I’ve seen it over and over. People asked to defend homeopathy on television, radio or even at government hearings, suddenly draw a blank. They’ve got no ammunition. No matter how smart you are, it really helps to be ready with soundbites or talking points. You never know when you may be asked to defend homeopathy, so here are some common questions and the sound bite answers.
Is homeopathy just a placebo?
No. It works in naive subjects, in newborn babies, in animals, in plants and in a test tube. Highly potentized substances (beyond Avogadro’s number) affect the growth of viruses in chick embryos 1 ,the rate at which starch is enzymatically changed to sugar in a test tube2 ,the metamorphosis of frogs3 and the growth of wheat seedlings4.
We also know from controlled studies (see below) and 200 years of clinical results, that people get better from the correct homeopathic remedy, but not from the wrong one. In the 1918 Flu and many other epidemics, the survival rate with homeopathy was massively superior to either conventional treatment or to no treatment. So it’s definitely not a placebo.
How can something that dilute have any effect?
It can’t, but homeopathic remedies are not just dilutions. That’s a common fallacy. Each time we dilute, we also add kinetic energy, and that creates a copy of the original substance. Each potentization makes a new (energized) copy. How many photocopies can you make of a document?
When homeopathic remedies are analyzed, why do they just find sugar?
Homeopathic remedies carry information, which tells your body how to heal. One analogy is the information you store on CD’s. A CD might contain all the works of Shakespeare, or the Bhagavad Gita. But if a chemist analyzes the CD, all he finds is plastic! Likewise, if a homeopathic remedy is analyzed chemically, all one finds is water or sugar. But when physicists analyze the remedies (with NMRI etc), they find they are quite different from sugar and from each other.
Why is there so much opposition to homeopathy?
Some people are just misinformed, while others with vested interests, have something to lose.
What can you say to skeptics?
You can read books about apple pie, or ice cream or mango lassie, but you will never know what they are until you try them. Next time you bruise or bang yourself, take a remedy called Arnica. Then you will know.
For those who want to read research, here are some sources with lots of information:
Homeopathy Science or Myth – Dr. Bill Gray (Research into high dilutions and much more.)
Divided Legacy – Vol 3 and 4 – Harris Coulter PhD. (Homeopathy’s effectiveness in epidemics )
Research on homeopathy’s effectiveness for specific pathologies:
1. British Homeopathic J.-74 (July 1985) 168-174- Homeopathic remedies inhibited viral growth in chick embryos from 50-100% depending on potency used.
2. 1930’s – W.Persson- and W. Boyd 1954- rate of fermentation of starch by ptyalin and diastase is influenced by high potencies of mercuric chloride.
3. Endler, P.C., Pongratz, W., van Wijk, R., Kastberger, G., Haidvogl, M. Effects of Highly Diluted Succussed Thyroxin on Metamorphosis of Highland Frogs. Berlin J Res Hom 1991; 1: 151-160.
Welles, S.U., Suanjak-Traidl, E., Weber, S., Scherer-Pongratz, W., Frass, M., Endler, P.C.,
Spranger, H., Lothaller, H. Pretreatment with thyroxine (10e-8) and the effect of homeopathically prepared thyroxin (10-30) on highland frogs – a multi-researcher study. Res Compl Med / Forsch KomplementÃ¤rmed 2007; 14: 353-357.
4. Betti L., Brizzi M., Nani D., Peruzzi M., Effect of high dilutions of Arsenicum album on wheat seedlings from seed poisoned with the same substance, Br Hom J 1997; 86: 86-89.
Brizzi M., Lazzarato L., Nani D., Borghini F., Peruzzi M., Betti L., A Biostatistical Insight into the As2O3 High Dilution Effects on the Rate and Variability of Wheat Seedling Growth. Res Compl Med / Forsch KomplementÃ¤rmed 2005; 12: 277-83.
Binder M., Baumgartner S., Thurneysen A., The Effects of a 45x Potency of Arsenicum album on Wheat Seedling Growth – a Reproduction Trial, Res Compl Med / Forsch KomplementÃ¤rmed 2005;12: 284-291.
