Australian medical group makes strong statement on homeopathy

I don't think that homeopathy is useless.
Homeopathy is a theory that is based on the idea that a substance that might make a person sick will cure a sick person if given in small quantities. Homeopathic meds are made by diluting the substances in question multiple times (100 to 200 times). If you do the math, the final solution is so dilute that it has no molecules of the original substance. In other words, its just distilled water. Money is charged for this distilled water. Money that could be spent on healthcare.

Homoeopathy as a placebo? Yes, please. It’s cheap and harmless. Placebos need to be researched more to free up money spent on drugs for minor ailments.

Placebo? I guess, just about anything can have a placebo effect if the patient thinks he/she is taking real medicine… . It continues to amaze me that homeopathic water is still sold legally in Oz

 

Best explanation of homeopathy I’ve come across is from James Randi:. (on TED)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0Z7KeNCi7g

The problem with accepting homeopathy as a placebo is that those who think it’s working are reinforcing their belief that homeopathy works.

Allowing people to think it works encourages them to invest their money and trust in an industry based on pseudoscience. Far better to have those people go to a real doctor and have real treatment take place, or be told they don’t need treatment.

We have four drugstores in our little town that services about 5000 people [two stores were here for decades and two opened last year] and all sell homeopathic stuff. I wish one would not sell it, so I could go to the others and tell them I’m not shopping there until they stop selling it. But with no alternatives, I can’t do that.

“The problem with accepting homeopathy as a placebo is that those who think it’s working are reinforcing their belief that homeopathy works.”

 

You’re quite right of course. There was even a poster on this thread saying homeopathy isn’t useless. It is not only useless but dangerous, as reliance on quack alternative medicine can be.

Last year, a dear friend died of Leukemia. He had been complaining of feeling tired for a couple of months. He believed in alternative medicine and spent a fortune on buying quack remedies, and had a library of quack videos. Finally got him to go to a GP. Blood test. Call that night from GP telling him to goto hospital immediately. He died 8 days later.

I will use complimentary medicine with my Gp’s approval. EG vitamin supplements.

 

I also know people who are deep into homeopathy, naturopathy, reiki, and many other lifestyle scams (some so crazy they make homeopathy look logical). Most are very intelligent, but have a large chink in their mental armour that allows them to fall for these blatant scams. Unfortunately, a few are quite energetic and business-oriented, so have spent lots of time and effort promoting the ‘alternative medicine’ they believe in. It makes me sad and angry to see my friends unwittingly duping others out of money and, more consequentially, real healthcare.

  • Some of the harm these scams do:
    • scams cause good people to unintentially harm others when trying to help (my friends who make money from other believers),
    • scams exist and flourish in an environment of fake-news and low levels of skepticism, so those who benefit from scams work to perpetuate that environment,
    • scams literally kill people (ie, the parents in Calgary who let their child die),
    • not vaccinating yourself or your children leads to outbreaks of preventable diseases (leading to more death and suffering and money spent)
    • and much more...
That's a lot of terrible baggage to bring on board in order to have a placebo.

Placebos work. Drug creators test to see if they can come up with a product that works better than placebo.

So it seems to me, that if your placebo is non-toxic, and not expensive, and doesn’t interfere with an actual treatment, go for it.

Surely there are plenty of substances that could fit that bill, since all you need for a placebo is an accompanying story that people will believe, e.g., this is healing water, purified and then blessed by the Pope after being drawn from the River Jordan. It is 10 cents for a vial, but one must say 50 Hail Mary’s before, and 50 Our Father’s after, drinking the vial (the last part being necessary to establish a resolution of cognitive dissonance, i.e., “I wouldn’t be going to all of this trouble of chanting if it didn’t work.”) In reality it is tap water but the real story would mess up the placebo effect.

I liked the James Randi presentation. He’s funny. And he demonstrated how very large doses of homeopathic sleeping pills can help an elderly person give a very good public presentation.

Placebos may work, but I’m not a fan of having multi-billion dollar industries based on denouncing science-based healthcare. A few people may be helped, but as the link in my last post showed, it costs innocent lives as well.

No amount of placebo effect can mitigate parents giving their child expensive water and praying instead of going to a doctor, when that child dies because of it. I can’t imagine there are statistics that accurately show the number of deaths due to believing in alternative medicine, but whatever the number, it’s too high a price to pay.

