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to think homeopaths really just make money out of the gullible?

(1000 Posts)
WidowWadman Sat 08-Jun-13 20:59:47

A remedy made from diluted bits of the Berlin Wall - seriously, that's surely just a test to find out how far they can push it, isn't?

caroldecker Sun 09-Jun-13 20:19:50

where herbal remedies work (willow bark) they are converted into 'modern' medicine (aspirin). The rest is just pot pourri

noddyholder Sun 09-Jun-13 20:22:48

My sister is a homeopath and I am a huge cynic but some of her successes have been truly jaw dropping. She gave my ds one pill and after years of hysterics he got on a plane calm as could be.

Thumbtack Sun 09-Jun-13 20:30:50

I totally agree that it's a load of rubbish.

But I also swear by that 'teetha' homeopathic teething powder. Dunno how that can work but it seems too.


GrendelsMum Sun 09-Jun-13 20:31:35

On the other hand, if the placebo effect can improve well-being, then logically, shouldn't we be making the best possible use of it?

Which means making use of homeopathy and anything else that has an effect.

timidviper Sun 09-Jun-13 20:32:56

There are a lot of people who believe it works and are happy with the effects they have seen from it so why should it matter to you or anybody else? I think there are a lot of allopathic medicines that are more placebo than anything else too and they are paid for by the NHS so I don't really mind who takes what when they pay for it themselves.

seeker Sun 09-Jun-13 20:34:46

"where herbal remedies work (willow bark) they are converted into 'modern' medicine (aspirin). The rest is just pot pourri"

Or soup grin
Homeopathic teething powders are very sweet- that's why they work!

LeGavrOrf Sun 09-Jun-13 20:36:22

That link which fork posted made me die.

Apparently the homeopathic effects can be had by writing them down on a piece of paper and putting it under a glass of water and then praying, or simply wishing positive things to happen.

This reminds me of Nancy Mitford's father's habit of writing the names down of people he hated and then putting the pieces of paper in a box or a cupboard, thereby causing their death or misfortune.

noddyholder Sun 09-Jun-13 20:36:33

Herbal and homeopathy are not the same thing

RikeBider Sun 09-Jun-13 20:42:43

Gullible, desperate and, um... hypochondriacs grin

However, many/most homeopaths DO believe in it, so I wouldn't say it's a scam. Like religion really (except Scientology, that one is a scam).

Homeopathy does work for many people because:
- belief/placebo is a powerful thing
- people like being listened to
- people go to see homeopaths with vague, non-serious complaints that tend to clear up eventually anyway

Homeopathic teething powders work because they are sweet and crunchy and feel nice on your gums. Sugar would work just as well. I keep a packet of magic white chocolate buttons in the fridge as pain relief for children's bumps and bruises - works like magic smile

meddie Sun 09-Jun-13 20:44:28

The homepathic teething powders work because they are just sugar and in infants sugar is an effective pain relief, we use it all the time for babies undergoing blood tests and cannulation. It has something to do with the 'sweet message' to the brain over riding the pain message.
You might as well rub some caster sugar on their gums and it would be a lot cheaper too.

Thumbtack Sun 09-Jun-13 20:51:26

Oh, okay! Thanks for the heads up on teething powder, good to know. You may have saved me a small fortune. wink

Thumbtack Sun 09-Jun-13 20:55:32

Actually thats what you meant wasn't it? I was gullible about the teething powder, wasn't I? blush

VenusUprising Sun 09-Jun-13 20:57:34

Well I'm a scientist, and as far as I know, homeopathy works for me.
I don't know know it works, but it does. I also know a lot of other people scientists and reasonable rational people for who it works too. Some of them also take medicines made by pharmaceutical companies, to varying effect.

As far as I'm concerned we haven't looked at it properly. Make of that what you will fellow scientists grin

I guess it's ok to have an opinion about religion, but as a scientist I can't say how some people seem to get relief/ comfort / cures from that either. And yet they do.

