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What is Homeopathic Medicine?

By Shenia K.
 
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Oftentimes, people prefer natural treatments to conventional drugs or surgery, as some are anxious about various drug's side effects and others have concerns regarding the continued use of certain drugs.

Homeopathy is a medicinal system that involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing.

Homeopathic remedies seek to fuel the body's own healing mechanisms.

Homeopaths believe that any physical disease has a mental and emotional component. As such, a homeopathic diagnosis involves an analysis of physical symptoms (e.g., pain, fever), as well as the patient’s emotional and psychological state (e.g., anxiety, restlessness).

In addition, those who practice homeopathic medicine pay great attention to the patient' s constitution, which includes character traits such as creativity, intuitiveness, persistence, concentration and both physical and emotional stamina.

The appropriate homeopathic remedy takes all of these aspects into account. Therefore, individuality is the hallmark of homeopathic medicine, as diagnosis and remedy is uniquely personalized.

Homeopathy has been becoming more widely used worldwide for over 200 years. Homeopathy was pioneered by a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, who was shocked by many of the medical practices and treatments of the day, such as bloodletting and using poisons such as arsenic and mercury.

Dr. Hahnemann looked for a way to reduce the harmful side effects associated with these practices. Dr. Hahnemann found that giving smaller and smaller medicinal doses reduced toxicity, ultimately learning that the medicines appeared to be more effective the lower the dose.

Hahnemann is also considered to be a medical pioneer who worked tirelessly to improve medical science, reiterating that medicines be tested before use on patients.

Scientific evidence is mixed about the illnesses and conditions that respond well to homeopathic medicine. More controlled research is needed, as homeopathy appeared to be no better than placebo in some studies.

Add a Comment51 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Objective readers? Do you really think anyone other than the three commenters are reading this? Maybe.
So, 200 years...been there, big pharam....been there..ah.....a new point. Quantum mechanics.
Where to start?
Newton was a genius, even though his math principle were the Bain of my education for more than a year. Physics is often grouped in two main categories. Quantum, and classical.Classical was once referred to a.Newtonian, but includes.for most anything non Quantum. More contemporary scientists such as Avogadro and Boltzmann, are two such figures. These are.men whose discoveries need to be wrong or at least partly wrong in order for.homeopathy to work.

Introducing Quantum is like the death rattle in argument. It's something used by people who don't understand it to confuse. Either someone had dine this to you, or you are trying this now.

However, please, please, please tell me which area of quantum theory supports the theories of homeopathy.

Please, do this for me.

February 14, 2012 - 12:04am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

More of your armchair opinions and value judgments... now about physics.
Bottom line is, go for whatever form of medical treatment you like. If Homeopathy isn't for you then you'll just have to put up with the risks of conventional drugs that send hundreds of thousands of patients to the emergency room despite the fact that the drugs were "properly" prescribed.
If conventional medicine could guarantee risk-free and successful cures for any medical condition Homeopathy might not be growing at the rate of 20 per cent a year as it is now. Those trying to discredit it, many of whom are paid social media shills/useful idiots rallying to some nebulous cause, are doomed to fail.

February 18, 2012 - 2:52am
ReallyGoodMedicine

Take a good look at your "skeptic" platform as you've displayed it in these comments. See if you can identify for yourself what it is about your platform that lacks credibility. (Here's a hint: Objective readers will recognize immediately that a system of medicine that has survived 200 years, that continues to grow in use world-wide, that continues to amass volumes of supporting studies must have something to commend it. The "skeptic" "argument" at this point becomes "All homeopathic patients are gullible, uneducated liars who have been fooled by 1/2 million homeopaths (most of them are M.D.'s) who are deluded scam artists.

No one thinking person buys any of it.

Your problem is that once you admit one study is accurate you admit homeopathy works. Once you admit that one patient knows when they have gotten better and when they haven't, homeopathy works. Once you admit that we're living in a quantum physics world and that conventional drugs still rely on Newtonian physics, you admit homeopathy works.

Again, cheers!

February 13, 2012 - 5:57pm
ReallyGoodMedicine

As I've said, if you don't like homeopathy, don't use it. Stick with your pharmaceuticals.

The public should know that 42% of US hospitals now offer CAM including homeopathy. That's up from 37% in 2007. Hospitals offer it because they see that it works to restore health as fully as possible.

www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-alternative-medicine-20110908,0,5074014.s...

I think readers with an interest in good, safe and inexpensive medicine will investigate it by reading the material at the links I've posted and come to their own conclusions about it.

People wanting general information about h'pathy will find it at:

www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org
Along with the You Tube video "Just Good Medicine" at:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULExWtl-22g

And also this funny video -- "Rap Video John Board Hollywood Survival Kit" -- showing what h'pathy can do for injuries:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpmvRsRJIDA

And also many personal testimonials covering a wide array of conditions at:

http://spiked-online.com/index.php/wellcome/responses/5194

And also:

www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2011/cureorcon/

February 13, 2012 - 5:29pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

You were doing so well before embarassing yourself by quoting gaia-health. As I've already said, I've no interest in defending the bad behaviour of big pharmeceuticals, (do I really have to repeat myself on this?) it has no effect on the efficacy of homeopathy and is a distraction from the fact that homeopathy cannot be shown to work.

