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Old 11th December 2007, 07:17 AM   #81
Deetee
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Originally Posted by Ivor the Engineer View Post
This could explain the results the fibromyalgia studies:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/538449

Here's the first referenced study by Dana:
http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.o...print/keh111v1

The unadjusted differences in table 2 on page 5 do not look particularly impressive.

ETA: In Table 1 it shows that the homoeopathy group had higher scores on Tender point pain, POMS depression and POMS anger-hostility than the placebo group at baseline. In Table 2, the placebo group's score on the Tender point pain had not changed by much, but the two POMS scores increased. After treatment, the homoeopathy group's POMS scored dropped to values similar to the placebo group's POMS score at baseline. It would seem to me this study observed natural cycles in the variables it measured, and the effects can be explained by regression to the mean.
Fibromyalgia is a particularly nebulous medical condition. It is largely a somatisation disorder, and overlaps with multiple other similarly nebulous disorders such as ME, irritable bowel and multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome (indeed the article states that because of the overlap, the active homeopathic remedies were prepared in such a way as to not trigger chemical sensitivity in the group (and apparently patients have previously "reacted" to preparations of nothing but pure water - homeopathically speaking). Now there's irony for you).

Again we see homeopathy being shown to be "effective" for a disorder with huge variability in symptoms, significant psychological overlay, and a natural tendency to vary with relapses and remissions and spontaneous improvement. Not only that, but again there are very few clear cut objective outcomes that can be measured - they resort to subjective pain scores as the main measure.

When Oh when are we ever going to see a trial of homeopathy that is claimed to be effective for a straightforward medical condition that posesses an objective measurement of its progression or severity?
Can I claim the Randi $million for predicting never?
Even homeopathy studies on illnesses such as asthma are fudged - I don't see mention of serial peak flow rates, or pulmonary function or reversibility results being shown, we instead get patients "impressions" of how breathless they felt that day, or similar rubbish. Are these homeopaths ever going to get anything worthwhile to study, or just continue ad infinitum in their endless circle-jerk of wiffly-waffly diseases which have nothing to measure?

Regarding this study, I agree with Ivor that regression to the mean would be an important factor. The authors do grudgingly mention this, and go on to say:
Quote:
Although regression to the mean might account for some of the apparent improvement in the active group [24], the improved status of the active group compared with the placebo group at 3 months for tender point pain, tender point count, global health and fibromyalgia-related quality of life (Appraisal of Fibromyalgia Scale) remained after covarying for the baseline value of the relevant dependent variable, as well as baseline differences in depression and anger–hostility.
I am not statistically savvy enough to know if this is an acceptable way to gloss over the problem - I doubt it though.
One way to ensure that the groups were equivalent would have been to randomise patients on the basis of their primary endpoint - the pain scores. This would ensure both groups started at the exact same level and would have negated any regression to the mean issues completely. This was a design flaw in the methodology IMO.
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Old 11th December 2007, 07:41 AM   #82
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Wow. Thanx Linda for FINALLY acknowledging what the Cochrane group asserted that homeopathic Oscillococcinum might have a “promising” effect over and beyond placebo. Cool.

As for homeopathic medicines having a short- or long-term effect…. You’re mixing up studies (to your advantage). The severe sepsis study showed long-term benefits, that is unless you want to ignore their statistics. The 1989 fibrositis study was specifically designed by using a low potency homeopathic medicine (6C) which would have a short-term effect.

Did I trust the BMJ’s analysis on this paper or that of David Colquhoun? Slam dunk.

Ivor’s assertion about sub-groups with fibromyalgia who might respond to placebo conveniently ignored one fact: those people given a placebo would have also experienced the “placebo” effect to a similar degree as the treatment group…and they didn’t. What is also interesting is that Linda didn’t catch this, but heck, Linda never critiques a fellow skeptics’ misinformation. Hmmmm.

I am anxious to hear your explanation for the differences between the treatment group and the placebo group’s EEG readings.

If any of you are seriously interested in the history of homeopathic clinical trials, including many in the 19th century, read Dr. Michael Emmans Dean’s THE TRIALS OF HOMEOPATHY. The negative trials, with rare exception, were conducted by allopaths who specifically sought to disprove homeopathy it were simply GIGO (I also discuss this fact in my new book). In actual fact, some of the earliest blind trials were conducted by homeopaths. Here’s a review of this book
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Old 11th December 2007, 08:39 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
As for homeopathic medicines having a short- or long-term effect…. You’re mixing up studies (to your advantage). The severe sepsis study showed long-term benefits, that is unless you want to ignore their statistics. The 1989 fibrositis study was specifically designed by using a low potency homeopathic medicine (6C) which would have a short-term effect.
So which is it? Do homeopathic preparations have long-term effects only or short-term effects only. If they have both, then both of the studies are necessarily wrong. If they have one or the other, then one or the other of the studies is necessarily wrong.

