How does homeopathy work? Heh.
Yes, this is in honor of my post earlier today.
I’m also appreciative that homeopaths have apparently diagnosed what’s wrong with Parliament. Apparently it’s emitting an angry purple aura.
That’s perfect. It’s almost like a rick-roll. 😉
Perfect, succinct and to the point. No doubt about the volumes of water per molecule or exactly how to shake the crud.
You skeptics annoy me.
I used homeopathy to cure a cold.
I got a cold.
I didn’t do anything.
It got better.
See homeopathy works.
Anyone who reads this who has a blog/website: please link to this site so that it gets a better pagerank and ends up near the top of a google search for ‘how does homeopathy work?’.
Three paragraphs long??
I demand you rewrite this post to your usual, massive oracian lengths!
Award-winning tweet from Ron Heywood
@stephenfry I think the NHS should pay for Homeopathy – with photocopies of £ notes, on maximum brightness, 100 times
Doh. I bet Billy Joel’s daughter wishes she’d known that *before* she decided to OD:
Good thing for her they don’t work!
I used to think that homeopathy might be useful in treating dehydration. But I have learnt that they put a drop on a sugar pill, which is then left to dry (meaning the water evaporates). I thus have no choice but to concur with the first link.
There are also preparations using alcohol as the base, rather than water. Those would be bad for treating dehydration, as well.
Homeopathy works by transferring money from the wallets of the credulous to the homeopath.
Homeopathy: Ideal for the Factose Intolerant
@ ross G — excellent idea. I believe it is commonly known as a “google bomb” (WikiHow, How To Googlebomb http://www.wikihow.com/Google-Bomb
Feel free to slap any or all HTML from my post (use page source) into your own blogs.
I never thought about that before! I wonder how the water memory is supposed to work once the water evaporates? Obviously, the sugar itself can’t be remembering what the water used to remember. That would be silly. Sugar memory? How absurd!
Clearly, the memory must be left behind as a separate essence. In other words, we can distill memory from water. After all, distillation is simply evaporating water to concentrate whatever was in it.
This could be revolutionary! Just think what you could do with a vial of pure memory. Something really cool (and profitable), I’m sure.
Sorry, but your dreams of wealth run up against prior art. One J. K. Rowling has anticipated your development.
Hogwarts! Er, I mean, hogwash! She never reduced it to practice.
So, has anyone ever visited a factory where homeopathic medicines are made? How does dilution and succussion work on an industrial scale? Carboys and shake tables?
I have no trouble believing that there are people daft enough to believe that homeopathy works, but actually going through the process on an industrial scale makes no sense economically, when you could just sell water and sugar pills and make that much more profit. And wouldn’t that rock the homeopathic world.
So, has anyone ever visited a factory where homeopathic medicines are made? How does dilution and succussion work on an industrial scale? Carboys and shake tables?
Well obviously they use special dilution and succussion machines when producing on an industrial scale. Doing all that work by hand would be old fashioned and not at all keeping up with the modern world.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, homeopathy works. At least the principals do. My problem is that the ~60% of my body that’s water is already succussed with whatever is causing my symptoms, and the water remembers it.
It saddens me that we have to even have these conversations. Homeopathy arguments remind me of talking to Christians who say, “But what if that energy is God? What if that unused part of the brain is God? What if God was this cup of noodles?”
Sigh. In honor of all of this Orac homeopathology, I made a blog post today. 🙂 I hope someone takes us up on it.
Not only can the essence of a homeopathic remedy exist independently, but it can be transmitted down a wire. So you can even email a homeopathic remedy as an attachment. You think I’m joking don’t you? I’m not. But I have said too much, the homeopathy pixies are getting angry, I must go.
/. had the story, and one comment there was great. It went:
Homeopath-“What did you take?”
@Party Cactus: I’ve heard an alternate version of the same joke –
Q: What happened to the homeopath who forgot to take his meds?
A: He died of an overdose.
Great link to “How Homeopathy Works”. Very pithy British humour 🙂
Also British humour on homeopathy: the comedy sketch from That Mitchell and Webb Look (check YouTube or my blog, linked on my name), which features an imaginary emergency case at an imaginary homeopathic hospital, resulting in the death of the patient and the “doctors” drowning their sorrows at the local pub. (Don’t want to give away any spoilers.)
How does homeopathy work?
If homeopathy works then, correct me here if I’m wrong, if I found an old bit of cloth that had long ago been used by my mother to dry my tears and if I put it in my mouth and wallowed it around a little then I would remember what made me cry as a child? Without asking Ma? Dammit. What’s next?
