Why is Homeopathy Successful?

Just before Christmas, Lia Burkeman and Stephanie Kramer, wrote an article for Urban Times that asked the question, “Homeopathy: Can it be a Success Story?”

To start, I would like to agree with the pair that indeed homeopathy is very successful. As a set of ideas, they have been around for about 200 years. Many thousands of people practice homeopathy based on the principles described by Lia and Stephanie. And undoubtedy, there are millions of people that believe homeopathy has helped them with illness.

Furthermore, there is significant money to be made from homeopathy. The largest homeopathic pharmaceutical company in the world is the French-based Boiron with a annual turnover exceeding half a billion Euros. The British homeopathic company Ainsworths, discussed in the article, is smaller. Nonetheless, it holds Royal Warrants from the Queen and Prince Charles. These are indeed successful businesses.

But it is clear that Lia and Stephanie do not want us to believe that homeopathy is successful just because of its longevity and financial success. They want us to believe homeopathy is successful because its ideas are true and that it is effective.

Before we explore that, it is worth stating what ought to be obvious: throughout the history of medicine, many people have held incorrect medical beliefs that have persisted for a very long time. Persistence of a belief by countless people is not an argument for effectiveness. For example, bloodletting was a practice that was widely used for about 2,000 years right up into the 19th Century. And yet, throughout that time, it was certainly mostly ineffective and quite probably doing a lot of harm. It is quite probable that bloodletting was the cause of George Washington’s death. Nonetheless, amongst mainstream medical practitioners, this technique was seen as a something of a panacea, with text books claiming cures for everything from acne to cancer and leprosy.

But why should this be so? Why is it that people find it so hard to tell if a therapy is effective or not?

In 1850, about the time that bloodletting was dying out, the American doctor Worthington Hooker was considering why people believe treatments to be effective when they are not. His book, Lessons from the History of Medical Delusions is still very much relevant today.

Hooker realised that the history of medicine was a “succession of error, standing out in bold prominence, each one having, as it rose to its ascendancy, supplanted some error that preceded it.” He believed that if medicine was to move from sequential delusions towards effective truth, then we should not just look at why each successive medical theory was wrong, but to come up with general reasons why doctors and their patients continually make mistakes about what is effective and what is not.

The first and most important source of error was “the too ready disposition to consider whatever follows a cause as being a result of that cause”.

That is, just because people report improved symptoms after a treatment does not mean that the treatment is effective. We all know that for many common ailments our bodies are quite capable of healing and recovery. We may suffer from hay fever, a bad back, an infection or an injury. We do get better. Our bodies are good at this. Just because we have taken a herbal remedy, been to a chiropractor, or taken some homeopathic arnica does not mean our actions were effective. We may have recovered without such intervention. Of course, people take different amounts of time to recover. It is impossible to predict just how long this bruise will last, or how quickly our cold will clear up. We may try successive cures until something works. Even if we have a chronic illness that might last for years, we know people have good days and bad days. People inevitably seek treatments when symptoms are at their worst. It is equally inevitable that we will subsequently have better days, even if our chosen treatment was ineffective. Jumping to conclusions, based on simple experiences of treatments, can quickly lead us to error. This point may appear trivial, and yet it is the foundation for belief in all superstitious and pseudo-scientific treatments.

And this is exactly the mistake that Stephanie Kramer appears to have made in her article.

Stephanie described how she had a painful eye.  Her doctor  informed her that she had adenoviral conjunctivitis and that she had to “fight this one out” and let nature take its course. She was obviously dissatisfied with this advice as it would  take “approximately 4 weeks” and she was in some pain.  The position Stephanie found herself in was ripe for exploitation by an ‘alternative medicine’: unhappiness with mainstream advice and having a painful but self-limiting condition.

And so Stephanie visited a homeopath working at Ainsworths homeopathic pharmacy in London. After a long consultation, her homeopath gave her three homeopathic remedies based on bee venom, the herb euphrasia and sulphur. After five days, her symptoms began to subside and she felt that homeopathy had ‘trumped medicine’.

Are we to be convinced by this? Of course not. Four weeks is the upper end of how long this infection lasts. Symptoms typically improve after a week or two. And this is exactly what Stephanie experienced.

But somehow, this experience has had a powerful effect on Stephanie and that now “homeopathy will be a part of [her] life forever”.

Nonetheless, despite the weakness of this anecdote, it is still possible that homeopathy was effective and that Stephanie’s illness was reduced in  severity. So, how do we know that homeopathy is a delusion? And why do people not spot the simple mistake they have made?

Let’s move onto Worthington Hooker’s second reason why people fall into medical delusions. The second error  is to “adopt exclusive views and notions“, that is to see an idea as being the One True Theory of medicine.

Once someone has had an epiphany with homeopathy, as described by Stephanie, then it is an easy to start getting steeped in the esoteric knowledge possessed by homeopaths. This is an extremely alluring process, much like how cults suck people in, where you feel like you are becoming privileged to exclusive knowledge.

Homeopathy is based on a number of so-called ‘Laws’. The first, as described by Lia in the article, is the principle of ‘like-cures-like’. For example, because onions make you cry, then onions can treat symptoms of runny eyes, such as in hayfever. Because bee venom causes swelling, then bee venom can treat swelling, such as in Stephanie’s infected eye.

Homeopaths claim they have found the true laws of illness and health. And indeed, the founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemnann, denounced mainstream doctors as actually harming patients by not following his ideas and instead applying ‘allopathic’ medicine. But of course, such a law is nonsense. We now know that disease and illness are caused by many factors including different infectious agents, genetic and environmental problems. The homeopathic belief that living bodies have a ‘vital force’ that when imbalanced causes ill health is a pre-scientific and superstitious notion.

And as our initiate moves deeper into the exclusive cult of homeopathy, they become ready for making another of Hooker’s errors: to run to extremes, and to believe things that are quite the opposite of what the mainstream believe. The second law of homeopathy is quite bizarre and is not discussed in Lia and Stephanie’s article. Instead they present an ‘acceptable’ but misleading version of it in stating that homeopathy uses “highly dilute substances” to treat illness. This is not strictly true. Instead, homeopaths are taught that they should use the ‘minimum dose’ of their medicine and that you should prepare those doses by sequential dilution and shaking of the original tincture. And that the more you dilute a substance, the greater is its ‘potency’. In practice, this means that homeopathic remedies are so dilute that no substance remains and that all you are given is sugar pills. So, Stephanie did not receive bee venom, euphrasia and sulphur, but three sets of sugar pills merely labeled with these names.

Such a notion of dilution resulting in larger effects is counter to our everyday understanding of the world. You do not make coffee stronger by diluting it. You do not get drunk on shandy. Because all homeopathic remedies are essentially identically inert pills, homeopaths are free to make remedies from any and all substances no matter how poisonous, harmless or daft. On Ainsworths sales site, you can buy remedies made from AsbestosPositronium, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brillo Pad and Twiglets. You are not told about such remedies on public blog posts because you are not in the cult and you are still freely thinking.

The philosopher Stephen Law describes in his book Believing Bullshit how people get trapped in cult like thinking. He describes it as getting sucked into an intellectual black hole. That is, once you pass a threshold  of belief there is no way out for you. You are trained to think in certain constrained ways that prevent you seeing your own obvious errors. You are condemned to believe things that the outside world sees as absurd. Worthington Hooker anticipated one way you can get stuck in that hole in his next reason why medical delusions persist: the disposition to theorise instead of encountering the labour of strict observation.

Homeopaths do not allow their beliefs to be challenged by facts, instead the facts are twisted to fit into their theory. If a patient gets better, homeopathy works; if a patient gets worse, then that is a reaction to the remedy, and homeopathy works; if a patient stays the same then it is because you need to be patient with homeopathy, and homeopathy works. No outcome of a homeopathic encounter could challenge their belief in their theory. All narratives fit.

And as for me, I will be denounced conspiratorially as a shill for the pharmaceutical companies. I will be told I am closed minded and ignorant. I will be told to try homeopathy myself and not to try to shut down choice for others. I will be told how modern medicine kills thousands of people, apparently. Anything other than engage with the arguments that homeopathy is a delusion based on simple misunderstandings of cause and effect and of cult-like thinking.

And the harms? Well they are just sugar pills. But a wedge has now been driven between Stephanie and her doctor. She may have been given good medical advice about her conjunctivitis from her doctor, such as how to avoid infecting others. But instead she has fallen for the magical thinking of the homeopath. That did little harm this time – her condition cleared up on its own. But next time, with a more serious condition, who will she be listening to?

Leave a Reply

  1. Nice post. I’ve added it to “Related articles” in yesterday’s post on homeopathy on my own blog.

    The cultish aspects of fringe therapies (I will no longer refer to them as alternative *anything*. I have sworn this) interest me. I hope that if the façade of the cult could be cracked, it might help those not already totally brainwashed to escape, although as long as Governments tolerate the selling of snake-oil and even officialise it (NHS homeopathy…), this will always be an uphill struggle.

    I gather you recommend Believing Bullshit. How about putting in a link to Amazon or whatever so that you can earn a couple of pence for suggesting it to us?

  2. What a shame to see such brilliant writing turned down by the publisher. I did my little bit to remedy that and posted link to it in a comment on Urban Times.

  3. The Tyrannosaurus Rex mixture is an intriguing name. What can it treat, raving appetite? How is the original material sourced, an old bone swished in water? The price is over 600 pounds for one liter in 95% alcohol.

  4. Good explanations, thank you.

    The homeopaths are more than a little coy about the lack of anything in their preparations. For example, Ullman tried everything to prevent that fact being placed in the wikipedia article (and failed :))

  5. Thanks for your flamboyantly ignorant and reactionary post.

    Firstly, one quick read of the article that this one purports to respond to tells me that Lia does not work for Ainsworths, but her homeopath does, to whom she referred Stephanie.

    You compare homeopathy with blood-letting..and then rebuke Samuel Hahnemann for denouncing mainstream medicine..so I was expecting a clever punchline, but none came. You see, Samuel Hahnemann did indeed denounce the practices of mainstream medicine, one of the main ones being..bloodletting..which Worthington Hooker probably lovingly inflicted on his patients.

    Talking of Dr Hooker, you quote him as saying “the disposition to theorise instead of encountering the labour of strict observation”, which he may well have cribbed from Hahnemann who wrote about 100 years earlier: “His [the physician] role is not to construct systems of interweaving speculations and hypotheses..but to accurately observe”.

    You also misunderstand the ‘minimum dose’ concept, this just means to do the minimum to effect a cure. In the context of a potency it means to give the lowest potency possible which is also the least diluted, the last part of which you got right surprisingly.

    In any case, I have sympathy with the view that homeopathy is highly implausible, because it is implausible and by any mechanism we could understand it should not be able to do anything, but that doesn’t mean it can’t or doesn’t do anything through a mechanism we don’t understand, to say otherwise is just dumb hubris.

    • “but that doesn’t mean it can’t or doesn’t do anything through a mechanism we don’t understand, to say otherwise is just dumb hubris.”

      And that’s why the conclusion that homeopathy is bunkum is backed up by several meta-studies that cannot distinguish a homeopathic preparation from placebo. Therefore to then claim that homeopathy has any effect beyond placebo is just dumb.

      • Most ‘meta-studies’ find a statistically significant effect for homeopathy over placebo, one author of which (Kleijnen 1991) says the only reason he can’t accept homeopathy is effective is because its so implausible, which is exactly what I was talking about.

