“The past 30 years has seen an extraordinary increase in consumer demand for safe, effective and cost-effective natural healthcare. Naturopathic medicine has emerged as the health care profession best suited to meet this demand. Although it almost disappeared in the mid-twentieth century because of the popularity of drugs and surgery, naturopathic medicine now offers safe, effective natural therapies as a vital part of the health care systems of North America the twenty-first century.”
That’s from the America Association of Naturopathic Physicians website (http://www.naturopathic.org) . Sounds great doesn’t it? Well it would be if it weren’t a crock of shit. Now I know what you’re saying. ‘Hey, Bryan, these ancient remedies have been around since antiquity and have been “proven” to be effective.’ Well my answer to that is that the length of time something is in practice has no bearing on it’s effectiveness. In other words, just because people claim it’s true doesn’t make it so when lacking sufficient any scientific evidence, especially when juxtaposed with contradicting evidence.
To get a feel for what homeopathy is – it is generally the philosophy that the more diluted a drug or substance is, the more powerful it becomes. Don’t ask me why this counter-intuitive thought is so prevalent in the 21st century but it is. By homeopathic logic, substances in potent doses cause side-effects just as bad as the disease they’re treating (Interesting, so when a patient takes penicillin to treat an infection, in some kind of backwards way that defies all medical knowledge, the anti-biotic causes the bacterial infection to become worse?)
Also get this – the dilutions are often so large that there is no practical chance of a single molecule of an active ingredient existing in the mixture. Mixtures of 1 part active ingredient per 1,000,000,000,000 parts of water are not uncommon. Rather than try to defend this untenable position that the substance is still there they claim that the vital energy is transfered and that’s all that matters. An interesting study published in a peer review scientific journal investigated the effectiveness of a homeopathic treatment using the ingredient Arnica montana against a placebo. Ultimately they determined:
“The claim that homeopathic arnica is efficacious beyond a placebo effect is not supported by rigorous clinical trials.”
Here’s a link to the article published in Surgery by E Ernst, MD, PhD. and M.H. Pittler, MD.http://archsurg.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/133/11/1187?ck=nck