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Homeopathy and other things.....

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Chris Wick, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    One completely self contradictory feature of homeopathy is that practitioners state that homeopathy works through some special but undefined property of water to imprint a memory into itself — the "memory of water" effect— and yet having stated this theory, a large percentage of the homeopathic remedies you see are in the form of dry pills, like those shown here!

    That would appear to be a major discrepancy in the internal logic of homeopathy: if homeopathy is based on the memories imprinted and carried in water, dry pills cannot possibly work! Has anyone ever brought this salient point up with the manufacturers of those dry pills, I wonder?

    If anyone wants to experiment with homeopathy, I'd suggest that you at least stick to the water-based products!
     
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  2. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    SanPharma homeopathic product I took really impressed me.

    I would be interested in giving it another try under different circumstances. Not sure I understand the initial post and what exactly Chris thought worked for his situation.
     
  3. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    I just dont understand why people are doing this. It is a form of force because already I have been denied Homeopathy from the NHS as funding was removed despite NHS Homeopathic hospitals being there since 1947.
    I have however been offered CBT, unwanted vaccinations, etc.

    But the NHS psychiactric Nurse in the link above, explaining placebos used as an example Anti-depressants which do not work above a placebo response.

    I just dont feel the need to jump on any thread mentioning Anti-depressants and say its just a sugar pill with a whole list of nasty and sometimes life threatening side effects.

    Lets be clear, if we remove Homeopathy due to lack of direct scientific evidence - we would have to remove a whopping 85% of Allopathic Medicine for the same reason.
     
  4. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    Yes there was a study conducted on Placebo ingredients concluding the trials are scientifically invalidated.

    Yes in the Guardasil trial, 4 out of 5 trials used the Aluminium Placebo and the other was labelled a Saline Placebo however this turned out to contain a poisonous chemical. A rough overview here:

    Lack of Disclosure of “Placebo” Ingredients in Clinical TrialsPosted on August 19, 2012
    by Rich

    There are lots of ways to manipulate clinical trials. One way is to not use a true placebo:
    “When the FDA issued its approval of Merck’s BLA for Gardasil on June 8, 2006, its decision was based on a review of Merck’s data from five separate clinical trials, each of which included efficacy and safety assessments for Gardasil. Four of the five trials approached their efficacy and safety studies in similar fashion, comparing Gardasil against a “placebo” that contained an active ingredient, with one trial comparing Gardasil against what the CBER reviewers described as a “saline placebo.” All together, these five trials examined a total of close 12,000 subjects who received at least one dose of Gardasil and compared their outcomes to roughly 10,000 subjects who received up to three injections of what Merck and CBER officials agreed to describe as a “placebo.”
    “But what is a placebo, really? One definition describes a placebo as “an innocuous or inert medication; given as a pacifier or to the control group in experiments on the efficacy of a drug.” The operative term here is the word inert. But in four of the five trials, Gardasil placebos contained a substance called an adjuvant, “a substance which enhances the body’s immune response to an antigen.” According to one of the trial publications, most of the Gardasil trial placebos actually contained an “amorphous aluminium hydroxyphosphate sulfate adjuvant… and was visually indistinguishable from vaccine.” So although the majority of the placebo treatments in the Gardasil trials did not include Gardasil VLPs, they were by no means inert. In control populations representing nearly 95% of all “placebo” recipients, the study subjects received a formulation that actually included an immunologically active (and potentially harmful) aluminum adjuvant.
    “One of the five trials, however, was different. In this trial, the only one that examined a younger population of nine-to-fifteen year olds, the placebo recipients did not receive an aluminum adjuvant. By contrast, and according to most of the FDA documentation, the nearly 600 control subjects in this trial received a formulation most commonly described as either a “non-alum placebo” or a “saline placebo.” The safety results of this trial deserve special notice, since it’s the only trial that compared Gardasil to a solution that could reasonably be described as “inert.”
    “But even that assumption would overstate the case. Although the “saline placebo” did contain water and sodium chloride (ordinary table salt), the FDA was incorrect to suggest that there were no other active ingredients. According to the published description of this trial’s methods,“The placebo used in this study contained identical components to those in the vaccine, with the exception of HPV L1 VLPs and aluminum adjuvant, in a total carrier volume of 0.5 mL.” Formulations like this, which are made up of everything in the vaccine except its immunologically active components, are sometimes called a “carrier solution.” The correct description of the placebo as a “carrier solution” rather than a “saline placebo” was provided only once in the CBER review, buried in a table on page 301. Nowhere in either the CBER review or the published account of the trial can one find any description of this placebo’s ingredients.
    “It is possible, however, to infer the composition of the carrier solution from Merck’s Gardasil package insert, which lists the vaccine’s immunologically inactive ingredients. These include: “yeast protein, sodium chloride [table salt], L-histidine [an amino acid], polysorbate 80 [an emulsifier], sodium borate, and water for injection.” At least one of these chemicals, sodium borate, is a chemically reactive toxin, one that has many industrial uses as an active ingredient. These include applications as: a replacement for mercury in gold mining; an insecticide and fungicide; and a food additive that is now banned in the United States. …”
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/05/a-license-to-kill-part-2-who-guards-gardasils-guardians.html

