Thursday, August 02, 2007

The sugar pill that kills

In our quest for finding remedies for diseases, we have acquired a deep knowledge of many of the diseases. Even though there are still a number of diseases that we cannot clearly understand or treat, we have made an incredible amount of progress. On our way to these discoveries, we have also tried out therapies which were designed out of limited knowledge and ignorance about the inner workings of the human body. One such treatment was designed by a German man named Samuel Hahnemann (1755 – 1843). Now we are talking about a time when the cures were worse than the disease. It was a common practice to use leeches to treat everything from fever to menopause.

The way that menstruation was seen during the 1700s was as a way of the body to get rid of impurities. So when menstruation ceased during menopause, what was thought to happen was that the blood remained within the body, clotting and stagnating ... The logical solution was the application of leeches — to a woman's genitalia, to her back, or to the nape of her neck, to try and remove this excess blood. — Dr Marilys Guillemin
Ouch! The good old days seem not so good anymore.

Okay so if you were a woman from the 18th century your options were (a) get a blood sucking leech stuck on your crotch or (b) eat two sugar pills (or whatever form they sold their sugar pills then) a day. I am sure that the woman without a leech stuck upon her crotch reported that she felt healthier than her leech therapy availing counterpart. So it wasn’t a surprise that homeopathic treatments became immensely popular.

Hahnemann came up with treatments based on the “laws of the similar”. It is something akin to ‘it takes a thorn to remove a thorn’. He came up with the idea that if you give the patient an extremely small amount of the substance that is causing the disease then you will get better. So if you were suffering from malaria and you go to the homeopath, s/he would give you an extremely diluted (no not plasmodium!) 18th century version of the causative agent of malaria. By extremely dilute, I mean that the substance is diluted 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times. In other words pure water.

Some of you might say that nobody with a sound mind would treat severe diseases like cancer or malaria with homeopathic medicine. From my personal experience, I know that people don’t always make the right call given the choice between Western medicine and herbal (no side effects) treatments. When I was about six years old, I got malaria and my father decided that I should take homeopathic treatment for the fever. I ended up with malaria so severe that I had to be admitted to a hospital for several days. Thankfully I was able to recover completely after I was taken to a proper doctor. But even so my father still gets homeopathic prescriptions for many of his illnesses.

When people resort to homeopathic medicines for conditions that are chronic or not treatable by Western medicine I deem it the same as praying. Although the medication does not make the patient better it also does not make the condition worse. However, there are also people who rely solely on homeopathic remedies and succumb to the disease when they could’ve made a recovery with allopathic treatment. I knew one such woman, who lived in my neighborhood and died of jaundice because she decided to take the homeopathy pills (solely) instead of allopathic medicine.

This is one of the many examples of the gullibility of the masses that blindly follow arcane ideologies. People don’t bother to assess the authenticity of the treatment that they choose. If it is popular it must work. The quack doctors who practice this stuff are licensed by government institutions giving B.H.M.S. and D.H.M.S. degrees to sell sugar pills to the sick that are in need of some real medicine. It is no wonder that homeopathy is not regarded as the quack medicine that it really is.

Many of you might even know people who swear by the benefits of homeopathic treatments…people who have recovered by taking homeopathic pills where allopathic treatments failed. These folks have simply experienced a placebo effect or have recovered as a result of the natural healing process of the body. Like they say, “If you take medicine to cure a cold it would take a week and if you don’t take medicine it will take seven days.” Our body is a complex system that has evolved with an arsenal of defense mechanisms to combat the myriad of bugs on its own. Most of the time, we are successful in warding off these menacing diseases without any medication. The amount of recovery time varies and sometimes people take homeopathic medicines after an initial round of allopathic medicine. The allopathic medicine can reduce the burden of pathogens and give the body a chance to recuperate and sometimes the recovery time is long. So although the relief was primarily due to the allopathic medicine, since the patient’s full recovery happens while taking the homeopathic follow-up treatment, the patient’s belief in homeopathic medicine is re-iterated.

Some people in developing countries also lend credibility to homeopathy because of its popularity in the West. This kind of thinking comes from the common misconception that the Western world is made up of (scientifically) progressive thinkers. Even though most of the cutting edge research comes from developed countries, the majority of the Western population is superstitious and largely ignorant about science.

The popularity of homeopathic medicine is such that it is accepted as a branch of major hospitals (affiliated with research centers). The problem with this is that its association with research hospitals is giving it undue credibility. Unlike the extensive research that backs all the allopathic drugs before they hit the market, most of the homeopathic medicines have not even been tested, partly because it is impossible to test something that doesn’t even exist in the final prescription as a result of the incredible dilutions. The few studies that claim to test homeopathic medicine do so without proper controls, statistics or scientific methodology or protocols. Batra hospital and research center is one such hospital in New Delhi that offers alternative medicine in addition to allopathic treatments. Here are some of the quotes from their website that advertises the benefits of homeopathic treatment.

Homoeopathy: Magic of minimum dose:
Homoeopathy has a unique approach for preparation of drugs in which the end result will contain only the ‘dynamic curative power’ of drug substance, devoid of any original crude substance. By a special mode of preparation called ‘potentization’, over 2500 homeopathic medicines are prepared from sources such as vegetables, animals, minerals, chemicals, etc. Hence homeopathic remedies with its ultra minute doses are non-toxic, absolutely harmless and bring about SAFE CURE.


Of course it is harmless, you are prescribing water!

Homoeopathy offers wonder treatment for Viral infections:
Viral infections such as common cold, influenza, measles, Chickenpox, mumps, viral hepatitis (jaundice), viral meningitis etc. are very well treated with homoeopathy.


Now this is where it gets scary. If they were selling drugs to treat common cold it would be nothing more than fraud. But they are making false claims about curing diseases that can be fatal if left untreated. They are murdering people.

So in a nutshell, homeopathy is a large scale fraud operation that needs to be thwarted by educating people and not associating such quack therapies with hospitals and research centers. The government needs to take an active role in condemning such medical malpractices instead of certifying these mass-murdering witch-doctors.

If you are interested in reading more about why homeopathy is quack medicine check out this article called Homeopathy: The ultimate fake by Stephen Barett M.D.

If you would rather watch a video then check out “Scams, Sasquatch, and the Supernatural” by Brian Brushwood

(Also crossposted at my new blog for science writing)

27 comments:

Rebecca said...

You obviously feel very strongly about homeopathy, and for valid reasons it sounds like. I would be interested in your take on other non-western medicine practices like acupuncture for instance. I have had it once with very short-lived effects, but I know people who absolutely swear by it. In general, I like the philosophy of eastern medicine. The doctors treat healthy patients to KEEP them healthy, rather than treating only the sick as we do here in the states. I'm a little torn between the two sides and say - do whatever works for you!

witnwisdumb said...

