CBC Marketplace Investigates Homeopathy: A Review

Benefiting from the Atlantic Time Zone, I got to be one of the first to watch CBC Marketplace on Friday night (darn you, Newfoundland!) where they covered the topic of homeopathy. Here are my impressions.

First, I want to praise Marketplace for not offering false balance on the issue. Homeopathy is not something about which there is any serious scientific debate. The evidence is clear that homeopathy is not physiologically/chemically/physically possible, has no defined mechanism of action, and does not work beyond a placebo effect. It would be wonderful if it did work, but it doesn’t.

The show opened with an intrepid band of skeptics who decided to overdose on homeopathy, 10-23 style. After consuming bottles of remedies, they waited. The host cut back to the skeptics periodically through the episode, who stood patiently waiting for something, anything, to happen.

Next came the anecdotes. While countless people use homeopathy for things like colds, headaches, cuts, scrapes, and other self-limiting conditions and have “seen results”, there is no distinction between what was supposedly done by the homeopathic medicine and what would have happened on its own, without the remedy. One woman interviewed even mentioned that homeopathy takes longer to heal ailments than conventional medicine. In other words, homeopathy is like paying to watch your body heal itself.

It seemed clear from some of the short interviews, as well as from comments on the Marketplace website, that many users believe there are actual ingredients, at small amounts, in homeopathy. But unlike herbal medicine, homeopathy is diluted such that most remedies don’t contain a single molecule of the original ingredient. Within alternative medicine, herbal remedies (having a mix of chemical constituents) are the polar opposite of homeopathy (having sugar, shaken water, and nothing else). The lab testing the show commissioned showed this – two different remedies were chemically indistinguishable.

Proponents claim that, however it works, homeopathy is some form of “energy” that science can’t measure. Fine. Set aside the idea that homeopathy “remembers” the original substance, yet forgets the memory of everything else that the water has ever encountered. Is it having an effect on the person taking it? If yes, then the effect is measurable! But when we try to measure it, using rigorous studies that control for biases, homeopathy behaves exactly like what one would predict for sugar pills: it’s as effective as a placebo.

This is where Marketplace got a little sidetracked. They focused a lot on mechanism and not enough on efficacy. Homeopaths love to deflect criticism of mechanism with testimonials about how it “worked for so-and-so”. I wish there had been more focus on the numerous clinical trials that have shown no significant measurable benefit, though they did mention the recent British Evidence Check into Homeopathy, an extensive review that concluded:

The Committee concurred with the Government that the evidence base shows that homeopathy is not efficacious (that is, it does not work beyond the placebo effect) and that explanations for why homeopathy would work are scientifically implausible.

The show also, to its credit, excelled in documenting the actual and potential risks of homeopathy. Advocates love to say “What’s the harm?” or “At least I know there’s nothing harmful in it because it’s diluted”, but there can be a real harm to ignoring proven medical treatments. They talked to one woman who believes her son is vaccinated because she gave him homeopathic “vaccinations”. (A simple blood titre test would tell her otherwise.) The show also pointed to the tragedy of Gloria Thomas, a baby born perfectly healthy who died of septicemia because her parents treated her eczema with homeopathy instead of proven medicine. (The parents were later convicted of manslaughter.) They also spoke to a few homeopaths who alarmingly claimed they could cure cancer and found more Canadian homeopaths making these claims online. Let’s get this straight right now: delaying early stage cancer treatment can absolutely kill people and there is no evidence - none – that homeopathy can cure cancer.

Marketplace also put homeopaths, and the manufacturers of homeopathic medicine, on the spot to prove their products work. They got answers like “[So you can't explain how homeopathy works?] Not exactly, no, I just use it”, “There hasn’t been a lot of demand for clinical studies”, “Perhaps science hasn’t developed to a point where they can detect the medicine”, etc. One homeopath offered to send scientific papers to Marketplace, which they report were never received. This is what homeopaths credit for the supposed miracle that can cure cancer? Gut feelings and excuses for a lack of any credible evidence for the remedies they sell?

