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Homeopathy

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.
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Alan C.
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Re: Homeopathy

#41 Post by Alan C. » February 29th, 2008, 5:15 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Alan H wrote:
Alan C. wrote:This is a good article, the first half on Homeopathy, the second half on faith schools.
Did I miss that in yesterday's MediaScan? Thanks god for Alan C! :)
Aww! Now look what you've done.
:redface: :redface: :redface:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Alan H
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Re: Homeopathy

#42 Post by Alan H » March 1st, 2008, 6:55 pm

This looks like an excellent site: Science-Based medicine.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
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Lucretius
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Re: Homeopathy

#43 Post by Lucretius » March 6th, 2008, 2:10 am

Yes that is a good site. I read it fairly often. It was created by Dr Stephen Novella of the New England Skeptical Society. Host of Skeptics Guide To The Universe.
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

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Alan C.
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Re: Homeopathy

#44 Post by Alan C. » March 14th, 2008, 11:07 pm

I just came across this website :laughter:
Carefully selected ingredients are diluted and shaken (homeopaths call this shaking process "succussion") beyond the level where there is any active ingredient left in the solution.
As soon as you receive your remedy, take the first of the pills. You'll hopefully start feeling better as the placebo effect kicks in. Take the pills as often, or as infrequently as you feel is required. If you still feel ill, go and see your doctor or local pharmacist. Remember, homeopathy of any kind is not a substitute for REAL medical advice or treatment.
:hilarity:
What side effects can I expect?

None. That's one of the great things about homeopathy - there are no side effects (unless you're diabetic, allergic to sugar,
:hilarity: :hilarity: :hilarity: My bold in all of the above.
The website is here.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Alan H
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Re: Homeopathy

#45 Post by Alan H » March 14th, 2008, 11:39 pm

It's brilliant! An 'antidote' to the nonsense out there!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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grammar king
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Re: Homeopathy

#46 Post by grammar king » March 18th, 2008, 1:15 am

What do we define as "homeopathy"? Is this something like Chinese Medicine, with herbs and the like used as an alternative to western medicine? Is it the use of substances which demonstrably do not contain any medicinal material within them? Or is it specifically a belief that there's a supernatural element involved?

I ask because I have no problem with Chinese Medicine, AFAIC it's just getting the same kind of chemicals as is synthesised for western drugs, but from a more natural source, that's why it works (although I suspect not as well as drugs developed specifically for the task do).

The girl downstairs has what she calls a "first aid kit", which has all little vials with powdered stuff in. I asked how she could justify calling it a first aid kit, and she said as an example that if someone has a cut, one of these powdered will stop it bleeding. I intend to test this theory within the next couple of days (cutting myself, not her, that would be a bit harsh).

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Alan C.
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Re: Homeopathy

#47 Post by Alan C. » March 19th, 2008, 9:09 pm

Does anybody know anything about biodynamics being used in organic farming? Can you give me links to anything?
Cheers, Alan.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Alan H
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Re: Homeopathy

#48 Post by Alan H » March 19th, 2008, 10:25 pm

Grammar King

Homoeopathy is not connected to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is usually herbs and acupuncture and homoeopathy is to do with extremely dilute substances (some of which may be plant based, but includes non-organic substances as well). There are several links to sites on homoeopathy in this thread and I think I included the notes from a talk I gave on it.

Homoeopathy is pseudo scientific nonsense. Herbal medicine might appear to have a better grounding (aspirin came originally from willow bark, etc), but most of the stuff in herbal medicine has never been proven to be effective. What bugs me about herbal medicine is how they advertise and make wild claims (sometimes quite cleverly so they don't break the law) and suck in the vulnerable and gullible, potentially persuading them from seeking real medical advice. See the thread on Dr & Herbs for my complaint against this High Street chain to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The thread on the ASA has other similar complaints.

Acupuncture is very slightly different: there is very limited evidence that it may help with some kinds of pain, but trials have been very specific and it certainly doesn't 'cure' the vast range of ills that are frequently claimed. However, it certainly does not work in the fashion that practitioners claim: there are no meridians that carry Qi energy through the body.

