Homeopathy - Good for VPD or Placebo Effect? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-23-2007, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It has been mentioned by some that they feel more comfortable not vaccinating because they have homeopathic doctors or remedies on-hand. Does this describe you? I thought it might be interesting to get other people's perspectives -- What benefits have you seen from homeopathy? Why do you (or don't you) believe it can work?

Personally, I don't take any comfort in homeopathic remedies and think that beneficial effects seen from such remedies must surely be the placebo effect. Scientifically, I've never been able to understand how diluting a substance down until there is almost nothing left could possibly cure the same ailment a larger dose of those substances cause.

On a related note, homeopathy is (or at least was) part of the target of skeptic James Randi (one million dollars to prove it.) He is a critical thinker looking for proof of the paranormal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWE1tH93G9U
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon...meopathy.shtml

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Old 07-23-2007, 05:43 AM
 
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Scientifically, I've never been able to understand how diluting a substance down until there is almost nothing
It's not just almost nothing. In any one remedy, there's a 90% chance that the substance you take has literally nothing left of the 'active ingredient' in it.
If you get lucky and get the one with the ingredient left, it's a whopping one molecule.
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:29 AM
 
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Another vote for placebo effect. I just don't see how it could be anything other.
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:23 AM
 
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oops double post
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:27 AM
 
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My scientific mind has a hard time with it too - but how to explain it working in children/infants and skeptics?

I have two anecdotal stories:

My son from birth had issues with pooping. He would go once every eight days. Yes, I know that can be considered normal for a breastfed baby. However, he would scream all day for the two days prior to the poop. There was nothing "normal" about it. I kept calling the ped who could only offer me the advice of sticking a thermometer in his butt or giving him prune juice. So, in desperation, I went to a recommended MD/homeopath when my son was 6 months old (still ebf). Within 2 days he was pooping DAILY and has been ever since with no constipation issues. I can't see how that could be a coincidence or placebo.

The other story is about my dh. He is *not* into natural stuff at all and would refer to the homepath as a witch doctor. He was having some stool issues himself (totally different problem). He went to the allopath who suggested he had something like IBS, would have it the rest of his life and promptly got out his prescription pad. I asked dh to just see the homeopath and then he could do what the allopath said. He gave dh a remedy and within 3 days he had returned completely to normal and is still "normal" 6 months later. Would it be considered placebo when he was convinced it was not going to do a thing?
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i asked my husband (who bought a book about homeopathic remedies when we were getting close to deciding not to vax) what he thought. He said he didn't understand how diluting it could work and 'wondered if it becomes a more potent poison the more diluted it is, if one drop could kill everything in the entire ocean.'

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Old 07-23-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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My son from birth had issues with pooping. He would go once every eight days. Yes, I know that can be considered normal for a breastfed baby. However, he would scream all day for the two days prior to the poop. There was nothing "normal" about it. I kept calling the ped who could only offer me the advice of sticking a thermometer in his butt or giving him prune juice. So, in desperation, I went to a recommended MD/homeopath when my son was 6 months old (still ebf). Within 2 days he was pooping DAILY and has been ever since with no constipation issues. I can't see how that could be a coincidence or placebo.
Are you sure it was actually "true homeopathy"? A lot of homeopaths also prescribe "natural" stuff, and a lot of "natural stuff" can and has to sometimes work. Sometimes the substance the homeopathic remedy is mixed with (the inactive ingredients) can be not-so-inactive, too. Rescue Remedy, for example, is based in alcohol.
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Old 07-23-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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I don't know I am torn. I don't totally disbelieve in magic but at the same time I haven't seen it work on someone. I tried self diagnosing a couple times based upon the books I have and it didn't work. When I asked why it didn't work I was told I had picked the wrong remedy. I figure if it is that difficult to get to work do I really want to be doing it?
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lyttlewon View Post
I don't know I am torn. I don't totally disbelieve in magic but at the same time I haven't seen it work on someone. I tried self diagnosing a couple times based upon the books I have and it didn't work. When I asked why it didn't work I was told I had picked the wrong remedy. I figure if it is that difficult to get to work do I really want to be doing it?
Join us, lyttlewon...
Cross over to the darkside of the homeopathy disbelievers...

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Old 07-23-2007, 04:15 PM
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Are you sure it was actually "true homeopathy"? A lot of homeopaths also prescribe "natural" stuff, and a lot of "natural stuff" can and has to sometimes work.
Please rescue me from the dark pit of my ignorance: what exactly is "true homeopathy" vs. natural remedies? I often use the two interchangeably and I know that that's wrong, but what exactly is the difference????

