Homeopathy is a form of medicine that has been practiced for ages. People, particularly those suffering from ailments that regular medicine cannot effectively treat, are attracted and fascinated by this medicine that has little to no scientific basis. Homeopathic medicines are sold far and wide and it really is surprising how such a huge number of patients are fooled into believing that these things actually work.
The active ingredients in homeopathy medicines are highly diluted. This means that when we are ingesting this medicine, only an extremely small amount of what we’re eating or drinking is actually medicine. The rest is just plain old water. It’s difficult to understand how people believe that such an extremely minute quantity can actually have an effect.
HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE FOR FIBROMYALGIA:
Fibromyalgia is a disease of muscles. It is one of those diseases that are not well understood. It causes chronic pain and it’s not very clear how the disease works. This is why although treatments for fibromyalgia are present; they are not a hundred percent effective.
This makes fibromyalgia one of those diseases whose patients are willing to explore all avenues of treatment, be they scientific or not. The patients, tired of the pain, weakness, tingling sensations and loss of sleep will accept even quackery if it’s offered to them. These patients are vulnerable and homeopathic experts take advantage of this position to advocate their drugs.
WHAT DO HOMEOPATHY EXPERTS SAY?
Dana Ullman is a well known homeopathy expert who speaks about fibromyalgia and its cure in homeopathy. Ullman himself is not well versed with scientific data and how to interpret it. He describes a study done in 2010 that, according to Ullman, advocates the use of therapies other than traditional medicine for fibromyalgia. However, he leaves out several important points of the study in which it is clearly mentioned that drugs used for fibromyalgia are, in fact, effective and better than placebos. It is true that these drugs are far from perfect but that does not mean that they do not work at all and so it’s justifiable to use unproven and unscientific methods like homeopathy.
The way homeopathy is supposed to work is this: it is given in small doses and in this dose it activates the body’s own immune system. If given in large dose, it would mimic the disease itself. Hence, it loosely acts on the same principal on which vaccines do; i.e. a small dose is helpful as it causes body to start fighting against the disease.
Ullman describes various studies that are in favor of homeopathy treatment for fibromyalgia. However, these studies are far from conclusive. The first one he mentions had only 30 patients; was done 20 years ago and was subsequently described by David Colquhoun as having no definite evidence that the plant used actually worked.
There are four more studies mentioned but two of them are highly unreliable as they were actually published in a journal reserved for alternate medicine, which is not a particularly authentic journal in itself. Other two papers were indeed published in proper scientific journals but again the number of subjects was small and the study and control group were not perfectly matched. The patients in the two groups had varying severity f symptoms. So how can we be sure that the treatment worked? Besides, only two research papers are far from enough in proving a point. Also, in all four experiments, different homeopathic treatments were used. Another point which reduces credibility is that dilution of active ingredients used in these experiments was less than in the actual drugs when they are sold.
Homeopathy is implausible because for us to believe that it works; we will have to ignore several scientific facts that are well known. Homeopathy goes against the laws of biology, particularly the fact that the extreme dilution makes it implausible that any active ingredients actually remain in the drug. As homeopathy experts cannot even prove their own effectiveness, how can one believe them when all evidence points against them?
WHAT DOES DANA ULLMAN SAY TO NON-BELIEVERS OF HOMEOPATHY?
Ullman sites a few ridiculous examples, trying to convince people to believe in homeopathy. He compares not knowing the mechanism of action of homeopathy drugs to the same as doctors not knowing for sure how aspirin worked, but still prescribing it for several decades. Obviously, the comparison does not hold as first, the benefits of aspirin were well documented and secondly, it did not oppose any biological proven fact. Ullman also claims that those who are most readily against homeopathy are those belonging to big pharmacological companies.
SO WHY IS HOMEAPTHY STILL PRESENT?
The answer is simple to understand. Medical science is something that has progressed over years. It was not always safe or even useful. Also, there are several ailments which do not have a perfect cure in medicine. This allows woo magicians like homeopathic experts to step in, claiming that their medicines have been working for ages and at least do not harm the body.
However, with no evidence and almost no proven benefit, homeopathy remains quackery and not something we can rely on.