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Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake, 25/8/2016
Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake

Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake

Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician, began formulating homeopathy's basic principles in the late 1700s. Hahnemann was justifiably distressed about bloodletting, leeching, purging, and other medical procedures of his day that did far more harm than good. Thinking that these treatments were intended to "balance the body's 'humors' by opposite effects," he developed his "law of similars"—a notion that symptoms of disease can be cured by extremely small amounts of substances that produce similar symptoms in healthy people when administered in large amounts. The word "homeopathy" is derived from the Greek words homoios (similar) and pathos (suffering or disease).

Because homeopathic remedies were actually less dangerous than those of nineteenth-century medical orthodoxy, many medical practitioners began using them. At the turn of the twentieth century, homeopathy had about 14,000 practitioners and 22 schools in the United States.

But as medical science and medical education advanced, homeopathy declined sharply in America, where its schools either closed or converted to modern methods. The last pure homeopathic school in this country closed during the 1920s .

Homeopathy's "law of infinitesimals" is the equivalent of saying that any drop of water subsequently removed from that container will possess an essence of redness. Robert L. Park, Ph.D., a prominent physicist who is executive director of The American Physical Society, has noted that since the least amount of a substance in a solution is one molecule, a 30C solution would have to have at least one molecule of the original substance dissolved in a minimum of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of water. This would require a container more than 30,000,000,000 times the size of the Earth.

The dilution/potentiation process in homeopathy involves a stepwise dilution carried to fantastic extremes, with "succussion" between each dilution. Succussion involves shaking or rapping the container a certain way. During the step-by-step dilution process, how is the emerging drug preparation supposed to know which of the countless substances in the container is the One that means business? How is it that thousands (millions?) of chemical compounds know that they are required to lay low, to just stand around while the Potent One is anointed to the status of Healer? That this scenario could lead to distinct products uniquely suited to treat particular illnesses is beyond implausible.

Thus, until homeopathy's apologists can supply a plausible (nonmagical) mechanism for the "potentiation"-through-dilution of precisely one of the many substances in each of their products, it is impossible to accept that they have correctly identified the active ingredients in their products. Any study claiming to demonstrate effectiveness of a homeopathic medication should be rejected out-of-hand unless it includes a list of all the substances present in concentrations equal to or greater than the purported active ingredient at every stage of the dilution process, along with a rationale for rejecting each of them as a suspect.

Provings involved taking various substances recording every twitch, sneeze, ache or itch that occurred afterward—often for several days. Homeopathy's followers take for granted that every sensation reported was caused by whatever substance was administered, and that extremely dilute doses of that substance would then be just the right thing to treat anyone with those specific symptoms.

As homeopathic treatments are generally used in conditions with variable outcome or showing spontaneous recovery (hence their placebo-responsiveness), these treatments are widely considered to have an effect in some patients. However, despite the large number of comparative trials carried out to date there is no evidence that homeopathy is any more effective than placebo therapy given in identical conditions.

In December 1996, a lengthy report was published by the Homoeopathic Medicine Research Group (HMRG), an expert panel convened by the Commission of the European Communities. The HMRG included homeopathic physician-researchers and experts in clinical research, clinical pharmacology, biostatistics, and clinical epidemiology. Its aim was to evaluate published and unpublished reports of controlled trials of homeopathic treatment. After examining 184 reports, the panelists concluded: (1) only 17 were designed and reported well enough to be worth considering; (2) in some of these trials, homeopathic approaches may have exerted a greater effect than a placebo or no treatment; and (3) the number of participants in these 17 trials was too small to draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment for any specific condition . Simply put: Most homeopathic research is worthless, and no homeopathic product has been proven effective for any therapeutic purpose. The National Council Against Health Fraud has warned that "the sectarian nature of homeopathy raises serious questions about the trustworthiness of homeopathic researchers."

In 1997, a London health authority decided to stop paying for homeopathic treatment after concluding that there was not enough evidence to support its use. The Lambeth, Southwark, and Lewisham Health Authority had been referring more than 500 patients per year to the Royal Homoeopathic Hospital in London. Public health doctors at the authority reviewed the published scientific literature as part of a general move toward purchasing only evidence-based treatments. The group concluded that many of the studies were methodologically flawed and that recent research produced by the Royal Homoeopathic Hospital contained no convincing evidence that homeopathy offered clinical benefit .

Proponents trumpet the few "positive" studies as proof that "homeopathy works." Even if their results can be consistently reproduced (which seems unlikely), the most that the study of a single remedy for a single disease could prove is that the remedy is effective against that disease. It would not validate homeopathy's basic theories or prove that homeopathic treatment is useful for other diseases.

Placebo effects can be powerful, of course, but the potential benefit of relieving symptoms with placebos should be weighed against the harm that can result from relying upon—and wasting money on—ineffective products. Spontaneous remission is also a factor in homeopathy's popularity. I believe that most people who credit a homeopathic product for their recovery would have fared equally well without it.

Homeopaths claim to provide care that is safer, gentler, "natural," and less expensive than conventional care—and more concerned with prevention. However, homeopathic treatments prevent nothing, and many homeopathic leaders preach against immunization. Equally bad, a report on the National Center for Homeopathy's 1997 conference described how a homeopathic physician had suggested using homeopathic products to help prevent and treat coronary artery disease. According to the article, the speaker recommended various 30C and 200C products as alternatives to aspirin or cholesterol-lowering drugs, both of which are proven to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes .

Based on all the evidence considered, there were no health conditions for which there was reliable evidence that homeopathy was effective.

No good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than placebo, or caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment.

Homeopathy should not be used to treat conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious.

People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.

People who are considering whether to use homeopathy should first get advice from a registered health practitioner. Those who use homeopathy should tell their health practitioner, and should keep taking any prescribed treatments .