    “Placebo fraud rocks the very foundation of modern medical science; thousands of clinical trials invalidated“You know all those thousands of clinical trials conducted over the last few decades comparing pharmaceuticals to placebo pills? Well, it turns out all those studies must now be completely thrown out as utterly non-scientific. And why? Because the placebos used in the studies weren’t really placebos at all, rendering the studies scientifically invalid.”This is the conclusion from researchers at the University of California who published their findings in the October issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. They reviewed 167 placebo-controlled trials published in peer-reviewed medical journals in 2008 and 2009 and found that92 percent of those trials never even described the ingredients of their placebo pills.

    “Why is this important? Because placebo pills are supposed to be inert. But nothing is inert, it turns out. Even so-called “sugar pills” contain sugar, obviously. And sugar isn’t inert. If you’re running a clinical trial on diabetics, testing the effectiveness of a diabetes drug versus a placebo then obviously your clinical trial is going to make the diabetes drug look better than placebo if you use sugar pills as your placebo. …”http://www.naturalnews.com/030209_placebo_medical_fraud.html
     
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  5. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    golden

    I am really not interested in discussing issues surround 'fraud' related to placebos. I am actually more interested in the workings of the human mind rather than delving into big bad big pharma.
    As far as I am concerned pharmaceuticals have a place in this world because there are many medications that actually have beneficial effects and save lives. Using placebos as controls are the best way to show efficacy. I am sure there are a lot of shady things that have gone on but I choose not to go looking for evidence that is much of the time unfounded or written by people who only want to tear down pharmaceutical companies with one-sided often unfounded information. There is corruption and unethical behavior in the vitamin/supplement industry too but that doesn't mean all supplement and vitamins are bad along with the companies that produce them.

    Frankly, this thread was started in order to start a discussion about Homeopathy and the positive effects somebody has encountered and now it has ended up being about placebos. I guess part of this is my fault because I commented to your post regarding placebos.

    I think it might be beneficial to go back to the topic of the thread. I am sure those members who are interested in discussing the positive effects they find with homeopathic remedies get tired of the threads turning into discussions of why it can't work and the placebo effect.

    I guess I just took this thread more off topic with my comments and I apologize for that.

    Kina.
     
  6. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    Kina,

    I believe in would be beneficial if you were to review this whole thread as a reminder.

    I am one of those who are disgruntled that each and every time the Homeopathic Community attempts to share wisdom and experience to those interested, it gets abruptly interrupted with comments which quite frankly are rude and insulting.

    I dont mind however because people are at where they are at. People will only do what they know how to do.
    I have space for this.

