50% More Patients are Flocking to Homeopaths. Does it Work?
Do you swear by homeopathy for all your health problems? Turns out more number of people are turning to homeopathy now.
The government on 6 March said homeopathy is ‘clinically effective’ and there has been a 50 percent rise in the number of patients seeking homeopathic treatment in India in the past five years.
Homeopathy is a system of alternate medicine that believes ‘like kills like.’ Homeopaths use small doses of natural substances to produce symptoms of the disease in a healthy person. This way, they strengthen the body’s immune system to fight the disease on its own.
Treatment in homeopathy is personalised, based on the patient’s body type, needs, medical history etc. So, no two people can receive the same treatment despite struggling with same ailments.
The Minister of State, in written reply at the Upper House of the Parliament, refuted claims that homeopathy is a pseudoscience.
“The conclusion of most comprehensive systematic reviews of studies based on classical homeopathy has concluded that it has a positive and specific effect greater than placebo alone.”
He added that there is evidence that homeopathy is beneficial.
What’s The Debate Over Homeopathy?
Many scientists say the two guided principles of homeopathy are flawed:
Like Cures Like: If chopped onions make you cry then onion juice can cure hayfever which produces runny nose. So in theory homeopathic medicines can be made from absolutely anything - wild plants, snake venom, mineral, glands inside goats, chalk, bee extracts; but then homeopaths found that some of these truly bizarre elements were poisonous, so they began to dilute it.
The more you dilute the remedy the more potent the substance becomes provided it is done in a specific way. This method of ‘serial dilution’ is problematic i.e. a drop of the original substance (whether it is acid or snake venom) is added to 99 drops of alcohol or water and then furiously mixed.
Homeopaths believe that the substance somehow transfers its healing power into the water or alcohol base.
Modern science says there is less than a one in billion chance that after these dilutions even a single molecule of the initial substance will be left. Yet, homeopaths believe the drop of this astronomical level of dilution on a sugar pill can cure ailments.
Despite more than 200 clinical trials, the gold standard of evidence in medicine, there are no indications that homeopathy works.
That’s why allopaths and homeopaths have been at war for over a century.
(With inputs from IANS)