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Homeopathy: Memo from Robert Pinco, 26/8/2001
Homeopathy: Memo from Robert Pinco

The memo warns that if homeopathic products were required to meet to the same standards of safety and effectivess as other drug products, homeopathy would face extinction in the United States. Several passages have been underlined for emphasis. Subsequent negotiations with FDA officials led to the issuance in 1988 of an FDA Compliance Policy Guide that permit homeopathic products "intended solely for self-limiting disease conditions amenable to self-diagnosis (of symptoms) and treatment" to be marketed as nonprescription drugs.

To: Willard Eldredge, President, American Association of Homeopathic Ph armacists From: Robert G. Pinco, Esquire Date: January 17, 1985 Re: Status of Homeopathy in the United States: Important Ominous Developments

Pending regulatory actions by FDA against two homeopathic manufacturers may present a serious challenge to the continued existence of homeopathy in the United States. The Agency has issued a regulatory letter to Biological Homeopathic Industries, Inc. ("BHI") alleging violations of the new drug provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. It has also issued another regulatory letter to a homeopathic drug manufacturer in Sumas, Washington. You will recall that BHI was the subject of severe criticism by senior FDA officials at Agency meetings held over the last two years with the homeopathic community. BHI has just retained me as legal counsel in this matter and, because of the potential widespread impact of the proceedings, has authorized me to discuss the case.

It is well known that both Messrs.Nychis and Chastonay are "hardliners" with respect to homeopathy, but the position advanced by them is totally untenable, and would be the end of U.S. homeopathy. As we have discussed, we have scheduled a meeting with Mr. Michels next week on behalf of AAHP in an effort to reach a satisfactory resolution of the status of homeopathic drugs (see attached letters). The future of homeopathy must not be decided in the context of a regulatory action against a single manufacturer, but it should be determined from a policy point of view after careful consideration in a well-reasoned decision-making procedure.

Another action by FDA which may have a substantial negative impact on homeopathy is the Agency's modification of its combination drug policy. According to the Agency's latest Compliance Policy Guide issued to its field staff, almost all combinations of ingredients not specifically permitted by an OTC monograph will be viewed by FDA as "new drugs" requiring an approved New Drug Application prior to marketing. (Compliance Policy Guide 7132b.16 provides that combination products marketed after the-start of the OTC Review on May 11, 1972 are "new drugs" and subject to regulatory action if the Agency has dissented from an OTC panel's Category I recommendation for the combination, if the panel has recommended that the combination or one of its active ingredients is Category II or III, or if no OTC panel has considered the specific combination.) This policy is consistent with recent patterns of enforcement actions against combination products, such as toothpastes.

The homeopathic industry has largely enjoyed a laissez faire regulatory approach by FDA since 1978, when we forged the informal agreement with the Agency according favorable marketing status to homeopathic products. This agreement is now over six years old, and it appears that its effective life may be coming to an end. The weakening of the agreement is due in part to the fact that some of the senior personnel who consented to the Agency's noninterference with homeopathy have left the Agency, are leaving, or no longer occupy positions of influence. Current staffers in Compliance, such as Rudolf Apodaca, Richard Chastonay and Bill Nychis, are advocating a hard-line approach to drug regulation in general, including homeopathy, in particular. The Congressional interest in antiquackery actions has placed additional pressures on FDA to take regulatory action. Finally, homeopathy represented a relatively small share of the U.S. drug market in 1978 and FDA expected this medical specialty to wither and die. Its growing popularity is another factor in FDA's reconsideration of its enforcement policy.

It is clear that the status of homeopathy is currently undergoing reassessment by FDA. It is crucial that the homeopathic community in general and the homeopathic industry, in particular, have substantial input into the decision-making process. The first step is to develop a coordinated plan for the regulation of homeopathic products which is acceptable to the industry. Industry spokesmen must then approach FDA in a nonadversarial fashion, as representatives of the entire legitimate homeopathic community dissociated from any individual companies or actions. We must be prepared to use our strength with Senator Hatch, senior management at Health and Human Services, and high level FDA personnel.

It is imperative that the homeopathic industry take immediate steps to resolve the status of homeopathy with FDA before the Agency formulates any unilateral policy. once FDA issues a formal policy pronouncement, the chances of reaching an agreement which is acceptable to homeopathy will be greatly reduced. Our meeting with Dan Michels is a step in the right direction, but it is only the first step. We must be prepared to take whatever action is necessary to secure the position of homeopathy in the United States, before it is regulated out of existence.

Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions, 4/10/2007
Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions

Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions

The one great doctrine which constitutes the basis of Homeopathy as a system is expressed by the Latin aphorism,

These are the three cardinal doctrines of Hahnemann, as laid down in those standard works of Homeopathy, the "Organon" and the "Treatise on Chronic Diseases."

Does Hahnemann himself represent Homeopathy as it now exists? He certainly ought to be its best representative, after having created it, and devoted his life to it for half a century. He is spoken of as the great physician of the time, in most, if not all Homeopathic works. If he is not authority on the subject of his own doctrines, who is? So far as I am aware, not one tangible discovery in the so-called science has ever been ascribed to any other observer, at least, no general principle or law, of consequence enough to claim any prominence in Homeopathic works, has ever been pretended to have originated with any of his illustrious disciples. He is one of the only two Homeopathic writers with whom, as I shall mention, the Paris publisher will have anything to do with upon his own account. The other is Jahr, whose Manual is little more than a catalogue of symptoms and remedies. If any persons choose to reject Hahnemann as not in the main representing Homeopathy, if they strike at his authority, if they wink out of sight his deliberate and formally announced results, it is an act of suicidal rashness; for upon his sagacity and powers of observation, and experience, as embodied in his works, and especially in his Materia, Medica, repose the foundations of Homeopathy as a practical system.

2. The belief in and employment of the infinitesimal doses is general, and in some places universal, among the advocates of Homeopathy; but a distinct movement has been made in Germany to get rid of any restriction to the use of these doses, and to employ medicines with the same license as other practitioners.