Maybe what’s next is a large bottle of water or alcohol that you drink continuously, at a slow, constant pace, and you are treated to an audio/video experience that was previously impressed on the liquid. I suspect custom-order filling would become popular.
“Memory Water – The Beverage of the Past! Have Some, Today!”
*Ma is 84 years old today, by the way.*
My minions and shills:
With all the good news lately, we’ve been engaging in some celebratory hoopla up here at Orbital HQ. The techs have skimmed off some vat froth and whipped up some wicked Pharmatinis. Catering sent up some of those delicious rebel kidney canapés. Special commendations to the indispensable Cindy. She really went the extra AU for the party, working her magic with some crépe paper and IKEA tea lights to make PharmaCOM look a bit less, well . . . evil.
Take the day off! Smell the bacon! Enjoy the riches we have bestowed upon you for your tireless efforts on our behalf.
But remember, the rebels are relentless and our nefarious plans are far from complete. Remain vigilant and resourceful. Agent Ditz took out several Homeopaths the other day with nothing more than a spatula and some Gummi Bears.
Everything is going exactly according to our plans . . .
Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L
PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
So the UK government is concerned that continued funding of the ADE-651 explosives detector is a waste of money because it does not work and cannot work.
I hope for the same consistency re the funding of homeopathy treatments given that homeopathy does not work and cannot work.
That sounds like schnapps. With a lot lower c of something non-toxic it might stand a chance to get on my table at easter (Danish tradition).
If the drop falls from a sufficient height you have percussion, which might be equivalent to succussion. I know it is absurd, but it sounds cool.
here’s how the sugar pills retain the memory of the water.
a water molecule consists 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. sugar contains 12 carbon, 22 hydrogen and 11 oxygen atoms.
when you put a drop of the properly prepared homeopathic remedy on a sugar pill, the water molecules are in close proximity to the sugar molecules. because of the van der waals potential, which normally results in a repulsive force between sugar and water, the water molecules are not able to get close enough to fuse with a sugar molecule. however, via the mechanism of cold fusion–quantum mechanic tunneling of hydrogen and oxygen nuclei via the electromagnetic interaction of maxwell’s demon, mediated via catalytic action of palladium–each water molecule is able to tunnel through the van der waals barrier to replace it’s atoms with corresponding atoms in a sugar molecule.
the result is that a sugar molecule has had 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atoms replaced by equivalent homeopathic atoms that have all their memory intact. the memory of the water has been implanted into the sugar!
unfortunately, the former oxygen and hydrogen atoms from the sugar recombine to form amnesiac water molecules, which wander aimlessly around and lack any memory at all. they don’t remember who they are and eventually they end up panhandling on street corners far away from agricultural regions, which leads to increased drought conditions, crop failure and zombie hordes.
I have no trouble believing that there are people daft enough to believe that homeopathy works, but actually going through the process on an industrial scale makes no sense economically, when you could just sell water and sugar pills and make that much more profit.
But if they got caught they would get in trouble with the law, whereas what they do is perfectly legal if they have machines that dilute-and-succuss.
After reading (unfortunately) one of “The Health Ranger’s” blogs, I can only assume that homeopathy works by magic. Seriously, with no hint of sarcasm or irony these people actually believe it works by “magic”. There is zero scientific defense, at this point, all they’ve got to go on is “magical” water…
How does HOMEOPATHY WORK, Orac asks?
Homeopathy works the same exact way that a Z-Pak (azithromycin) works to cure the common cold or viral pneumonia or RhinoSinusitis…ESPECIALLY when prescribed by the Urgent Care physician AFTER the patient sees the PCP or College Health Center.
You take the antibiotics… and within 5-7 days, symptoms will often resolve.
WITHOUT the antibiotics (or without Homeopathy) it can take a week or so to get better!!!
“… There are also preparations using alcohol as the base, rather than water. Those would be bad for treating dehydration, as well ..”
BUT THAT IS GREAT NEWS… and matches my personal experience (my emotional truth trumpeth my science facts!)
… my local mixologist does indeed serve a lovely (and at times curative) Homeotini, Wootini, or the India Pale Ale…brewed of course with all natural ingredients, and tradition tells us, was the best when allowed to age in oak barrels being gently successed (? spelling of a wooword?)in the rocking hold of the sailing vessels.
Perfect answer – It doesn’t!!!
It is not about Homeopathy not working, Homeopathy really works! If you find that it is not making you any better then it is the Homeopath treating you that fails. The focus is to choose the right remedy that works for you based on your symptoms and characteristics like finding the right key to a lock. It is just the same with Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy works wonders but if the Hypnotherapist is not good, then it fails.