As for the girl with the vial with powdered stuff, I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Homeopathy

#49 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » March 20th, 2008, 1:05 am

Alan C. wrote:Does anybody know anything about biodynamics being used in organic farming? Can you give me links to anything?
What exactly did you want to know, Alan? According to the Biodynamic Agricultural Association, there were 120 biodynamic producers in the UK in 2004. In the same year there were about 3,900 organic farms. So only 3 per cent of them were biodynamic. And I can't see it catching on, somehow. Apart from the fact that it's obviously utter bunkum, it involves going to such enormous trouble. For example:
The Spray Preparations or field sprays are made from cow manure and quartz meal and are known respectively as 'Horn Manure' and 'Horn Silica'. Horn Manure is cow manure that has been fermented in the soil over winter inside a cow horn. Horn Silica is finely ground quartz meal that spends the summer in the soil inside a cow horn.

Before being applied very small amounts of these prepared substances are dissolved in water and stirred rigorously for one whole hour. This is done by stirring (preferably by hand) in one direction in such a way that a deep crater is formed in the stirring vessel (bucket, barrel). Then the direction is changed, the water seethes and slowly a new crater is formed. Each time a well-formed crater is achieved the direction is changed until the full hour is completed. In this way the dynamic effects concentrated in the prepared manure and quartz meal are released into the rhythmically moved water and become effective for soil and plant. It is then sprayed out immediately.
For more nonsense of this ilk see Biodynamic FAQ.

Emma

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Alan C.
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Re: Homeopathy

#50 Post by Alan C. » March 20th, 2008, 12:14 pm

Emma
What exactly did you want to know, Alan?
I'm having a debate with someone about homeopathy, after I described it as woo, woo medicine she said
Now if you're so anti homeopathic how about biodynamics? It plays quite a big part in Organic farming does that mean organic farmers are practicing "woo, woo" farming?
I googled biodynamics but all the links I got were to do with medicine and medical practices.
What you've given me above will probably do, so thanks for that, I'll go and read it now. :thumbsup:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Alan C.
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Re: Homeopathy

#51 Post by Alan C. » March 20th, 2008, 1:53 pm

Emma
Apart from the fact that it's obviously utter bunkum, it involves going to such enormous trouble. For example:
After spending more than an hour on that web site, I must agree with you, burying chamomile flowers inside a bovine intestine :puzzled: wtf! Why not just feed the cows the flowers, then collect the finished product from the other end? :laughter:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Lucretius
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Re: Homeopathy

#52 Post by Lucretius » March 29th, 2008, 9:36 am

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

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Alan H
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Re: Homeopathy

#53 Post by Alan H » March 29th, 2008, 10:38 am

A very straightforward history and explanation.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: Homeopathy

#54 Post by Alan H » April 25th, 2008, 11:19 pm

In today's Times:
********************************************************************************
Have you got a lame duck? Try homoeopathy for pets - Times Online
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_a ... 817355.ece
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Have you got a lame duck? Try homoeopathy for pets
SIMON SINGH

Having just co-authored a book on alternative medicine with the world's first professor of complementary medicine, Edzard Ernst, I have spent the last week fending off attacks from practitioners. Even though we endorse some alternative therapies, it seems that the alternative medicine community is unhappy with our conclusion that many others (such as reiki, homoeopathy, magnet therapy and crystal healing) offer nothing except a placebo effect. In other words, the supposed benefits of therapies such as homoeopathy are merely the result of wishful thinking.

In the case of homoeopathy, there have been more than 200 scientific trials and the overall conclusion is that homoeopathic remedies are nothing more than sugar pills. It is the expectation of recovery that boosts a patient's sense of wellbeing, and this is magnified by an encounter with an empathetic homoeopath in a relaxing environment. This explains why a bogus therapy can give the impression of being an effective medicine.

Despite all the evidence indicating that homoeopathic pills are placebos, practitioners continue to argue that this cannot possibly be the case. One of their most convincing claims, at least at a superficial level, is that many pet owners give their animals homoeopathic pills and they are convinced that they see remarkable improvements. Of course, the animals have no special expectation, so the placebo effect is irrelevant.So what is the explanation?

One possibility is that the pets make a real recovery soon after receiving a homoeopathic remedy, but the improvement is due to natural healing processes that would have taken place regardless of any intervention. The owner, who has put time, money and effort into providing a homoeopathic remedy, would rather give credit to homoeopathy than consider the natural recovery possibility. Hence, pet owners might be unreliable witnesses.