An Ontario government spokesman, Josh Tepper, looked clearly uncomfortable defending the decision to regulate the practice of homeopathy. Granted, the government is in a bit of a tough situation: regulated, homeopathy can be potentially monitored to minimize the harms; unregulated, homeopaths seem to have free reign to make claims like cancer cures. Why a practice like homeopathy deserves the government stamp of legitimacy wasn’t answered. Surely there are existing measures in place to stop people from offering fake cancer cures.

Perhaps, when it comes to homeopathy, the decision flows from the actions of Health Canada, the federal authority that has determined that homeopathic medications are “safe and effective”. Failing to question Health Canada on exactly how sugar pills are deemed to have medicinal effects was the biggest omission from the program. It was a major shortcoming to not link the products they tested on the show with Health Canada’s separate approvals of indistinguishable sugar pills. But you can only do so much in a half-hour.

All in all, this was a big win for health skepticism and scientific inquiry. The potential dangers of homeopathy were outlined (false claims of cancer cures, false claims of vaccination, examples of past harm, etc), the problems with the purported mechanism were outlined, the lack of convincing evidence were mentioned (though unfortunately there was too little time to go into detail), and consumer rights issues were brought to the forefront. And the skeptics? The overdose was deemed a success – all lived.

Why bother to take this on? The facts of homeopathy don’t seem well-understood by the general public, which may explain its appeal. Some of the street interviewees looked surprised and a little unhappy when informed that their preferred remedy had nothing in it. Homeopathy has escaped scrutiny in mainstream Canadian media for some time, and this is where the Marketplace episode ultimately succeeded. It refused to accept a medical double standard for consumers. Why should homeopathy be able to make claims to hopeful Canadians without any justifiable evidence? Short answer: they shouldn’t.

You can now watch the full episode online.

Epilogue

Of course, not all viewers of Friday’s Marketplace were pleased with the results. Before the show even aired, homeopathy advocates were in a furor, going so far as to start comment campaigns (site now deleted) among their a priori criticisms. Bryce Wylde even linked to his same old list of homeopathic evidence, including 21 papers which were already demonstrated to lack scientific rigor and to sometimes have nothing to do with homeopathy at all.

Despite these criticisms, curiously, the show noted that almost all spokespersons for homeopathy organizations declined invitations to appear and defend their practice.

40 Responses to “CBC Marketplace Investigates Homeopathy: A Review”

  1. Bogeymama says:

    Overall, I liked the show. I know that they didn’t have alot of time, but I, too, would have liked to see more done to discredit the claims made, and the dangers of doing so.

    My biggest worry is about these so-called vaccines – that mother clearly thought that her child was vaccinated. So when this child enrolls in school or in programs that require proof of vaccination – his mother might very well just sign those papers! I admit, I’ve never had to show my child’s record of vaccination for any programs, I’ve just had to say that it’s been done. This is worrisome. What if the child gets sick, and the doctor asks if the child’s vaccines are up-to-date? Would mom just say yes? The doctor would then likely put those possible diagnoses way down the list of differentials.

    The other thing I noticed … people who seem to rely on homeopathy supposedly support all things natural – since when is it “natural” to take so many bloody pills???? Placebo or not, I think a better way to live “naturally” would be simply to take as few supplements as possible, eat properly, wash hands, and get enough sleep (which I don’t think enough people do … you should see the parents parading around late at night shopping with their kids on school nights!) All the comments on the CBC site make me laugh a little, but I wanna cry a little too.

  2. I was quite pleased with the programme. Given that they had only 20 minutes, they managed to include quite a bit of information.

    I had a good laugh with the Boiron rep who advised to keep looking for scientific equipment. Unfortunately, that was also a bit of a weak point on the side of Marketplace. They could have exposed this for what it is: a red herring.

    I hope they’ll be able to do a series on homoeopathy in the near future. Homoeopathy must be exposed for what it is.

  3. Sarniaskeptic says:

    Great review! I agree that they did miss out on explaining the studies and efficacy trials but (and I’ve suggested this before) we really would need to spend quite some time explaining basic science first.

    People are sold on anecdotes because they don’t understand what self-limiting, regression to the mean, statistical significance and natural history of a disease mean. They don’t know what logical fallacies are and they don’t understand the difference between binary/objective outcomes and subjective outcomes. Without that, someone simply saying “it worked for me” is going to trump a study.

