is homeopathy mere placebo?
Recently, ‘the telegraph’ newspaper (published from calcutta, india) published articles on the lancet research study, in it’s monday science supplement – ‘knowhow’. Therein homeopathy was portrayed as a “placebo”. This sparked off a debate. The knowhow editors have already published 3 set of letters from the readers – some supporting homeopathy and some opposing homeopathy. “non-sense” / “unscientific” / “placebo” / “pseudo-scientific” are some of the words used for homeopathy. Some readers (including an allopathic doctor) have stated that there is no proof that homeopathy works and that not even a single case can be cured with homeopathy.
I have tried to write a reply. The following was sent to the newspaper today. I hope they publish it.
I have read with interest, the article on homeopathy, published in knowhow (“effect only in mind”, september 5) and the great debate that followed, in the “third law” column [readers’ letters column].
I respect knowHOW for the well researched quality of information and as such I pray that the readers be given the real facts (and not personal views). let the knowledgeable reader decide. let science triumph. let truth prevail.
the following must be noted as far as homeopathy is concerned.
1) science is not a system of beliefs - it is in fact a rational unbiased enquiry to find the truth. a scientific mind should not "believe" but research / experiement / experience and discover the real truth. was einstein always right? didn't galileo get in trouble for stating that earth revolves around the earth? didn't lord kelvin state that flying machines are not possible? a scientific mind is not static and senile - it is ever prepared to revise / renew our understanding and discover the truth. this applies to homeopathy and homeopathy dilutions as well. why believe? let's leave no stone unturned to find out.
2) those looking for some hard facts on the scientific studies on homeopathy may check: http://homeopathic.com/articles/research/index.php
homeopathy is available under NHS in UK and there are homeopathy hospitals in UK. more details at:
here is an attempt by a homeopath in bombay (dr pravin jain) to create a homeopathically cured cases database. check: http://www.homeocases.org/home/index.asp
dr prafull vijayakar of bombay has stunned the sceptics by his video recording of cases (said to be "incurable" by allopaths) cured homeopathically. his scientific teachings on the hering's laws of cure have invited worldwide attention. check:
prof. george vithoulkas of greece can be said to be one person who may be credited for the renaissance of homeopathy. he is the winner of alternative nobel prize. he heads the international academy of classical homoeopathy. more at: http://www.vithoulkas.com/
closer home dr dhananjay ray, a veteran homeopath of over 70 years, residing at 5/D rakhal ghose lane, calcutta - 700085, India (phone: + 91- 33 - 2350-1145) may be contacted to see several homeopathically cured cases of buerger's disease. there is no known cure of this disease except amputation. if homeopathy is a placebo - how were these people cured without loss of limb? these cases are supported by colour doppler studies and were referred to dr ray from the allopathic medical colleges. he has all papers and proofs with him. he is too old and may die in a few years. the sceptics may talk to him and see the papers to discover homeopathy - the "de medicina futura" (medicine of the future).
I, personally, am waiting for the human gene mapping project to get completed. when the age of "genetic medicine" will come - homeopathy will prove it's worth. the homeopathic principles of "like cures like" have already been proved to be successful in the use of vaccines - maybe in next 50 years the physics/chemistry of homeopathic dilutions will also be discovered. we maybe on the threshold of a scientific revolution.
3) the readers of knowHOW may be surprised to know that at the turn of the century there were homeopathic hospitals in the USA, more than 25% of the physicians in USA were homeopaths and the hospital outpatient departments (OPD) were managed by homeopaths. the insurance companies were more eager to sell their policies to people who took homeopathy, as they lived longer. what went wrong ? those who are interested may do google searches on homeopathy (or homoeopathy) history and find out the politics that has blocked the progress of homeopathy for more than 100 years.
a condensed history of homeopathy may be found at: http://www.homeopathic.com/articles/intro/history.php
4) due to socio-political reasons the teaching/research in homeopathy did not progress like allopathy. unfortunately, many homeopaths prescribe patent / branded homeopathic mixtures / tonics / combinations / ointments in the name of "modern homeopathy". this does not work and the public is losing confidence in homeopathy. it is nice to know that at least a few sincere homeopaths, the world over, have continued to practice in the correct way and call themselves "classical homeopaths". the knowHOW reader is requested to do a google search on "classical homeopathy" / "classical homoeopathy" to know more.
