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They also have a poll on their website Trust Homeopathy:
Quote:
1) Should homeopathy be available on the NHS in the UK?
Yes
No
Currently, there are 4,630 votes for Yes and 688 votes for No.

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May 11th, 2008, 12:31 pm
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I suppose their website attracts a lot more folk who are pro homeopathy than who are anti, I've just been and voted no, what a cheek calling themselves the BHA :angry: but on the plus side, I googled BHA and the British Humanist Association comes top of the list, they don't even appear on the first page of hits, Brighton and Hove Albion do though :laughter:

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May 11th, 2008, 5:39 pm
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:hilarity:

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May 11th, 2008, 5:53 pm
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The only part of The God Delusion I had a problem with was the outright dismissal of Homeopathy.

In my personal experience, Arnica has a definite effect on bruising, as do a number of the pills and remedies if taken appropriately. They don't always work, and I don't doubt there are some quacks around, but sometimes the effect is instant, and even as a sceptic I have noticed some fairly dramatic effects. I sneaked some remedies to my late father when he was going doolally in hospital after a stroke, with instantly noticeable improvements (after a week or two of decline).

But whether or not homeopathy is bunk, my main point is that we sceptics shouldn't always be so dismissive of technologies yet to be understood. Perhaps there's something going on here that we don't yet really understand. It's really not that long ago that electricity was seen as some form of magic. If homeopathic detractors had been around 150 years ago would they also have dismissed the possibilities of nuclear reaction, jet propulsion, static electricity etc. which in those days were undocumented and unproven technologies?

Or am I just deluded? :)


May 15th, 2008, 3:47 pm
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gonzolagonda
In my personal experience, Arnica has a definite effect on bruising,

Yes but Arnica isn't homeopathy, it's a flower/plant/herb, I have no problem with some herbal remedies, doc leaves for nettle stings, St Johns wort for mild depression, etc.
But herbal remedies are not homeopathy, and the two shouldn't be confused.

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May 15th, 2008, 9:40 pm
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What about the tissue-salts like Nat Mur, Calc Sulph etc.? These are effective, and I've also felt the benefits of homeopathic potencies of Thuja and Aconite.


May 15th, 2008, 9:55 pm
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I came across this article on Quackometer recently.

http://www.quackometer.net/blog/labels/homeopathy.html

Quote:
And what of these claims to have studied homeopathy at Imperial College? The University is one of Britain's most prestigious degree level teaching and research institutions. It does not offer a degree in homeopathy. Elsewhere we are told that her qualifications are "diploma in hypnotherapy and is a Licentiate of the London College of Classical Homeopathy". No qualifications from IC then? This is a puzzling one.


May 15th, 2008, 10:21 pm
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gonzolagonda wrote:
The only part of The God Delusion I had a problem with was the outright dismissal of Homeopathy.

In my personal experience, Arnica has a definite effect on bruising, as do a number of the pills and remedies if taken appropriately. They don't always work, and I don't doubt there are some quacks around, but sometimes the effect is instant, and even as a sceptic I have noticed some fairly dramatic effects. I sneaked some remedies to my late father when he was going doolally in hospital after a stroke, with instantly noticeable improvements (after a week or two of decline).

But whether or not homeopathy is bunk, my main point is that we sceptics shouldn't always be so dismissive of technologies yet to be understood. Perhaps there's something going on here that we don't yet really understand. It's really not that long ago that electricity was seen as some form of magic. If homeopathic detractors had been around 150 years ago would they also have dismissed the possibilities of nuclear reaction, jet propulsion, static electricity etc. which in those days were undocumented and unproven technologies?

Or am I just deluded? :)
All reliable, impartial, high quality, properly controlled trials of homoeopathy have shown that it is no better than placebo and it certainly is something sceptics can be dismissive of and there appears to be absolutely nothing going on that we don't yet really understand. It is pseudo science because the mechanism by which it is claimed to operate is implausible in the extreme and relies on an almost medieval level of 'understanding' of science, biology and medicine. There are several reasons why someone may associate an improvement in a condition with homoeopathy and indeed why they might actually appear to get better, but none of them are related to the homoeopathic 'remedy' taken.

