Homeopathy:The Longest Running Grand Magic Show on Earth.

Have you seen the movie called ‘The Prestige’ by Christopher Nolan? It is all about magic. Deep and deceptive, but so much fun. In the movie, there is a talk about the beauty of magic - “Every great magic trick consists of three parts. The first part is called "The Pledge". The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards or a bird. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course, it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now, as the audience, you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part called "The Prestige".”

Homeopathy is a great magic trick with three parts. And a large audience is stuck, at ‘The Turn’. They love getting fooled. 😜Actually, nothing happens. Nothing at all. It is like a passing feeling that stays. But there is a third act – not just in Homeopathy, but in all forms of traditional medicine – and it is the ability of Alternative Medicine such as Homeopathy and Ayurveda to survive for centuries in a very wide variety of forms. This, for the practitioners of A.Y.U.S.H is ‘The Prestige’. A fantastic blinding act of magic that has stuck through times. But the third act is changing.

Wikipedia, in simple terms define Homeopathy as a system of alternative medicine developed in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of “like cures like” a claim that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people.

Homeopathy is a pseudoscience 🤓(https://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d5960) – a belief that is incorrectly presented as scientific. In Homeopathy, the causative agent or substance is diluted to the lowest possible fraction, by a factor of 100 at each stage. Many times, the original substance is diluted to 10,000 parts of the solution; sometimes ending up diluted by one part in one trillion [completely lost, where did that substance go?] In homeopathy, a solution that is more dilute is described as having a higher "potency" (mind blown🤯). Basically, the medicine is so dilute, there is no substance to it or is it there? When intelligent people started questioning this heavy dilution as treatment, Modern Homeopaths, started calling the dilutions as ‘Water Memory’ - according to them, water "remembers" the substances mixed in it, and transmits the effect of those substances when consumed – something like in a Marvel comic book.🧟‍♀️ This concept has never been demonstrated scientifically to have any effect on the disease. Think of it like this strange example – you drink six glasses of whiskey neat, you get a kick sky high in a few hours. But if six glasses of whiskey are diluted in 100 liters of water and you take these in small sips every day for a month, you are supposed to get sky high kick by the end of the month. 🤯Doesn’t happen that way in real life. Real medical and scientific pharmacological research has found that stronger effects of an active ingredient come from higher, but not lower doses – yes, thank you, Mr. Logical.

Now the third act is changing right? Here comes the true ‘Prestige’ part. 😆Multiple studies on Homeopathy has proven that - no individual Homeopathy preparation was different from placebo…. which means instead of putting sugar in your coffee, you can put Homeo medicines - sweet, but without the real sugar high. After 1,800 study reviews by Governments and major science bodies through major experts in scientific research, it was concluded that Homeopathy DOES NOT work. These important works are listed below.

1. Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council—along with an independent company brought on board to ensure that the analysis wasn't biased - https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/…/att…/cam02a_information_paper.pdf
Conclusion: "people who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments."

2. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Inquiries combined statement on Homeopathy:
Conclusion: "There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition.” FDA thereafter warned consumers that homeopathic products will not treat their illnesses.

3. Actions of the British Advertising Standards Authority on Homeopathy Advertisements and Claims:
The British Advertising Agency (ASA) concluded that there is NO evidence to support claims that homeopathy can treat, cure or relieve specific conditions or symptoms. They finalized this statement through multiple authoritative reviews on evidence.

4. The United States Federal Trade Commission ordered the people producing Homeopathy and those marketing it to provide evidence that their medicines work. If they couldn’t, then they needed to add a disclaimer to the medicine packaging that said "there is no scientific evidence that the product works". Yes its true! 😯



5. The FDA started their crackdown on fake and ineffective Homeopathy practice as of December 2017 - 😎https://qz.com/…/the-fda-is-cracking-down-on-the-homeopath…/

6. A review conducted in 2010 of all the pertinent studies of "best evidence" in Homeopathy practice produced by the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that homeopathic medicines had no effects on disease control - this study was done under the Department of Complementary Medicine itself - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20402610

7. In Kerala, a petition was filed to stop Homeopathy practice training and progression but did not see the light of the day that may be due to multiple factors that include monetary benefits – our Governments function very differently from those in the UK or USA when it comes to public health. 🤪https://www.thenewsminute.com/…/homeopathy-unscientific-and…

8. The United Kingdom Government stopped NHS funding research in Homeopathy and called for ending NHS support for homeo practice in their largest Government run Homeopathy Institute - http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43373817

9. A major nail in the coffin was an analysis of 110 homoeopathy trials and 110 matched conventional-medicine trials published in prestigious journal, The Lancet in 2005 that concluded “the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects”. It found homoeopathic treatments were not more effective than dummy pills, but allopathic medicine were. 🤗https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16125589/

India is among the world’s biggest market for homeopathy in the world - at Rs 1,500 crore and projected to grow by 20% each year. India has 195 homeopathic medical colleges, 51 homeopathic universities and 27 state councils, which train and register thousands of practitioners each year 😮 – writes the Hindustan Times. Just imagine if all that lost and continuing to be lost funds could be diverted to good medical research causes or for other important reasons, such as battling infant deaths or making new roads or educating girls in villages or expanding a hunger program – MAYBE, even buying oxygen cylinders for infant ICU’s 😪😰 in small towns in India.

There is enough and MORE evidence that Homeopathy is indeed pseudoscience akin to swallowing large amounts of air and then burping loud for everyone to hear. It is ineffective, outdated and without true scientific potential. “No one in chemistry believes in homeopathy. It works because of placebo effect,” said V. Ramakrishnan, the India-born President of the Royal Society, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009, speaking at the Panjab University at Chandigarh.

Still many follows it, especially in India and in the southern States. They are all stuck at “The Turn”.🤨 I wishfully hope that they will “turn around” someday, and see what true science has to offer.

Until then, the “Greatest Magic Show on Earth” will go on. 🤡

Written By

Dr. Cyriac Abby Philips MD DM (Hepatology)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine
Consultant - The Liver Unit, Cochin Gastroenterology Group
Managing Director, Philip Augustine Associates (P) Ltd
E. M. C, NH-Bypass, Palarivattom
Kochi - Kerala - India

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