    • The “minimum dose” actually scares me because you are in the realm of actually containing an active ingredient. There was a homeopathic cold/nasal preparation recently pulled from the US market that was about a 6X zinc solution. There was still enough zinc left that some users lost their sense of taste for periods ranging from a few days to it still has not returned.

      I have no idea what the “minimum dose” dilution is in standard homeopathic practice, but a “minimum dose” may be in the area of a preparation by a herbalist. In that case there would be a clash of theories as to proper treatment.

    • @the Stallion

      Calm down dear. There’s nothing either flamboyant or ignorant about this article and you have notably failed to address any of the arguments it contains.

      You accuse the blogger of rebuking Hahnemann “for denouncing mainstream medicine”. I think you misread the paragraph. There is no rebuke of SH for denouncing mainstream medicine; there is simply a bald statement that he did so. Your comment about Hahnemann denouncing bloodletting is irrelevant.

      “Talking of Dr Hooker, you quote him as saying “the disposition I to theorise instead of encountering the labour of strict observation”, which he may well have cribbed from Hahnemann who wrote about 100 years earlier: “His [the physician] role is not to construct systems of interweaving speculations and hypotheses..but to accurately observe”.”

      It’s interesting that Hahnemann should have said this, when constructing a system out of speculation and hypothesis is exactly what he did and his idea of “accurately observing” was to record the anecdotes of his faithful volunteers and surmise a causal relationship between symptoms recorded and remedy ingested. Especially given that this a perfect example of the first and most important source of error on Hooker’s list – “the too ready disposition to consider whatever follows a cause as being a result of that cause”. As Hooker held Hahnemann in very low regard, I doubt if he “cribbed” anything from him.

      “Most ‘meta-studies’ find a statistically significant effect for homeopathy over placebo, one author of which (Kleijnen 1991) says the only reason he can’t accept homeopathy is effective is because its so implausible, which is exactly what I was talking about.”

      It gets wearisome responding to this mendacious nonsense so I have helpfully made a web page to refer people to. Please read the text under Clinical trials and engage brain, before repeating this argument.

      http://discoverhomeopathy.co.uk/?page_id=2

  6. A simple google search of these in the 30c shows that no one is writing about them on the web. Nothing for Twiglet, Brillo pad and asbestos 30c. Hardly anything for Positronium and T Rex 30c and most of what comes up is from sceptics taking the Urea Puris.
    Compare this with the 10,000s of refeernces that come up for Belladonna 30c etc. In other words no one is buying them. So these ‘remedies’ are not part of any cult.
    Should they even be available? I dont know. As no one is buying them it is hardly a public health risk and provides much entertainment.

    • I recently purchased 30C tap water plus 30C rohypnol plus 30C T. rex. (Which I believe originates from a tibia of said lizard in Germany. Although how Ainsworth’s know they have been provided with said remedy and not simply distilled water i do not know).

      I got a good service from Ainsworth’s. They even rang over christmas to say there would be a delay in dispatch. I was able to reassure them there was no emergency.

      I am sure neither Prince Charles nor his mother would award a Warrant to a company unless their products made them feel better/overcame psychological or emotional disturbances/demonstrably affected their response to pathological processes, so we do know they work…stand’s to reason, unless the prince and his mother are deluded.

  7. “You compare homeopathy with blood-letting..and then rebuke Samuel Hahnemann for denouncing mainstream medicine..so I was expecting a clever punchline, but none came. You see, Samuel Hahnemann did indeed denounce the practices of mainstream medicine, one of the main ones being..bloodletting..”

    I’m not sure what’s meant by this statement? Is it suggesting that homeopathy may be effective, as it’s founder denounced blood-letting, …which wasn’t? Not sure…

  8. Unlike many of the pieces written by ” skeptics”, which are quickly jotted down and crude in their presentation, you seem to have taken time and care in this piece. I hand you that….but nothing else, but the quote from Worthington Hooker who realised that the history of medicine was a “succession of error, standing out in bold prominence, each one having, as it rose to its ascendancy, supplanted some error that preceded it”.

    I could not agree more ! This is one of the arguments that homeopaths often use. Homeopathy has kept everything they have ever learned and added to it over the MORE THAN 200 years that it has existed as a system. It just keeps getting better !

    Allopathic ( conventional ) medicine, on the other hand, changes theories every 5, 10 or 20 years and then denies that they ever held them !

    Take the example of antibiotics. When I was growing up, we were told to take antibiotics for everything, including the common cold. Now, we see commercials telling patients to stop asking their doctors to prescribe them!! (Hmm…..I wonder where patients got THAT idea.) Our hospitals are full of people with drug – resistant, often fatal infections caused by the overuse of antibiotics.

    Or look at hormone replacement therapy…… asymptomatic women over the age of 50, at one point, had to argue with their doctors NOT to be put on these drugs. Then yet another study (this time, one that was acceptable to the medical community) came out,showing the connection between HRT and uterine and breast cancer.Overnight, doctors would get angry with women actually suffering with menopausal symptoms who would ask for HRT. They would suddenly tell them how dangerous these drugs were, when the day before, they were insisting that women take them.

    Part of my distrust of conventional medicine comes from just this phenomenon (of which I could give many more examples). Homeopaths stand by their medicines. They are not harmful. You may laugh at such remedies as Positronium or TRex, but I have seen people dramatically healed from both of these remedies, on more than one occasion.

    Homeopathy works. The proof is in the pudding.

  9. Interesting read!

    I’m a M.D. and now run a successful wellness coaching site. While your article is very well-written, it unfortunately is laced with what so many anti-alternative-therapy articles and anti-conventional medicine articles are as well. And that is an inability and reluctance to even consider the other side while being aware of the pitfalls within your very own system. It’s much along the lines of Liberals vs. Conservatives. One side is always, completely right and the other is completely wrong. The same holds true for the never-ending battle between the “Quacks and the “Nonquacks.” The truth most likely lies somewhere in between both parties being a little bit right and both being a little bit wrong. Progress only occurs when people deflate their egos, realize the merits in an opposing system, the flaws in their own, and work together. Unfortunately your article won’t promote that symbiotic utopia.
    You talk about “Believing Bullshit” and “people not being part of a cult and still being free thinking.” That made me chuckle, unless you are aware of your own hypocrisy and money-funded, cult-like thinking within the conventional system you uphold? I’m not sure. Perhaps you are and chose to ignore it for the bias of this site’s very title, but who knows. Here are my major criticisms, but again, well-written piece:
    1) The AMA was founded after more and more people began using homeopaths in the mid 1800s. Doctors felt threatened, both professionally and financially, so to stop the flux of patients toward homeopathy, they bonded, created a professional organization, set “standards” and “credentials.” Note, they did not establish the AMA, because homeopathy was “wrong” and murdering people. They did it to preserve themselves as a professional institution and they did it to preserve a fat pocketbook. So the whole “They’re quacks and we’re not” tune has been around for quite a while.
    2) I’m sure you are aware that most placebo-controlled, double blind studies are funded and conducted by pharmaceutical companies. Most of the time they only study drugs they want to make, since after securing a patent for that drug, they can then make a huge profit on it. And I mean huge. ( Keep in mind that money has been motivating man since the beginning of time) So they study those drugs, prove the drugs work, get them FDA approved and get them put on the market. Why do they rarely study plants or herbs that are used in many homeopathic formulas? Simply because there is no money in plants. Why would they conduct expensive research on a plant they can’t patent and therefore cannot reap the profits from selling it? So, again, most drugs that are made and put on the market get there from financial motivations over altruistic, Hippocratic ones. In fact, this is why you see the release of so many “extended release” versions of a popular pill hit the market right as the patent on that pill is set to expire. Prior to that, pharmaceutical chemists are busy performing acid/base reactions to come up with better versions of their patented drugs, so they can keep the patent and avoid generic competition. Are the new and improved versions better? Usually not- as indicated by research.
    A great example of this is depression drugs. I’m sure you are aware that SSRIs are the standard of care here in the US for treating depression. Well, across the pond, SSREs are prescribed. That’s right. A drug that has the exact opposite mechanism of action as the mainstream drug for treatment here. And the SSREs have proven efficacy, are effective and do not come with the most complained about side effect for the SSRIs, which is sexual dysfunction. Why is that? Why isn’t a drug that could be helpful and more beneficial not prescribed, not even researched, here? Because the Pharmaceutical companies based here can’t get a patent on it. The patent is already taken by a French drug company, and if there’s no money to be made, it gets falsely buried as “ineffective” or “quackery.”
    2) Let’s go back to how a drug gets put on the market and sold to the patient population as effective. The FDA only requires 2 studies with positive results and a robust response to get a drug approved for the market. Until recently, all of a drug’s failed studies were kept hidden and never revealed to the general public. That means a drug could have 50 failed studies, but since it has 2 positive ones, it gets the FDA’s green light, the drug companies market it as the next best thing and people everywhere are taking it! Well, what kind of institution can run ALL of those studies to get 2 positive ones? A wealthy one, obviously. A company that has a lot more capital to flirt with than a small homeopathic or alternative clinic, that’s for sure. Makes you wonder if half the drugs hitting the conventional market are more quackery than nonquackery, though. ;)
    3) I’m sure you are aware of how the chief editors of the most prominent, medical journals, such as the Lancet and NEJM, have come out publicly criticizing the journals for their obvious, pharmaceutical biases? Yes, they have. Look it up, you’ll find their names and their grievances. Now why is that? Well, the pharmaceutical industries are the journals’ bread and butter. They give the journals money for drug advertisements and increase the journals distribution and reader-base by telling potential clients, “Hey. Check out this latest study in the NEJM about my new drug! See? It’s in THAT journal so it MUST work.” Magazines are sold, drugs are sold, and profits abound.
    4) You’re familiar with the term HARKing, a noticeable issue permeating the realm of conventional, scientific research? It’s an acronym, that stands for “Hypothesizing After Results are Known.” It took on a life of its own, because it’s such a rampant problem. What this means is that the technique that is commonly referred to as the pristine “scientific method” is, often, innately corrupted. Scientists, under the pressure of egos, biases and dollar signs, conclude wrongfully, based on their initial hypothesis. Almost sounds like…Quackery. ;)
    5) I’m sure you’re aware of Pharmaceutical Piracy, where large drug companies take herbs, plants or potions used for physical ailments by small, simple villages for centuries, study them in high-tech labs and come out with new drugs? Usually the villages get zero kickbacks from this, by the way, not even “kudo points” for their “great idea.” It almost sounds like homeopathy in convention’s desired wardrobe. ;)
    6) I apologize, but your take on what causes illnesses is so closed-minded and ignorant that it actually made me cringe. Granted, what you espouse as the cause of most illnesses is what is taught in conventional medical schools. My personal opinion is to view the patient as anything less than holistic is convention’s greatest and saddest flaw. I implore any traditional practitioners to explore the expanding area of psychoneuroimmunology, for which there is a growing amount of conventional research.
    In conclusion, again, great article. I just hope more doctors and practitioners evolve to a level of open-mindedness that allows them to work together for the best treatment plans as opposed to the constant, immature bashing of the other. Sure, some treatments are pure quackery, but to say they only exists at the hands of homeopathy is to be naive of the pitfalls within conventional medicine. To not consider personal testimonies, anecdotes and to only believe in a system, that unfortunately has been corrupted by money-hungry institutions, is sad, ignorant, and not beneficial to anyone’s patient. Treating a person and progress, in general, shouldn’t boil down to the “quacks vs the nonquacks.” Just ask Copernicus when he argued with convention that the earth actually went around the sun. He was definitely a Quack. ;)

      • Ahahha…When i person say the Truths about the system the DENIALISTs just ignore it! They ant say A THING because they know its TRUE! :)
        - always looking data that can be corrupted to Support their little ideas and ignore or HIDE the other side that goês angainst them!
        Very Good post Dr. Kate.

