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Gerald O'brian


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Should we let homeopathy be?

The biggest dilemma for me is that placebo is proven to work better if the physician also believes he's giving real medecine. In this view, homeopathy is the perfect placebo. Even the people making it, through laborious dilutions, have GOT to believe in it, or their high school knowledge about chemistry would make it tempting to skip the whole process and make more profit selling sugar.
It's even got quantum mechanics watching its back, losing the more curious ones in complexe explanations about just how complexe liquid water is.
And of course, the idea is fun. Like cures like. 1/1000000th of a molecule of ethanol to cure a hangover.
Sure it's tempting to ridicule the whole industry for the billion dollar quackery it is. But one might actually find that it's saving a lot of healthcare money, and that it WORKS! And it works because we let it, because we don't ask for double-blind tests...
So what's your view on this? Is homeopathy a cheap way to heall the credulous? Or has it gone too far and is part of what makes the transition to the age of reason so darn slow?



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  • Oct 22 2013: I think homeopathy is fine for simple things. I had an office mate who would not take pills for headaches or fevers. It seemed to work fine for him. I think there is a line, major illness you need help. A major blood loss or cholera are probably ok examples.
    • Oct 22 2013: Actually, cholera in South America was well controlled with homeopathy. Check out leptospirosis in Cuba!
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20674839 (and yes, this is a US GOVERNMENT publication.
      • Oct 22 2013: The interesting question is cholera can be handled by hydration with electrolytes Not sure I would call force drinking fluid with electrolytes homeopathic.or not. If you go to the next step of intravenous hydration, then it is definitely not homeopathic.
        • Oct 23 2013: Citation required.
        • Oct 23 2013: So I guess cholera isn't a big deal. You can just drink lots of water. Interesting! And very scientific.
        • Oct 27 2013: Rehydration therapy is not homeopathy. It is a very valuable tool in the treatment of cholera. Much more effective in saving lives than mainstream medicines. Cholera is a big deal even with Oral rehydration therapy. Without ORT it is still possible to be dead within 18 hours of contracting it. |Homeopathic results in cholera epidemics show that homeopathy is even more effective than ORT in curing it.
        • Oct 23 2013: Wayne,

          Dunce cap award. A travel advisory from the CDC is your source? “Guidance for Protecting Travelers on Commercial Aircraft Serving Haiti During the Cholera Outbreak” Temporary measures to protect the flight crew and passengers until they can seek medical attention. Your statement, if any of the readers are foolish enough to believe it, is dangerous.

          “These guidelines provide crew members on commercial aircraft with practical measures to protect themselves, passengers, and other crew members when a traveler from Haiti has a diarrheal illness that may be cholera.”

          Educate yourself: http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/some-history-of-the-treatment-of-epidemics-with-homeopathy/

          “From its earliest days, homeopathy has been able to treat epidemic diseases with a substantial rate of success, when compared to conventional treatments. It was these successes that placed the practice of homeopathy so firmly in the consciousness of people world-wide.

          There is a story told about Joseph Pulte, one of the earliest homeopaths in Cincinnati. When he began his practice, many people were so angered by a homeopath being in town that they pelted the house with eggs. He was becoming discouraged enough to think of leaving. His wife said, “Joseph, do you believe in the truth of homeopathy?” He replied in the affirmative. “Then,” she said, “you will stay in Cincinnati.”

          Shortly after, when the Cholera epidemic swept through, Pulte was able to boast of not having lost a single patient– and he was accepted into the community. In the Epidemic of 1849, people crowded to his door and stood in the street because the waiting room was full.”
      • Oct 23 2013: Sandra - been called worse - if you read the entire thing, you will see the ref to treatment. maybe you would like the mayo clinic - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholera/DS00579/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
        • Oct 23 2013: Fail. Again. Keep trying. You are not referencing anything that addresses the CURE for cholera, only the diarrhea that results from the disease. That should be obvious to you. You clearly are grasping for straws and looking rather foolish.

          Notice that your source says some of the antibiotics MAY reduce the amount and duration of cholera related diarrhea. And....a single dose of doxycycline (Adoxa, Monodox) or azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) MAY be effective. Zinc supplements. Research has shown that zinc MAY decrease and shorten the duration of diarrhea in children with cholera.

          Just like most skeptics, you pepper comment sections with disinformation. Health care consumers are now well informed. Check out this article on my blog:

          "Homeopathy, the skeptics: How Effective are They Really?"

        • Oct 23 2013: Wayne,

          Interestingly, a discussion of the treatment of cholera in Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary reads:

          "Tetracycline given early in the disease is effective in killing the causative organism." It discusses hydration and rehydration as ways to offset fluid loss.
        • Oct 23 2013: As in every other illness, homeopathy stimulates the immune system to combat the disease so that the person with cholera recovers more easily and more quickly than he would have without it. It reduces the severity of symptoms and the length of time they persist. The patient feels better sooner and finds his energy level improving sooner.
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        Oct 23 2013: Is that really homeopathy. Isn't the article describing low level exposure to a pathogen to impart an immune response?
    • Oct 23 2013: The successful treatment of epidemics of cholera with homeopathy is one of the things it's famous for. It's also famous for its successful treatment of typhoid, malaria, yellow and scarlet fever and flu. It's been extremely successful in averting epidemics of leptospirosis in Cuba as well. The historical records show homeopathy had a much greater success rate in saving lives during epidemics of these diseases than whatever conventional medicine was used at the time. As an example, 24,000 cases of flu in the U.S. during the 1921 epidemic which were treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2%. 26,000 cases treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05%.

      Homeopathy is famous for its cures of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, diseases considered incurable by conventional medicine. It is equally effective in conditions ranging from sore throats to cancer. To see hundreds of cured case records google "homeopathy cured cases".

      The only conditions homeopathy cannot treat are those in which the body does not manufacture a necessary substance like insulin or thyroid hormone and where surgery is truly necessary such as in closing a congenital hole in the heart. Homeopathy can also be successful in some emergency situations.

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