Alternative Medicine: Homeopathy

Rrose_Selavy

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#1
So it doesn't work.Yet they are also reporting that the WHO report says it does. compared to placebo. And yet, "placebo-controlled randomised controlled trial is not a fitting research tool" to test homepathy - so if not what is? And if it works, why hasn't anyone gone and claimed the Randi dosh?

Medics attack use of homeopathy
A leading medical journal has made a damning attack on homeopathy, saying it is no better than dummy drugs.
The Lancet says the time for more studies is over and doctors should be bold and honest with patients about homeopathy's "lack of benefit".

A Swiss-UK review of 110 trials found no convincing evidence the treatment worked any better than a placebo.

Advocates of homeopathy maintained the therapy, which works on the principle of treating like with like, does work.

Continuing dispute

Someone with an allergy, for example, who was using homeopathic medicines would attempt to beat it with an ultra-diluted dose of an agent that would cause the same symptoms.


Many previous studies have demonstrated that homeopathy has an effect over and above placebo
A spokeswoman from the Society of Homeopaths

The row over homeopathy has been raging for years.

In 2002, American illusionist James Randi offered $1m to anyone able to prove, under observed conditions in a laboratory, that homeopathic remedies can really cure people.

To date, no-one has passed the preliminary tests.

In the UK, homeopathy is available on the NHS. Some argue that it should be more widely available, while others believe it should not be offered at all.

In 2000, the UK Parliamentary Select Committee on Science and Technology issued a report on complementary and alternative medicine.

It reported that "any therapy that makes specific claims for being able to treat specific conditions should have evidence of being able to do this above and beyond the placebo effect".


To prove a negative is impossible. But good large studies of homeopathy do not show a difference
Researcher Professor Matthias Egger


According to Professor Matthias Egger, from the University of Berne, and Swiss colleagues from Zurich University and a UK team at the University of Bristol, homeopathy has no such evidence.

They compared 110 trials that looked at the effects of homeopathy versus placebo with 110 trials of conventional medicines for the same medical disorders or diseases.

This included trials for the treatment of asthma, allergies and muscular problems, some large and some small.

For both homeopathy and conventional medicines, the smaller trials of lower quality showed more beneficial treatment effects than the larger trials.


However, when they looked at only the larger, high-quality trials, they found no convincing evidence that homeopathy worked any better than placebo.

Professor Egger said: "We acknowledge to prove a negative is impossible.

"But good large studies of homeopathy do not show a difference between the placebo and the homeopathic remedy, whereas in the case of conventional medicines you still see an effect."

He said some people do report feeling better after having homeopathy. He believes this is down to the whole experience of the therapy, with the homeopath spending a lot of time and attention on the individual.

"It has nothing to do with what is in the little white pill," he said.

'Research bias'

However, the Lancet also reports that a draft report on homeopathy by the World Health Organization says the majority of peer-reviewed scientific papers published over the past 40 years have demonstrated that homeopathy is superior to placebo in placebo-controlled trials.




Furthermore, it says that homeopathy is equivalent to conventional medicines in the treatment of illnesses, both in humans and animals.

Professor Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, said the draft WHO report seemed overtly biased and that all of the trials cited happened to be positive.

"They are not the most rigorous ones, not the most recent," he said.

A spokeswoman from the Society of Homeopaths said: "Many previous studies have demonstrated that homeopathy has an effect over and above placebo.

"It has been established beyond doubt and accepted by many researchers, that the placebo-controlled randomised controlled trial is not a fitting research tool with which to test homeopathy."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/h ... 183916.stm

Published: 2005/08/26 00:21:32 GMT

© BBC MMV
 
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#2
Don't know if it's because I'm knackered but that report seemed to be all over the place. :confused:

It's tempting to think that they are against randomised placebo trials to test homeopathy because it works by placebo effect.

But from what I understand (according to the Society of Homeopaths) the reason that the placebo trials are not an appropriate means of testing it is that homeopathy is not like conventional medicine- in that a strict dose applied to a specific ailment, but that each patient is given tailor-made (and thus differing) treatments. I guess that would muddy any interpretation of the benefits, because you don't have a steady 'control'.

http://www.homeopathy-soh.com/whats-new/

Having said that, surely it's still the best method you're going to get.
 

Leaferne

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#3
Homeopathy always seemed a bit dubious to me, but I've also heard many people swear by Bach's Rescue Remedy for animals, which surely argues against the placebo effect?
 