    I do however think it unfair of you to appear to suggest that I have taken the thread off topic by raising the issue of Placebo ingredients, followed by placebo fraud, allopathic fraud.

    This is an Alternative forum. The thread title is 'Homeopathy and Other Things'. Whilst I was initially puzzled by what 'And Other Things' meant, it has become clear.

    It was page 1 on the thread when it was subjected to:

    'Homeopathy is based on false belief and is a scam' ....'personal anecdotes mean nothing', and several comments referring to money

    It doesnt matter to me who or why these things have been said, however I think if moderators allow these things to remain on threads, then it is only fair to allow discussion on the truth of these statements.

    Homeopathy is NOT a placebo.



    It is hypocritical that Allopathic folk would try to compare homeopathy to its own poorly structured, fraudulent trials.
    I was pointing that out.

    The Homeopathic Doctors and Vets I have met (that I was happy with) could have made heaps more money from the Lucritive Allopathic branch of medicine. They were honorouble, truthful, pioneering, intelligent people and it is insulting to plaster charges of corruption, fraud and deceipt onto them , and moreso when the Allopathic Industry is mired in these very things! A bad case of projection.

    Because of these attacks - I cant access NHS Homeopathic Hospitals. I have NO free medical care available to me anymore. Apart from A&E.

    This is disgraceful. Thousands of people were benefitti.g from homeopathy, just had it ripped away from them and mid-treatment - funding stopped.
     
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  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    That could be because every time you try to ask a homeopath about evidence for the efficacy of their treatments, they squirm and maneuver to avoid answering this question in slippery ways that would make even a politician proud. You rarely get a straight answer from a homeopath.

    For example, if I were to ask the question about how homeopaths can sell dry pills when homeopathy is supposed to be based on the memories imprinted in water, do you think I would get a straight answer from a homeopath?

    If the theoretical framework of homeopathy revolves around the "memory of water", how can you sell dry pills with no water in them?

    This is a simple question. Is any pro-homeopathy individual able to answer that simple question without wriggling?


    Here is another question: scientific medicine has largely abolished many serious and killer diseases that were commonplace in the past: diseases such as consumption, smallpox, polio, cholera, mumps, measles, and others. Pretty good track record. How many diseases has homeopathy ever eradicated? I can give you the answer to that question: none whatsoever. Not a good track record.

    I am not saying that homeopathy is proven to be bunk; there might be something to it; but that remains to be seen.


    For those with some scientific nous: on Dr Martin Chaplin's excellent water structure and science website, there is a fair and balanced scientific analysis of homeopathy, and a theoretical examination of the possibility that water might exhibit some memory effects.
     
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  8. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    Moderator Note

    One of the reasons why I enjoy Phoenix Rising is because members discuss things -- the pros, the cons, the science, the anecdotes, the good, the bad and the ugly. In terms of moderation, the moderation team agrees that members may and should discuss whatever is important to them as long as the topic of conversation does fall outside the stated rules. We do ask that members provide constructive criticism and avoid personal attacks. We think some of the language being used is a bit borderline but is it a personal attack or an attack on homeopathy or simply personal opinion?

    We can only moderate by what is written in a post. It's really difficult at times to know if a member is actually purposefully trying to be rude and insulting or is simply relaying their own personal thoughts. What is rude and insulting is entirely subjective until the point where another member starts making personal comments about another member like 'you are an idiot for believing this or you are stupid etc'. Sometimes we read things into posts that may or may not be the underlying message. We could go through the thread and remove some of the borderline statements but that wouldn't change what the bigger issue is here.

    The bigger issue is the issue of homeopathy and other alternative therapy threads turning into political arguments, arguments about the science and arguments about mainstream medicine vs alternative medicine when these threads are actually started to discuss the benefits of a specific treatment. When one starts a thread about something that has helped them, we don't believe they are trying to start a discussion of why the treatment that has helped them can't possibly work and then have the thread spin into a whole new discussion.

