Placebo Effect & Homeopathic Remedys

  1. 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?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. 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.
     
  4. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I think this sums it up.

    If it's truly homeopathic, there isn't anything in it that could really affect you. Coincidence or placebo effect most likely.
     
  5. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Vitamins? No, if properly made, a homeopathic medicine is nothing more than high purity distilled water.
     
  6. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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.
     
  7. 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
     
  8. what did you take? what exactly was in it?
     
  9. mgb_phys

    mgb_phys 8,952
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I suspect that it wasn't anti-depressants and Ritalin is probably the key point!
     
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