AsamiYamazaki

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#4
Homeopathic remedies have zero effect on me, but other family members swear by them, which makes me think they could possibly be placebos. Same family members swear by echinaccea, which again doesn't do a thing for me.

It all gets a little too fluffy for my liking. A homeopath I went to see wouldn't even use tinctures to make the remedies if she wanted something really potent (the smaller amount of ingredient used the higher the potency I think).

This is a little hazy as it's about 10 years ago that I went, but she would put pillules of a certain remedy in a wooden box with lots of paper slots and some new virgin pillules then allow the 'vibrations' of the original pillules to affect the virgin pillules and imbue them with potency. That seems totally crackpot IMO.

Mothe- in-law always gives her dogs Bach's rescue remedy and swears by it, and my mum slipped my sister some one day unbeknownst to her when she was having a tizzy and it calmed her right down.
 

Leaferne

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#5
AsamiYamazaki said:
It all gets a little too fluffy for my liking. A homeopath I went to see wouldn't even use tinctures to make the remedies if she wanted something really potent (the smaller amount of ingredient used the higher the potency I think).

This is a little hazy as it's about 10 years ago that I went, but she would put pillules of a certain remedy in a wooden box with lots of paper slots and some new virgin pillules then allow the 'vibrations' of the original pillules to affect the virgin pillules and imbue them with potency. That seems totally crackpot IMO.
A friend of mine had a similar machine; I posted about it here.
 

Rrose_Selavy

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#6
Leaferne said:
Homeopathy always seemed a bit dubious to me, but I've also heard many people swear by Bach's Rescue Remedy for animals, which surely argues against the placebo effect?
I used to wonder about that, how it could be effective in animals - but horses and dogs are quite high level intelligent aimimals and some could still respond postively to the care of a vet or other human -along with the boost to the immune system as recently suggested with the placebo effect.

-
 
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#7
Cancer Patients Hide Their Use Of Complementary Treatments

Source: American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
Date: 2005-10-17
Cancer

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cancer Patients Hide Their Use Of Complementary And Alternative Treatments From Their Doctors

Although almost half (48 percent) of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and radiation are using at least one type of complementary and alternative medical therapy (CAM) treatment, a majority of them (75 percent) don't tell their doctor, even while receiving conventional cancer treatment, according to a study presented October 16, 2005, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 47th Annual Meeting in Denver.

The study shows that CAM use is almost twice as prevalent among patients treated by only chemotherapy (65 percent), compared to those treated by only radiation (35 percent). Most (88 percent) of patients are satisfied with using CAM as a cost-effective method of cancer treatment and use an average of two CAM treatments, with vitamin, herbal and botanical supplements being the most popular therapies. Only a little more than a third (36 percent) of them say their doctors were an important source of information on CAM.

"This study shows the significant lack of communication between patients and their doctors about the use of complementary and alternative medicines, like vitamins and herbs," said Neha Vapiwala, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "It's important for doctors to know about their patients' CAM use and to understand patients' reasons for using it, so that they can better tailor and optimize treatment regimens and improve patient quality of life during radiation and/or chemotherapy."

The study asked 487 cancer patients at a clinic and over the Internet about their CAM use from July to September, 2004.

For more on radiation therapy,
visit www.rtanswers.org.

###
ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 8,000 members who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As a leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to the advancement of the practice of radiation oncology by promoting excellence in patient care, providing opportunities for educational and professional development, promoting research and disseminating research results and representing radiation oncology in a rapidly evolving socioeconomic healthcare environment.
 
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#8
New study is boost to homeopathy

New study is boost to homeopathy

A six-year study at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital shows over 70% of patients with chronic diseases reported positive health changes after treatment.
More than 6,500 patients took part in the study with problems ranging from eczema to menopause and arthritis.

The biggest improvements were seen in children - 89% of under 16s with asthma reported improvement.

Of the group, 75% felt 'better' or 'much better', as did 68% of eczema patients under 16.

The results come just months after a study in The Lancet concluded that using homeopathy was no better than taking dummy drugs.


These results clearly demonstrate the value of homeopathy in the NHS
Dr David Spence

The Swiss-UK review of 110 trials found no convincing evidence the treatment worked any better than a placebo.

The row over homeopathy has been raging for years.