    It seems like this is a problem for some because we have received some reported posts and private Conversations regarding this issue. Pertaining to the issue of members interrupting threads on homeopathy there seems to be one reasonable answer. Why not start a thread on the science behind homeopathy and hash it out on the one thread and leave those who wish to start threads about what has worked for them to discuss just that without having to deal with arguments that tend to derail a thread. That is about all we can suggest. If such a thread exists, it would be simple to move any posts that digress into the science and politics of homeopathy to the thread about the 'science' leaving members to discuss the topic of the thread. An evidence thread would be beneficial as a tool for relaying information and having a good constructive debate about an obviously very controversial topic. If anybody would like to discuss this further please do so, but preferably in the 'Moderation' forum.

    Thank you.
     
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  9. invisiblejungle

    invisiblejungle Senior Member

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    Homeopathic remedies that come in the form of dry pills contain the original water-based tincture. Each pill contains one drop of the remedy. The dry form is for convenience.
     
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  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Would you have a reference for that?
     
  11. invisiblejungle

    invisiblejungle Senior Member

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  12. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Thanks for that reference. One of the studies quoted in that Wikipedia article is this one, which says:
    In other words, the study makes the point that by using pills, you now not only have to postulate that water has a memory, but presumably also have to postulate that this memory can be faithfully transferred from the water to the solid lactose material of the pill, and then further transferred from lactose to the body when you take the pill.

    So not only do we need the memory of water, but now we need the memory of lactose too.

    I guess there might a possibility that some of the water from the drop placed on the pill might remain in the pill without drying out; but to ensure this you would need to pack the pills quickly in a totally water-tight container, and users would have to make sure they always replaced the container lid quickly, to avoid the water evaporating away. The whole idea seems very suspect and unlikely.
     
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  13. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Homeopathy is indeed one of those things that will remain a mystery a think. But about how much of conventional science do scientists say they 'don't understand how or why it works'
    I was a sceptic I must admit, I took a homeopathic pill - can't remember now even what for. In its complete form it was snake venom. From that one pill I got huge blisters all over my tongue - and repeated it several times.
    That is one of the first symptoms of this snake venom - who could explain this, convinced me anyway, and no this was way way before I got ME - no sensitivities etc. etc. I use rescue remedy all the time - placebo - who cares it works.
    Just anecdotal but isn't that how medicine started thousands of year ago?
     
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  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I suppose one possible explanation for your experience is that the original snake venom had not been properly diluted in the homeopathic manufacturing process, such that there were in fact still actual molecules of the snake venom in the preparation you used. I am not saying that this is the case, but it is certainly a possibility that would need to be ruled out before one could be sure that your tongue blisters were definitely a homeopathic effect.

    But your experience is very, very interesting, as the homeopathic remedy you used seemingly triggered an unmistakable physiological response. If this experience could be repeated under lab conditions, where the snake venom homeopathic remedy was prepared under careful scrutiny, then this could offer scientific proof that homeopathic solutions can induce a real physiological response. I am not aware of any studies that have demonstrated a clear and obvious physiological response from a homeopathic preparation. Such proof of an incontrovertible physiological response would be a game changer in terms of scientific acceptance of a homeopathic effect.

    I had an interesting experience myself when I experimented with some homeopathic preparations a while back, before I had ME/CFS. I used some Australian bush flower essences, which are considered to work of the emotions, and the state of mind, rather than anything else. These flower essences are liquid water homeopathic products (also containing ethanol as a preservative), which you use by placing a few drops under the tongue. I bought one product that was supposed to provide an antidepressant mood boost. I was skeptical, but each time I used this product, it made me mildly more depressed! And consistently. The fact that this product worked in the opposite direction to what I expected (made me depressed rather than boosted my mood) made me think the results could not be due to an expectation-based placebo effect. Furthermore, a different flower essence product I tried from the same company had no effect on my mood and depression.

