding homeopaths tactics elsewhere? Scroll down the page to see the comments. I was saddened by the comment that one of the homeopaths that replied to the threats was "terrified."

    http://www.skepticat.org/2013/07/a-bad-week-for-homeopaths-but-a-great-one-for-the-nightingale-collaboration/

  47. Sandra Courtney

    I was referring to this comment on that page I gave a link to above:

    Jonathan (@JonMcA): Wednesday 03 July 2013 at 3:58 PM

    On the back of the ASA finding I got a list of local Homeopaths to me from here: http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/about-homeopathy/find-a-homeopath/

    Checked which ones failed by claiming to treat ailments and emailed them all this:

    http://i.imgur.com/j6Sdohg.png

    Warning them to clean up their website or be reported to the ASA and Trading Standards.
    I’ve had one terrified response so far. I urge everyone else to do the same.

    This is the hounding that Jerome Burne referred to in his recent article "Why Hounding Homeopaths is both Batty and Arrogant". You can Google the title and name to read the article.

    Contact | Contents

  48. Guy Chapman

    Christine: False. There is no independent authentication of this claim, it relies on taking the word of homeopaths at face value. Even if homeopaths weren't, as a class, given to systematic mendacity, this is a blatant conflict of interest.

    The total number of independently authenticated cures of any condition, disease or complaint by homeopathy, in all of history, is zero. Feel free to prove otherwise, you will be the first.

  49. Guy Chapman

    Christine Jahnig A leptospirosis epidemic declined in exactly the time it would be expected to by regression to the mean, and this proves homeopathy. Oh, wait, no it doesn't.

  50. Guy Chapman

    The only wonder is that people actually believe this tripe. I mean, really. Were your chemistry and physics teachers really that bad, or did you just not listen?

  51. Roger Bird

    Guy, if you like to be sick, that is OK with me. If you rather be right than be well, find with me.

    Your belief in materialism is unprovable. Homeopathy disproves materialism.

  52. Roger Bird

    Sandra Courtney I made a mistake. I actually thought that Guy Chapman was a human being. He is going to have a tough afterlife. In LENR research, we call so-called people like him skeptopaths. And smart people simply do not read or respond to skeptopaths. I will make it a point to ignore him.

    And we were doing so well in this comments section, then we got infected with skeptopaths.

    They like to use ideology and theory to beat people into submission to their way of seeing things.

  53. Steve Tonkin

    Heidi Stevenson, you wrote: ' Try "Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells" by Moishe Frenkel,'

    What you do not say is that the names of one of the cited authors (Alison Pawlus) was included against her will. She asked not to have her name on the paper because of the concerns she had about the lack of control of ethanol content of the "remedies"; ethanol is known to be highly cytotoxic.

    That study is so poorly conducted that the only valid conclusion is that homeopaths will grasp at straws of their own creation in order to defend the indefensible.

  54. Steve Tonkin

    Sandra Courtney, you also claim, as you have elsewhere, that Mr Chapman's comments are financially motivated and dishonest. I suggest to you that this is a superstitious belief for which you have no evidence. Presumably it is just there because you have no evidence that refutes Mr Chapman's arguments, so your only recourse is to resort to argumentum ad hominem.

    This may be outside your experience and come as a complete surprise to you, but some people act for ethical, not financial, reasons.

  55. Steve Tonkin

    Sandra Courtney, you wrote ' I was saddened by the comment that one of the homeopaths that replied to the threats was "terrified." '

    So was I. It is a very sad day when anyone is "terrified" by being asked to comply with the same advertising standards that everybody else has to comply with. Can you suggest any good reason why homeopaths should be a special case and exempt from regulations that apply to everyone else?

  56. Steve Tonkin

    Sandra Courtney You mentioned Skepticat's blog and linked to it. Don't you think it was rather naiive of you to link to somewhere where you pretend not to have posted something that you did actually post? If you have a dictionary and know how to use it, try looking up the word "mendacious".

