by Dana Ullman
November 09, 2011
About the author:
America's leading advocate for homeopathic medicine and
author of The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People
and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy
(Foreword by Dr.
Peter Fisher, Physician to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
Learn more about
homeopathy and Dana's work at http://www.Homeopathic.com
or watch Dana's videos at http://naturalnews.tv/Browse.asp?memberid=6958
Dana has authored 9 other books, including Homeopathy
A-Z, Homeopathic Medicines for Children and Infants,
Discovering Homeopathy, and (the best-selling)
Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicines
Homeopathic medicine is at present one
of the leading alternative therapies practiced by physicians in
Europe (particularly France, Germany, UK, and Italy) and Asia
(especially on the Indian subcontinent - EU Commission, 1997;
Since homeopathy's development as a
medical specialty in the early 1800s, it has been a leading
alternative to orthodox medicine internationally, and it has posed
an ongoing threat to the scientific, philosophical, and economics of
conventional medical care.
The homeopathic approach to healing maintains a deep respect for
symptoms of illness as important defenses of a person's immune and
While conventional medicine often tends
to assume that symptoms are something "wrong" with the person that
need to be treated, inhibited, suppressed, or biochemically
manipulated, homeopaths tend to assume that symptoms are
important defenses of the organism that are most effectively
resolved when treatments nurture, nourish, or mimic the symptoms in
order to initiate a healing process.
Ultimately, these two different
approaches to healing people have led to various conflicts.
It is common, for instance, for homeopaths to question the alleged
"scientific" studies that conventional drugs are "effective" as
treatments because of concern that many of these treatments tend to
suppress symptoms or disrupt the complex inner ecology of the body
and create much more serious illness.
Just as opiate drugs of the 19th
century gave the guise of healing, homeopaths contend that many
modern-day drugs provide blessed short-term relief but create,
Further, the fact that most people today
are prescribed multiple drugs concurrently, despite the fact that
clinical research is rarely conducted showing the safety or efficacy
of such practices, forces us all to question how scientific modern
medicine truly is.
Homeopaths contend that increased rates of cancer, heart disease,
chronic fatigue, and various chronic diseases for increasingly
younger people may result from conventional medicine's suppression
of symptoms and disease processes.
It is therefore no surprise that
conventional physicians and
Big Pharma have a long and dark
history of working together to attack homeopathy and homeopaths.
The antagonism against homeopathy began when the highly respected
Samuel Hahnemann, MD, first
developed the system in the early 1800s. Hahnemann was a translator
of leading medical and pharmacology texts and the author of the
leading textbook used by pharmacists of his day.
Despite Hahnemann's high stature in medicine, pharmacology, and
chemistry, his strong critique of conventional medicine led to
personal attacks against him by orthodox physicians as well as by
the apothecaries (the drug makers of that time) who were
philosophically and economically threatened by Hahnemann's work.
When homeopathy arrived in America in
1825, it grew rapidly due to its widely recognized success in
treating infectious disease epidemics that raged in the early and
mid-1800s. Then, when the American Institute of Homeopathy became
the first national medical organization in 1844, a rival
organization developed that proposed to stop the growth of
homeopathy (Rothstein, 1985, p. 232).
That organization called itself the
American Medical Association.
Paul Starr's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Social
Transformation of American Medicine, acknowledged the stature
that homeopathy achieved in America in the mid-and later 19th
"Because homeopathy was
simultaneously philosophical and experimental, it seemed to many
people to be more rather than less scientific than orthodox
U.S. President William McKinley
even dedicated a special monument to Dr. Hahnemann in Washington,
DC, in 1900, which still stands today as the only monument in
America's capital to the deeds of a physician.
However, because of the economic, philosophical, and scientific
threat that the paradigm and practice of homeopathy represents, the
vitriol and antagonism still exists.
It is therefore enlightening to expose
the disinformation that is spread about homeopathy and then
understand WHO is leading this disinformation
campaign (the second-part of this article will name names and
discuss two individuals, one from the USA and one from the UK, who
are presently leaders in the campaign against homeopathy).
