Poll: Homeopathy

Ryan Hughes

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For people saying that Natural Medicine works, let me say that that is not Homeopathy.

Homeopathy literally is diluting portions of the substance making you sick and turning that into a medicine. Homeopathy literally means that. Homeo, as is, something that is the same or similar. So, Homeopathy literally means to dilute ailments and to feed them back to the patient.

There is plenty of science on dilution to disprove it.

Natural Medicine is a different thing entirely, though, most Naturpaths, as they call themselves, are Homeopathic practitioners that have changed professional identity in order to escape the negative connotation of "homeopath." Though, not all are.

The doctor I go to now has both his naturpathic and MD degrees, his MD being from OHSU. And he is a really good doctor who knows where to draw the line between bucking the pharmaceutical industry and prescribing drugs when people need it.

Though, last I heard there were several lawsuits out against the manufacturer of Zicam, a zinc-based "natural" cold remedy that has been know to damage the nose and cause loss of smell, so, in short, do not trust a naturpath unless they have their MD, too.
 

TehCookie

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Homeopathy works as well as a placebo. Though I do believe in natural remedies, a lot of medicines were made from plants. Of course once refined they're a lot more potent with less side effects so I'd take the manufactured ones any day, but that still doesn't mean nature doesn't work.
 

Kunzer

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Jul 14, 2008
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Hoplon said:

I'll let Dara handle this.
This was absolutely hilarious, and I thank you very much for sharing it.

Stand-up comedy really is a wonderful and humorous way to tackle issues like these.
 

TheIronRuler

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FluffyWelshCake said:
So, what are your opinions on Homeopathy, alternative medicines and natural remedies? I'm just going to write more crap here now, personally I believe in the fact that alternative medicine is either medicine that has been proved not to work or not properly tested. So, please, go play with this topic.
.
Use the search Engine. Thois thread of mine holds a concentrated dose of awesomeness. It will cure any and all ailments.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.375092-Poll-Homeopathy-Is-it-Bollocks#14551027
 

spartan231490

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I know virtually nothing about homeopathy specifically, but other alternate medicines certainly work. Not all of them, but a great many do. What I'm most curious about is "energy healing" like Reiki. I know people who swear by it, people who are not prone to self-delusion. Also, the effects they have achieved with it far exceed anything that should be within reach of the placebo effect. Still, I am highly skeptical anyway.
 

BrassButtons

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spartan231490 said:
What I'm most curious about is "energy healing" like Reiki.
Any time the word "energy" is used to mean anything mystical you're dealing with woo. Energy is not The Force.

I know people who swear by it, people who are not prone to self-delusion.
Everyone is capable of self-delusion, including people who aren't typically prone to it. The only way to rule out self-delusion is with independently verifiable data.

Also, the effects they have achieved with it far exceed anything that should be within reach of the placebo effect.
What affect do placebos normally have on the ailments these people had, and what effect did Reiki have?
 

Stasisesque

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Uhm, not to be a bother - but why do people keep attributing other peoples' posts to me in this thread? I've had at least two notifications saying I've been quoted, but neither of those have been for posts I've actually made.

Also people keep telling me I'm wrong about things I've never said. It's making me sad, guys, please check who you're quoting more carefully. :(
 

Xanadu84

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Fun fact: Everyone here is wrong. Homeopathy is actually very effective at a variety of treatments.

It's just as effective as the Placebo.

Its a pretty good rule of thumb that anything that uses the term, "Toxin" without naming a specific chemical compound, or "Energy" without naming a unit of measurement is probably bullshit. Alternative medicine is either a dilluted form of actual medicine (Very rarely), a general health aid or mild treatment (Uncommonly, but not unheard of) or bullshit (Usually). Clove tea can sooth a sore throat, and eating more veggies is probably good for you, but if you have a stroke, don't rely on snake oil. If you want to harness the power of homeopathy, learn how REAL medicine works and put your faith in that.
 

Headdrivehardscrew

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Calibanbutcher said:
Actually, this could be a variaton of the "Kluger Hans" phenomenon.
You give the cat/dog something you expect to make your pet better. You communicate this via body language and probably also by telling your pet. Your pet "believes" you and responds to the medicine positively.
Please note, that this is simply an assumption on how this could work, I do not claim, that this is ZE ONLY KORREKT WAY.

Also: entertaining, if you understand german: http://www.cdkev.de/aufsaetze_vortraege/sonstiges/marburger_ek/marburger_ek.htm
Aye, I'm pretty much on board that train of thought of yours.