I fell into a bit of cynicism, as I do occasionally. Of course, placebos are just another form of the fictions that many of us humans are subject to believing because of some perceived value of believing on faith rather than facts. That, I think, ultimately tends to prove more costly than searching for facts.

I would take some solace in the likelihood that ppl who tend to believe on faith, would be more likely to suffer the most, if it weren’t for the potential ill effects on the otherwise innocent.

 

 

 

I really don’t know if I agree that placebos are always a fiction we believe based on faith. My way of looking at them is they can be a method of utilizing our minds ability to control our mood and state of being, so that we ‘feel’ better, and therefore feel better.

Although they can be abused by scammers and those they scam, they can also be used by real doctors to make people feel better without the use of drugs. They are likely to be of no use in most cases, but in situations where people can benefit, I think they’re the best option.

@3point14rat

I think you’re right.

I’ve seen it work: (or have I?) I was an army medic. Out bush on exercise. One of the guys had a blinding migraine.I had aspirin and morphia as analgesics. Would not be allowed to use morphia for a migraine. (any used had to be accounted for)

So, I told him I had this very powerful painkiller. So powerful that I could only give him half a tab. That it would relieve his pain and put him to sleep. Within his hearing, I told his corporal that he would sleep until morning (it was about 7pm) and not to put him on guard.

He was asleep within 10 minutes, and slept until morning.

BUT, I guess this is anecdotal evidence. I believed he was genuine, but could not prove it. He could have been lying. In my experience grunts are prodigious and creative liars. Make of it what you will.

The placebo effect is well documented. And as I said before, when developing new medicines drug companies routinely test the effect of their prospective new medicine against placebo. Placebo beats nothing, and if your new drug beats placebo, you may have something.

Yes, using a placebo is used in many blind tests.

I have studied and used homeopathy for 20 years. I have treated not only myself, but my kids and pets who show positive results. Of course it doesn’t work every time, but if these people that go out against homeopathy get their way, I would lose the preferred treatment for most of my ailments. If I use a pharmaceutical, I will suffer side effects. Homeopathics have never, and in fact, can’t produce side effects. I have determined that I will never accept a pharmaceutical drug, even if nothing else works. You can call homeopathy placebo, or false science, but nobody can tell me that I have not gained many benefits from it.

@gdeluca Yes, there are side effects with homeopathic meds- everything from allergies (at best) to death. If one is allergic to dandelions, they shouldn’t use echinacea, because they are from the same family. CFI is suing Walmart for their homeopathic meds, wanting Walmart to remove them for human safety. In that thread which I started, I listed some side effects, including one which has been used to help a woman abort… a tiny amount could be too much and kill her. So yes, there are some serious side effects for some people.

Of course that wouldn’t be in the US. We have a long history of our government betraying the people in favor of corporate interests. How long did Republicans spend arguing that the science wasn’t definitive over whether tobacco caused cancer? How long will they argue that climate change isn’t real, or even that it’s a good thing (an argument I’ve actually heard)? And I could do half a book on lead in gasoline and that POS Reagan (President Of the States, of course) trying to secretly kill the bill to remove lead from gasoline even after it came to light that there was so much lead in our atmosphere because of it that it was contaminating the results of spectrographic analyses everywhere on the planet except Antarctica. Even AFTER lead was so prevalent in our atmosphere that you could literally find it no matter how hard you tried not to our government was STILL working to help the corporations continue poisoning us for a buck.

You are obviously misinformed. Echinacea is an herb, not a homeopathic. Homeopathics are diluted until there is nothing left but the imprint of the original substance on the cell, which instructs the immune system how to combat symptoms. In terms of strength, the original substance would be measured at maybe 1, but the homeopathic would be -1, which does the opposite action. If I get stung by a bee, which I am allergic to, I will take homeopathic bee venom (apis) which will remove any symptoms from the sting. Will you sue Walmart for selling peanut butter because many people are allergic to peanuts? That would make just about as much sense. Walmart does sell herbs, which many people use effectively. A person should have enough sense to know where their sensitivities are, and leave those products on the shelf. The rest of the people should be free to purchase the products they find useful. If you are going to pursue this bogus lawsuit, you should at least get your terminology straight.

You are obviously misinformed.
I would say we have a little confusion on terms here, that's all.