Spread about Homeopathy
Like other propagandists, the homeopathy deniers seek to create
disinformation by using three straightforward techniques.
First, the homeopathy deniers
make a simple false accusation, a lie, and repeat it
constantly and consistently in an attempt to make it a new
Second, this repetition is then
done within the context of some legitimizing element.
In the case of the homeopathy
deniers, that element is a corruption of normal science, an
analysis of scientific evidence that creates reasons
(excuses) to exclude high quality studies that show positive
results (even those studies that have been published in
leading conventional medical journals), and a mis-use of the
concept of skepticism.
The homeopathy deniers ignore or
downplay the substantial body of evidence from basic science
and clinical research, from outcome studies, from
cost-effectiveness studies, and from epidemiological
evidence, and only quote from those studies that verify
their own point of view, rather than reviewing the entire
body of evidence.
The third component of the
technique is to sell the lie to a vulnerable population in
an attempt to have repetition from that group.
In the case of the homeopathy
deniers, the vulnerable groups are often young students of
science, who are enamored with the language and elitism of
their newly learned craft, but who lack the deep
understanding and experience to realize that they are being
"used" by the deniers.
The homeopathy deniers also play on the
fears of those older and established scientists and physicians and
who are led to believe that,
"if homeopathy is true, then
everything about modern medicine and science is false."
This over-simplification of reality is
However, just as quantum physics does
not "disprove" all of physics, but rather, it extends our capability
to understand and predict events on extremely small and extremely
large systems. Likewise, homeopathy does not disprove all of modern
pharmacology but extends our understanding of the use of extremely
small doses of medicinal agents to elicit healing responses.
History is replete with orthodox medicine and science being
steadfastly resistant to different systems of medicine and paradigms
Although , the average physician and
scientist tends to be threatened by new ideas, a common attribute of
leading physicians and scientists is a certain openness and humility
due to the common and even expected evolution of knowledge.
It should be acknowledged upfront that homeopathic practitioners,
patients, and users of these natural medicines are often surprised
and amazed at the results they experience in the treatment of
themselves, children, infants, animals, and even plants.
In my observations over the past 40
years, most people are skeptical about homeopathy until they try it
and see for themselves... and there are then good reasons that tens
of millions of people all over the world use and rely upon these
natural medicines for a wide range of acute and chronic ailments.
That said, the challenge is not just
trying homeopathy, but first learning something about it so that you
can use it correctly and effectively.
Sadly, however, the homeopathy deniers tend to spread disinformation
about homeopathy, including the following myths:
Myth #1 - "There is no research that shows
that homeopathic medicines work"
Such statements are a
creative use of statistics, or what might be called "lies, damn
lies, and statistics."
Actually, most clinical research
studies conducted with homeopathic medicines show a positive
outcome. However, if "creative statisticians" evaluate only the
smaller number of large studies, a positive result is less
likely, not because homeopathy doesn't work, but because these
larger studies tend to dispense only ONE homeopathic medicine
for everyone in the study, without any degree of individualized
treatment that is typical of the homeopathic method.
To claim that homeopathic medicines
do not work using only these studies is as illogical as to say
that antibiotics are ineffective just because they do not cure
for every viral, fungal, or bacterial infection.
Myth #2 - "The research studies
showing that homeopathic medicines work are 'poorly conducted
Studies showing the efficacy of
homeopathic medicines have been published in,
the British Medical Journal
Pediatric Infectious Disease
Chest (the publication of
the British Society of Rheumatology)
Cancer (the journal of the
American Cancer Society)
Journal of Clinical Oncology
(journal of the Society of Clinical Oncology)
European Journal of
Archives in Facial Plastic
Archives of Otolaryngology -
Head and Neck Surgery
Journal of Clinical
...and many more.