Quote:
Did I trust the BMJ’s analysis on this paper or that of David Colquhoun? Slam dunk.
The BMJ did not do an analysis (although, presumably they would not have made the naive error that the authors made), they allowed a study with a flawed analysis to be published. That happens, even with non-homeopathy studies. The correction was published in the Lancet.

Quote:
What is also interesting is that Linda didn’t catch this, but heck, Linda never critiques a fellow skeptics’ misinformation. Hmmmm.
I simply did not see his post. But don't worry. I've been in plenty of hot water here for correcting a fellow skeptic's misinformation.

Quote:
I am anxious to hear your explanation for the differences between the treatment group and the placebo group’s EEG readings.
Then you need to make the full text available to me.

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Old 11th December 2007, 08:51 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
<snip>

Ivor’s assertion about sub-groups with fibromyalgia who might respond to placebo conveniently ignored one fact: those people given a placebo would have also experienced the “placebo” effect to a similar degree as the treatment group…and they didn’t.
I mentioned nothing about the placebo effect. I mentioned regression to the mean. The study results are those of two groups with symptoms out of phase with each other. One started off high and dropped (treatment group), the other increased (placebo group).

The symptoms of fibromyalgia vary widely over time. I'm sorry Dana, but all the results of the study did were confirm this fact.

Quote:
What is also interesting is that Linda didn’t catch this, but heck, Linda never critiques a fellow skeptics’ misinformation. Hmmmm.

<snip>
Linda has a perfectly valid reason for not catching any errors in my posts. You can't blame her for not commenting on them.
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Old 11th December 2007, 11:48 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Ivor’s assertion about sub-groups with fibromyalgia who might respond to placebo conveniently ignored one fact: those people given a placebo would have also experienced the “placebo” effect to a similar degree as the treatment group…and they didn’t.

If 2 groups of people are given a placebo - one with severe headaches, and one with mild headaches, is it any surprise that any placebo effect would appear to be proportionately greater in those with the worst symptoms? This is what the fibromyalgia trial has demonstrated, but for painful "trigger points".

Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
What is also interesting is that Linda didn’t catch this, but heck, Linda never critiques a fellow skeptics’ misinformation. Hmmmm.
No, what is interesting is that you think skeptics never question each other's information.
.........If only you knew!
Here at JREF we are skeptical of everything, which is how it should be. This means that we often challenge each other in the never-ending thirst for the truth. This is a trait that is consistently absent in the homeopath's experience, where it seems anything that says homeopahty is "good" is uncritically acclaimed with shouts of joy, regardless how wrong it may be. You have a track record in this regard (recall Rustum Roy, anyone....?)

In fact Linda and Ivor have had major disagreements of opinion and interpretations of evidence before, as I have with Ivor to a lesser degree. What is also interesting is that when intelligent people with excellent critical faculties find there is resounding concordance in their opinion, an outside observer might just conclude that there might just be something in what they say.

Now that is out the way, how about giving us examples of either a homeopathic trial discontinued early by the DSMB because of overwhelming benefits conferred by homeopathy, or failing that give us a homeopathy trial where the documented benefits that resulted were not only statistically significant and robust, but clinically relevant and relied on outcome measures that were unequivocally objective and specific and not open to multiple confounding.

Can't do it, can you....?
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Old 11th December 2007, 12:07 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Deetee View Post
I am not statistically savvy enough to know if this is an acceptable way to gloss over the problem - I doubt it though.
Let me put it this way. I'm willing to bet $10,000 that they didn't decide the results needed adjusting until after they discovered that the results showed the homeopathy group was no different than placebo, and that if the results had been statistically significant it wouldn't have occurred to them that they should be adjusted.

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Old 11th December 2007, 09:58 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by fls View Post
So which is it? Do homeopathic preparations have long-term effects only or short-term effects only. If they have both, then both of the studies are necessarily wrong. If they have one or the other, then one or the other of the studies is necessarily wrong.
Linda...I know you're a smart cookie, but let me try this one more time. Low potency homeopathic medicines (such as 6C) generally have short-term effects...and thus, it is possible for these medicines to be used in crossover designs, though occasionally, low-potency medicines can have surprisingly long-term effects, though this tends to be rare.

The severe sepsis trial used higher potencies (higher potencies are those medicines, usually beyond Avogadro's number, that have undergone more serial dilutions with vigorous shaking in-between each dilution). These higher potencies tend to have longer-term effects than the lower potencies.

These observations are not contradictory at all. What is interesting is that the higher potency are also more likely to initiate a healing crisis (described below).

The additional observation of homeopaths is that between 20-30% of people with chronic disease experience a "healing crisis" where their symptoms get worse first before they get better (usually these symptoms are "externationalizations," such as skin eruptions, just like Darwin experienced in his first week of homeopathic treatment--see HERE-- or the re-experience of old symptoms (usually those that were previously suppressed with conventional medications).

These observations by homeopaths where our patients initially get worse help us to confirm that patients are not experiencing simply a placebo response. Norcebo effects are not usually this common.

