Dear Dr. Walt,
Is homeopathy worth a hoot? I say yes. My wife, a nurse, says it’s bunk. Thoughts?
—Suspicious in Utah
Homeopathy, also known as homeopathic medicine, is an alternative medical system that was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago and promotes “The Law of Potentization,” which claims that the more dilute a solution of a substance becomes, the higher its potency.
Homeopathic remedies are labeled as so many “x” or “c.” For example, a 15x potency means the substance was diluted fifteen times at a ratio of 1 in 10 (one drop of the original solution is mixed with nine drops of alcohol or water; then one drop of that solution is diluted by ten; and so on, fifteen times).
A 12c potency means the substance was diluted twelve times at a ratio of 1 in 100. Some of these remedies are so diluted that homeopaths acknowledge there is almost no chance of even one molecule of the original substance remaining.
The National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health says, “There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition.” They add, “Several key concepts of homeopathy are inconsistent with fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics. There are significant challenges in carrying out rigorous clinical research on homeopathic remedies.”
A major 2015 Australian study from that country’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHRMC), after reviewing all of the published studies on homeopathy concluded “there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy is effective in treating any health condition.”
One last warning: Although FDA regulates homeopathic remedies, the agency does not evaluate the remedies for safety or effectiveness. Furthermore, some products labeled as “homeopathic” contain substantial amounts of active ingredients and therefore could cause side effects and drug interactions.
This Q&A was originally published in the May 2015 edition of Today’s Christian Living.
© Copyright WLL, INC. 2016. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.