Homeopathy/Signed Articles

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A list of articles by expert authors relating to the topic of Homeopathy.

In the U.S.A.,The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) administers public-funded research into alternative medicine [1]. Their 2003 report on homeopathy (here) asks: "Are there scientific controversies associated with homeopathy?", and replies:

"Yes. Homeopathy is an area of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that has seen high levels of controversy and debate, largely because a number of its key concepts do not follow the laws of science (particularly chemistry and physics).

  • It is debated how something that causes illness might also cure it.
  • It has been questioned whether a remedy with a very tiny amount (perhaps not even one molecule) of active ingredient could have a biological effect, beneficial or otherwise.
  • There have been some research studies published on the use of ultra-high dilutions (UHDs) of substances, diluted to levels compatible with those in homeopathy and shaken hard at each step of dilution.[2] The results are claimed to involve phenomena at the molecular level and beyond, such as the structure of water, and waves and fields. Both laboratory research and clinical trials have been published. There have been mixed results in attempts to replicate them. Reviews have not found UHD results to be definitive or compelling.[3]
  • There have been some studies that found effects of UHDs on isolated organs, plants, and animals. There have been controversy and debate about these findings as well.
  • Effects in homeopathy might be due to the placebo or other non-specific effect.
  • There are key questions about homeopathy that are yet to be subjected to studies that are well-designed--such as whether it actually works for some of the diseases or medical conditions for which it is used, and if so, how it might work.
  • There is a point of view that homeopathy does work, but that modern scientific methods have not yet explained why. The failure of science to provide full explanations for all treatments is not unique to homeopathy.

Some people feel that if homeopathy appears to be helpful and safe, then scientifically valid explanations or proofs of this alternative system of medicine are not necessary."

References

  1. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, What has scientific research found out about whether homeopathy works?, Questions and Answers About Homeopathy
  2. For some examples, see the report's references 26–29.
  3. For examples of debates on UHDs and reviewers’ papers, see especially the reports references 13, 15, and 30–33.