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Homeopathy Experimentally Debunked


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So we all know that homeopathy relies on the placebo effect for its perceived effectiveness. It's a big ole' load of hokum, but many, many people believe in the magic of homeopathy. My mother is one of them - she swears high and low by it.

 

So, here's a test:

 

Are there any homeopathic pediatric medicines out there? There shouldn't be - infants should be immune to the placebo effect. But if there is, and a bunch of infants show any statistical improvement upon taking it, then there definitely is a case for homeopathic medicines.

 

But I doubt it.

 

I don't think there's a single homeopathic pediatric tincture out there. Not one. And we all know why. The Placebo effect does not apply to babies - and that's what homeopathy is all about: Smoke and mirrors, mixed with a dash of sympathy and a pat on the back. And babies just don't dig it.

 

Now can someone tell my mother?

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So we all know that homeopathy relies on the placebo effect for its perceived effectiveness. It's a big ole' load of hokum, but many, many people believe in the magic of homeopathy. My mother is one of them - she swears high and low by it.

 

So, here's a test:

 

Are there any homeopathic pediatric medicines out there? There shouldn't be - infants should be immune to the placebo effect. But if there is, and a bunch of infants show any statistical improvement upon taking it, then there definitely is a case for homeopathic medicines.

 

But I doubt it.

 

I don't think there's a single homeopathic pediatric tincture out there. Not one. And we all know why. The Placebo effect does not apply to babies - and that's what homeopathy is all about: Smoke and mirrors, mixed with a dash of sympathy and a pat on the back. And babies just don't dig it.

 

Now can someone tell my mother?

 

But.... "Magic" remains, why placebo helps, it is proven scientifically that it helps, but why? Yes because we believe it helps will not do as an explanation due belief is nothing to do with science. Only hard facts counts and belief is not one of them?

 

Would you dare to tell your Mother; yes placebo helps but actually I do not know why ;-)

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But.... "Magic" remains, why placebo helps, it is proven scientifically that it helps, but why? Yes because we believe it helps will not do as an explanation due belief is nothing to do with science. Only hard facts counts and belief is not one of them?

 

Would you dare to tell your Mother; yes placebo helps but actually I do not know why ;-)

Yeeeeees, but babies are immune to the placebo effect. That's the whole point of this experiment.

 

If there is only one single homeopathic remedy that works on babies, then it's a strong case in support of homeopathy - because then we can discount the placebo effect.

 

The fact that the placebo effect is indeed rather "magical" is a totally different matter, however.

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The fact that the placebo effect is indeed rather "magical" is a totally different matter, however.

 

Yeah. The fact that scientists can study the placebo using the scientific method is interesting, though, implying that the placebo effect plays an important role in medicine. As opposed to magic. :)

 

Very nice link here, if the text is a bit long:

http://www.skepdic.com/placebo.html

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Yeah. The fact that scientists can study the placebo using the scientific method is interesting, though, implying that the placebo effect plays an important role in medicine. As opposed to magic. :)

 

Very nice link here, if the text is a bit long:

http://www.skepdic.com/placebo.html

 

Yes we can study placebo effects no doubt but it does not remove the "magic" component or the magical origins of the placebo effect? So conclusion could be made that as placebo plays an important role in medicine is “magic" currently one of the cornerstones of medicine? “Witch doctors” and such are found helpful :unsure:

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Yes we can study placebo effects no doubt but it does not remove the "magic" component or the magical origins of the placebo effect? So conclusion could be made that as placebo plays an important role in medicine is “magic" currently one of the cornerstones of medicine? “Witch doctors” and such are found helpful :unsure:

In short, despite over a century of mainstream medical consensus answering these questions with a tentative yes, the current consensus is a much more certain no. Even many medical professionals and pro and semi-pro and skeptics (eg: James Randi, but not Michael Shermer) are 10 years or so behind on the medical literature about the placebo effect.

 

Since about 2001, several well-controlled studies of the placebo effect have led medical scientists to conclude that it effects patients’ perception of their physical conditions, rather than significantly effecting their actual physical conditions – that is, placebos cause patients to believe they are better, rather than actually making them better.