Yet this is given only at the quadrillionth, or fourth degree of potency, and various substances are frequently administered at the decillionth or tenth degree, and occasionally at still higher attenuations with professed medicinal results. is there not in this as great an exception to all the hitherto received laws of nature as in the miracle of the loaves and fishes? Ask this question of a Homeopathist, and he will answer by referring to the effects produced by a very minute portion of vaccine matter, or the extraordinary diffusion of odors. But the vaccine matter is one of those substances called morbid poisons, of which it is a peculiar character to multiply themselves, when introduced into the system, as a seed does in the soil. Therefore the hundredth part of a grain of the vaccine matter, if no more than this is employed, soon increases in quantity, until, in the course of about a week, it is a grain or more, and can be removed in considerable drops. And what is a very curious illustration of Homeopathy, it does not produce its most characteristic effects until it is already in sufficient quantity not merely to be visible, but to be collected for further use. The thoughtlessness which can allow an inference to be extended from a product of disease possessing this susceptibility of multiplication when conveyed into the living body, to substances of inorganic origin, such as silex or sulphur, would be capable of arguing that a pebble may produce a mountain, because an acorn can become a forest.

The effects of sixty-four medicinal substances, ascertained by one or both of these methods, are enumerated in the Materia Medica of Hahnemann, which May be considered as the basis of practical Homeopathy. In the Manual of Jahr, which is the common guide, so far as I know, of those who practise Homeopathy in these regions, two hundred remedies are enumerated, many Of which, however, have never been employed in practice. In at least one edition there were no means of distinguishing those which had been tried upon the sick from the others. It is true that marks have been added in the edition employed here, which serve to distinguish them; but what are we to think of a standard practical author on Materia Medica, who at one time omits to designate the proper doses of his remedies, and at another to let us have any means of knowing whether a remedy has ever been tried or not, while he is recommending its employment in the most critical and threatening diseases?

M. Double, a well-known medical writer and a physician of high standing in Paris, had occasion so long ago as 1801, before he had heard of Homeopathy, to make experiments upon Cinchona, or Peruvian bark. He and several others took the drug in every kind of dose for four months, and the fever it is pretended by Hahnemann to excite never was produced.

And it is probably wholly impossible on this side of the Atlantic, and even in most of the public libraries of Europe, to find anything more than a small fraction of the innumerable obscure publications which the neglect of grocers and trunk-makers has spared to be ransacked by the all-devouring genius of Homeopathy. I have endeavored to verify such passages as my own library afforded me the means of doing. For some I have looked in vain, for want, as I am willing to believe, of more exact references. But this I am able to affirm, that, out of the very small number which I have been able to trace back to their original authors, I have found two to be wrongly quoted, one of them being a gross misrepresentation.

AANP Position on Homeopathy, 30/12/2001
AANP Position on Homeopathy

Position on Homeopathy

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians position statement on homeopathy is one of the most damning indictments of naturopathy I have found. Homeopathy is a pseudoscience based on delusions that (a) a substance that produces symptoms in a healthy person can cure ill people with similar symptoms; and (b) the more dilute the remedy, the greater the effect.

All of the full-time naturopathic schools require their students to take several courses on homeopathy. A report on the AANP Web site indicates that in 1995 or 1996, three of the schools listed 66, 140, and 144 hours of homeopathy training in their catalogs.


WHEREAS homeopathy has been an integral part of naturopathic medicine since its inception and is a recognized specialty for which the naturopathic profession has created a distinct specialty organization, the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians,

WHEREAS homeopathy has been recognized, through rigorous testing and experimentation, as having significant scientific evidence supporting its efficacy and safety.

I. Homeopathy is taught in the Naturopathic Colleges and its practice should be included in the naturopathic licensing laws.

Naturopathic physicians recognize other licensed practitioners of the healing arts who are properly trained in homeopathy.

II. The naturopathic profession initiate more clinical trials and provings to further evaluate the effectiveness of homeopathy.

FDA Homeopathy Petition Signers, 16/2/1998
FDA Homeopathy Petition Signers

||| FDA Petition ||| Article on Homeopathy

FDA Homeopathy Petition

||| FDA Petition ||| Article on Homeopathy

FDA Homeopathy Petition, 24/3/2010
FDA Homeopathy Petition

||| List of Petition Signers ||| Article on Homeopathy

||| List of Petition Signers ||| Article on Homeopathy

Rebuttal of Timothy N. Gorski, M.D., 17/12/2005
The NCCAM is the only division of the NIH that is oriented toward a particular class of therapeutic methods, as vague and confused a concept as "CAM" may be. As such, it is the only center that is oriented primarily to the needs, desires and inclinations of practitioners -- whether of acupuncture, homeopathy, "energy medicine" or some other belief system -- instead of the needs, problems and circumstances of patients. Wallace Sampson, MD, Editor of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Stanford University who taught a course there on "alternative medicine" for 22 years, has called the NCCAM "a full employment program for pseudoscientists and poor quality physicians." Funding decisions at the NCCAM reflect these assessments, as I will shortly show.

Ralph Moss, who was fired as assistant director of Public Affairs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for failing "to properly discharge his most basic job responsibilities." He subsequently wrote The Moss Reports, The Cancer Chronicles and several books that attack science-based medicine and extol unproven cancer treatments including those of Stanislaw Burzynski and others. He is still on the Cancer Advisory Panel of the NCCAM and has said that "There is nothing inherently 'ludicrous' about guided imagery, yoga, massage, homeopathy and therapeutic touch" in curing serious disease .

Wayne Jonas MD assumed leadership at the OAM in July of 1995, almost a year after the departure of Dr. Jacobs. Dr. Jonas is a homeopath, a believer in a discredited 18th Century mystical prescientific theory of medicine that asserts the truth of preposterous "laws." One of these, "The Law of Similars," from which homeopathy takes its name, asserts that substances that cause certain symptoms are effective in treating those same symptoms. Another, "The Law of Infinitesimals," states that diluting a substance makes it more potent. Thus, homeopathic "medicine" consists of substances diluted to fantastic proportions, to the point where no molecules of the substance remain.

Dr. Jonas was enamored of homeopathy as a medical student at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in North Carolina. After suggesting that a patient with severe pneumonia be treated with homeopathy, his supervisors asked him to repeat his rotation in medicine.