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Old 07-23-2007, 04:21 PM
 
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Please rescue me from the dark pit of my ignorance: what exactly is "true homeopathy" vs. natural remedies? I often use the two interchangeably and I know that that's wrong, but what exactly is the difference????
Homeopathic remedies are a substance that has been diluted a certain number of times until nothing but the "essence" remains. It would then be put in some kind of sugar chalky pill to take. Other natural remedies to me would be adding vitamin C to a homeopathic cold remedy or taking vitamin C in conjunction with the remedy. So the question is if the vitamin C is what helps the problem or is it the "essence"?
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lyttlewon View Post
Homeopathic remedies are a substance that has been diluted a certain number of times until nothing but the "essence" remains. It would then be put in some kind of sugar chalky pill to take. Other natural remedies to me would be adding vitamin C to a homeopathic cold remedy or taking vitamin C in conjunction with the remedy. So the question is if the vitamin C is what helps the problem or is it the "essence"?
It's the Vitamin C.
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:30 PM
 
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Please rescue me from the dark pit of my ignorance: what exactly is "true homeopathy" vs. natural remedies? I often use the two interchangeably and I know that that's wrong, but what exactly is the difference????
Homeopathy is a substance diluted so completely that there's not even one molecule of the original substance left. The idea is that the more you dilute something, the more powerful it gets. It's based on completely unsupported ideas about water having a memory of things it used to be in contact with.

"Natural remedies" is like putting tea tree oil (a known antifungal) on ringworm.
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamakay View Post
Are you sure it was actually "true homeopathy"? A lot of homeopaths also prescribe "natural" stuff, and a lot of "natural stuff" can and has to sometimes work. Sometimes the substance the homeopathic remedy is mixed with (the inactive ingredients) can be not-so-inactive, too. Rescue Remedy, for example, is based in alcohol.
Yep, I know the difference. They were definitely homeopathic. :
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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Yep, I know the difference. They were definitely homeopathic. :
Do you know what the base was?
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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They were the little white pills - lactose. For the baby, I had to smash them and give it to him. Dh just put his under the tongue.
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:54 PM
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There is nothing magical or supernatural about homeopathy . It works, and it works well, but you have to know what you're doing otherwise it's as good as wishful thinking. The fact that science doesn't admit it speaks rather of the limitations of science . Speaking of science, there is a whole lot of allopathic medicines that don't have a well described or even understood mechanism of action which doesn't stop doctors from prescribing and patients from using them receiving the desired effect at least some of the time .

True homeopathy is not just using 'very diluted' stuff. There are laws and rules that have to be followed otherwise it is just using 'very diluted stuff' - which is used a lot in a number of alternative therapies none of which is, strictly speaking, homeopathy.

It is also the one and only thing I am using for my family for the last 5 years. Not for prevention though.
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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Speaking of science, there is a whole lot of allopathic medicines that don't have a well described or even understood mechanism of action which doesn't stop doctors from prescribing and patients from using them receiving the desired effect at least some of the time
Yeah, there's a lot of fraudulent nonsense in allopathy, too.

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Old 07-23-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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Please rescue me from the dark pit of my ignorance: what exactly is "true homeopathy" vs. natural remedies? I often use the two interchangeably and I know that that's wrong, but what exactly is the difference????
I use a lot of "natural medicines" but I just can't buy homeopathy. Some stuff works for us - garlic oil for ear infections, vitamin A & C for other stuff. We see a naturopath sometimes. I just don't see how "water" , which is basically what true homeopathy is, can help with anything.

I have never taken antibiotics (I don't think!). Never as an adult and my Mum doesn't think I ever had any as a child. But I am not opposed to them. If I thought they would help with something would take them in a heartbeat.

I think the placebo effect is real, so homeopathy is good for that...in that respect it does "work" I guess.
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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I would not put any faith in homeopathics. I have never seen an explanation of how they "work" that was not pure pseudo-scientific nonsense.
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please rescue me from the dark pit of my ignorance: what exactly is "true homeopathy" vs. natural remedies? I often use the two interchangeably and I know that that's wrong, but what exactly is the difference????
Watch the video in the link. It is kinda funny. He talks about how he took a whole bottle of homeopathic sleeping remedy during a conference and likens the dilution of some substances to a grain of rice in the solar system multiplied by a billion.

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Old 07-23-2007, 06:54 PM
 
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I think it breaks down by materialists vs non-materialists.