  4. Nicole Smith says:

    I definitely enjoyed the episode as well. I found the interview clips with the mother who “vaccinated” her child with homeopathy to be particularly poignant — she didn’t seem stupid, or fanatical about homeopathy, simply naive and very misinformed.

    I hope after watching this story, she and other parents re-think their choices, and ask themselves what’s really best for their child.

    I did think the piece could have used a bit more historical information, and clarified that homeopathy is not “traditional medicine” but was instead invented out of whole cloth by one man 200 years ago. They mentioned it in passing, but didn’t go into any detail about the historical context of the practice (unless I somehow missed that part). It might be useful information for the “science just doesn’t understand traditional medicines” crowd.

  5. Abber says:

    A lot was packed in to a short space of time, but the efficacy issue was the most important aspect to have focused upon and they really dropped the ball there.

    Proponents of homeopathy probably walked away with the message that science cannot understand their remedies, but they work all the same. And viewers who were on the fence about the issue might have taken away the same message.

    The fact that many well-designed research studies into homeopathic remedies have all show them to be no better than placebo, is a crucial take-home message. Forget the mechanisms and whether hi-tech equipment can detect anything in these so-called medicines, just look at the cold, hard facts: they do not work.

  6. Dianne Sousa says:

    A few thoughts on the program:

    Boiron claims that their products do contain active ingredients and suggested that the testing conducted was insufficiently sophisticated to show this. If they possess this equipment, why not provide it? Why not say “Oh you should have used machine x” etc. If they cannot show that they can identify their own products under proper blinding they should not be allowed under any circumstances to have their product for sale in Canada.

    I’m inclined to be harsher on the mum featured in the program than most. She has a responsibility to her child and in no way has free reign to make whatever choice she wants. She has this for herself but not for her child. She did appear to be genuinely misinformed about homeopathy, but she is now on notice. Failing to follow through with appropriate medical treatment for her child is neglect.

    Overall – big skeptic win. It is becoming increasingly clear that homeopathy proponents can do little against careful scrutiny of their claims.

    • Paul says:

      This is where Erica should have pointed out that as the people selling the product and making the money, the onus is on Boiron to prove their product contains the active ingredients they claim.

      Beauty comment from the Mom in question, something along the lines of.. “it works, it just takes a little a longer.”

      Riiiight.

      Couldn’t be the illness running its natural course and then fading away, could it?

  7. Anon says:

    Anyone here actually try homeopathic,s? It works for people, so if people keep saying don’t try them unless you know what your taking….for example, how many of you know the “actual” toxic concoctions put in those beautiful vaccinations you are pumping your kids full of? Every person on this earth has choices, and that Mom has EVERY right to choose for her child, because it is her child! Not the drug companies child, not your child! Gain some research under your belt before you start trashing a mother who chooses not to put vaccinations in her kids arms. Do you even know the ingredients…don’t ask? Just put em in the kids!Homeopathic’s have been around alot longer than most drugs put out on the market…Now there is common sense here, Pharma drugs have saved lives, homeopathic’s has as well…do some reading …energy medicine….Some say… don’t believe everything you read or see on tv…but boy oh boy CBC market place comes on and trashes homeopathics….well, then it must be the truth? Free world, folks, make your own judgements for yourself. Don’t judge other people and what they do because you don’t like it. Life is too beautiful and short to be worrying about something that doesn’t have anything to do with you personally. Don’t like them? Don’t take them. They saved my sanity by taking ONE homeopathic pill…One…Apposed to sitting on Paxil for the rest of my life for $70.00/month there abouts…Figure that one out? Great Placebo! And there’s 50 in a jar….some have more for 7.99/bottle and I only had to take ONE, folks….So good for me ,
    Now I’m waiting for CBC Market place to expose a Pharma company…like GlaxoSmithKline? Pick one? Have fun with narrow mindness!

    • Dianne Sousa says:

      Anon,

      I don’t know where you are located – but I suggest you consult the child protection laws where you live. You might find that parental choice is restricted more than you care to understand. Simply put you are quite wrong about the ability of a parent to make whatever choice they want for their child. Children have independent rights of their own and there are minimum standards of care that a parent is required to provide. My argument is that the use of homeopathy instead of scientific medicine does not meet that minimum standard.