Good article you linked to, thanks. Thing is, I do not believe in anything supernatural above and beyond the extremely unlikely size and processing power of the human brain. That's right. The most alien and out-of-place, the most odd-one-out in the amorphous, mostly smelly mass of life and death on earth is the human brain with all its silly ideas, tremendous power for good and utter determination when it comes to hate and destruction.

Then again, I find it funny that some of my fellow Christians dislike faith-based healing to that extent. Logic would make me expect that enlightened socialists that are eager to oppose the opiate of organized religion would, in consequence, take a stand against the upper-downer-fixer Quaalude of humbug hoodoo voodoo alternative medicine - they don't. Instead, from personal experience, I would say they make up a significant part of the billion dollar industry that encompasses everything from vibrating bowls to barefoot doctors needles and ritual burning of powdered animal carcasses. I myself have been doing Tarot card readings/sessions whatchamacallem, preferrably for annoying people, with the good guy aim of helping them become a bit less annoying. That's not an official part of the ad campaign, though.

I'm not exactly up to date on the subject, but I'm pretty certain homeopathy has its roots in or is at least linked in more than one ways to Rudy the red-nosed vegetarian Steiner, a man I cannot but admire, but most of his cultist followers these days make me cringe. Some of the movements in the "New Age" folder decided to go back to obscure old ways, get inspired by exotic, fancy stuff or come up with entirely new, more thrilling ways of handling things. They're all valid expressions of human cravings for a better tomorrow. But the majority of even those folks don't exactly strike me as being great minds, super inventors or daring explorers, they mostly also just end up taking comfort in fuzzy warm ignorance and convenient fast food concepts of how to make sense of it all, and how to handle being stuck in a lump of meat for a somewhat brief period of time before stopping any and all metabolic activity.

I believe in the power of the placebo.

I don't believe in people that are not on drugs or heavily medicated being able to talk to spirits and ghosts. But as long as they bring something to the table that helps the gullible move on and get on with life, and they don't rip them off in the process, hey, who am I to judge them?

Do I personally believe in homeopathy? Hell no. Does it work? Yes/maybe/definitely/not at all. It's all about context. Would I seek homeopathic help to treat some nasty cancer? Hell no. Do I go back to medieval texts of 'witchcraft' to make sense and possibly use of the weeds and shrubs and plant material all around? Certainly. We've got science now, and if we don't let ourselves get tempted and corrupted we can achieve great things.

Cooking is all about physics and chemistry (plus yummy omnomnom taste). Why do you think garlic, ginger, turmeric and, say, onions are such staples all around the world? It's usually not because we believe in them or think much about them, they just do whatever it is they do.
 

Do4600

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Frankster said:
I'm gonna go against the grain and the vast medical expertise of posters in this thread and say: homeopathys got a bad rap but there are existing effective treatments within it for light ailments, natural remedies that have proven to be effective for generations (ex: to cure a cough, try a spoon of honey. Forgot the mechanics of why it does, only that honey contains tons of good stuff, and is better to deal with a cough then cough medicine at your local pharmacy), but well when you say homeopathy you're basically putting under the same label everything from crystals to voodoo, course a lot of its gonna be daft, doesn't mean ain't some things that work.

I mean another example, when having an upset stomach have any of you tried sugary water? If its placebo then don't tell me cos i've never had to take tummy medicine in my life ^^

Course I'm heavy biased as the best doctor I know, uses homeopathy and explained to me there is a reason why doctors avoid using them (nothing to do with effectiveness, more a question of money and earnings) and how pharmaceutical and drug companies are involved in the trainning of doctors and their education to raise them to give drugs to deal with light cases that could be dealt more effectively with homeopathic treatments. Course this sounds rather conspiracy theory like and none of you know the guy so this isn't much of a support for my view, but was just to explain where I was coming from ;)
I'm not sure you understand what we're talking about. Homeopathy is when you take something bad and dilute it in water to the point of it almost not existing anymore. Say you have a sore throat, the homeopathic remedy for that would be to take a stinging nettle, blend it until it's a powder and then dilute it in the equivalent of several oceans of water or about one part per 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 parts water, then drink it. This is very different from "Natural" medicine.
 

MetalMagpie

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Roggen Bread said:
To your one tablet/two tablets claim: Just no. This is not the way a homeopathy believer thinks. Homeopathy is like a vaccine, you just take a little to boost your own body.
Then why is a more dilute homoeopathic remedy stronger than a less dilute one? Surely being given more of an active ingredient should always have a greater effect than being given less of it?
 

