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Have you ever taken homeopathic medications?

Posted by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 7:40 AM
  • 5 Replies

Homeopathic Meds Were Too Good to Be True All Along (Sob!)

homeopathic medicines

Bad news for alternative medicine advocates: A new report says homeopathic medications are not effective for treating any condition. Zilch, nada. I know what some of you are thinking: But what about all the times homeopathy has totally worked for me?!?

Keep in mind, this study focused specifically on the system of alternative medicine developed in Germany based on the idea that “the substances that may cause illness or symptoms in a healthy person can, in very small doses, treat those symptoms in a person who is unwell," as the report put it. They're usually sold as those tiny, round pellets you take five at a time, every few hours.

When it comes to treating a cold, homeopathic meds have been my go-to. They sure seem to effectively treat MY conditions!

But this brings us to one of the difficult, painful truths about how science works.

Anecdotal evidence ain't no evidence at all. In order for an experiment's findings to be valid, you have to be able to replicate it, over and over again, with as large a group of participants as possible. Just because something appears to work for you, and your friends, doesn't mean it is effective for most people.

My own success with homeopathic meds could have been (gasp!) a placebo effect. I have no way of knowing if it was those little tiny pellets that quelled my sniffles, or if the cold virus I had wasn't that strong to begin with.

So here's how this report is different. The authors did a meta analysis. That's when they look at all or most of the studies that have been done to get the "big picture." And what they found was that the homeopathic medications were not effective at treating symptoms. What's more, the few studies that seemed to prove the meds do work had serious flaws that put their results in question.

So does that mean Big Pharma wins? Not so fast. I think if anything, this study shows that we need more, higher-quality studies on alternative medicine.

Homeopathic medicine has millions of passionate adherents who want an alternative to pharmaceuticals that come with serious side effects -- and that in some cases can even make you sicker. And collectively we are spending millions of dollars seeking out those alternatives. We find the idea of the body healing itself, of medicine that treats the whole person, not individual symptoms, enormously appealing -- even essential -- for maintaining good health.

So hey, if it turns out that those little tiny white pellets in the blue bottles aren't as effective as I thought they were, so be it. There's plenty of other non-pharmaceutical ways to treat the common cold -- and prevent it, for that matter.

But I'm sure as hell not turning to Mucinex any time soon. Let's all keep trying out alternatives and demanding better, smarter, safer ways to care for our health.

Have you ever taken homeopathic medications?

Will this report influence your choices in the future?


Image via PRILL/Shutterstock

by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 7:40 AM
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by Nancy on Mar. 16, 2015 at 9:36 AM

I don't believe that I have taken "homeopathic" medications per se.  I do believe in the old fashioned remedies that my mom used to use.

by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 2:47 PM
No. I don't/never have believed in homeopathy.
by Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 2:59 PM

They do to work.  I've had a number of successes with them and a number of fails too.  But it is because I'm not a trained homeopath and I'm relying on information that I find in the  health food stores to help me decide which remedy.  I have found that the lower doses are pretty much useless, if you want results with a chronic problem or a lets say a bad case of poison ivy, you need to go with the stronger strengths like 200C.  

by Group Admin on Mar. 16, 2015 at 5:09 PM
1 mom liked this

True homeopathic medicine? No, I have not. I have never seen a homeopathic doctor.

Alternative medicines or practices is another thing. Are they called alternative because they don't follow mainstream medical practices? Are they covered by scientific research? Research is expensive and often it is the bigger pharmaceutical companies that can afford to do the research that provides the answers they may seek. Alternative medicine has not been supported by such large pharmaceutical research machines. More research is and probably will be done in the future as more doctors begin integrating practices from both camps. Many doctors are realizing the benefits of alternative practices for their patients and are willing to consider a combination of approaches.

I would not wholeheartedly support one over the other. Scientific research is not always scientifically done. One often needs to do research on the research. Read about the studies that are being touted in today's news.

My philosopy is to know yourself and your body. Find a doctor that you can have a medical dialogue with and does not just use a one-way directive approach.  

As far as the common cold, nothing cures that. A lot of the over the counter medicines as well as old time remedies work to alleviate the symptoms but does not cure it.

There is a lot of research out there that does support the placebo effect. The mind is an amazing thing!

by Louann on Mar. 17, 2015 at 6:31 AM

No I've never used them.  I have however used old family "remedies" so to speak

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