1 Nov, 2012 @ 07:55
1 min read

Surgeon in Asturias speaks out for homeopathy


HOMEOPATHY is not an ‘alternative’ medical treatment but one which is valid and recognised, a conventional Spanish doctor insists.

Speaking at the fifth national Homeopathy Congress in Oviedo, Asturias, orthopaedic surgeon Brana Alejandro Vigil joined over 100 specialists who shared ideas and experiences about homeopathy.

The treatment, created in 1796, is based on the theory of ‘like cures like’, and works by administering a tiny amount of a substance in order to make the body develop its own resistance to disease and infection.

Many doctors and scientists reject the concept altogether.

Meanwhile Argentinian specialist Ernesto Giampietro stressed the holistic character of homeopathy.

“Homeopathy addresses the patient as a whole, and that is what makes it different from conventional medical treatment,” he said.


  1. Administering “a tiny amount of a substance”. I don’t think so. With the rate of dilution homeopathy uses the chances of any active ingredient in the sugar pills these fraudsters peddle is as close to zero as one can get.

  2. It is one of the great mysteries of the modern age – why people are still so gullible. A 13C dilution is the equivalent of one pinch of salt in the entire Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. Hahnemann, the founder of this nonsense, was born in 1755, BEFORE the discovery of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen or Chlorine. So it is no surprise that it is not terribly scientific.

  3. We as a family as well as hundreds and thousands have remained in total health due to the work of “serious” classic homeopathic treatment. We have not contributed to the billions of profit to the pharma industry.
    Throughout human history whenever the “Scientific” method of analysis was not available, shortsighted mankind dismissed results!
    Catholic church imprisoned Galileo and took 400 years to admit he was right!!

  4. Let’s hope that the doctor in this story never meets patients who are actually ill. Those who believe in the healing properties of homeopathy’s “magic water” should read “Trick or Treatment: Alternatiive Medicine on Trial” by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst. This uses the available evidence to debunk homeopathy and most other alternative therapies. These therapies nearly all rely solely on the placebo effect for any of their apparent benefits.

  5. @Ahy, your family as well of hundreds and thousands of others would have remained in exactly the same total health without taking a single dose of classical homeopathic treatment – “serious” or not. And you would have saved yourself from being mugged by a billion-dollar fraud industry peddling sugar pills as effective medication.

  6. Dr. Vigil is absolutely correct. Homeopathy is actually used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide as their primary form of medical care. In fact, it’s the 2nd most widely used form of medicine worldwide and growing by over 20 per cent a year.
    The Cuban government has been using Homeopathy to prevent annual Leptospirosis outbreaks for the last 3 years with stunning success. India is now using it to prevent and cure malaria, and Brazil is using it to prevent Dengue fever.
    Homeopathy is a registered health profession in numerous countries.
    The Swiss government’s latest published health technology assessment concluded that Homeopathy was not only effective, but cost effective.

  7. Laurie, stop peddling blatant lies. Homeopathy does not cure Weil’s disease, malaria or dengue fever. There is absolutely zero evidence of this. Anectdotes do not constitute evidence of anything.

    Homeopathy is nothing more than a colossal fraud and I find it staggering that people still “buy into” it even to the extent that the UK’s NHS funds homeopathic “treatments”.

    The only effect homeopathy has is a placebo effect, which might make you “feel” better if you have malaria, but you might end up dead anyway. To continue fleecing people of their money for sugar pills and tinctures which contain no active ingredient is nothing more a cynical deceit and should be exposed at every opportunity!

  8. J. Roberts, the one peddling blatant lies is yourself. You choose to peddle the usual unsubstantiated nonsense currently in vogue with skeptic natural medicine hate/doubt mongers.
    Fortunately the world does not revolve around the basic chemistry you may (or may not have)taken in high school.
    For the record, it’s not Homeopathy that’s “fleecing” the world for hundreds of billions of dollars for “treatments” that don’t accomplish much or cause more health problems than they supposedly solve.

  9. Laurie, it has nothing whatsoever to do with fashion, skepticism or chemistry 101 and has everything to do with evidence.

    There is zero evidence that homeopathy has any effect other than a placebo effect. It does not work! At best, homeopathy accomplishes nothing other than making people think they feel better and at worst it can result in death.

  10. J. Roberts: Just the Cuban experience alone proves you wrong without even mentioning 200 years of clinical success with over 25,000 volumes of cured cases.
    Your opinion isn’t substantiated by facts. Even a PubMed study comparing placebo effect between conventional drugs and Homeopathic prescriptions showed they were about even!
    Taking your argument at face value patients would be better off doing nothing…
    Pharma drugs are synthesized/synthetic products mostly with a petroleum base. Your idea of “natural” must be crude oil.

