Homeopathy: from skeptic to activist

I am a believer in logic and reasoning. I believe in things that can be scientifically tested and proven by independent non-biased parties. Things, in short, most unlike homeopathy.

Homeopathy is an alternative “remedy” system from the 18th century based on the bizarre conjecture that to dilute something to virtually nothing will increase its effectiveness. It relies on such nonsense as water having a “memory” so that it can “remember” what has been added to it even after it has been diluted so many times that it can no longer have any trace of the intentional ingredient.

Until recently, if you mentioned homeopathy to me, my mind would have conjured up an image of a dusty old shop with small windows in lonely back street. I certainly did not imagine that homeopathy was on sale bright and cheerful in every high street in the country!

Homeopathy placebo "remedies" at Boots
Homeopathy for sale at Boots

Thanks to the 10:23 campaign i have learnt a lot more about homeopathy. This saturday, 30th january, at 10:23 hundreds of demonstrators will “overdose” on homeopathy remedies outside branches of Boots across England. This is in order to show that homeopathy does not work, and to raise awareness of what it really is.

I hope that the demonstration will put pressure on Boots to stop selling this nonsense. Homeopathy is not something that a reputable chemist should be indulging in. Paul Bennett, the professional standards director at Boots has even admitted that there is no evidence that homeopathy works. Paul Bennett cites “consumer choice” as an appropriate reason to sell and profit from the little pills.

Interestingly enough, some homeopaths are in support of the 10:23 campaign. They say that homeopathy needs to treat the person as a whole, and is to be given with consultation of a “trained” homeopath! Either way, we’re in agreement that this stuff should not be available over the counter on the high street!

If you want to add your support to the cause, whichever side you’re on, go to www.1023.org.uk where you’ll find plenty of resources and more information.

10:23 campaign

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89 comments on “Homeopathy: from skeptic to activist

  1. I'm already following the 10:23 campaign. I'm glad you've spotted it and are taking an interest Aimee! I think homeopathy is no better than alchemy: it's pure flim flam, has no scientific credibility and sometimes even harms people (if they choose it instead of a treatment that would help).See http://whatstheharm.net/ for more on that last topic.

  2. Yes, that's right. People shouldn't be expected to have to do the research. Sure, Boots puts it in the “alternative remedies” category but most people think homeopathy is “herbal medicine”. They at least expect it to have some benefit beyond placebo effect, otherwise it wouldn't be on sale at Boots, right?!It is true that some homeopaths discourage use of legitimate medicine. They say that it “pushes down” symptoms, burying them deeper. Obviously this is such nonsense that nobody in their right mind should be expected to believe it, but with Boots adding their support and credibility to the babblemania, how can people be expected to make informed decisions?

  3. I don't know whether homoeopathy will definitely work or not. But there are many cases, where people have treated successfully. may it's a state of their mind that they think positively with homoeopathy.

  4. My problem is with all of the inadvertent mixing of elements in nature and by man's actions, would your drinking water supply which has been exposed to numerous chemicals and discarded/digested perscription medicines before reaching you be a Homeopathic cure or poison.I have to believe the same powers at work in religious miracles, the power of suggestion and positive though make the placebo effect of Homeopath seem real.

  5. I am inclined to agree with you, Jake. The power of suggestion is very strong, but it should never be used as a replacement for real medicine.

  6. I have always wished that a global organization would collect all serious scientific research information practiced around the world and share their findings with the world through the web. I bet some research has been done around homeopathy and it has not been properly share with the world.

  7. I know some otherwise intelligent people who see no harm in others taking homeopathic 'medicine' – or any other quackery. “It doesn't do anything, so it can't do any harm”, they say.Well, aside from taking money from those who can least afford to pay, replacing effective medicine with ineffective medicine only makes no difference if there was never anything real to treat.Farah Fawcett really did have a a real illness – cancer. And she used 'alternative medicines' instead of the real thing right up to the moment weeks before her death – when she realised she'd been played for a fool. And it was going to kill her.I wish I'd seen the public 'overdosing'. Not that homeopathic true believers would understand it. The human capacity to avoid grasping the blindingly obvious is truly astonishing.Great that you're involved.

  8. I think homoeopathy is a very slow process of treatment. And also a patient have to follow the restrictions, told by the doctor, on the meals to take during treatment. So that the medicine affects properly in the body. But as per my view, i have seen the patients who have discontinued the homoeopathy treatment as it is a very slow process with lots of meals restrictions.