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May 16th, 2008, 12:58 am
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gonzolagonda wrote:
What about the tissue-salts like Nat Mur, Calc Sulph etc.? These are effective, and I've also felt the benefits of homeopathic potencies of Thuja and Aconite.
I have to ask: 'What about them?' You say they are effective but can you provide proof for that claim?

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May 16th, 2008, 1:00 am
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I'm pretty sure I can feel the effects of taking these remedies. Perhaps it is a placebo effect, but I really find that hard to believe, especially when I see noticeable changes in my pre-school children. Perhaps I'll try deliberately giving them the 'wrong' remedy and see what happens!


May 16th, 2008, 7:59 am
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The placebo effect can be quite powerful. Part of it is to do with who gives the remedy and studies have shown that a doctor wearing a white coat get a better placebo response than those that don't — it's all to do with authority, hence why your kids might appear to improve when a parent gives them something to 'make them better'. (There are also several other reasons why people appear to get better that have nothing to do with any remedy they have been given.)

Why is the placebo effect less believable than an infinitely diluted substance and why is it less believable than the idea that like should cure like or that succussing a dilution imparts some attribute of the substance to the water when there is no known mechanism for that to happen?

The placebo effect has a lot of solid evidence behind it; homoeopathy has none. Why is homoeopathy more believable and trusted than the placebo effect?

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May 18th, 2008, 12:43 am
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In today's Guardian:
Quote:
********************************************************************************
Boots accused of selling quack medicines | Science | The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/ ... ayfestival
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Boots accused of selling quack medicines

· Homeopathic remedies not effective, says expert
· Many doctors see them as option, says chemist

* Ian Sample, science correspondent
* The Guardian,
* Saturday May 24 2008
* Article history

A container of argent nit, a homeopathy product from Boots

Edzard Ernst, a leading expert, is to criticise the company for selling alternative medicines. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi

Boots, the high street chemist, is becoming the country's largest seller of quack medicine, according to Britain's leading scientific expert on alternative therapies.

Talking at the Hay literary festival today, Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, is to criticise the company for selling alternative medicines, in particular more than 50 homeopathic remedies, which are shown by clinical trials to be no more effective than sugar pills.

Boots, which has 1,500 stores across the UK, stocks 55 homeopathic therapies, 34 of which are sold under the company's own brand.

Ernst accuses the company of breaching ethical guidelines drawn up by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, by failing to tell customers that its homeopathic medicines contain no active ingredients and are ineffective in clinical trials.

"The population at large trusts Boots more than any other pharmacy, but when you look behind the smokescreen, when it comes to alternative medicines, that trust is not justified. You can buy a lot of rubbish, with covert advertising stating things that are overtly wrong. People are spending their money on stuff that doesn't work," he said. "Boots seems to be fast becoming the biggest seller of quack remedies in UK high streets."

The ethical code for UK pharmacists states that those selling or supplying homeopathic and other complementary medicines must help patients make informed decisions by providing them with necessary and relevant information. It also calls on pharmacists to "uphold public trust and confidence" by acting with honesty and integrity.

"This can only mean that pharmacists should tell their customers that a homeopathic remedy they are about to buy doesn't contain a single molecule of whatever it says on the label, and that there's no clinical evidence that it works beyond a placebo effect," Ernst said.

Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted solutions that often contain no trace of their original ingredients. Instead, homeopaths claim the treatments work because "healing energy" is imprinted into the water when it is shaken. In 2006, Sir Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society, said the possibility of a medicine working in this way would "entail some fundamentally new scientific principle with amazingly broad ramifications".

"Very few people are aware that the underlying principles of homeopathy are totally scientifically implausible, and even fewer people are aware that the trials show it doesn't do anything," said Ernst.