  11. Laurie, the “Cuban experience” is nothing more than anecdote, there is zero evidence that any homeopathic “treatment” is effective against Weil’s disease. And homeopathy does not have 200 years of clinical success, there is no evidence of that whatsoever.

    A single study doesn’t mean anything. All studies have to be considered. And if you did that you’d realise that homeopathy does not work. It has zero efficacy.

    Patients would be no worse off if they did not take homeopathic “treatments”. In many cases if they took conventional medicine instead they’d still be alive rather than dead!

    Have you ever considered where the sugar in homeopathic pills comes from? So no fossil fuels used to fertilize, harvest, refine and transport that sugar then?

    Perhaps 200 years ago it was thought that homeopathy worked, but now we know it definitly does not, so to continue selling it as effective medical treatment is nothing less than deceitful.

  12. It is truly remarkable the level of ignorance involved in this debate, with critics of homeopathy showing their true love of mediocrity, conformism and brain-dead enforcement of orthodoxy (dogma) – with enthusiasm that would make an Inquisitor blush.

    Would be defenders of science and so-called ‘evidence-based medicine’ seem to have no problem whatsoever issuing criticisms of homeopathy which are completely and totally at variance with the actual data.

    Somehow they don’t see the irony in calling homeopathy ‘unscientific’ even though the criticism is itself not based on any hard evidence. This is a very safe and conventional position – ‘everyone’ knows homeopathy is ‘just water’ and ‘just placebo’. The critics see no problem substituting conventional wisdom for facts.

    The fact is, the weight of the evidence strongly favors homeopathic remedies being biological active agents.

    Nearly all physico-chemical research – conducted by scientists of the very highest skill on earth, such as Rustum Roy and Jayesh Bellare – demonstrates physical properties of homeopathic remedies which are distinct from those of plain water or succussed/diluted water controls. None of the research is completely beyond reproach, but it is nevertheless quite strong and viewed as a whole becomes stronger.




    The in vitro evidence is similarly strong – with a recent review finding that over 2/3 of all high quality studies demonstrate biological activity of homeopathic remedies. The same is true for nearly 3/4 of all replications.


    Read on, excellent comments in link below completely destroying uneducated and uninformed skeptics


  13. @JB None of the links you provide show any evidence that homeopathic treatments are effective. It is ludicrous to suggest that water can somehow have a memory and the Cuban example is flawed (as you can see from the many excellent comments in the link you give, pointing out it’s flaws).

    Face the fact that in randomised controlled trials homeopathic “treatments” have no effect beyond placebo. They don’t contain any active ingredient and they don’t work. On the other hand evidence-based medicine does exactly what it says on the tin.

    I am not so mediocre as to be gullible, I prefer to be informed by the facts, science works, even if you don’t believe in it. As soon as a body of good quality evidence, from randomised controlled trials, begins to build that homeopathic treatments work, I’ll be the first to change my mind. I don’t cling to a “faith” in homeopathy in spite of the overwhelming lack of evidence that it works. A dogmatic and conformist position if there ever was one!

  14. @J.Roberts. There are no random controlled trials that conclude that homeopathic treatments are simply placebo. A trial result can be positive, negative or inconclusive.
    If you wish to insist that homeopathic treatment is placebo then you’re going to have to prove it (good luck!)
    Your argument about no “active ingredients” is patently false.
    What “evidence-based medicine” are you referring to? Medicine is health care technology, not science.
    Science is a process of observation and discovery. It’s not a system of belief. Skeptics like yourself have a dogmatic belief in Scientism, but it’s not science either.

  15. @Laurie Willberg. It’s not a “random controlled trial”, but a randomized controlled trial, the universally accepted gold standard methodology for clinical trials.

    There is overwhelming evidence that homeopathic treatments only have a placebo effect. I don’t need to prove this because it has already been done time and again. Trial after trial has shown that homeopathic treatments have zero efficacy but may have effectiveness. That is the very definition of a placebo!

    My argument about “active ingredients” is patently false? Are you being serious? At dilutions of 12C it becomes unlikely that even a single molecule of the original “active ingredient” will remain in the treatment, and most homeopathic treatments are at dilutions of 30C. That’s the original “active ingredient” diluted by 100 thirty times over. Equivalent to less than a drop of active ingredient in all the water on the planet. Common sense tells you that the chances of finding even one molecule of active ingredient in a treatment of 30C is as close to zero as you are going to get. Even Hahnemann recognised this, which is why he came up with his theory that water had “memory”. Well that might have been plausible in the late 18th century before the hydrogen and oxygen atoms were discovered and the chemistry of water was understood. However, now the chemistry of water is very well understood and the idea that water could “memorize” something is ludicrous!

