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CHRONICLES ON HEALTH

Remedy Wars

"Followers and detractors of homeopathy"
By: Angel GaerlanRemedy Wars

Homeopathy has been widely practiced around the world for more than 200 years. It was discovered by the German doctor Samuel Hahnemann who was then finding ways by which to reduce serious side effects brought about by existing medical treatments of his time.

In the United States, an estimated 3.9 million adults and more than 900,000 children used homeopathic remedies in the year 2006, according to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the use of these remedies but does not assess their safety or effectiveness.

Some studies, though, reportedly have shown that the remedies do have clinical effects. A systematic review found homeopathic remedies to be generally safe, as long as they are taken under supervision of a qualified professional.

Nevertheless, opposition remains. According to specialists, there is little evidence, both from clinical trials and systematic analyses, suggesting homeopathy’s effectiveness as a form of treatment for any kind of condition. First of all, they point out the fact that the substances are so diluted that none of the active ingredients of the original remain, thus questioning its efficacy.

It was also argued that though there are actually some products that were not highly diluted and thus retain significant levels of “active ingredients,” side effects have been reported in connection with these remedies.

Plus, they’ve pointed out that certain concepts in homeopathy are not aligned with those of physics and chemistry. According to a 1998 medical review, homeopathy is “placebo therapy at best and quackery at worst.

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