Originally Posted by fls View Post
I simply did not see his post. But don't worry. I've been in plenty of hot water here for correcting a fellow skeptic's misinformation.
Thank you, Linda, for finally being upfront. Finally. 99% of the stuff here is full of BS, but you're all afraid to call each other on it, except maybe privately. I cannot help but wonder if anything that I'm saying is at least getting through to some of you, even I cannot help but sense that you're all too afraid to admit it. A catch 2,222.
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Old 11th December 2007, 11:47 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
...The additional observation of homeopaths is that between 20-30% of people with chronic disease experience a "healing crisis" where their symptoms get worse first before they get better ....
Which chronic diseases? Please be particular. One chronic disease I can think of is diabetes.

If you use your words above a diabetic person who switched from regular insulin shots to a homeopathic remedy would first get worse, and then get better. Do you have any documentation of this?

By the way, Kumar would really be interested into your learned insights in diabetes. He is diabetic, and so very much wishes to be treated homeopathically. But for some reason it never seems to work out. He now seems to post on Usenet, but he has been on JREF.

One the issue of feeling worse before feeling better with homeopathy: Why would I want that! A few years ago I got a nasty strep infection, I felt horrible. I thought it was a simple virus and held off getting any medical care. But finally I did see a doctor and received some antibiotics. The morning after I took the first dose I felt so much better! Not completely cured, but not miserable. I felt much better before I finished the week's worth of antibiotics, but I did finish the prescribed dosage.

How would a homeopath have handled my strep infection?

I have a son with a genetic condition that you might consider "chronic". The first symptom was his left arm hurting whenever he tried to run during soccer. Later the other symptoms he felt included feeling dizzy and his heart fluttering. During a regular exam the doctor heard a heart murmur (do you know what that sounds like?). After an echocardiogram (do you have that kind of equipment in your office?) he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopahy,

The cardiologist put him on 50mg of atenolol (after a regular EKG, a 24 hour EKG with a holter monitor and a stress EKG). That seemed to help. Then he had heart palpitations at school, so his dosage was upped to 100mg of atenolol, where it has remained for the last four years.

This is a permanent genetic physical heart defect, which would make it "chronic". How would you as a homeopath treat a patient with hypertrophic cardiomyopahy?

Do you know how to listen for the heart murmur? Can you call up a technician to take a video of the heart functioning with blood velocity readings? Can you attach a monitor to the patient for a day to record how the heart is working?

Or are you only concerns with some superficial symptoms?

While I am at it, I might as well ask my new standard question to homeopaths, it is one that only requires some basic high school chemistry and algebra: How many atoms of sodium and chlorine are in one cubic centimeter of Nat Mur 30C?
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Old 11th December 2007, 11:50 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
... A catch 2,222.
Are you even having trouble with cultural references? It is Catch 22!

(and you didn't even use it correctly!)
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Old 12th December 2007, 04:42 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Linda...I know you're a smart cookie, but let me try this one more time. Low potency homeopathic medicines (such as 6C) generally have short-term effects...and thus, it is possible for these medicines to be used in crossover designs, though occasionally, low-potency medicines can have surprisingly long-term effects, though this tends to be rare.

The severe sepsis trial used higher potencies (higher potencies are those medicines, usually beyond Avogadro's number, that have undergone more serial dilutions with vigorous shaking in-between each dilution). These higher potencies tend to have longer-term effects than the lower potencies.

These observations are not contradictory at all.
Your claim is contradicted just by considering the few studies you have presented here. The use of Ruta 6X (a low-potency preparation) in patients with brain cancer had its claimed effect over 3 months to 7 years. The high potency medicines used in other studies had claimed effects as early as the first day and all within 30 days. This contradicts your claim that the negative results in the sepsis study at 30 days are an expected finding. And the first fibrositis study you presented showed a significant treatment period interaction, which also contradicts your claim.

Quote:
What is interesting is that the higher potency are also more likely to initiate a healing crisis (described below).

The additional observation of homeopaths is that between 20-30% of people with chronic disease experience a "healing crisis" where their symptoms get worse first before they get better (usually these symptoms are "externationalizations," such as skin eruptions, just like Darwin experienced in his first week of homeopathic treatment--see HERE-- or the re-experience of old symptoms (usually those that were previously suppressed with conventional medications).

These observations by homeopaths where our patients initially get worse help us to confirm that patients are not experiencing simply a placebo response. Norcebo effects are not usually this common.
Nocebo effect refers to subjective perceptions from the expectation of harm. It does not refer to symptoms of disease caused by the withdrawal of effective treatment or waxing of the underlying process.

Linda
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Old 12th December 2007, 05:32 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
These observations by homeopaths where our patients initially get worse help us to confirm that patients are not experiencing simply a placebo response. Norcebo effects are not usually this common.
Perfect description of a disease state that varies up and down over time. Get to the patient when it's not so bad, give no treatment (or if you wish shaken water) and hey presto, it gets worse and then better. Now that's a perfect description of homeopathy.