Sarah Frazier

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I tried "home" cures for some problems I had, and they only got worse. Guess what? When I saw a doctor and figured out what was wrong and then got REAL medicine, things actually got better. Funny how that is...
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

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Sep 10, 2008
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Do4600 said:
I'm not sure you understand what we're talking about. Homeopathy is when you take something bad and dilute it in water to the point of it almost not existing anymore. Say you have a sore throat, the homeopathic remedy for that would be to take a stinging nettle, blend it until it's a powder and then dilute it in the equivalent of several oceans of water or about one part per 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 parts water, then drink it. This is very different from "Natural" medicine.
If you looked further into the thread you would see that Frankster got homoeopathy and other natural medicines mixed up.

Frankster said:
Hope this helps you with other unnecessary quoters!
 

Roggen Bread

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MetalMagpie said:
Roggen Bread said:
To your one tablet/two tablets claim: Just no. This is not the way a homeopathy believer thinks. Homeopathy is like a vaccine, you just take a little to boost your own body.
Then why is a more dilute homoeopathic remedy stronger than a less dilute one? Surely being given more of an active ingredient should always have a greater effect than being given less of it?
I guess that's the whole "point" of homeopathy, isn't it?

I am no strong believer, so I can't "explain".
 

SL33TBL1ND

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You know what happens when alternative medicine becomes validated? It becomes medicine.

Homeopathy both is absolute bull and not evolutionarily selected for [https://xkcd.com/765/].
 

spartan231490

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BrassButtons said:
spartan231490 said:
What I'm most curious about is "energy healing" like Reiki.
Any time the word "energy" is used to mean anything mystical you're dealing with woo. Energy is not The Force.

I know people who swear by it, people who are not prone to self-delusion.
Everyone is capable of self-delusion, including people who aren't typically prone to it. The only way to rule out self-delusion is with independently verifiable data.

Also, the effects they have achieved with it far exceed anything that should be within reach of the placebo effect.
What affect do placebos normally have on the ailments these people had, and what effect did Reiki have?
They've achieved pain relief on a similar level as narcotics. That's primarily the claims I've seen, very effective pain relief, though there was also something about healing wounds faster, but I never asked how much faster since if you expect something to heal faster, you will think that it did. Like I said, I'm highly skeptical, but I'm interested in taking a look at it to see what is going on, is it related to self-hypnosis, pressure points, or what.
 

Emperor Nat

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I like Dara O'Briain's quote on this subject.

"Oh, Alternative Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Natural Medicine. They've been using them for thousands of years."

"Yeah. Then they tested everything and the stuff the worked became MEDICINE."
 

Emperor Nat

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spartan231490 said:
They've achieved pain relief on a similar level as narcotics.
Pain is a created response by the brain to external stimuli and is decreased by relaxation of the body, to the point where in certain surgical operations anti-depressants are used rather than sedatives in order to keep the patient happy and out of pain but awake and able to communicate.

It is possible to train oneself not to feel pain, though it takes a lot of discipline.

That placebo effect is damn strong. :)
 

azukar

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A family member who believes in homeopathy told me once about how it cured an issue she was having with one of her glands.

It boiled down to, the homeopath guy gave her some homeopathic medicine, and she went to the doctor and got some regular medicine, and she took both. Amazingly, she got better, so homeopathy works!

She refuses to see how that might not be the soundest train of logic.
 

Yopaz

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Jun 3, 2009
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MetalMagpie said:
Zhukov said:
Has homeopathic medicine ever passed a double-blind trial?

Someone must have put it to the test at some point.
Homeopathic remedies have undergone loads of trials. And some trials have found them to be more effective than placebo, but those trials are almost always characterized by bad methodology (not double-blind, very small test group, no control group, etc.) and are often directly sponsored by a company that makes homeopathic remedies! Reviews of trials using good methodology have concluded (a number of times) that homeopathic remedies do not outperform placebo.

I seem to recall this paper is fairly good: (the abstract summarizes the conclusions)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492603
There's also been some cheating involved in some of them done by a lab assistant who really wanted to protect her supervisor's reputation where she switched samples. At least So I have heard.

OT: It works in its own way, it gives the patient some peace of mind and takes away some stress allowing the patient to feel better while the immune system does the work. Some say that a positive mind makes the immune system work better, but I think it's justnour perception of our disease which is affected by our mind. Whatever the reason we're paying a whole lot for some plain water which we could as well get for free and drink all our diseases away. Yes we're paying for water, but it's really good water.