    The words “evidence-based medicine” were not my words, they were used by your fellow traveller JB above, but they are apt. You can call medicine “health care technology” or whatever you like. The fact is there are treatments which work because we have evidence that they do and there are treatments which do not work because there is no evidence that they do. Homeopathy falls into the latter category. There is zero evidence that homeopathy works. Whether you want to believe that or not, it’s a fact.

    When did I ever say science was a belief system? I am perfectly aware that science is a process of observation and discovery, and I am also concious that science has observed homeopathic treatments using the best available scientific methodologies and has discovered that homeopathy DOES NOT WORK!

    I don’t mind being called a skeptic. Skeptics question things, which is exactly what science does, they are also happy to change their minds when new evidence comes to light. Very different to homeopathic cheer-leaders, such as yourself and JB above, who will not be budged from their 200-year-old dogmas no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary.

  16. @J.Roberts. Your opinions about homeopathic research show that you have not actually read any of it. The trials that have been “negative” have not utilized proper Homeopathic methodology. Positive studies far outweigh the negative. Your conclusions/opinons are just that.
    RCTs are not the ONLY form of study that is conducted on a regular basis, there are many others. Notwithstanding, RCTs are only the “gold standard” for pharma products to determine the risk of harm from toxicity.
    Conventional medicine has recently tried to set a goal of using “best evidence” for treatments but it’s far from “there” yet. The skeptic notion that mainstream medicine is “evidence based” and that other medical systems are not demonstrates nothing but wilful ignorance.
    Few studies or no studies does not automatically translate into “no evidence”. “Unknown” does not mean “not”.
    Health technology assessments by people actually in the medical profession (not you) have concluded that over 50% of conventional medical treatments are of “unknown effectiveness”.
    Glad you know the limits of Avogadro’s number. FYI Homeopaths regularly prescribe remedies below 12C and in tinctures which are pure substances mixed with ethanol. Notwithstanding, electron spectroscopy and other advanced detection methods show that starting materials exist at higher potencies. You are dead wrong about “no active ingredient” — it’s simply just not what’s called a “bulk drug”. Trying to impose your own skeptic terminology is a lame attempt at deception in order to try to win your argument.
    Real sceptics (with a “c”) make no judgments about issues until they satisfy themselves. Pseudo-sceptics are “skeptics” who actively condemn, denigrate and actively try to promote doubt.

  17. Actually Laurie, you might not like my opinion, but the weight of evidence falls on my side. It’s probably I happen to share the same opinion as the vast majority of those involved in medical science.

    RCTs on homeopathic interventions are overwhelmingly negative. That’s a fact you can’t really get away from and suggesting that homeopathy should have it’s own “special” methodology when testing just shows desperation. If you want to call homeopathy a medicine with efficacy then let it be tested like all other interventions. An RTC is not the gold standard only for “pharma” products. It is the gold standard methodology for testing efficacy in ANY intervention.

    Yes, Avogadro’s number is very useful for showing what a farce homeopathy really is. Homeopathy claims that the more dilute the treatment the more potent it is. How ironic then that the homeopathic treatments with the highest “potency” are those least likely to contain any “starting materials” (which themselves may not have any efficacy anyway). I mean, duck liver to cure the flu symptoms!

    Effectiveness is not the same as efficacy. Stop trying to conflate them.

    Oh, and skeptic=sceptic. There is zero difference to the definition however you spell it. Obviously you are not aware that there are different spellings on either side of the Atlantic, it’s quite a common phenomenon actually. Here’s another example: color=colour. The Americans tend to spell it with a “k”. And as I mentioned above, I don’t mind being called a skeptic , or a sceptic. Skeptics/sceptics ask that evidence be provided for claims, which homeopathy patently fails to do. If a body of evidence builds for homeopathy’s efficacy, then I will be the first to change my mind, but until then I am more than happy to “condemn, denigrate and actively try to promote doubt” about an intervention and the industry around it which amounts to nothing more than selling snake oil to the gullible.

  18. I don’t usually waste my time arguing with small minded people with nothing better to do than attack others beliefs. However, I would like to challenge you to scientifically prove the action of paracetamol, or even prozac which has been proven to be placebo. Mmmm.

  19. Juls, I’m not attacking others beliefs. I am, however, attacking a signifivant industry which makes claims it cannot back up with hard evidence. Preying on peoples’ ignorance and selling them what amounts to nothing less than snake-oil.

    The efficacy of both paracetamol and prozac is very well established. Prozac, like any other intevention, including homeopathy, has a placebo effect, so I’m not sure what point you are trying to make.

  20. Laurie – “Even a PubMed study comparing placebo effect between conventional drugs and Homeopathic prescriptions showed they were about even!”

    You realize this is contrary to your entire point, correct? If the placebo effect is about even to homeopathic prescriptions then it is demonstrating that homeopathy is not significantly different than a placebo.

