Are homeopathic remedies always the best quality and medical solutions for treatments of ailments? I see this buzz word “homeopathic medicine” on many supplements and herbal products touting their effectiveness. I was curious about just how effective and how pure homeopathic remedies that you can buy over the internet were. It seems that homeopathic medicines encompass a wide range of methods and products.
I asked a physician that I know that specializes in Internal Medicines (Dr. Gismondi) what homeopathic medicine is and if products that tout the use of homeopathy are as affective? Below is what he wrote.
Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted preparations to the point that one of my teachers in medical school stated that we would be very lucky to get even one molecule of the herb or remedy in a dose of homeopathic medicine.
Reading about the “scientific” background of Homeopathy we learn that it was started by a German physician by the name of Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) who lived before we had scientific tools and ways to assert whether a new method or medicine really works.
A stated principle of Homeopathy is that you should give the least amount of medicine necessary to cause healing or improvement. This small amount is called the “Minimum Dose.” Since medicines can cause side effects, and some quite serious, Hahnemann began successive dilution and agitation of his medicines to find the point at which they would be presumed to be therapeutic, yet not toxic. But as stated above, there had been no good way to establish whether this highly diluted “medicine” really worked, except for physician impression – known to be an unreliable way to prove efficacy.
This lack of evidence has translated into enough negative studies. Therefore the use of certain Homeopathic preparations as herbal remedies has been discarded as “ineffective” or “questionable” by U.S. medical literature.
Investigating the medical literature regarding Homeopathic Arnica Montana proves this point. Every one of such negative studies was performed with a homeopathic preparation. Yet in a particular biased source [as gleaned from the words used] it is stated that a large review found Homeopathy to show positive results: “British Medical Journal 302-(Feb 1991 ):316-323 Kleignen, J et al. Clinical Trials of Homeopathy- Published review of 105 clinical trials with homeopathic remedies. Eighty-one demonstrated effectiveness.”
In reviewing this article the following conclusion was attached to the published abstract:
“CONCLUSIONS–At the moment the evidence of clinical trials is positive but not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions because most trials are of low methodological quality and because of the unknown role of publication bias. This indicates that there is a legitimate case for further evaluation of homoeopathy, but only by means of well performed trials.” In other words, even this sympathetic reviewer states that it is likely that the reported positive results are due to the bias of the authors in poorly designed studies. And “well performed trials” do not exist.
Many companies on the internet are promoting products for the relief of pain and inflammation with Arnica Montana as a homeopathic solution. As you have read about the definition and effectiveness of homeopathic medicine, the use of enough Arnica would not be affective to the body’s ailments. So when you are investigating an alternative to oral pain medications or the nationally advertised topical analgesics, do not be fooled that homeopathic remedies are the answer.