The therapy is based on the principle of treating like with like.

For instance, someone with an allergy, for example, who was using homeopathic medicines would attempt to beat it with an ultra-diluted dose of an agent that would cause the same symptoms.

Dr David Spence, Clinical Director and Consultant Physician at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital and Chairman of the British Homeopathic Association, a co-author of the new study, said: "These results clearly demonstrate the value of homeopathy in the NHS."

All the patients were referred by their GP or hospital specialist and many had tried conventional treatment first without success.

Professor Matthias Egger, of the University of Berne, who worked on The Lancet study said the study was weakened by the lack of a comparison group.

He also questioned the validity of the way the study recorded improvements in patients' conditions.

"Patients were simply asked by their homeopathic doctor whether they felt better, and it is well known that in this situation many patients will come up with the answer the doctor wants to hear."


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/e ... 454856.stm

Published: 2005/11/21 06:33:44 GMT

© BBC MMV
 

Rrose_Selavy

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#9
Here's an abstract of the lancet study


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/quer ... s=16125589

Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy.

Shang A, Huwiler-Muntener K, Nartey L, Juni P, Dorig S, Sterne JA, Pewsner D, Egger M.

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland.

BACKGROUND: Homoeopathy is widely used, but specific effects of homoeopathic remedies seem implausible. Bias in the conduct and reporting of trials is a possible explanation for positive findings of trials of both homoeopathy and conventional medicine. We analysed trials of homoeopathy and conventional medicine and estimated treatment effects in trials least likely to be affected by bias. METHODS: Placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy were identified by a comprehensive literature search, which covered 19 electronic databases, reference lists of relevant papers, and contacts with experts. Trials in conventional medicine matched to homoeopathy trials for disorder and type of outcome were randomly selected from the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (issue 1, 2003). Data were extracted in duplicate and outcomes coded so that odds ratios below 1 indicated benefit. Trials described as double-blind, with adequate randomisation, were assumed to be of higher methodological quality. Bias effects were examined in funnel plots and meta-regression models. FINDINGS: 110 homoeopathy trials and 110 matched conventional-medicine trials were analysed. The median study size was 65 participants (range ten to 1573). 21 homoeopathy trials (19%) and nine (8%) conventional-medicine trials were of higher quality. In both groups, smaller trials and those of lower quality showed more beneficial treatment effects than larger and higher-quality trials. When the analysis was restricted to large trials of higher quality, the odds ratio was 0.88 (95% CI 0.65-1.19) for homoeopathy (eight trials) and 0.58 (0.39-0.85) for conventional medicine (six trials). INTERPRETATION: Biases are present in placebo-controlled trials of both homoeopathy and conventional medicine. When account was taken for these biases in the analysis, there was weak evidence for a specific effect of homoeopathic remedies, but strong evidence for specific effects of conventional interventions. This finding is compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects.
 
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#10
Homeopathic practices 'risk lives'
By Pallab Ghosh
BBC News science correspondent

Some homeopathic practices tell people they need not take conventional anti-malaria drugs in high-risk parts of the world, an investigation by BBC2's Newsnight has revealed.

Instead, the clinics say that their remedies are sufficient to protect against malaria.

Each year, two million Britons travel to parts of the world where malaria is rife. About 2,000 of them return having contracted the disease.

In the vast majority of cases, they have fallen ill because they have not taken any anti-malaria tablets.

But doctors have begun noticing some cases where patients have taken homeopathic remedies instead of licensed medicines.

We've certainly had patients admitted to our unit with falciparum, the malignant form of malaria, who have been taking homeopathic remedies

Dr Ron Behrens


Newsnight investigation
Malaria: Global menace
Some have claimed that they were told that the homeopathic protection could be used instead of conventional medicine.

Dr Ron Behrens runs a travel clinic at the London Hospital for Tropical Diseases. He has seen several patients who thought they were safe because they were taking homeopathic remedies to protect them.

"We've certainly had patients admitted to our unit with falciparum, the malignant form of malaria, who have been taking homeopathic remedies - and without a doubt the fact that they were taking them and not effective drugs was the reason they had malaria," he says.

According to Dr Behrens, some homeopaths are offering Britons travelling to the malaria belt an easy option and false hope.

"Sub-Saharan Africa is a high risk for malaria. If they got it and they weren't immediately diagnosed and treated, they could die and that claim would actually put their lives at risk," he Dr Behrens.