I had migraines for over 2 years and with Homeopathy the migraines disappeared in two months. It took longer than I thought but a year down the line, I am migraine free. I couldn’t digest Ibuprofen or Paracetamol, it always made me feel sick and I used to develop skin allergies because of it so thank goodness for Homeopathy, a natural side effect free medication.
If you need a fantastic Homeopath in Adelaide, Australia here is a link to his website : http://www.homoeopathiccare.com
I’m glad your migraines went away, Julie, but the fact is that they probably would have gone away anyways. You yourself indicate that it took “longer than [you] thought” for the migraines to go away; how do you know that when they did go away, it was because of the homeopathy?
If I told you I was a practitioner of Gooni-Zubooni magic and I could get rid of your migraines with a magic spell, you probably wouldn’t believe me. And I could offer to prove it to you, by casting the spell. And if you got another migraine, after I cast the spell, you probably would believe me even less. And if your migraines did finally go away, weeks or months or years later, you wouldn’t say “oh, I guess Gooni-Zubooni magic really works!”
But if I asked you how you were going to prove that homeopathy worked and Gooni-Zubooni didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to. You had migraines; the magic spell was chanted for you and you took the homeopathic sugar pill; you still got the migraines; then the migraines eventually went away. There is no evidence indicating that the homeopathy did anything the Gooni-Zubooni didn’t.
The funny thing is that you are so ignorant because obviously you havent tried homeopathy, it is not a miracle science, it is natural medication!!!!! I rather take it for longer and let it work at a core level than take allopathy and suffer from intestinal problems 10 years down the line! If you said you did Gooni-Zubooni i’d think you are off your rocker mate. It is so popular in India as well and you have no idea as you have not tried it and seen for yourself but rather speaking out of your arsehole!!
Lilly, how does something diluted to a point of not having anything left become “natural medicine”?
Having married into a family with migraines, I know they hurt. I also know that they sometimes just go away.
Even without homeopathy.
So your story is just a story. And a story is an anecdote, and the plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data.
If you said you did Gooni-Zubooni i’d think you are off your rocker mate.
Well, thank you for proving my point. There is exactly as much evidence showing that my Gooni-Zubooni and your homeopathy are responsible for whatever health benefits you perceive; the only difference is that you want to believe homeopathy works and you don’t want to believe Gooni-Zubooni works.
It is exactly the same with people who believe in God, Antaeus Feldspar! If you don’t believe in him and if he does exist then you are in so much trouble! Why does everything have to be evidence based? does it work – YES! Who cares about the evidence, the only evidence I’ll care about is that I’ve taken the medication and it has worked for me and thousands of others as well. That is all the evidence I need.. I don’t like the sound of Gooni-Zubooni by the way, Homeopathy is much popular than that haha.
Why does everything have to be evidence based?
Because otherwise, no matter how much you shoot off your mouth, you have no idea whether you’re telling the truth.
does it work – YES!
Except that you don’t actually know whether it works or not. You “know” that homeopathy works in the same way that the colonists of Salem “knew” that they were executing dangerous witches.
Who cares about the evidence, the only evidence I’ll care about is that I’ve taken the medication and it has worked for me and thousands of others as well.
Except that you don’t actually know whether it worked or not. You can say “I know, I know” all day long, but you don’t “know” any more than the colonists of Salem.
Get in the fucking sack.
http://homeoresearch.blogspot.com is the right answer for how homeopathy works
I have three questions for you:
1. Do you have data on the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies based on rigorously controlled clinical trials – something the equivalent of what would be required for a drug?
2. Many people have pointed out that most homeopathic “remedies” have no active compound and are indistinguishable from the inert component of the mixture (e.g. water or sugar) by all known tests. Is there some testable hypothesis for how such remedies actually work?
3. One of the first things I see on your site is a discussion of using papaya leaf extract to treat dengue. How does this match the tenets of homeopathy which, as I understand it, is based on the concept that an extremely minuscule dose (indeed, with no detectable or theoretically probably molecules in the dose) of a substance that causes a symptom will cure that same symptom?
dear dr sandeep,
nice to have discussion with you,
regading my blog http://homeoresearch.blogspot.com and my research work,
1. no need to have mother substance to produce action of its own for individula homeopathic medicicnes,
2. are you aware ? no need to have connecting wire to talk with 2 cell phones.
3. Homeopathic way of preparation giving unique property to sugar pills.If you can able to study hydrogen bong strenghts in between corbohydrate molecules in homeopahtic sugar pills, bong energy, bong strenght, force of attraction between molecules. strength of bond energy differs
4. if you think is nonsense, consume CANTHARIS 200C HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE for 10 days, and start to think about how homeopathy worked for you, dont forget to visit my blog http://homeoresearch.blogspot.com on and off.