Dr Jonas co-authored a book on homeopathy in which he makes it clear that he is certain of its effectiveness but is only doubtful about its mechanism. The pattern of nonexistent molecules "must be stored in some way in the diluted water/alcohol mixture" he wrote, suggesting that all manner of occult energies, imaginary "biophotons" or New Age quantum effects could be involved . Of late, Dr. Jonas has become frustrated with homeopathy research, perhaps because of the obvious truth in one medical scientist's observation that such research is nothing more than "a game of chance between two placebos." Dr. Jonas has suggested that validating homeopathy "may require a theory that incorporates subjective variables," which is to say, how the thoughts of patients, doctors, and perhaps their next-door neighbors might influence the effects of a homeopathic remedy. This is in line with mystical beliefs in "nonlocal effects" caused by "intentionality," or, in other words, psychic powers.

Sister Charlotte Rose Kerr is an acupuncturist who is said to "integrate" theology into her methods. This might be assumed to be Catholicism but she has taught and practiced at the Tai Sophia Institute in Columbia, Maryland since 1977 at which Qi Gong, homeopathy, food supplementation, shiatzu and "zero balancing" are offered . Links from the Tai Sophia website include IONS, the Esalen Institute, and the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, another New Age organization.

Jonas, Wayne B and Jacobs, Jennifer, Healing With Homeopathy: the Complete Guide, Warner Books 1995.

Jonas WB "The Homeopathy Debate," J Altern Complement Med 2000 Jun;6(3):213-5.

Some Notes on the Quantum Xrroid (QXCI) and William C. Nelson, 3/1/2010
On moving to Denver, Nelson took a teaching assignment at Lafayette University, where he taught nutrition, anatomy, physiology, medicine, homeopathy, and corporate wellness . . AMNA began operations in Ohio in 1983 and moved to Colorado in 1987.]

Dr. Nelson has been one of the most prolific lecturers and writers on the subjects of quantum biology, energetic medicine, homeopathy, alternative medicine, and the entire field of naturopathy. He has lectured around the globe on these subjects, and brought his unique synergistic prospective to integrate the sciences of mathematics, quantum physics, electronics, naturopathy, homeopathy and energetic medicine. His lecture at the Royal Society of Medicine in London is still talked about. Having authored over 70 studies and 20 books on Homeopathy, Dr. Nelson is one of the greatest contributors to natural medicine ever .

Dr. Nelson was elected president of the American Nutrimedical Association and has doctorates in homeopathy, naturopathy, science, business, and international law . Nelson's listings in AMNA's 1985 and 1991 directories mention "NMD" (doctor of nutrimedicine), ND (doctor of naturopathy), and PhD degrees. At that time, the only requirement for obtaining an NMD "diploma" was completion of a short application and payment of a $250 fee. Nelson was listed on AMNA's letterhead in 1992 as AMNA president with NMD and "DSc." after his name. I have never seen any evidence that ANMA held elections.] Another biographical sketch states that Nelson obtained his "ND degree" from "Clayton." I assume that this refers to Dr. Clayton's School of Natural Healing, a nonaccredited correspondence school that offered a a "100-hour course" that led to its degree. His "international law degree" came from make-believe Lafayette University .

After leaving Colorado, Nelson became a Professor of Homeopathy at the College of Practical Homeopathy in London and then was hired as a Professor of Medicine at the postgraduate education department of Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest .

The device fires low levels of current into the patient and then in a method similar to radar, reads the bounced signals and transfers them to a database. The data base consists of several thousand diagnostic categories from several different medical disciplines including homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, traditional medical, as well as astrology, prayer wells, and other mystical data. Upon studying the software I also found pornographic images embedded in it, for what reason I was unable to determine.

Barrett S. Homeopathy: The ultimate fake. Quackwatch, Aug 26, 2001.

FDA Compliance Policy Guide (CPG 7132.15) Conditions under Which Homeopathic Drugs May Be Marketed, 10/10/2013
The term "homeopathy" is derived from the Greek words homeo (similar) and pathos (suffering or disease). The first basic principles of homeopathy were formulated by Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700's. The practice of homeopathy is based on the belief that disease symptoms can be cured by small doses of substances which produce similar symptoms in healthy people.

This document provides guidance on the regulation of OTC and prescription homeopathic drugs and delineates those conditions under which homeopathic drugs may ordinarily be marketed in the U.S. Agency compliance personnel should particularly consider whether a homeopathic drug is being offered for use (or promoted) significantly beyond recognized or customary practice of homeopathy.

1. Homeopathy: The practice of treating the syndromes and conditions which constitute disease with remedies that have produced similar syndromes and conditions in healthy subjects.

3. Homeotherapeutics: Involves therapy which utilizes drugs that are selected and administered in accordance with the tenets of homeopathy.

5. Compendium of Homeotherapeutics: An addendum to the HPUS which contains basic premises and concepts of homeopathy and homeotherapeutics; specifications and standards of preparation, content, and dosage of homeopathic drugs; a description of the proving* process used to determine the eligibility of drugs for inclusion in HPUS; the technique of prescribing the therapeutic application of homeopathic drugs; and a partial list of drugs which meet the criteria of the proving process and are eligible for inclusion in HPUS and other homeopathic texts.

Unnaturalistic Methods: C, 3/7/2009
classical homeopathy: Form of homeopathy that involves extensive questioning of the patient by the practitioner, purportedly to determine the "single remedy" for that patient: the "one therapeutic ideal" that "embraces" mental, emotional, and physical "levels."

complex homeopathy: Form of homeopathy that involves obtaining an extensive patient history and using several "remedies" or "substances" in combination. It may include electrodiagnosis.

contemporary homeopathy: Form of homeopathy whose purported "intervention" is augmentation of all symptoms of a disease through administration of homeopathic preparations.

curanderismo (curanderismo healing system): Mexican-American "healing" tradition. It encompasses acupuncture and homeopathy. Its theory posits natural and supernatural sources of illness; alleged supernatural sources include evil spirits and brujos (practitioners of antisocial magic).

