Homeopathy: How It Really Works

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The most popular homeopathic cold and flu remedy is sold as a C dilution, and there are even higher dilutions. An example will clarify the mind- boggling implausibility of homeopathy.

Homeopathy - Answer to Critics

If coffee keeps you awake, according to homeopathy dilute coffee will put you to sleep. The more dilute, the stronger the effect. The water will somehow remember the coffee. Later in his career, in order to explain the failures of homeopathy, Hahnemann came up with the idea that all disease is due to three miasms: syphilis, sycosis gonorrhea , and psora scabies, or itch. These could be inherited or the result of an infection; they had to be cleared before the homeopathic remedy could work.

Anything could be a homeopathic remedy.

Do Homeopathic Remedies Really Work? - VICE

Soluble materials could be diluted in water or alcohol. Nonsoluble materials could be ground into powder triturated and diluted with sugar lactose powder. There is no attempt to separate the ordinary vicissitudes of everyday life from symptoms caused by the substance. These reports are then compiled into a Repertory where the homeopath can look up a patient symptom or characteristic to see what remedies had been associated with it in the provings.

The homeopath then consults a second book, a Materia Medica, for a list of symptoms that are associated with each remedy. Examples of symptoms listed under those categories include eyelids heavy; anemic headache of schoolgirls; constipation; diarrhea; sensation of coldness of heart; palms hot and perspiring; hangnails; dreams of robbers; oily skin; warts on palms of hands; chill between 9 and 11 am, and so on for many pages.

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What is natrum muriaticum? Common table salt. They pick the remedy that they deem to be the best match for you. If you get worse, they may tell you aggravations are a good sign. They will reevaluate you at every visit and change remedies as needed until one finally seems to do the trick or your illness runs its course and your symptoms have had time to go away on their own. Homeopaths have made numerous attempts to justify their remedies in light of science.

They have compared the remedies to vaccines, but vaccines are very different from homeopathic remedies because they contain measurable numbers of antigen molecules, they act by well-understood scientific mechanisms, and their results can be quantified by measuring antibody titers. Homeopaths have appealed to hormesis, a phenomenon whereby a low dose of a chemical may trigger the opposite response to a high dose. They have done fatally flawed experiments trying to prove that water can remember, as if that alone would somehow validate clinical treatments.

A subsequent Nature investigation showed that the positive results were all from one technician and were best explained by poor controls and inadequate blinding procedures; attempts to replicate his findings failed Maddox et al. They are wrong: it can. Homeopaths involved in designing homeopathy studies have conspicuously chosen not to design them this way. When penicillin was first used, no one understood how it worked; however, it was immediately obvious that it did work, so doctors started using it right away, and only much later figured out that it kills bacteria by interfering with their ability to manufacture cell wall components.

There have been a number of positive clinical studies of homeopathy, but the effects have been inconsistent and small in magnitude. We know that there are many reasons an ineffective treatment may appear to work in a study. The better the design of a homeopathy study, the more likely it is to have negative results, and the best-designed studies have been consistently negative.

Systematic reviews fail to support homeopathy. In Edzard Ernst did a systematic review of systematic reviews Ernst that showed homeopathy was no better than placebo. Homeopaths love to cite statistics from nineteenth-century cholera and typhoid epidemics where patients treated with homeopathy were more likely to survive than patients treated with conventional medicine. Those historical successes are easily explained. Doctors of the time were using remedies that often actively caused harm, but homeopathic remedies did nothing so of course the results were better.

Homeopathy was just a way of avoiding iatrogenic harm. Conventional medicine has made a lot of progress since then.

Homeopathy 'could be blacklisted'

One real danger of homeopathy is in the area of vaccines. People are deluded into believing they are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases when they are actually putting themselves at risk and putting others in their community at risk by decreasing the herd immunity. In a United Kingdom study, experimenters posed as patients planning a trip to Africa and asked homeopaths what they should do to prevent malaria.


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The remedies sort it out. There are other risks. Sometimes a homeopathic remedy is not dilute enough and has actual harmful physiological effects. A homeopathic teething remedy was recalled in because it contained varying amounts of belladonna and children taking it had suffered seizures consistent with belladonna poisoning. Although some people say homeopathy, a type of alternative medicine, is safe and leads to better outcomes when used along with conventional medicine, others say it can be harmful, and it is unethical for doctors to recommend it.

Such as deadly nightshade for cold and flu, or poison ivy for rashes. Supporters of the practice also believe that the substances used in treatments should be diluted, because lower doses of a treatment are actually more potent. But this means that many homeopathic remedies are diluted so much that not a single molecule from the original "active" substance would remain, according to the National Institutes of Health. As such, any ideas that homeopathic treatments could actually work to treat sick people "fly in the face of science," said Dr.

Controlled studies tend to show that outcomes for people who receive homeopathic treatments are indistinguishable from those of people who receive placebos, Ernst wrote in the July 14 issue of the BMJ. Still, because there isn't any active substance present in homeopathic treatments, they are unlikely to cause serious harm, Ernst said.

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