Does homeopathy work?

Published: August 26, 2020

Homeopathy is a system of medicine devised by a German doctor in the late 18th century. Samuel Hahnemann became disenchanted with existing medical practices of his time and decided to investigate new techniques. So, he began to carry out experiments on himself and other healthy volunteers until he came up with the “like cures like” theory. According to Hahnemann’s findings, an illness can be treated with a tiny fraction of the same substance that caused it in the first place.

In order to ensure treatment was safe, the potentially harmful substance was heavily diluted with water and alcohol. This process then became a core principle of homeopathy, stating that the more diluted the substance, the greater its healing power. Homeopaths believe that shaking the vessel during the dilution process helps to “imprint the healing energy of the medicinal substance throughout the body of water”, the NHS cites. In some cases, a substance is diluted 30 times until it is thought to be at its maximum strength. This process is called succession.

But is it true?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the theory. Some critics say there is no difference between taking a homeopathic pill and a placebo, as the substance is often so diluted none of its molecules are left. The concept of a substance being able to leave an imprint on water is also disputed, as there is no concrete proof that this is possible. Supporters of homeopathy, however, argue that sub-atomic particles in the substance can become entangled with sub-atomic particles in water, thus leaving an imprint, or ‘memory’.

According to the NHS, there is no clinical proof for homeopathy either and trials have consistently suggested that it is no more effective than a placebo. Again, this is disputed by supporters, who claim that the way clinical trials are conducted goes against homeopathic theory. Their belief is that each patient needs to be assessed individually, with medicine administered carefully on a case by case basis, not just selected at random. Before even beginning to discuss the health issue at hand, a homeopathic practitioner will ask for a complete account of the patient’s lifestyle, including diet, personality and sleeping habits, in order to help them determine precisely which treatment will be most effective.

Even so, the British Homeopathic Association claims that 44% of controlled randomised trials in homeopathy have reported positive effects.

Should I consider homeopathy to treat my illness?

Although there is arguably little scientific proof for homeopathic theory, many patients swear by it. In fact, the practice is an approved type of complementary an alternative medicine (CAM) in the UK, and you can even get free treatment from the National Health Service.

Some homeopaths claim that they are able to treat even the most serious of illnesses without the help of traditional medicine. However, most health professionals agree that the CAM should be used to complement normal treatment in severe cases, rather than replace it. This is especially applicable to conditions such as HIV, cancer, diabetic coma, malaria and heart attacks.

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Images: Wikimedia Commons

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Published August 26, 2020 by in Health Conditions

12 Responses to “Does homeopathy work?”

  1. stop the diabetis

    21. Aug, 2011

    The best natural treatment in a supplement that prevents and controls the diabetes and balances the levels of sugar in blood.

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  2. Well, it always sounds that science is trying to revile Homeopathy.
    We can hear those troubling background sounds, in which bestsellers such as: “Trick or treatment” trying to influence the public’s opinion, making homeopathy look bad, and showing us- the Classical Homeopaths as greedy creatures, who just try to make more money over the back of our poor patients .
    We ca see it working every day, watch the amazing power of healing of the homeopathic remedies, influencing beautifully on our patients vital force, becoming more healthy happy and strong.
    Many of my patients come with no belief and are AMAZED TO SEE THE RESULTS of homeopathic treatment. Such treatment that touches your mind, body and soul.
    I think that we are in a path to a new era, where there will be no more antibiotics, and many diseases might spread out, and there will be no medications, no real answer- and then homeopathy could rise above, and prove that we do not need Reseach, our Materia Medica and our Provings, provides us the whole package!

    I am sending here all my love wishing you all, to be happy and healthy.

    Reply to this comment
  3. I sometime hear in my clinic, especially after the first or second dose of homeopathy, that patients are suprized but THEY FEEL IT ! Some of them do come to Homeopathy, may be because of good referalls, but they did not believe it will work. Well, it works. Only one that got the right remedy, can realy tell you. You can feel the difference.
    What about reaserch?
    We have reaserch, but there will always be people that will claim the research was not done “their” way. If it does not bring enough money to the medicine industry, may be its worth not to love it.
    Good luck and health to you all,

    Reply to this comment
  4. homeopathic doctors

    12. Sep, 2010

    I have been following up on this blog for a while and I find it very impressive. I plan to add it to my rss feeds.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Sanjib Sarkar

    27. Aug, 2010

    I have written about many homeopathic trials. Most of the trials are too small to be evaluated properly. Skeptics and proponents know that the trials are too small. The only really large trial done in Homeopathy was with Oscillo. This trial had 700+ participants. It showed Oscillo to reduce the flu by about 6 hours. It also showed Oscillo does nothing to prevent the flu. No larger follow up trial has been done. All other trials in homeopathy are just too small to be considered.

    Reply to this comment
  6. James Pannozzi

    27. Aug, 2010

    The article correctly evaluates Homeopathy as a treatment to consider. While the scientific research for the Homeopathic curative effect is still very much under way, it remains a viable and, often, a far safer option than many modern treatments for many conditions unresponsive to conventional therapeutic attempts, or for which the conventional approach may be too costly, dangerous, or has too many side effects.

    Attempts to misrepresent Homeopathy as “placebo” or other fallacies are doomed to failure as more and more people discover its power and efficacy. Sic transit gloria mundi!

    It is the doctor and patient, not lab scientists trying to pretend that medicine is mathematics, that will prevail.

    Reply to this comment
  7. decembre

    27. Aug, 2010

    On more thing. If Homeopathy is a placebo, why the hell don’t doctors use it ? It’s cheap and it doesn’t interfere with the natural body healing process.

    Reply to this comment
  8. decembre

    27. Aug, 2010

    Hello. Maybe one day, science will discover homeopathy, probably when they can make lots of money out of it.
    Until then, let the skeptics yap, if they prefer talking a chance with over oriced conventionnal remedies that dont cure much either and make you sicker sometimes when it doesn’t kill you.
    And industry of trillions and trillions of dollars that lie on the research against an small industry that never hurt nobody but helped millions of sick people AND ANIMALS.

    Reply to this comment
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  11. Ryan

    26. Aug, 2010

    You could have saved a lot of space and done the subject much more justice if the article had read simply, “No.”

    Are homeopaths seriously citing quantum entanglement as a mechanism for this working? Even if quantum entanglement was taking place, subatomic particles simply don’t translate into active ingredients in any way, shape, or form.

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