Science

Homeopathy not effective for any medical condition: review

After a years-long review of hundreds of studies, Australia’s top medical research agency has concluded that homeopathy is essentially useless for treating any medical condition.

Researchers with the National Health and Medical Research Council conducted a review of published studies on homeopathy and report that they could not find any good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy works any better than a placebo or sugar pill.

Homeopathy is a centuries-old form of alternative medicine that has been dismissed as pseudoscience by many sceptics. It’s based on a premise that like cures like. Practitioners believe that herbs and extracts that cause symptoms such as headaches in healthy people will also cure headaches if they are given in highly diluted forms.

Although several studies have shown that homeopathic remedies have no detectable amounts of the original substance left, homeopaths believe the tinctures retain a memory of the original substance and are thus effective.

The Australian researchers involved in this review sifted through 1,800 research papers from around the world on homeopathy, finding only 225 that were large enough to be worthy of more thorough inspection.

They say they found no reliable evidence that any homeopathic treatment led to health improvements that were any better than a placebo.

And the researchers say the studies that did find homeopathic remedies effective were either so poorly designed, or so poorly conducted, that they were too flawed to be considered reliable — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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