Busting the Myths About Homeopathy!
Submitted by cchm on Fri, 08/26/2011 – 13:52
If you have spent any time on the internet, on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook or even watch the television, you have probably seen people saying that Homeopathy just doesn’t work. These people often call themselves “sceptics”. They claim that they are all about the scientific process, yet when presented with clear evidence to the contrary, they almost blindly cling to their opinions. Accordingly, I like to refer to these people as “pseudo sceptics” as they do not appear to follow scientific thinking at all. In fact, scientists are supposed to propose a hypothesis for further research and study and then try to prove their hypothesis wrong. Furthermore, the appears to be evidence that many of these “pseudo sceptic groups” (the best example is the UK group Sense About Science) actually receive funding from the Pharmaceutical industry suggesting that their efforts to badmouth Homeopathy is coming from a vested interest or at least, that Homeopathy is a threat to the pharmaceutical industry.
What Are These Myths?
Myth Number 1: Homeopathy Is Just Placebo!
The placebo effect is defined as “a remarkable phenomenon in which a placebo– a fake treatment, an inactive substance like sugar, distilled water, or salinesolution — can sometimes improve a patient’s condition simply because the person has the expectation that it will be helpful.” (http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=31481)
There are hundreds of clinical studies that have been published in peer-reviewed journals showing that homeopathic remedies have an effect exceeding those of placebo. The more important point is that homeopathic studies on cell cultures and animals have demonstrated a positive effect in excess of that of the placebo effect. Both animals and cells are not susceptible to the placebo effect. Finally, if the placebo effect were the explanation of a wide variety of Homeopathic cures, then a Homeopath could administer any remedy and the patient would improve. Any Homeopath will tell you that it is only by closely following the “Law of Similars” that a true improvement and/or cure can only take place.
Myth Number 2: There is No Evidence That Homeopathy Works!
I hate to repeat myself here again, but this is just incorrect. As the website www.extraordinarymedicine.orgstates “This is the most often repeated falsehood emanating from the anti-homeopathy pundits. A tenet they hold as sacred, cite from each other and repeat without shame to media and public alike”.
Do you want to know the truth? The truth is that there are over 600 published research studies, including the gold-standard double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, that demonstrate the effectiveness of Homeopathy over both placebo and conventional medicines. There are clinical studies for acute and chronic disease in both humans and animals which include conditions such as fibromyalgia, eczema, asthma, mastitis in cows, ADHD, HIV/AIDS and much more.
Homeopathy is Dangerous Because It Encourages People From Delaying Medical Treatment
Again this is untrue and reflects an effort to try to promote a culture of fear. Patients have a right to choose which type of medical treatment they would like to pursue. This tactic not only takes agency out of the hands of patients, it also suggests that patients cannot do their own research and make well-informed decisions about their healthcare. Homeopathy does not have to be a stand-alone treatment either. One of the wonderful advantages of Homeopathic treatment is that it is not contraindicated if a patient is pursuing conventional medical treatment and especially pharmaceutical medications.
Apparently these “pseudo sceptics” resort to this argument presenting Homeopathy as dangerous at the same time they try to present it only as the placebo effect. Unfortunately, a medicine cannot be dangerous and have nothing in it at the same time.
In the true interest of upholding evidence-based medicine, I encourage you to critically examine statements by such individuals or groups who seem to be more interested in slandering homeopathy than in the truth.
I would also encourage you to read a wonderful article about Science and Homeopathy by a scientist turned Homeopath at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/15/homeopathy-works-scientific-evidence