Homeopathy - Legitimate Medicine or Placebo?

Discussion in 'Health Care' started by Uncle Meat, Jul 27, 2011.

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What's your opinion on Homeopathy?

  1. Medicine - it works.

    5 vote(s)
    19.2%
  2. Placebo - it does nothing.

    21 vote(s)
    80.8%
  1. Herby

    Herby Active Member Past Donor

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    I'm talking about new hope for one individual in despair, not for humanity as a whole.

    Concerning the remark that something that old can't possibly be wrong, just let me mention Astrology. That has been around for millennia, is still commonly used today, and still doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

    Among those who use homeopathic medicine some do get better for some reason or another. After all, the human has great self-healing capabilities. Those are the ones the homeopaths will keep talking about. All those who weren't healed, however, might talk to their friends and relatives, but their message is often ignored at the moment when somebody considers relying on homeopathy.

    Many. So many in fact, that those being trained in homeopathy right now probably think that all those before them can't possibly have been wrong. We've heard that one before, haven't we? ;)
     
  2. suede

    suede Banned

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    Let's try to compare apples to apples.

    Maybe that's you're problem, something not making sense to you is biasing you?

    More so than placebo?

    Then by that logic, there should be lots of other snake oil medicines that are scamming millions and millions of people for hundreds of years. It defies all logic Homeopathy is the only one.

    Again, why does Homeopathy seem to be the only large-scale "quakery" medicine system that been so successful for hundreds of years?
     
  3. Herby

    Herby Active Member Past Donor

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    Homeopathy is successful, that's for sure, but it's not the only form of snake oil medicine. There are many other forms of alternative medicine among which some probably qualify for quackery too. Here's a list of branches of alternative medicine, just to give you an idea of what a vast field we're talking about.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_branches_of_alternative_medicine
     
  4. suede

    suede Banned

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    I'm only talking about medicines deemed "quakery" that have been extremely successful for hundreds of years. It defies all logic Homeopathy is the only one.
     
  5. Herby

    Herby Active Member Past Donor

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    The most prominent example of quackery in western medicine is bloodletting. That technique was used for over a thousand years, although it was later found to be mostly harmful instead of helpful. It's encouraging to see that some bad practices vanished over time. Acupuncture and chiropractic are other widespread examples of old alternative medicine with disputed efficacy still in use today.
     
  6. Panzerkampfwagen

    Panzerkampfwagen New Member

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    And doctors use the placebo effect all the time.

    One of the reasons a doctor might prescribe you a brand name medicine instead of a generic brand is because people expect the brand name to work better and studies show that they do if the person receiving it knows it's a brand name. Why? Placebo effect.
     
  7. PatrickT

    PatrickT Well-Known Member

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    How about simply fraud? Chiropracty, the same. Don't forget crystal therapy and armoma therapy.
     
  8. suede

    suede Banned

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    Bloodletting has medical value, the problem is they decided to do it for every health ailment way back in the day. But try to stick with medicines still currently used though.

    I'm talking back medical treatments that don't work at all, such as alleged with Homeopathy, not treatments that work for some ailments, but are then tried to be applied to everything, like bloodletting.

    If Homeopathy doesn't work at all, but is popular even after hundreds of years all because there a "lot of stupid people out there," there would be lots of other "quakery" medicine systems being just a popular just as long too. Homeopathy wouldn't be the only system that defied all odds and logic.
     
  9. suede

    suede Banned

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    So all those Insurance companies that pay for Chiropractic care are being taken for a ride?
     
  10. Herby

    Herby Active Member Past Donor

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    Why would they misuse bloodletting for over a thousand years?
     
  11. suede

    suede Banned

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    I'm talking about medicines, not medical procedures, that supposedly have NO VALUE and are currently still used today. Try to keep it apples and apples, please.
     