 

The wikipedia article placebo effect has a pretty good summary of and references to recent literature.

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In short, despite over a century of mainstream medical consensus answering these questions with a tentative yes, the current consensus is a much more certain no. Even many medical professionals and pro and semi-pro and skeptics (eg: James Randi, but not Michael Shermer) are 10 years or so behind on the medical literature about the placebo effect.

 

Since about 2001, several well-controlled studies of the placebo effect have led medical scientists to conclude that it effects patients’ perception of their physical conditions, rather than significantly effecting their actual physical conditions – that is, placebos cause patients to believe they are better, rather than actually making them better.

 

The wikipedia article placebo effect has a pretty good summary of and references to recent literature.

 

I am not fully convinced yet. I read the Wiki article trough;

 

The placebo effect points to the importance of perception and the brain's role in physical health.

 

Why brain should have role in physical health due it is only perception / distorted view of the patient itself, the placebo effect?

 

Mechanism of the effect

 

The phenomenon of an inert substance resulting in a patient's medical improvement is called the placebo effect. The phenomenon is related to the perception and expectation which the patient has; if the substance is viewed as helpful, it can heal, but if it is viewed as harmful, it can cause negative effects, which is known as the placebo effect.

 

It should not heal if it is only due perceptions and expectations by the patient itself which should only distort the patient’s own assessment concerning they healing, not actual healing itself?

 

The physician has even been called a placebo;[16]pp. 33–34 a study found that patient recovery can be increased by words that suggest the patient “would be better in a few days”, and if the patient is given treatment, that “the treatment would certainly make him better” rather than negative words such as “"I am not sure that the treatment I am going to give you will have an effect".

 

Actual measured/real recovery speed should not increase via placebo effect, due it is only perception of patient?

 

Key question lingers still; how patients mere "belief" could have real unbiased effect on healing itself, it sounds "dangerous" idea from science perspective and needs to be "explained away”? :unsure:

 

For me the "Placebo case" is still open. ;)

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  • 3 months later...

Actual measured/real recovery speed should not increase via placebo effect, due it is only perception of patient?

 

Key question lingers still; how patients mere "belief" could have real unbiased effect on healing itself, it sounds "dangerous" idea from science perspective and needs to be "explained away”? :unsure:

 

For me the "Placebo case" is still open. ;)

Interesting study on the Placebo effect. Apparently the patient doesn't even need to be deceived about being given a placebo to experience beneficial results.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0015591

 

Conclusion

 

Placebos administered without deception may be an effective treatment for IBS. Further research is warranted in IBS, and perhaps other conditions, to elucidate whether physicians can benefit patients using placebos consistent with informed consent.

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But.... "Magic" remains, why placebo helps, it is proven scientifically that it helps, but why? Yes because we believe it helps will not do as an explanation due belief is nothing to do with science. Only hard facts counts and belief is not one of them?

 

Would you dare to tell your Mother; yes placebo helps but actually I do not know why ;-)

 

 

I think you've over-stated placebo effects considerably. And I have no idea what you mean by "proven scientifically".

 

Can you supply any evidence of placebo effects in Cancer? In Emphysema? In blocked arteries? In virtually every instance the placebo effect occurs in highly subjective ailments with no solid diagnostic evidence.

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The placebo effect implies that the mind/brain can at times help the healing process. If the person believes an herb or pink pill will help, the placebo effect increases the effectiveness for some people via mind over matter.

 

Homeopathic medicine may be like the husband telling the wife she looks thin in her new dress. It may not be always true, but it will make her feel better which has other postive effects.

 

The placebo effect is a two sided coin. Since a placebo effect can heal some conditions, can a placebo effect be used to create medical conditions, that then need to be healed either with herbs or pills?

 

For example, say the husband said his skinny wife looked fat, contrary to the observable data. He can make her feel down about herself, to create sort of a self forfilling placebo effect. Depression can alter the biochemistry.

 

A good experiment of the flip side of the placebo coin, would be to make up a placebo condition, outlining the symptoms. We then hype it up so the average person thinks this is going to be a pandemic. We then wait for people to come into doctors. What we are looking for are some people exhibiting related alternation within their biology.

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