Here are more studies!
French Study-Cahrs de Biotherapie 94 (April 1987) 77-81-Double blind. -Caulophyllum in difficult deliveries reduced labor time and decreased abnormal labor. Labor time 5.1 hrs average in treated grp. but 8.5 hrs in placebo grp. Also, 11.3% of treated grp had abnormal labor compared with 40% for placebo grp.
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology-9 (May 1980):453-459- Gibson, R.G. et al-Homeopathic Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthiritis-Double blind– 82% of patients experienced some relief compared with 21% for placebo.
Sainte-Laudy J., Belon P. Inhibition of human basophil activation by high dilutions of histamine. Agents Actions 1993; 38: 525-7.
Belon P., Cumps J., Ennis M. Mannaioni P.F., Roberfroid M., Sainte-Laudy J., Wiegant F.A.C.Histamine dilutions modulate basophile activation. Inflamm Res 2004; 53: 181-188.
Chirumbolo S., Brizzi M., Ortolani R., Vella A., Bellavite P. Inhibition of CD203c membrane upregulationin human basophils by high dilutions of histamine: a controlled replication study. Inflamm Res. 2009: DOI 10.1007/s00011-009-0044-4
Lalanne M, Doutremepuich C, De Seze O, Belon P. What is the effect of acetylsalicylic acid at ultra low dose on the interaction platelets/vessel wall? Thrombosis Res 1990 60: 231-236.
Eizayaga FX, Aguejouf O, Desplat V, Belon P, Doutremepuich C. Modifications produced by indomethacin and L-NAME in the effect of ultralow-dose aspirin on platelet activity in portal hypertension. Pathophysiol Haemostasis Thrombosis. 2007; 35: 357-363
Aguejouf O, Eizayaga FX, Desplat V, Belon P, Doutremepuich C. Prothrombotic and Hemorrhagic Effects of Aspirin. Clinical Appl Thrombosis/Hemostas, 2008 doi:10.1177/1076029608319945.
Fimiani V, Cavallaro A, Ainis O, Bottari C. Immunomodulatory effect of the homoeopathic drug Engystol-N on some activities of isolated human leukocytes and in whole blood. Immunopharmacol-Immunotoxicol 2000; 22: 103-115.
Ramachandran C, Nair PK, ClÃ¨ment RT, Melnick SJ. Investigation of cytokine expression in human leukocyte cultures with two immune-modulatory homeopathic preparations. J Altern Complement Med 2007; 13: 403-407.
de Oliveira CC, de Oliveira SM, Goes VM, Probst CM, Krieger MA, Buchi DD. Gene expression profiling of macrophages following mice treatment with an immunomodulator medication. J Cell Biochem 2008; 104: 1364-1377.
Smit E, Pretorius E, Anderson R, Oommen J, Potjo M. Differentiation of human monocytes in vitro following exposure to Canova in the absence of cytokines. Ultrastruct Pathol 2008; 32: 147-152.
Endler, P.C., Pongratz, W., van Wijk, R., Kastberger, G., Haidvogl, M. Effects of Highly Diluted Succussed Thyroxin on Metamorphosis of Highland Frogs. Berlin J Res Hom 1991; 1: 151-160.
Welles, S.U., Suanjak-Traidl, E., Weber, S., Scherer-Pongratz, W., Frass, M., Endler, P.C., Spranger, H., Lothaller, H. Pretreatment with thyroxine (10e-8) and the effect of homeopathically prepared thyroxin (10-30) on highland frogs – a multi-researcher study. Res Compl Med / Forsch KomplementÃ¤rmed 2007; 14: 353-357.
Guedes J. R. P., Ferreira C. M., Guimaraes H. M. B., Saldiva P. H. N., Capelozzi V. L. Homeopathically prepared dilution of Rana catesbeiana thyroid glands modifies its rate of metamorphosis. Homeopathy 2004; 93: 132-137.