Now here's an interesting experiment you might try, take patients and give them shaken water until their symptoms get worse and then stop. Do their symptoms stay the same, get worse or get better?
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Old 12th December 2007, 05:54 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Perfect description of a disease state that varies up and down over time. Get to the patient when it's not so bad, give no treatment (or if you wish shaken water) and hey presto, it gets worse and then better. Now that's a perfect description of homeopathy.

Now here's an interesting experiment you might try, take patients and give them shaken water until their symptoms get worse and then stop. Do their symptoms stay the same, get worse or get better?
Well, dur! If they get better it will be a carry-over effect. If they get worse, it will be because the treatment was stopped. This is described in detail in the book: "Homoeopathy in practice: How to have your cake and eat it."
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Old 12th December 2007, 07:21 AM   #93
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I certainly know what Catch 22 is...but my point was that I was referring to a more thorny Catch 22, that is Catch 2,222. Well, so much for my efforts at humor and irony.

I'm beginning to understand some of you more. You think in such black-and-white terms that you do not see reality of this multi-color world.

For some strange reason, you think that homeopaths are against everything that modern medicine has to offer. This isn't true. We just prefer to follow the Hippocratic tradition of First, do no harm. Before we resort to the big guns of conventional medicine, we see if homeopathic medicines can provide some immediate resolve...and it often does, even in recurrent (chronic) conditions.

I have never met a homeopath who would take an insulin-dependent diabetic off insulin. In emergency medicine and in intense infections, the use of conventional medicines are the primary treatment, though homeopathics can be prescribed concurrently (in such situations, we do not assume that the benefits of treatment derive from homeopathy, except when the person delays conventional treatment to see if the homeopathics can act rapidly...which they often do).

As I previously mentioned, throughout most of the world, homeopaths are trained as physicians, and they first do a conventional diagnosis using the same laboratory tools and technologies that you list above. Then, they interview the patient to see which symptoms this patient has.

For those of you who continually ask, "what does homeopathy offer for this or that disease," you still don't seem to GET what homeopathy is. Only in rare situations is that one medicine for one disease. This is why the Shang analysis is so bad. 6 of the 8 homeopathic studies used only 1 medicine for everyone.

And thanks Linda for pointing out the real long-term benefit that some low potency homeopathic medicines can have with people with certain serious and chronic diseases. I was simply referring to general and common experiences, not every experience (I had thought that I had made that clear).
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Old 12th December 2007, 07:35 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post

I'm beginning to understand some of you more. You think in such black-and-white terms that you do not see reality of this multi-color world.
Hilarious.

The nut thinks he understands ordinary folk who are not gullible enough to be taken in by his woo.

...and it's because they are colour-blind.

In fact it's because the woo is transparent.
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Old 12th December 2007, 08:02 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
For those of you who continually ask, "what does homeopathy offer for this or that disease," you still don't seem to GET what homeopathy is. Only in rare situations is that one medicine for one disease. This is why the Shang analysis is so bad. 6 of the 8 homeopathic studies used only 1 medicine for everyone.
Oh, all right, I suppose someone has to explain this to you.

We don't care that homeopaths think they work in a different way.

1. More than half the time they seem happy to dole out standard prescriptions for perfectly recognisable conventional conditions: Arnica for blunt trauma anyone? So this claim is often a Big Fat Lie.

2. Unless your claimed successes can include successful amelioration of the patient's main problem as defined by proper doctors it ain't much use. You would be happy with a brain tumour being unchanged while the patient is prepared to report that their itchy left foot is not so itchy. But, if the tumour still kills them it hardly matters about the itchy foot. So get this straight, unless you can create conventionally definable cures then you are curing nothing. I do hope we have seen the last of this particularly tiresome canard from you.
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Old 12th December 2007, 08:14 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by fls View Post
Your claim is contradicted just by considering the few studies you have presented here. The use of Ruta 6X (a low-potency preparation) in patients with brain cancer had its claimed effect over 3 months to 7 years. The high potency medicines used in other studies had claimed effects as early as the first day and all within 30 days. This contradicts your claim that the negative results in the sepsis study at 30 days are an expected finding. And the first fibrositis study you presented showed a significant treatment period interaction, which also contradicts your claim.
Post hoc, ad hoc, make it up as they go along hoc.
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Old 12th December 2007, 01:53 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
A catch 2,222.

Or a catch .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000022
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Old 12th December 2007, 02:47 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
As I previously mentioned, throughout most of the world, homeopaths are trained as physicians, and they first do a conventional diagnosis using the same laboratory tools and technologies that you list above. Then, they interview the patient to see which symptoms this patient has.
You keep saying this. In fact, previously you said that most homeopaths are also physicians. Yet try as I might, I can find nothing to substantiate this. I find several homeopathy-friendly sites that say "many" homeopaths are physicians (or medical doctors), but none that say "most" and none that actually provide statistics or sources.