Perhaps we should store up our unsubstantiated opinions for a MN desensitisation inoculation or something!

But seriously, it's not a very productive discussion if we are all banging on about our opinions on something being crap despite others saying they have had benefit from it now is it?
[I recommend pulsatilla 30c three times a day to chillax! (and to also get rid of that sty on your upper eyelid, and to buck yourself up if you're a blond timid type!)]

<wafts off in clouds of insence to inspect how my HOC clear summer séance veils go with my white coat>

BabetteAteOatmeal Sun 09-Jun-13 20:59:40

Wow LeGavrOrf thank you for the tip - several names now in my wardrobe, mwah hah hah...

RikeBider Sun 09-Jun-13 21:02:53

There's no denying people benefit from it Venus! The placebo effect is very strong, it's comforting and reassuring to have a kind person listen to you and care and sympathise when a GP wants you in and out in 5 minutes and probably can't really offer you anything for whatever issue it is anyway.

However, it doesn't work because like cures like, water has a memory and if you slap it with a leather strap and then dilute it so many times that there is no molecules of the active ingredient left it actually becomes stronger.

Elquota Sun 09-Jun-13 21:03:48

I think it "works" for some people as a placebo.

caroldecker Sun 09-Jun-13 21:03:59

No genuine scientist can believe in homeopathy. Science works by a guess (hypothesis) which is then tested. If it fails the test it is wrong, regardless of who's hypothesis it is or how much you 'like' the idea.

Homeopathy has been tested multiple times and never has any beneficial result been found, therefore the hypothesis is wrong.

Anyone who disagrees with this does not believe in the scientific method and therefore is not a scientist.

Lazyjaney Sun 09-Jun-13 21:21:05

The science of homeopathy is rubbish, any benefit is from the p,acebo effect.

But, I think the effect of someone listening, talking it through etc is probably very attractive to people who use it. (I think the less science you know the better it feels smile. )

philosophicmum Sun 09-Jun-13 21:21:37

Berlin Wall is just the tip of the iceberg. I kind of wondered whether this could be a joke, so I went to what seems to be a 'reputable' homeopathic online shop and yep, they sell Berlin Wall sugar pills. So I looked through their list of available choices and I also found the following homeopathic remedies: brillo pad, viagra, fabric conditioner, exhaust fumes, blue ringed octopus, budgie feathers, fire, glucose (the only truthful one of the lot), hairspray, goldfish, and something called gossipium. I'm tempted to buy some brillo pad pills and see if they help with the washing up.

CoteDAzur Sun 09-Jun-13 21:27:21

Exactly what caroldecker said.

CoteDAzur Sun 09-Jun-13 21:28:31

"homeopathy works for me"

What does that even mean? Does it work or not?

As a scientist, would you say that paracetamol works or that it works for you?

squoosh Sun 09-Jun-13 21:31:13

I know someone who paid a man £200 to walk around her whilst banging a drum. It was to unblock her chakra . . . . . . . . or something.

Perseis Sun 09-Jun-13 21:31:48

The placebo effect is a genuine healing tool for some conditions though. And homeopathy engages the placebo effect. If people believe in it, I don't really mind if they take it. It's not going to hurt them.

I had a very funny conversation the other day with someone trying to get me to try homeopathy about how I can't use homeopathic remedies because I think it's bollocks, therefore the only thing that makes it work (placebo) isn't going to work on me.

squoosh Sun 09-Jun-13 21:34:19

Ignorant question alert: Is acupuncture considered to dwell within the realm of homeopathy?

lurcherlover Sun 09-Jun-13 21:34:44

Venus - we "haven't looked at it properly"? Really?

Homeopathy has been tested extensively in double-blind trials. As a scientist, can you suggest a better method of conducting an experiment with a drug?

In every single trial, homeopathy was shown to have no effect at all. Not surprising, since the "science" involved requires water to have a "memory" hmm. It doesn't work.

Funny how even homeopathy believers never offer it up as a cancer cure, or one for TB, or epilepsy...

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