      Also, there is a difference between judging a person in a moral sense and evaluating their choices and behaviour. You see and feel judgement, we critically evaluate.

      • Dr.MOM HD says:

        Thanks for your insight Dianne but you are wrong about the law and child protection has nothing to do with it! In Canada you do not have to get your child vaccinated and only 3 provinces require proof or an affidavit signed that your child is not vaccinated.

        It blows me away at how narrow minded people are about vaccinations. People vaccinate their children without the knowledge of what is in the vaccination. If your child is vaccinated then why are you concerned about other children being vaccinated? Are you concerned that the vaccination is not effective? I believe that people are more fear based and they need to do more research before opinions are publicized.

        As for Homeopathy you can over dose on the pills but how they did it was not scientific or properly controlled and for most people the remedy if not necessary for your body would be excreted out. On top of that I wonder how they slept and what effects are happening to them now? Not a good study!

        Homeopathy has been around longer then “traditional” medicine and it is the Big Pharma that are having problems with it’s resurgence and that is why we are getting all this press.

        Consider this why does Homeopathy work for children and animals? They have no opinion on what they are taking but it does work. So skeptic attitudes don’t matter.

      • Abber says:

        @Dr Mom HD
        Why are we concerned about other children being vaccinated?
        1) We care.
        2) Herd immunity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity

      • Andy A says:

        @Dr Mom HD

        Why does homeopathy work for children and animals?

        1) My son sometimes gets a headache asks for a plaster. Does it make him better? No. Does it make him feel better, of course it does. Placebo effect. Exactly the same as for an adult.

        2) And your right that probably isn’t the case for the animals. But the animals don’t fill in reports and talk to the vets do they. Their owners do. I’ll think you’ll find the placebo effect works wonders on the owners. Think about it.

        3) “Homeopathy has been around longer then “traditional” medicine.” Do you really want a list of all the terrible things that have been around longer than traditional medicine that people still do?

        4) “As for Homeopathy you can over dose on the pills”… Prove it.

    • Steve Thoms says:

      Anon: That argument is silly. Have you ever actually TRIED bloodletting? People say it works to relieve all manner of social, physiological and psychological illness! Don’t badmouth something unless you’ve tried it!

      Bloodletting has been around as a headache cure since ANCIENT times! Far longer than your precious Homeopathy! But boy oh boy to people like to badmouth drilling a hole in the head to let the blood out of a colicky child.

      Do some reading. If you actually read about bloodletting, you’ll find centuries worth of literature about how it works to bring the body back into natural balance.

      Until you tried draining blood out of your body, you’re naive. Have fun with narrow mindedness!

  8. Abber says:

    @Anon. You will probably find that many of the readers of Skeptic North are very familiar with homeopathy. They understand what is in the remedies and how they are produced. They also understand the implausability that a vial of water shaken in a magical way and containing not one single molecule of the supposed active ingredient, could ever provide a health benefit beyond the placebo effect. A great many clinical studies have shown the same result. We can convince ourselves that they work because we once felt better after taking one of the pills, or we may choose to believe that they are effective because the pratice is 200 years old, or because a close family member swore by them, but if you are serious about healthcare, you need to look at the cold, hard facts: they simply do not work.

    This is a serious matter because it impacts on the health and well-being of the entire nation. If something so preposterous as homeopathy is allowed a place on our pharmacists’ shelves and in our healthcare system, it lends it credibility and steers patients away from the real and effective medicines, without which their conditions may become far worse. This is not just about the wasted money on sugar pills and the increased healthcare costs when patients become sicker by not seeking proper medical attention, it is about our families, our friends and our fellow human beings.

    There may be no way to convince the true-believers; perhaps it is an issue of pride, or an inability to change one’s mind once they have taken a stand. But I applaud the CBC for tackling this subject because it will have opened the eyes of some people, people who might otherwise have been misinformed and taken in by this nonsense called homeopathy.