    Laurie – “A trial result can be positive, negative or inconclusive.”

    Actually a trial result can only be statistically significant or inconclusive.

    Laurie – “Few studies or no studies does not automatically translate into “no evidence”.”

    That is exactly what it translates into. A ‘thing’ can exist in objective reality. However, unless there is evidence of said ‘thing’ then there is, by definition, no evidence. You’ve confused evidence with actuality.

    Laurie – “Fortunately the world does not revolve around the basic chemistry you may (or may not have)taken in high school.”

    Actually the world does, in fact, revolve around basic chemistry.

    Laurie – “Pharma drugs are synthesized/synthetic products mostly with a petroleum base. Your idea of “natural” must be crude oil.”

    Crude oil is, by definition, natural. It’s formed by a purely natural process from decayed dead organisms under heat and pressure. It’s extracted directly from the earth. It’s 100% natural. Is it good to burn or eat? No. But natural? Yes, 100%.

    Laurie – “What “evidence-based medicine” are you referring to? Medicine is health care technology, not science.”

    Modern medicine is, in fact, science. Medicine is practiced by M.D.s (among others), but also heavily developed by PhDs in various scientific fields. That is the root of evidence-based medicine – scientific research and development. And the term “evidence-based medicine” is both used in medical sciences and medical practice, as well as the medical sciences. In fact, there are literally hundreds of scientific journals that contain peer-reviewed articles with the title “Evidence-Based Medicine.” Examples:

    “Evidence-Based Medicine”, DL Sackett – Seminars in Perinatology, Vol 21, Issue 1, February 1997, Pages 3–5

    “Evidence Based Medicine”, F. Davidoff, B. Haynes, D. Sackett, and R. Smith, British Medical Journal, 1995 April 29; 310(6987): 1085–1086.

    “Evidence-Based Medicine: A New Approach to Teaching the Practice of Medicine” Gordon Guyatt, MD, MSc; John Cairns, MD; David Churchill, MD, MSc; Deborah Cook, MD, MSc; Brian Haynes, MD, MSc, PhD; Jack Hirsh, MD, etc., November 4, 1992, Vol 268, No. 17, Journal of the American Medical Association

    Juls – “However, I would like to challenge you to scientifically prove the action of paracetamol, or even prozac which has been proven to be placebo.”

    Already proven decades ago:

    “Paracetamol versus placebo: Effects on post-operative course”, P. Skjelbred, P. Løkken, European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 1979, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 27-33

    Excerpt from Abstract: “The pain and preference scores were clearly in favour of paracetamol. The results provide evidence to suggest that paracetamol may reduce an acute, posttraumatic inflammatory reaction.”

    Prozac & Placebo:

    “Comparison of pramipexole, fluoxetine, and placebo in patients with major depression”, Corrigan, M. H., Denahan, A. Q., Wright, C. E., Ragual, R. J. and Evans, D. L.,Depression and Anxiety Volume 11, Issue 2, pages 58–65, 2000

    Abstract: “Three daily dose levels (0.375 mg, 1.0 mg, and 5.0 mg) were compared to fluoxetine (Prozac) at 20 mg and placebo in a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study…Results indicated that by endpoint (week 8), patients receiving pramipexole at the 1.0 mg per day dose had significant improvement over baseline compared to the placebo group by measure of the HAM-D, MADRS, and CGI-SI.”

    Science. Learn it.

  21. The action of Paracetamol is unknown, Prozac has been shown to be largely placebo, and the pubmed research showed that in trials even you could not ignore, while Homeopathy was shown to have a 51% possibility of placebo, orthodox came in at 49%. Am I to take it that you are ignoring these points and concentrating all your time and effort on homeopathy due to the 2% difference? Haha. It’s laughable. I suppose you’re also ignoring the most recent research which shows that the base material can be found in a homeopathic remedy, so the water comments have to go out the window too? You’re running out of arguments. And for goodness sake, stop peddling the ridiculous snake oil comment. This is utterly irrelevant to homeopathy. We use venom. ;-)

  22. @Reality
    You are confused about the meaning of “evidence-based” medicine. Using “best evidence” to inform the choice of mainstream medical treatments is a goal, not a fait accompli by any stretch of the imagination. It is NOT meant to be some sort of philosophical weapon with which to attack non-mainstream medicine.
    You are quoting old 1990’s pharma-sponsored studies that were later overturned by independent research.
    Basic chemistry is fine for bulk drugs but it’s a far cry from the more sophisticated instrumentation of electron spectroscopy which is necessary to analyse homeopathic preparations over 12C. You are the one who is not keeping up with advances in scientific analysis and are still in high school. Nano-particle research and research into DNA signalling are uncovering more detailed information about homeopathic preparations hitherto unknown. You are obviously uninformed.
    The largest ever meta-analysis on homeopathic research was conducted by the Swiss government and published in English only last year. It concludes that homeopathy is not only effective, but cost effective for health care systems (which are being bankrupted by the exorbitant cost of pharma drugs). Since 49% of pharma drug treatments are nothing but placebo, that’s a lot of money for nothing.