ALL of these studies were
randomized, double-blind, and placebo controlled. Further,
because of bias against homeopathy, these studies have been
scrutinized rigorously, perhaps even more rigorously than is
The weak response from the homeopathy deniers is that the above
studies are "cherry-picked." Well, it seems that there are a lot
of "cherries" (clinical studies that verify the efficacy of
Also, numerous of the above leading
medical journals have published meta-analyzes of clinical trials
on specific diseases and have shown that homeopathic medicines
have significantly more benefits than does a placebo. And
further, the deniers erroneously equate the "negative" studies
evidence that the whole system of homeopathy does not work,
when, in fact, these studies are usually of a preliminary nature
that explored the use of one or a small handful of remedies for
a specific condition.
Ironically, the one review of research that the homeopathic
deniers most commonly assert as strong evidence that there's no
difference between homeopathic medicines and placebo (Shang et
al, 2005) has been shown to be bad or certainly inadequate
science (Walach, et al, 2005; Fisher, 2006; Rutten, 2009, Rutten
and Stolper, 2008; Ludtke and Rutten, 2008).
Myth #3 - "12C is like one drop in
the entire Atlantic Ocean"
Pure fantasy (and fuzzy
math)! In fact, the 12C dose requires 12 test tubes, and 1% of
the solution is drawn from each of the 12 test tubes.
It is also very typical for the
"deniers" of homeopathy to assert with a straight face that the
making of a single homeopathic medicine requires more water than
exists on the planet.
It seems that the skeptics are so
fundamentalist in their point of view that they consciously or
unconsciously mis-assume that the dilutions used in homeopathy
grow proportionately with each dilution; they assume that each
dilution requires 10 or 100 times more water with each dilution
- which they don't, and even the most elementary articles and
books on homeopathy affirm this fact.
Sadly (and strangely), most of the
skeptics of homeopathy seem to read each other's misinformation
on homeopathy and have a propensity to spin the reality of what
homeopathy is in ways that misconstrue it.
Myth #4 - "There is nothing in a
homeopathic medicine - It is just water"
Ignorance and direct
First, a large number of homeopathic
medicines that are sold in health food stores and pharmacies are
what are called "low potencies," that is, small or very small
doses of medicines, most of which are in a similar dose to which
certain powerful hormones and immune cells circulate in our
Second, using samples of six
different medicines made from minerals, scientists at the
Department of Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology
have consistently confirmed that the starting substance is still
present in the form of nanoparticles of the starting minerals
even when the medicine has undergone hundreds of serial
dilutions - with vigorous shaking in-between each dilution, as
per the homeopathic method (Chikramane, Suresh, Bellare, 2010).
Further, leading chemistry and
physics journals have published other research to confirm that
there are differences between water and "homeopathic water" (Elia
and Niccoli, 1999; Elia, Napoli, Niccoli, et al, 2008; Rey,
Myth #5 - "If we do not presently
understand how homeopathic medicines work, then, they cannot
work - It's witchcraft"
Lame on face value. How many
more times in history do scientists and others need before they
realize that we do not understand a lot of nature's mysteries,
but our lack of understanding does not mean that the mysteries
are not real.
Calling homeopathy "witchcraft"
clearly is someone's fear of what they do not know or
understand, and a common observation from history is that
whenever one goes on a witchhunt, a witch is found (one way or
The fact that there is a small but
significant body of basic sciences research that has shown
physical and biological effects from homeopathic medicines tends
to be ignored (Endler, Thieves, Reich, et al 2010; Witt, Bluth,
Albrecht, et al, 2007).
To publish in peer-reviewed
scientific journals is not a common practice from witches (or
Dr. Karol Sikora is a respected
oncologist and dean of the University of Buckingham medical school
Sikora has expressed serious concern
about the "Stalinist repression" that certain skeptics of
homeopathic and alternative medicines engage (Sikora, 2009). Sikora
has harshly criticized "armchair physicians" and others who seem to
have little or no experience in using these treatments with real
One other critical piece of evidence to show and even prove the
unscientific attitude of the homeopathy deniers is that they now
wish to close off all discussion of the efficacy of homeopathic
medicines (Baum and Ernst, 2009).
