Posts Tagged ‘placebo’

Of the many forms of alternative medicine practised in India and the rest of world, homeopathy is unique in two ways.

First, it has a huge clientele. In India alone, an estimated 100 million people depend solely upon it for their medical needs. According to a recent survey, 55 % of the population in Delhi listed homeopathy as their preferred mode of treatment. The Union health minister of India, A Ramadoss has been quoted as saying, “Homeopathy has very good treatment effect [sic] for certain diseases which are not amenable to treatment by conventional medicine.” In a recent incident, an HIV infected man sold his tractor worth 150,000 rupees to purchase a miracle homeopathic cure for his condition (he wasn’t cured).  

Secondly, homeopathy,  when administered the way it is supposed to be, is an unambiguous fake. Herbal medicines may be unproven but they at least have scientific plausibility. Homeopathy has none. The fundamental principle behind homeopathic medicines is the creation of extremely dilute solutions. Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, recommended a dilution of 30C for most purposes (a xC solution has the original substance in a concentration of 1 in 10^(2x) parts) and apparently a common homeopathic treatment for the flu is a 200C dilution of duck liver. Even in a relatively concentrated solution of 15C, the probability of a single molecule of the original substance remaining in a dose of the medicine is about 1 in 2 million. Indeed, the effect of homeopathic medicine on the ailing do not go further, as several studies have proven, than inducing a feeling of well being among believers due to the placebo effect.

In view of the above facts, it is unfortunate but not too surprising that our government intends to promote homeopathy for maternal health care.

Reference: Wikipedia article on homeopathy.

Read Full Post »