  9. Anon says:

    Not an issue of pride :-) Just grateful that it worked for me & my family….Dog & cat included. Some people fear what they do not know or understand….Whether scientific evidence was presented or not… It is all fear based,the media, the whole show, the entries , everything. Read it…..read them all….see the judgment and fear…mine included, I’m afraid , or I wouldn’t have bothered typing anything, I suppose. So, I send compassion & love to anyone who accepts and hope everyone who is in need of medicines, to find what works best for them and their beautiful families. If you have your mind made up, well, that is great!….it is your right to have the choice. I am allowed to chose as I will. Try not to feel threatened, or fear for someone else taking homeopathic’s. Be happy and at peace with your choices and be well!
    I was once told to relax, let go and laugh uncontrollably. Life is full of miracles everywhere if you stop looking so darn hard for them…

  10. Christoph says:

    Anon,

    I am open to considering independent evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy (double blind studies, explanation of a mechanism of how it works, etc.)

    Is there anything (evidence, personal friend, minister etc.) that would convince you that homeopathy doesn’t work? If yes, then please continue to research different sources of information (such as this and other websites, scientific studies, medical journals etc) to determine the facts. If no, I think you might be the one with the closed mind.

  11. moderation says:

    I tried to view the video at http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2011/cureorcon/ and instead of playing it just said, that “the video you have selected cannot be streamed outside of Canada”. I can see the brief preview at http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2011/01/14/f-homeopathy-naturopathic-marketplace.html?ref=rss. I have never had a problem seeing other CBC vids … any ideas why? or other places I can go to see the whole story?

  12. Kyle says:

    Anon, nice tactic. It’s the exact same tactic that Creationists use; deflecting the issue of evidence and making the subject about free choice.

    Nobody is denying you your choice to waste your time and money. We’re just saying that the evidence all but proves homeopathic is a crock.

  13. Anon says:

    No tactics, if you believe it is a crock, go ahead. It is all about choices and , no that is not a tactic….it is the complete truth. And yes….you do have the right to choose for you child, at least in Canada….now this is speaking vaccinations and alternative medicines. Look up the exemption forms and the laws regarding your province or state for vaccinations for educational purposes. What they called homeopathic vaccinations, well, some doctors also call it Immune boosters. My theory is that the Mom wasn’t against vaccination, she was probably more worried about the ingredients residing in these vaccination given by injection. If she was against them all together, she wouldn’t have bothered with the homeopathic versions. I will say for her or any other parent in this position, she is looking to find a healthier way to keep her children safe. This is what I am writing about.
    Guaranteed, if you have a screaming child with colic and the GP’s say ride it out there’s nothing you can do, it will pass….and the parent learns maybe an alternative medicine can help, and they try it and oh my sweet nerves it works! Do you think you or Marketplace trashing the homeopathic making process, really will change the parents mind about them? No….and for screaming crying, red rashed babies from cutting teeth…try Camillia…and it works? Or Hylands Rx? and it works with no side affects? well…….all I’m saying is, don’t worry about people that know it works for them. If it doesn’t I’m pretty sure they will go back to a General practitioner and go from there..
    Worry about you, don’t carry the whole world on your shoulders, it get heavy after awhile :-) Signing off with peace

  14. Anon says:

    @ Steve….First off,do you mean me as Anon? Sorry, I don’t see anyone else listed here as that name but me…so I am a bit confused as to your direction about bloodletting?…..So in case it is me:
    No, I have never heard of blood letting? so I’m pretty sure I didn’t bad mouth it anywhere in my comments? Am I wrong? The many doctors/specialists/pediatrician/neurologist I went too must have not heard of it…and one was open minded enough to say try Alternative medicine. And, Steve, I will research it to have it under my belt…I am open minded to research anything that I haven’t heard of. You must understand that I am a little relieved that homeopathics did work instead of what you mentioned above( as for now,that’s all I have to go by) A researching I will go! Maybe I should ask my GP why he never mentioned it and give him some info on it for other parents/patients in need that find homeopathics ineffective for them. Thanks Steve :-)

  15. Anon says:

    Also I just read the commenting policy on this site…I think I stayed on track, and if I didn’t I apologize…I like the cartoon….”I can’t come to bed because someone is wrong on the internet” lol….Thanks to this particular site for letting us all have a good old fashioned debate.Good bye & Blessings.

  16. Lewis says:

    I enjoyed the piece. I was glad to see homeopathy get taken on in such a way. As mentioned, they could have gone a little deeper. The part I love the most when talking about this to people is the mind boggling math. It seems the average Joe doesn’t understand exactly what homeopathy is. Indeed, I didn’t until I started reading skeptic/science blogs.