5) last but not the least - it is the clinical effect of homeopathy that matters. yes, it is true that the physics/chemistry of homeopathic ultra-molecular dilutions have not be clearly understood, till date, but the clinical results have been verified for more than 150 years. the scientists must research to find out the mystery of the ultra-molecular dilutions. meanwhile, the clinical application of homeopathy should continue.
some of the best homeopaths, in the last 150 years, converted to homeopathy from allopathy. have we forgotten the great pioneer from bengal dr mahendra lal sircar (1833-1904) ? dr sircar topped the MD examination of calcutta university in 1863 and later converted to homeopathy.
and yes ! the term "allopathy" came into being after "homeopathy" was discovered! in the 1800's allopathy was called "old school of medicine" and homeopathy - "the new school"!
the sceptics may conduct unbiased clinical studies by correctly applying homeopathic medicines - and note the results.
dr samuel hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy said "aude sapere" - dare to be wise. let's dare to wise.
long live hahnemann. long live homeopathy.
satyamev jayate (may truth prevail).
dr manish agarwala
classical homeopath and a lover of truth 'as it is'
is homeopathy quackery?
I have sent the following email to dr stephen barrett,M.D., who runs http://www.homeowatch.org/
dr barrett believes that homeopathy, homeo remedies and homeopaths are all fake, quackery, delusion, meaningless, senseless, effect-less etc.
dear dr stephen barrett,M.D.,
I read with interest, parts of your website on homeopathy, where you present homeopathy as a quackery. http://www.homeowatch.org/
you are highly qualified and an intelligent person - no doubt about that.
may I request you, as a scientific minded person to do a test?
take a sealed vial of arsenicum album (ars. alb., in short) from any renowned homeopathic pharmacy. you may get liquid or in globules. I would suggest to get the remedy from hahnemann labs in USA
get the highest available potency of ars. alb. and if possible the CM potency (i.e. 1,00,000 potency). now, you believe that homeopathy is fake, quackery and that infinitesimal dilutions (with not even a single molecule of the drug) have NO effect. right? OK. you see, the avogadro's number is already crossed before the 12th centesimal potency and this is 1,00,000 potency. so it cannot have even a molecule of the original substance (which is oxide of arsenic). right?
so, as per your views, this remedy has ZERO effect. right?
good! as you are an intelligent scientist - I request you to do a test. take ars. alb in 1,00,000 potency and give it to any human being (and if possible several or many people). how about mixing it in water and giving it to a room full of people like you who believe that homeopathy is a quackery and is fake?
one drop per person (or even less), to be kept in mouth for 3 minutes and swallowed. doses may also be given to animals and put in potted plants.
send samples of the remedy to testing laboratories. they will report back that the vial contains ONLY water and alcohol and not even a molecule of arsenic is there.
now, you wait and see the results. wait for a maximum of 7 days (minimum: within few minutes)
if you are a scientist and if you see ANY result (that surprsingly looks like arsenic poisoning. eg. burning sensation, restlessness, rice water stools, restlessness, rashes etc.) admit that you were WRONG all these years and accept defeat. it is good to be humble, dr barrett. scientific people like you, should be encouraging scientific research into homeopathy to understand homeopathic phenomenon.