  23. Open-minded readers with an interest in logic and evidence may want to look at this: “http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-swiss-report-on-homeopathy/”

    A reviewer states that the Swiss report “…is scientifically, logically and ethically flawed. Specifically, it contains no new evidence and misinterprets studies previously exposed as weak; creates a new standard of evidence designed to make homeopathy appear effective; and attempts to discredit randomised controlled trials as the gold standard of evidence. Most importantly, almost all the authors have conflicts of interest, despite their claim that none exist. If anything, the report proves that homeopaths are willing to distort evidence in order to support their beliefs, and its authors appear to have breached Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences principles governing scientific integrity.”

    However, I guess that if you “know” that magic water works then you are performing a public service by lying, aren’t you?

  24. Juls, all interventions can have a placebo effect, and it depends a lot on the circumstances and the recipient on whether there is a placebo effect or not. That is not to say the intervention has efficacy as well. Homeopathic interventions may or may not have a placebo effect, but they certainly do not have efficacy. The only effect homeopathic interventions have, if anything, is a placebo effect. In other words, telling gullible people that homeopathing treatments have efficacy, which is what the homeopathic industry does, and charging these people money for the “treatments” is nothing short of selling snake oil. It’s a deception.

    There goes Laurie again, clutching at straws. What modern medical science has discovered is that homeopathic interventions have zero efficacy. They do not work. The only effect they might have is a placebo effect, and that depends entirely on the circumstances under which they are administered and to whom.

    I see your flawed Swiss report, and raise you this proper one:

  25. Homeopathy is homeopathy! for todays science its placebo; for tomorrows science the greatest discovery. don’t blind yourselves! The power of homeopathy is great. The science behind it cannot be explained now but will be explained in the future.
    How many times you divide a matter it does not become ZERO!
    Which science says that it becomes zero!
    Don’t sit in dark and say that you are blind..
    Homeopathy all around the world does treat more than millions of people a day.If no homeopaths are comming to clarify doubts..its not because of unawareness but lack of time!!

  26. Yes “Doctor” George, homeopathy is indeed homeopathy, in much the same way as its magic water remains just water.

    The point which seems to have eluded you is that not only is there no demonstrable scientific mechanism for the efficacy of homeopathy, but there is also no evidence that it works at all….unless you choose to torture the available data until it says anything that you want it to.

    Whenever there is an honest and objective appraisal of the evidence it clearly shows that homeopathy has only a placebo effect (e.g. the UK House of Commons report at “http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/45/45.pdf”). Put bluntly, this means that it does not work.

    There comes a point when only charlatans, the terminally deluded, or fools continue to believe in nonsense. As Carl Sagan famously said: “It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”

  27. …and one more thing “Doctor” George! It is entirely possible in homeopathy to end up with zero when ultra-dilution is performed.

    According to the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, in some homeopathic products, “not even a single molecule of the original substance remains in the diluted medicine prescribed to the patient”.

    That would be zero molecules, wouldn’t it? Or am I simply being blind?

  28. Not blind Mark, just quoting out-dated information. Dr George, thank you, you are quite right, we have little free time and better things to do than go round in circles arguing. Fun as this has been, you are going to have to argue among yourselves. Have fun. :-D

  29. ITT Bombay has published reseach showing starting materials in 200C remedies. BTW it’s not mere dilution but succussion/impact that causes an alteration in hydrogen bonds. Prof. Luc Montagnier has also published describing DNA signalling in ONLY highly diluted and succussed bacterial cultures.
    It seems there are quite a few people posting on here relying on outdated information, mostly collected from so-called “science-blogs”. Unfortunately their idea of science is nothing more than Scientism.

  30. The so-called UK Science and Technology Committee report has been completely debunked as a fraud — 3 people out of 17 were the only ones to have any input and decided that the assumptions of a PR representative for a pharma group should be taken over actual medical practitioners and researchers… The actual research was never even considered. Consequently the UK Parliament refused to act on it at all.
    The latest actual meta-analysis commissioned by the Swiss government concluded that Homeopathy is not only effective, but cost-effective for their national health care system. It is also part of the national health care systems of France, Germany, Romania and a host of other nations… oh yes, and still in the U.K.
    Nobody is forcing anyone to seek Homeopathic care. Like it or lump it. But nobody has the right to deny the choices of others to the health care they wish to utilize. Medical fascism is just as bad as any other type of dictatorial system.

