Homoeopathy : photo by yuki*
Tonight, Eirene and I went for a specialist homoeopathic birthing consultation. Eirene (now 37+ weeks) is a firm believer in homoeopathy and wants to use it to help her through the birthing process. As her birthing partner, I’m going to support her – which ever way she wants to play it. (It’s her gig, at the end of the day). I hijacked a good part of the meeting to kick the tyres of homoeopathy. Before I go on, the whistle-stop tour of ‘what is it?’ which can be voiced from two camps.
A typical sceptic might say…
On paper, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s utterly counter intuitive. When you describe the process it looks like some kind of April fool joke of a treatment; “30C”: this means that the original substance has been diluted by 1 drop in 100, 30 times. hardly, if at all a single molecule of the original substance remains. It’s all placebo effect at best, There’s no evidence to support it ever working. Shunning recognised medicine in favour of homoeopathy is potentially dangerous.
A typical “there may be something in it” thinker might say…
Our bodies are 98% water. We’re made up of molecules, who’s elements are held in place by an energy. We can re program our bodies, based on the principal of treating ‘like with like’ on a molecular level. The method of dilution is all about isolating the specific energy signature of a substance and imprinting it on the invisible, nano structure of the water molecules, which in turn is recognised and acted upon, by our bodies when it comes into contact with us. Scientists often scoff at homoeopathy. These same scientist scoffed at the world being round, or the idea that we could fly or that we could walk on the moon only a few generations ago.
I’ve been treat with a homoeopathic remedy before – and it worked. Intense toothache vanished within seconds, after a day and a sleepless night of intense pain by putting a prescribed coffea tablet under my toungue. That may have been the perfect remedy for me at that time, the exact one out of 4000 and odd homoeopathic remedies that was in perfect, powerful tune with the cause of the toothache, or, it could have been coincidence, or it could have been the placebo effect.
Eirene’s mum was a practising, qualified homoeopath and a firm believer in it’s benefits, so as a result, Eirene has seen enough to be a total convert. Eirene doesn’t need to hear any of the pro homoeo PR stories..
Like the one about the pre antibiotic era WWI hospital that had a 70% survival success rate, along side it’s non homoeopathic sister hospital which had a 25% survival rate. Or the more up-to-date anecdote, of an official line in the cosmetic surgery world – particularly breast augmentation – is to bring Arnica, as it stops blood flow and bruising, or the main-streamly popular Nelsons Teetha Teething granules that are actually ‘nothing but’ a homoeopathic remedy and seem to get rave reviews wherever I’ve looked.
Yet, according to a lot of the medical fraternity, it’s totally not worth it’s salt, or perhaps, sugar pills. This scathing article by The Guardian columnist Ben Goldacre is a fairly representative medical voice – he talks a lot about how there’s no evidence, how the ‘science’ (yes, he uses inverted commas) behind it doesn’t add up. He also say in the article that “The Society of Homeopaths have even threatened to sue bloggers who criticise them.”, so I’d better watch my step.
Speaking of worth it’s salt, I’m not sure how much of a pinch of the stuff to take with any of it after the evening of intense research on the subject that’s gone into this blog (I could have gone on longer, but I’ve got a midnight deadline afterall). Conspiracy theory anyone? There’s some potential skull-duggery going on and dirty looking shots from both sides of the fence. As well as the result rigging pointed out in Ben’s article, It stands to reason that the multi billion dollar taxable industry, rubbing shoulders with war and oil may not like anything that could be perceived as a potential threat, and in some parts of the world – like India for instance, homeophathy is big business, because it’s (at least perceived) as a solution that’s working, and a costs the man on the street a considerable amount less to use.
I’m off for a cup of non homoeopathic, non pharmaceutical, cocoa.