Undercover research

Such cases prompted the scientific campaigners Sense About Science to send an undercover researcher into 10 homeopathic practices.

She said that she was about to go to a malaria-infested country. They all recommended doses of homeopathic remedies.

These were 99.99% water with an almost undetectable trace of quinine.

Newsnight followed up the research with a hidden camera. A programme researcher told a South London practice she would be travelling in Africa for three or four weeks, including high risk areas such as Malawi.

She said she did not like the side effects of the drugs the doctors prescribe, and asked if there was anything else she could take.

This is the advice she was given by one homeopath: "The doctors have this big fear thing about malaria... obviously it is a nasty thing, but actually, as I say, you can prevent it with the remedies; and as you say, the tablets are really horrible. They're very nasty, have nasty side effects, and I've seen quite a lot of patients who have had serious problems from them."

In that 20-minute consultation, there was no mention of going to the doctor - the homeopath made the claim that malaria could be prevented by taking homeopathic remedies.

When Newsnight called the clinic asking why its consultant gave that advice, it said that this was a mistake. Normally, the clinic said, practitioners did tell people to go to their GP for serious conditions such as malaria.

Watch the report http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/help/3681938.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5178488.stm
 
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#11
Fears over homeopathy regulation

Homeopathic medicine regulation is changing
Patients will be put at risk by a new regulatory system being brought in for homeopathic medicine, critics say.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is introducing a scheme to allow remedies to specifty the ailments that they can be used for.

Current regulation is fragmented as it allows health benefit claims to be made for products on the market before 1968, but not for those made later.

Critics said it gives official approval for products not clinically tested.

This will boost the homeopathic industry but will not benefit anyone else

Professor Michael Baum, of University College London

Under the voluntary scheme, called the National Rules Scheme, homeopathic products will receive a licence if they can provide data proving the treatments are safe - this will not need to be evidence from clinical trials which other drugs have to have.

They will also be allowed to indicate what sort of symptoms they can relieve, although this will be limited to minor ailments such as colds, coughs and hay fever.

To make such a claim, the manufacturers need only show that the product has been used to treat those particular conditions within the homeopathic industry.

But critics have also been angered by suggestions the MHRA has been partly motivated by a desire to boost the homeopathic industry.

In its consultation, the MHRA said failure to introduce the new system would inhibit the industry's expansion.

Michael Baum, professor of surgery at University College London, said he was perplexed by the new system as the MHRA was giving approval to products that had not been rigorously tested.

"This will boost the homeopathic industry but will not benefit anyone else. In fact, it could even put patients at risk.

"If someone suffers from a cough, it could be the first sign of lung cancer.

"However, if they use homeopathic medicine and the cough disappears it means doctors are not being given a chance to diagnose the condition in the early stages."

And Dr Evan Harris, science spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said: "It's wrong that this country's medicines regulatory arrangements are being diluted and polluted by processes which allow ineffective products to be licensed as medicines without having to provide any scientific evidence of effectiveness."

But the MHRA said its key motivations were "protecting consumers and promoting choice" rather than boosting the industry.

Health claims

Homeopathic medicines on the market before 1968 were given Product Licences of Right (PLR), which allowed them to make claims about health benefits.

But once the UK entered the EU in the 1970s this stalled new products coming on to the market, because the nature of homeopathic medicines meant there was not the clinical evidence to support licensing regulations.

A simplified version was brought in 1992, which allowed homeopathic medicines to be licensed, but prevented them from making health claims.

Over 3,000 homeopathic medicines have licences, most of them PLRs.

Professor Kent Woods, chief executive of the MHRA, said: "This is a significant step forward.

"Products authorised under the scheme will have to comply with recognised standards of quality, safety and patient information."

Penny Viner, of the British Association of Homeopathic Manufacturers, said: "The provisions will both encourage growth in the range of products on the market and enhance the consumer's understanding of their benefits."


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5303080.stm
 

stu neville

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#12
Michael Baum, professor of surgery at University College London, said he was perplexed by the new system as the MHRA was giving approval to products that had not been rigorously tested.

"This will boost the homeopathic industry but will not benefit anyone else. In fact, it could even put patients at risk.

"If someone suffers from a cough, it could be the first sign of lung cancer.

