Homeopathy

From Altopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Disclaimer

As always, seek professional advice before using any of the methods listed throughout Altopedia.

Origin

Homeopathy (Listeni/ˌhoʊmiˈɒpəθi/; also spelled homoeopathy; derives from the Greek: μοιος hómoios, "-like" and πάθος páthos, "suffering")

It is a system of Alternative Medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, it is based on his theory that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people.

Homeopathy would be thought of as a pseudoscience.
It is not considered effective for any condition, and no remedy has been proven to be more effective than placebo.

Hahnemann believed the underlying causes of disease were phenomena that he termed miasms, and that homeopathic remedies addressed these. The remedies are prepared by repeatedly diluting a chosen substance in alcohol or distilled water, followed by forceful striking on an elastic body. Dilution usually continues well past the point where no molecules of the original substance remain. Homeopaths select remedies by consulting reference books known as repertories, and by considering the totality of the patient's symptoms, personal traits, physical and psychological state, plus life history.

Theories

The postulated mechanisms of action of homeopathic remedies are both scientifically implausible and not physically possible. Although some clinical trials have been known to produce positive results, although more systematic reviews have revealed that this is down to that of either chance, flawed research methods, and/or reporting bias.

Continued homeopathic practice, despite the evidence that it does not work, has been criticized as unethical because it increases the suffering of patients by discouraging the use of real medicine, with the World Health Organisation warning against using homeopathy to try to treat severe diseases such as HIV and malaria.

The continued practice of homeopathy, despite a lack of evidence of efficacy, has led to it being characterised within the scientific and medical communities as nonsense/quackery, or simply a sham.

British Scientific Theory

The British House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has stated: "In our view, the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclusively demonstrate that homeopathic products perform no better than placebos. The Government shares our interpretation of the evidence."