    I was so amazed at this result, that I wanted to perform my own blinded study on myself, using this flower essence product. Unfortunately soon after this I caught the virus that led to my ME/CFS, a virus that also caused severe disturbances to my mind, so I completely forgot about my "homeopathic science project".

    Of course, the depression effect induced in me by that homeopathic flower essence could have been due to some active ingredients dissolved in the water or ethanol. You would always need to prepare the homeopathic solution under lab conditions to be sure that there was no contamination with other active substances.

    You tongue blistering homeopathic snake venom experience does sound very intriguing though. I wonder how often this blistering occurs when using homeopathic snake venom? Was it a purely idiopathic response peculiar to your metabolism; or does such blistering sometimes occur in other people using homeopathic snake venom?
     
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  15. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    Yes it would be good to have a list! :)

    I believe Anaesthetic would be on it believe it or not:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=anesthesia-what-doctors-dont-understand

    So its not suprising that Homeopathy is not yet understood.

    One Day :)
     
  16. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    It is all very interesting hip, I now believe that homeopathic stuff does work for some but maybe not for others.I would never discount it.
    There 's so much in the world that can't be explained, scientists make far too much of having to have scientific research proof of this, that and the other.
     
  17. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I think that anyone (like myself) who loves science is essentially driven by curiosity — the desire to know how things really work, and know the inner structure of things. Now lots of people are not really that curious, and just accept and enjoy things as they are without too much questioning; but if you have this intensely curious disposition, you just can't help but want to explore the underlying, inner nature of things. Any time I learn something new and interesting about the inner workings of things, it puts me in a good mood.

    But returning to homeopathy: if solid empirical proof were ever demonstrated for a homeopathic effect, this would open the flood gates to whole swathes of theoreticians eager to work out why it works, eager to understand the underlying mechanism. But without such empirical proof demonstrating an obvious physiological response to taking a homeopathic preparation, the investigation on mechanism will never really start.

    I am not quite sure why homeopaths do not make more effort to provide solid empirical proof. The impression I get is that homeopaths perhaps by their character prefer to embrace the mystery, and shy away from logic and fact. In this respect, homeopathy then becomes a sort of Zen meditative practice in which you orient yourself towards the ineffable instead of the analytical.

    Even if homeopathic effects are unique to each individual, provided you got consistent results each time that individual was given the same homeopathic preparation (in the way you and I did, in our tests), that would be proof enough of a homeopathic effect. So perhaps scientists conducting empirical tests on homeopathy should avoid testing on large groups, and instead focus on the idiosyncratic responses of particular individuals to particular homeopathic preparations. In that way, perhaps you might obtain some solid incontrovertible empirical evidence of a homeopathic effect.
     
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  18. golden

    golden Senior Member

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  19. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    I used to have an extremely curious mind before I got sick, of course I am much more limited now, but my husband still thinks its funny that I want to know why and how about all things, particularly those of primarily male interest, building stuctures etc. but like you say its just how one is .

    Scientific research costs money - govt grants cover some but the main body is done by the big pharma and they have no interest in homeopathic stuff so I guess studies will be very small and limited. I'm being boring repeating myself but I remember a study on mastitis in cows, one herd was treated with H/pathic fomula in their drinking water the other herd not and the treated herd had statistically less cases.
     
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  20. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I don't think comparing homeopathy to a mystical experience is derogative in any manner. At the end of the day, it simply isn't science, but that's okay. If it makes you feel better or improves you somehow, and doesn't harm you, then there shouldn't be any objections to you embracing it.

    But when it is presented in the context of science, it really shouldn't be a surprise that it is subjected to scientific scrutiny. Homeopathy itself should not be derided anymore than any other personal conviction or faith or experience, but practitioners probably shouldn't try to sell it to non-believers as something more than what it is.

    Not everything has to be scientific to be of value.
     
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