These medical fundamentalist actually
discourage keeping an open mind about homeopathy. One must question
this unscientific attitude that select antagonists to homeopathy
embody... and one must even wonder why they maintain such a
The second part of this article will provide further specific
evidence of the unscientific attitude and actions from those
individuals and organizations who are leading the campaign against
A leading antagonist to homeopathy from
the US and another from the UK will discussed in order to shed light
on this important debate in health care.
Baum M, Ernst E. Should we
maintain an open mind about homeopathy? American Journal of
Medicine. 122,11:November 2009.
Chikramane PS, Suresh AK, Bellare JR, and Govind S. Extreme
homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A
nanoparticulate perspective. Homeopathy. Volume 99, Issue 4,
October 2010, 231-242.
Elia V, and Niccoli M. Thermodynamics of Extremely Diluted
Aqueous Solutions, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences,
Elia V, Napoli E, Niccoli M, Marchettini N, Tiezzi E(2008). New
Physico-Chemical Properties of Extremely Dilute Solutions. A
Conductivity Study at 25?°C in Relation to Ageing. Journal of
Solution Chemistry, 37:85-96.
Endler PC, Thieves K, Reich C, Matthiessen P, Bonamin L, Scherr
C, Baumgartner S. Repetitions of fundamental research models for
homeopathically prepared dilutions beyond 10-23: a bibliometric
study. Homeopathy, 2010; 99: 25-36.
EU Commission report evaluating implementation of Homeopathy
Directives 92/73 EEC and 92/74/EEC, 1997.
Fisher P, 2006. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 March;
3(1): 145-147. Published online 2006 January 26. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nek007
Ludtke R, Rutten ALB. The conclusions on the effectiveness of
homeopathy highly depend on the set of analysed trials. Journal
of Clinical Epidemiology. October 2008. doi:
Prasad R. Homoeopathy booming in India. Lancet, 370:November 17,
Rey L. Thermoluminescence of Ultra-High Dilutions of Lithium
Chloride and Sodium Chloride. Physica A, 323(2003)67-74.
Rothstein WG. American Physicians in the 19th Century.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1985.
Rutten L, 2009.
Rutten ALB, Stolper CF, The 2005 meta-analysis of homeopathy:
The importance of post-publication data. Homeopathy. October
Shang A, Huwiler-Muntener K, Nartey L, Juni P, Dorig S, Sterne
JA, Pewsner D, Egger M. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy
placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials
of homoeopathy and allopathy. The Lancet. 366,9487, 27 August
Sikora K. Complementary medicine does help patients. Times
Online, February 3rd 2009. Online document at:
Starr P. The Social Transformation of American Medicine. New
York: Basic, 1982.
Vickers A, Smith C. Homoeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing
and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes. Cochrane
Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 3. Art. No.:
CD001957. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001957.pub3.
Walach H, Jonas W, Lewith G. Are the clinical effects of
homoeopathy placebo effects? Lancet. 2005 Dec 17;366(9503):2081;
author reply 2083-6.
Witt CM, Bluth M, Albrecht H, Weisshuhn TE, Baumgartner S,
Willich SN. The in vitro evidence for an effect of high
homeopathic potencies - a systematic review of the literature.
Complement Ther Med. 2007 Jun;15(2):128-38. Epub 2007 Mar 28.
From 75 publications, 67 experiments (1/3 of them replications)
were evaluated. Nearly 3/4 of them found a high potency effect,
and nearly 3/4 of all replications were positive.
 Although individualization of
treatment is one of the hallmarks of the homeopathic method,
there are exceptions to this common rule. For instance, there
have been four large randomized, double-blind, and
placebo-controlled studies that have shown that homeopathic
Oscillococcinum is effective in treating people with influenza
or influenza-like syndrome (Vickers and Smith, 2006).
 References to these and other studies can be found in the
following article: The Case FOR Homeopathic Medicine: Historical
and Scientific Evidence -
 Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction
by Selected Area Electron Diffraction (SAED), and chemical
analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission