Homeopathy is a alternative medical practice based on the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself. In the philosophy behind homeopathic medicine, symptoms of an illness are viewed as normal responses of the body as it attempts to regain health.
Literally meaning “similar suffering” by definition, it is based on the idea that “like cures like”.
With beginnings from around 1790 when Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor, already unimpressed by contemporary medicine (remember, back then blood-letting and hot plasters were common treatments) had developed a fever, the resulting actions he took to treat it led him to sort of an epiphany…
In 1790 Hahnemann developed a fever that transformed his career. After swallowing powder from the bark of a cinchona tree, he saw his temperature rise. Cinchona bark contains quinine, which was already known to treat malaria. Hahnemann considered the facts: cinchona seemed to give him a fever; fever is a symptom of malaria; and cinchona treats malaria. He then made an acrobatic leap of logic: medicines bring on the same symptoms in healthy people as they cure in sick ones. Find a substance that induces an illness and it might treat that illness in another.
Thereafter, Hahnemann decided the smaller the amount of the active ingredient, the more powerful the resulting medicine through a process called potentiation, meaning ingredients are diluted and shaken repeatedly.
(Born was an industry that now finds Americans spending $3 billion a year.)
According to our source article in The Economist, “Why homeopathy is nonsense“, the extreme dilution process, the potentiation, and the aspect that these homeopathic pills “are supposed to retain a ‘memory’ of the original substance“, is bunk. And the NIH (National Institutes of Health) pretty much agrees:
…because it is hard to examine the effects of a medicine when that medicine has little or no active ingredient.
Contributing even further to the “bunk” viewpoint, The Economist reported regarding a specific comprehensive trial comparing homeopathic and conventional medicines:
In the bigger, well-designed trials, there was “no convincing evidence” that homeopathy was more effective than a placebo, they found. Meanwhile, in similar trials of conventional drugs, medicines showed specific clinical effects.
To the believers in alternative medicine use, especially to those who have had positive outcomes to their experience with homeopathic medicine, claiming it as bunk will just create more reasons to debunk the bunk…