My my. You know I could give you a long list of scientists who bah-humbugged a lot of things which later turned out to be possible/true. I am personally no fan of homoeopathy or alternative medicine for that matter, but then, I am very critical of the supposed success of allopathy too, having observed appallingly poor efficacy of so many drugs and treatments prescribed). And as for your remarks on dilution... ever heard of nano medicine? Not that two things are the same, but the principle is somewhat similar. My point being, just because we cannot conceive of how something could possibly work, it does not mean that the thing does not work. It just may be that our present level of understanding of the science behind it, is too poor to allow us to see the light. It's a recurring pattern throughout the history of science.

Hyde said...

I don't trust Batras- I do a better job at curing myself. And yes, I follow the homeopathic form of treatment.

But the trick lies in taking the best of allopathic and homeopathic forms. And yes, I follow that too.

And you know the irony here? I had malaria, was treated by an allopathic doctor for typhoid, which made the fever worse and required a homeopathic doctor to cure me in the end. :-)

Anonymous said...

There are many fine scientific minds who, after careful investigation and practical experiences with Homeopathy, recognise it for what it is. An important healing modality that needs to be included alongside other medical sciences.

Unfortunately there is a strong dis-incentive for concerted scientific research due to:

a)Funding monopoly by Big Pharma
b)Professional dissapproval from old boys net-work, often attached to a)
c)"natural" medicine can't be patented so no great financial incentives to do the research.

All-in-all it is really only down to those who have an unshakeable knowledge of Homeopathy's benefits first hand, that it even exisits as a modality today.

There has been a concerted, consistent drive to push Hom out of existence for the last 200 odd years.

The following are articles taken from insightful open minded scientists and medical researchers. Thank God they still exist.


Meet Amy Lansky; She's a Former NASA Research Scientist and Mother of an Autistic Child; Find Out How Homeopathy Cured Her Son and Changed Her Life

http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2007/6/emw531051.htm

Amy Lansky's son Max was still non-verbal at age 2½. He didn't interact with other children, and he was often antsy and agitated. As he grew older he became more distant and more disconnected. Amy felt her son "slowly drifting away," even before Max was diagnosed with autism.

SCIENCE OF HOMOEOPATHY IS BEYOND CONTEMPORARY SCIENCES

Prof. Dr. Rati Ram Sharma, D.Sc., Ph.D. (London), M.D. (M.A.), M.Sc., MAMS, FIAMP
Professor & Head (retired), Department of Biophysics c Nuclear Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research,

1. Introduction
Homoeopathy is wonderfully mysterious. On the one extreme, one has only to buy a cheap book like 'Quick Bedside Prescriber' to start treating patients. One the other extreme, however, even the most celebrated homoeopath cannot claim to understand clearly how homoeopathic medicines act. Double Blind Drug Trials conducted in the past in America could not establish the efficacy of homoeopathic drugs to the satisfaction of scientists and adherents of Scientific Medicine. The science-conscious American public therefore demanded and the Government imposed ban on its practice. Its permitted practice in some other countries reflects the public demand and not the official views on its scientificity. Patients come to a homoeopath not as the first choice, but as the last resort when the best and long allopathic treatment does not give adequate relief. When cured, the patient hesitates to admit publicly and the allopathic physician resents patient's unwise act because this 'natural remission' would have occurred even otherwise by doing nothing but now some undefined complications have been added. Prominent scientific journals are averse to publishing supportive research. The Nature, while publishing the work of French Prof. Benveniste's team [1] doubted and repudiated it by an accompanying editorial [2] in the same issue itself.

This roughly sums up the situation, which continues even over two centuries after Homoeopathy's discovery in 1790. Nay, some sporadic demands for ban on its practice keep on coming. Recently the website http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/homeo.html titled “Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake”, by Stephen Barrett [3] was noticed. It has the support, among others, of (a) the Executive Director of the American Physical Society, which publishes several top class research journals of Physics. (b) The former Commissioner of the American Food & Drug Administration (FDA), who when holding the post wanted to but did not ban the homoeodrugs only because he was not sure of the Congress support. (c) Forty-two prominent “critics of quackery & pseuduscience”, who have petitioned the FDA against Homoeopathy.

But it is not the end of the perpetual basic criticism of Homoeopathy. For example, Dr. P. M. Bhargava, former Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology at Hyderabad was reported (Dr. Shivang Swaminarayan's email of 9 July) to have stated in a press conference on Sunday the 6th July 2003 that Homoeopathic Medicines are mere Placebos. He urged the Government to immediately withdraw all support to Homoeopathy. Not only this but Practitioner Homoeopaths should not be allowed to prefix "Dr." before their name. They all hold that homoeoremedies being “placebo” cannot work and hence should be banned.

This paper will therefore establish the efficacy of the homoeomedicines with appropriate controlled drug trials. It will provide scientific explanation of the action of high potency homoeodrugs having no molecule of the original drug in the patient dose. It will thus show that Homoeopathy has so far been wrongly disregarded as 'unscientific & placebo therapy' largely because of the conceptual inadequacy of the contemporary sciences themselves. It will remove this inadequacy to make sciences also richer, making out a strong case for the scientific recognition of Homoeopathy.

2. Science & Homoeopathy
The scientists’ criticism of Homoeopathy is natural though largely based on half-truths. Why? The Dalton’s Atomic Theory was published in the year 1809 and the Avogadro’s law in 1811. Hahnemann wrote the 6th and last edition of the ‘Organon of Medicine’ on the philosophy of Homoeopathy in 1842 without any reference to them.

According to Avogadro's law of Physics and Chemistry, a gram-mole (molecular weight in grams) of any substance contains N= 6.022x1023 molecules. Therefore all homoeopotencies equal to or higher than the 12th on the centesimal scale or 24th on the decimal scale, representing a 1024 fold dilution, do not contain any trace molecule of the original drug in the patient dose. But the Law of Mass Action in Chemistry ordains that the biochemical medicinal effect of any drug is in proportion to its molar concentration, which is zero here. Hence the homoeopotencies of 30c, 200c, 1000c and higher on the centesimal scale, which are routinely employed in clinical practice, cannot have any chemical, biochemical or medicinal action to treat diseases of the patients!

The scientists' criticism, however, is largely based on half-truths because no serious efforts, with an open mind of a scientist, have ever been made to investigate and discover the new scientific phenomena underlying the homoeopathic art.

All sciences are based on the real facts of observation and on the cogency of their theoretical explanation. If and when there is a conflict between theory and observation, the former is revised to describe the latter faithfully. But if the theory is so well established that the new observations seem anomalous, the latter are again repeated in a different setting. If even then the observations get strengthened, there is a need for re-evaluation to discover new scientific phenomenon, which bypasses and yet is consistent with the old theory. This is exactly the challenge thrown up by the curative action of high potency homoeodrugs with no molecule of the original drug. The underlying new phenomenon is the induction of chemical specificity of the solute drug molecules into the molecules of solvent medium via dynamization processes of trituration and succussion, which are unique only to Homoeopathy. The contemporary sciences do not provide for it and hence will be enriched by recognizing and investigating it further. But first, let us establish the efficacy of homoeodrugs.