      • Does a real person manage to ‘accidentally’ add a circumflex accent to an “e” by accident?

        I’m not convinced. This wild use of CAPS is sort of credible but that’s a step too far.

    • It would appear that you have not really understood what I was saying.

      You list of arguments are exactly the sort of cult thoughts designed to trap people into stopping thinking about quackery.

      And at the end you appeal to “personal testimonies and anecdotes”. it really is depressing.

      • Hey Monkey,

        You prefer to talk about mY iPad dictionnary rather than the important thing. If you are making personal comments leave it for fb not here. If you know a thing about the subject please SHARE with us if not just SU. BYE

  10. Do Ainsworths produce a remedy labelled “Marmite” ? If so, could it resolve the love/hate dichotomy ?

  11. Dick, not that it would alter the truth of the quotations from Worthington Hooker, but do you have a citation to show he was an enthusiastic bloodletter?

  12. Dr ErinKate

    I’ve copied below the parts of your post that are not either fallacious or irrelevant to the topic;

    “Interesting read!…[snip]”

    Your post does present a target-rich environment so I’ll limit myself to just a couple of comments. Well, three, actually.

    1. I don’t know where you get the idea that Andy or any of the sceptical commenters here regard Big Pharma as perfect. We are well aware of its flaws. See the flames? That’s your strawman burning.

    2. When considering a flawed system and an utterly erroneous, idiotically stupid system there is no compromise that hat confers any validity on the wrong system.

    3. The job of a good doctor is to work in a flawed system and try to make it better. It is not to abandon rationality and make room for stupidity.

    • Hi there,

      You are missing his point. Dr Kate didn’t say to abandon conventional medicine, he just raise the awareness of the flawed system and their corrupted data against homeopathy. Conventional medicine it is and always it will be welcome and appreciated. Nobody want it to finnish the conventional medicine has it’s own place. You reply is irrelevant because your assumptions of his motivation are totally wrong.

      • If you’re going to get back to the idea that anecdotes are reliable evidence, then yes, you are abandoning rationality and making room for stupidity.

  13. Good post on this topic. Though I miss a discussion how nowadays medicine is also bound to current medical beliefs and how a proportion of contemporary medical suggestions will turn out to be wrong in the near future. This would contrast well the homeopathic beliefs, which are not falsifiable and which haven’t changed much since Samuel Hahnemann came up with these pseudo-religious ideas.

    What I didn’t like is the paragraph about the dilution/potency of homeopathic pills. It misses the point when stating that the pill doesn’t contain a molecule of the original substance. This is nowadays widespread knowledge among homeopathy users. Their explanation is different – the substance transmits some kind of “energy” from the original substance to the water molecules. This nonsense has to be targeted when talking about potencies. For instance nobody has a good idea, why the dilution should lead to an amplification of this mysterious, physically undetectable “energy”. Even less possibilities for a proper explanation – why should the water molecules only detect the “energy” from the homeopathic procedure and not from all the other substances it came in contact with before in the million years of earth’s history? I think this strategy better questions the pre-”knowledge” of homeopathic users.

  14. Hi dears Online readers,

    Fist I want to congrats the site for the very good material they post here. But now let’s go to the subject.
    I’m surprise thats the first article you DON’t say homeopathy is a placebo! YEs! Finnally you are getting there! ^_^
    I will call this article a JOKE. Now in your point of view all the diseases treated with homeopathy are about to auto healing by itself so its not a remedy. Like YOU are in a position to say that, you are with those persons 24h a day and you know what are u talking about and the way they feel? Lol Everyone who uses homeopathy is stupid because they take the remedy they feel better, but not! It’s a fake better in your point of view! A fake bettter is actually felling better? Omg completely no sense! and you know why they go to homeopathy? Because most of the times the conventional remedies don’t even reach what you call, but in other words, a fake improvement!
    Other major mistake is proper of DENIALISTS. We don’t BELIEF in something, YOU SEE PEOPLE GETTING BETTER. Ok? So what Lia and Steph are writing it’s not base in a cult of believes, it’s based on pure observation, observation that MILLIONS people around the world observe. Ok? Ahh wait they they are ALL stupid and blind! Because is the organism that is doing a lot for them! The organism never done a thing with their major ailments, and now that a person take a homeopathic remedy…guess what? It DECIDES to work! A hahaha, you are hilarious! really!
    To end with your no sense article….Comparing bloodletting with homeopathy it come from a person that doesn’t understand a thing on what they are talking about! I can give of example of old stuff that are still update like the 3 Newton Laws in macroscopic matter!
    Conclusion: you have to do MUCH better than that. Bye!

    • Lol Everyone who uses homeopathy is stupid because they take the remedy they feel better, but not! It’s a fake better in your point of view!

      It’s not a fake better – we just ask “better than what?”

      A useful form of this question is “better than if they had done nothing?”. But of course you can’t tell for just one person. So you round up lots of people and try your intervention on just half of them, and compare the results. And you randomise and blind the trial in an attempt to remove both conscious and unconscious bias.

      (An even more useful form of the question is “better than other intevention X?”, since we know that some dummy interventions make people feel better than doing nothing!)

      • Yes of course..the same trials where if you have a negative response they are 100%right, and if you have a positive response from homeopathy…omg than the study came out with several bias…to a point to be called a non sense study…. Like what happen in the past… Or if they cant find bias…well then they are hidden from the population…. Typical… Don’t bother ok?

        People don’t care about those studies anymore…they just want to be better..and most of them find it a way in homeopathy. If they than stick with homeopathy is very obvious that this intervention WAS better than the ones the person tryied before!….. People are not stupid…they don’t need studies to tell them that they are really feeling better ok?

        Furthermore those study’s just show their IGNORANCE about homeopathy. Those studies are made for “sheeps” where you treat everybody with the same drug for the same ailment… Homeopathy is not for sheeps…is for Human beings therefore they are not treated like numbers they are treated individualised.

        And on top of that, like Dr Kate said, they are controlled by PHARMACEUTICAL companies…. So don’t bother!

      • Wow, the cult of homeopathy really has bricked your mind up with all those defensive ideas – each of which can easily be shown to be nonsense.

      • Another classic homeopath response – JUST SHUT UP!

        OK. Let me try to unweave your particular rainbow.

        1) Critics of homeopathy do not just look at the negative trials and damn the positive ones. They do systematic reviews which rank studies according to well established principles of quality (such as number of subjects) and then see what that tells us. The answer is that high quality trials tend to show no effect for homeopathy whereas studies at risk of bias often do show an effect. This is entirely consistent with homeopathy being inert.

        2) People shou;d care about evidence based studies and how to interpret evidence. They should also care about how easy it is to be misled by simplistic interpretations of experience (as explained in my post). You clearly have failed to understand the whole gist of my argument.

        3) Trials of individualised homeopathy have been done many times with individual prescriptions written for each patient. These also fail to show a significant and reliable response.

        4) Trials are not controlled by pharmaceutical companies. Many homeopaths have conducted trials. And published trials.

        Not that my answer will make any difference. Your mind is so bricked up by these ideas that reason can no longer penetrate. You will continue to repeat each one of these as if there are not simple challenges.

      • When u dont say anything interesting i say to you to shut up. Very obvious.

        Listen pall…

        People should care about results with them in their HEALTH. And if they having better results with homeopathy no matter if a study says that homeoapthy doesn’t work.

        But in your point of view ppl should think like this. OH NO! wait! That study X said it doesn’t work, so I can’t take it! I will have to live with my headache for the rest of my life! Ahaha

        If your boss says to jump to the fire..u will jump of course! Since you are one the sheeps.

      • It is quite incredible that you have failed to grasp my argument. You do not even address the main point in my blog post at all.

        Did you actually read it?

        How can I make my point more obvious?

        If you have a hang-over and you take some pain killers (of whatever sort you like) and your headache goes away, how do you know the remedy you chose made any difference? Might it have gone away anyway?

        The whole point of my article is that homeopaths completely ignore this problem and leap to conclusions. As Stephanie and Lia did in their article. You say people should care about HEALTH – but how do they know what is having an impact on their health.

        Do you even acknowledge there is an issue here with trying to understand what works?

        Please start you answer with a yes or no.

      • @sensimilia:

        Let me just first say that you’re dumb.

        Now that I’ve made that clear..

        People have to care about science because science is the only way to know the truth. You may have improve following an alternative treatment, but that doesn’t mean it’s the treatment that made the difference.

        Now to you, as a patient, that is, as someone who’s really only interested in getting better shouldn’t matter. Right? You just want to get better. If it’s something else that made you made better, who cares? You got better anyways.

        But the thing is that yes, you do care about what was doing its work there because:

        1. You want control. You want to be able to combat the same problem if it pops up again, so you want to know the solution so you can repeat it if it’s necessary.

        2. You may want to help others who have the similar.

        So, yes, the TRUTH matters.

        And TRUTH can sometimes be really dumb.

        Like, placebo. Or natural course of disease.

        The point that’s being raised is that people themselves cannot discover the truth through anecdotes. It does not work like that. You have to do proper science.

  15. I’ ve already respond to your article…it’s basically a JOKE and a complete no sense.
    You are the one who is not reading. Meee eeee

    • I responded to you explaining how your arguments were incorrect. Do you want to acknowledge that a discussion is taking place, or is ad hominem and insult your only weapon?

      • No you didn’t. Only Tazzage did.

        You just start with an INSULT! On 3.54pm LOL how hilarious is that? xD
        You know in this life you GET what you GIVE.

  16. Do I have to point you at my response?

    Let me just say. Iam really glad you come here with your views. It really strengthens my point. I argued that homeopaths fail to acknowledge the problems of determining cause and effect in medicine. You absolutely will not engage on this point making my case very clear cut. Secondly, I argue in my post that homeopaths protect themselves from reason with various cult-like thought processes. You surround yourself in defensive ideas that prevent you seeing your errors and you get angry and shouty at outsiders who quesiton you.

    You are perfect.

    Thankyou.

    It is as if I had paid someone to behave like you have.

    • In your article by MAGIC all the ailments start to heal themselves after taking a homeopathic remedy….or maybe was the weather? Before that the body was JUST TO LAZY.
      What a great cause and effect logic u have! Ahahhaah hilarious! It’s not a CULT of believes is what we observe! And comparing with bloodletting it was the best part of the joke!
      I hope to see more of your articles to read in the mornings. It makes me laught.
      Don’t make projections please! Maybe you are the one BEING PAYED for your jokes.

      • LCN has already answered most of your points, but

        Those studies are made for “sheeps” where you treat everybody with the same drug for the same ailment…

        Not necessarily the same drug/intervention. You could for instance take a population of people who have been prescribed homeopathic remedies, and substitute the prescription for a placebo for half of them. So the trial is of homeopathy itself (or perhaps more fairly, the homeopaths involved in the trial)

        This is not thought unethical because homeopathic remedies don’t actually work. A circular argument I know, but thankfully supported by the results of such trials.

        You could do with reading

        http://www.badscience.net/2007/11/a-kind-of-magic/

        Homeopathy is not for sheeps…is for Human beings therefore they are not treated like numbers they are treated individualised.

        I’ve never understood this reasoning. If everybody receives a completely personalised treatment, how can the homeopath (or indeed the patient) have any confidence that the treatment is appropriate? So there must be some pattern to treatments given. And the theory behind that pattern will therefore be testable.