If you'd like to post a link where my analysis crops up on another site in that form please do so. And even if it does you could try and answer it rather than say, "oh someone else says that", but do go ahead anyway.

As for anonymous bebunking, They have contributed NOTHING to this discussion save pedalling the same tired lines which I've already addressed. Their attempts to dismiss the scientific value are typical of someone who doesn't get the importance of the studies or knows that they doesn't go in their favor. I'm surprised you support anonymous in this as you DO seem to understand the need for scientific validation.Accordingly I'm won't respond to them anymore unless something new is contributed.

Finally by the basophile do you mean Ennis' basophil experiment?
The one nobody else seems to be able to rectify and even she remains skeptical of. The one Dana Ullman hates BBC Horizon and others for because it was so publically debunked?
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=124309
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2002/homeopathytrans.shtml
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18524911.600-13-things-that-do-not...
http://www.springerlink.com/content/e5kt2v0fjrwy65kh/

If you mean a different one please post a link, and I'll read it.

February 13, 2012 - 11:02am
ReallyGoodMedicine

"But none of that would matter if we just and (you must mean "had") a single repeatable high quality trial which could show the medical benefits."

I guess you are completely unfamiliar with the fact that the basophile study has been replicated some 47 times with the same outcome each and every time -- homeopathy has biological effects!

Anonymous has thoroughly debunked all your comments. I will simply add that they are -- and especially the comment about alcohol -- canned, scripted material posted on "skeptic" web sites to be reposted by "skeptics" to legitimate sites posting legitimate discussions about homeopathy.

By the way, a recent survey by the BMJ shows 13% of UK-based researchers deliberately altered or fabricated data in their studies and 6% were aware of misconduct not properly investigated. You might also like to know that a study of 4,000,000 -- 4 million -- Swedish people using statins showed that statin drugs are of NO benefit whatsoever to most people but do cause heart attacks and strokes among those who use them.

htt://avilian.co.uk/
www.gaia-health.com/articles451/000464-no-benefit-statins.shtml

Cheers and thanks for coming.

February 13, 2012 - 10:31am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to ReallyGoodMedicine)

Anon2 - Strange that the main author of that series of basophil experiments doesn't agree with you.

"After over 20 years research trying to find out if high dilutions of histamine have a negative feedback effect on the activation of basophils by anti-IgE, what do we know? The methods are poorly standardized between laboratories – although the same is true for conventional studies. Certainly there appears to be some evidence for an effect – albeit small in some cases – with the high dilutions in several different laboratories using the flow cytometric methodologies. After standardization of a number of parameters, it is recommended that a multi-centre trial be performed to hopefully put an end to this ‘‘never-ending story’’." Ennis - Homeopathy ((2010) 99, 51–56)

So these replications are poorly standardised; well any one who actually read her papers would see they are generally all over the place, another case of the conclusions in a paper not matching the data. Ennis and Benveniste have very similar careers in homeopathy, they both claimed they were skeptical before they tested it, they both produced discredited publications and they both then associated themselves firmly in the camp of the homeopaths.

You seem to think that lack of effectiveness in other drugs demonstrates homeopathy works. Well it doesn't, just means that more poorly researched treatments have to be removed.

No idea where you get your BMJ quote from, actually 13% have observed others fabricating/altering data. As several people can observe one person fabricating results (after all once someone spots something wrong he/she will discuss it) then the actual number who are guilty of fraud (for fraud is what it is) will be lower, probably a lot lower. But the scientific establishment is aware there is a problem, a survey is just the start for rooting out the fraudsters and also hopefully the reasons why people do this. Certainly, if they are found they are severely dealt with, Wakefield of the MMR scandal is a good example.

But you can usefully compare this with the treatment of frauds in homeopathy. How many are observed by other homeopaths? How many are found out by other homeopaths? What penalties have been issued by homeopaths against their fraudulent brethren?

In the UK, homeopaths have been found advertising, against the rules of their society, that water is a good prophylactic against malaria. What penalties ensued? Absolutely nothing!

February 13, 2012 - 1:13pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

"medicine is NOT science, it's health care technology."

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/technology

February 13, 2012 - 9:56am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Anyone who claims that Homeopathy contradicts science misses the point that medicine is NOT science, it's health care technology. Since your first premise is false your entire argument is false. The fact that Homeopathy cures where other means obviously don't is proof enough for those who've used it. Trust/faith/belief has little to do with it other than your emotional appeal.
Further, your opinion that any claims to the effectiveness of Homeopathy are "bold" is another deceptive value judgment on your part, insisting that there be a double standard of "robust" evidence is another deception, along with your other value judgments about the quality of the trials.
Your entire argument is false, misleading and deceptive.
Medicine is not science, science is not philosophy, and only pseudoskeptics make the mistake of confusing them.
Find another hobby.

February 13, 2012 - 7:40am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Who need evidence when you've got anecdotes?

I must refer you back to the "my Grandmother smoked 20 cigarettes a day" angle.

RGM is trying to conduct a credible argument, do try to keep up.

February 13, 2012 - 9:06am
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