3. Efficacy of the homoeomedicines established
How to establish the efficacy of the homoeomedicines and show that they do act curatively even when no molecule of the original drug is present in the dose, is the big question.

3.1 Double Blind Drug Trials not applicable to Homoeopathy

I first thought of the ‘Double Blind Drug Trials’ (DBDT), which every allopathic drug has to satisfy before coming to the market for public prescription. Herein the patients having the same organ/tissue pathology or designated disease are randomly divided into two groups. One is treated with the test medicine and the second with a similar-looking inert 'placebo'. Both the patient and the physician who administers the dose are kept unaware (blind) of the medicine code. Hence the term "double blind". This is done to keep the drug trials free from the subjective bias of the patient and the doctor. The effect of the medicine is evaluated through objective laboratory tests. The medicine code is revealed at the end of the trial and the conclusions are drawn after analyzing the results with statistical methods.

However, I found DBDT inapplicable to Homoeopathy. First, because patients with the same 'pathology' or 'designated disease' cannot be randomized into two groups for treatment with active homoeomedicine and placebo. Since different patients usually have different symptom-totality, calling for different curative homoeomedicines. Secondly, the homoeophysician cannot remain “blind” but must know total symptoms before and after every dose of the known medicine to ensure that the cure is progressing according to the Herring’s laws, and the medicines and dose frequency adjusted to the changing need.

It is thus clear that the conventional Double Blind Drug Trials as routinely applied to allopathic medicines are NOT applicable and relevant to test the efficacy of potentized homoeomedicines. The drug trials done in America in the past were double blind and did not appreciate these basic constraints. That is why inconclusive and equivocal results were obtained. And the government imposed a ban on Homoeopathy practice.

3.2 Treatment of cases serving as own controls
I therefore got interested in those well worked out and firmly diagnosed cases, which served as their own controls. These, for the Modern Scientific Medicine are: (a) incurable/fatal, (b) difficult-to-cure even with long, some times life long, medication, (c) requiring surgery, (d) viral infections where Allopathy offers nothing, (e) baby/children diseases where placebo does not work.

The cases of Indian Childhood Cirrhosis were diagnosed on liver biopsy, liver function tests, clinical history and physical examination. And were discharged from the referral hospital with hopeless prognosis, a week or ten days' survival and with a whisper advice to take the child quick lest he should die on the way. But all showed definite signs of improvement within three days of the start of homoeopathic treatment with Ars, Phos etc. Since ICC is known to occur with a high frequency in the siblings, it is interesting to report that the prophylactic treatment of the mother during pregnancy and then of the child after birth succeeded in three couples, one of whom had earlier lost five sons to ICC.

President Radhakrishnan's ADC, who had suffered migraine for over 20 years and resigned in disgust when he did not get relief even with the treatments in Germany & U.K., was cured with Lachesis.

A number of cases with confirmed diagnosis of psoriasis were homoeotreated satisfactorily. The MD in Pharmacology and Dean of Dharwar Medical College in Karnataka, after reading the book Molecular Homoeopathy [4] came all the way by air for treatment of psoriasis and experienced relief within an hour of the homoeodose of Psorinum-1M and "euphoria" on overnight crust shedding.

An army Colonel had to fly in non-pressurized aircraft during 1947-48 Indo-Pak war and developed labyrinth vertigo. Ever since he suffered giddiness & reeling sensation whenever he lay down in bed, turned on side or bent down. A number of E.N.T. experts were consulted and all sorts of tests were done without relief. He took Nat. Sulph 1M in August 1974 on a Friday and did headstand on Sunday.

A four-year girl child was treated in the advance institute of Scientific Medicine for acute Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) in 1993 with 2mg/Kg body weight prednisolone and later with 9 gm/day for 5 days immunoglobulin Ig G, then with Chinese medicine. In April 1997 she again had an acute episode, with platelet count <5000/mm3. Please note that ITP is so serious a disease that a patient can internally bleed and collapse while talking! The homoeo-treatment with Lach raised the platelet count gradually from <5000 through <10000 on third day and then 33000, 79000 to 120000 tested weekly, rising later to 140000. The second case of ITP had platelet count <5000 five days after receiving 1500 mg prednisolone over 3 days in a referral Institute (PGI, Chandigarh). But responded well to homoeotreatment with Lachesis starting 1 September 2001. The platelet count rose to 14000, 25000, 1.3 lac and 3.39 lac after 4, 10, 24 and 45 days' treatment.

A teacher in our Nursing College lost her fiancé in the 1971 Indo-Pak war and developed Thyrotoxicosis complicated with Exophthalmos and Amenorrhea. The treating endocrinologist advised her to learn to live with it. But after homoeocure with Thyroidinum she married and had two children.

Out of the several cases of arthritis and spondylosis the most striking one was that of general spondylosis threatening extremities and requiring urgent surgery. The homoeocure with Rhus and Calc carb gave her permanent relief.

A senior executive was admitted for surgical removal of a solitary thyroid nodule. On learning of the possible homoeocure he left the hospital and was actually cured with Calc carb. The prolapsed uterus in the third stage advised Thomson correction was rectified homoeopathically Lilium Trig. Several cases of renal stone and of viral hepatitis with jaundice were also homoeo-treated; the Australia antigen test undertaken in one case became negative after homoeotreatment. A case with confirmed diagnosis of active Idiopathic Ulcerative Procto-Colitis with ulcers in rectum and sigmoid colon and having passed blood with stools for years was cured with Phos and Merc. Earlier his sister had died in 1983 of ulcerative colitis and his family had given up hopes for his survival.

Among several cases of asthma, the most challenging was that of a young girl who had suffered for a decade with asthma, hives and remittent fever, occasionally spending the whole nights sitting. When Wysolone and Asthaline did not give adequate relief her treating allopathic physician sent her to me and she was cured with Ars, Ipec and Sepia. A case of Progressive Systemic Sclerosis (PSS), two cases of Sarcoidosis and few cases of ESRD (end stage renal disease) were also treated homoeopathically. With homoeotreatment of PSS the 'progressive' disease process regressed, tongue could protrude and deformity of hands rectified. Known side effects of allopathic treatment of Sarcoidosis with Acticort (40mg OD) were told to the patient as hyperglycemia, hypertension, hyperacidity, renal failure etc., needing regular tests and treatment. Homoeotreatment of ESRD lowered the serum Creatinine and Urea to safe levels, avoiding dialysis.

On 20 Dec'96 a 44 year old lady from Bokaro came to me, as a last resort, with a News Paper clipping about my nomination for a Nobel Prize, given by the Professor of Gastroenterology, CMC Vellore. She was a known case of HBV cirrhosis (biopsy proven) with HBsAg +, HBeAg +, ascites +, grade II varices x 4 column, 2.5 cm hyperechoic lesion (? hepatocellular carcinoma), coagulopathy (not corrected by vit. K) preventing FNA, splenomegaly, irritated bowl syndrome, etc. With homoeopathic treatment she is still (August'03) alive and well. A case of HCV cirrhosis with HCV reactive and shrunken liver but HBsAg -ve, is under homoeotreatment for the past over two years since 14 April'01 and doing well.

