Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Homeopathy fails the test again

Mayo Clinic Proceedings reports this systematic review. But as I said before I see little point in this sort of exercise. Research and meta-analyze homeopathy ‘till you’re blue in the face and you’ll settle nothing. It’s not going to stop the woo-pushers. Medpundit quotes a spokesperson for the Society of Homeopaths as saying: It has been established beyond doubt and accepted by many researchers, that the placebo-controlled randomised controlled trial is not a fitting research tool with which to test homeopathy.

Despite the findings of a systematic review in Lancet a year and a half ago that homeopathy is useless it continues to be promoted uncritically by medical schools and the American Medical Student Association.

Some mainstream woo-pushers, not wanting to seem totally shameless, try to give woo the trappings of evidence based medicine. Here’s the recipe: test an implausible claim and throw in a little chance variation. Combine that with a massive dose of publication bias and voilĂ !—evidence based woo!

I’d pay more attention to some of those “positive” woo studies if either there was a plausible mechanism or the empiric evidence was strong. For me the strength of the proof required is inversely proportional to the plausibility of the claim. I’d be much more interested in these clinical “studies” on homeopathy if the folks at MIT would come up with a mechanism by which water has memory.

3 comments:

Dr. Nancy Malik said...

Homeopathy cures where Conventional Allopathic Medicine (CAM) fails

Anonymous said...

Proving that homeopathy works more than placebo is of no interests to homeopaths. They are sure that by merely stating that it works better than Science/evidence based medicine, without offering any basis for such a statement, that the public will believe them unquestionably; as (so called "Doctor") Malik did previously.

I guess they assume we are all stupid.

Dr. Nancy malik said...

Homeopathy is non-toxic system of medical science originated in Germany by Dr. Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) (the founder and father of homeopathy). He was M.D. in conventional medicine. The term “homoeopathy” was coined in 1807.

The four fundamental principles of Homeopathy are: -

1. Law of similars/Like cures like (1796): Disease can be cured by a medicinal substance given in micro doses that produces similar symptoms in health people when given in large doses.

2. Law of minimum dose (1801): Since the homoeopathic medicines act at a dynamic level, only a minute quantity of the medicine is administered which is enough/sufficient to stimulate the dynamically deranged vital force/innate healing powers to bring about the necessary curative change in a patient

3. Law of simplex (1810): At any given time, only one remedy can be the exact similar to the presenting disease condition of the patient. So a single remedy (one remedy at a time) is given based upon their constitution/totality of the symptoms which includes physical, mental, and emotional aspects/symptoms.

4. Hering’s law of five directions of cure (1845): Cure progresses from above downwards, from within outwards, center to periphery, from more important organ to less important one, in reverse order of coming of the symptoms