Efficacy of HomeopathyEssay Preview: Efficacy of HomeopathyReport this essay“Homeopathy is a fanciful doctrine, which maintains that disordered actions in the human body are to be cured by inducing other disordered actions of the same kind, and this to be accomplished by infinitesimally small doses” (McSherry 89). The fundamental principle of homeopathic treatment is the axiom similia similibus curentur, “the like is cured by the like.” According to the Old English saying, “eat the hair of the dog that bit you.” It is often quoted by drunks, who thus rationalize using a small amount of the same alcoholic drink as they did the previous night, to overcome the hangover. In reality they are natural homeopaths. Even though homeopathy may seem evident, since its first appearance in nineteenth century it has been very controversial. A lot of people have been disputing, are disputing, and will be disputing homeopathy by asking various questions about its efficacy. Why should the substances which cause certain symptoms not make them worse rather than better? How can a dilution that no longer contains the original substance have a physiological effect? Even more questionable is the proposition that diluting increases the homeopathic effect. On the other hand, there are several pieces of evidence which can prove the efficacy of homeopathy such as personal experience, the test of time, basic Ultra High Dilutions (UHD) research, clinical evidence, and holistic treatment. Even though homeopathy has been a subject of much controversy for a long time, this method of curing various diseases has already proved its own efficacy.
To begin with, the first evidence to support homeopathys effectiveness is peoples direct experience. Homeopathys first major expansion occurred in the middle of the nineteenth century when Hahnemanns students proved to be so effective in the cholera epidemics that swept Europe. Moreover, the expansion of homeopathy in America in the second half of the nineteenth century and the growth seen in Britain over the last twenty years have been fuelled almost entirely by peoples experience of its effectiveness. The death rates in homeopathic hospitals and hospitals and institutions supervised by homeopaths in nineteenth century America were a half to an eighth of what they were in conventional institutions. What is more, declines, especially the one that occurred in America at the turn of the century, have similarly come about because too many poorly trained practitioners have proved ineffective (Kaufman 507-508). So, its easy to see that one of the arguments of the homeopathy efficacy is experience.
For another thing, the fact that homeopathy has stood the test of time makes it hard to ignore. Many cures and therapeutic techniques come and go with remarkable rapidity. What is more, even in conventional medicine, most treatments and drugs therapies are out of date and replaced within a few years. Homeopathy, in its turn, has grown and been refined; however, the principles and the research that led to it are as important and valuable today as they were two hundred years ago. If these principles were not as effective as they are they would require continual adjustment to keep them fitting the facts of the time. Thus, its important to notice that homeopathy managed to pass the time test, and, hence, can claim for its efficacy.
Moreover, one more evidence of the homeopathy efficacy is research made in the area of Basic Ultra High Dilutions (UHD). It is the fact that any dilution beyond a certain level, which corresponds approximately to the 12c homeopathic potency, will result in most samples containing no material substance that makes homeopathy so unreasonable to scientists. Yet there are numerous studies of various types which have shown that both in vitro and in vivo effects can be caused by UHDs. Evidence ranges from Benvenistes work on dilute IgE (Immunoglobulin E) antiserum (Benveniste 1028) and Contes work with NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) to other studies using various homeopathic dilutions (Conte 671). In an overview of UHDs Vallance concludes that there is considerable empirical evidence of the dilutions efficacy. There are also emerging plausible and experimentally supported possible mechanisms for the actions of UHDs. These include the ordering of water in microtubules and IE crystals found in water (Vallance 1245). So, the Ultra High Dilutions research is one more evidence in support of homeopathys effectiveness.