      • He hás answer the points? Lal! Indeed.. LCN barely could answer a thing.

        If you dont understand homeopathy just dont go to homeopaths. people go there for their health not with educacional proposes. Or maybe you shall start a course! Its not me that will teach you for sure!
        Nevertheless you wil never get it! We are in a free world and you should do what you want to do and not what people say for you to do. People Knows what works for them not you or ANY study!

    • Before I start – CAPSLOCK does not make your argument stronger but it does make you look a little crazed.

      The body has wonderful and natural healing mechanisms. Sometimes it does take time and for different people at different times the amount of time can vary.

      It is a fact that people who claim to be into ‘natural health’ appear to struggle with. Instead, they want to attribute any healing to whatever magic beans they were rubbing at the time.

      You do observe healing – but then you make a leap into arrogance and fantasy to assume it is your actions that are doing it. What makes you so different from all the other people who have believed in incorrect remedies over the centuries? How do you divine the truth?

      • What?? Divine the truth? Rotlf. you are getting religious now SCIENCE man! Are u in a cult? :)
        People divine the truth for them everyday it’s not me who does it. Apparently these mechanisms don’t work before and start to work with homeopathy. Isn’t that a coincidence? Is the body bias to favor homeopathy? Corrupted? No SENSE!
        Ah wait all people are wrong and your are right! Sureeee!

      • Yes. Actually. A lot of people are wrong about this. As Worthington Hooker in 1850 pointed out.

        So, you just know homeopathy works when you use it then? Because you cannot imagine alternative, or do not want to imagine alternatives, you just know it works.

        So why if the results of homeopathy are so obvious and dramatic does it fail to show results in high quality individualised trials of homeopathy?

        Why dis this massive proving of Belladonna fail?

        http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/61677/

      • And those alternatives always get into play when u use homeopathy! Right you are so smart! Ahahha
        Again studies? You are getting boring now. Because homeopathy can fail as allopathic medicine fail as well! Is has it own limitations! Ok?
        I tell you what… I would do much Better job than you do. How much do they pay you for those jokes? :)

      • @Sensimilla:

        “What?? Divine the truth? Rotlf. you are getting religious now SCIENCE man! Are u in a cult?”

        That’s an awesome homonym fail!

      • that part of your response was an attack based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the words to which you were replying.

        The rest of your response was similarly based on a misunderstanding of what has been posted here.

  17. I know one should avoid sitting next to the nutter on the bus and poor old Sensemilla seems to have smoked too much of his name, but this strawman merits a specific rebuttal.

    “Everyone who uses homeopathy is stupid because they take the remedy they feel better, but not! It’s a fake better in your point of view!”

    No one is making a main argument that patients do not feel better, although under trial conditions the Hawthorne Effect is always at play.

    I’ll try it with CAPSLOCK just for our mentally altered friend.

    WE ACCEPT THAT PATIENTS FEEL BETTER. THEY ARE NOT LIARS. BUT IT’S NOT BECAUSE OF THE SUGAR PILLS.

    Unless you die of it, Sensemilla, all diseases improve at some point even if only temporarily. Your argument is as valid as someone in a small boat at the crest of a wave denying that there are more waves on the sea.

    • Welcome back Monkey!

      I’ve seen you are giving me credit’ even searching for the meaning of sensimilla for a desperate attack. ahahahha shame on you monkey :) because you have monkey in your nick, should I assume I’m talking to a MONKEY? If that is the case let me know! I stop talking :D and I’m don’t want to offend monkeys. :)

      Of course it’s not because of homeopathy! It’s because the weather, the rainbow, the time, the monkeys, the sheep! All those variables are tanking into account. Hillarious!
      “Unless you die ALL THE diseases improve at some point even if only temporary”
      I guess what that point is when you take homeopathic remedy! Damn the organism just decide to work at the same time! How smart!
      How many studies were done correctly to approve drugs and then they were redraw from the Market because they were dangerous and killed people? LOADS!
      The real VALUE is in real life, and in real life homeopathy proves it works! Wait… I think is the RAINBOW! Ahahahha

      • proves it works

        What do you mean by this phrase (and not restricted to the context of homeopathy)? There’s a lot of subtlety packed into those three words.

      • What i meant by that phrase is that the rain the sun and all those variables help the homeopathic rémedy to work and millions of people getting better! ! They are very Nice allies of homeopathy, you know?
        Thats what i’m saying.

      • The body may “decide to work” because you give the treatment a lot of time. ;) Or it might be a placebo. You do know that two sugar pills a day clear gastric ulcer faster than one sugar pill a day? This is done under proper trial conditions. True story.

        Another important thing to note about homeopathy is that it has a pretty good “marketing story” which can make placebo effect more powerful.

  18. For “desperate attack” read “joke”. Another homeopath suffering from sense of humour bypass syndrome.

    How would we control for all those possible different timings of taking a remedy?

    Try giving a rational answer without CAPSLOCK and in grammatical English.

    • You shouldn’t judge people, I’m not even a homeopath!
      The simple fact that in all those cases of millions of people who are taking homeopathic remedies you assume all the other variables and responsible for the relief and never the homeopathic remedy itself.
      That is the JOKE!
      You don’t even assume a percentage of effect due to the remedy! NEVER Is always the “sun” and “rain”, etc… That is why i call you denialists. You just didnt get it, do you?
      You are more worried about the caps and the mistake s rather than other things. Sorry for not be borned in UK. Get lost.

      • Sorry mY english, correct me if you see a mistake. Thank you teacher.

        I wasn’t trying to correct you. It looks like we are using words in different ways, so I was trying to get that out in the open so we could have a fruitful discussion.

        What i meant by that phrase is that the rain the sun and all those variables help the homeopathic rémedy to work and millions of people getting better!

        This is an assertion that you believe something is true, not a definition of what you mean by proof.

        Once again, and taking the phrase in the most general sense, what do you mean by

        “proves it works”

        ?

      • Im tired to say and you just dont get it,
        Its not a believe is what is seen everday and not only for me. You are the blind ones.
        If you want a definition go to a speciallist in semântics.

      • Im tired to say and you just dont get it,

        I assume that you mean you are tired of repeating yourself, not that you have tried to say what you meant and failed?

        I actually get you perfectly. You are saying that when you see A happen and then B, you assume that B was caused by A.

        This is a logical fallacy – see
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

        Its not a believe is what is seen everday and not only for me. You are the blind ones.

        Or perhaps we see the same as you do, but think more about what we see?

        If you want a definition go to a speciallist in semântics.

        But then how would I ever find out that you were using the same definition as me?

        semântics.

        You’ve thrown in a couple of random accents. As you’re not British, my guess is that you are using a keyboard with accent shortcuts and just typing sloppily?

        This certainly fits your typos, lack of attention to paragraph breaks, and CAPS rather than html tags for emphasis (the internet equivalent of writing in green ink).

        You seem to think that what you have to say is so important you must jump in and say it fast. Why not take more time and try and communicate more clearly?

      • And AGAIN! talking about english and capslock.LoL! When 90% of your reply is based on that i shall considera you a FAIL. Yes! you are te best in english, keep your toy.
        I was very clear in what i saíd. What i see is that your reply about this Issue is in another box, leaving what i wrote to Monkey untouchtable. Does that make you a fail as well?
        For sure i’m not getting into this! You can keep on in your grammar exercises.

  19. “even searching for the meaning of sensimilla”

    It is possible to know about drug culture without displaying the clinical features of its tragic victims.

    Regardless of your native language, and it is admirable to converse in something that is not your native tongue and I certainly can’t do it, your posts are illogical and do not address the issues in a rational manner.

    You keep throwing out random confounding variables as it they are a problem or excuse the use of uncontrolled anecdote. They are not and they don’t.

    However, I will congratulate you that unlike Kate and Dick at Urban Times, you are at least trying to engage with the substance of the discussion. I really don’t care whether you regard yourself as a homeopath, although as Dick has so far failed to acknowledge there really is no way of defining what a homeopath is, you are defending homeopathy and that’s enough for me to count you as part of their crowd.

  20. I’m not defending homeopathy rather than alophatic medicine.I’m apollogy of both. If you were talking bad about allopathic medicine i would do the same!
    Both work, both have their place and both have their limitations. The only difference is that human kind dont understand YET the mechanism of action od homeopathy.
    Thats the only fact that you can say about homeopathy! All other conclusions, like this article that says the relifef is due All the other variables and NEVER or not even a sligthly percentange due the homeopathic remdey….That is the JOKE.

    • And AGAIN! talking about english and capslock.LoL! When 90% of your reply is based on that i shall considera you a FAIL. Yes! you are te best in english, keep your toy.

      Yes, there were a couple of sarcastic digs in there. I got a bit frustrated when after asking you a question you did not give me a straight answer. How about we make a deal – I cut out the sarcasm, you answer questions put to you?

      And I’m intrigued by your 90% figure. What is the small part of my reply that you considered worthy of your attention?

      I was very clear in what i saíd. What i see is that your reply about this Issue is in another box, leaving what i wrote to Monkey untouchtable. Does that make you a fail as well?

      When I view the page, only certain posts are followed by a [REPLY] button. Is this the same for you? In that case, take it up with LCN not me.

      For sure i’m not getting into this! You can keep on in your grammar exercises.

      I have never commented on your grammar.

      • As i saíd i’m not going into personal stuff. Not even logicistic site stuff. Só congrats for your toy, you are a much better person than me. End of story.

        Sorry to make you feel frustrated thats what happen when you dont know what to say.
        As i saíd if you dont understand homeopathy go do a course and than talk about things.
        Regards

      • And now I reply to myself! Sensimilla will be amused.

        Sorry to make you feel frustrated thats what happen when you dont know what to say.

        There is nothing I can say that will force you to respond, so I am not frustrated at myself.

        When you first posted, I Immediately thought “here’s a loon”. Then I thought – “let’s now be hasty, they could instead be ignorant, stupid or a troll”.

        I’m glad I changed my mind and conversed with you. With your multiple evasions, I now have you more accurately classified as a troll.

        As i saíd if you dont understand homeopathy go do a course and than talk about things.

        And if you don’t understand rational argument, you could go on a course too? After all, it would be applicable to a lot more than making a fool of yourself on the internet!

      • Besides the sarcasm i use is very clear what i saíd. You just don’t know what to answer than you say its not clear and logical! Typicall!

        If you want to keep that regist is with you. Call me a troll, fool everything you want. Felling Good hein? Get lost.

    • Don’t be stupid! People are indeed trying to figure out how homeopathy works!

      It’s called – placebo research.

      You’re just being dumb thinking there is no subtle non-biochemical mechanism at play.

  21. Sensimilla, every reply you post has a rather personal tone, so it seems what you really mean is that you’re not going to comment on arguments.

  22. Thanks for readding all of them and for your interpretation.. But i thing you have to read again, there are a lot of arguments there that were unanswered unfortunatelly.
    Anyway will take your note under advissement,

    • Huh? Your only “argument” is that many people use it and feel better – you’ve already been told that this is fallacious reasoning. Properly blinded tests have shown that the “remedies” don’t do more than placebos, so the logical conclusion is that homeopathy is a placebo therapy, no matter what those using homeopathy “feel” is the truth.

      • The logical conclusion is that u havent read a thing of what was written.
        Really just read again. I will not répeat it just because of you.

        Ohh the placebo effect finnally! You know that the author didnt mentioned that? :) só this topic is for other fórum.

        I just have one question for you… By any chance doctor do you know What can affect the placebo effect? If not just remain in silence please.

