In this article, I would like to dispel a plethora of myths surrounding Homoeopathy which have been used to discredit this highly efficacious healing art and science. Homeopaths are given few opportunities in the media to defend their profession, so a lot of misconceptions abound. The medical profession in general presents a fierce and blinkered opposition, yet as Big Pharma is learning of all sorts of amazing cured cases, they are determined to stamp out competition via EU regulation.
Myth No. 1 – Homeopathic medicines cure nothing
Homoeopathy works by stimulating the body’s own healing mechanisms, through like for like. A substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person can be used to cure the same symptoms in a sick person by giving a minute, highly potentized dose of that substance acting as a catalyst to jump start their own healing mechanisms. Everyone of us has our own natural innate healing powers. All that is needed is the correct stimulus to kick start it. In healthy people this may just be rest and good food but many people become ‘stuck’ in their physical, emotional or mental illness and cannot recover. Of course there are different levels of health and the choice of potency given should reflect that. Low potencies are given for very physically ill people and higher doses for those whose problems are emotional or of the mind. Homoeopathy is very successful in treating emotional problems such as stress, anxiety and fears.
Unlike orthodox medicine, outcomes of homeopathic treatment are measured by the long term curative effects and the eradication of the disease state culminating in complete restoration of health. If we could have two year trials of outcomes for conditions such as asthma, arthritis and other chronic diseases, this could be proven.
Myth No 2 – Homeopathic medicines are just water
Homeopathic medicines are not made using only dilution. Dilution alone would do nothing whatsoever. Many homeopaths are getting tired of reading this highly inaccurate reporting in the media. All homeopathic medicines are made by a process of dilution and Succussion (potentization through vigorous shaking — 100 shakes between each potency — i.e. between a 1c and a 2c, between a 2c and a 3c potency, between a 3c and a 4c, etc, etc). Most homeopathic medicines can be bought in either 6c or 30c from Boots or from health shops. Higher potencies of 200c and 1m (1000c) can be obtained only from homeopathic pharmacies. Succussion is nowadays done by machines, originally by hand. Succussion brings out the formative intelligence of the substance and imprints it upon the 60% distilled water + 40% alcohol medium used to make homeopathic medicines — alcohol acting as a preservative.
Myth No. 3 – Homeopathic medicines are unscientific
Homeopathic medicines undergo a scientific ‘Proving’ where a control group of 50+ healthy volunteers (‘Provers’) are instructed to keep taking a remedy under trial until they develop symptoms which they must record in detail. Substances that have been rigorously tested include nearly everything on the Periodic Table — metals, minerals and gases as well as plants and even things like snake venom.
The Provers are given a bottle of a new remedy being tested in the 30c potency and must keep taking it until they develop symptoms, which must be carefully recorded and then submitted to a database. The Provers must be healthy and symptom-free to start with so that the symptoms they experience are new ones caused by the remedy. They must keep a careful daily note of what happens and not discuss it with any of the other Provers. Whatever symptoms the Provers all experienced in common become the black type symptoms of the remedy which are then added to the Materia Medica of homeopathic medicines and Homeopathic Repertory (encyclopedia of symptoms). Thus the curative indications of a remedy are obtained for clinical use.
Symptoms have also been obtained through historical records of accidental poisonings, such as Arsenic and Belladonna. For example, poisoning by Arsenic causes vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, anxiety and extreme chill. Therefore you might get a patient in this state (possibly after food poisoning) and Arsenicum in a homeopathic tablet will quickly alleviate them.
There are more than 4,000+ homeopathic medicines including nearly everything on the periodic table. But of course all of the remedies tested have been diluted and succussed (potentized), so they are not toxic like modern drugs.
The Homeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory are extremely large books or divided into volumes. The Repertory is divided into sections in this order: Mind, Vertigo, Head, Eye, Vision, Ear, Hearing, Nose, Face, Mouth, Teeth, Throat, External Throat, Stomach, Abdomen, Rectum, Stool, Bladder, Kidney, Prostate Gland, Urethra, Urine, Male, Female, Larynx, Respiration, Cough, Expectoration, Chest, Back, Extremities, Sleep, Dreams, Chill, Fever, Perspiration, Skin, Generals. Obviously some sections are bigger than others!
In the various Repertories, remedies are listed alongside the full range of symptoms (rubrics) in abbreviated form — all information being systematically taken from Provings and clinical practice. Every human state of mind, emotions and body is listed. Symptoms that would mean nothing to a medical doctor can be looked up and the curative remedy found in these huge books. Homoeopathy is a study of human nature, endlessly fascinating and how negative states of mind and emotions affect the physical body culminating in illness. Nowadays many homeopaths use computer software programmes which contain all this information.