Can you provide such information?
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Old 12th December 2007, 03:10 PM   #99
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Throughout Europe, most homeopaths are MDs, especially in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. In England, I am not certain on the stats, though I think that the medical doctors represent around 50% of the practicing homeopaths.

In India, there are over 100,000 homeopathic physicians who have completed 4 or 5-year homeopathic medical schools.

Hey BillyJoe...that IS a good one.

As for Mr. Monkey...shouting loudly doesn't make your innane question about the fact that "I" haven't "cured" anyone with AIDS any less innane. Sorry, it doesn't.

As for people with chronic non-self-limiting diseases, read my new book. It is full of such stories, except if you do that fancy footwork that Linda does by defining non-self-limiting diseases as only those diseases that no one has ever survived. Fancy, indeed.
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Old 12th December 2007, 03:13 PM   #100
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And here's the newest basic science study. I assume that you will now assert that there is some strange placebo effect going on here.

Or you'll say that this drug isn't in beyond Avogadro's number. That's right, it isn't, nor is the majority of homeopathic drugs sold in health food stores and pharmacies. Cool, now, you can feel comfortable in using this large number of homeopathic drugs without traumatizing yourself too much.


Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Nov;85(11):1084-90. Links
In vitro evaluation of the antiviral effects of the homeopathic preparation Gripp-Heel on selected respiratory viruses.Glatthaar-Saalmüller B.
Labor Dr. Glatthaar, Clinical Immunology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, A-1210 Vienna, Austria (e-mail: glatthaar@l-d-g.de).

Gripp-Heel(R) is a homeopathic preparation frequently used in the treatment of respiratory viral infections such as various types of influenza and the common cold. The antiviral activity of Gripp-Heel was studied in vitro on human pathogenic enveloped and nonenveloped RNA and DNA viruses. Before the antiviral assays, in vitro cytotoxicity of Gripp-Heel was determined with cells used for the infection experiments (HeLa, HEp-2, MDCK, BGM) as well as with mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes. A concentration of 0.5 of the commercially available product slightly reduced cell viability and proliferative capacity, and experiments on antiviral activity were determined starting with a dilution of 0.2 of the commercially available product. The antiviral activity was determined against a broad panel of enveloped and nonenveloped DNA and RNA viruses with plaque reduction assay, cytopathogenic assays, virus titrations, analysis of the viral proteins in virus-specific enzyme immunoassays, and haemagglutination tests. Control substances were acyclovir (10 mug/mL), ribavirin (6 mug/mL), and amantadine hydrochloride (5 mug/mL), depending on the virus type. Gripp-Heel demonstrated dose-dependent in vitro activity (significant reductions of infectivity by 20% to 40%) against Human herpesvirus 1, Human adenovirus C serotype 5, Influenza A virus, Human respiratory syncytial virus, Human parainfluenza virus 3, Human rhinovirus B serotype 14, and Human coxsackievirus serotype A9. The mechanisms of this antiviral activity are still unclear, but type I interferon induction might be a possible explanation. Further research on this homeopathic preparation seems warranted.

PMID: 18066110 [PubMed - in process]
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Old 12th December 2007, 03:30 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
As for people with chronic non-self-limiting diseases, read my new book. It is full of such stories, except if you do that fancy footwork that Linda does by defining non-self-limiting diseases as only those diseases that no one has ever survived. Fancy, indeed.
It doesn't have to be no one, but it has to be at least quite unexpected/highly unlikely. To use one of your examples, an individual recovering from sepsis isn't unexpected, since at least a third do recover. A whole bunch of stories about people who recover from an illness, when it's not unexpected, is not particularly useful.

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Old 12th December 2007, 03:39 PM   #102
fls
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
And here's the newest basic science study. I assume that you will now assert that there is some strange placebo effect going on here.

Or you'll say that this drug isn't in beyond Avogadro's number. That's right, it isn't, nor is the majority of homeopathic drugs sold in health food stores and pharmacies. Cool, now, you can feel comfortable in using this large number of homeopathic drugs without traumatizing yourself too much.


Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Nov;85(11):1084-90. Links
In vitro evaluation of the antiviral effects of the homeopathic preparation Gripp-Heel on selected respiratory viruses.Glatthaar-Saalmüller B.
Labor Dr. Glatthaar, Clinical Immunology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, A-1210 Vienna, Austria (e-mail: glatthaar@l-d-g.de).