      • If you want to convince people that there is more to homeopathy than the placebo effect you’ll have to supply some evidence for an effect above that of placebo – you didn’t so I remain unconvinced.

        I don’t understand your question so I’m afraid I won’t be able to answer it, but I’m positive you can phrase it better. (If you won’t that’s OK, too, I’ll find other things to comment on.)

      • You are missing the point! Not even the author talk about placebo! Only you! You can create your own article about it and then i will talk about it! Is that ok for you?

        I dont want to convince you of anything! You believe i’m what you want! Its a free world!

        You dont understand the question “what can affect the placebo effect”? Really..,..dont bother to reply.
        Regards

      • It’s news to me that I can only repeat Andy’s arguments (and quite frankly, I don’t believe it – where did you get this idea?). If you don’t want to convince people that homeopathy does indeed work I wonder what you want. Since I’m missing the point – what is the point?

        Yes, I do not understand what you mean when you ask “what can affect the placebo effect” (and you’ve twice told me you don’t want to discuss the placebo effect anyway), so either clarify that question or leave it.

      • So if you understand just answer it? Or you post things that you don’t really know a THING about them?

        My point? Is simple… Is that both medicines and all the others are welcome and useful and people are free to choose whatever they want. Homeopathy, acunpucture, reflexology allopathic…all exist for a reason, not for intelectual recreation.

      • You’re not making sense – when I assume that you believe homeopathy works and therefore want to convince others of that you say I miss the point, now you’re telling me that your point is it is useful (implying it works). So I got your point but you decided to claim I didn’t.

        If you cannot rephrase your question, just tell me what you think “affects” the placebo effect.

      • It’s not me that is going to explain the variables of placebo. Go study,
        But please before post in any topic, make sure you are familiar with the topics surrounding, just don’t post for the sake of post.

      • In other words: you’re just trying to keep me guessing what your point about placebo is and anything I say will probably be met with “that’s not what I meant, keep guessing” (or to put it more bluntly: you’re talking out of your arse).

        My point still stands: you’re not providing any evidence for your assumption that homeopathy works. Your reasoning (people get better after using homeopathy/many people use it) has already been identified as fallacious (post hoc ergo propter hoc/argumentum ad populum), so what else have you got?

      • I’m not providing anything, my evidence are the people who take it go talk to them. Even if I give u studies you will say they are all corrupted.
        Regarding the placebo effect, I can tell you that it is in homeopathy that there is the minimal placebo effect associated. Now think about it and let me know. If you want to argument go study first than come here.

      • I see that you’re not providing anything, but that won’t work here. As the saying goes: put up or shut up. Anecdotes aren’t evidence.

      • So why are you so bother to answer!? I’m not providing anything to you but I’m providing to other people don’t worry. :) The anecdote is that you didn’t even read what was written behind.
        Keep arguing about your studies that’s all you got, because when you go outside your studies fail.

  23. “Both work, both have their place and both have their limitations.”

    Wrong. Conventional medicIns works, but has limitations. Homeopathy does not work. End of story.

    Sorry, Sensemilla, this is not open for debate, it’s settled fact. The only unresolved issue is for you to understand why your arguments are fallacious. If you understood that then you would understand why we confidently and correctly say that homeopathic pills are just inert sugar tablets.

    I’m afraid I do suspect you are a deliberate troll. I have adopted funny foreign accents on web forums sometimes and the end up sounding like you. How do you create the random accents on vowels? I can’t see how thy arise as legitimate typos, but perhaps you can explain this.

    • LOL! Keep your fact for you. Isn’t that irónic that most of the people that say it doesnt work NEVER really take a homeopathic remedy! Of course it doesnt work with you!

      The other millions of peoples, animals and Plants Knows it works. And its not you or ANY study that will say the opposite.
      FALLACIOUS is this article that assume that the relief of symptoms are all acording to all variables except the homeopathic REMEDY. 0% is due the remedy! What a bias!

      If keep insisting to insult i have to conclude that you are not worthy to reply. Again the english and accents!? Lal! You are soo Limited. End of story.

      • Isn’t that irónic that most of the people that say it doesnt work NEVER really take a homeopathic remedy! Of course it doesnt work with you!

        Isn’t that ironic that most of the people that say arsenic doesn’t cure the common cold NEVER take arsenic! Of course it doesnt work with you!

        Your point was?

        The other millions of peoples, animals and Plants Knows it works.

        Logical fallacy – Argumentum ad populum
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_the_majority

        That’s not going to convince anybody around here.

        Amd – animals and plants?! How do you know that they “know it works”?

        FALLACIOUS is this article that assume that the relief of symptoms are all acording to all variables except the homeopathic REMEDY. 0% is due the remedy! What a bias!

        0% is the default assumption – the null hypothesis. If you supply evidence to the contrary, we will change our minds.

        If keep insisting to insult i have to conclude that you are not worthy to reply.

        Insult free, I believe.

      • Yes comparing a venom with a remedy very smart of you.
        You know why i said that? Because most of the plants are animals are smarter than you.
        You even go to Wikipedia…. You are really making an effort. :)
        If you want the Evidence go to people who buy homeopathic remedies.
        I will not convinced you in anything! I wouldn’t dare, it’s a no end work.
        Don’t laugh yet…because all of you are not convinced the people that has benefits with homeopathy. The ones who don’t use….maybe you can! But the others….forget it! You are too late! They already know what helps them.

      • “The other millions of peoples, animals and Plants Knows it works.”

        This kind of undermines the usual homoeopathic argument that it can’t be placebo because it works on animals, doesn’t it?

        But not as much as pointing out that while the animals (and even plants) don’t know that they have been treated with homoeopathy, neither can they report any improvement in their condition. And that the people looking after them, who report any apparent improvement, are usually well aware that the animals have been treated.

      • “The other millions of peoples, animals and Plants Knows it works. And its not you or ANY study that will say the opposite.”

        And by the way, here’s a study of homeopathy used for treating animals that says the opposite:

        Conforti et al. Rat models of acute inflammation: a randomized controlled study on the effects of homeopathic remedies. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007 Jan 17;7:1.

        Note that the first phase, in which some effects for homoeopathy were observed, was not fully blinded. In the second, double-blind phase of the trial, “the effects of homeopathic remedies were not confirmed”.

      • Ok mojo…imagine you have a pain and u try a lot of stuff without result.
        Then you try a new thing called R and it works. But then you saw a study that says the R doesn’t work it’s because x,y or z,
        my question is…are u going to stop to take the R and still living with your old pains?
        Answer sincerely please! :)
        Simple question simple answer…

      • “FALLACIOUS is this article that assume that the relief of symptoms are all acording to all variables except the homeopathic REMEDY. 0% is due the remedy! What a bias!”

        But when potential causes of bias are removed, it does seem to be the case that “0% is due to the remedy”. See for example Cucherat et al. Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy. A meta-analysis of clinical trials. HMRAG. Homeopathic Medicines Research Advisory Group. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000 Apr;56(1):27-33, which found that “Studies of high methodological quality were more likely to be negative than the lower quality studies”, or Linde et al. Impact of study quality on outcome in placebo-controlled trials of homeopathy. J Clin Epidemiol. 1999 Jul;52(7):631-6, which concluded that “in the study set investigated, there was clear evidence that studies with better methodological quality tended to yield less positive results”.

        And, to tie in an objection you raised above, that “those studies are made for “sheeps” where you treat everybody with the same drug for the same ailment”, here’s the one published systematic review of trials of individualized homeopathy: Linde K, Melchart D. Randomized controlled trials of individualized homeopathy: a state-of-the-art review. J Altern Complement Med. 1998 Winter;4(4):371-88.

        Its results:

        In the 19 placebo-controlled trials providing sufficient data for meta-analysis, individualized homeopathy was significantly more effective than placebo … but when the analysis was restricted to the methodologically best trials no significant effect was seen.

        In other words, those trials least likely to produce biased results showed no significant effect for homeopathy.

      • “Ok mojo…imagine you have a pain and u try a lot of stuff without result.
        Then you try a new thing called R and it works. But then you saw a study that says the R doesn’t work it’s because x,y or z,
        my question is…are u going to stop to take the R and still living with your old pains?”

        Why continue to take it if there’s no causal relationship between taking it and the pain relief?

      • Of course! In a real situation you are give more importance to a study to your own pain! LOL! You really care about your health! Ahahahhaha. You know…that’s this way of thinking that make you all FAIL in convince people. You are worry about studies and people are more worry about their health. So give up… you are weak.

        in mind that people are not masoquist like you! If you like to suffer because you can’t find casual relations, than suffer! You don’t need to share that suffering with humanity. Assuming that you are being truthful which I really have doubts of. So when you put your health as a prirority and not the studies we can have a decent talk. Meanwhile just don’t bother ok?

      • The only reason to find out whether there’s a causal relationship is that health is a priority – why waste time and effort on a useless treatment? Of course in order to find out whether a treatment works you have to understand how easily you can be mislead and prevent this from happening – scientists do this by placebo-controlling and blinding their studies.

  24. Vicky go study what variables affect the placebo than come back please.
    The only reason I see is that there is a logical causal relation with your masokism and your close mind.
    I hope that none of you parents took TALIDOMIDE when you were younger! Scientists made ultra Studies for it, and the remedy was PERFECT. AAhahhaha
    As i said If you want to rule your life believing blinding in all studies and if you like to suffer it’s with you! But please don’t make people be like one of you, in the name of Humanity!

    • Thalidomide doesn’t cause mental defects (that’s what you were implying, isn’t it) and even if my father had used it it wouldn’t have had any effect (nor would my mother using it when I “was younger” – that would only have happened had my mother used it during the first three months of pregnancy – she didn’t). By the way, Thalidomide is still in use today, though not as a sedative. And yes, it was very good as a sedative, unfortunately with unknown effects on embryos. But since science learns from its mistakes nowadays teratogenity is tested before a new drug is approved.
      By the way: that doesn’t make homeopathy work somehow. Neither does Vioxx. Until there’s proof of effects above placebo I’m going to assume that it’s a placebo treatment.

      • I know thalidomide is used today but in different doses. My point is…studies are not entailed (vincculative). One thing is efficacy other thing is effectiveness.
        Thanks god! Assume what you want! I don’t care. But don’t expand your assumption to humanity that’s all I ask you. They don’t feet in MINDS that give priority to studies rather then their healths. That’s what I have to say to you. If you keep on the same regist you will get no answer from me, since Im not here to change your mind.

  25. How can I not “expand my assumption to humanity” – physics and chemistry work the same way all around the world! Nothing is and stays nothing – believing that it is “something” doesn’t change that. Believing that homeopathy has effects over placebo doesn’t make it have effects over placebo. As I have already explained, you can only find out if there’s a real effect when you make sure your beliefs don’t make you fool yourself, which is what blinding and placebo-control are for. Establishing there’s an effect is the lowest hurdle homeopathy has to jump in order to be seen as effective/efficatious – if there’s no efficacy (potential for effectiveness) it’s implausible to assume effectiveness. Up to now homeopathy hasn’t jumped that hurdle, so let’s not pretend it has. I know homeopaths prefer to theorise about how it could work, but (as Doyle has put it) It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

    You’re free to stop responding anytime you want, but something tells me that I won’t need to find something else to do anytime soon.

  26. Placebo wasn not even mention in this article. Create an article about placebo than we talk about. Meanwhile you didn’t even answer my comment about placebo.
    I told you..between allopathy and homeopathy, homeopathy is the medicine with less placebo effect associated. As I said if you don’t even know what variables affect the placebo go study and dont copy paste articles and keep repeating the same things

    Yes, the fact is…there is effectiveness…but you can’t accept that because you don’t understand the mechanism of action, you are more interesting in studies rather than health.
    I already told you …The only thing you can say is that the mechanism of action is unknown so far! All the rest you saying is just a joke. When you start to care more about health please talk again. Meanwhile join a nerd studies committee.

