Is Homeopathy Nothing More Than a Placebo?

Homeopathy is the second most prevalent method of treatment in the world. It was first developed in the late eighteenth century. Homeopathy has since continued to grow. It is a recognized form of treatment by the U.S. Federal Laws. Around 500 million people around the world believe in it and use it. Quite a few movie stars and the royal family have helped it gain recent popularity.

For homeopathy to be effective, a careful study of the patient is required and relevant treatment given. However, various opponents of this type of treatment have argued that homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo. Despite various scientific studies published opposing the use of homeopathy, its popularity has continued to grow over the years. People who support homeopathy argue that this type of treatment allows the body to heal itself.

How does Homeopathy work

The treatment is based on a principle of similarity. Homeopathy states that a drug will produce the same symptoms in a healthy person to the disease it cures. It is believed that ingesting a toxic substance in extremely diluted form could cure the illness it causes. In short “Like cures Like”.

The basic principle is the more you dilute an active ingredient in water the more potent it becomes. Also the most common solvent is a mix of 40% alcohol and 60% water. Homeopaths believe that even though the active ingredient is diluted, water still has a memory of it which creates the medicine. This principle is called “Water memory”.

Studies have shown that Homeopathy doctors have a few things in common. They are very emphatic, very nice warm people, people who have time and spend a lot of time listening to their patients.

 Arguments against Homeopathy

3501378546_dda6e1d914_z

Image credit and description– Above bottles do not contain any active ingredient, only made-up ones supposedly created through magic rituals.

 

The chief argument against homeopathy is that it is not consistent. In addition, most practitioners of homeopathy are quacks; they have not received any form of training and do it as a hobby. There is also a general agreement among medical experts that the best homeopathy does it to palliate.

People who are opposed to homeopathy also argue that the process is prolonged. This goes against the ethics of medical practitioners. Medical practitioners should always aim to cure a patient fast as possible. Treatment for most diseases is already available through conventional means. Consequently, it is unethical to take a patient through a drawn out treatment. In addition, there is no guarantee that at the end of the treatment the patient will be cured.

The basic premise of homeopathy is “The more you dilute an active ingredient in water the more potent it becomes.” The science behind this just doesn’t make sense. All the studies that have been done on it don’t add up. It is based on an entirely new force of physics and something that is unknown to science.

The homeopathy industry is unregulated by the government. There is a reason for this. All they are doing is dishing out water solutions mixed in alcohol.

The idea of “water memory” has been proposed by practitioners, but it is barely even explained what it actually is, let alone demonstrated.

Arguments in support of Homeopathy

Firstly, proponents of homeopathy claim that it is quite effective. If one strictly adheres to recommended diet changes and takes the recommended dosage, then a patient can expect a very quick recovery.

In addition to that, proponents argue that homeopathy is completely safe. Unlike in the use of conventional medicines, one does not expect any possibly life-threatening symptoms or side effects. Homeopathic remedies are made from completely natural sources, which are non-toxic.

Another argument for homeopathy is that it is quite easy to administer. The problem many parents face with an ill child is trying to make them ingest bitter pills. Parents will be pleased to learn that no bitterness is associated with homeopathic medications.

Another benefit to using homeopathic treatment is that it is not addictive. This is unlike some conventional medications, which have at times led to lifelong addictions. Key among them is opium which is used in treating pain.

Furthermore reasons put forth by its proponents is that it works in harmony with the body. For instance, cough syrups work by suppressing cough. However, coughing is a way for the body to extrude any impurities in the lungs. Homeopathy works by activating the body’s own natural healing mechanisms. In addition to that, proponents claim that it works by getting to the root of the illness and not just the symptoms.

The problem with most conventional treatments is that they focus in on a particular symptom. However, homeopathy works by rooting out the illness and ensuring that symptoms do not reappear. For instance, EEG scans reveal that within a short while of administering homeopathic treatment, certain parts of the brain light up.

Proponents also argue that large pharmaceuticals are driven by need for profit. Thus, it would not be prudent to expect an industry that has invested billions of dollars to provide effective long-term cures. They argue that if these companies managed to treat everyone for long periods, they would run themselves out of business. In essence, homeopathy is argued to be the only form of treatment that is designed to cure the human body without desire for profit. This is because anyone can become a homeopathic expert with sufficient time and research.

Conclusion

Homeopathy has been around for quite a while. Simply dismissing it will not make it go away. The question most experts have had to deal with is, is homeopathy, a personified placebo? The answer to this is not easily given.

5915537039_ab5ab3a094_z

Image credit

Latest evidence from recent studies have again failed to find any reliable effect of Homeopathy. People that practice Homeopathy do not require medical licences. The drugs, which are just water and alcohol require no clinical trials. There is no way they can match with real drugs.

Over the years scientific studies both for and against the treatment has been provided. It is thus prudent for one to do a thorough investigation in the use of homeopathy before engaging in it.


References

http://www.karger.com/article/Abstract/93586

http://www.examiner.com/article/homeopathy-pros-and-cons-3

http://hpathy.com/book-reviews/homeopathy-what-to-expect/

http://www.doctorrmosk.com/Site/What_Is_Homeopathy.html

Add Comment