Potencies used were 30c, 200c and 1000c, all far beyond the Avogadro’s limit of 12c. But in my latest view [5] the 15c followed, if and when required to change the potency, by (14c+16c) mixture suffice for clinical use, unnecessitating all other potencies available in the market.

These my few but convincing personal observations corroborate the overwhelmingly huge mass of persuasive evidence collected by innumerable homoeopaths all over the world during the past over two centuries that homoeomedicines do cure even in high potencies with no molecule of the original drug in them. Clearly some molecules of diluent medium (lactose, water, and ethanol) act curatively, suggesting a new scientific phenomenon bypassing the Avogadro’s law.

3.3 Controlled animal experiments
To allay the objections that the action of high potencies with no molecule of the original drug provides artificial sense of relief due to faith in the physician and is speculative, we conducted controlled animal experiments. This is because the animals do not respond to the placebo effects or to expert assurances.

3.3.1 Alloxan induced diabetes in rats
Diabetes mellitus was induced in Swiss Albino Wistar rats having 180 - 340 gm body weight, 80 - 120 mg/dl blood sugar and zero urine sugar with intra-peritoneal injection of 100 - 150 mg Alloxan per Kg body weight after over-night fast. The diabetic rats were divided into four groups of five each for treatment with: (a) 20m millesimal (equivalent to 30c centesimal) potency of Alloxan with 100020 (equivalent to 10030) fold dynamized dilution. (b) With 100020 fold undynamized simple dilution of Alloxan. (c) Nothing, or ‘sham’ treatment with ethanol, since the first two dilutions were made in ethanol. Blood sugar in the rats of group (a), returned from the initial Mean  S.D. 308  129 mg/dl (range 179-501 mg/dl) to 90.1  4.0 mg/dl in the normal range of 80-120 mg/dl after 44 days’ treatment. It remained so without any further treatment up to 144 days of observation. In group (c) the Mean  S.D. 276  82.2 mg/dl (range 189-389) first rose to 344  65.6 mg/dl, then showed a delayed slight fall but always remained significantly (t - test, p < 0.001) above the normal range. The (b) group showed no fall with 100020 fold-undynamized simple dilution of Alloxan from day-7 to 25, or with 20m potency of Streptozotocin (another diabetogen) from day-28 to 55. But the treatment with 20m Alloxan potency from day-58 to 116 showed significant curative fall from 325  148 mg/dl to 176  51 mg/dl. Fig.1 (see at the end of this paper) brings out these conclusions very strikingly [6-9]. Research workers at the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, New Delhi [10] have confirmed and extended these observations.

In these experiments, we had knowingly put those diabetic rats in the treatment group (a) whose blood sugar was highest, so as to demonstrate the curative effect of the homoeopotency very strikingly. This, in a way, is an improvement over the Double Blind Drug Trials, wherein random selection is used for forming the various groups.

3.3.2 DMBA induced toxicity & cancer in mice
The Alloxan is a primary diabetogen since it itself affects the beta cells of the island of Langerhans in the pancreas. Unlike Alloxan, DMBA is not a primary pathogen since its metabolites, not itself, induce the basic pathology. Its incubate with microsomal enzymes of mouse liver, instead of DMBA itself, was therefore the starting material for preparing the test solutions of 20m potency and 100020 - fold undynamized simple dilution.

The DMBA pathology in Swiss albino mice was induced by subcutaneous injection of 0.75 mg of it. The 50% survival period SP-50 (period for half the mice in the group to die and other half to survive) was 144 days for the group of 20 mice treated with dynamized 20m potency as against 36 days for the 20 mice group treated with undynamized 100020 fold simple dilution. The 10% of mice in the latter group, but none in the former, also developed a fibrosarcoma at the site of DMBA sub-cutaneous injection. Fig.2 (see at the end of this paper) presents the results of DMBA toxicity very strikingly [7-9, 11].

Crystal blur said...

Hey Becky,
I haven’t investigated/read too much about acupuncture but needless to say that acupuncture was not designed based on deep anatomical knowledge but rather on the flow of energy called chi. You may want to check out this article on quack watch http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/acu.html . As far as Eastern medicine or practices go, I think some of them (like yoga) may have beneficial effects but on the whole I wouldn’t go as far as treating life-threatening diseases.

Witsnwisdumb,
The beauty of science is that if you have the evidence to prove that some previously accepted theory is totally wrong then the science books will be re-written according to the latest results. In other words there is nothing sacred in science, there is no authority in science and that is what makes science an honest process to answer questions about how things work. If you understand the scientific method (how controls are set up, how protocols are designed, what is a falsifiable hypothesis) it will be clear to you that it is a highly critical, evidence based and most importantly self correcting method. We have designed vaccines and eradicated diseases. I don’t think there is anything that homeopathy can offer that can even touch these kind of achievements. There is an incredible amount of research that goes behind backing up drugs and sure there are side-effects. The researchers are trying to design better drugs but these are hard problems to tackle. I think that most people do not appreciate the complexity of things that we are dealing with here and it is only out of ignorance to science that they compare quack medicine (with no data whatsoever) with evidence based medicine, like you have when you compared homeopathy with nanotechnology.

Hyde,
It is true that there are a lot of medical malpractices and the blame there lies with human error not the science based drugs that s/he is prescribing. We need better protocols that should be followed by doctors so that such mistakes do not occur. From what you describe you need a better allopathic doctor rather than a homeopathic “doctor”. I don’t see how drinking water can rid of malaria unless your homeopathic doctor is really an allopathic doctor in disguise and gave you anti-malarial drugs instead of sugar pills.
The pathogen that causes malaria is a highly elusive organism and has developed ways to hide from our body’s defense mechanisms. If you read about how it lives in our body and what kind of (allopathic) drugs we use to fight this disease and how the drugs work, it will become clear to you that without directly impeding the organism you are…what is the scientific word…screwed. I am curious, how did you figure out it was malaria?

Anonymous,
Please don’t cut and paste articles as comments. If you have a point to make, compose it in your own word and give a link to the article as a reference.
The article you cut and pasted was poorly written by a scientifically incompetent individual for the following reasons:
1) There are more references to “authorities of science” rather than actual data. There is no authority in science, only fact based evidence.
2) The stories of how patients felt better after taking homeopathic drugs do not build the case for homeopathic medicine. There is no evidence for how the patients got better. It could be placebo effect or the natural healing process of the body.
3) There were no citations to any peer-reviewed science journals for the “research” results. Moreover the article abdicates itself from scientific methodologies like double blind studies by declaring that the method is inapplicable! It is inapplicable because there is nothing to test in the prescription…it is water.
4) Such research does not get published in peer-reviewed science journals because of poorly designed protocols, bad statistics and lack of evidence rather than “a world wide conspiracy” as you might claim.