Unnaturalistic Methods: H, 26/1/2005
holistic dentistry (holistic general dentistry): Form of general dentistry that may include acupuncture, biofeedback, CranioSacral Therapy, and/or homeopathy.

holistic nursing (wholistic nursing): Form of nursing that exalts intuition and may include AMMA Therapy, biofeedback, guided imagery, Healing Touch, homeopathy, iridology, massage therapy, Oriental medicine (especially acupuncture), psychic healing, tai chi, and/or Therapeutic Touch. Its purported goal is integration of body, mind, and spirit.

holistic psychiatry: Form of "psychiatry" that may include biofeedback, bodywork, energy healing (see "vibrational medicine"), and homeopathy.

homeopathy (homeopathic medicine, homeotherapeutics, homoeopathy): Form of energy medicine (vibrational medicine) developed by German physician Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann (1755-1843). Hahnemann coined the word "dynamis" to refer to the "vital force." His final theory held that the "vital force" is the source of all biological phenomena, that it becomes deranged during illness, and that appropriate homeopathic "remedies" work by restoring the "vital force."

The major principles of homeopathy include the following. (a) A substance with specific effects in a healthy person can cure a person with similar symptoms. (b) The process of repeated dilution and vigorous shaking of harmful substances renders them "medically active" yet "free of side effects." (c) Each body has only one soul; thus, a person has only one core problem at a time, and only one remedy is necessary for a "curative action." (d) Proper selection of a remedy requires taking into account numerous minutiae about the patient's situation.

homeovitics (homoeovitics): Contemporary "approach to homeopathy" developed circa 1979 by Allen Morgan Kratz, Pharm.D., and promoted by HoBoN, a "pharmaceutical manufacturer" in Naples, Florida. ("HoBoN" stands for "Homoeovitic + Bio + Nutritionals.") A booklet received from the company in 1993 defined "homoeovitics" as "the intensification of the body's healing energies through the use of vitalization." A "Practitioner's Handbook" received by mail from HoBoN in June 1995 states:

The Human Ecology Program: Purported synthesis of aerobics, biochemistry, homeopathy, naturopathy, orthomolecular medicine, philosophy, and "psycho-cybernetics" developed by artist and "research physician" Da Vid, M.D. Its theory depicts God as "The Life Force": an eternal, fun damental, omnipotent, and omnipresent -- yet mysterious (indeed, indefinable) -- "Power" immanent in humans. A "fundamental component" of the program is, in effect, the endeavor to become identical to "The Power." The Human Ecology Program apparently embraces: Artainment; bodywork (especially chiropractic); "communion," meditation, and/or prayer; dietary supplementation; The Freedom Aerobic Exercise Program (a videotape program); homeovitics; and radionics.

The Eisenberg Data: Flawed and Deceptive, 20/6/2004

Relaxation techniques, homeopathy

The authors go on with their finding that "fewer than 3 in 10 users of unconventional therapy mention its use to their medical doctors," ignoring the fact that some of this "unconventional medicine" may even have been supplied by or at the recommendation of medical doctors. Moreover, the importance of visits to "unconventionals" is variable. A physician may not attach much importance to whether a patient had a massage, attended a Weight Watchers' meeting, or even seen a chiropractor in the previous 12 months. No one study is expected to answer all questions about an investigated matter. But what would be useful to know is how many people, given a serious diagnosis by a physician, seek out acupuncture, homeopathy, or a brown rice diet in lieu of appropriate medical or surgical treatment, or use substances that interfere with prescribed drugs? How many unnecessarily use ineffective methods for disorders that are self-limited?

Dr. Eisenberg was the keynote speaker, and he used his time to review his 1990 data. He admitted that much of the "unconventional medicine" considered in the survey was essentially "extended self-care." He then, without further explanation, began referring to "alternative medicine" and focused on herbs, acupuncture, and homeopathy. There was no discussion of "relaxation techniques," which accounted for the largest use of "unconventional medicine" in his 1993 article. There was no consideration of chiropractic, massage, imagery, or "spiritual healing" or of commercial weight-loss programs. Dr. Eisenberg, at this same conference in 1997, ridiculed critics of homeopathy as having taken the position that, "it can't work, so it doesn't work?"

We have known for several years that approximately 1 in 3 adults in the United States uses chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, or one of many other treatment modalities.


Naturopathic Misrepresentations, 30/8/2002

Comment: Homeopathy has no specific effects on any disease, because the preparations contain no active ingredients. Any apparent effect is due to well-understood phenomena that are common to all patient-practitioner interactions and are the basis for most "alternative" claims. See p.

A systematic review.Scand J Rheumatol 1997;26(6):444-7). Homeopathy has no effect on arthritis or any other disease. The authors of the quotations above are frequent contributors to the treatises on the AANP website.

"However, there are lots of other ways to control DM (Diabetes Mellitus), including Botanical Medicine with its array of insulin-like plants, Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and psychological approaches."

"Diets low in fats cause the illness to go into remission and the symptoms to diminish. In my opinion, homeopathy is also a cornerstone of treatment for multiple sclerosis along with diet.

"N.D.'s use many different treatments during the various stages of gestation and birth, including some that most conventional doctors are unfamiliar with. For instance, some N.D.'s use homeopathy before labor begins to help a breach baby turn to the correct "head-down" position. In some cases, the homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla is used when the baby is not yet in the right position for delivery. Naturopathic physicians have seen that within twelve hours of giving a dose of Pulsatilla to the mother, the baby turns by itself."

Comment: There are no published data to support these claims. There never will be, because homeopathy is at odds with facts. What would the Board of Registration in Medicine think of a medical doctor who required his patient to invite him to dinner? "Dr. Zeff" is Jared Zeff, the former Academic Dean of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Cheers and Jeers from Quackwatch Visitors, 5/12/2013
Not too long ago, a newsletter released by my Flexplan insurance spouted stuff about alternative medicine, including homeopathy. Now I don't think it's a good idea for such nonsense to come from something of apparent authority. I called up and told them so, that Homeopathy has no basis in science. You know what I was told? That it was "just my belief" and something to the effect that "not everyone wants to use science as a basis for their health." I was horrified and disgusted that something like this was coming from people who administer my health coverage!!! I have linked to your site.