  31. Laurie – I’d like to see your evidence for the claim that the UK Science and Technology Committee report has been “debunked” by anyone other than homeopaths with a vested interest. I’ve just reread the report and it contains evidence against homeopathy from a wide range of individuals, most of whom are not connected with the pharmaceutical industry.

    You describe the Swiss study as a meta-analysis. It is nothing of the sort – it is simply a collection of cherry-picked studies chosen to confirm the desired outcome of the authors. This is a dishonest and unethical approach. The detailed meta-analyses that have actually been performed (e.g. Shang et al. 2005) show that homeopathy does not work beyond a placebo effect.

    Of course people have the right to believe in as many cranky or ridiculous things before breakfast as they wish. However, that is not the same as the right to believe in these things without being challenged on the basis of evidence. Please feel free to treat yourself with homeopathy, holy water, leeches or whatever you wish, but your desire to persuade others to choose non-therapies is simply wrong and potentially life-threatening.

  32. Here are a couple of definitions for anyone who finds Laurie Willberg’s jargon confusing in some of his earlier posts:

    Scientism can be defined as:

    1. the style, assumptions, techniques, practices, etc., typifying or regarded as typifying scientists.

    2. the belief that the assumptions, methods of research, etc., of the physical and biological sciences are equally appropriate and essential to all other disciplines, including the humanities and the social sciences.

    3. scientific or pseudoscientific language.

    “Succussion” is the term used by homeopaths for their vigorous shaking of remedies at each stage of dilution.

    I see nothing worthy of the perjorative use of the term “scientism” in comments from any of Laurie’s opponents during this exchange. But there is at least a hint of pseudoscientific jargon in the term “succussion”.

  33. @Mark Crane
    You can reread that UK report as often as you like, however it remains a highly biased and dismissable document that was not accepted by the government.
    The Shang study has been debunked as having cherry picked 8 studies out of 100 and not even revealing which ones were actually used.It has been criticized by numerous researchers and should be withdrawn.
    The only people who refer to the above 2 documents to support their false accusations against homeopathy are those who belong to pseudo-“skeptic” groups where it’s become quite an obsession.
    People who use homeopathy generally do so because conventional means have failed to help them. These patients are generally in upper income and educational brackets — they are quite capable of discerning the facts for themselves, and that doesn’t include reading “skeptic blogs”.

  34. All good points well made Laurie. You’re obviously a well-informed, intelligent individual. This being the case, I wouldn’t waste your time arguing further. By doing so, you only give these people a playmate and fuel their obsession. Sad but true.

  35. The real definition of Scientism:
    “a doctrinaire stance associated with science leads to an abuse of reason that transforms a rational philosophy of science into an irrational dogma (Hayek, 1952).”

  36. “Like cures like”? It’s not a law – it’s a catch-phrase.

    Look at some of the things that homeopaths use to create their pills and make up your own mind:

    Exhaust fumes, Hadrian’s wall, Newsprint, North Sea oil mud, Tunbridge Wells water (yes they dilute that!), television rays, (how the hell do they dilute those?).

    You may think that these are from some sort of spoof site but no – these are from the reputable Helios Homeopathy.

    They used to list Dog Crap as well but they seem to have dropped it. Maybe it made them look ridiculous…

  37. Ok!
    Anybody can argue here! Those who have taken homeopathic medicine and those who after treatment has not cured or relieved their symptoms can talk against homeopathy.
    Here people argue who have never taken any homeopathic medicine in their lifetime.

    If you go to the tribal people and say that there is electricity and you can die of electric shock, they will argue against that, because the have never heard or felt the power of ELECTRICITY !

    The power of HOMEOPATHY can be seen in people who take the medicine and not just , bloggers and columnist who never ever taken these medicines….
    Homeopathy is so powerful that must cases seemed imposible to to be cured by the modern system, has been cured..

    For today’s small(science).. If a person is cured by the so called placebo… ITS always better than all these toxic medicine used these days….

    If small kids and few days aold babies get cured for their ailments– only fools can consider them to be placebo!!!

    If 8 out of 10 people say that what I have written is in ARABIC and if only 2 among thme says its english.. the majority wins… the written language is ARABIC…

    With money power and influence any one can do that… BUT the TRUTH remains…. The laguage is ENGLISH and homeopathy always WORKS!

  38. Hello DOCTOR George,

    Only those who have taken homeopathy can judge it? Seriously?

    Maybe you think that only people who have taken Heroin can judge that too?

    And do you really think that the best way to trial a medical intervention is to test it on yourself??? Really??

    Why do you think that quality trials are conducted ‘blind’? (If you really don’t know ask and I’ll explain)

    And read up a bit more on the placebo effect in animals and children – also find out about confirmation bias.