Myth No. 4 – Homeopathic practitioners receive inadequate training
In fact all qualified homeopathic practitioners undergo a four year training course at accredited Colleges, which includes Anatomy and Physiology, as well as Pathology and Disease, Materia Medica, Homeopathic Philosophy and study of the Homeopathic Repertory. Yet medical doctors and nurses treat after much shorter Homoeopathy courses. To be really good, you need to study intensively for about 10 years. Homoeopathy is a lifetime’s work and you never stop learning.
Myth No. 5 – There are no studies that prove Homoeopathy works
In the past 24 years there have been more than 180 controlled, and 118 randomized, trials into Homoeopathy, which were analyzed by four separate meta-analyses. In each case, the researchers concluded that the benefits of Homoeopathy went far beyond that which could be explained purely by the placebo effect. Another meta-analysis found that 65 of the 89 trials analyzed had produced an effect way beyond placebo
A study of 6500 patients at the Bristol Homeopathic hospital was conducted showing that over 70% of patients reported complete cure or significant improvement of their symptoms
Historical records show that epidemics such as cholera and typhoid were treated successfully using Homoeopathy in the 19th century with very high success rates, compared to orthodox medicine.
Homoeopathy can never be tested properly through conventional trials because each prescription is individualized as every person is unique. Therefore 10 people with arthritis, for example, may all need a different homeopathic medicine. So it is far from ideal to follow the allopathic trial paradigm to test Homoeopathy. In orthodox medicine trials, all are given the same medicine to be tested. In Homoeopathy, all may be given different medicines!
“Anybody who has an understanding of the principles of Homoeopathy can be left in no doubt that we are dealing with a scientific therapeutic method in the best possible sense: it is based on observation, facts and phenomena and follows the rules of inductive logic that can be tested in daily practice. It is a comprehensive and comprehensible mode of therapy, which in some countries is first line treatment for the whole range of acute and chronic conditions. It has been proven abundantly that it is superior in the treatment of epidemic diseases to allopathy.
“It is amazing how people, who like to see themselves on the side of unprejudiced evaluation, can be so blinkered. People pass judgment on Homoeopathy who have never bothered to study it. Like any science it takes time to learn (especially to learn it correctly) and years of practice to master but the rewards for patients, practitioners and the NHS (National Health Service) purse are great. Before those who preach pure science come down on therapies like Homoeopathy too heavily, they should ask themselves how many of the accepted treatments within the NHS have a scientific evidence base.”
With every homeopathic medicine we know exactly the substance it was made from, unlike most modern drugs where we have no clue of the ingredients. This is ironic too as all natural health products, whether vitamin, mineral or food supplement must clearly state on the label every single ingredient. When we go to the supermarket or health food shop, we hold up the packet or bottle and read what is in the product, yet people happily swallow prescription drugs with no idea whatsoever what they have taken! They could contain cyanide or any poison and the patient would be none the wiser. With the new class of genetically modified drugs, such as the one used in the Northwick Park drug trial in London, the dangers of a massive allergic reaction, such as the drug testers experienced, are even greater.
Those, who claim to be scientists, should have the ability to at least try to understand different paradigms. If not, they look more like people who have settled on a comfortable view of the world which might soon look very outmoded indeed. As the great musician and conductor Sir Yehudi Menhuin once said: ‘Homoeopathy is one of the few specialized areas in medicine, which carries no disadvantages but only advantages’.
Regarding the Horizon programme on Homoeopathy, Prof. Madeleine Ennis was not involved in the Horizon test. The test was carried out by Wayne Turnbull at Guys hospital, London. It has been conceded that the Horizon test was not an exact replica of Ennis’ successful trials. Many of his protocols were different. You can read at this link where he added in an ammonium chloride lysis step which would have ended up killing the very basophils that were such an integral part of the test (http://www.homeopathic.com/articles…) Ennis’ original test was replicated in 4 different labs in 4 different countries.
Myth No. 6 – Homeopathic hospitals are a waste of money
There are 5 homeopathic hospitals in the UK — in London, Liverpool, Tunbridge Wells, Bristol and Glasgow. They cost the NHS around £6 million a year. Compare that to the £100 billion for the total 2008 annual NHS budget! These homeopathic hospitals save money for the NHS as the Smallwood report commissioned by Prince Charles has demonstrated
At one of the earliest debates on the NHS Act 1948 the Government pledged that homoeopathy would continue to be available on the health service as long as there were “patients wishing to receive it and doctors willing to provide it”. Many people who depend upon it are alarmed at the possibility that Homoeopathy may no longer be available on the NHS. Since the passing of the NHS Act in 1948, a provision has always been made for people to be treated at homeopathic hospitals in the U.K. and until PCT’s began to stop referring patients, there had indeed been long waiting lists, some 6 months or more.
Myth No. 7 – Cure with Homoeopathy is simply the Placebo Effect.