I see the sock puppets are talking among themselves!
Remember folks there is literally nothing in homeopathy.
Nothing like some “bong energy” to make make “scientific” arguments for homeopathy sound credible , although a hydrogen bong would be a bit of an explosion/fire hazard. Step away from that strong bong dude.
Hydrogen bongs. I bet that makes homeopathic chemistry fun.
If you can able to study hydrogen bong strenghts in between corbohydrate molecules in homeopahtic sugar pills, bong energy, bong strenght, force of attraction between molecules. strength of bond energy differs
Assuming such a thing is true – that all it takes to change the energy of hydrogen bonds is to mix the inert compound with something that once was in contact with the “active” compound and shake it – what keeps those bond energies from changing due to heat and vibration? Is there a chance that the sugar pills will either revert to being inert or mutate into something else more sinister and deadly after the patient puts it in his/her pocket, goes home on rough roads, and tosses it in a drawer before consuming it? If not, why not?
Treatment of acute childhood diarrhea with homeopathic medicine: a randomized clinical trial in Nicaragua.
Jacobs J, Jimenez LM, Gloyd SS, Gale JL, Crothers D.
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.
OBJECTIVE. Acute diarrhea is the leading cause of pediatric morbidity and mortality worldwide. Oral rehydration treatment can prevent death from dehydration, but does not reduce the duration of individual episodes. Homeopathic treatment for acute diarrhea is used in many parts of the world. This study was performed to determine whether homeopathy is useful in the treatment of acute childhood diarrhea. METHODOLOGY. A randomized double-blind clinical trial comparing homeopathic medicine with placebo in the treatment of acute childhood diarrhea was conducted in Leon, Nicaragua, in July 1991. Eighty-one children aged 6 months to 5 years of age were included in the study. An individualized homeopathic medicine was prescribed for each child and daily follow-up was performed for 5 days. Standard treatment with oral rehydration treatment was also given. RESULTS. The treatment group had a statistically significant (P < .05) decrease in duration of diarrhea, defined as the number of days until there were less than three unformed stools daily for 2 consecutive days. There was also a significant difference (P < .05) in the number of stools per day between the two groups after 72 hours of treatment. CONCLUSIONS. The statistically significant decrease in the duration of diarrhea in the treatment group suggests that homeopathic treatment might be useful in acute childhood diarrhea. Further study of this treatment deserves consideration.
Homeopathy Proven Successful for ADHD
Randall Neustaedter OMD
The number of children put on drugs for attention problems is staggering, and school authorities pressure parents to use dangerous stimulant medications and antidepressants to keep children behaving in specific desirable patterns in the classroom. The approach of holistic pediatrics offers an effective management system for attention problems (so-called ADD and ADHD). An important component of this system includes the prescription of constitutional homeopathic medicines according the principles of classical homeopathy.
Clinical Study Design
Now a carefully controlled clinical trial has shown that homeopathy does significantly improve attention. This study was published in the July 27, 2005 online edition of the European Journal of Pediatrics. The study, conducted in Switzerland, followed 62 children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). All children were carefully diagnosed with a number of screening instruments to verify the diagnosis of ADHD, excluding other diagnoses. The study involved three phases. First the children were treated with a constitutional homeopathic medicine individualized to their case. Only the children who improved by at least 50 percent on an ADHD rating scale were included in the second phase of the study, a crossover trial with a placebo group. Following that crossover phase, the children were then treated again with their homeopathic medicine in an open label phase.
The primary device for measuring improvement was the Conners Global Index (CGI), a 10-item rating scale containing the most important ADHD symptoms (temper outbursts, excitability, impulsivity, overactivity, crying often, inattentive, fidgeting, disturbing other children, easily frustrated, failure to finish things, quickly changing moods). Rating: 0= never, 1= occasionally, 2= often, 3= very often. Therefore the higher the score the more prominent and severe the symptoms. Other assessment instruments included standardized achievement and intelligence tests.
The medicines used included Calc-carb (15), Sulphur (8), Chamomilla (5), Lycopodium (5), Silica (5), Hepar-sulph (4), Nux-vom (4), China (3), Ignatia (3), and Mercurius (3). Each of the following were used in one case only: Capsicum, Causticum, Hyoscyamus, Phosphorus, Phosphoric-acid, Sepia, and Staphysagria. Each was used on a daily bases in the Q3 to Q42 potency (LM). No other treatment of any kind was permitted during the course of the study.