The UK market for homeopathic medicine was estimated to be worth £38m in 2007 and is expected to reach £46m by 2012, according to a report by research firm Mintel. There are nearly 4,000 homeopathic practitioners in the UK and five NHS-funded homeopathic hospitals. Ernst and science writer Simon Singh will base their Hay lecture on their recent book, Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial, but will use the event to highlight what they view as unethical behaviour by the company.

Boots has previously funded a fellowship at Ernst's department at Exeter.

"People could end up harming themselves if they think one of these products will help them or their child, when in fact it's only a placebo. It's certainly a rip-off and they could be losing valuable time to see a doctor. This makes a fool out of evidence-based medicine, it is back to the dark ages," Ernst said.

Boots said that many of its customers believed that homeopathic remedies provide health benefits. "Homeopathy is recognised by the NHS, and many doctors and other health professionals see it as a useful option for medical treatment," said a spokesman.

"In addition, many of our customers also choose to use homeopathy. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain issues guidance to pharmacists on provision of homeopathy and homeopathic preparations to ensure that the sale and supply is appropriate."

[Captured: 24 May 2008 12:24:52]

###################
Isn't Boots' 'justification' atrocious?

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May 24th, 2008, 12:39 pm
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Quote:
Boots said that many of its customers believed that homeopathic remedies provide health benefits. "Homeopathy is recognised by the NHS, and many doctors and other health professionals see it as a useful option for medical treatment," said a spokesman.

"In addition, many of our customers also choose to use homeopathy. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain issues guidance to pharmacists on provision of homeopathy and homeopathic preparations to ensure that the sale and supply is appropriate."

As long as there are NHS homeopathic hospitals and as long as some NHS doctors appear to give homeopathy the time of day, charlatans will be able to make this claim.

The last sentence is interesting: it sounds like they're making an appeal to authority out of the very fact that the RPS are bothering to issue guidance about it. That they've got anything to say at all is presumably supposed to make us feel that homeopathy is to be taken seriously. You wouldn't find the RPS concerning itself with healing crystals or ear candling.


May 24th, 2008, 3:01 pm
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From the website of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain:
On malaria:
Quote:
Following the recent media coverage regarding the use of homoeopathic remedies for malaria prophylaxis, pharmacists must ensure that patients who request homoeopathic or herbal remedies to prevent malaria are aware of the risks of not taking recognised antimalarial medicines.

The Faculty of Homeopathy and the Health Protection Agency Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention do not recommend patients to rely on any homoeopathic or herbal remedies for the prevention of malaria as there is no scientific proof that these are effective in preventing malaria.

Although it is for individual patients to make decisions about their health care, pharmacists have an important role in ensuring that these decisions are informed, and that patients have access to necessary information to assist their decisions.
Why don't they simply say: "DO NOT TAKE HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINES TO PREVENT MALARIA: THEY DO NOT WORK!"

On aromatherapy:
Quote:
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of aromatic substances - mainly essential oils extracted from plant material - and is becoming one of the most popular complementary therapies in the UK.

It is often used for the treatment of stress and related conditions but is also promoted for use in minor ailments (such as flatulence, indigestion and headache) and for more serious conditions such as asthma, impotence, hypertension, psoriasis and depression. There is no clinical evidence for effectiveness. Aromatherapy is also used in palliative care, and in patients with severe learning disabilities.
The language here is also all wrong. Reading it leaves the impression it is used for these serious conditions, but it almost seems to be saying that it does work, it;'s just that there's no scientific measure of its effectiveness. That's not how I would have put it!

On homoeopathy:
Quote:
Pharmacists providing homoeopathic therapies have a professional responsibility only to offer advice if they have undertaken suitable training or have specialised knowledge.
The only 'specialised knowledge' of homoeopathy is that it doesn't work!

Quote:
Take special care not to contaminate products during dispensing - do not use a tablet counter.
:hilarity:

Quote:
Efficacy. No claims of effectiveness are currently allowed under European regulations.
I should think so too.

