Homeopathy – For or Against?

Who would have thought Homeopathy would be linked to the contest for the next Labour Leadership? Indeed homeopathy has wide acclaim and support from many famous people, past and present, including Ghandi, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Prince Philip and the Queen.
Unfortunately for Jeremy Corbyn, his support of homeopathy, and his suggestion for homeopathy on the NHS has resulted in widespread criticism of him and his beliefs. Like all kinds of treatments, conventional, alternative or complementary, we don’t have to dismiss something simply because it hasn’t received scientific support. All prescription drugs are undergone extensive research and clinical trials before being available to the general public, yet think about the many potential side effects, the risk of excessive use, and the ineffectiveness of so many drugs….despite this we still take them. So whats so bad about Homeopathy?

Peter Fisher, Director of Research at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, says that of all the major forms of complementary medicine, homeopathy is the most misunderstood. “The fact that one homeopathic treatment for a condition is ineffective doesn’t mean that another is also ineffective,” Fisher says. In other words, he is claiming that if you can’t prove it doesn’t work for all things, it is equivalent to medicine which has survived double-blind clinical trials. He also points to several studies comparing treatment outcomes of conventional family doctors with those who integrate homeopathy in their practice, showing better outcomes at equivalent cost in a range of conditions with reduced use of antibiotics. He concludes that “Doctors should put aside bias based on the alleged implausibility of homeopathy. When integrated with standard care homeopathy is safe, popular with patients, improves clinical outcomes without increasing costs, and reduces the use of potentially hazardous drugs, including anti-microbials. Health professionals trained in homeopathy do not oppose the use of conventional treatments, including immunisation.”

Whilst clinical controlled trials have failed to show homeopathy is effective, it has not been subject to extensive, heavily supported and funded research usually undertaken by drug companies introducing a new drug onto the market. Many homeopaths will argue that carrying out randomized controlled trials is an appropriate activity for orthodox medicine but inappropriate for homeopathy, where effectiveness should only be judged by client satisfaction. Homeopathy has survived several hundred years, it’s ‘like cures like’ approach has cured smallpox and is still widely used today to treat a wide range of difficulties.

If you trust personal experiences, there are a large number of people who will claim, usually with great certainty, that they had been cured or at least helped by homeopathy when orthodox medicine had failed. The principle is easy to understand; the consultation is long, therapeutic and holistic, and your practitioner is the same one you will see at your next appointment. From asthma, ear infections, hay fever, high blood pressure and mental health conditions, homeopathy is known to be of benefit in improving the condition. So, don’t just dismiss it, instead consider it has another option to help improve your health, well-being and lifestyle.