(NaturalHealth365) Homeopathy is contentious. Those who are passionate about it share their direct experience of how it works safely and effectively. On the other side, those who believe it’s scientifically impossible speculate that its practise may even be a deliberate and intentional fraud.
Skeptics stress the homeopathic preparation of most remedies involves so much dilution that not a single molecule of the original substance remains. Despite this, some scientists, even those with no love for Homeopathy, have shown the original substance has effects even after this process.
Pioneers of science – recognize them by the arrows in their backs!
The best known was a French immunologist, Jacques Benveniste. While he was working for the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Benveniste diluted a solution of human antibodies until not a single molecule remained. Provided the solutions were shaken vigorously, just as homeopathic preparations are, Benveniste found that when human basophils were added to these solutions they reacted as if the original antibody was still there.
Two years after publishing his findings – he lost his job and research funding. In 1999, scientists led by Professor Madeleine Ennis (Queen’s University, Belfast) claimed they had replicated Benveniste’s results. Sadly, he died in 2004.
The main researcher in this area is now former Nobel prize-winner, Luc Montaignier. He recently confirmed that homeopaths are right, serial dilutions are “not nothing” because the dilutant, somehow, remains imprinted with the original substance. He has now moved his laboratory and research team to China, to avoid those who were trying to influence or suppress his work.
It can’t be true, because… it just can’t be true
Often when others try to replicate these findings they are unable to do so, perhaps due to a phenomenon called ‘plausibility bias.’ This refers to a prejudice where observers are unable to accept that homeopathy works, no matter what the evidence, until they know exactly how it works.
Dr.Peter Fisher, Clinical Director of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, and Physician to Queen Elizabeth II notes that: “Plausibility bias obstructs a fair evaluation of the evidence around homeopathy … new research in homeopathy, if positive, may have limited impact on practice until a plausible theoretical framework is established.”
It can’t be true, so it must be placebo…
Those with this mindset believe that any benefit users experience must be due entirely to placebo effect. However, this effect fails to explain why animals, babies, small children and skeptics, respond beautifully to a well-chosen homeopathic remedy or why a poorly-selected homeopathic remedy has little lasting effect.
The Double Blind Bind
A further research complication is that true Homeopathy does not fit well into the double blind method. Many trials of homeopathy, including those which found benefits, have been unsatisfactory. In the double blind model, the first group takes sugar pills whle the second group take an identical homeopathic remedy (e.g. diluted grass pollens to treat hay fever). In practice, a homeopath would interview each member of the second group about their precise symptoms and then give each one an individually selected remedy.
Is Homeopathy right for you?
When you are trying to find a reliable approach to help you return to health a measure of skepticism is advisable. On the other hand, ignoring empirical evidence from millions of people around the world who are certain that their well being is due to Homeopathy would be a mistake. One of the easiest ways for you to see if Homeopathy works is to simply try it. Afterall, it’s hard to argue that the healthiest mind is an open one.
Next week we’ll take a look at how you can tell whether or not your holistic health treatment, be it homeopathy or any another modality, is working.
About the author: For over 17 years, Mary Aspinwall has been a full time Registered Homeopath and is the founder of HomeopathyWorld.com. Mary offers a best selling range of homeopathy kits and you can read her blog at: HomeopathyWorld.com/blog. In addition, Mary has created a free e-book, “Basic Guide to Homeopathy”. Click Here for a consultation with Mary Aspinwall.