  9. Yep, it's scary how easily people are misled, but not altogether surprising when reputable companies are lending credibility to it.Here's a video from the Southampton “overdose”.

  10. Yes, you're right, it's not just homeopathy. Chiropractic is another alternative treatment that has recently come to my attention as complete nonsense, expensive and potentially dangerous. One thing at a time though, hey? :)

  11. A friend of mines brother in law hated doctors/hospitals etc. and went to a homeopath instead for these lesions he had across his skin.The homeopath told him it was the “toxins” coming out of him and prescribed a new diet, etc etc.The lesions turned out to be skin cancer and he died about 7 months later.

  12. Andrew, i'm so sorry to hear about your friend's brother in law. You have completely highlighted the harm in homeopathy.

  13. Great info. I really believe there are homeopathy remedies that work, and also some that are dangerous. When I look for a homeopathy remedy, the first thing I look for if it is FDA regulated. If it is, then it is safe to use.

  14. Well that encourages me. A lot of people don't know what it is, and they may defend it because they don't understand it. I agree that it's important to know and understand the truth.

  15. interesting stuff but what is the point if homeopathy has no scientific proof of healing. I would love to support this if it had some sort of scientific grounds.

  16. Someone call my attention while reading the comments, he said that no cure homeopathy and the medicine is fake. I ask my self, is that true? Well, its up to him.. I prove that this product really works. I try it by myself.

  17. My father is homeopathy doctor and we are really satisfied with homeopathic medicine.We don't like to use other medicines and use homepathic because homeopathic medicines has no side-effect.It is also tasty to eat.Thanks a lot for sharing.

  18. i use homeopathy myself each month to treat my back conditions and generally to put me back in shape after the gym. its the best way to reset my physical body back to normal, before going out and doing it all over again!

  19. I used to work as a research statistician providing support to researchers and academics. The university I worked at had an active alternative medicine faculty and I fell out with more than one senior academic who wanted me to run statistical analyses for publication in academic journals that would lend credence to the effectiveness of such treatments despite the fact that their research methods were flawed and an honest assessment of their data showed nothing of the kind.

  20. this is my first come to your blog,and i read agood information that you put in here..good job i like itkeep going thanks.

  21. Homeopathy is a great source of healing, I would like to say very simple thing that homeopathic is the method of cure that treat the disease from the very root.

  22. The post is great , I Like it. Information is very usefull. I'll continue to follow your articles.

  23. My mother believes in homeopathy and it drives me a little nuts. I feel like it should be called hocus pocus. She takes all of these odd supplements and she has even tried to get me to go to appointments at her Dr. who charges an arm and a leg for all this weird medicine. But whatever, to each his own.

  24. I have seen a lot of cases where homeopathy has been successful, even in my family….it has no side effects and brings about complete cure, though it will take time.

  25. Homeopathy works on the rule of dilute something to virtually nothing will increase its effectiveness. Most of the homeopaths are in the support of the 10:23 campaign. They are of the view that homeopathy needs to treat the person as a whole. The prescription which is needed to be followed must be by “trained” homeopath only. The article creates good awareness regarding the branch of medicine which is so effective in curing the ailment. Thanks for sharing so fruitful information.

  26. Of course, if homeopathy worked, surely it would be an underdose that would be dangerous?

  27. i like your statement belwoI am a believer in logic and reasoning. I believe in things that can be scientifically tested and proven by independent non-biased partiesi think a agree with you

  28. Well, aside from taking money from those who can least afford to pay, replacing effective medicine with ineffective medicine only makes no difference if there was never anything real to treat.i like this

  29. Thank you. That statement is really important to me, and basically the reason that i am an atheist now, after being brought up as a Christian. Science can explain so many fascinating and exciting things without the need for magic or mystery … or god.

  30. I am with Aimee. We must make an effort to stop the selling of homeopathic “remedies” Its real danger comes from actually neglecting traditional medicines that works. I mean, you can argue that homeopathy has placebo, but so does traditional medicine.I also used to joke that the only good thing about homeopathy is that it has no side-effects.