The progress under homeopathic treatment was assessed with the parents only at intervals of 4 weeks. After an unlimited period of observation, children eligible for the crossover phase of the trial were randomly assigned to either receive the appropriate homeopathic medicine or a placebo in a blinded trial. During the second period of the crossover phase, the groups were switched. Following the crossover phase, the children were then treated with their homeopathic medicine in an open label phase of the trial.
Results showed that children did not improve while taking placebo, but continued to improve while taking the homeopathic medicine during the blinded phase of the trial and in the post-crossover phase. The median Conners rating for ADHD symptoms dropped from 19 at the start of treatment to a median of 8 within 6 weeks after the crossover phase of the trial. During the blinded trial the children receiving placebo had a high CGI rating of 12 compared to the homeopathic group with a rating of 9. After all children were returned to their homeopathic medicine, both groups returned to the low symptom level they had achieved before the crossover phase (median of 8).
The authors formed a definitive conclusion from this study. "The results of this trial point to the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of ADHD."
Br Homeopath J. 2001 Oct;90(4):180-2.
Comment in: Br Homeopath J. 2001 Oct;90(4):178-9.
Homeopathy in acute otitis media in children
Frei H, Thurneysen A.
Spezialarzt FMH fur Kinder and Jugendliche, FA Homoopathie SVHA, Laupen, Switzerland. email@example.com
The conventional antibiotic treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) faces a number of problems, including antibiotic resistance. Homeopathy has been shown to be capable of treating AOM successfully. As AOM has a high rate of spontaneous resolution, a trial to prove any treatment-effect has to demonstrate very fast resolution of symptoms. The purpose of this study was to find out how many children with AOM are relieved of pain within 12 h after the beginning of homeopathic treatment, making additional measures unnecessary. Two hundred and thirty children with AOM received a first individualized homeopathic medicine in the paediatric office. If pain-reduction was not sufficient after 6 h, a second (different) homeopathic medicine was given. After a further 6 h, children who had not reached pain control were started on antibiotics. Pain control was achieved in 39% of the patients after 6 h, another 33% after 12 h. This resolution rate is 2.4 times faster than in placebo controls. There were no complications observed in the study group, and compared to conventional treatment the approach was 14% cheaper.
Mighty Morphing troll: cherry picking for fun and profit.
Interestingly, this study (with an author common to articles cited above) showed no significant difference, though it blamed the issue on the particular treatment. It’s not clear from the synopsis what the treatment actually was.
Homeopathic combination remedy in the treatment of acute childhood diarrhea in Honduras.
Jacobs J, Guthrie BL, Montes GA, Jacobs LE, Mickey-Colman N, Wilson AR, DiGiacomo R.
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Apr;14(2):113-4.
BACKGROUND: Despite the widespread availability of oral rehydration therapy, diarrheal illness remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. Previous studies have shown individualized homeopathic therapy to be effective in treating childhood diarrhea, but this approach requires specialized training.
OBJECTIVE: A homeopathic combination medicine, if effective, could be used by health personnel on a widespread basis.
METHODS: A double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted in Honduras to evaluate the effectiveness of a homeopathic combination therapy to treat acute diarrhea in children. A total of 292 children with acute diarrhea was recruited; 145 were randomized to the experimental group and 147 to the placebo group. Tablets containing a combined preparation of the five most common single homeopathic remedies used to treat diarrhea or placebo were administered by a parent after each unformed stool. Children were followed up daily for 7 days or until symptoms resolved, whichever occurred first. Time until resolution of symptoms, daily rate of unformed stools, and total number of unformed stools were compared between the two groups.
RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the likelihood of resolution of diarrheal symptoms between the treatment and placebo groups (hazard ratio = 1.02, 95% confidence interval: 0.79-1.32), with a median time until resolution of 3 days for both groups. Children in the treatment group had an average of 2.6 unformed stools per day compared to 2.8 among those in the placebo group; this difference was not significant (p = 0.43). The median number of unformed stools was 7 among children in the treatment group and 8 among those in the placebo group (p = 0.41).
DISCUSSION: The homeopathic combination therapy tested in this study did not significantly reduce the duration or severity of acute diarrhea in Honduran children. Further study is needed to develop affordable and effective methods of using homeopathy to reduce the global burden of childhood diarrhea.
how about the other 2, mephistopheles?
Sleep Med. 2010 Jul 27. [Epub ahead of print]
Effects of homeopathic medicines on polysomnographic sleep of young adults with histories of coffee-related insomnia.
Bell IR, Howerter A, Jackson N, Aickin M, Baldwin CM, Bootzin RR.