  57. Christine Jahnig

    My only regret is that I didn't find homeopathy a lot sooner than I did. I wish I had had its benefits beginning in childhood. From my years of experience with it as an adult, I know that it would have resolved my childhood illnesses quickly and without unpleasant side effects. It would also have improved my immune system, a real blessing.

  58. Keith Chenery

    Guy Chapman
    The burning question for me is "Who is Guy Chapman?"
    Every time I read an article about homeopathy that has comments – there he is.

    Is this all you do all day Guy, scour the internet for homeopathy debates to pour your informed scorn all over? I say "informed" because you seem to have gone to great lengths to educate yourself about the mechanisms, history and philosophy of homeopathy. How anyone can dedicate so much time and energy to something that they do not believe in – so that they can ridicule it – amazes me!

    Look, I'm an atheist, my opinion of religion is that – for the most part – it is dangerous superstitious nonsense and has been responsible for more death, misery and division than any other human foible.
    But I wouldn't waste my valuable time studying scripture and theology so that I could spend my days scouring the internet for articles to deride.
    However, if someone offered to pay me to do it . . . .

    Your omnipresence betrays you Guy. You're a shill.

  59. Andrea Wakelin

    My personal experience of homeopathy is far more rewarding than that of allopathic medicine. Homeopathy built me up to a place of full health and vitality after a debilitating illness and drug regime that gave me little hope for the future. I now use alternative medicine only for my family.

  60. Guy Chapman

    I would like to call this out for particular note. Sandra Courtney states: "Guy Chapman is a well paid member of the disinformation leagues funded by BigPharma all over the internet."

    It is difficult to see if this is the result of paranoia or simply a complete lack of respect for truth. I suspect the latter given the individual involved.

    I am only aware of one case where payments were made to engage in debate over homeopathy; a cartel of German homeopathy manufacturers paid a journalist over €40,000 to rubbish Edzard Ernst.

    The "pharma shill gambit" has always been fallacious, and in most cases the only people with a financial stake in the outcome of a debate over homeopathy, are the homeopaths. Homeopathy is a multi-billion-dollar industry but most homeopaths in the UK are lay homeopaths with no medical or scientific training, they seem to think that because they are not part of some faceless conglomerate they do not have a vested interest, but in this as in so many things they are wrong.

    I have no financial interest in the pharmaceutical industry, and don't actually like them terribly much (I'm a fan of Ben Goldacre). I discuss homeopathy because I think it's an important example of a fraudulent health claim that persists due to systematic lack of critical thinking, ignorance of science, and ignorance of the claims that are actually being made (for example the apparently deliberate conflation of homeopathy and herbal remedies, or glossing over the absurd dilutions and the ridiculous "proving" process).

    I regard homeopathy as a useful litmus test. Support for homeopathy indicates a problem, either a lack of knowledge or a failure to properly understand the evidence. Progress towards the elimination of homeopathy and its false claims is a yardstick of progress towards a properly rational approach.

    The ASA adjudication against the Society of Homeopaths is robust, any homeopath making claims to treat or cure any condition was always in breach of the Code of Advertising Practice but now they can hardly fail to be aware of this. NHS funding for homeopathy is indefensible, once it has stopped I will be content that meaningful progress is being made towards a more rigorous evidential approach.

    Exactly the same standards must be applied to all treatments. Homeopaths loudly trumpet the results of scientific inquiry when it finds an issue with a drug, but react with denial and conspiracy theories when exactly the same process reveals their cherished beliefs to be wrong. The problem is with the homeopaths, not with science.

    Homeopaths: your doctrines are refuted, your ideas conflict with the laws of thermodynamics and multiple other well-established scientific principles, your observations are consistent with the null hypothesis and you have never come up with a remotely plausible reason to believe otherwise.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I'ma afraid you are simply wrong. And actually it's not news, hasn't been for some time.

  61. Guy Chapman

    That's quite funny. It's easy to find out who I am, and that I do not work for the pharmaceutical industry. It's also easy to find out who most of the equally ubiquitous pro-homeopathy commenters are, and that they DO have a vested interest in homeopathy. Which makes them the shills….