  31. Thank you for this informative article, and for the very helpful tips. I really appreciate it!!Best regards,

  32. Thank you for this informative article, and for the very helpful tips. I really appreciate it!!Best regards,

  33. That seems incredibly odd. I've heard the word “homeopathy” before, but I never realized it was actually in reference to a concept so ridiculous! People will believe in anything given a slick enough salesman, or presented with enough OTHER people who believe in it. I know very little about 10:23 but based on what I've read here I'm sure after I take a look at their site I'll wholeheartedly support the movement!

  34. Once a homeopath finds the right treatment, patients can find relief. Because treatments are extremely individualized, clinical research in homeopathy is difficult.Thank you for this informative article

  35. I don't know much about homoeopathy, but seen lots & lots of people are using it. may be it gives some good results to them. I don't know whether it is the right therapy or not. But, i have no positive results as i have also tried it twice. So how to trust on it?.

  36. I don't think homoeopathy is an effective treatment. I have tested it twice, but no successful results found. I think it is just a state of mind which pushes a person to think that “the small white balls he is taking is much effective than others without a side effect.”

  37. Curing the root cause of the disease is the call of the homeopathic, although much sloe yet very affective way of curing diseases, I liked the post very much!

  38. If there’s one thing i dislike about the 10:23 campaign, it’s that it’s forcing people who know that homeopathy is all smoke and mirrors and fairy dust to side with annoyed people from pharmaceutical areas that believe they are profiteering any less than homeopathists.

  39. Homeopathy is an effective treatment method but i don't know why the Medical doctors don't admit the importance of Homeopathy.

  40. Just another crazy fad thats masses and masses of people will blindly follow, it really makes you wonder sometimes how stupid people can be, to buy into a concept so ridiculous that has absolutely no scientific credibility. Im closely following the 10:23 campaign, I suggest everyone else does the same!

  41. I like the way you expressed the homeopathic, no where on internet I have seen such a homeopathic dedicated site as yours is, I like it very much thanks for sharing it with us!

  42. nice post. I have to believe the same powers at work in religious miracles, the power of suggestion and positive though make the placebo effect of Homeopath seem real. thanks

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  44. Your post is such a inspiring that my eyes are really opened today.From your blog i can learn so many things which may help me to get success in handling my business.Thanks for sharing,Love your blog and keep sharing in future too.

  45. its really sad that there is some people selling this useless.. its also happening here in my country.. no one can stop it alone… we people have to move out ass of just to stop this,,,

  46. I got the first time in touch with Homeopathy late 90's. I am a technician and for me it was bogus. well, I got turned around

  47. For me personally I'm not sure if it's made a difference in my life, but I know quite a few people that believe it at least SEEMS to have a good effect on them when they take the tablets. Even if it is partly psychological, if it works…why not continue taking them, from a practical standpoint at least.

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  49. Aimee like you I am also a believer in logic and reasoning. I would never have given homeopathy a look for the reasons stated in your post. However having children and looking for anything that would ease their discomfort as babies, you find yourself drifting into this area when all else seems to fail you. As an adult I would agree it is most likely a placebo effect and nothing more. As a baby you don’t have that ability to reason or have much awareness, but I have seen firsthand great improvements within hours of my friend’s children taking homeopathic treatments. It has happened to many times to be a coincidence. No I don’t understand it, and yes i'm still a great sceptic as I don’t believe it could possibly cure a major illness but there is something to it. Also you do get doctors using homeopathy for various treatments including veterinary doctors too. Pet owners turn to homeopathy as a last resort and they get results. Now the animal is completely oblivious to what it’s taken so the placebo effect it ruled out. So you have to ask yourself how does that work?

  50. So very opinionated on a topic that you admittedly “don't understand” I'm sure there are lots of things that don't make sense to you but does that stop you from using the product? It's not known how aspirin works but it's still available in stores. Do you really know how a car works, but you probably have used a car for transport.There are plenty of people who have benefited from homeopathy or say they have. Don't they have the right to use the product of their choice? Who told you that what you believe works and doesn't work should influence their choices to help themselves?

  51. Hi Aimee,I think the mental aspect of homeopathy is as relevant as the actual “cure in the little” pills. I realize there is threadbare scientific evidence to support that it really works, so perhaps there needs to be an adjustment in thinking about the value of Homeopathy and how it should be approached. Interesting that Boots launched this (I live in the US but have been to Boots many times in the UK and we aren't even having this discussion on this side of the pond).Heath

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