Gripp-Heel(R) is a homeopathic preparation frequently used in the treatment of respiratory viral infections such as various types of influenza and the common cold. The antiviral activity of Gripp-Heel was studied in vitro on human pathogenic enveloped and nonenveloped RNA and DNA viruses. Before the antiviral assays, in vitro cytotoxicity of Gripp-Heel was determined with cells used for the infection experiments (HeLa, HEp-2, MDCK, BGM) as well as with mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes. A concentration of 0.5 of the commercially available product slightly reduced cell viability and proliferative capacity, and experiments on antiviral activity were determined starting with a dilution of 0.2 of the commercially available product. The antiviral activity was determined against a broad panel of enveloped and nonenveloped DNA and RNA viruses with plaque reduction assay, cytopathogenic assays, virus titrations, analysis of the viral proteins in virus-specific enzyme immunoassays, and haemagglutination tests. Control substances were acyclovir (10 mug/mL), ribavirin (6 mug/mL), and amantadine hydrochloride (5 mug/mL), depending on the virus type. Gripp-Heel demonstrated dose-dependent in vitro activity (significant reductions of infectivity by 20% to 40%) against Human herpesvirus 1, Human adenovirus C serotype 5, Influenza A virus, Human respiratory syncytial virus, Human parainfluenza virus 3, Human rhinovirus B serotype 14, and Human coxsackievirus serotype A9. The mechanisms of this antiviral activity are still unclear, but type I interferon induction might be a possible explanation. Further research on this homeopathic preparation seems warranted.

PMID: 18066110 [PubMed - in process]
In vitro studies testing the possible activity of various compounds is basic medical research. It does not provide support for homeopathy, since it provides no support for the idea of similars or for the potentiation of activity through dilution.

Linda
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Old 12th December 2007, 03:46 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Hydrogen Cyanide View Post
A few years ago I got a nasty strep infection, I felt horrible. I thought it was a simple virus and held off getting any medical care. But finally I did see a doctor and received some antibiotics. ....

Uh, just checking in quickly here.

Funny you should say that. I've been sick for over a week with what I assumed was a nasty "common cold" virus, and in fact was more or less off work for a week though I struggled to cover some teaching commitments. I didn't see a doctor, as it's such received wisdom not to bother the poor chaps with trivial ailments like that, and expecially not to demand antibiotics.

However, the infection has settled on my chest, and I still sound as if I'm coughing up a mine shaft. I'm too darn new in this village to have figured out the local chemist's shop's attitude to veterinary prescriptions that don't really smell as if they're intended for an animal (and not being in general practice I can't just reach up to the shelf!). I was just sitting thinking, maybe I should make an appointment to get checked out in case I really do need treatment for bronchitis, when I read this.

Ah, the power of coincidence.

(Of course I'm sure Dana could have cured me in a day if only I'd had faith....)

Rolfe.

Now where is that pile of Christmas cards, the half-completed presents list, the cash card and the wrapping paper - not to mention the Christmas tree and the fairy lights and the hell with the season of goodwill.
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Old 12th December 2007, 05:54 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
...However, the infection has settled on my chest, and I still sound as if I'm coughing up a mine shaft. .... I was just sitting thinking, maybe I should make an appointment to get checked out in case I really do need treatment for bronchitis, when I read this.
....
Well, I hope you do get checked out before trying antibiotics. Though, I hate to tell you this but there is a horrible crud going around (and it may have travelled by airplane* to your neck of the woods) that lasts for more than two weeks. At one point I was feeling better from one cold, only that evening to come down with a fever, and Cold Version 2.0 for another two weeks. Unlike the strep though, I did feel better after mostly sleeping for a couple of days. With the bacterial infection I just kept getting worse and worse, and actually felt much better 12 hours after starting antibiotics. Lovely stuff!

I got the strep infection from the fellow coughing next to me on an airplane.
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Old 12th December 2007, 08:35 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Hey BillyJoe...that IS a good one.

It's okay, I spared you this one...

Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Norcebo.

norcebo -> nocebo -> noebo -> nobo -> nob -> no -> o ->
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Old 13th December 2007, 04:54 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by fls View Post
In vitro studies testing the possible activity of various compounds is basic medical research. It does not provide support for homeopathy, since it provides no support for the idea of similars or for the potentiation of activity through dilution.

Linda
I haven't yet looked at this study (but I will).
My first thought was - Why on earth is Dana telling us that a remedy is acting like a conventional antiviral drug?
I thought homeopathy wasn't meant to work like that? Whither the individualisation, the symptomatology, the lovely-sounding guff about rebalancing the host's immune responses and stimulating the host to respond to the illness in a holistic manner?

How does he think this stuff is meant to work???
The internal inconsistencies that exist with homeopathy concepts are just a bit too overwhelming for me at the moment. I think I'll go get some lunch...
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Old 13th December 2007, 06:11 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Throughout Europe, most homeopaths are MDs, especially in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. In England, I am not certain on the stats, though I think that the medical doctors represent around 50% of the practicing homeopaths.

In India, there are over 100,000 homeopathic physicians who have completed 4 or 5-year homeopathic medical schools.
No. These are still just claims. I'm asking for your source of information.

I do note, however, that you are now excluding the United States from the "most homeopaths are physicians" category.

I also note that you are now simply saying that in India, homeopaths have simply completed homeopathic medical schools, not that the homeopaths are actually physicians.

I would still appreciate your sources for the Europe/England numbers, though.
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Old 13th December 2007, 06:28 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
We just prefer to follow the Hippocratic tradition of First, do no harm.

Well, there is actually a bit more to it than that, but that certainly seems to be as far as most homoeopaths have got.
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Old 13th December 2007, 07:01 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Uh, just checking in quickly here.