Wow! You have one bitter site against anyone questioning the dogma of the current medical/scientific mafia. Science is mostly crap! I go by my own science . . . . If I do something, and it makes me healthy, then it works. How can I deny that? I don't believe you any more than your other fellow quacks. What you claim about the forms of medicine that you dislike so passionately just is not true. I have observed homeopathy healing people, including myself. I have observed herbs helping conditions. I have seen these things working. You sound like the quack. Anyway, it was a free world until your type stepped in and saved us from our liberty. Sieg Heil!

homeopathy remedies relieved her of two very painful conditions:

Your excellent web-site is really helpful to me. A number of the quackeries listed in your site are trying to victimise our citizens here. If you have the opportunity, kindly pass my word to your country's politician that, whatever decision they made will not only affect the peoples of your country, but also the peoples of other countries, like us. One example being Homeopathy.

After reading your "Jeers" page, I became concerned that emotional dyscontrol, scatalogia, and a precipitous decline in general IQ may be heretofore unrecognized side effects of homeopathy, chiropractic therapy, herbalism, and the like. Someone should look into this.

Unethical and Ignorant Behavior of Pharmacists, 20/7/2011
In 1987, two pharmacy school professors sent a questionnaire to 1000 pharmacists in the Detroit metropolitan area and received 197 responses. Among the 116 who identified their five most-common reasons for recommending vitamins or minerals, 66 (56%) listed fatigue and 57 (49%) listed stress . (Neither reason is valid.) Homeopathic products have no therapeutic value But in response to a question about homeopathy, 27.4% said it was "useful," 18.3% judged it "useless," and 54.3% "didn't know."

A study at the University of Minnesota School of Pharmacy published in 2006 found that only 26% of faculty members and 3% of senior PharmD students considered homeopathy ineffective and 23% of faculty members and 35% of students said they had no opinion .

The code of ethics of the American Pharmacists Association (APHA) does not state that pharmacists have a duty to prevent dubious products from lining their shelves . A few states have laws declaring it illegal for pharmacists to sell ineffective products, but these laws have never been applied to the sale of OTC products. In 1995, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy passed a resolution critical of homeopathy. Though commendable, this resolution has had no visible impact on pharmacy practice.

W. Steven Pray, Ph.D., D.Ph., a professor at the Southwestern Oklahoma State University College of Pharmacy has concluded that pharmacists sell homeopathic products for three reasons: wilful ignorance, blatant dishonesty, and overwhelming greed. He also notes that the APhA endorses homeopathic products by (a) permitting homeopathic sellers to rent booth space at its conventions, (b) providing proponents with a national forum that reaches APhA members, and (c) publishing book chapters and articles that fail to adequately criticize homeopathy .

Like other professions, pharmacy is under tremendous external and internal pressure to accept and recommend products lacking proof of safety and efficacy, and not grounded in evidence-based medicine. Pharmacy colleges should include a required course in unproven medications and therapies. It should address the benefits of an evidence-based approach to medicine in general and to pharmaceutical care in particular. It should discuss the ethical dilemma inherent in recommending products lacking proof of safety and efficacy. When unproven systems are taught (eg, homeopathy), they must be clearly labeled as such and their departures from evidence-based medicine clarified for students.

Barrett S. Homeopathy: The ultimate fake. Quackwatch, Aug 23, 2009.

URAC Violators, 17/11/2004
Dozens of articles on these sites make unsupportable claims. Searching for "homeopathy," for example, yields more than 30 such articles. including one by a homeopathic manufacturer who states:

Homeopathy, like chiropractic, works bioenergetically to correct dysfunctions or nerve interferences. Remarkably, homeopathy has the ability to correct nerve interferences throughout the whole body -- even in places where the hands of the chiropractor cannot! Homeopathy empowers the chiropractor to be the doctor of the whole nervous system and get the broad spectrum of results the founding fathers of chiropractic declared they would.

HealthAtoZ, at the time URAC accredited it, contained many articles with false or unsubstantiated claims for homeopathy, vitamins, and various other "alternative approaches." One article about homeopathy, for example, stated: "Acute homeopathic prescribing is thought to benefit a wide range of ailments. These include altitude sickness, Bell's palsy, the common cold, allergies, coughing, dengue fever, dysentery, earaches, migraine headaches, fever, food poisoning, grief, influenza, motion sickness, shock, sore throat, surgical complications, and reactions to vaccinations and drug therapy. Acute remedies may also be prescribed to treat insect stings, animal bites, and problems related to poison oak and poison ivy. It may be further employed in treating injuries including black eyes, burns, bruises, concussions, cuts, damaged tendons and ligaments, dislocations, fractures, herniated discs, nosebleeds, puncture wounds, sprains, and strains." Three of the site's medical advisors who looked at articles I sent them said that they had not seen them before and were shocked at how bad they were. One reviewer mentioned that although he had provided advice on some articles, he had never looked at the site. In response to prodding from me and a warning from an official of the Health on the Net Foundation (overseer of the HONcode), HealthAtoZ removed all (more than 100) of the articles I complained about. Unfortunately, after HON finished its review, most of the bad articles were restored.

Analysis of the Final WHCCAMP Report: Chapter 4, 4/8/2004
Since the public utilizes both conventional health care and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), the Commission believes that this reality should be reflected in the education and training of all health practitioners. [Appropriate education would inform students that homeopathy is worthless, chiropractic "subluxations" are delusions, the flow of "chi" through "acupuncture meridians" is a nonsensical concept, and chelation therapy doesn't work.

Required and elective courses included acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, meditation, manual healing techniques, nutritional supplement therapy, and spirituality, according to the questionnaire.