Quote:
Adverse Effects. Occasionally patients may experience an exacerbation of symptoms (termed "aggravation"). The patient should be advised to discontinue the medicine until the symptoms return to their initial severity, and then recommence treatment at a reduced frequency, or to consult a homoeopath.
Adverse effects? You've got to be kidding. The only adverse effects are a lighter wallet and a delay in getting proper treatment.

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May 24th, 2008, 7:17 pm
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I've said this before in other threads, but I think it justifies repeating.
Whenever my dog/s have an "icky stomach" they go to the back door and dunch it with the head, as soon as I let them out they head straight for the marjoram or origami and get stuck in, it does the trick every time, in winter when the herbs aren't growing, they make do with grass, it seems to work as well, but they do prefer the herbs. Oh and they just love courgettes (plants, not fruits) so I have to keep them netted.
I think homeopathy is a complete nonsense, but I do think there are beneficial herbs. (digitalis) for heart disease? Etc.

I'm speaking about my "dogs" in the plural, but of course I only have the one now. :sad:
Toby, PBUH.

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May 26th, 2008, 10:22 pm
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From the crystals thread:

Maria wrote:
However, in the past few days I've been drawn into this ridiculous squabble on youtube about homeopathy and am generally satisfied with my own conduct (I am dormant111). I think I only mock my opponent the once when I call him gullible whereas he has fired one insult after another at me and at Alan.

Edit: Well what I said in the post was true at the time of posting. Things have gone downhill from there.


Another homoeopathist squirming.

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June 1st, 2008, 6:20 pm
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Quote:
However, in the past few days I've been drawn into this ridiculous squabble on youtube about homeopathy and am generally satisfied with my own conduct (I am dormant111). I think I only mock my opponent the once when I call him gullible whereas he has fired one insult after another at me and at Alan.

Edit: Well what I said in the post was true at the time of posting. Things have gone downhill from there.


I added my tuppence worth and there was a reply from whatsisname . Apparently we are all the same person. :hilarity:

(the link about the malaria 'remedies' was a rasper btw)

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June 2nd, 2008, 6:40 pm
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gonzolagonda wrote:
I'm pretty sure I can feel the effects of taking these remedies. Perhaps it is a placebo effect, but I really find that hard to believe, especially when I see noticeable changes in my pre-school children. Perhaps I'll try deliberately giving them the 'wrong' remedy and see what happens!


Unfortunately, your "feelings" are neither here nor there to the cold eye of science.

What matters is whether homeopathy has any physiological effect. The only way to determine whether homeopathy is correlated with improved health is to conduct massive double-blind, placebo- and other-remedy-controlled clinical trials. If a correlation is found, and if the improvement is better than the placebo, then you could talk about finding out why it works. But the research that has been done so far has failed to find anything better than placebo, so there is nothing to suggest that any pharmaceutical effect exists and therefore nothing to investigate.

You are not the best judge of what physiological effect homeopathy is having on you, and not the best judge of what physiological effect homeopathy is having on your children.

If you want to experiment, you need to go further than you have suggested.

If you just give them the "wrong" medicine, your own subjectivity will bias your perceptions. What you would have to do is make sure that neither you nor they know whether they are getting the "right" medicine", the "wrong" medicine, no medicine at all, or some other remedy. Get an independent person to give you the doses to administer, without telling you what they are, and then evaluate the effects. Do this lots of times. And only then is your opinion worth anything whatsoever.

Because otherwise you're just saying "I enjoy taking homeopathy", and who cares?

Dan


June 5th, 2008, 10:20 pm
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There's a discussion going on at the moment on Homoeopathy on the Times Educational website here.

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July 2nd, 2008, 8:25 pm
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Should this be in the "Humour" section. Whatever, you have to laugh.

http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/List_of_Sc ... Homeopathy


July 4th, 2008, 11:02 pm
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