    A few years ago I had a strained rotator cuff. It hurt like hell for weeks. During that time I was given an ointment to put on my shoulder. After a couple of days I realized it made no difference aside from being ‘cooling’ as the gel evaporated. Other than that, nothing noticeable. Oh, it made my shoulder sticky, too. So, I stopped using it and took the advice of my doctor: NSAIDs when needed, some basic exercises and time.

    It wasn’t until a few months ago I found that ointment in my medicine cabinet. I looked at the label and there it was; a homeopathic remedy. It was given to me with the best intentions. In my case, the healing of my shoulder wasn’t impaired in any way. It was bound to get better with time and exercise. It did.

    Some people put too much faith into these products for very serious illnesses. To me, that’s criminal on the part of the ones that push it. Fine, this remedy will cure my headache. Headaches can go away on their on. That’s harmless enough. Just don’t tell me it’ll cure cancer or prevent polio. Those who tout such claims should get called on it by the law.

    It’s just sad to think of illnesses that could have been treated or prevented by actual medicine.

  17. Jacqueline says:

    I absolutely was saddened by the biased reporting on homeopathics. This method of helping ourselves to heal has far better results than the conventional drugs we are expected to use. Check out what happened in Cuba when they were unable to get the H1N1 vaccine as none was available. People took the homeopathics instead. Everyone who did get ill from the virus got better using the homeopathics. NO-ONE DIED. Using the vaccines and drugs we have at our disposal to ‘fight’ H1N1 CAUSED some deaths. How do you expllain that? Check it out with the WHOLEARTH magazine which is where the article was published.

  18. Agashem says:

    I couldn’t let the credulous have the last word. My simple question for homeopaths and their supporters is, where do you get water that has never touched any other chemical/herb so that it doesn’t already contain a ‘memory’? Even distilling it would mean that it came into contact with the metals or glass in the containers.
    Further, Marketplace needed to be more clear, homeopathy is not the same as herbal remedies (not that I have any faith in herbals either). Herbs at least contain something…………

  19. libby says:

    I was very disappointed at marketplace for taking such biased take on homeopathy.
    I have personally had very successful applications of homeopathic remedies. Once after having broken my leg the surgeon specialist I saw said he was just into plates and screws but after having seen my X-rays following 2 weeks of symptom
    “bone knit” he came back and asked “what have you been taking?”. I continue to use remedies according to the daignosis and also give my cats homeopathy before and after dental surgery, neutering, spaying, abcesses etc to deal with pain and inflamation/bruising and infection. All to great success with NO side effects. Is this all just luck? I think not and am grateful to follow my heart and have choice as to how I treat myself and loved ones. IN GOOD HEALTH!

  20. Peter says:

    Just fyi, they’ve set up this website in response:

    http://www.extraordinarymedicine.org/

  21. Ashley in Wash DC says:

    If you don’t like homeopathic treatments, then stay away from them. I don’t get what the big deal is if people want to use flowers or whatever to treat illnesses that would be better served by taking real drugs. Are people in Canada being forced to take homeopathic treatments against their will? Or is everyone here at this site upset that some people simply lack as much disdain for homeopathic remedies as they do? In other words, what’s your motivation? Live and let live.

    • Kim Hebert says:

      This is my motivation. Some of these people didn’t live. If we can prevent even one death with this information, all of this dismissal and vitriol (such as accusations of being fascists – not from you, but other commenters) will all be worth it.

      Unfortunately, and this is not a judgement in any way, most people are not able to read through and synthesize piles of medical literature to come to an informed conclusion and instead rely on marketing and anecdotes. We are trying to illustrate what homeopathy is (and it is not herbal medicine – I can’t stress that enough: people are not taking “flowers or whatever”, they are taking substances that have been diluted beyond recognition), how it has not changed in 200 years despite medical advances (contrary to anything else in science), and how consumers are potentially being taken advantage of by being sold a product that has no plausible or demonstrable efficacy.

      I get upset about any product that doesn’t do what is expected as advertised – from toys, clothes, games, etc. to medical products…anything. In the case of homeopathy, a huge industry is being given a free pass to sell products that haven’t passed simple, reliable tests of efficacy. When people’s health is at risk, that’s just not acceptable to me. All I need to change my mind is evidence.