Joy Forever said...

Well Chrys, I'm afraid I'm one of those people who believe in Homoeopathy, as I have experienced it first hand. No, it was not a placebo effect on something like common cold. It was a small keloid on my chest and some of the best skin specialists in Calcutta had given up on it. My uncle, who was an amateur homoeopath, cured it with his medicine. And one of the Allopaths only gave me the idea to consult a Homoeopath. And this is just one instance. I can give you many others.

Like someone has written above me, not knowing how something works does not make that thing stop working. Do you think the wild tribes around the world know about bacteria and viruses and the chemicals that kill them? Yet, they know the medicinal plants that will heal them in a certain type of ailment. You may call it fraud or mumbo jumbo, but it sure is effective. And that's where medicine came from. If you can show me articles about why Homoeopathy is fraud, I can show you articles to the contrary. I can prove with videos that the Moon landing was a hoax, or the 9/11 attacks were planned by the US. What will it achieve.

However, I believe in taking the best from Allopathy as well. If the situation is life threatening, or there is a known effective Allopathic cure (like malaria or jaundice), I would certainly use it. But for conditions like Arthritis, or gout, or keloids, where even Allopathy cannot give us a 100% effective cure, I think it is unfair to say that Homoeopathy is fraud. Many people have used it and they are getting better (NOTE: I did not say getting cured). If everything can be explained by the placebo effect then why doesn't Allopathy have the placebo effect as well?

witnwisdumb said...

You completely missed my point. And since it's obvious that you aren't the least likely to change your views (and that clearly, there's a 'we' and a 'they'), I will only say, in science, objectivity is as important as a critical and questioning mindset.

witnwisdumb said...

Aren't even the least bit likely, I meant.

Twisted DNA said...

Wonderful post! I will be following your comments closely and having fun with everybody flaming you :P

Just to support your argument, take a look at Wikipedia. It indicates that there is no medical basis. It annoys me how passionately people argue about it without ANY medical basis.

Crystal blur said...

Joy,
Homeopathy is not something that science does not understand. Scientific studies have ascertained that homeopathic cures are no better than placebos through rigorous testing. As I said earlier, there is no active medicine left in the prescription after the dilution. It is plain water. The “theory” behind this quack therapy being that water somehow retains the essence of the active ingredient and cures the disease.
I also want to point out that nowhere did I suggest that everything other than allopathic medicine is quack. I am singling out homeopathic medicine here for good reason.
People jump ship from Western medicine to voodoo magic as soon as there is no allopathic treatment available. Out of desperation, people avail to everything from prayer healings to homeopathy. If the symptoms alleviate, no questions asked, the recovery is credited to God/miracle or sugar pills.


Witsandwisdumb,
If you have any arguments or rebuttals to any of the points I have made against homeopathy I am more than happy to discuss it. So far all you have come up with is that science has been wrong about some things in the past (lets just forget about ALL the things science did right, including saving your ass from polio, chicken pox and other diseases). Yes science has been wrong about some things in the past and has updated the theories as better evidence came to light. This makes science an honest process. I don’t know how calling junk science what it is, makes me less objective and close minded.

Twisted DNA,
Thanks a lot for your support (not). Would you like a refill on the popcorn? I was banking on some pro-science voices in the comments section. But looks like it is going to be one vs. hundred. Bring it on I say! :)

Twisted DNA said...

Anon:
As Crys said, the comment was too long for me to read it fully. Several points:
1. Let's not quote random case studies where people claim they are cured because of some medicine. It's worth nothing and it proves nothing
2. What baffles me is on one hand the article claims that Homeo can't be proved using Double Blind because of the this whole "each patient is different" theory. Then there is this talk about "Controlled animal tests." And the article wants use the controlled animal tests as proof.

It breaks down to this. Homeopathy was never proved to satisfy the scientific community. Period.

witnwisdumb:
I agree that we don't necessarily have to dismiss a phenomenon just because we don't understand it as long as we have a consistent and predictable empirical data. But in case of Homeopathy, in all these centuries it has been in existence there is no substantiating data that it works. I don't know why we should even consider it.

"in science, objectivity is as important"
Objectivity is exactly what we are missing in this discussion about Homeopathy. All I hear is emotional arguments about homeo but nothing objective.

"And since it's obvious that you aren't the least likely to change your views"
That's unfair! She clearly said even science will change its views when presented with appropriate evidence!

Nobody said...

I agree with your post crys (save some popcorn for me).

About 1st hand experiences, i've seen one of my friend cured by a baba (it was his misfortune that his mom made him go to a baba) ..and his mom tells stories about thousands who got cured by that baba.
But, it doesnt mean that baba is above science and medicine. As per the views of someone who posted earlier, maybe someday science will be able to prove that baba had healing powers, but, for now he's a quack.
So, is homeopathy or any other doctrine which doesnt have a scientific backing.

HeJunkie said...

witnwisdumb

u say crys missed ur whole point. so i go and look at what ur point is in the first post. and its a pretty weak point. u say u r no fan of homeopathy or alternative medicine. but u still use the words "just because we cannot conceive of how something works..." which shows that ur premise is that homeopathy works. or that there is some truth to the claims that it works.it is this premise that crys is callenging.she isn't saying that we should reject homeopathy even when it works because we don't understand the mechanism. she is saying that all the reports of positive results are suspect as per basic standards of critical thinking that have served science well. like avoiding confirmation bias, using a control group and so on.

in other words, although u rightly say that one needs to be skeptical of the vocal pronouncements of science due to the long history of corrections within science, u make the mistake of using that as an excuse to waffle about something ridiculous. just because science has been wrong before doesn't mean every bit of nonsense deserves benefit of doubt. and people who want to warn scientists against being too sure have no idea how aware scientists themselves are of the limitations of science. when such scientists are vocally behind a certain methodology or worldview, it is not because it is infallible, but because it meets certain standards of intellectual honesty and rigor (that are missing in the pseudoscientific views)

joyforever

i think u misunderstand the placebo effect. placebos work in about 35% of the cases. many people who say their cure is not the placebo effect don't know that it is such a high percentage. what i'm trying to say is the psychological effects of suggestion are not completely understood. nor is the body's self healing process.

the reason a control group is given a placebo during a drug trial is because the drug has to prove a statistically significant effect above and beyond the 35% placebo effect. this is a pretty tall order that allopathic drugs need to meet. homeopathic "trials" circumvent this with excuses.

personal anecdotes are no good because placebos also cure in so many cases.

The Pilgrim said...

I did read and re-read your post about homeopathy (mostly it is supposed to be spelt as Homoeopathy) because, since I was a kid, I was interested in knowing how does poison kills poison or as Homeopathy claims to do so. Well, this one has been kind of a debating topic in my family for generations (most of them are doctors) but so far I have not been satisfied with answers for and against the same.

