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Placebo And Homeopathy

If you believe that homeopathy is nothing more than placebo, your are denying yourself an amazing healing modality. 

The reason homeopathy has been so falsely and widely broadcasted as  nothing more than a placebo is primarily due to the highly diluted nature of the homeopathic remedies. If something is so diluted, then there is “nothing” left in the dilutions. Therefore all the rigorous and double blind studies and researches  showing that homeopathic remedies are effective must be flawed and all the patients who get improved or cured by the homeopathic remedies are improving only due to placebo effect.

In order to shed light on this matter, we need to answer two distinct questions:

1) Is there an active principal (ingredient, signal, force, information, field, memory, energy… ) in a homeopathic remedy that living organisms can detect (but maybe undetectable with our present machines)  or is it purely water and alcohol or sugar palettes?

2) If homeopathic remedies are active, are they able to cure diseases?

There are two distinct ways to prove that the homeopathic remedies are “ active” and are affecting living organism:

First: Classical research methods:

Multiple double blind studies and successfully repeated researches by independent organisations have proven that the homeopathic remedies affects cultures cells in laboratory, plants, Animals and human beings.  But because the scientific community starts by strongly believing that there is nothing in the homeopathic solutions, then they look for every single possible flaw, even when there exists non ( as many of these researches have been reproduced) to dispute the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. Research abounds on homeopathic effect on biological systems  today. For a full list of these researches please click this link

Second: Patient centered and individualized placebo control methods:

Individualized placebo controlled study is unfortunately almost never used in conventional medicine.  The gold standard of research in medicine is to conduct a double blind placebo controlled study looking  for the effect one drug  on a large group of patients. This method is highly effective when you look at the direct chemical effect of one drug on human conditions in general. For example a specific Blood pressure  or migraine medication is  given to a large group of patients  suffering from migraine and placebo is prescribed to another group suffering from the same condition. if the group receiving the active medication has improved significantly more than the placebo group, we declare the substance as better than placebo and is approved for use in medicine.

Contrary to this mass approach of conventional medicine, homeopathy prides itself of being a highly individualized system of medicine designed to identify the individual cause of the disease ( to read more on homeopathic description of the cause , click here or listen to this video). No two migraine patient are identical in the expression of their migraine nor in any other concomitant symptoms (believed to be unimportant and  unrelated to migraine by the physicians, such as  how thirsty the patient is or how dry the skin might be or whether he has diarrhea or constipation or vomiting…), therefore, each migraine has to be studied as if it was unique and an induvial remedy needs to be prescribed for each patient. From this perspective,  an effective  remedy for the Pneumonia of one patient may not have any effect on another patient with Pneumonia.  This individualized approach lend itself to a very easy and repeatedly confirmable double blind placebo approach for every patient.. There are two methods to control for placebo in a homeopathic setting:

b.1) The homeopath study a patients, prescribes the best possible remedy for the totality of the patient, a nurse or assistant prepares either a placebo or the prescribed remedy randomly for the patient (double blind method). At the follow ups the reaction to the administered substance is studied and recorded. And the homeopath decides if placebo was given or a remedy and make  a decision on how to follow up with the patient. This method has been practice by many homeopaths in order to rule out for the placebo effect of any treatment as it is inherent to all treatment modalities (including surgeries (ref)). Over and over, the homeopathic remedies have proven superior to the placebo controlled in homeopathic practices.

b.2) A remedy is given to a patient alongside multiple placebo remedies and the patient is tasked with taken each one separately from the week and report to the homeopath which one(s) had an active effect on him/her.  I have conducted this highly scientific and 99.9% reliable method for many patients and the outcome is always the same: the patient is able to differentiate between a homeopathic remedy and the placebos.

To make the above example more concrete, here is an example of how to rule out placebo  from my own practice:

An MD came to see me as he had witnessed many of his patients improving after their homeopathic visits . I prescribed a remedy for his allergies. After 3 weeks  he was quite satisfied with the result and he was feeling much better overall. At the end of the session he asked how do we know that this is not just a placebo response? I welcomed his question and offered him to test the hypothesis for himself: I instructed my assistant to prepare 7 bottles for the Dr. Bottles were labeled 1 to 7 and he was instructed to take each bottle for one week and then move on to the next bottle and record all his reaction to each bottle. 5 of bottles were placebo and two where the homeopathic remedies but the Dr. did not know this.  My assistant chose in which order the Dr. would take the remedies. He came back after 8 weeks  and mentioned that he had noticed changes from bottle 2 and 5 and had no reaction at all from bottles 1,3,4,6,7.  I invited my assistant to the room and asker her to tell us which bottles were homeopathic remedies and she checked her records and came back and to Dr.’s amazement she mentioned that bottle 2 and 5 were homeopathic remedies and the others were placebo. He now was convinced, from his own “personal” research that homeopathy is not just a placebo and incorporated some homeopathic complex remedies into his practice.            

Aside from the two above  mentioned method to rule out the placebo, we also have to remember that  the vast majority of our patients are seeing their MD first, as it is free in Canada, have been given a diagnosis and prescribed the best possible medical protocole for their pathologies. Each one of those drugs are individually tested to be superior to placebo.  So when I see a 22 years old patient suffering from intense headaches for which Advil and Tylenol used to be effective at the beginning , the the patience was switched to Cafergot, Imitrex, and other migraine medication without much help and finally taking Traumadol ( an opioid based drug) to control the pain at only 70 %,  then this patient obviously does not react to placebo nor to any of the drugs that are individually tested to be superior to placebo. The above patient was given one of the homeopathic salts of Zinc and was freed from Migraine. When he mentioned this to his neurologist, his reply was placebo as a strong effect on people, ignoring that non of the drugs that he had prescribed, and all superior to placebo, had a significant effect on him. And the homeopathic remedy did not only improve the intensity of the headache, like his conventional drugs, but it first reduced the intensity and frequency and gradually turned him to be totally pain free. Within one month, he went from having daily headaches to one headache every 1-12 days and by the second month he had only one headache for the whole month. The homeopathic remedies, if selected properly, act fast and deep and long and have a preventative and curative effect as opposed to short symptomatic relief.

The last point to consider on placebo and homeopathy is the most common reaction of patient receiving the right remedy ( Right remedy means a remedy affecting the whole person. not just one or two of his symptoms). During a homeopathic follow up most patients notice many other changes in addiction to the chief complaints that brought them to the consultation:

I didn't think I have a sleeping issue but I have been sleeping so well since the remedy and as a result my energy is so much better.

Is your remedy also good for the bowel movement ? I didn't think my BM was an issue as I evacuate once a day but since taking the remedy I have been going to the bathroom few times a day. 

I have used several anxiety medications in my life but this remedy was better than anything I have tried before. I hear similar comments about their depression or insomnia.

All the above prove that homeopathic remedies not only are far superior but their action is far beyond what the conventional drugs produce. I have never seen a patient taken a drug or a placebo and state: that

  • “I have never felt this good in my entire life” . or
  • "This is the best I have felt in the last 20-30 years“
  • ”My whole being is feeling so much better, as if a veil is lifted"

These statement are so common in a homeopathic practice.

The last point to consider is this: regardless of how healthy you think you are, homeopathy can make you feel even better as it helps you reach the maximum of your health potential by helping your body to heal itself and prevent future disease or disorders. I often have patient who come for a visit because their spouse or a sibling has had such a strong healing reaction to the remedies. And they usually start by saying that according to my Dr. I am very healthy but once I saw what the remedy has done for my spouse, I wanted to give it a try. And to their amazements, once the appropriate remedy is prescribed, everything about them improves to a higher state of health.


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