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Homeapathy.... experiences, views etc?

(56 Posts)
glitternanny Sun 11-Sep-11 13:33:20

I saw on a programme I watched on TV last night about homeopathy for pregnancy and labour and being very nervous it was something that caught my attention.

MixedBerries Sun 11-Sep-11 15:11:50

There is no scientific evidence at all that homeopathy works for anything beyond it having a placebo effect. You'll hear lots of anecdotal stories about how wonderful it's been but these are cases of placebo or where some other influence has caused the effect. It comes down to the fact that homeopathists are selling you little bottles of water for an extortionate price. My advice would be to try something that is proven to work through proper rigorous studies.

Deesus Sun 11-Sep-11 15:12:36

Totally agree with MixedBerries

glitternanny Sun 11-Sep-11 15:41:31

ok- fair enough - any other views?

malinois Sun 11-Sep-11 15:44:57

It's a scam. If you want to pay a fortune for sugar pills then that's your choice, but don't be under any illusion that they will actually have any effect beyond placebo.

Deesus Sun 11-Sep-11 15:47:39

You might get other views glitter but the only facts re homeopathy have already been stated...

MamaChoo Sun 11-Sep-11 15:59:01

Here goes the other side... I had homeopathic pills for very severe morning sickness (had prev been on 'proper' pills for it). Improved sickness so much I started missing a few pills to check I still felt sick and was still pregnant! Do I care why or how it worked? Of course not! As everyone says, there's nothing in them, so you can't do yourself any damage with them, so what's the downside? it certainly didn't cost a fortune, I would have literally happily paid 10 times as much to stop feeling so ill. (Chinese medicine another issue entirely...) Thanks for reminding me to consult the homeopath about something that is helpful in labour.

TrillianAstra Sun 11-Sep-11 16:25:38

Honeopathic "medicine" will make you feel better exactly as much as taking 2 tictacs 3x a day will make you feel better, if someone said in a really authoritative way "this will make you feel better".

So yeah, that's a bit of better-feeling-ness, which is good, if there's nothing particularly wrong with you.

But you are also supporting an industry that is known to lie to people who actually have something wrong with them and encourage them to use homeopathy rather than medicine that will actually make them better.

jaggythistle Sun 11-Sep-11 17:00:29

Tictacs probably taste better too....

ghosteditor Sun 11-Sep-11 17:58:10

What others have said above. I was persuaded to go see a homeopathist by a friend after suffering a chronic cough for about a year. The GP wasn't doing much for me, so I went along. It was a very different experience to the NHS as we talked for an hour about my medical history etc and I really felt listened to. He prescribed a few pills and the cost of the appt plus a follow up appt was £90 (about 7 years ago). The pills did nothing and shortly thereafter I was very very close to being hospitalised. I then saw a different GP who correctly diagnosed a form of asthma and I got better very quickly with inhalers.

In my opinion it was extremely irresponsible of the homeopath not to push me to go back to the GP. The homeopath's complete lack of medical knowledge was probably why he didn't recognise how ill I actually was at the time. I will not waste my money again, and would not advise anyone else to use a homeopath. A counsellor would probably do a better job, especially for anxiety related ptoblems. There are other, better avenues to pursue. Read Ben Goldacre for a scientific consideration of homeopathy.

On the other hand, congratulations on your pregnancy and hope all goes well for you.

BaldricksTurnip Sun 11-Sep-11 22:19:07

Hi OP. Just so you are aware, rightly or wrongly the general consensus on MN is very anti homeopathy. I was surprised when I found this out as most people who post on here aren't medical professionals but feel quite happy to be very dismissive about something they know very little about. I cannot offer you evidence of whether it works or not but in my own experience have found homeopathy very helpful and effective. I hope you manage to get some balanced views.

jaggythistle Mon 12-Sep-11 07:59:44

no one can offer genuine evidence of it working as the preparations contain no active ingredient.

I'd imagine the 'anti-homeopathy' stance is because there are quite a lot of intelligent people on here, who have done their own research and come to the same conclusions.

read Ben Goldacre's bad science as suggested above to see exactly what these people are selling.

just to preempt the usual arguments, the book lays into 'big pharma' too...

nannyl Mon 12-Sep-11 08:02:45

I agree with Baldricks

My mum swears by homeopathy.... she had drug free labours and didnt tear at all. weather its placebo or not, who cares?...... a relatively unpainful labour, (8 hours for birth 1 followed by 6 hours) and a short pushing stage, and not tearing, is what she got as a result of believing it....
Doing it naturally without drugs and intervention, then reaps its own benefits in the early days...

There are plenty of alternative therapies that have no published research backing them up, yet they continue to help many women, and while there may not be any published results, some doctors can see how their patients benefit from these alternative therapies

and OP i got the same responces when i asked a similar question.

I have used homepothy in other situtaions, i swear by arnica, and have seen many babies have relief when given homeopathic teething salts.

some animals respond to homeopathy as well..... and animals cant possible know what it is they are or arnt getting

bigscarymum Mon 12-Sep-11 08:15:30

Someone has offered a million pounds to anyone who can prove scientifically that homeopathy works. No-one has tried to claim the prize.

I think part of the "effectiveness" of homeopathy is in what the poster above said in that the homeopath spent ages talking to them. Now that is a proven remedy (not for asthma though!).

LadyMontdore Mon 12-Sep-11 08:34:09

LOL at the observation that mn is anti-homeopathy even though people aren't medical professionals.