In a study of an allopathic medical school with no formal or elective courses in CAM, third-year medical students were found to have insufficient knowledge about the safety of 10 common CAM modalities . These modalities included massage therapy, herbal medicine, meditation, chiropractic, hypnosis, spiritual healing, acupuncture, homeopathy, reflexology, and naturopathy.

10.5 Expansion of eligibility of CAM students at accredited institutions for existing of loan programs should be explored.

In an attempt to provide some uniform guidance, the Federation of State Medical Boards' Special Committee for the Study of Unconventional Health Care Practices has begun to develop guidelines for the use of CAM. These guidelines address education, but they focus on the scientific basis of treatment methods without delineating any specific education or training requirements. Simultaneously, nascent efforts by physician organizations to standardize CAM education and training for allopathic and osteopathic physicians have emerged. The American Board of Holistic Medicine, for example, has administered a board certification examination covering 13 areas of holistic medicine, including exercise medicine, nutritional medicine, environmental medicine, biomolecular medicine, behavioral medicine, spiritual medicine, energy medicine, social medicine, manual medicine, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, ethnomedicine including acupuncture, and conventional medicine. For physicians practicing medical acupuncture, the American Board of Medical Acupuncture has developed and administered a board certification examination.

Miscellaneous Quackery-Related, 22/10/2012
There is a seemingly endless supply of unproven therapies. Homeopathy touches a particularly raw nerve with many of us for two reasons. First, it is such an enormous claim. If it the principles of homeopathy are true, this is a discovery that requires a paradigm shift orders of magnitude larger that those stimulated by Galileo, Newton or Einstein. It's not impossible. Second ...This monumental discovery is supported by what? The ramblings of a 19th century quack? The Believers that come into my practice wanting all their teeth pulled because their homeopathic practitioner has used dowsing to test the toxicity of their partial denture? Guys on the internet who hear about things in India?

In homeopathic medicine, there is no real medicine, so the most incredible things can be sold. You'll see homeopathic products even in drugstores. Homeopathy is based on the belief that the drugs that bring on the symptoms are the drugs to take. This is supposed to make your body stronger in its fight for wellness. There is no evidence to support the theories of homeopathy. . . . All these companies are riding the wave of homeopathy to sell you a bunch of crap.

Book Review: Herbal Medicines, Third Edition (2008), 6/9/2008
The first chapter asks “how do you determine the truth?” and explains the scientific method. Four chapters address the scientific evidence for four major alternative approaches: acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Thirty-six lesser modalities are covered in an appendix. The final chapter asks “does the truth matter?”

Singh and Ernst provide many other noteworthy examples of good and not-so-good science, from James Lind’s life-saving experiments on British sailors with scurvy to Benveniste’s discredited homeopathy study in Nature. They debunk many of the fallacies of alternative medicine: the “natural” fallacy, the “traditional” fallacy, the “holistic” fallacy, the “science can’t test alternative medicine” fallacy, the “science doesn’t understand alternative medicine” fallacy, and the “science is biased against alternative ideas” fallacy. They discuss placebos and explain why they don’t condone using them. They name ten classes of culprit in the promotion of unproven and disproven medicine, from the media to alternative gurus to the World Health Organization. They discuss the role of prior plausibility in deciding directions for future research. They quote Carl Sagan:

With respect to homeopathy, the evidence points towards a bogus industry that offers patients nothing more than a fantasy.

Criticisms of Trick or Treatment reveal an appalling poverty of thought. No one can seriously question the authors' reasoning, so opponents resort to other tactics. A homeopathy Web site resorts to denying that science is a useful tool. It essentially calls evidence-based medicine quackery! Other critics simply criticize every defect of conventional science-based medicine, as if imperfections in applied science somehow prove that a nonscientific approach is better! They misrepresent what the book says and use ad hominem insults, ridiculously attacking Ernst as “desperate to find ANYTHING to discredit CAM.” I haven’t found any critics who have even tried to cogently address the points the book makes.

It’s easy to criticize with generalizations. Emily Rosa’s therapeutic touch study was accused of “poor design and methodology,” but as Singh and Ernst point out, “ protocol was simple and clear and her conclusion was hard to fault. Moreover, nobody has ever come up with an experiment that has overturned her findings.” If proponents of alternative medicine come up with good experiments that overturn the present findings, Singh and Ernst have made it clear that they will gladly accept them. In fact, Ernst has offered a prize of 10,000 to the first person who can show homeopathy is better than a placebo in a scientifically controlled trial. No one has applied for his money.

HON Violators, 18/9/2006
HealthAtoZ: Contains many irresponsible articles promoting homeopathy and other "complementary and alternative" methods.

Homeopathy Helpline: Irresponsible promotion of homeopathy with statements such as "Homeopathy has the power to heal so many problems, including those that doctors cannot help."

Homeopathy World: Promotes homeopathic misconceptions and claims that homeopathic immunization products are safer and more effective than standard vaccines. HON withdrew its authorization on 1/20/04

Stay Away from Adrenal Cortical Extract (ACE), 9/8/2006
In Germany, perhaps a key factor is the feeling of unity with Nature (Naturphilosophie) required for action to be complete and satisfying. Add a tint of Hahnemann's homeopathy, Steiner's anthroposophical medicine, and a few mystical legends. In Britain, perhaps it is the tolerance of the unique, eccentric, and bizarre. In Asia, it is the sense of tradition and partnering of spirituality and cosmology with all phases of life.

In a strange twist of the braid, constructivist sociologist-historians of medicine in an "alternative medicine" journal have already turned the tables on our analysis of language distortion and accused rationalist scientists' use of realistic terms like quackery, misrepresentation, and fraud of being merely prejudicial and biased. They call for more neutral terms to describe absurd methods like homeopathy. Thus the strings of constructivism and propaganda complement each other in the braid.