This post for me, if I were reading a research paper, has a lot of unqualified statements as I would say. But then this is just a blog post. However, I do agree with one thing, conclusive evidence of Homeopathy producing concrete results in research have not been seen so much. So, I am sceptical of all that has been said so far. But I will not go so far to make an unequivocal statement, But in case of Homeopathy, in all these centuries it has been in existence there is no substantiating data that it works. I don't know why we should even consider it. . I have a reason for that, and that is I do not see conclusive evidence to support that it does not work. At this juncture, I can make only certain admission, that while I am not so much thrilled with the evidence for using Homeopathy, I am also less inclined to believe that it does not work, But that is more based on my need to understand more about how the studies have proved otherwise.
Now let me post some points for my incomplete knowledge.
The link provided by you which leads us to the Quack ...etc page is not conclusive. First, the author is not a researcher or even a chemist, physicist or someone who should have experience to make the amount of unequivocal statements and not providing any references. He does give an example of the Avogadro's number but how does he arrive at that? But this could be true, because the avogadro's number was proposed end of 1800's while Hahnemann discussed this in the late 1700's. Hence this theory should have been debunked that early.
Does the actual Samuel Hahnemann 'Materia Medica' say spirit like essence is left behind by the molecule in question. Remember at that time Hahnemann didn't know about Avogadro's number theory to adjust for that error. But later on, it may have been propounded by some followers (conjecture on my part).
But anyways, I would say my doubts and incomplete knowledge have moved a little ahead to say, research was done insufficiently, trials were not as exhaustive, detailed and record keeping not as vast as antibiotic trials are done. So instead of going all out and calling "The Sugar Pill that kills" .. we need more study with an open mind on all possibilites including it doesnt work.

A doctrine can only be debunked when it has been proved conclusively not to be true. Pro-Sciences voices will not give an unequivocal statement without studying further, which is kind of a little too much to expect of a average blog reader who may not be into that subject.

Twisted DNA said...

The Pilgrim:
Shouldn't the responsibility of proof be incumbent upon people who claim that it works? See, if this is something like wearing a superstitious talisman to ward of evil spirit, well, there is not much harm in that. But Homeopathy has potential to kill innocent people depriving them of real cure by making false promises. Why should anybody be allowed to practice it without proving that it works? Or without proper disclaimer that "This medicine has never been proved." It would be irresponsible on our part to use "benefit of doubt" argument when it could cost people lives.

Shag said...

I think some ppl confuse diagnosis of illness with their treatment. Cases that tell of incorrect treatment by some allopathic/Homeopath practitioners are simply a failure of diagnosis and not of the treatment. diagnosis is something not related to modern or traditional medicines, both forms of medicine use the same diagnostic methods in their practice. while traditionals may do some jumba-wumba, they always backup their findings with modern scans or diagnosis methods. as for the treatment itself some of it might work but homeopathy is something that I am always skeptical of. It supposedly takes so much time to treat simple diseases that the natural process(immune system) finishes the job before the drug course is over.

I personally knew a friend who tried in vain to get his pimples treated by a homeopathy guy for two years. I once visited thhe guy with him and saw how he was making a bufoon of my gullible friend.

the scene went like this. husband and wife practitioners observing him and telling him that his pimples have been increasing cuz the medicine is cleaning up the insides and sending it out causing more pimples. when they said that i could not help but laugh a rather impolite laugh, I mean how much stuff was there inside that it kept puching out for two years lol. they glared at me and I quietly walked out. but apparently my friend's light bulb lighted at that and he decided to ditch the duo.

Anonymous said...

The following is in response to the "there is no scientific proof that Homeopathy could possibly work" line continually trotted out by sceptics and those who name themselves "impartial scientists"

As I have said in my previous post there are several reasons why there is a distinct lack of scientific research in Homeopathy as opposed to drug based research.
The biggie is funding, the second is professional disassociation, the third is the complexity of Homeopathic prescribing which relies on individualisation for the accuracy and efficacy of remedy choice.

However it does exist despite these weighty barriers.


Homeopathy Re-revisited

Is Homeopathy Compatible With Biomedical Observations?

Daniel Eskinazi, DDS, PhD, LAc

Arch Intern Med. 1999;159:1981-1987.Homeopathy Re-revisited

In this article, I propose the thesis that homeopathy is compatible with biomedical observations because of the following reasons: when homeopathic drugs contain molecules of the active substance, claims of homeopathy are compatible with common biomedical observations, and there is an overlap between the range of higher dilutions shown by biomedical research to have biological activity and the range of lower homeopathic dilutions considered to not contain molecules of active substances.

FRAMING HOMEOPATHIC BELIEFS IN THE CONTEXT OF BIOMEDICINE
As mentioned herein, conventional medicine often asserts that "neither the concept of ultrahigh dilutions nor the law of similars makes scientific sense."6(p2162) A factor that has undoubtedly contributed to the perception that homeopathy is incompatible with molecular biomedicine is the rather cryptic language often used by homeopaths when discussing their discipline. However, if one focuses on the substance rather than the form of these homeopathic claims, the distinctions between homeopathy and common biomedicine become less unequivocal.The Law of Similars

The law of similars is the concept that has given its name to homeopathy, which is therapy that cures a disease using the substance that can induce the same symptoms in a healthy individual (in contrast to allopathy, which is the treatment that uses opposite principles to interfere with or block pathologic processes).

The law (or principle) of similars does not necessarily imply high dilutions. Therefore, if the law of similars has validity and is really as widespread as homeopaths claim, it should be possible to observe its expression in biomedicine and pharmacology.

With rather minor linguistic interpretation, one may couch the essence of the law of similars in rather common biomedical terms. The concept that a substance can cure the same symptoms in an ill individual that it can induce in a healthy one may be restated as follows: a given concentration (or homeopathic dilution) of a substance may have opposite (not just different) effects if physiologic conditions are different (eg, healthy vs ill organism or different states induced experimentally in animals or in vitro systems), and there can be 2 different concentrations (or homeopathic dilutions) of a given substance that have opposite effects in a given physiologic state of a living system.7(p24)

Several observations in biomedicine are compatible with this definition of the principle of similars. The following examples have been selected from a number of classes of drugs and other substances to emphasize that this principle does not apply to only a single class of substances, nor does it seem explainable by a single molecular mechanism of action (Table 1). Furthermore, in the following examples, the therapeutic activity of drugs was not discovered based on homeopathic principles, and the observed paradoxical effects are usually considered as odd coincidences. Therefore, these examples, taken as a whole, are suggestive of an independent reconfirmation of the principle of similars by biomedicine.First, drugs and other substances may induce symptoms they can relieve. For example, aspirin at a therapeutic dose can be used to lower temperature, whereas a toxic dose may induce life-threatening hyperthermia.9(pp629-630) Agents used to manage angina or arrhythmia (atrial fibrillation) can induce or aggravate angina (eg, nitroglycerin) or arrhythmia (eg, digoxin).9(p764,p819) Also, allergens are used to desensitize patients whose allergies have been induced by these specific substances.