Department of Family and Community Medicine, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA; Department of Psychiatry, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA; Department of Psychology, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA; Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.
BACKGROUND: Homeopathy, a common form of alternative medicine worldwide, relies on subjective patient reports for diagnosis and treatment. Polysomnography offers a modern methodology for evaluating the objective effects of taking homeopathic remedies that clinicians claim exert effects on sleep quality in susceptible individuals. Animal studies have previously shown changes in non rapid eye movement sleep with certain homeopathic remedies.
METHODS: Young adults of both sexes (ages 18-31) with above-average scores on standardized personality scales for either cynical hostility or anxiety sensitivity (but not both) and a history of coffee-induced insomnia participated in the month-long study. At-home polysomnographic recordings were obtained on successive pairs of nights once per week for a total of eight recordings (nights 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23). Subjects (N=54) received placebo pellets on night 8 (single-blind) and verum pellets on night 22 (double-blind) in 30c doses of one of two homeopathic remedies, Nux Vomica or Coffea Cruda. Subjects completed daily morning sleep diaries and weekly Pittsburgh sleep quality index scales, as well as profile of mood states scales at bedtime on polysomnography nights.
RESULTS: Verum remedies significantly increased PSG total sleep time and NREM, as well as awakenings and stage changes. Changes in actigraphic and self-rated scale effects were not significant.
CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated the feasibility of using in-home, all-night sleep recordings to study homeopathic remedy effects. Findings are similar though not identical to those reported in animals with the same remedies. Possible mechanisms include initial disruption of the nonlinear dynamics of sleep patterns by the verum remedies.
PMID: 20673648 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control
Gustavo Bracho1, , , Enrique Varela2, Rolando Fernández3, Barbara Ordaz3, Natalia Marzoa3, Jorge Menéndez4, Luis García5, Esperanza Gilling6, Richard Leyva7, Reynaldo Rufín8, Rubén de la Torre9, Rosa L. Solis10, Niurka Batista5, Reinier Borrero5 and Concepción Campa1
1 Finlay Institute, Ave. 27, La Lisa, Havana City, Cuba
2 Agromin Enterprise Group, Havana City, Cuba
3 Homeopathy Department, Finlay Institute, Ave. 7ma, Playa, Havana City, Cuba
4 Clinical Trials and Medical Managing Department, Finlay Institute, Ave. 27, La Lisa, Havana City, Cuba
5 Bacterial Vaccine Department, Finlay Institute, Ave. 17, Playa, Havana City, Cuba
6 Provincial Centre for Homeopathy, Holguín, Cuba
7 Provincial Centre for Homeopathy, Granma, Cuba
8 Provincial Centre for Epidemiology and Hygiene, Holguín, Cuba
9 National Medical Services, Havana City, Cuba
10 Research Vice-presidency Finlay Institute, Ave. 17, Playa, Havana City, Cuba
Received 30 November 2009; revised 24 March 2010; accepted 17 May 2010. Available online 2 August 2010.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease of major importance in the tropics where the incidence peaks in rainy seasons. Natural disasters represent a big challenge to Leptospirosis prevention strategies especially in endemic regions. Vaccination is an effective option but of reduced effectiveness in emergency situations. Homeoprophylactic interventions might help to control epidemics by using highly-diluted pathogens to induce protection in a short time scale. We report the results of a very large-scale homeoprophylaxis (HP) intervention against Leptospirosis in a dangerous epidemic situation in three provinces of Cuba in 2007.
Forecast models were used to estimate possible trends of disease incidence. A homeoprophylactic formulation was prepared from dilutions of four circulating strains of Leptospirosis. This formulation was administered orally to 2.3 million persons at high risk in an epidemic in a region affected by natural disasters. The data from surveillance were used to measure the impact of the intervention by comparing with historical trends and non-intervention regions.
After the homeoprophylactic intervention a significant decrease of the disease incidence was observed in the intervention regions. No such modifications were observed in non-intervention regions. In the intervention region the incidence of Leptospirosis fell below the historic median. This observation was independent of rainfall.
The homeoprophylactic approach was associated with a large reduction of disease incidence and control of the epidemic. The results suggest the use of HP as a feasible tool for epidemic control, further research is warranted.
Note: “Although individually prescribed homeopathic therapy by a trained practitioner reduced the duration and severity of acute diarrhea in three previous studies…”
INDIVIDUALLY prescribed homeopathic therapy effective in 3 previous studies.
