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Homeopathy - does it work?

(59 Posts)
mainlywingingit Mon 20-Mar-17 02:17:46

Just that - Y or N? Details too :
Do I need to open my mind for my child/toddler with a weak chest and low weight?

*i will add we've just started under a paediatrician consultant

LuisCarol Mon 20-Mar-17 02:29:58

No, it doesn't. It's a theoretically "rational" but emphatically and empirically debunked concept, like the miasma cause of cholera.

No, it doesn't.


(And if you still aren't convinced, you were just left unconvinced by an increasingly diluted argument, which shows diluting does not work)

pincha Mon 20-Mar-17 02:32:47


It has no rational basis whatsoever and has never been shown to work any better than placebo.

Taytotots Mon 20-Mar-17 02:42:03

It's not been shown to be any more effective than a placebo so no homeopathy doesn't work in the way it is supposed to. However, the placebo effect is really interesting - some doctors have even suggested that placebos be prescribed to patients as they do have an effect for certain conditions - even when people know they are just getting a sugar pill

HeyCat Mon 20-Mar-17 03:06:22

No. It's just a placebo. Try googling Ben goldacre and homeopathy for more info.

ProseccoBitch Mon 20-Mar-17 03:12:01

No. It's nonsense. Even homeopaths cannot explain how or why it supposedly works.

Cantseethewoods Mon 20-Mar-17 03:16:39

This website explains it really well.

DaisyDando Mon 20-Mar-17 03:23:50


berkshyre Mon 20-Mar-17 03:34:07

It works as well as praying. There can be a placebo effect in homeopathy but the actual substance does nothing whatsoever. It is water.

Homeopathy is different to using natural remedies, because some natural remedies actually have things in them that do things, such as garlic being antibacterial or papaya containing enzymes, or psyllium husk having plenty of fibre. Those still may not be rigorously scientifically tested but may have actual helpful effects. Homeopathy is drops of water so it has absolutely no effect.

peukpokicuzo Mon 20-Mar-17 05:14:52

If by a "weak chest" you mean breathing issues that may or may not develop towards a diagnosis of asthma (the medical profession tend not to diagnose asthma before age 3-4 as many kids grow out of the symptoms) then back right away from homeopathy and alternative medicines. Children have died because their parents believed unscientific drivel over medical expertise. Stick with your paediatrician consultant.

carrotcakecupcake Mon 20-Mar-17 05:34:57

Adding another voice to the others who have said No. Homeopathy is at best taking a sugar pill or water, with a possible placebo effect happening. At worst you could be putting you child at serious risk by not giving them the scientifically robust treatment they need.

peukpokicuzo Mon 20-Mar-17 06:20:34

Nb regarding so-called "alternative" medicine.

Alternative medicine that actually works is called "medicine" and is available through your normally qualified and scientifically trained medical practitioner.

eg extract of willow leaves that has been used to treat pain for 2400 years - that is Aspirin

here's an article that lists numerous other treatments that have been developed from naturally occurring sources and found to be effective against Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Malaria, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease etc etc.

If some treatment is offered by an alternative medicine practitioner but not by your consultant pediatrician that is because it doesn't work. Medical professionals do not have a bias against natural remedies, they have a bias in favour of treatments that are actually effective and safe.

mainlywingingit Mon 20-Mar-17 22:07:50

Thank you ! Well that is unanimous. I would never had used it as an alternative to medicine I was just wondering if it could be complementary and in addition to our Paediatric Consultant.

It's just he's my baby (well he's 2) and I'm desperate to get him well.

I've now met the consultant and have every faith in her that she will help us. It's the first time I have ever gone privately and I am bowled over by her and how well we have been treated so far.

fakenamefornow Mon 20-Mar-17 22:22:13

No. But..

A friend of mine, very sensible, knows homeopathy is rubbish, was persuaded to visit a homeopath about a skin condition and said it was the best money he'd ever spent. He said for the first time in his life he was properly listened to and his problem taken seriously by a 'medical professional'. The whole consultation made him feel a lot better and he even felt his skin improved.

OreoDream Wed 22-Mar-17 09:02:46

Just adding another NO here!