The only way to find out if homoeopathy really works on animals is to conduct a clinical trial, which means taking a large group of animals with a particular condition and giving them homoeopathic pills, while giving sugar pills to a parallel control group. The trial is conducted in a double-blind format, which means that neither the animals nor the vets know which creatures are receiving which treatment. This is revealed only when all the results have been gathered. This double-blinding reduces biases and leads to a more reliable result. The question being addressed in such trials is simple: does homoeopathy perform better than placebo sugar pills.

In 2003 the National Veterinary Institute in Sweden published a double-blind trial of the homoeopathic remedy Podophyllum, which was used as a cure for diarrhoea in calves. Twenty-four calves received homoeopathy and had diarrhoea for 3.1 days on average. Meanwhile, 20 received a placebo and they suffered for 2.9 days. In short, homoeopathy behaved just like a sugar pill.

More recently, a Cambridge University research group conducted a much larger trial. It involved 250 cows and compared homoeopathy against a placebo as a treatment for mastitis. The strength of such a trial is that there is an objective way of checking for improvement in inflammation of the udder, which is to count the number of white blood cells in a cow's milk. The conclusion, again, was that homoeopathy was no more effective than the placebo.

All in all, this means that homoeopaths who claim that their remedies work on animals are wrong. Fortunately the law allows only qualified vets to treat animals. Of course, homoeopaths are allowed to treat human beings, which means that sick animals have more protection under the law than sick humans when it comes to the ludicrous claims of alternative therapists.

Simon Singh is the co-author of Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial

(Bantam Press, £16.99)

[Captured: 25 April 2008 23:13:07]

###################
I've just about finished Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All by Rose Shapiro. It is a clear, intelligent and well-researched expose of 'alternative' medicines and therapies. I hope to post a short review of it in the not too distant future. Anyone else read it?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Lucretius
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Re: Homeopathy

#55 Post by Lucretius » April 25th, 2008, 11:29 pm

I have that book too Alan. That and probably 120-150 others are on my shelf still not read yet. I am waiting till after my exams and I'm going to go into "reading blitz mode" during the summer.

I put a bunch of sceptical type books into a wishlist if anyone wants a look at them. Some recommendations you might not have heard of/read yet.

Here it is http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/registry/reg ... BNEQC30U3Q
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

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Alan H
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Re: Homeopathy

#56 Post by Alan H » April 25th, 2008, 11:37 pm

That's some list! I've certainly read some of these, and I'm eagerly awaiting Ben Goldacre's book, which must be due out in a few months.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Lucretius
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Joined: July 26th, 2007, 11:19 pm

Re: Homeopathy

#57 Post by Lucretius » April 25th, 2008, 11:53 pm

Yes me to. I am awaiting a few books that are due out soon including


Bad Science By Ben Goldacre http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Science-Ben ... 533&sr=1-1

Microcosm by Carl Zimmer
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Microcosm-Coli- ... 556&sr=1-3

Kluge by Gary Marcus http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... ROKL5A1OLE
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

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Parapraxis
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Re: Homeopathy

#58 Post by Parapraxis » April 26th, 2008, 11:30 am

One could also read Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools Of Us All by Rose Shapiro.
The poster formerly known as "Electric Angel"

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Alan H
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Re: Homeopathy

#59 Post by Alan H » April 26th, 2008, 11:32 am

EA: I mentioned that a couple of posts ago! It is excellent. Have you read it?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Parapraxis
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Re: Homeopathy

#60 Post by Parapraxis » April 26th, 2008, 1:06 pm

Alan H wrote:EA: I mentioned that a couple of posts ago! It is excellent. Have you read it?
Sorry, I'm partially blind (ignorant) :wink:

I have not read it yet, but I want to get it for my father. He was a pharmacist for a huge number of years and always peok out against alternative therapies, especially homeopathy. When people asked for homeopathic preperations he told them to go out and breathe air, as it would the most dilute solution they could possibly have.
The poster formerly known as "Electric Angel"

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Alan H
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Re: Homeopathy

#61 Post by Alan H » April 27th, 2008, 12:21 pm

Great advice!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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