Second, drugs may have effects that are opposite to their expected therapeutic activities in some patients. For example, benzodiazepines, normally used as sedatives, have induced excitation and disorientation in some patients.9(p370) Interferon administration, which is usually considered to be an immunopotentiating treatment, can induce immunodeficiency.9(p1212)

Third, preexposure to low reagent concentrations may modulate the response to subsequent exposure. For example, exposure to low-level radiation can protect, to some extent, subjects subsequently exposed to high radiation doses.10 In addition, preincubation with low concentrations of cell response modulators (eg, mitogens, tumor necrosis factor, interleukin 2) can change the expected response of preincubated cells to subsequent exposure to "normal" doses of the same agents.11

Fourth, biological agents and drugs can exhibit a nonlinear pharmacodynamic behavior. For example, paradoxical stimulatory effects of toxic substances at low doses can be followed by inhibitory effects at higher doses (hormesis12-14) or inhibition can be followed by stimulation. Also, primary exposure to varying doses of antigen may induce a state of heightened response (immunization) or a state of specific unresponsiveness (low-dose and high-dose tolerance) to subsequent exposure to the same antigen.15 Finally, low doses of epinephrine can induce vasodilation, whereas high doses can induce vasoconstriction.9(p205)

The first 3 sets of examples represent the first interpretation of the principle of similars, that a same dose can induce opposite effects in different physiologic states. The fourth set of examples represents the second interpretation, that there can be different concentrations of a given substance that have opposite effects given the same physiologic state.

These and other similar examples16-20 (Table 1) suggest that the law of similars, if simply rephrased, may indeed be compatible with a number of common observations in biomedical practice. It might even provide a unifying framework for explaining these unexpected biomedical observations.



Immunology and Homeopathy. 2. Cells of the Immune System and Inflammation
Paolo Bellavite1, Anita Conforti2, Francesco Pontarollo1 and Riccardo Ortolani3

1Department of Scienze Morfologico-Biomediche, University of Verona Piazza L.A. Scuro, 37134 Verona, Italy, 2Department of Medicina e SanitĂ  Pubblica, University of Verona Piazza L.A. Scuro, 37134 Verona, Italy, and 3Association for Integrative Medicine ‘Giovanni Scolaro’, University of Verona Piazza L.A. Scuro, 37134 Verona, Italy
http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/159/17/1981?ijkey=43bfef816462ef1bef894805d151130f49c7d29a&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

The reliability of homeopathic principles (similia, globality of cure and use of high dilutions of ‘natural’ medicines) and their possible scientific bases can be assessed using various theoretical and experimental approaches. In this contribution we analyze the experimental evidence on cells and laboratory systems. Our aim is not to justify the clinical use of homeopathic medicines but to present evidence showing that substances prepared according to the homeopathic method have some effects on the immune system and inflammation. This may be the first step for a re-evaluation of homeopathy as a worthwhile field for basic and clinical investigations.
We are perfectly aware that the classical experimental approach to immunology based on the laboratory, animal and clinical experiments, typical of academic medicine and the current international scientific literature, can help us to understand only some of the aspects of homeopathy. Even bearing in mind the limitations of this ‘reductionistic’ approach, we still believe that it can build some bridgeheads toward the construction of a united medicine. This is mainly because we are not so much seeking to ‘demonstrate’ a single mechanism of action, but to understand general ‘rules’ of physiology, pathology and pharmacology that are the same in different fields of biology and pharmacology, and that can also be applied to homeopathy.

Immunoallergology represents a bridge between homeopathy and modern medicine insofar as it is a field in which it is easier to apply concepts such as the effect of substances administered on the basis of the logic of the ‘similarity’ and the great sensitivity of living systems to modulations induced by ultra-low doses or high dilutions of natural or endogenous substances (1).

Below, we describe the principal results of experimental studies aimed at verifying the efficacy of homeopathic medicines or, more limitedly, at verifying the main principles of homeopathy (e.g. dilution, similarity) in models of inflammation and immunity. We begin with in vitro studies of inflammatory cells (basophils, neutrophils, lymphocytes, macrophages and fibroblasts), and, in a subsequent paper, we shall examine animal studies before describing clinical trials in humans. Many of these experiments and observations are normally ignored by the modern biomedical literature.

We have performed experiments in our laboratory and have monitored the literature on the subject of this paper for the past 15 years. Here the best of our knowledge of all experimental work published is reported, irrespective of results (e.g. positive or negative results, in favor or against to homeopathy). All literature available in Medline, conference proceedings and books was searched. Due to the relative scarcity of literature in this field and the heterogeneity of experiments, we have not performed pooling and meta-analysis of data. Where indicated, a few comments on reliability of findings and on problems of replication of specific studies have been provided.

Inhibition by Pure Histamine

The group of Belon/Sainte-Laudy obtained the inhibition of basophil ‘degranulation’ (according to metachromasia) by using high dilutions of pure histamine (Fig. 4). If the initial concentration is known, the use of pure substances as the starting material makes it possible to determine the theoretical molar concentrations in the subsequent dilutions, which, in this case, are expressed as negative powers of 10. A first series of experiments led to two inhibitory peaks at dilutions with theoretical histamine concentrations of between 10–10 and 10–17 M and between 10–30 and 10–38 M (25). All of the experiments were carried out under blind conditions in the sense that the researcher did not know with which dilution s/he was working. A control experiment showed that dilutions of histidine (the carboxylated precursor of histamine) were inefficacious, thus confirming specificity of the molecular information and reducing the likelihood of laboratory artifacts.
The same group has reported further data confirming that high dilutions of histamine (pure histamine chloride) significantly inhibit the degranulation of basophils (sensitized by IgE antibodies against dermatophagoid) induced in vitro by dermatophagoid extracts (26). Using a series of 16 progressive one-hundredth dilutions (from 5c to 20c), the authors observed inhibitory activity at dilutions of about 7c and 18c. The addition of pharmacological doses of cimetidine (an antagonist of histamine H2 receptors) abolished effects of all of active dilutions. Adding of the histaminase enzyme (which destroys histamine) inhibited the effect of ponderal doses (6c and 7c) but not that of high dilutions (18c), thus indicating that the latter was not due to the histamine molecule but to other mechanisms. The authors therefore tend to believe that the action of high dilutions involves an effect of the solvent (water) on H2 receptors, although they do admit that it is paradoxical to think in terms of molecular biology when there are theoretically no molecules of the effector in some of the active dilutions tested. A further paper confirmed that the IgE activation of human basophils is greatly and significantly (P < 0.001) inhibited by histamine dilutions (27). In these experiments, the ‘degranulation’ of basophils was inhibited at theoretical histamine concentrations of 10–16, 10–18, 10–20, 10–22 and 10–36 M.

Hyde said...