    • Erik Davis says:

      Ashley,

      I don’t think you’ll find much disagreement among the authors at Skeptic North that consumers have a right to purchase whatever product they want, nor have we to my knowledge ever called for these products to be banned. Our objectives here are twofold:

      1) Education: There is a lot of misinformation about what homeopathy is and isn’t — both by marketers, as well as our own government. Even in your comment, you appear to confuse homeopathy and herbal remedies — we’re not talking about flowers, we’re talking about flowers diluted trillions and trillions of times to the point where there are no flower molecules left at all. We aim to provide our readers with credible, science-based information on this topic. What they do with that information is their business. With one exception…

      2) Public Health: That exception is the negative position most homeopaths and naturopaths take toward vaccination. This is a legitimate public health concern because it affects not only the consumers of homeopathy, but those around them via the loss of herd immunity. So on this one, I’m sorry but we won’t just live and let live — it affects us too.

  22. wisdom says:

    For the record Chiropractic against Homeopathic. A concoction of absence is absurd! Some/Many honest, sound evidence/science based Chiropractic Physicians trust full strength medicine and vaccinations! If your chiropractor or provider trusts Homeopathics – don’t trust them! Research Homeopathics – it is absurd – I’m not making this up One concoction tae a scoop of dog shit, soaks it in water in a bottle – that bottle is “concussed” banged on a resilent often leather bound platform, maybe a book – rinse and repeat – the more times increases the “x” of the dose. Therefore, a 3x concoction if remotely helpful is more dilute – and if you’d consider imbibing dog shit will cost you more – because the philosophy of Homeopathy is less is more. To finish the explaination of the process the “shit water” at final dilution is droppered/sprinkled on sugar pills. Other conctions maybe: snot from the nose of a sick child – pus from an absess or zit. Again, I’m not making the up – do general research of Homeopathic. Herbals, vitamins and medicine are available in verifiable strengths of true substance by chemical evaluation – not Homeopathics!

  23. John Greg says:

    “Once after having broken my leg the surgeon specialist I saw said he was just into plates and screws but after having seen my X-rays following 2 weeks of symptom “bone knit” he came back and asked “what have you been taking?”

    Um, what, exactly, is your claim or point? /scratches head

    “I continue to use remedies according to the daignosis and also give my cats homeopathy before and after dental surgery, neutering, spaying, abcesses etc to deal with pain and inflamation/bruising and infection. All to great success with NO side effects. Is this all just luck?”

    Ah, perhaps the veterinary procedures, you know, using real medicines, and real science, and real medical knowledge and skill, ensure that your cats have minimal suffering and minimal side effects. You know? Not luck, but, um science, maybe? /scratches head again

  24. wisdom says:

    For the record Chiropractic against Homeopathic. A concoction of absence is absurd! Some/Many honest, sound evidence/science based Chiropractic Physicians trust full strength medicine and vaccinations! If your chiropractor or provider trusts Homeopathics – don’t trust them! Research Homeopathics – it is absurd – I’m not making this up One concoction take a scoop of dog shit, soaks it in water in a bottle – that bottle is “concussed” banged on a resilent often leather bound platform, maybe a book – rinse and repeat – the more times increases the “x” of the dose. Therefore, a 3x concoction if remotely helpful is more dilute – and if you’d consider imbibing dog shit will cost you more – because the philosophy of Homeopathy is less is more. To finish the explaination of the process the “shit water” at final dilution is droppered/sprinkled on sugar pills. Other conctions maybe: snot from the nose of a sick child – pus from an absess or zit. Again, I’m not making the up – do general research of Homeopathic. Herbals, vitamins and medicine are available in verifiable strengths of true substance by chemical evaluation – not Homeopathics!

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  • Kim Hebert

    Kim Hébert is an occupational therapist. She is interested in the promotion of science and reason, particularly regarding therapeutic health interventions. She blogs occasionally about occupational therapy and other health topics at Science-Based Therapy. Her hobbies are art and astronomy. **All views expressed by Kim are her personal views alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of current or former employers, associations, or other affiliations. All information is provided for discussion purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for consultation with a licensed and accredited health professional.