    If you want notions about placebo

    • So what if placebo wasn’t mentioned in this article – I’ve mentioned it. Contrary to what you think placebo is all there is in homeopathy (that is if you use a broad definition of placebo effect and include effects like regression to the mean and natural healing) as evidenced by multiple meta-analyses that find no conclusive proof that homeopathy is better than placebo.

      After 200+ years of failing to show effects the joke’s on the homeopaths I’m afraid, only they don’t get it. Theorise about mechanisms of action without showing “action” first if you wish, remedies (at the “potencies” commonly used) are still inert.

      • You didn’t even answer my question about placebo. So why bother! Answer me please doctor I want to know your great knowledge of placebo!

        Since you are very smart tell me one thing,,, a person takes a homeopathic remedy and doesn’t work…then takes other homeopathic remedy and it works. The 2 takes are with the same envoirment, Things that happen in REAL LIFE you know?
        Now tell me doctor…if it was placebo shouldn’t be working no matter if it’s the right or the wrong remedy? Guess what it doesn’t! Please doc bring some of your illlumination to humanity! :D

        Who is theorising about mechanism!? You don’t even read what I write. Really! Get lost!

      • As I told you you need to rephrase your question. I don’t know why you bother, but as long as you’re interested in showing off your knowledge I’m happy to give you an opportunity for that.

        I know I’m repeating points others have already made but since you ask so politely:
        in unassisted (natural) healing time is a factor. If a person takes remedy “A” for two weeks (or days, or months) and then decides to switch to remedy “B”, it is possible that the time they start taking remedy “B” coincides with the time where they get better by themselves.
        It’s also possible that someone (friend, neighbour, hairdresser) has told them that “A” didn’t work for them, so deep inside they don’t expect “A” to work.
        Then there’s the possibility that the homeopath – along with prescribing a placebo – gave some sensible advice on lifestyle changes that helped.
        Depending on what troubles the patient, it’s also possible that what triggered the problems is removed (you cannot be sure that the environment doesn’t change at all), in which case using “B” can coincide with removing the “trigger”.

        Since you’re so convinced of “the power of anecdote” let me tell you one: recently a relative of mine felt ill and had a bit of a temperature. At first she chose to just stay in bed and drink some tea (no special herb, just to make sure she stayed hydrated). Her GP was on vacation and she wasn’t keen on going to another doctor, but after three days she finally went. Since it was late on friday, she had a fever and her chest hurt the doctor thought it best to send her to hospital to get an x-ray done. She doesn’t live near a hospital so someone had to driver her there, and when she arrived the fever had disappeared (so much so that the doctor there thought she was “faking” it until the results of her blood test came back and showed she had an infection). Shall I now conclude that driving around in a car is an effective way of reducing fever? Shall I start writing down what type of car was used (Ford) and what colour it had? Or may it just be that when she sought treatment she was already through the worst and her immune system was able to fight this on its own?
        I’m only happy that her whacky aunt (who is a true believer in homeopathy) wasn’t the one to drive her, for she would surely have insisted on her taking some remedy and – since the fever did go away, claimed that this proves homeopathy works.

        Does that answer your question?

        BTW: You are the one bringing up “mechanism” again and again. I’ve already told you that there’s no proof it works so a mechanism isn’t necessary. As I’ve said before – you’re free to leave this discussion at any time.

        (Sorry if this comes up twice, captcha didn’t work the first time I tried to post it.)

      • Ahaha Yes I see your point. Good answer. :) But I think you use the coincidence word too much for such a scientific mind. Now extend all of that possibilities and coincidences to all the persons that benefit from homeopathy. The only commun point will be…. The remedy!

        So why don’t people see the placebo effect on the paracetamol for example? There are a lot of people who dont find a solution in allopathic and goes to homeopathy. Why the placebo effect didn’t work before? The placebo effect is ally of homopathy and enemy of allopathic?

        You know that homeopathy has the less placebo effect associated comparing to allopathy?

        • placebo depends on d level of trust u have in d “medicine”, so for people taking homeopathy already(who already distrust allopathy), placebo drugs wont work in d allopathic medicine.

          but if they were to take homeopathic medicine(which they have blind faith in) the placebo would have a larger role to play…..

      • You still don’t get it (or at least you pretend not to get it) – combining many anecdotes is still talking about anecdotes. If controlled trials don’t support the conclusion you formed when you heard those anecdotes it means that your conclusion was wrong. (You’re also wrong about the remedy being the only thing people will have in common – they’ll very probably have received different remedies, making breathing air the only thing we definitely know they have in common.)

        It is known that the placebo effect is very variable – it works pretty good for pain and nausea, but it doesn’t do a thing when treating HIV or diabetes (to pick some random examples). In these cases homeopathy won’t even have a placebo effect.

        If “homeopathy has less placebo effect than [real medicine]” that’s bad for homeopaths, because a placebo effect is still all it has (at least that has been suggested in a trial about rheumatoid arthritis – http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/6/1070.long ).

      • Yes yes keep on the studies. Means zero. You see one thing is a study and other thing is real life and in real life you failed. Your studies are very good work ver well inside a lab…when it comes o real life…thats it….End of story. Isn’t that painful?

    • Yes comparing a venom with a remedy very smart of you.

      How do you know it’s a poison? By your own argument, you can’t trust that it’s a poison until you try it yourself. All I did was substitute some words in your sentence, the form remained the same.

      You even go to Wikipedia…. You are really making an effort.

      It’s a convenient reference source, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Still if you don’t trust it here is another ilnk for you

      http://www.logicalfallacies.info/relevance/appeals/appeal-to-popularity/

      If you want the Evidence go to people who buy homeopathic remedies.

      Why should we accept their testimony as evidence of anything? Neither we nor they know what would have happened if they had not taken homeopathic remedies.

      • You stop the insulting? Good that you got over it.
        There are studies that shows evidence but you just ignore them! If you are so good on finding the ones who like find the others as well! I’m more concerned about people health than studies!
        And I tell you no matter what studies you put, people know what helps them. Consider it LOST!

      • You pretend you care about health than we do because somehow you think that having gazillion choices (even if they are bad) is better than having few if any choices that are working. ;)

        But this is wrong.

        Homeopathy can kill people, albeit in an indirect way e.g. if homeopathy treatment delays conventional treatments that can actually help.

        Also, resorting to superstition is just not really healthy. You are having fake control that will eventually completely disappear. And then what?

        So, that’s why we care about the truth. We need science to find the truth. Science is the only way to discover the truth.

        Cherry-picking facts that suit your claim is just about making you feel comfortable, it’s not about finding truth.

        (also, if homeopathy really worked, studies would show that)

  27. “The only commun point will be…. The remedy!”

    As Vicky said, you are just wrong. The most important think they have in common is that at some point they felt I’ll in some way. Given that they have not died, at some later point they will feel less bad. I made this pint earlier with my analogy involving waves. You obviously did not understand it. I doubt you ever will.

    These really are not difficult concepts and it is deeply frustrating that people who otherwise can function in the world well enough to turn on a computer cannot see this. I’ve been playing with homeopaths for nearly 10 years now and it never fails to amaze me that your sort of pathological thought processes are so resistant to change when they are so obviously wrong.

  28. @Sensimilla:

    “You know that homeopathy has the less placebo effect associated comparing to allopathy?”

    I know that you have claimed this, but you have not provided any evidence that this is the case.

    • And even if it was the case, it would not be evidence that homoeopathy works. Having less of a placebo effect would make it even more useless.

      • If I was forced to attend an appointment with a homeopath there would be a high risk of a nocebo effect. For both of us. I would certainly experience an aggravation.

      • Monkey the fact is outside is very useful with the less placeobo effect associated! Meaning its not all about placebo. Don’t go to a homeoapth really, save him from your ignorance and close mind.

  29. @Sensimilla

    I notice that you haven’t attempted to reply to the posts in which I linked to the results of research into the efficacy of homoeopathy.

    What, for example, would be your comment on the paper that found that in trials of individualized homoeopathy the trials that were least likely to produce biased results fail to demonstrate that it has any effect?

    • As I told you! Homeoapthy and allopathy have their limitations. Both can fail! How many times allopahty failed? And u keep taking remedies right? So means NOTHING. Because it’s a medicine it can failled.

      • “Allopathy” was a term made up by Samuel Hahnemann (around the time that he also made up homoeopathy and the idea that all disease is caused by coffee) to denigrate the medicine of his time which was, admittedly, pretty bad. Medicine has moved on in the last couple of centuries, but homeopaths and their apologists don’t seem to have noticed this. Modern medicine does not attempt to produce symptoms opposing those exhibited by the patient – that went out with the four humours. The continued use of the term “allopathy” marks you out as a quack.

        The basic difference between homoeopathy and medicine is that while both medicine and homoeopathy adhere to the hippocratic principle “first, do no harm”, only homoeopathy adds “second, do no good”.

        Nobody argues that medicine is infallible, although apologists for homoeopathy like you often imply that they do. It is just, usually, better than doing nothing. and even if real medicine never worked, it still wouldn’t be evidence that homoeopathy works. You just try to attack medicine because you have no evidence to support your own argument.

        Homoeopathic medicines consistently fail to demonstrate efficacy in properly conducted trials, to the extent that during the 23 years when the UK’s regulatory system would not allow any new medicine to be placed on the market without demonstrating efficacy no new homoeopathic medicines could acquire marketing authorisations, so they had to be given a special dispensation under which they didn’t have to demonstrate efficacy. Medicines that could be demonstrated to work had no such problem.

        The published review of the research I referred to indicates that the best quality trials find that even individualised homoeopathy doesn’t work. This is not some sort of artifact caused by these trials not being a test of homoeopathy as it is practiced. Homoeopathy fails properly designed tests. Waving your hands around and trying to distract with a lot of “whataboutery” attacng medicine will not change the evidence one iota.

      • Stop showing more studies. I can also show you studies that can show the contrary, but then we would never end.
        As I said many homeopaths are liars because they neglect the human body of course homeoapthy its not the panacea. Those homeopaths that says that homeopathy cures everything should go to jail.
        Allo means different. It’s what happen When you have an inflammation you give ANTI-inflammatory. Homeo because its the same.
        but thanks for the note, I will try to call it conventional medicine.

      • No I didn’t attack. If u say it’s placebo you have to explain it I what situations doesn’t work. You have do defend your argument. because the fact is that people get relief…showned I this article, and if they get relief is because something is working. And taking into consideration that the remedies in conventional medicine have more associated effect (given by a pharmacist, colour pill, etc) why it doesn’t work to relief them? Because if it would work they would never would have gone to homeopathy. That’s a simple question, don’t put more studies that says it’s s placebo please, just defend your hypotheses with logic and thinking.

      • “Stop showing more studies. I can also show you studies that can show the contrary…”

        Go on then. Cite a meta-anaylysis or systematic review of randomised controlled trials of homoeopathy that has concluded that homoeopathy works better than placebo.

      • I will not give you that pleasure because it makes no difference to a person who says that a study is a real life situation.

  30. Lol you are all here! Thanks good! If you say it’s s placebo you have to prove it is in any situation! OK?
    So if you don’t know what to answer don’t start to put more studies saying the same! It makes you look WEAK.