Symptoms. :-)

Crystal blur said...

Hyde,
The smiley after symptoms in your comment tell me you know what I am about to say but I will say it anyway :).
I quote the following from the CDC:
Malaria can be suspected based on the patient's symptoms and the physical findings at examination. However, for a definitive diagnosis to be made, laboratory tests must demonstrate the malaria parasites or their components.
[...]
The first symptoms of malaria (most often fever, chills, sweats, headaches, muscle pains, nausea and vomiting) are often not specific and are also found in other diseases (such as the "flu" and common viral infections). Likewise, the physical findings are often not specific (elevated temperature, perspiration, tiredness).

justrohin said...

your blogs are always a good read.. keep writing

Manish said...

It was a good read, albeit quite one side, occassionaly flawed one.

Now, since you have a lot going in favour of Allopathy, you oughtta have known that there is no known medicine for Jaundice in allopathy.

In fact, Jaundice is only a symptom. Its root cause is different. Hepatitis A & E has no drug, B & C has only trial ones. Allopaths too refer Ayurvedic drug like Liv 52.

The only way to treat Hepatitis is to support the lever and lessen the load. So take a lot of Glucose and take liver supportive Ayurvedic durg.

Now, about the other dieseases. I had mole in my hand which got developed during my childhood. Allopaths suggested surgery, while Homeopath made it vanish in a month :-)

So much for your theories.

Dr. Nancy said...

Homeopathy cures where Conventional Allopathic Medicine (CAM) fails

Dr. Nancy said...

Homeopathy: Micro Doses Mega Results

Dr.Shyamkumar R said...

my my........why this humbug,and confusing ideas.why every one is against the SO CALLED FAKE SYSTEM OF HOMOEOPATHY?
please beleive what you see,and then react.
why cant you see
1)the ever so many cured cases in government opds
2)results by the qualified private practitioners in their opds
3)testimonials by thousands of cured patients
and what else
homoeopathy exists here and is here to stay.we have nothing against the modernmedicine,or any other system of medicines,provided they give the patients what they really want...CURE

HOMOEOPATHY CURES,SAFELY AND SURELY
thats it

Roshni said...

Hi Chrys,

I am a very very late commentor on this blog entry. I just started reading your blog last week (came here through a link on someone else's blog). Love your blog. Hope you keep writing (cause there don't seem to be any entries in 2012). I also hope you read this comment, though I am 4.5 years late.

I have been a believer of homeopathy, then a non believer and now I am just neutral. I agree with you that homeopathy cures nothing. Its just a placebo effect. If people (including my mom) want to go to homeopathy for non threatening problems like a common cold or tension or hair fall, then that's up to them. No point in stopping them. Its fine.

But when an idiot homeopathy doctor actually tells my mom (who has recently had a bypass surgery for three blocks) when she is diagnosed as having the blocks, that she need not have the surgery, his homeo medicine will melt the blocks and she will be as good as new, that is when I lose my mind. I was ready to murder the bloody bastard. He could have killed my mom (cause she seriously needed the surgery urgently as per the angioplasty report). She actually did think about what he said and I was obviously arguing against it. Thankfully, since the surgery was urgent, my mom had to make a decision fast (within a week of the angioplasty), and in the hurry, she listened to me and the family, and had the surgery.

Given that the surgery was recent (7 months back) and given that her body had been cut open and her heart operated upon, obviously my mom is not as active as she was before. She gets tired faster and cant run around as much as before. She actually blames the surgery for this! She now wishes she had more time - then she wouldnt have gone for the surgery and would have listened to that bastard homeopath. I am thankful that the surgery is done and she is well (her thoughts aside).

Now that the crisis is past, I really dont understand why the homeopathy doctor would have actually given the bloody idiotic advice of not going for surgery but instead coming to him. He would have 100% killed my mom. Don't these doctors have a moral code or a conscience. Shouldn't they, in life threathening cases like malaria, required cardiac surgery and other situations, themselves suggest that the patient go to a "real" doctor. How do they have the gall to suggest that they can cure the patient? They know the patient is going to die .. and in the case of my mom (in case she had gone to him instead of for a surgery), the doctor would also have died cause I would have killed him.

So anyways, my point is that as long as no ones life is in danger, people can go to homeopaths and feel better if they want, but it also the responsibility of the stupid homeopaths to realise when their dumb quack medicine is not going to cure anyone, and send the patient to an allopathic doctor.

So Chrys, I agree with you. Homeopathy is absolute bullshit!

Roshni said...

Hi Chrys,

I am a very very late commentor on this blog entry. I just started reading your blog last week (came here through a link on someone else's blog). Love your blog. Hope you keep writing (cause there don't seem to be any entries in 2012). I also hope you read this comment, though I am 4.5 years late.

I have been a believer of homeopathy, then a non believer and now I am just neutral. I agree with you that homeopathy cures nothing. Its just a placebo effect. If people (including my mom) want to go to homeopathy for non threatening problems like a common cold or tension or hair fall, then that's up to them. No point in stopping them. Its fine.

But when an idiot homeopathy doctor actually tells my mom (who has recently had a bypass surgery for three blocks) when she is diagnosed as having the blocks, that she need not have the surgery, his homeo medicine will melt the blocks and she will be as good as new, that is when I lose my mind. I was ready to murder the bloody bastard. He could have killed my mom (cause she seriously needed the surgery urgently as per the angioplasty report). She actually did think about what he said and I was obviously arguing against it. Thankfully, since the surgery was urgent, my mom had to make a decision fast (within a week of the angioplasty), and in the hurry, she listened to me and the family, and had the surgery.

Given that the surgery was recent (7 months back) and given that her body had been cut open and her heart operated upon, obviously my mom is not as active as she was before. She gets tired faster and cant run around as much as before. She actually blames the surgery for this! She now wishes she had more time - then she wouldnt have gone for the surgery and would have listened to that bastard homeopath. I am thankful that the surgery is done and she is well (her thoughts aside).

Now that the crisis is past, I really dont understand why the homeopathy doctor would have actually given the bloody idiotic advice of not going for surgery but instead coming to him. He would have 100% killed my mom. Don't these doctors have a moral code or a conscience. Shouldn't they, in life threathening cases like malaria, required cardiac surgery and other situations, themselves suggest that the patient go to a "real" doctor. How do they have the gall to suggest that they can cure the patient? They know the patient is going to die .. and in the case of my mom (in case she had gone to him instead of for a surgery), the doctor would also have died cause I would have killed him.

So anyways, my point is that as long as no ones life is in danger, people can go to homeopaths and feel better if they want, but it also the responsibility of the stupid homeopaths to realise when their dumb quack medicine is not going to cure anyone, and send the patient to an allopathic doctor.

So Chrys, I agree with you. Homeopathy is absolute bullshit!

Crystal Blur said...

Roshni,

I'm glad you intervened. Wish your mom a speedy recovery. I am curious to know what made you change your mind about homeopathy?