Funny you should say that. I've been sick for over a week with what I assumed was a nasty "common cold" virus, and in fact was more or less off work for a week though I struggled to cover some teaching commitments. I didn't see a doctor, as it's such received wisdom not to bother the poor chaps with trivial ailments like that, and expecially not to demand antibiotics.

However, the infection has settled on my chest, and I still sound as if I'm coughing up a mine shaft. I'm too darn new in this village to have figured out the local chemist's shop's attitude to veterinary prescriptions that don't really smell as if they're intended for an animal (and not being in general practice I can't just reach up to the shelf!). I was just sitting thinking, maybe I should make an appointment to get checked out in case I really do need treatment for bronchitis, when I read this.

Ah, the power of coincidence.

(Of course I'm sure Dana could have cured me in a day if only I'd had faith....)

Rolfe.

Now where is that pile of Christmas cards, the half-completed presents list, the cash card and the wrapping paper - not to mention the Christmas tree and the fairy lights and the hell with the season of goodwill.
Good job you had that flu jab.



(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
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Old 13th December 2007, 07:02 AM   #110
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According to this, in the late '90s there were approximately 400 doctors practising homeopathy on a regular basis in the UK and approximately 1000 registered lay practitioners - expanding by about 200-300 per year. And this doesn't include unregistered and self taught homeopaths. I'll see if I can find any more recent figures.
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Old 13th December 2007, 07:24 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Linda...I know you're a smart cookie, but let me try this one more time. Low potency homeopathic medicines (such as 6C) generally have short-term effects...and thus, it is possible for these medicines to be used in crossover designs, though occasionally, low-potency medicines can have surprisingly long-term effects, though this tends to be rare.

The severe sepsis trial used higher potencies (higher potencies are those medicines, usually beyond Avogadro's number, that have undergone more serial dilutions with vigorous shaking in-between each dilution). These higher potencies tend to have longer-term effects than the lower potencies.
Let's see if I've got this straight. If you actually give patients something, they can get better. If you don't give them anything, they take longer to get better. And it's taken homeopaths how many centuries to realise this?
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Old 13th December 2007, 08:44 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
According to this, in the late '90s there were approximately 400 doctors practising homeopathy on a regular basis in the UK and approximately 1000 registered lay practitioners - expanding by about 200-300 per year. And this doesn't include unregistered and self taught homeopaths. I'll see if I can find any more recent figures.
Much obliged, but one would assume that a scholar of Dana's integrity would have such references to hand else he would not be making the claims to begin with.

Wouldn't one?
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Old 13th December 2007, 08:52 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
And here's the newest basic science study. I assume that you will now assert that there is some strange placebo effect going on here.

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Nov;85(11):1084-90. Links
In vitro evaluation of the antiviral effects of the homeopathic preparation Gripp-Heel on selected respiratory viruses.Glatthaar-Saalmüller B.
Labor Dr. Glatthaar, Clinical Immunology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, A-1210 Vienna, Austria (e-mail: glatthaar@l-d-g.de).
Can you provide a link to the full study please?

BTW, This is what we are talking about:
Quote:
Composition:
Tablets: 1 Tablet Cont.: Aconitum 4X 120 mg Bryonia 4X, Lachesis 12X ana 60 mg Eupatorium perfoliatum 3X, Phosphorus 5X ana 30 mg.
Quote:
Aconitum exerts a specially stimulating action on the hemoderm (abatement of chilliness), in addition rapidly relieving neuralgic disorders and circulatory lability, while Eupatorium eliminates pains in the joints and the feeling of exhaustion. The content of Lachesis (septic infections, tendency towards hemolysis), Bryonia (thirst, irritation from coughing, retrosternal pain, diseases of the serous membranes such as pleuritis) and Phosphorus (petechiae, elective effect on the lungs in preventing pneumonia) broadens the therapeutical spectrum of Gripp-Heel according to Burgi's principle, perfecting the preparation effectively. The dosage is adjusted according to the disease, the clinical picture and the stage of the illness
As I thought, the action of this remedy are meant to depend upon some mythical effects in the host ("stimulating action on the hemoderm (sic), relieving circulatory lability, eliminating exhaustion", and so on).
Now Dana posts a study supposedly showing the remedy has direct antiviral effects.
So which is it?
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Old 13th December 2007, 09:36 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
As for Mr. Monkey...shouting loudly doesn't make your innane question about the fact that "I" haven't "cured" anyone with AIDS any less innane. Sorry, it doesn't.
Dana "The Hypothetical Homeopath" Ullman has cured no one of AIDS himself. After a lot of effort we have now established this. But there are plenty of homeopaths who are treating AIDS patients in Africa.

You seem very keen to spend your time sifting third-hand, biased and incomplete accounts of alleged cures due to homeopathy. How about you apply that prodigious talent to find us one good example of a homeopath anywhere in the world who has cured AIDS and properly documented that fact?