    As I told you .VIcky people that have results with homeopathy and not allopaty suddenly the PLACEBO POWER got alive…right! But let me tell you something,,

    And I don’t need to provide evidence mojo. If you are talking about placebo…all OF YOU SHOLD know what placebo is about, and talk of things that you don’t even KNOW! Just copyying Paste links just for the sake od convviccing people? I have to tell you! You FAIL!

    Remedy being given by a doc in White coat, the fact that you are taking an injection (diabetes), the tablet you take coming in a remedy box, the fact that the tablet has a colour! All these facts take to the MAX the placebo effect! And none of them Is observe in homeopathy! Is just a normal sugar pill! Ahahha but you are assuming that it has the more placebo power! Which is not true!

    • Citing studies makes me (us?) look weak? Yes, that’s probably a valid argument when you engage in homeopathic thinking – less evidence means stronger argument …
      I didn’t say anything about how “strong” the placebo effect of homeopathy is, I said it’s the only effect that can be observed. If it is even weaker than the placebo effects you can expect from “conventional” placebos, that’s one more reason to tell people that homeopathy is a waste of money, so I’m afraid you’re argueing against your own position with this claim.

      Blood glucose levels are not susceptible to placebo, so even though injecting a placebo can lead to stronger placebo effects (e.g. giving when treating pain with saline injections instead of a placebo pill or a topical placebo “medication”).

      • When your focus is PEOPLE WASTING money it comes very clear what your MOTIVATIONS and INTERESTS are. You are more worried about MONEY than people’s HEALTH!
        You see that’s why I cant argue wih you people… My motivation is people health your motivation is THE MONEY. Why can i say that? Because I’m not saying them to stop using allopathy! Both medicines are useful.

        Tell me one thing.,,So they can waste money of pharmaceutical drugs, that don’t help them for years and years? Now that they discover something that really helps… You consider that a WASTE? And before that was WHAT? LoOllllll Hillarious!

        If MONEY is yout motivation go to economics and buissiness! Leave HEALTH for people who really cares!

      • I happen to live in a country where heathcare is publicly funded; when people go to their GP and get treated, apart from a very small fee in the pharmacy (unless their condition is chronic, in which case they don’t need to pay the fee) they don’t have to pay for their treatment. Homeopathy, on the other hand, as it is not proven to work, has to be paid out of pocket, so yeah, I’m concerned people will pay a lot of money for a bit of the homeopath’s time and some sugar pills. If homeopathy was proven to work our public healthcare would fund it, but homeopaths (and manufacturers of homeopathic pills) don’t even try to establish efficacy (I guess it’s because deep inside they know they’re only giving out tic tacs).

      • Due the fact the resistance of people to homeopathy because their money interests, your are on case of that, homeopathy is growing slowly…but don’t worry…soon soon you will get all asnwers.
        Actually it seems to work much better than allopathy in some cases, that’s why they abbadonn alopathy. Which is so weak that even doesn’t have the placebo effects? And by default it should have more. You see people get relief as the article says. You can call placebo, rainbow,moneys, whatever you want, people get better so it’s not a WASTE.
        Waste is talking to people that are more concerned about money rather then health.

      • Yes, go on denying that it is placebo when all signs point to it being placebo, but please don’t put words in my mouth – rainbows and monkeys? I’m not working in health care, and I can’t help but notice that your claim that I’m “more concerned about money than health” is another fallacy – argumentum ad hominem.
        “[real medicine] also has placebo effects” – tu quoque fallacy. Why are you making it so easy for me?
        And yes, paying someone to do something ineffective is a waste of money.

      • You haven’t actually said “good things about conventional medicine”, you’ve only said you think “both medicines are useful”. Pharmaceutical drugs have to demonstrate efficacy before they are approved, so it’s not fallacious to assume they are effective over placebo.

      • You didn’t read it all and you just talk about fallacy when I talk good things about homeopathy. I talked bad things about homeopathy and good things about conventional medicine and it’s all fine, all clear all make sense I use perfect argument.
        When I talk good things about homeopathy your Fallacy detecter gets on. Sorry to inform you but I don’t deal with corrupted systems.

      • I’m under no obligation to discuss everything you say. tazzage has linked to two sources were you can make sure that I correctly identified the fallacies you used.

    • Oops, I didn’t finish the last sentence, it should read:

      … even though injecting a placebo can lead to stronger placebo effects … that doesn’t mean that insulin injections have a stronger placebo effect than homeopathy for diabetics.

      • You didn’t answer me! people who are not relieffing their ailments with allopahthy, they do so with homeopathy. So the homeopathic remedies has PLACEBO powers that allopathic medicine doesnt. And then they go back to allopathic and the remedies that didn’t work guess what the placebo powers stop working!

        You Know placebo effect Is a homeoapthy friend even though there’s much more placebo effect associated with alopathy! Surreeeeeeee! People are still buying homeopathy remedies because the placebo effect works with homeopathy and not allopathy! How frustrating is that!? And by the factors that affect placebo should be the other way round! Means…. It’s all a JOKE.

        As I told studies are not veinculative, people knows what helps them..and If you want to keep in pain because study X say that R doesn’t work…so remain in pain! It’s your choice! Leave the health to people who cares about it!

      • Your fallacious arguments have been thouroughly discussed above, repeating them doesn’t make them less fallacious.

        “People get better when they use homeopathy” – post hoc fallacy – people cannot know what would have happend if they hadn’t used homeopathy (or if someone had switched their sugar pill for another, “plain” sugar pill).
        “People get worse when they switch back to real medicine” – if they’re convinced pharmaceutical medication doesn’t help, this may lead to a nocebo effect.
        “People buy it” – argumentum ad populum – people buy all sort of shit. People are prone to fallacious reasoning (as evidenced by your insistence that anecdotes trump studies; by the way: “veinculative” is not even a word).
        “People know what works” – no they don’t, that’s why they need their doctor, pharmacist and any other practitioner to provide them with correct information.

      • U missing my point! When you can’t even explain why the placebo effects don’t work with allopathy and work with homeopathy we are talked. Since you say it’s placebo please explain? If not than don’t bother.
        Oh yes is the rain the sun and all the factors that get together to help people when they homeopathic remedy. Sureeeee

      • Im assuming that If they change to homeopathy most of the times is because they are not happy with allopathic medicine. suddenly all the placebo effects get awaken and they start to feel relief! OMG Isn’t that cute? EXPLAIN WHY DOC!

        I use anecdotals to make you think! Because the only thing you can do is acting like a sheep and post studies that shows you have a slightly reason and assume it as the all. Isn’t that a big FALLACCY? I will not put you studies here, because as I told you my priority is people’s health and not the money you make with them. You see we don’t have the same priorities.

        If you keep repeating the same regist of Falacy and Studies I will be force to ignore you, since it’s no point to talking to a sheep that doesn’t have his own thinking. That’s what happen when you talk to DENIALISTS, they can’t even think because they are blind.

      • U missing my point! When you can’t even explain why the placebo effects don’t work with allopathy and work with homeopathy we are talked.

        This is not something that needs explaining – it is just another strawman argument that homoeopaths frequently like to wave around. The placebo effect works just as much with effective medicines as it does with homoeopathy. The difference is that all homoeopathy has going for it is the placebo effect.

        Since you say it’s placebo please explain?

        Property conducted trials indicate that homoeopathic medicines are indistinguishable from placeboes. See the reviews cited above, rather than ignoring them.

      • The studies are “real life” situations, but ones in which extraneous factors have been eliminated so we have less chance to fool ourselves.

        Apparently, you would rather fool yourself.

  31. Sensimilla

    Placebo effects for real diseases are trivial. No, that is not the same as saying placebo effect is exactly zero, but it is small. Sceptics of alternative medicine have been too kind for too long allowing you the excuse that, if nothing else, you can elicit a powerful placebo effect. For a number of examples we have seen that the real power of placebo is tiny and tends to vanish altogether when objectively real biological measurements are made rather than depending on the reports of patients who tend to flatter the researcher (Hawthorne Effect).

    If you take homeopathy for bacterial meningitis or use it on a child for infected eczematous skin not only would you be a fool, but you would end up as a dead fool or the bereaved but criminally culpable parent of a dead child.

    Homeopaths encourage AIDS patients to abandon ARV therapy in the false hope that they offer an effective and harmless alternative. This is why homeopaths and their supporters nauseate and anger me.

    You are free to be an idiot. Do not inflict your idiocy on others.

    The one thing we can be sure of, homeopathy never cured anyone of a serious disease. Homeopaths frequently say that they do. They are either outright liars or fools depending on unreliable secondhand tales.

    • I tell you something. As I told you homeopathy has it’s own limitations. There are good gps and bad gps and there are good and bad homeopaths. The case that you mention about ARV therapy or for example the Tyroxin replacing hormone that is CRUCIAL. And some homeoapths think they are gods and complete ignore allopathy and the body. Those ones you can call lunatics. With Those ones I’m with you…they are so closed mind and limited. Totally agree with you. That’s why I said before homeopathy has it’s own limitations. In case you didn’t understand yet,,,you are not talking to a defender of homeopathy at all cost… No, I’m not like that, and in many points you are right. But don’t assume all the homeopaths are like that, some of them make a real good work, even some medical doctors pratice homeopathy and combine both medicines. You are also right chronic diseases, are very hard to treat specially if they are for a long long time and they are deep settle… but the symptoms can be rellieved. You have a lot of reason on the things you say but you are targing the limitations of homeopathy. Which is acceptable, because they exist.

      Homeopathy is being attack every time and every hour from you and a lot of people… But each attack makes it stronger.
      The metaphysics of today will be the phycis of tomorrow..and all your answers that remain unanswered will be answer not from a homeoapath, due a lack of issemtpion, but from an external person in other science matter.

      • Yup, and the alchemy of today will be tomorrow’s chemistry and medicine. Just wait until they finally discover the panacea and find the philosopher’s stone, then we’ll all be immortal and swimming in gold. Their progress has been infinitesimal until now but that means they’re close to a breakthrough. O_o

      • As I told you homeopathy has it’s own limitations.

        Yes: it doesn’t work.

        There are good gps and bad gps and there are good and bad homeopaths.

        It doesn’t matter how good the homoeopath is – the remedies still don’t do anything.

        The metaphysics of today will be the phycis of tomorrow…

        Not necessarily. More often the nonsense of today is the nonsense of tomorrow.

      • Keep your narrow mind with you. As u see i don’t have any interest here unlike you. I
        I can see both sides, a thing that your narrow mind like you doesn’t allow.
        All I can say is that you will ONLY be successful with narrow mind people like you..and guess what? Day by day are being less due homeopathy.

        I will leave you here barging all the same stuff. But I have to tell you i argue with almost 6 blind people so far at the same time. And u know what? You did a terrible job here, you just show how limited you are. I could get half of they money you all receive and make it much better. But fortunately or unfortunately money is not my motivation, people’s health is.

      • U see why I have to put stupid phrases some times? To give u something to comment on and to promote your intellectual masturbation. Feeling better? Ahahahha

      • Yawn, now you’re playing the martyr card? Being wrong in six different discussions is still being wrong, and given that you didn’t bother to provide any evidence your (intellectual) effort was minimal.

      • Im very glad that you all come here to answer. It shows how you are concerned about a person that doesn’t even show intelectual evidence! Imagine if I had shown? Ahahhah
        It’s not my point on changing narrow mind to open mind because you are being payed to be narrow mind and I don’t want you to go and live under a bridge.

      • Yes, the argument of a true humanist – not providing evidence out of fear this might reduce the “opponent’s” income. And of course it’s so not fallacious to claim I’m getting paid (by whom?) for being “close minded” (argumentum ad hominem).

