Monday, 5 January 2009

Homeopathy For Pets

Homeopathy is one of the biggest scams ever wrought upon a gullible public.

Here’s the thing: a homeopathic preparation is nothing more than water.


It's just water.

Supposedly the water retains the ‘memory’ of something or other diluted in it, but by the time you’re shelling out your money it’s been diluted so much that there’s nothing there anymore.

It’s just water.

I'm amazed anyone has the gall to charge so much money for this stuff. I'm only slight less amazed that people actually pay so much money for this stuff.

No study has ever shown homeopathy to have any effect beyond that of a simple placebo. Which is hardly surprising.

After all, it’s just water.

So imagine my surprise when I was in my local vet’s this afternoon, and they have on their shelf something called “Homeo-Pet”.

Yes. Homeopathic treatments for pets. At $37 a bottle.

For water.

I get that a placebo might work on humans. I do. But on animals? On dogs and cats?


They’re just not that stupid.



Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that someone can be so ignorant about a subject without actually doing the research into Homeopathy. Have you ever read "The Hidden Mesasges in Water" by Masaru Emoto?

This has nothing to do with a "placebo effect". You should also start to look into how quantum physics has proven how these types of healing methods work. Scientifically proven.

Until you've actually done the research, and learned about it, don't go acting like you know what it's about. It's not "just water". Are you also saying that anti-venom is "just water"? Anti-venoms for poisonous snake bites and insect stings are created the same way. It's taking a part-per-million of the originating venom mixed with water. Based on this, should we assume that venom is all in our heads? We only get cured by anti-venoms because of the "placebo effect"? Interesting theory, but I'm afraid your arguments just don't hold up against the scientifically proven truth.

Matt said...

Hello Anonymous.

There is no "scientifically proven truth". There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that supports the efficacy of homeopathy. None.

I know you've read people who say that there is, but it's not true. They're lying to you.

Seek out the studies that they're claiming exist. Look at the results. Examine their claims critically for yourself. You'll see what I mean.

I suggest you do some reading, and by that I mean actual scientific studies.

The wikipedia article on homeopathy has a lot of great references, and would be a good place to start.

Anonymous said...

I have done reading already...a lot of it. I suggest you do the same. If you look, it clearly says at the top of the Wikipedia article: The neutrality of this article is disputed.
There are very few articles which say that, and there's a reason why they do.

Here's an article for you about two new studies that go on to prove some of the effectiveness:

Again...don't just go quoting off random information that you picked up on Wikipedia, or personal opinion...look at the scientific facts. Read Dr. Masaru Emoto's "Hidden Messages in Water", which clearly shows from a scientific perspective how water retains the memory of the elements it's in contact with, and even mental states. Look at what quantum physics has proven about the state of the human body and reality. Homeopathic remedies aren't designed to combat an illness or condition. They're meant to strengthen the body's own responses, and correct imbalances. In essence, treating the root cause of a problem rather than the symptoms (like the comparison between firefighting and fire prevention).

You also didn't respond to my point about the anti-venom...are you saying that anti-venoms are a "placebo effect"? Try telling that to a person who's been bitten by a rattlesnake!

Some real info about Homeopathy can be found here (this site just launched a few months ago): The Body Healer
Look at the case studies they list on the site (many of them for animals with amazing results):Click here

Matt said...

Yes, the issue is in dispute. A lot of people, like yourself, have very strong beliefs when it comes to homeopathy. But belief is not scientific proof.

There are clearly no supporting scientific studies, because even the National Center for Homeopathy, in the article you linked to, only go so far as to say that homeopathy is "probably effective for many conditions including allergies, upper respiratory tract infections and flu, but much more research is needed."

That's hardly a glowing endorsement. Surely if there were any scientific studies worth quoting then that would have been the moment to mention them.

The two studies that found the "anti-homeopathy review wrong" do not, as is claimed, show that the conclusions of the Lancet study were wrong. All they show is that the methodology was suspect. These certainly don't count as scientific studies showing the efficacy of homeopathy.

The other links you provided are interesting, but all they really do is prove my point.

The case studies are all very heart-warming but they're anecdotes, not a scientific study.

And take this quote from The Body Healer: ". . the resulting solution is diluted to usually contain less than one molecule of the original extract".

Less than one molecule? That's zero molecules. That means there's nothing left but whatever has been used to dilute it.

That means it's just water.

I know the idea is that water has "memory", but there's no evidence whatsoever to support that claim.

In fact, I'll make you a deal. If you genuinely believe that there's some undiscovered physical property of water that allows it to "remember" a drop of onion juice (but somehow forget all the urine and faeces that's been dissolved in it) then please explain to me clearly how it's supposed to work, I'll produce the supporting paper and we'll split the Nobel prize.

Seriously. That's how big your claim is. You need some pretty impressive research results to back that up.

Regarding your comparison with anti-venom, the two things are very, very different. They might seem similar, in the sense that homeopathy claims that "like cures like", but it's only a very superficial resemblance.

Anti-venom is the product of a biological process, where antibodies are produced in an animal as an immunological reaction to venom, and those antibodies can be harvested and used. The mechanism of the immunological reaction is well-understood. It's a chemical process. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the idea that water "remembers" what was dissolved in it, and neither it, nor homeopathy, have anything at all to do with quantum physics.

Anonymous said...

Once "The Hidden Messages in Water". A scientifically written book by Dr. Masaru Emoto, to learn about how water retains memory. This will disprove your theory of "I know the idea is that water has "memory", but there's no evidence whatsoever to support that claim."

Actually READ the book. Don't just find cliff notes on it. It's a short book, and will help you to finally understand, based on his scientific studies.

As for antivenom, yes, it has to do with producing the antibodies. Making the body produce natural results to fight off the poison. It's exectly how it's made.

Anonymous said...

Also, those are not "stories". Most of those are case studies by veterinarians. There are some "success stories" in there, but the majority of them are actual case studies performed and documented by licenesed (and some world-renowned) vets.

Until you read "the hidden messages in water", this conversation is moot. It will show you what has been done with the research in water, with proof that it retains memory.

Matt said...

OK, I will track down a copy of the book.

For you, it might be worth reading the Wiki article on Dr. Emoto. He himself says he is not a scientist, and his methods are very questionable. In fact, much more questionable than the Lancet study you've referenced.

It's inconsistent of you to damn the Lancet study but then accept Dr Emoto's work at face value.

I would like to ask you one question:

We know that there are no "new" water molecules in the world. Every molecule of water on Earth today has been around for millions of years, recycled and re-used over and over again.

They've passed through the bowels of dinosaurs and the urinary tracts of the ancient Romans. They've already been consumed and excreted by every culture on Earth for countless millennia.

So any water you drink contains molecules that have been mixed at some point with every imaginable substance.

So my question is: how does the water "remember" only a single drop of onion juice, when there are so many other things in its "memory"? Why has it "forgotten" everything else?