Furthermore, numerous clinical studies also support the efficacy of homeopathy. In particular, double blind clinical studies which scientists regard as the standard are not lacking proving homeopathys effectiveness. Research on respiratory disease in piglets and mastitis in cows has shown homeopathy to be effective with animals where the placebo effect can safely be ignored. Moreover, in humans, a tiny selection of the published research shows the range of evidence available. Studies have shown homeopathy to be effective in curing such conditions as vertigo, pollinosis, postoperative ileus, upper respiratory tract infection and otitis media, depression, and anxiety (McSherry 85). Its also important to underline that a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials published in the Lancet concluded that the results were “not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homeopathy are completely due to placebo (Shang et al. 730).” In other words, the results of clinical tests proved that homeopathic remedies are much more efficient than placebo. An earlier study also published in the Lancet also indicated that the evidence of homeopathy is reproducible (Sutton 242). “While statistically significant results will occasionally occur by chance, it is extremely improbable that a worthless treatment would repeatedly produce statistically significant benefits” (Gaby 27). Therefore, its difficult to deny homeopathys efficacy according to the numerous clinical research.
Next, the effectiveness of homeopathy can also be confirmed by the fact that homeopathic remedies are tailored to the individual. Conventional research doesnt, and perhaps cant take account of many of the most important features of homeopathy. The first and most important of these is the matching of the remedy to the individual characteristics of the patient. To give an example, in the studies on pollinosis, the comparison was between a single remedy and either placebo or conventional betahistamines. Yet a standard textbook of homeopathic therapeutics offers 25 remedies for hayfever, and that list is by no means exhaustive – it doesnt include either of the remedies shown to be effective in the previous research. Only a small number of people will be helped by any one remedy. What is more, that small number will often be below the number who get better naturally
Homeopathy is often used to treat a wide range of conditions, from respiratory illnesses to gastrointestinal diseases.
Some of the most popular and common homeopathic remedies are:
The following supplements are a partial list and some of the ones which are best for a given illness.
These are in addition to the general ingredients to get the best results. Some are found in the market already.
These are a list of natural solutions from various manufacturers, or even even natural or herbal remedies. Some of them are very useful when it comes to treating certain illnesses, however, some are completely useless, and are not safe for patients.
Homeopathic remedies are most effective when used well, especially when combined with a large population, especially in certain conditions such as psoriasis, chronic pain disorders, allergies. The results of any of these homeopathic remedies can be considered statistically significant
A more important aspect of any homeopathic remedy, however, is to be found within its use in the homeopathic medicine. To date, more and more research has been done on homeopathic remedies, and there has been a considerable push for homeopathy to be integrated into the medical care. However, there has never been as much research as there seemed after an initial surge in homeopathic research being done by universities. Thus, there is not much interest in integrating homeopaths into medical care, and such things must be considered in the research being done.
The following extracts from scientific research in the UK about the role of natural remedies in treating chronic pain, skin diseases, and allergies, on homeopathy and homeopathy-as-an-integrated therapeutic:
The original research done in the 1920’s was to learn what to do with remedies that were produced from non-pesticide sources. But the initial goal was not to become more efficient, so it only came about because of the need to get rid of all the chemicals that were destroying the natural remedies. In a previous study, scientists had reported that a combination of non-pesticides, including petroleum, benzene and asbestos, produced remedies that were just as effective.
What did this new field of investigation look like? Well, the initial research was done in the 1920s, and there was many attempts to address some of the problems of homeopathic research. While most of the research was focused on the idea of natural remedies, some research started to be done to assess possible ways to enhance the effectiveness of the remedies, including improving them and by incorporating them for various conditions.
What the study looked at were a mixture of three components:
The remedies were developed at different points in the 1920s and 1930s, at various points in the 1940s and 1960s. And each factor was considered in their own way. Many of the solutions they developed focused on one component, such as the prevention of psoriasis (bacterial infections which can lead to skin problems) as well as controlling psoriasis by enhancing the production of antibacterial molecules that affect skin bacteria. The only specific modification involved the administration of topical steroids. One of the results of the study was a combination of a single and two solutions.
Of this study you will see a change in the homeopathic philosophy regarding homeopathic remedies, namely the introduction of antimicrobial compounds
and the subsequent research that focused on the role of chemicals in home