Columns


Homeopathy is no better than a placebo



Homeopathic medicines are as effective as placebos at treating illnesses, an Australian scientific body has claimed in a new study. Doctors have reportedly welcomed the findings, and hope that the study will prevent patients being persuaded to use homeopathic vaccinations instead of orthodox medicines, with the former leaving people prone to life-threatening diseases including TB, it has been reported.

Proponents of the form of alternative therapy claim that it stimulates the body to heal itself, and is based on the principle of 'like cures like'.

The medicines are made by heavily diluting substances and succession — or vigorous shaking, the BHA explains.

However, a working committee of medical experts at Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) analysed how effective alternative medicine are in treating illnesses and conditions, and concluded that "there is no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective," Guardian Australia reported.

Among the 68 ailments that homeopathic remedies failed to treat were: asthma, arthritis, sleep disturbances, cold and flu, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema, cholera, burns, malaria and heroin addiction.

To make their findings, researchers also took into account submissions from homeopathy interest groups and the public, but they "did not alter the conclusions" of the NHMRC, in some cases due to the poor quality of the studies submitted.

The researchers concluded that alternative treatments were either no more effective than a placebo, or that there was no reliable evidence to suggest it was.

"No good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than a substance with no effect on the health condition (placebo), or that homeopathy caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment," read the report's summary.

It also urged health workers to inform their patients that "not all evidence is of equal value," and said people should be wary of anecdotal evidence in favour of homeopathic medicine.

"It is not possible to tell whether a health treatment is effective or not simply by considering individuals' experiences or healthcare practitioners' beliefs," the report reads.

"Obviously we understand the placebo effect. We know that many people have illnesses that are short lived by its very nature and their bodies will cure them, so it's very easy for people to fall in the trap that because they did 'A', 'B' follows," Professor John Dwyer, an immunologist and Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales, told Guardian Australia.

He added that is was unethical to "fool people" and said that homeopathic remedies should be "put away" once and for all.

Homeopathic "vaccinations" are offered for standard diseases, as well as some that there are no medical vaccines for,.

Last year in the UK, homeopathy advocate Prince Charles was urged to stay out of the debate over its use in the NHS, following claims that he lobbied the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in favour of the alternative treatment — charges which both parties denied.

At the time, David Colquhoun, a pharmacologist at University College London, told The Independent that homeopathy was "utter nonsense".

"Homeopathic remedies contain nothing whatsoever. The Americans have spent $2bn investigating these things … they haven't found a single one that works," he said.

The Independent


Share 

 Rate this Article
Rates : 2, Average : 1


Post a Comment

Did you like this section? Leave a comment!
Your Name : Your Email Address :
Your Comment :
Enter Image Text:
 

Reader Comments




The article uncritically reports the usual logical positivist word game "studies" which couldnt prove much of anything in their confused assumptions, placebo controlled ran-dumb-ized testing, carefully designed to confirm mistaken assumptions rather than determine anything whatsoever. Similar kinds of "studies" confirm the efficacy of certain pharmaceutical drugs, which are eventually released to the public after multi-phased trials, only to have them hastily withdrawn when the "side effects" make their, sometimes deadly, appearance. How exactly, one wonders, is the determination made to withdraw the bad pharmaceutical...more testing perhaps? Oh no, to withdraw the drug they do exactly the same thing that the Homeopaths do routinely. They go by case studies, clinical reports and journal analyses. By experience.

Study after pretend study "confirms" that Homeopathy is no better than placebo, yet it keeps growing and growing and gaining new users every month. People are gradually learning that the science magisterium conducting such "studies" is a farce, composed of research organizations with interlocking connections with industry, government, pharmaceutical houses...in short, corporatist medicine, a natural by product of the symbiotic parasitic infestation of the corporatists in our governments. In corporatist medicine, one pill fits all, one vaccination fits all, one chemotherapy, with variations in dose, fits all, one surgery, one radiation to rule them all. In Homeopathy the medicine is individualized, the individual is considered a whole person. In corporatist medicine, the person is unimportant and is regarded as the disease or the diseased part. The breast cancer patient is next, in room 3 doctor. There is your difference and there is why no mere "studies" of the kind bandied about in all seriousness which give sanctification every day to insufficient, sometimes dangerous, sometimes deadly pharmaceutical drugs...there is why those "studies" will never confirm the wondrous, fast, efficient, side effect free power of Homeopathy. There is "nothing" in the Homeopathic remedies? Really? The "nothing" seems to have the power to do some rather consistently remarkable things. Perhaps the time has come to let the researchers, real ones, have a go and let the "study" people play with statistics, placebos and pretend games in someone elses park.