"However, if they use homeopathic medicine and the cough disappears it means doctors are not being given a chance to diagnose the condition in the early stages."
That's a bit rich - last time I had a cough bad enough to see the doc about, he did the usual "lot of it about, probably a virus, get yourself some Benylin and if it's not better in a week come and see me again" routine. Didn't even get his stethoscope out of the drawer.

Most responsible homeopathic practitioners will tell patients to go and see their GP if they have the slightest concerns, or indeed if they know that conventional treatment will work more effectively anyway (I know an acupuncturist who frequently does just that.)
 
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#13
Campaign to save homeopathy unit

The Homeopathic Hospital treats up to 1,000 patients a year
Supporters of a Kent clinic which is one of just five in the UK to provide homeopathic treatment on the NHS have met to fight plans to close it.
The Homeopathic Hospital, in Tunbridge Wells, treats up to 1,000 patients a year but the primary care trust (PCT) which runs it needs to save £160,000.

A public meeting on Tuesday heard how patients had come to rely on the unit.

James Thallon, of the South West Kent PCT, said the trust was "critically reviewing every aspect of expenditure".

"In order to save the large amounts you need to look at every little last bit on your balance sheet, and we have had to look at homeopathy in that light," the medical director said.

I've relied on the hospital... it just mustn't shut down

Mary Williams, patient

He explained that the hospital as a whole was not facing closure, just the homeopathy department.

The hospital also houses community paediatrics and a child and adolescent mental health service.

Mr Thallon said in future all patients referred for homeopathy would be considered by a special panel to ensure their treatment was appropriate.

"Homeopathy has been around since the 18th Century and has got a large body of very convinced adherents, but in the era of evidence-based medicine it's beginning to struggle a little bit, so I'm afraid that we're reflecting this in our decision."

Mary Williams, 87, has been going to the hospital for 56 years, where both her mother and grandmother were patients too.

She is allergic to conventional medicine and said: "I'm devastated. I've relied on the hospital... it just mustn't shut down."




http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/engl ... 362614.stm
 

zarathustraspake

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#14
ramonmercado said:
"Homeopathy has been around since the 18th Century and has got a large body of very convinced adherents, but in the era of evidence-based medicine it's beginning to struggle a little bit, so I'm afraid that we're reflecting this in our decision."
Speaking as a student mental health nurse, and unashamed adherent of evidence-based clinical practice, I'd say that's no bad thing if services are closed because they don't have an evidence base. As far as I'm concerned, clinicians have a duty of care to ensure that the interventions they use are safe and effective, no matter how politically correct they are.

Mary Williams, 87, has been going to the hospital for 56 years, where both her mother and grandmother were patients too.

She is allergic to conventional medicine and said: "I'm devastated. I've relied on the hospital... it just mustn't shut down."
What, all conventional medicine????? God, she must be the unluckiest person in the world.
 

ArthurASCII

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#15
ramonmercado said:
Campaign to save homeopathy unit

The Homeopathic Hospital treats up to 1,000 patients a year
Supporters of a Kent clinic which is one of just five in the UK to provide homeopathic treatment on the NHS have met to fight plans to close it.
The Homeopathic Hospital, in Tunbridge Wells, treats up to 1,000 patients a year but the primary care trust (PCT) which runs it needs to save £160,000.
There is a simple homeopathic answer to this problem.

The fewer patients they treat, the more profit they will make.... simple ;)
 
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#16
ArthurASCII said:
ramonmercado said:
Campaign to save homeopathy unit

The Homeopathic Hospital treats up to 1,000 patients a year
Supporters of a Kent clinic which is one of just five in the UK to provide homeopathic treatment on the NHS have met to fight plans to close it.
The Homeopathic Hospital, in Tunbridge Wells, treats up to 1,000 patients a year but the primary care trust (PCT) which runs it needs to save £160,000.
There is a simple homeopathic answer to this problem.

The fewer patients they treat, the more profit they will make.... simple ;)
And if they only wash their hands once a week theres even less chance of patients catching MRSA. :twisted:
 
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#17
Full text at link.

Homeopathy: New Evidence
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/128022.php

Two new studies conclude that a review which claimed that homeopathy is just a placebo, published in The Lancet, was seriously flawed.

George Lewith, Professor of Health Research at Southampton University comments: 'The review gave no indication of which trials were analysed nor of the various vital assumptions made about the data. This is not usual scientific practice. If we presume that homeopathy works for some conditions but not others, or change the definition of a 'larger trial', the conclusions change. This indicates a fundamental weakness in the conclusions: they are NOT reliable.'

