Extensive Study Finds Homeopathic Remedies Don’t Work
Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine created by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796. It’s defined by the idea that a “like cures like,” meaning the cause of symptoms in healthy people will actually cure them in sick people. It’s long been unclear whether homeopathic remedies were effective, but a large analysis of studies has found that the system is ineffective for nearly everything it’s been used to treat.
According to The Guardian, “By diluting these substances in water or alcohol, homeopaths claim the resulting mixture retains a ‘memory’ of the original substance that triggers a healing response in the body.”
But an extensive analysis of 225 controlled studies and 1,800 papers has answered the long running question about homeopathy: does it actually work? The report, done by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), found that, no, actually, it doesn’t work. Researchers said the studies that found homeopathy to be effective were flawed.
“There will be a trail of people who won’t respond to this report, and who will say it’s all a conspiracy of the establishment,” Chair of the NHMRC Homeopathy Working Committee, Professor Paul Glasziou, said to IFL Science!. “But we hope there will be a lot of reasonable people out there who will reconsider selling, using or subsiding these substances.”
Researchers are hoping that private insurers that cover homeopathy will cease to do so. Additionally, many private colleges were offering classes on the system and the hope is that after this report, students will reconsider taking the classes.
“I have no problems with private colleges wanting to run courses on crystal-ball gazing, iridology and homeopathy, and if people are crazy enough to pay for it, it’s their decision,” Dr Ken Harvey, a medicinal drug policy expert and health consumer advocate said to The Guardian. “But if those courses are approved by a commonwealth body, that’s a different story and a real problem.”
In an effort to prove that homeopathy is nothing short of witchcraft, one scientist swallowed 50 homeopathic sleeping tablets at once and said that she didn’t feel drowsy at all.
According to Daily Mail, “[n]inety minutes later, she reported feeling no different – and says this proves thousands of people the world over are being misled.”
Homeopathic remedies can be applied to the skin to treat conditions like common cold, flu, asthma, eye infections, diarrhea, and the list goes on. As of 2003, sales of homeopathic products were between $300 and 450 million in the U.S. For the most part, medical experts in the U.S. have found it’s not beneficial, but not harmful either since it has little or no active ingredient. But just to be safe, it’s not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
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