In the course of a legal action, I had opportunity to review the major papers claimed to be positive by homeopaths. We presented some analyses of these papers at the AAAS in 1997, in Skeptical Inquirer (Summer 1997), and in other journals. Most of the alleged positive reports showed serious defects including selected end points, analysis of aggregated data as if they were homogeneous, extraordinarily large confidence intervals with minimal significance, selected reporting of differences in recorded curves, miscalculations and misrecording of data, omissions of control and other objective data, and combining different disease categories into meta-analyses. Why peer reviewers miss such errors is unexplained. To make matters worse, another meta-analysis appearing in the Lancet in the fall of 1997 recorded the results of homeopathy studies at face value, despite the papers' faults. The meta-analysis is now a reference for the claim that homeopathy cannot be entirely explained by placebo action.

One quick test for the usefulness of an "alternative" therapy is to ask oneself, what would happen if this therapy were tomorrow no longer available? How much would acupuncture and homeopathy be missed? How about antineoplastons, immunoaugmentive therapy, laetrile, and unsupervised megavitamins? If the public had never heard of them, the common health would not suffer a bit. On the other hand, how would the public handle absence of antibiotics, X-rays, anesthesia, and major operations?

My Concerns about "Holistic" and "Biological" Dentistry, 27/1/2016
The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation of La Mesa, California, was founded in 1952 as the Santa Barbara Medical Research Foundation, became the Weston Price Memorial Foundation in 1965, and adopted its current name in 1969. It has about 1,200 members. Its Web site describes it as "the source for quality information on the origins of health through nutrition and lifestyle." Its newsletter, book catalog, and information service promote food faddism, megavitamin therapy, homeopathy, chelation therapy, and many other dubious practices. It is also the repository for many of Price's manuscripts and photographs. In March 2015, its online directory listed 79 dentists as professional members.

The American Academy of Biological Dentistry (IABD) was formed in 1985 and was renamed the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine (IABDM) in 2005. IABDM's founding mission statement says: "The IABDM supports dentists, physicians and allied practitioners committed to integrating body, mind, spirit and mouth, and caring for the whole person." Its seminars have promoted "mercury-free dentistry," "detoxification, "cavitation surgery," electromagnetics, sound, light, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal therapy, nutrition, and "an integrated approach to body, mind and spirit, with diagnosis and treatment of the whole person." In March 2015, its online directory listed 161 dentists and 18 members from other professions in the United States.

Homeopathy is a pseudoscience based on 200-year-old notions that (a) substances that produce symptoms in healthy people can cure ill people with similar symptoms and (b) infinitesimal doses can be highly potent .

Barrett S. Homeopathy: The ultimate fake. Quackwatch, Oct 4, 2007.

Consumer Health Library: Recommended Reference Books, 7/3/2014
Copeland's Cure: Homeopathy and the War Between Conventional and Alternative Medicine: Fascinating history of homeopathy in America and Senator Royal Copeland, who spearheaded the federal law that protects it.

The History of Homeopathy in America: The Academic Years, 1820-1935. Details the reasons for homeopathy's popularity during the nineteenth century and the collapse of its schools during the twentieth.

A Close Look at Naturopathy, 26/11/2013
Most of the things naturopaths do have not been scientifically substantiated; and some—such as homeopathy—clearly are worthless. In many cases, naturopaths combine sensible dietary advice (based on medically proven strategies) with senseless recommendations for products.

In 1901, Lust organized a national convention and chaired a committee that endorsed the use of massage, herbs, homeopathy, spinal manipulation, and various types of occult healing. In 1902, he purchased the rights to the term "naturopathy" from John H. Scheel, another Kneipp disciple, who had coined it in 1895. That same year, he began referring to himself as a naturopath, opened the American Institute of Naturopathy, and replaced the Kneipp Societies with a national naturopathic organization. Lindlahr further systematized naturopathy and opened a sanitarium and a school in a Chicago suburb. Macfadden popularized exercise and fasting. Tilden contributed notions about "auto-intoxication" (said to be caused by fecal matter remaining too long in the intestines) and "toxemia" (alleged to be "the basic cause of all diseases").

Much of naturopathy's coursework embraces practices—such as homeopathy—that have zero validity.

Students in the naturopathic degree program are required to take three courses in homeopathy and can elect to take three more. The Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Scottsdale, Arizona, was founded in 1992. The University of Bridgeport College of Natural Medicine in Bridgeport, Connecticut, began classes in 1997. The National University of Health Sciences, located near Chicago, which has offered chiropractic degrees since 1966, got its doctor of naturopathy program approved in 2006.

Alternative Medicine: A Public Health Perspective, 25/1/2009
The FDA's 1968 landmark study found that 1% reported "ever having used" a naturopath, but naturopathy didn't even make a showing in 1990. Acupuncture use was under 1%, which was substantially less than the 4% Harris reported in 1987 . The use of homeopaths was very low in both studies—.5% reported "ever having used" a homeopath in 1969, while 0.32% used a practitioner in 1990. Only two areas showed a significant increase in use: over-the-counter herbal and homeopathic remedies, both of which are clearly due to aggressive marketing in the face of lax regulation by the FDA. A major homeopathic manufacturer noted that although homeopathy had received much favorable publicity and sales of homeopathic medicines to consumers with little knowledge of homeopathy were "way up," sales to physicians and consumers using the more traditional homeopathic medicines were "flat."

Acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, and some types of massage therapy are rooted in vitalism, the theory that biological activities are directed by a supernatural force. Supernaturalism is the opposite of the naturalism upon which evidence-based medicine is based. Although most of the alt-care systems named claim to be "holistic," vitalism represents dualism, not holism. Vitalists believe in a Life Force that can exist apart from the physical body. Acupuncturists call the alleged force "chi," chiropractors call it "The Innate," homeopaths call it "vital energy," and naturopaths call it "vis medicatrix naturae." Some vitalists even interpret herb-induced hallucinations as "out of body" experiences. Some have said that the failure of a patient to respond to treatment meant that "the spirit has decided it is time to leave the body." Modern science is truly holistic because it holds that the "mind" is a functioning brain that is inseparable from its anatomy, not a metaphysical entity.

Borneman J. Is Homeopathy obsolete? Resonance Jan-Feb, 1994, p.23.

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