  12. drj90210

    drj90210 Active Member

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    Because traditional medical therapies (i.e. pharmaceutically-produced drugs) undergo rigorous forms of testing and clinical trials before they can be released on the market. Such studies demonstrate a statistical significant result and also can explain via pathophysiology the precise mechanism of action of how the drug yields its desired effect.

    On the other hand, homeopathic treatments do not undergo similar rigorous testing, and their mechanicisms of actions are generally not understood at all. Most statistical analyses find such treatments (i.e. Saw Palmetto for benign prostate hypertropy or acupuncture) yielding an identical effect as a placebo. Hence, this is why such medications invoke a "placebo effect."
     
  13. Colonel K

    Colonel K Well-Known Member

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    Homeopathic treatments are created by diluting the "active" ingredient in a solvent. If you have an illness, say sneezing, the homeopath will take some pepper (which causes sneezing) as your "active ingredient" and dilute it, one part pepper to 99 parts solvent, and shake it. You now have the "Mother Tincture"
    Taking one part of Mother Tincture, you dilute that with 99 parts of solvent, and shake it. Then take one part of that tincture, and dilute it.....etc. etc. etc.
    Eventually, the "tincture" is so dilute that it is physically impossible for one molecule of the original active ingredient to still exist. That is why critics of homeopathy call it "water" treatment, because that is all that can be in the bottle.
    The only treatment effect possible is the placebo effect, unless you believe that some of the water molecules somehow "remember" once touching a pepper molecule.
     
  14. suede

    suede Banned

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    And during these tests, what to they compare these pharma drugs with?
     
  15. suede

    suede Banned

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    There are a lot of alternative treatments that even I think is just the placebo effect. Why is Homeopathy so much more popular and has stood the test of time (so far) than these other "placebo effect" treatments?

    It defies all logic and odds Homeopathy "doesn't" work.
     
  16. Someone

    Someone New Member

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    Uhh, they'd just become big homeopathy after it got regulated and the government established distribution channels. If anything, "big homeopathy" would prefer this, because distilled water is much less expensive, and certainly has lower research costs.
     
  17. Ethereal

    Ethereal Well-Known Member

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    A placebo of some sort like a sugar pill.
     
  18. Ethereal

    Ethereal Well-Known Member

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    You cannot remove a solute from a solution by diluting it. It simply reduces the concentration of the solute in solution. No matter how much you dilute a solution, there will still be the same amount of solute in it when you began; it will simply be less concentrated.
     
  19. Panzerkampfwagen

    Panzerkampfwagen New Member

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    I see you've never heard of atoms, etc.
     
  20. Herby

    Herby Active Member Past Donor

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    Ethereal is right in saying that the active substance doesn't vanish while it's being diluted in its entirety. The problem shows up when parts of the solution get discarded or when it is divided into smaller samples during packaging.

    In practice, parts of the solution have to be thrown away during production. Let's say only 1 molecule of the active substance is used and gets diluted to 30C. That means that 1 part of the substance gets diluted in 99 parts water and the resulting solution diluted in 99 parts of water again, and again, and again thirty times in total. If nothing is thrown away, the number of molecules required to do this is 10^60 (1 active molecule and (10^60)-1 water molecules). 10^60 water molecules weigh 3*10^34 kg. That's about 5 billion times the total mass of the earth. Clearly, we lack the natural resources on this planet to pull this off.
     
  21. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    Crap. The whole idea that less of a substance means it's more efficacious is ridiculous.
     
  22. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    Herbs is a different subject than homeopathy. I have no doubt that herbs can work. The theory behind herbs working is scientific. The whole crap about homeopathy is that somehow diluting a solution more makes it more effective. Just crap.
     
  23. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    The old falsehood that natural = safe. Nature produces cobra venom, botulism and ebola virus.
     
  24. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    Why would you presume that nature doesn't produce bad chemicals?
     
  25. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    Because that is how we test drugs. We compare the drug's effects on a population to a placebo's effects. If the drug helps more than a placebo, it is considered effective. There are very few studies done of natural remedies vs. placebos.
     

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