and yes, if you conduct the above test, in the presence of neutral witnesses (who certify the genuineness and perfection of the remedy and/or test procedure) and find that the remedy has ZERO effect = do tell the whole world that homeopathy is fake. go to the government and ask them to ban the homeo remedies. do whatever you want. but test first. first test and then talk.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: the above test is very dangerous and may have serious consequences. proceed at your own risk. I am not to be held accountable for the effects or consequences. a CM potency of ars. alb is very powerful and has strong effects. I am not suggesting / advising anyone to test it this way on human beings, pets or even plants. the above was written to convince a sceptic that infinitesimal dilutions have infinitely more power !
if you would like to do a in-vitro test on the effect of homeopathy, check this link: http://www.gcchr.com/experimental_rese.htm
here you will see details of the work done by dr girish gupta of india, where he has shown the effect of homeo remedies against fungi and micro-organisms in laboratory dishes. you may get in touch with dr gupta and repeat these tests in USA.
if you would like to know about the clinical effect of homeopathy, you may get in touch with dr bill gray M.D., dr roger morrison,M.D., dr luc de schepper, M.D.,in USA and/or prof. george vithoulkas (greece), dr prafull vijayakar (India). let me know if you need their contact addresses. these great homeopaths will be able to show many cured cases, with proper records to substantiate that homeopathy works. again, why not refer a dozen or so cases (that are said to be "incurable" by allopaths) to these homeopaths and see whether they can do something or not? you may become a witness as well.
a discussion is going on in this web forum on the topic "is homeopathy mere placebo?" I had posted the first post, in response to the recent lancet report.
if you would like to know the truth about homeopathy, you may check these 2 links and read my posts there. there are a lot of links there in. if you are seriously interested in un-covering the truth about homeopathy, my posts (and the links there) should help you.
I will be posting this email to you, on these forums as well.
I hope, an intelligent, well educated, scientific minded person will take a rational look at what is truth and what is not. it seems, you have totally ignored the clinical proofs of homeopathic cures. in such a scenario, I had to write about the ars. alb. test.
"Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world: all knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it." – Albert Einstein
“Truth is what stands the test of experience.” – Albert Einstein
I request, challenge and welcome you to truth.
I respectfully welcome you to discover homeopathy and encourage other doctors and scientists to investigate, research and spread it for the benefit of humanity.
dr manish agarwala
For last many years peoples are constantly objecting the efficiency of the homeopathic medicines.I think they are paid people.We should avoid paying any attention to them.They will never accept homeopathy as a effective system of medicine.It is just a waste of time.
Constructive criticism from a sceptic
Straight off, I'm not paid (an neither is anyone else I've ever heard of) to say I believe or don't believe in anything. That's barmy.
I can envision a few responses to that letter, without even looking into who the people referenced actually are:
1) "They laughed at me in Vienna" is absolutely irrelevant to anything. I could say Greta Garbo was wrong when she sat her high-school exams in question 8 of the mathematics paper. Doesn't mean cars don't work or meteorites are made of cheese. That's how people will see this argument, and that's how people always have.
2) Most of the people mentioned are from India. Not knocking India, but the general health level over there isn't seen as anything much by, say, American standards.
Mentioning gene mapping should be avoided. You're implying that homeopathic solutions affect genes. That would not make much sense. This looks like picking a new-sounding technology and claiming some connection. Same with later suggesting we might be on the "threshold of a scientific revolution". Comparisons with vaccines are always going to be trouble, since they work in a different way, they're going to look like sleight-of-hand.
This doesn't help your case and is irrelevant. Homeopathy is by some now called "the new school of quackery". What some people called some thing some time ago is meaningless. Especially when the term "allopathy" is only used by non-homeopaths for simplicity when talking to homeopaths.
Other than that, looks like a good list of links and points
read works by the giriweb scientists http://www.giriweb.com/, dr prafull vijayakar, george vithoulkas, dr alexandra delenick et al. they ALL say a lot and yet they say that they need to find more, do more research. all the giriweb scientists are not homeopaths, they include MD's, physicists and distinguished people from many disciplines. do you think you are trained or in any way more knowledgeable than everyone else?
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