Homeopathy takes 'natural medicines' and dilutes them with water, a lot. So much in fact that statistically the bottle of homeopathic 'medicine' is unlikely to contain even a single molecule of 'natural medicine'. It is just very very overpriced water.

GreyterGood Tue 11-Apr-17 09:34:10

@fakenamefornow "He said for the first time in his life he was properly listened to and his problem taken seriously by a 'medical professional'. The whole consultation made him feel a lot better and he even felt his skin improved."

Good point. Try it before you dismiss it? It's a 'new orthodoxy' to say 'it doesn't work'. If you don't like using steroids and antibiotics for everything, it's really worth trying CAM (not just homeopathy).

Having a tool in addition to Calpol in the middle of the night is quite amazing!

Just saying. [ducks for cover]

SerialReJoiner Tue 11-Apr-17 10:15:33

Modern medicine is fantastic and I am very grateful for it. I also believe the placebo effect is far more powerful than we realise.

What I can't figure out is why those homeopathic teething granules seem to help my baby when he's really red-cheeked and fussy. How can a placebo work on a 3 month old? confused

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Tue 11-Apr-17 10:19:32


Moreisnnogedag Tue 11-Apr-17 10:28:46

Nope. Not a jot beyond placebo effect.

fakename I'd say that that's more to do with being listened to than anything. It's a really under-utilised skill - people want to know that their health problems are understood and someone cares enough to try and sort it for you.

AssassinatedBeauty Tue 11-Apr-17 10:31:20

No it doesn't work. I also feel that taking money off parents with ill children for homeopathy is morally wrong.

SerialReJoiner the teething granules help because you're physically rubbing your baby's gums and because they're made out of sugar which has a pain relief effect in small babies. It's nothing to do with the supposed homeopathic element.

Dreardre Tue 11-Apr-17 10:35:17

It's snake oil bollocks. At best it has a placebo effect for stress. NOT FOR ILLNESS. Any parent who gives this to a sick child instead of proper medicine should be reported to Social Services.

Dreardre Tue 11-Apr-17 10:36:41

The sensation of teething granules probably feels nice on sore gums for a short while. There is no active ingredient.

Ontopofthesunset Tue 11-Apr-17 10:43:48

I was going to add most teething granules contain sugar or sweeteners, as someone's said, and you're massaging your baby's gums as well. Sugar is pleasant and has a distracting effect - older children who've fallen over etc will often stop crying if they're given a bit of chocolate. It's nice and it stops them thinking about the pain. It hasn't actually stopped hurting.

Of course with teething too the pain is mild and self-limiting. It hurts for a while and then it stops for a while. So it's easy to think that what you've done has helped more than it has.

monkeywithacowface Tue 11-Apr-17 10:44:13

No I don't think it does work, except as a placebo (which isn't necessarily a bad thing. If say a person with anxiety feels better for taking it even though it's just a placebo effect then why not!)

I think fakenamefornow makes an interesting point about how just going for a consultation and feeling like someone is properly listening to you and taking you seriously can be very powerful to a person's sense of well being.

I have paid privately for SALT/OT/Dietician's etc for my son and aspect I've always found beneficial is the fact that you are given a considerably longer consultation and opportunity to discuss issues which just isn't possible in the NHS. It feels reassuring which is helpful when you are already stressed and worried to have someone really listen.

Anyway whilst I think you should explore all avenues for your son I would save your money and skip homeopathy.

IHeartDodo Tue 11-Apr-17 11:01:18

Actually it's a funny one.
Technically the answer is NO - there have been several large scientific studies that all found absolutely no evidence whatsoever that it works.
HOWEVER... the placebo effect is a well-documented effect and that can cause some improvement, so in that way, it does kind of work. Although it's not the substances themselves making a difference (water and sugar pills), rather the patient's belief that what they're taking will help.
It's like giving a small child a tic-tac and telling them it'll make their stomach ache better. If they believe you, it probably will "help", even though we all know that tic-tacs do not treat stomach aches.
However, for a "proper" medical condition, go with the accepted wisdom of the medical profession.

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