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Placebo Effect & Homeopathic Remedys

by KevinMWHM
Tags: effect, homeopathic, placebo, remedys
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KevinMWHM
#1
Nov21-08, 02:00 AM
P: 20
Hello PF;

I've been reading these forums for a while having rediscovered a passion for science, a passion that I'd like to instill in my 3 & 1 yo boys as they get older... So first off, thanks in advance for a great site.

My first post though has to do with me. I've spent many years on & off of several anti depressants and most recently ritalin for many reasons (details unimportant). At the urging of a family member with a similar diagnosis, I went and saw a Homeopathic Specialist.

I have been very skeptical of alternative healthcare but to my extreme suprise, I have noticed many positive changes.

In researching, I have trouble finding any concrete evidence on the issue and most of what I've read suggests remedys containing nothing more than a multi-vitamin could be just as much the reason for noticing change.


What then, is the general thoughts of mainstream science on the effects of homeopathics? I've seen such a large divide amongst pros and cons but absolutely no neutral articles and I'd like to know what some of you think.



Edit to add

I forgot to elaborate on the question of, I know my body very well and I am very good at seeing changes from other drugs that I've taken, so why (knowing the logic behind dilution and being as skeptical as I am) would I be feeling different?
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Proton Soup
#2
Nov21-08, 05:29 AM
P: 1,070
most stuff labelled as homeopathic is BS, especially the dilutions. and some others labelled as homeopathic that may have some effect, i've noticed that their ingredients listed as "inactive" are actually the active ingredients. like say, a popular homeopathic headache wax that contains menthol. or a sinus spray with xylitol. but mostly, there is just a mystique with homeopathic ingredients, and this allows you to charge more for the product.

as for vitamins, i think it depends. l-methylfolate is now being sold by Merck as a treatment for depression.
Evo
#3
Nov21-08, 09:37 AM
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Quote Quote by KevinMWHM View Post
What then, is the general thoughts of mainstream science on the effects of homeopathics? I've seen such a large divide amongst pros and cons but absolutely no neutral articles and I'd like to know what some of you think.
I think this sums it up.

Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
That's not what homeopathic medicine is. It is a theory by Sam Hahneman from the 1700s that if large amounts of poison or other bad substances make you sick, small amounts should provide an immunity (similar to how a vaccine works). But he reasoned there must be an inversely proportional relationship, so the less you have the better the result. Today, as said above, homeopathic medicine is very highly diluted. The catch is that Hahneman didn't know about molecules and today you can mathematically prove that if done correctly, a particular medicine has a much greater than 99% chance of containing exactly zero actual active ingredient. If done as advertised, it is pure water.

Here's how it works:
Take a solution of the "medicine" and diluted it by a factor of 100 (just take 1ml of it and add it to 99 ml of water). Then do it again. And again. And again. 30x is fairly typical, which means (if you do the math), you end up with a dilution factor of 10^60. But 100ml of water only contains 10^23 molecules of water.

Yes, mgb, that's an irony I hadn't thought of - if homeopathy actually had any merit, the fact that there are a few parts per billion of just about everything in our drinking water already would render it redundant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy
I forgot to elaborate on the question of, I know my body very well and I am very good at seeing changes from other drugs that I've taken, so why (knowing the logic behind dilution and being as skeptical as I am) would I be feeling different?
If it's truly homeopathic, there isn't anything in it that could really affect you. Coincidence or placebo effect most likely.

russ_watters
#4
Nov21-08, 03:13 PM
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Placebo Effect & Homeopathic Remedys

Quote Quote by KevinMWHM View Post
In researching, I have trouble finding any concrete evidence on the issue and most of what I've read suggests remedys containing nothing more than a multi-vitamin could be just as much the reason for noticing change.
Vitamins? No, if properly made, a homeopathic medicine is nothing more than high purity distilled water.
Moonbear
#5
Nov21-08, 06:29 PM
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Are you by any chance confusing naturopathic with homeopathic? Homeopathic remedies are just expensive bottles of water of no value whatsoever, and responding to them would be a placebo effect (unless you had been previously misdiagnosed and stopping taking your other medications has left you feeling better by itself).

If it's naturopathic, those are more like the herbal remedy type things. That's a mixed bag. Some of it is pretty clearly refuted by scientific studies, but some really does contain active ingredients...the trouble being that the dosing is unreliable.

If you're getting things like vitamins, perhaps you simply had an undiagnosed vitamin deficiency. B-vitamins can boost energy and might make you feel better too.
KevinMWHM
#6
Nov25-08, 05:35 AM
P: 20
Thanx for the replies...

Positive that it's homeopathic. Most of the effects have shown and left quite quickly (over the course of a couple days).

Do you think it's possible (not knowing every detail of course) that though being skeptical, subconciously I could have created a feeling of well being?

Thx Again
Proton Soup
#7
Nov25-08, 03:27 PM
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what did you take? what exactly was in it?
mgb_phys
#8
Nov25-08, 03:42 PM
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Quote Quote by Proton Soup View Post
what did you take? what exactly was in it?
I suspect that it wasn't anti-depressants and Ritalin is probably the key point!


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