I find materialism philosophically unsatisfying, so I look at the universe as being an excretion of spirit/consciousness, rather than consciousness being an epiphenomenon of matter.

For non-materialists, it isn't hard to see non-material stuff, like homeopathically prepared remedies having an effect on material stuff like bodies, because the non-material stuff created the bodies in the first place.

Incidentally, my experience is that done correctly, homeopathic stuff works very nicely and allopathic stuff doesn't (and has nasty side effects besides), but some of it must be the placebo effect , and since I really don't trust allopathic medicine, I've got to deal with the reverse placebo effect
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:06 PM
 
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I just don't see how it can be a placebo effect, because I use it on my children from age 1 and sometimes I see immediate change.
I was cured by homeopathy when I was 5 years old. It saved me from an operation to remove on adenoids and tonsils. After half year starting homeopathy we went to the doctor and he just couldn't believe that my tonsils were normal again and there were no adenoids. And before that we visited a few doctors (my mother wanted second opinion), and every doctor was saying that the operation should be performed as soon as possible. My mother didn't know then about homeopathy and didn't believe in it, she just wanted to give it a try it before the operation.
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:13 PM
 
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Watch the video in the link. It is kinda funny. He talks about how he took a whole bottle of homeopathic sleeping remedy during a conference and likens the dilution of some substances to a grain of rice in the solar system multiplied by a billion.
1. In homeopathy there is no concept of "amount of remedy" . It is "dilution" that counts. You can drink whole bottle or take one sip with the same results.
2. There is no "sleeping remedy " or "remedy for cough" or "remedy for this illness" in homeopathy. Every remedy is prescribes based on patients personality and specific symptoms.
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:22 PM
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OMG, I can't believe I've finally found people on MDC who are sensible about homeopathy!

*faints dead away*

I always figured I was the only one here feels it just fundamentally doesn't make any sense.

As to how it works on babys or kids or animals? Coincidence, people seeing what they want to see, the base substance actually being responsible for the results (a lot of the homeopathic remedies people were always trying to foist on me for teething involved sugar water - duh, of course the baby stops crying when you rub SUGAR on their gums! They're thinking 'dang, that's delicious!).

There's never been a single *properly controlled* study on animals that demonstrates it works (plenty of poorly controlled ones, which are worthless). It's magical twaddle and the placebo effect, and it boggles my mind that so many people here are so good at critical thinking about vaccines and so bad at critical thinking about homeopathy.

(this is not to discount natural remedies, which are a whole different kettle of fish - I'm refering her just to classical homeopathy with the dilutions)
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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OMG, I can't believe I've finally found people on MDC who are sensible about homeopathy!
I always figured I was the only one here feels it just fundamentally doesn't make any sense.
I am sorry for everyone that does NOT believe in homeopathy, because it is a wonderful way to treat many health problems - for kids, for animals and for adults. Even it it is a placebo, WHY is that so BAD??? Placebo - the BEST medicine that can be, because it is the body that repairs itself , without ANY side effects.
I can tell a lot of successful stories in my family about homeopathy, that eliminated the need for operation, drugs, antibiotics, steroids. And the problems have never returned. WHY IS IT BAD???
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:38 PM
 
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Placebo - the BEST medicine that can be, because it is the body that repairs itself , without ANY side effects.
As a basic rule I agree with you. It's, at worst, completely harmless. The only qualification there is if there's something very wrong that's NOT getting better on it's own and more effective treatment is declined in favor of homeopathy.

But otherwise, it's not harmful.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:02 AM
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I have no problem with placebos - sometimes I swear 90% of illness is all in our heads.

What I have a problem with is people making false claims and huge profits off of selling what is basically just water.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:05 AM
 
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I have no problem with placebos - sometimes I swear 90% of illness is all in our heads.
And 9% more of the time...rest, nutrition, and patience will take care of it just fine. (as the effectiveness of homeopathy attests to, I think.)
The human body is amazingly good at fixing itself when it comes to minor stuff.


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What I have a problem with is people making false claims and huge profits off of selling what is basically just water.
I hear ya'.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:06 AM
 
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As a basic rule I agree with you. It's, at worst, completely harmless. The only qualification there is if there's something very wrong that's NOT getting better on it's own and more effective treatment is declined in favor of homeopathy.
I think if the time is critical and homeopathy is not helping immediately , every smart person will go to allopatic doctor
When I had abscess in my tooth root I went to the dentist who is also homeopath, he suggested to try homeopathy for one day only and in case it won't help, he give me antibiotics. It did helped in ONE day and I didn't need the drugs
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