The background to the ongoing debate is as follows:

In August 2005, The Lancet published an editorial entitled 'The End of Homeopathy', prompted by a review comparing clinical trials of homeopathy with trials of conventional medicine. The claim that homeopathic medicines are just placebo was based on 6 clinical trials of conventional medicine and 8 studies of homeopathy but did not reveal the identity of these trials. The review was criticised for its opacity as it gave no indication of which trials were analysed and the various assumptions made about the data.

Sufficient detail to enable a reconstruction was eventually published and two recently published scientific papers based on such a reconstruction challenge The Lancet review, showing that:
Analysis of all high quality trials of homeopathy yields a positive conclusion.

The 8 larger higher quality trials of homeopathy were all for different conditions; if homeopathy works for some of these but not others the result changes, implying that it is not placebo.

The comparison with conventional medicine was meaningless.

Doubts remain about the opaque, unpublished criteria used in the review, including the definition of 'higher quality'.
 

rynner2

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#18
Belfast homeopathy results

MADELEINE Ennis, a pharmacologist at Queen's University, Belfast, was the scourge of homeopathy. She railed against its claims that a chemical remedy could be diluted to the point where a sample was unlikely to contain a single molecule of anything but water, and yet still have a healing effect. Until, that is, she set out to prove once and for all that homeopathy was bunkum.

In her most recent paper, Ennis describes how her team looked at the effects of ultra-dilute solutions of histamine on human white blood cells involved in inflammation. These "basophils" release histamine when the cells are under attack. Once released, the histamine stops them releasing any more. The study, replicated in four different labs, found that homeopathic solutions - so dilute that they probably didn't contain a single histamine molecule - worked just like histamine. Ennis might not be happy with the homeopaths' claims, but she admits that an effect cannot be ruled out.

So how could it happen? Homeopaths prepare their remedies by dissolving things like charcoal, deadly nightshade or spider venom in ethanol, and then diluting this "mother tincture" in water again and again. No matter what the level of dilution, homeopaths claim, the original remedy leaves some kind of imprint on the water molecules. Thus, however dilute the solution becomes, it is still imbued with the properties of the remedy.

You can understand why Ennis remains sceptical. And it remains true that no homeopathic remedy has ever been shown to work in a large randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial. But the Belfast study (Inflammation Research, vol 53, p 181) suggests that something is going on. "We are," Ennis says in her paper, "unable to explain our findings and are reporting them to encourage others to investigate this phenomenon." If the results turn out to be real, she says, the implications are profound: we may have to rewrite physics and chemistry.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg1 ... tml?page=2
 

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#19
Manslaughter trial told baby treated on homoeopathic advice

Wed May 6, 2009

A Sydney court has heard that a couple on trial for the manslaughter of their baby come from a culture where homoeopaths are respected as much as conventional doctors.

Thomas and Manju Sam are on trial for the manslaughter of their nine-month-old daughter who had infections, severe eczema, and was under-weight.

The crown alleges they failed to give her proper medical treatment, instead giving her homoeopathic drops.

The counsel for Thomas Sam has told the Supreme Court jury, he was a first-time father and, although a homoeopath himself, he was acting on advice given to him by other homoeopathic practitioners.

Manju Sam's counsel said, while she got it wrong and should have taken the child to hospital earlier, she was born in India where homoeopaths are given the same respect as conventional doctors.

The court was also told the couple was poorly advised by a doctor.

Manju Sam's counsel said there are conflicting reports about what was wrong with the baby.

He said a paediatrician who diagnosed the child's skin condition, didn't tell the couple the baby was underweight and later admitted making a mistake.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009 ... 562365.htm
 

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#20
Hmm - growing up in a household where my mother was a refexologist and my step-father a palmist, homeopathic remedies have always had their place in my life.

I used to suffer from chronic asthma as a kid and it was certainly alleviated by one: baryta carbonica IIRC

I've also used rescue remedy in stressful situations like exams or interviews. It works very well. For me.

Now i'm not a blind believer, and fully aware of psychosomatic effects of illnesses and 'remedies', but I do think everyone should be free to choose the methods that they find work for them.

My phsyio uses acupuncture on me and swears blind that it's the thought of the procedure that works, not necessarily the actual procedure itself.

