“The largest improvements were reported in childhood eczema or asthma, and in inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal problems and migraines.”
All or most of these conditions are psychosomatic. These are medical conditions that are caused or made worse by the patient’s mental state. Mental states such as stress and anxiety can cause or contribute to these conditions.
Psychosomatic conditions can often improve if the patient feels less stress or anxiety. Relaxing or addressing stress and/ or anxiety often helps. Sometimes doing nothing can help as the stress and anxiety might go away on their own.
The patient might feel that the homeopathic treatment will help them. That might cause them to relax or feel less stressed. This may very well help treat the psychosomatic condition.
But in this case, it is not the homeopathy that has helped! This is the placebo effect.
This is evidence that any perceived benefit from homeopathy is due to the placebo effect.
“[I]n 2018 a study in Italy observed nearly 4000 patients who were assessed before and after receiving homeopathic treatment at a clinic in Tuscany.8 Improvements were recorded in 88.8% of patients overall, with significant improvements seen in 68.1%.”
The study took place at yet another homeopathic hospital. People are often biased when self-reporting recovery from medical conditions. So, we should be very skeptical when analyzing their actual recoveries.
“In the nearby Oncology clinic, homeopathic and integrative treatment of the adverse effects of anti-cancer therapies was effective in 89.1% of followed-up cancer patients, particularly for hot flashes, nausea, depression, asthenia and anxiety.”
These symptoms are either psychosomatic or have a psychosomatic component to them. The reduction of these symptoms is easily explained by many psychological improvements. This improves the perception of homeopathy being of some help. Even when the homeopathic treatment has no medical effect!
“A study in Germany found that, “patients who seek homeopathic treatment are likely to improve considerably” and that health benefits were steady and long term.”
I have read this paper. I did not see any evidence that would show that homeopathy is the cause of recovery!
There are more studies of this nature. Well, I can only imagine that they are similarly ineffective. And that many of them also provide evidence that homeopathy is all about the placebo effect!
5)What sort of people use homeopathy?
“Homeopathy has benefited millions of people, young and old, from all walks of life, in countries all over the world.”
So have other placebos. The issue is not whether homeopathy can be of some benefit. Yes, a placebo can be of some benefit. However, it is only as helpful as any other placebo. It is not as helpful as medicine. A placebo is not a viable alternative to medicine. Do not take it instead of medicine.
Except actual placebos are cheaper, honest about their intended effect and will not accidentally kill you!
“79% of the UK population is open to the idea of homeopathy and 15% of the population regularly use it”
So what? We have already shown why statistics like these in no way support the validity of homeopathy. It does not matter if 100% of the UK population was open to it, that does not make it worthwhile. Nor does it mean that it does what it says on the tin.
Reality is not a popularity contest and 79% of the UK population can easily be wrong.
Notice the wording here. It says that 79% of the UK population is open to the idea of homeopathy. This doesn’t mean that 79% of the population strongly supports homeopathy. It does not mean that 79% of the population would choose homeopathy over medicine.
The wording does not even indicate that 79% of the population have ever used homeopathy. It simply means that 79% of the population would be willing to consider it in at least some circumstances.
It then goes on to point out that only 15% of the population regularly uses it. This is far too many people, but it is certainly far less than 79% of people. However, on this section of the website they draw extra attention to the claim that 79% of the population are open to as if this is a figure worthy of note.
This is a dishonest tactic. It creates the picture that this is a significant figure. It is not and the fact that only 15% of the population uses it is a far more significant figure and if they wanted to give a useful indication of how many people used homeopathy, they would cite the 15% figure. Not the 79% figure!
“There are generally two types of people that use homeopathy: ‘TEETH’ and those who prefer a more natural approach.”
The acronym TEETH stands for: Tried Everything Else Try Homeopathy. These are people that have tried medicine. They have noticed that it seems not to have worked and they have resorted to homeopathy. These are likely people who are desperate to believe that homeopathy works. They will generally make a lot of very non-objective assessments of its efficacy.
“Research suggests that more people would use homeopathy if they knew more about it.”
Many educated people would not choose to use it if they knew more about it. They would likely not use it if they knew that it could not have any effect greater than a placebo.
In fact, those currently using it would likely stop using it if they knew more about it.
“And not surprisingly, most people prefer a recommendation from someone they know and trust.”
No informed person would consider the suggestion of homeopathy. Not even if it was from someone that they know and trust. It is quackery regardless of who is recommending it. I would be less inclined to trust someone that recommended homeopathy. I would certainly be less likely to trust them on medical matters.
And that is it for now. I have talked about homeopathy on this site before, so perhaps you know just how soft a target homeopathy is. Perhaps you will agree I covered some angles I did not cover in the last coverage of this topic.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from my upcoming book. Tune in for more excerpts in the future!