  39. Dear Jimeno.
    If you are telling about trials.. you might also have read about homeopathic provings!
    These are the methods by which we know the virtue of drugs! that later becomes medicines!
    Homeopathy proves these drugs on human beings! You get me!

    Just tell me one thing … Have you taken homeopathic medicine..? If not you just purchase GLONOINE 200th potency and repeat 3-4 pills every 4 hours… and let me know what happens and what symptoms you produce?

    In good faith..Dr.George

  40. No – Dr.George – provings prove nothing except that the mother substance has an effect – they do not tackle the problem of the extreme dilution-to-nothing nor the fact that “Like cures Like” is a mere slogan. There is nothing scientific about provings.

    Now, what exactly do you mean by 200th potency? Do you mean 200X, 200C, or 200M? Not that it makes any difference there is nothing in any of them.

    As I said in my previous post – trying stuff out on yourself is the very worst way of seeing if it works. I won’t therefore be wasting my time nor money.

  41. Oh! Who gave you the idea of this type of proving… proving is also done in the potencies…not only the mother substance..
    About your blind trials… homeopathy is not the field of that type of trial ,, as homeopathy is individualistic and a remedy acting on one person may not act on another one… therefore here are more number of medicine for each clinical problems..(take a symptom fever–you have more than 500 Remedies!)
    Ok don’t try… you just go for double blind trials… that would be good…for you… CAUTION..do not give them homeopathic medicine ….””do not test on them””
    Oh dear!!
    The slogan is not for homeopaths…it was from the father of medicine…Hippocrates..
    Little knowledge in any field is very very dangerous!!

    you know something ! about 200c 200m? seems funny!!!

    Most well know homeopaths are in-fact doctors from modern medicine ! Try to understand the potential of homeopathy! don’t just blame it!
    The truth has been always hidden, but cannot be buried for ever!!

  42. Tell me Dr.George – how do you know if a remedy has worked? How do you rule out bias? How do you know the condition wouldn’t have improved on its own? How do you rule out all the uncertainties that properly conducted double blind placebo controlled trials rule out?

  43. And it makes no difference who coined the catchphrase “Like cures Like” Samuel Hahnemann in the 18th Century or Hippocrates in 400 BC – we’ve moved on from there and it’s still only a slogan – it means nothing.

  44. @Jimeno
    Not even drug companies would claim that drug trials “rule out uncertainties”… what do you think “side-effects” are? And they don’t claim, especially don’t guarantee a certain result. Doctors with clinical experience wouldn’t make the claims you have either.
    I think you have to come to the conclusion that skepticblogs are just peddling anti-homeopathy propaganda.
    “Like cures like” really means that a substance that can induce symptoms in a healthy person can cure those same symptoms in a sick one.
    If you want to discuss homeopathy you need to learn a heckofalot more than you think you know now — that’s what George is basically saying.

  45. Laurie Willberg. Your writing is rather muddled but I will try to make some sense of it…

    What claims have I made that Doctors with clinical experience wouldn’t make?

    Drug trials are specifically designed to rule out uncertainties such as, obviously, is it the drug that has worked or is any effect just chance? Why on earth would they test drugs against placebo control unless it was to remove the uncertainty that it was the placebo effect that was working? Why do they test double blind unless it is to rule out biasses?

    Of course drugs trails don’t guarantee a result (STRAWMAN – no-one said they did).

    And exactly how do Homeopaths determine that the effects of their remedies are not placebo or the results of bias? (not a rhetorical question – I would like an answer).

    The sentence you wrote about skepticblogs just doesn’t make sense. Sorry. Do you mean that YOU have come to that conclusion?

    I know what “like cures like” is supposed to mean but it is nonsense. It has also been called “The 200 year old mistake” as it was a fallacious assumption by Hahnemann that the whole of Homeopathy is built on.

    George was basically saying that I should test Homeopathy on myself – do you agree with him?

  46. Jimeno, first you claim that drug trials “rule out uncertainties” and are now trying to play semantics. Drug trials were intended to test for toxicity. Bias is endemic in drug trials, from the fact they’re manufacturer sponsored, to hidden data, to manipulated results/conclusions… are you really that naive that this industry is transparent? Really?
    There are 2 types of unwanted temporary effects from homeopathic drugs called aggravations in homeopathic practise — worsening of a patient’s own symptoms, or exhibiting symptoms created by the remedy that the patient never had before. You are obviously not aware of studies in hormesis which confirm biological effects either.
    That’s why I’ve said you need to know and study a lot more before commenting. Your philosophical opinions are not a substitute for knowledge or experience.
    My writing is quite clear, not so sure about your level of comprehension.

  47. You really think that drug trials are to test for toxicity? Really?? How about effectiveness? (although on reflection, effectiveness might not be something that homeopaths are very familiar with).