  62. Guy Chapman

    What you have observed is fully consistent with the null hypothesis. I'd be happy to explain what that means if you're interested.

  63. Guy Chapman

    There are no authenticated cases of homeopathy having verifiably cured anything. Homeopaths have a long list of things they *claim* to be cures, but all of them can be accounted for by prosaic explanations that do not require us to invoke empirically unverifiable ideas.

  64. Paul Mathews

    Heidi Stevenson the comparison with the pyramid scheme is not a dichotomy, false or otherwise. It's an illustration showing that popularity whether for something genuine or fake does not always have a bearing on it's legitimacy.

    No-one claims that homeopathy doesn't work because it can't; that is a straw-man approach.

    The assertion is that we know of no method by which homeopathy can work, and it violates some robust theories. Therefore to believe that it works, robust peer-reviewer evidence is required.

    Homeopaths have repeated failed to provide this. Every study you have ever posted has been thouroghly and repeatedly debunked.

    No reason to believe it works by evidence or by theory.

    This same may be true for many conventional medicince too.

    The animals example is long since de-bunked.

    Confirmation bias, and regression to the mean can explain anecdotes of animals getting better.

    Provide a larger study, independantly reviewed and replicated where the recorders and prescribers don't know which animal is getting the homeopathic treatment and which is getting the control, then you have the beginning of some evidence.

    Now, this is what frustrates….none of what I have written above is new to you….

    You already know all of this but you persist in spamming these pages with extractions from you scare-mongering conspiracy theory blog.

    Certainly some conventional medicine is useless or even dangerous, but your advice is not only misguided, but dangerous and may kill someone one day, if it hasn't already.

  65. Christine Jahnig

    Guy Chapman,

    We champion homeopathy because of the wonderful blessings, health-wise, it's given to us. I am a homeopathic patient, not a homeopath, a maker of homeopathic medicines, seller of books or anything else that would be financially benefit me.

    Those people who are homeopaths have a powerful, healing medicine to offer.

  66. Keith Chenery

    That's even funnier Guy.
    You should be on the radio with stuff like that. :)

  67. Jatinder Aulakh

    .
    @Guy Chapman "and that I do not work for the pharmaceutical industry."
    There is really no way to find out if you are being indirectly funded or paid under the table. Does not mean you are, but your type of comments seem to suggest some link.

    "A leptospirosis epidemic declined in exactly the time it would be expected to by regression to the mean" while there was a 84% decline in Homeopathic Intervention Region, there was an increase of 22% in other areas, could you please explain.

    If person after person says that they have benefited from homeopathy, only a closed mind can ignore/deny that. My family is also one of those family that has benefited greatly from homeopathy. I can talk for myself, I do not believe you can talk for me. And please respect other peoples intelligence. GOD bless.

  68. Guy Chapman

    Helena: It's easily explained. Homeopathic "remedies" are inert, any observed affects are placebo effects only. If you have a cold, homeopathy will cure it in only seven days whereas it would take a week to go away on its own. The only harm is wasted money (and credit falsely given to an ineffective treatment). However, when people use homeopathy in cases where it matter,s harm is done.

    There are many examples. The worst I can think of is Penelope Dingle, who used homeopathy instead of surgery for a treatable cancer and as a result suffered unspeakable agony and died (http://www.danbuzzard.net/storage/Dingle_Finding.pdf). The BBC conducted two separate investigations, visiting homeopaths to talk about malaria prevention. In both cases the homeopaths offered "prophylaxis" which the Society of Homeopaths acknowledges does not work. Most did not even give anti-bite advice, none recommended the use of proven antimalarials. And of course there's the case of anosmia caused by a homeopathic remedy in the US that contained active ingredient, but since most homeopathic remedies don't contain any active ingredient I do feel that's only really indicative of the absence of any checks on safety and quality.

    So, homeopathy is placebo, but if you believe it is anything else then it can cause definite harm. Happy to have cleared that up for you.