When Prince Charles treats his farm animals at High grove with homeopathic medicines do they know that a remedy has been put in the water they drink? Farmers successfully use homeopathic medicines for their cows suffering from mastitis. Does a tiny baby know when their fever drops dramatically using Belladonna or Aconite, that they have been given a homeopathic medicine?! As anyone who has treated animals and babies with homeopathic medicines will tell you, Homoeopathy works even better on animals and babies than it does on adults! If proof were needed, this is it. Not placebo.
Myth No. 8 – Homeopathic medicines contain no molecules
Any remedy under a 12c or a 24x potency still contains the original molecules of the substance and this is known as Avogadro’s number. These low potencies are most suitable for physical illness of long duration as well as to heal specific organs that are not functioning properly.
Myth No. 9 – ‘Anecdotal Evidence’ does not constitute scientific evidence!
Most medical, surgical procedures and drug usage are not backed by studies — only by anecdotal evidence. According to the U.S. Government’s Office of Technology Assessment (Congress of the United States, Office of Technology Assessment: Assessing the efficacy and safety of medical technologies. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1978), only 10-20% of all medical procedures and off-label drug usage are backed by clinical studies.
Strong anecdotal evidence among informed professionals is actually quite reliable — at least as reliable as clinical testing. Many clinical tests come to diametrically opposed conclusions. You could say that the problem was discovered through anecdotal evidence — and merely confirmed through a peer reviewed study.
The problem isn’t with the use of anecdotal evidence. It’s with the double standard applied by the establishment (medical and regulatory) that holds complementary medicine to an absurdly higher standard, allowing medical doctors to do pretty much whatever they want. If informed anecdotal evidence is allowable for 85% of all medical procedure and drug usage, why is alternative health held to an impossible 0% standard?
Millions of people worldwide testify that Homoeopathy cures their illnesses yet apparently that cannot be construed as ‘evidence’.
If a person were to walk out of their house to the town centre and witness someone having their bag snatched or witness a car accident, then when they relay this information to the Police or to their friends and family, it is anecdotal evidence.
If someone goes on holiday, stays at a nice hotel, eats delicious food, swims in the sea, comes back home and relates the holiday to their friends, that is anecdotal evidence.
Does that mean that the above never happened? According to the detractors of complementary or alternative medicine, yes it does!
Millions of people have been cured of their diseases and afflictions using Homoeopathy, herbs, healing, vitamin supplements, special diets and on and on. Yet according to orthodox medicine all of these cures are anecdotal evidence and as such do not merit any further investigation, study, or validity. As far as orthodox medicine is concerned, these cures never happened.
Yet what if someone witnessed a car accident and the Police wanted them to make a statement? Would the statement in court be dismissed as anecdotal evidence? Would the police, even if they arrived at the scene of the accident to find the person still there comforting the passengers or trying to help, say they had not been there and their evidence is non existent? I don’t think so.
So how for so long have we put up with the top dogs in the medical establishment dismissing our cures as total nonsense, figments of our imagination, placebo cures, or outright lies?
How, when millions are cured around the world using homeopathic medicines, can these cures be dismissed as unworthy of attention, simply ‘anecdotal evidence’.
Orthodox medicine implies through this that all cures with alternative medicine are untrue or simply imagined. Even when all the evidence is put before them, they become angry and even aggressive, simply refusing to see or to listen.
All the case notes in the surgery show that Mr. A had arthritis for 5 years, had been on anti-inflammatory medicines, yet after homeopathic treatment, the arthritis is cured. The reaction of the doctor is either disbelief or an attitude where they will not talk about it and do not want to know.
Of course there are some orthodox doctors who practice acupuncture, Homoeopathy or herbs themselves and who do believe that these therapies cured the patient but they are in a small minority. The opposition is always the top cancer specialists and professors whose lives and vested interests are the most challenged by the idea that anything other than pharmaceutical drugs or surgical interventions can cure the patient.
Very often the doctor’s prognosis can create enormous fear in a patient making them much worse, striking terror in their hearts and creating a mental block to healing when told by ‘experts’ they will never get better.
Yet pharmaceutical drugs cure nothing. They merely suppress the symptoms driving them deeper into the body of the patient. Believe it or not, the disappearance of symptoms does not equal cure! Very often a new and deeper set of symptoms are created which are even more serious. Pharma drugs work through the Law of Opposites, eg. Antibiotics, Anti-inflammatories, Anti-convulsants, Anti-hypertensives, Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, etc, etc.
Hence the eczema patient, whose skin symptoms have been suppressed, goes on to develop asthma. The arthritic patient, whose joint pains are suppressed, eventually will go on to develop heart disease. The doctor makes no connection whatsoever that their drugs have created these deeper illnesses but just goes on to give the patient more and more powerful drugs, making the patient sicker still. Then when they die, they say, ‘We did everything we could’. Yes and you killed the patient!
So there is no question that dismissing cures as Anecdotal Evidence through the use of natural medicine, is nothing more than a whitewash and a desperate means of concealing the knowledge of those cures from the Public as a whole.
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