  32. And yes if you have a severe infection that can cause septicaemia of course TAKE THE antibiotics! Its all fine with that!
    Again you are right…as I told you I also like allopathy and I criticized homeopaths that neglet allopathic medicine….they are on the other extreme. A person that give priority to health doesnt matter on what thing the person does as long as they get better. I don’t have any interest on anything as long as people get better, and I hope one day we could all drops our weapons and think more about our global health. Money comes and goes… Health when it goes…it’s gone.
    Having a really nice chat with you guys. Thanks for the sharing. We will see each other soon!

    • I also like allopathy…

      You keep using that word…

      Modern medicine bears no resemblance to the Hippocratic/Galenic medicine that Hahnemann denigrated using his made-up term “allopathy”. Describing it as “allopathy” marks you out as a supporter of quackery.

      Admittedly, hippocratic/Galenic medicine is still practiced to some extent. In India it is known as “Unani”, and is adminstered by the same government department as quackery like homoeopathy.

  33. Why not just call it medicine, and call the rest (to quote Dara O’Briain) a nice bowl of soup and some pot pourri?

  34. The rest? There is only one medicine?! There is only one way! typical of a denier.

    To all my dear fellows deniers!

    http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/ceweb/about/knowledge.jsp

    In 3000 Clinical evidence trials, 51% Of them unknown effectiveness, only 11%for sure beneficial. Over 66% (inc the 55%)no effect or harmful.
    Now what? Do you want to ban Conventional medicine? Or do u want to ban your minds?
    Supported by BRITISH JOURNAL OF MEDICINE.
    Does this prove that conventional medicine doesn’t work? By clinical evidence I think yes! So why people still waste money on ineffective treatments? Wasn’t that your concerned about people wasting money on treatments that show no effectiviness? That’s the way you think, so I can adopt the same posture. I know what you are going to say! That doesn’t prove homeopathy works! Its a fallacy blabla bla…Fairs enough I accept that… But since you are so concerned about clinical evidence why don’t you look to the other side as well?
    Let me guess… You are not interested! Oh well I wonder why! In two words I say to you…. EPIC FAIL! Ahahhaha

    • You didn’t – by any chance – also read the text? In the “unknown” category included are trials of “complementary and alternative medicine” – lol.
      Also, you’re unable to reprint small numbers: unlikely to be beneficial – 5%, likely to be uneffective or harmful 3%. How much of the unknown is “CAM”?

      • And you didn’t read it all that part ALSO Includes many physiological,Surgical, And medical intervantions such CBT for depression in children. Corticoiesteorids for wheezing…etc…
        Only 11% real effective? So what to do? can we ban All the medicines? Both show not to be effective! Or can we ban your stupidity? I go for the second choice!

      • Little math lesson: 11%+23%+7%=41%

        compare that to 0% in CAM.

        You’re also still mischaracterising my point of view – what makes you think I we should continue practices that don’t work? I never said that (and I don’t think that). Still, homeopathy is a placebo therapy. When will you acknowledge that?

      • Wrong answer! Rejected stupid reply!
        NOW you are not worry about people wasting money on treatments of coticoiesteroids that are SHOWN by clinical evidence that don’t present efficacy?
        ahaah I can call you hypocrite and many other names… But i will just say… GET LOST LOOSER. Ahahahha

      • What you don’t seem to understand is that for the question of whether homeopathy has effects over placebo (it hasn’t) it doesn’t matter how much of medicine doesn’t work – in order to prove homeopathy does what you say it does you have to provide positive proof (trials, reviews and meta-analyses showing that homeopathy works). You can’t do that so instead you (again, I have to point out) drag out the old tu quoque fallacy. Oh how you love them.

      • Guess what in the article don’t even speak about homeopathy but speaks of conventional medicine! NOT EFFECTIVE! So …Wrong answer! Ignored HYPOCRITE.
        Please ban your stupidy and be quiet. I have much more to do rather to the lose my time with Hypocrites. EPIC FAIL ^_^

      • @Vicky:

        You didn’t – by any chance – also read the text?

        Sensimilla didn’t even read the name of the journal:

        Supported by BRITISH JOURNAL OF MEDICINE.

      • I put that down to him being “foreign” (like I did at first with his rudeness – I, too, sometimes am too informal and later regret it because I fear it looks rude – it’s quite easy to learn vocabulary, it’s less easy to learn how to properly use it :/). It isn’t the worst of his “fails” anyway; I really hate it when quacks (and their customers) try to make one of science’s greatest virtues – detecting its mistakes and learning from them – look like it’s a fault.
        In contrast, homeopaths still believe cinchona bark makes you experience malaria(-like) symptoms and recommend arnica for muscle soreness (more than 10 years after this), and somehow that is supposed to be impressive because they’re so “consistent”.

      • The argument from antiquity is another favourite for CAMsters. They don’t seem to realise that medicine has just as long a history. The difference is that a couple of hundred years ago medicine started figuring out which of its treatments didn’t work and getting rid of them; an approach alien to CAM.

        If homoeopathy got rid of the bits that don’t work there would be nothing left beyond a nice chat.

  35. CONVENTIONAL and ALTERNATIVE medicine – UNKNOWN/NOT EFFECTIVENESS BY CLINICAL EVIDENCE! By British Journal of Medicine.
    Hypocrite IGNORED!

    • I have to wonder if you even know what you linked to – this isn’t a study but the explanation what a journal (BMJ ClinicalEvidence) does and why it does that. In this explanation they take great care to state that this 51% of unknown effectiveness includes CAM and that the chart does not indicate how often these treatments are used (I’d guess those that are beneficial will be used much more frequently than those of unknown efficacy, while those that are likely to be ineffective or harmful won’t be used). Do you want to try again?

      • Obviously not. Spend some time there (issues older than 2 years are open access) and perhaps you’ll find something that is really worth discussing (hint: the original blog post deals with homeopathy, so perhaps you should try to find something about that).

      • @Vicky

        “In this explanation they take great care to state that this 51% of unknown effectiveness includes CAM and that the chart does not indicate how often these treatments are used (I’d guess those that are beneficial will be used much more frequently than those of unknown efficacy, while those that are likely to be ineffective or harmful won’t be used).”

        Indeed. According to this article from the British Journal of Clinical Practice (you need to go to the PDF full text and scroll down to the 4th page) if the interventions actually used are considered the percentage supported by good evidence rises to over 80%. The BMJ figures are for all interventions including those only used very rarely (and, as you point out, also include CAM).

        It is also instructive to consider the purpose of the BMJ’s information:

        Clinical Evidence aims to help people make informed decisions about which treatments to use. It can also show where more research is needed. For clinicians and patients, we wish to highlight treatments that work and for which the benefits outweigh the harms, especially those treatments that may currently be underused. We also wish to highlight treatments that do not work or for which the harms outweigh the benefits. For the research community, our intention is to highlight gaps in the evidence, where there are currently no good RCTs or no RCTs that look at groups of people or at important patient outcomes.

        Whereas, of course, apologists for homoeopathy merely use it as an excuse for not having any proper evidence.

  36. I am tempted to draw a line under this discussion as it has gone as far as it can. Sincerebro has done a fine job in illustrating for me exactly what I was talking about in my blog post – a failure to grasp that you must think carefully about cause and effect, and also a complete failure to engage in rational debate after falling into the black hole of quack thinking.

    So, please, any more CAPSLOCKS or insults to people and you will be barred. Rarely do this – but enough now.

  37. I’m starting to get it now. You SHOUT and your point is valid. You link to something (regardless of what you’re linking to) and you’re backed up by solid scientific evidence.

    So here goes…

    THE MOON IS MADE OF CHEESE!!!! You are all closed minded hypocrites HA see THIS:

    http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cuisine/european/english/the-classic-christmas-cake.html

    and THIS

    http://www.drwho-online.co.uk/

    See how your CLOSED MINDED way of thinking IS wrong??

    You will SEE how wrong you are!! Millions of people KNOW this is true, are THEY LIARS ALSO?

    THE MOON IS MADE OF CHEESE!!

  38. Oh, and of course:

    You skeptics are all SHILLS FOR THE MOON ROCK INDUSTRY!

    Also:

    I have studied my own personal take on the moon’s composition for years (largely reading pro-moon cheese theory blogs and thinking just how lovely I would feel if I was right)… But YOU nay-sayers have no qualifications in moon-cheeseology!!!!!!!!

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  40. I’ve tweeted this as well, but, Mojo or someone, please comment.

    Homeopathy Meta-Analyses. Can it really be that the last proper meta-analysis was Shang in 2005?

    • Well, I’ve had a look, and while I couldn’t find any systematic reviews of RCTs for all condition, I found eight systematic reviews of RCTs for various conditions or groups of conditions since mid 2005. Of course, I may have missed some.

      Homeopathy for depression

      “…evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy in depression is limited due to lack of clinical trials of high quality.”

      Homeopathy for anxiety and anxiety disorders

      “…the evidence on the benefit of homeopathy in anxiety and anxiety disorders is limited. A number of studies of homeopathy in such conditions were located but the randomised controlled trials report contradictory results, are underpowered or provide insufficient details of methodology.”

      Homeopathy for childhood and adolescence ailments

      “The evidence from rigorous clinical trials of any type of therapeutic or preventive intervention testing homeopathy for childhood and adolescence ailments is not convincing enough for recommendations in any condition.”

      adverse effects of cancer treatments

      “This review found preliminary data in support of the efficacy of topical calendula for prophylaxis of acute dermatitis during radiotherapy and Traumeel S mouthwash in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced stomatitis. These trials need replicating. There is no convincing evidence for the efficacy of homeopathic medicines for other adverse effects of cancer treatments.”

      See also here (and the update).

      homoeopathy for the treatment of fibromyalgia

      “…the effectiveness of homoeopathy as a symptomatic treatment for FM remains unproven.”

      Homeopathy for insomnia

      “The limited evidence available does not demonstrate a statistically significant effect of homeopathic medicines for insomnia treatment. ”

      Homoeopathic remedies in dermatology

      “We did not find sufficient evidence from these studies that homoeopathy is clearly efficacious for any single dermatological condition.”

      Homeopathic treatments in psychiatry

      “The database on studies of homeopathy and placebo in psychiatry is very limited, but results do not preclude the possibility of some benefit.”

      About as good as it gets, I suppose.

      As far as reviews of homoeopathy for all conditions are concerned, I doubt that it would be a worthwile exercise, especially for the homoeopaths. According to this, up to the end of 2005 the BHA had found 119 trials, of which 58 were “positive”. According to this document currently on their website, over the next five years there had been another 37 RCTs published, but the vast majority of them fail to show efficacy (or as they put it, are “not statistically conclusive”), with only 6 of them having been “positive”.

      • Thanks, Mojo.

        I think there is a pattern emerging now that homeopaths have given up on controlled trials. This is because the trials have given up on homeopathy.

        So, they play these silly games with trying to use the word ‘effectiveness’ instead of ‘efficacy’ in public forums and to allow all sorts of useless evidence to count for effectiveness.

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  44. All I can say is that homeopathy cured my chronic migranes (after years of treatment by doctors and specialists). I’m not a doctor and don’t understand the science, but it worked. I’m not saying it wasn’t a placebo, but then again, the only change I made was visiting a homeopath, taking some drops, and then my migranes stopped.

    • This is classic post hoc false attribution. You got better, and you attribute the improvement to whatever you were doing at the time. There is no reason to think the homeopathic sugar pills played any role in this. If you had gone to an acupuncturist instead, you would now be defending acupuncture.

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