Homeopaths aren't medical professionals. They are either
a) charlatans exploiting the vulnerable,
b) people who misguidedly believe what they are selling (due to a lack of intellectual curiosity and failure to understand basic scientific principles)
c) people offering a counselling service under another name + using the benefit of the placebo effect.

I do believe that c) has its place when the nhs is too stretched to be able to offer long chats to the 'worried well' or people who just need a bit of TLC for whatever reason.

But magic sugar pills/water truely is bollocks so there can be no 'balance' in the argument. ANy charming anecdotes you hear are from people who would have got better anyway.

TrillianAstra Mon 12-Sep-11 08:37:19

Animals and babies who appear to respond to homeopathy are simply responding to the changed behaviour and expectations of the people looking after them, like Clever Hans the horse who could do maths.

ghosteditor Mon 12-Sep-11 09:31:55

nannyl it's interesting to hear how well it worked for your mum, but I disagree with a couple of your assertions:

There are plenty of alternative therapies that have no published research backing them up - well, this is true, but in fact there are many studies which investigated homeopathy and can find no evidence whatsoever of their efficacy. Ben Goldacre is more articulate than me on the subject . That's not quite the same thing.

I swear by arnica - I don't presume to know what kind of arnica you use, but I use the arnica cream. This is in fact not a homeopathic remedy but an herbal one. Natural and herbal remedies can and do have their place in conventional western medicine (and indeed are the basis for an enormous proportion of modern medicines). Homeopathic remedies, as I understand it, refer exclusively to treatments created by serial dilution and succussion, which means that the water used to create the sugar pills actually holds more 'active ingredients' than the target ingredient.

OP, it's my non-medical and non-expert opinion that there are a host of avenues available to you to help reduce your anxiety about pregnancy and labour. I'm currently doing ante-natal yoga which teaches breathing for labour, and is run by the author of this book - the book might be worth taking a look out to provide a bit more information for you. Knowledge is power.

LadyMontdore Mon 12-Sep-11 09:44:16

Oh yes, I second antenatal yoga. It's actually useful, the breathing exercises really help and you might make some new mummy friends too.

glitternanny Mon 12-Sep-11 09:47:00

I'm wishing I hadn't bothered asking now!

mousymouse Mon 12-Sep-11 09:52:27

it's a sugar pill, a placebo.
it might make you feel better (and the sugar might help well against morning sickness), so it might be worth giving it a try, as long as you go to the m/w or gp with real problems. listen to your body!

I have similar experiences to gosteditor, my mother is a homeopath and tried to treat my asthma as a child with homeopathy. it does not work and I am lucky that I have escaped with only minor lung damage.

ghosteditor Mon 12-Sep-11 09:58:16

mousymouse - sympathies. I fully admit that I'm a bit strident about homeopathy now as I'm a bit bitter about the permanent damage to my lungs. Of course, it's not the homeopathist's fault that I developed asthma but it was very irresponsible to pretend he could treat something like that, all the while letting me get sicker and sicker. Am hmm at your mum though - childhood asthma can be fatal so that's a big risk to take!

mousymouse Mon 12-Sep-11 10:03:10

well, she had read in one of the hocus pocus homeopathists magazines that steroids are the work of the devil and have to be avoided at all costs...
not fun, an untreated asthma attack lasts days without treatment.

mousymouse Mon 12-Sep-11 10:18:21

sorry for the highjacking glitternanny
I think we agree that homeopathy has it's place, but be carefull that the 'therapist' doesn't argue warning signs away (a common one: oh, it always gets worse before it gets better).
after all the specialists regarding pregnancy/birth are the midwifes and consultants and to some degree gp's.

MixedBerries Mon 12-Sep-11 11:26:59

BT: Just to clarify, I'm also very dismissive of the claims that the sun revolves around the earth, that malaria is caused by "bad air" and that the holocaust didn't happen. I don't need to be an astronomer, an epidemologist or a historian to dismiss these claims. Just someone who understands the difference between fact and fiction, truth and misinformation, and the scientific method.
I originally agreed with the view that as long as it makes people feel better, what's the harm? But having done a lot of research after my grandmother died (of septicaemia when an alternative practitioner gave her lavender oil to treat a leg ulcer and told her not to go to the GP), I've changed my views. Anyone who thinks it's harmless and is swayed by anecdotes (which incidentally, hold little value scientifically), should have a look at Also, as Trillian said, you are funding a deluded and often deliberately dishonest industry.
As many have said, try yoga/'s great and what's even better is that it is proven to work.

BaldricksTurnip Mon 12-Sep-11 13:03:24

I just think that it's sad that people are so rampantly against something which does have benefit for lots of people, be it a physiological one or a placebo effect. I am obviously not advocating using homeopathy instead of conventional medicine or for serious medical conditions, but if it helps and people find comfort and benefit from it then how is it a harmful thing? The OP said that she's feeling very nervous about labour and birth and was curious about people's experiences of homeopathy in a beneficial capacity. I don't think it's up to anybody to rubbish anything which has, for many many people including myself, been very helpful and effective. You can use patronisong analogies of the world being flat but ultimately it's not about ignorance or suspension of normal faculties, it's about having an open mind and being supportive of other people's experiences.

As far as people having bad experiences of using homeopathy, I would say the same goes for any medicine, therapy or practice. There's always negatives to anything but that doesn't discount the positives. Also, nobody forces anyone to use homeopathy, it's something which is available to people should they wish to try it. It's not being peddled by door to door salesmen. To have the attitude that something used by millions of people is obviously witchcraft because it's not the standard discipline is small minded at best.

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