Sounds very plausible and admirably correct to me.
 

sherbetbizarre

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#21
Homeopathy not a cure, says WHO

People with conditions such as HIV, TB and malaria should not rely on homeopathic treatments, the World Health Organization has warned.

It was responding to calls from young researchers who fear the promotion of homeopathy in the developing world could put people's lives at risk.

The group Voice of Young Science Network has written to health ministers to set out the WHO view.

WHO TB experts said homeopathy had "no place" in treatment of the disease.

In a letter to the WHO in June, the medics from the UK and Africa said: "We are calling on the WHO to condemn the promotion of homeopathy for treating TB, infant diarrhoea, influenza, malaria and HIV.

"Homeopathy does not protect people from, or treat, these diseases.

"Those of us working with the most rural and impoverished people of the world already struggle to deliver the medical help that is needed.

"When homeopathy stands in place of effective treatment, lives are lost."

Dr Robert Hagan is a researcher in biomolecular science at the University of St Andrews and a member of Voice of Young Science Network, which is part of the charity Sense About Science campaigning for "evidence-based" care.

He said: "We need governments around the world to recognise the dangers of promoting homeopathy for life-threatening illnesses.

"We hope that by raising awareness of the WHO's position on homeopathy we will be supporting those people who are taking a stand against these potentially disastrous practices."

'No evidence'

Dr Mario Raviglione, director of the Stop TB department at the WHO, said: "Our evidence-based WHO TB treatment/management guidelines, as well as the International Standards of Tuberculosis Care do not recommend use of homeopathy."

The doctors had also complained that homeopathy was being promoted as a treatment for diarrhoea in children.

But a spokesman for the WHO department of child and adolescent health and development said: "We have found no evidence to date that homeopathy would bring any benefit.

"Homeopathy does not focus on the treatment and prevention of dehydration - in total contradiction with the scientific basis and our recommendations for the management of diarrhoea."

Dr Nick Beeching, a specialist in infectious diseases at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said: "Infections such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis all have a high mortality rate but can usually be controlled or cured by a variety of proven treatments, for which there is ample experience and scientific trial data.

"There is no objective evidence that homeopathy has any effect on these infections, and I think it is irresponsible for a healthcare worker to promote the use of homeopathy in place of proven treatment for any life-threatening illness."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8211925.stm
 

KarlD

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#22
The trouble is homeapathy is not a true science because it is not falsifiable, it makes no testable predictions.Its proponents have no rational explaination for how it works and it seems to me the dilluting any active compounds t such an extent that there can not possibly be a single molecule of thereputic active ingredient left in what is given to the patient suggests that it works by placebo effect.
 

KarlD

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#23
I had this argument today

This woman I know is going to have homeopathic threatment for some *****cough***** lady problems and I was asking her quite honestly how they can make this magic water only remeber the last drug it had in it and not remember the infinite number of other drugs its had going through it, and I wasn't trying to wind her up I was just asking how she thought it worked , and she went potty.
I dunno do homeopaths think it all works by magic or what?
 

Cavynaut

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#24
What is it like to live a life without wonder or any kind of imagination whatsoever?
 

Dr_Baltar

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#25
Cavynaut said:
What is it like to live a life without wonder or any kind of imagination whatsoever?
What kind of question is that? You're not seriously suggesting that a belief in the efficacy of quack medicine and having an imagination are in any way conditional upon each other?
 

KarlD

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#26
Cavynaut said:
What is it like to live a life without wonder or any kind of imagination whatsoever?
Its quite useful actualy not to have a mind so open you can feel the breeze going through it, it means I won't be killed by quack doctors.I do hope the homeopathy isn't all based on imagination.
 

tastyintestines

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#27
The imagination is what makes placebos work. For you to take away that ladies chance at healing herself is cruel.
 
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KarlD

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#28
And if she has something that cannot be cured by a placebo and lets say the worst came to the worst and she dies from some serious illness who would be in the wrong? Should the homeopathy practitioner stand trial for manslaughter?
 
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Dr_Baltar

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#29
The imagination is what makes placebos work. For you to take away that ladies chance at healing herself is cruel.
And someone making money out of pretending to heal her isn't?
 
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tastyintestines

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#30
It isn't cruel for someone to make money off something that helps to heal someone. It's what doctors do.
 
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