“the combination homeopathic medicine used in this study showed no evidence of efficacy.”
combination remedies are not individually prescribed as is required by homeopathy.
thus, these 2 very different results are based on one correct application of homeopathy and the other not.
there are still 4 other studies shown here…evidence is in your court.
Still cherry picking. Love the use of studies where other real medical interventions are also employed.
It didn’t work for Penelope Dingle, nor Gloria Sam and several others.
Once again, we have a defense of homeopathy that relies on everyone accepting that at least some practicing homeopaths, and most companies selling homeopathic remedies, are incompetent or fraudulent by the standards of homeopathy. Where is the outrage and self-policing? Why do we not hear from homeopaths demanding that companies stop advertising their remedies as good for anyone with a specific symptom or disease? Where is the homeopathic definition of fraud and malpractice?
Even if the fraud and malpractice do no direct harm (because the stuff is just water), such “remedies” cheat people of money and delay their getting effective treatment.
You are, I hope, replying not to me, but to the Mighty Morphing Troll?
@Mighty Morphing Poster:
Would you accept that a non-homeopathic drug is proven safe and effective based on similar trials?
And how is “highly-diluted bacteria” homeopathy and not, say, vaccination?
If bitten by a rabid bat would the Mighty Morphing Poster rather be treated homeopathically by Andre Saine, Not a Doctor — or accept the rabies shots?
Chris, thanks for your opinion, but NDs are recognized as Drs by law. As for another previous opinion of yours regarding medical ghostwriting as being just “marketing,” even Orc knows better. http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/09/threats_to_science-based_medicine_pharma_1.php
As for the link you provided to disprove homeopathy, it’s akin to saying that because conventional medicine’s killed people it doesn’t work.
Medical Errors – A Leading Cause of Death
The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000 article written by Dr Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, shows that medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Silly person, NDs are not doctors, even if they paid enough politicians to create a law.
So really, would you really rather be treated by homeopathy or a rabies vaccine for a virus that is just about 100% fatal?
again, your opinion…and like the one that supports the idea that medical ghostwriting is “just marketing,” thanksfully it’s just your opinion.
as for the latter question, once the signs and symptoms of rabies start to appear, there is no treatment and the disease is almost always fatal. rather than go the conventional route and accept death…i’d prefer to recover fully via homeopathy.
You are very boring and silly.
thanks for your…wait for it…opinion.
Oh, and very stupid.
If you had bothered to click on either of Chris’s link, you would have gotten quite a few well-backed facts, rather than just an opinion. However, I don’t think you read and listen so much as come up with your own idea of what other people are saying and respond to that. Unfortunately for you, we have this thing called “written language” which lets us know that what you are responding to is not what was being argued.
hi gray falcon! you’re back right you are about facts…that’s exactly what you said before, “All you’ve got is a single judges opinion, we have tangible facts.” Still waiting for those facts showing barrett’s fda drug expertise.
Sorry, the article’s about homeopathy, and so this thread’s about homeopathy. You don’t get to make the rules, you don’t get to change the subject.
So this is the same stupid boring person who will not understand what has repeatedly told to him on the other thread. It is obvious that this person has a limited education and/or a short term memory problem. Which sounds like a trait shared by all homeopaths (including the one in jail for the death of his daughter).
To be honest, I don’t pay much attention to posters who think it is cute to use names that are derived from other posters they are responding to. At least, I don’t take it seriously and consider it basically an attempt to mock the poster. No one in a serious discussion should be doing that, especially to have continually morphing versions of it.
sorry, bald eagle, YOUR point regarding homeopathy was that facts are needed. my point about discussing homeopathy is if you’re going to tell me that i need facts to have a proper discussion, then you need to walk your talk, rather than just ask others to do it. so in written language = same rules apply to you.
pablo, serious discussion and not mocking people? if you haven’t been able to notice, the comments are rife with mocking condescension because they follow the tone of the articles.
Do you know what the null hypothesis is? The null hypothesis is that a molecule of medicine diluted repeatedly with water will do little more than quench your thirst. Likewise, the null hypothesis for aspirin is that it would not do anything if ingested. In absence of any other evidence, the simplest answer is the one accepted. For aspirin, we can use double-blind and well-controlled studies to prove otherwise. With homeopathy, no such luck. Don’t bother spamming that list of studies again, we’ve already taken them apart. You just never listen.
On the other hand, I’ve accused you of being childish, arrogant, petty, and dishonest, and you seem to be doing your best to prove me right.
Gray Falcon, this is an interesting discussion at Dr. Novella’s blog: Rustom Roy and Water Memory. One person noted that water bonds break and reform, so the molecules are not even composed of the same atoms, much less have memory of anything (oh, great! the 13th comment is a Rustom Roy Fan Boy, sigh).
