High Quality Trials of Homeopathy with Positive Outcomes
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Homeopathy in a nutshell
Homeopathy involves giving very small, non-toxic doses of substances called remedies. In many cases the substances have been so diluted in the process of making the remedies, that there is nothing left of them, nothing at all. Still they are reported to have worked, and better than substances that have not been "dilited away" in the particular processing of homeopathic remedies. That is a little paradox.
In homeopathic processing, substances are both dilited and shaken, and many times, according to set formulas. Mere dilution will not make a homeopathic remedy, it is proclaimed.
What is more, it is suggested that well-chosen homeopathic remedies could relieve or permanently take away symptoms of illness. And the main goal of homeopathy is to stimulate the body's defense system to combat illness of body and mind. Homeopathy treatment is tailored to each individual and homeopathic practitioners work to select remedies according to a total symptom picture of the patient. The most telling symptoms that go into the selected remedy, relate to lifestyle, emotional and mental states, and other factors.
This series will take you into the details of how to find remedies and much else. And rest assured, many recent findings tell homeopathy works, and even furnishes good theory to understand it by (next page). The other side should be voiced too:
From an ignoble report: "Homeopathy is worthless quackery"
In August 2005, the British medical journal the Lancet published a review comparing clinical trials of homeopathy with trials of conventional medicine. The conclusion of this study was widely hailed as evidence that homeopathy is worthless quackery. It stated that homeopathic medicines are non-effective and, at best, just placebos.
Also, an accompanying editorial in the Lancet said this "evidence" should close the door on the non-toxic, alternative treatment method, and proclaimed this review should mark "the end of homeopathy". But that is far from what has happened:
From recent studies: "Homeopathy is effective"
Now two newly published studies, one in the journal Homeopathy and the other in the mainstream medical Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, have both gone on record to say the Lancet review was hugely flawed and downright inaccurate. Instead of showing homeopathy does not work, the conclusion should have been that, at least for some ailments, it is effective.
Research without minimum skill and care
The original claim made in the Lancet review that homeopathic medicines are worthless treatments (other than being placebos, fool's medicine) was based on six clinical trials of conventional medicine and eight studies of homeopathy. But the Lancet did not reveal what trials, exactly, were studied. Also, the new studies point out, seriously flawed assumptions were made about the data that was presented. There are a limited number of homeopathic studies, so it is not difficult to pick and choose facts to interpret selectively and unfavorably, which appears to be just what was done in the original Lancet anti-homeopathy article.
Bottom line: the Lancet's report showing homeopathy is worthless lacked the academic care and scientific approach called for in medical journals.
In a statement to the press, George Lewith, Professor of Health Research at Southampton University in Great Britain, stated:
The [Lancet] review gave no indication of which trials were analyzed nor of the various vital assumptions made about the data. This is not usual scientific practice. If we presume that homeopathy works for some conditions but not others, or change the definition of a 'larger trial', the conclusions change. This indicates a fundamental weakness in the conclusions: they are NOT reliable.
Homeopathy consistently works for some ailments
The two recently published scientific papers that investigated the previous Lancet review conclude that an analysis of all high quality trials of homeopathy show positive outcomes. What is more, the eight larger and higher quality trials of homeopathy looked at a variety of medical conditions. The new studies point out that because homeopathy worked consistently for some of these ailments and not others, the results must indicate that homeopathic remedies cannot be simply placebos. In addition, the studies conclude that comparing homeopathy to conventional medicine was a meaningless apples-and-oranges approach. (The idiom "comparing apples and oranges" or "apples to oranges" is used to indicate that two items or groups of items have not been validly compared.) There are also concerns that the original anti-homeopathy review used unpublished criteria. For example, the researchers did not bother to define what they meant by "higher quality" homeopathy research.
The new studies cast serious doubts on the original Lancet review due to the built-in flaws of the study, which was headed by Professor Matthias Egger of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Berne. They strongly suggest Egger and his team based their conclusions on a series of hidden judgements that were prejudiced against homeopathy.
A press statement from the National Center for Homeopathy explains that an open assessment of the current evidence suggests that homeopathy is probably effective for many conditions, and also agrees that much more research is needed.
Source: Sherry Baker. "Two New Studies Find Anti-Homeopathy Review Wrong." NaturalNews, 19 November 2008. [www.naturalnews.com/024852.html]
Lockie, Andrew and Nicola Geddes. Complete Guide to Homeopathy: The Principles and Practice of Treatment.
2nd ed. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2000. - ◦Read in
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