    Stop strawmanning!! Did I say that the drugs industry is transparent?

    The primary purpose of double-blind, placebo controlled trials is to establish effectiveness as you would well know if you knew your subject.

    Will you answer my question or not – how do Homeopaths determine that the effects of their remedies are not placebo or the results of bias?

  48. If you give say 100 healthy person a drug prepared in homeopathic manner to each and every one of them and if about 70 among them produce say” headache every morning”…. What will you interpret from that…
    We homeopaths interpret that these are symptoms produced by the drug administered.. We confirm this by reproving the same on another set of people and if we get the same symptom… we conclude that this is a symptom of the drug and include them into our Matera Medica.. You get me!
    There is no other system of medicine doing that!!!
    Homeopathy is Unique!!
    Homeopathy is curing so many numerous cases.. and you consider it to be placebo!! oh surprise!
    All major universities teaching homeopathy are fools!

  49. Do you do the tests double blind and against placebo? I ask because homeopathy fails these high quality tests. If you don’t test homeopathy that way one has to wonder why.

    As of this year 2012, after many years of decline, it will not be possible to do a degree course in homeopathy at any UK university.

  50. I see Laurie Willberg has been up to his usual tricks again. Putting out a load of BS. Apparently the UK parliament “refused to act on it at all” with regard to it’s own Science Committee’s Evidence Check report on Homeopathic remedies, and it was “debunked as a fraud”. On the contrary:


    And the UK Government actually agreed to some of the recommendations. Read the Government’s response carefully Mr Willberg, because on the face of it, it may give homeopathic snake-oil salesmen some comfort, but if you look at it more carefully it should soon dawn on you that the days of public funding for homeopathic “remedies” in the UK are numbered.

    Oh, and by the way drug trials are not intended to test for toxicity. They are intended and designed specifically to test for efficacy.

    Homeopathic remedies have no efficacy, they may have a placebo effect under some circumstances. They don’t work! And anyone who tries to sell homeopathic remedies on the basis that they have efficacy (at the moment, the whole homeopathic industry does this) is a fraud and should be exposed!

  51. Tricks, J. Roberts… I’ll leave that up to you. All you’ve done is linked to that dummy UK committee report. The government did not see it their way (you can’t “have it your way” this is not Burger King).
    Drug trials were developed to test for toxicity after the Thalidomide disaster. “Efficacy” does not mean “effective”, and with all the published reports of toxic drugs making it into the market to later be recalled and banned, I think we can all safely conclude that there’s been too much juggling of statistics and just plain research fraud.
    Your opinion of Homeopathy is clearly based on the hate-mongering tactics of Skeptic groups. It’s a pretty clear indication of creepy tactics when you people are coached on websites and given software programs to automatically generate complaints to Advertising Standards authorities or to anonymously edit Wikipedia with rubbish about alternative medicine. Guess what? Everyone’s on to you.
    Time for you to move on and get another hobby.

  52. Dummy? Your word, and your opinion Laurie Willberg. Meanwhile in the real world, you were wrong when you said the UK parliament refused to act on its own committee’s report, because the opposite is what actually happened. With a grasp on the facts as good as that it’s no wonder you continue to defend the indefensible. As for the Government “not seeing it their way”, perhaps you should read the Government’s response to the recommendations one more time, just to make sure you didn’t miss something – that’s if you have actually read it in the first place.

    Evidence-based trialling of interventions has moved on leaps and bounds since the Thalidomide disaster, which is a lot more than be said for homeopathy, which remains stuck in the late 18th century…

    Effective with no efficacy = placebo effect. What I have been saying all along. Get with the program!

    Homeopathy has no effect beyond a placebo effect. Anyone knowingly suggesting otherwise is a fraud and a charlatan.

  53. It’s statistically impossible for the thousands of cured cases through homeopathy to be some dummy medical treatment.
    The best you can do is infantile name-calling? Grow up.

  54. Name calling? Sorry, but where did I do that.

    Isn’t it funny that homeopathy only seems to “cure” self limiting conditions like the common cold. All those thousands of “cured” cases you mention would have cured themselves anyway, with or without homeopathic interventions

    There is absolutely no evidence that homeopathic interventions are successful at treating anything seriously life threatening. Here is the power of evidence based medicine: The lives of hundreds of thousands of HIV+ people have been prolonged by ARV treatment, to the extent that many of them, and increasing numbers of them, have a normal life expectancy. Is there a homeopathic intervention which can do that for someone with HIV? Definitely not.

    You can accuse me of “name calling”, “creepy tactics”, of being something so terrible as a “skeptic”, being “coached” by a website (wtf), whatever, but the fact is the evidence is against you. Homeopathic interventions do not work. To suggest to people that they do, and charge them money for buying these sham treatments amounts to nothing less than fraud.

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