FAQ 02 – And what do you have against homeopathy?

If explained as a placebo treatment to the patient and applied by an experienced doctor: few objections. Applied outside medicine: even  less.

But as the highly specific, natural drug therapy it claims to be, we think it’s wrong. Many patients and therapists believe that homeopathy works specifically as a method. An effect beyond placebo effects, however, was not proven in any well-done study. This raises the question: Why do we trust scientific studies rather than the experience of so many people in our assessment?

Own experience versus science

It is not easy to understand that one’s own experience, for which one would vouch for, does not count beyond one’s own horizon of experience. Everybody is free to make their own experiences, they cannot be judged or even questioned from the outside. However, one’s own experiences (no matter how convincing they feel) are not – and never – suitable for deciding on the effectiveness of a therapy. For this we need studies that meet certain requirements.

The scientific method tries to approach homeopathy objectively with studies. Studies summarize as many individual experiences as possible. And they ask: Does the examined method/drug bring about something positive, specifically in the majority of individual experiences, or does it remain in the case of random positive changes or placebo effects? The vast majority of well-done studies and all (!) summarizing considerations (reviews, meta-analyses) come to the conclusion that there is no specific effect. This, however, would be the prerequisite for considering something as a medically relevant method or remedy. This gives us food for thought and we ask ourselves (and you) why homeopaths consistently misrepresent, deny or ignore that – or don’t they actually know?

Homoeopathy as entrance to exit

Often the belief in homeopathy leads to turning one’s back on medicine as a whole. Drugs are called poisons, chemicals or pure cash cows and are usually judged according to their side effects. Doctors are denigrated as dependents of the pharmaceutical industry, vaccinations are seen as first and foremost harmful. So the way leads further and further away from the achievements that science has brought us in medicine over the last 200 years. This worries us very much. We see homeopathy as a kind of entrance to the exit from medicine. We are aware that medicine also presents flaws and weaknesses, but this does not automatically make homeopathy an effective procedure.

Moreover, many homeopaths do not have a sound medical education or forget their medical knowledge because they believe they can offer something better with homeopathy. Formerly their behaviour was  called as quackery, today it is spoken of as gentle, integrative medicine, of complementary or alternative medicine: as if it were about procedures with special, natural-biological characteristics that are not present in “dusty conventional medicine”. And the patients often encounter with catchy thought structures: “You are ill because you have swallowed antibiotics … because your body is internally poisoned … because your mobile phone radiate hurts!” In view of the fact that only the fear of alleged dangers can make you sick, we consider it irresponsible, even morally highly reprehensible, to stir up such fear. As long as one can’t refer to unbiased, objective studies that credibly substantiate such allegations. Homeopathy is not a science, but a matter of faith.

We do not fight, we do not attack – we inform

We hope that you want to be enlightened, that you want to know what homeopathy is all about, that you are interested in what Hahnemann really said and that he did it 200 years ago. And that much has changed in medicine and knowledge since then, which is why we can think and judge differently from him nowadays. That is why we have created the Homeopathy Information Network. Not just to be “against homeopathy”, we could have saved ourselves the trouble. But to reach you. You would certainly like to know how the perceived effect of homeopathy can be explained today and what are the limits of its effectiveness. We care about your health and also about honesty within medicine. We do not want false claims about homeopathy to unsettle you and harm you and your children.