Here’s a response to Novella.
First, thanks for responding to my question.
re: “There is no evidence that water can retain these structures for a biologically meaningful amount of time.”
Second, your review of existing literature on the topic is unfortunately limited to but one paper. This citation does not refute the experimental data on huge changes in the structure of water retainable under lab conditions for SEVERAL HOURS. It only serves to add more information to existing data. If you can refute the existing science (and leave the “side issues” off to the side), then you will have refuted…well, the science.
Here’s a powerpoint presentation that directly addresses your argument, “It’s just water…”
http://www.rustumroy.com/MST%2008%20Presentation%20WATER%20Roy_Rao_NOVoice.ppsx dachille water thermodynamics
You can also watch a vid where a response shows you the science that changes can be for extended periods of time, at 22:55 of the video. Specifically, go to the accompanying slide 47 of the presentation.
chris, we judge the data of roy, not the fact that the work came from him. showing evidence to refute the work, any work, is what SBM is about.
You have been shown the evidence, your mind is just too closed to accept it. If you don’t like the answers, repeating the questions does not change them. The problem is with you, not reality.
In light of the opinions of all those who do not believe in the validity of energy-based change on a molecular level, I just wanted to make mention of Masaru Emoto’s discovery that vibrations from thoughts, words and music directed at water can actually change the crystalline structure of it.
So, all you skeptics… in light of the fact that mere thought energy has been scientifically proven to actually alter the crystalline structure of water, tell me again how the fact that homeopathic dilutions that have no detectable active ingredient left in them beyond a certain attenuation level is proof that they cannot possibly work.
People seem to think that if it cannot be measured by our limited human technologies, that it does not exist. What an insufferably arrogant assumption. Remember that the notion that the earth is round was once thought to be preposterous. People based what they assumed to be real on what they could see– the apparent flatness of the ground– until humankind developed the ability to prove otherwise.
That is all.
If this claim about thought energy cannot be measured by human senses or technologies, what on Earth does “has been scientifically proven” mean? What data are you, or Emoto, working from?
By the way, the Earth has been known to be round for over 2,000 years. That fact wasn’t determined by guesswork, or by a voice from the sky announcing it. It was determined by people working from observations, including differences in the angle of sunlight in different places.
If you met someone who thought the Earth was flat, would you expect them to take your word that it isn’t, or would you show them the evidence?
Please provide the actual evidence that this is the case. No meaningful information is available at the link provided; only vague unsubstantiated assertions.
Nobody says “proof that they cannot possibly work.” We say “evidence that they are vanishingly unlikely to work.”
People seem to think that if it cannot be measured by our limited human technologies, that it does not exist.
No, we think that if it cannot be measured by current technology, it cannot be demonstrated to exist, and anyone who claims as a fact that it does, cannot substantiate said assertion.
And demonstrating the efficacy of homeopathy is well within reach technologically. It requires no technology that wasn’t readily available a couple hundred years ago. Yet, homeopaths have never managed to actually DO it.
So, all you skeptics… in light of the fact that mere thought energy has been scientifically proven to actually alter the crystalline structure of water,
That has not been shown! Those pictures are interpreted in a subjective way, not objectively (this means it is someone’s opinion, not an actual measurable difference). Wishing it was true will not make it true.
You need to do two things to prove homeopathy works:
1) Get a well documented from a third party (a real doctor) that a non-self-limiting condition was cured with homeopathy, and nothing else. It has to be a condition that does not get better on its own (flu, cold) or waxes and wains.
2) Be able to distinguish two homeopathic remedies from one another without a label, and to their solvent (water, alcohol) or lactose pill. If you manage to do that you can win a case prize!
homeopathy works; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17101766
@ tony webb @ 82/83:
That’s a common misconception among people who know what results they want out of science but don’t know enough about how science works: they think that if one study appears to show “XYZ works” then that settles it, and XYZ works!
But that’s not how it works. For starters, studies are evaluated as showing positive results if the probability that the results seen were due to chance is less than 5%. But one obvious implication of this is that 5% of the time, a study which is testing an incorrect hypothesis is going to nevertheless get positive results.
The above all applies even when XYZ is a hypothesis which has basic scientific plausibility: i.e., for XYZ to be true would not mean that large swaths of everything we know about physics and chemistry must be wrong, for instance. But XYZ is homeopathy, which very notably does not have that basic scientific plausibility. It would take far more than one study, published in a journal which is actually dedicated to therapies which cannot prove themselves scientifically and are therefore relegated to “alternative” medicine, to prove that homeopathy works.
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