As I have said before, it need not be AIDS, there's a range of things you could choose from. I think you have had it amply demonstrated that utter tosh such as your misleading descriptions of Darwin's attitude to homeopathy 150 years ago do not count.

Until you come up with something that shows real effects in real people there is not much point wasting time in trying to work out what schoolboy errors have been made in yet another irrelevant in vitro study.

Remember what happened to poor old Rustum Roy's paper with which you were so impressed: Heap of smoking wreckage.

So, while not wishing to derail this thread;

"GIVE ONE, YOU ONLY NEED ONE, INCONTROVERTIBLE EXAMPLE, WITH REFERENCES, OF HOMEOPATHY CURING A NON-SELF-LIMITING CONDITION."

Post your documented case history in the thread specially created for that purpose.



(By the way, if I tell you inane has one 'n' you will at least have learnt something useful from these exchanges).
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Old 13th December 2007, 09:41 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Deetee View Post
Can you provide a link to the full study please?

BTW, This is what we are talking about:



As I thought, the action of this remedy are meant to depend upon some mythical effects in the host ("stimulating action on the hemoderm (sic), relieving circulatory lability, eliminating exhaustion", and so on).
Now Dana posts a study supposedly showing the remedy has direct antiviral effects.
So which is it?
"1 Tablet Cont.: Aconitum 4X 120 mg Bryonia 4X, Lachesis 12X ana 60 mg Eupatorium perfoliatum 3X, Phosphorus 5X ana 30 mg."

Oh, for pity's sake, has he not even bothered to read up what the stuff is? Presumably just pulled the abstract without bothering even to do the simplest check.

I see 4X, 4X, 3X of real biological material that is dumped unceremoniously onto cells in culture.

But, please Deetee give us a reading from the paper to see whether there is anything even more dumb to report.
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Old 13th December 2007, 10:35 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
But, please Deetee give us a reading from the paper to see whether there is anything even more dumb to report.
I can only access the Canadian Journal of Phys & Pharm after a 6 month delay.
This paper is from November 11th - part of an issue on the "Safety and Efficacy of Natural Health Products"

I have to wait for Dana to give me a linky to read it in all its glory.

PS - How many "n"s in inane?

ETA - other abstracts from this journal issue (given over to the "natural health" crowd to publish their ground-breaking research) include gems like this one here on Echinacea for URTI.
So what trial do they come up with? A DBPCT powered to distinguish a significant difference between Echinacea and placebo?
Not on your nelly....... It's an open labelled trial which the authors admit was conducted on too few patients to show anything.
So why on earth bother! Is this the best that the alt med crowd can come up with? What a total waste of space! I think I need another lie down.....
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Old 13th December 2007, 03:19 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Deetee View Post
BTW, This is what we are talking about:
Quote:
Composition:
Tablets: 1 Tablet Cont.: Aconitum 4X 120 mg Bryonia 4X, Lachesis 12X ana 60 mg Eupatorium perfoliatum 3X, Phosphorus 5X ana 30 mg.
Is this even proper homoeopathy? I thought that real homoeopaths frowned upon combination treatments. You are supposed to use only one remedy at a time, not mix them up. And in this case, the only ingredient that is not actually present is Lachesis, which gives credibility to the claim that these oills actually could have an effect. But which effect?
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Old 13th December 2007, 07:51 PM   #118
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...and, I suppose, they then diluted the contents out of existence and got an even greater affect.

No, I didn't think so.
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Old 13th December 2007, 10:25 PM   #119
Dana Ullman
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I have said it many times, but for many reasons, you folks simply don't like to learn. You love thinking in such black and white terms that you don't and seemingly cannot appreciate complexity. A tad ironic, isn't it.

One of my favorite quotes that I including in my book, "The Homeopathic Revolution," comes from Charles Kettering, one of the 20th century's greatest inventors and an ardent advocate of homeopathy. He would be horrified that HIS name is used for the work done by the Sloan-Kettering Institute. When a reporter asked him about his conquests of the secrets of nature, Kettering responded, "Hah, it’s not the conquest of nature, it’s the conquest of our own ignorance. And as for secrets, there is only one secret of nature I want to pry into. Why is the human skull as dense as it is? Nowadays we can send a message around the world in one-seventh of a second, but it take years to drive an idea through a quarter-inch of human skull."

You folks have such THICK skulls, nothing gets through. Nothing. Your loss.

Once again, the majority of homeopathic medicines sold in health food stores and pharmacies today are in potencies usually under 12C...where there are some molecules, though they are in considerably lower dose than any of your regular drugs. And yet, I have shown again and again and again that these "lower potency" homeopathic medicines have biological action.

I have referred to the entire field of hormesis (low dose science) that has nothing to do with homeopathy, except that it shows the power, according the numerous fields of scientific experiment, of infinitesimal doses (still material doses, but still very very small). (Do some googling on hormesis...it is a very fertile area of investigation, that is, it is for people who want to learn)

Don't you remember all of the times that I made reference to low-dose homeopathy? Have you all killed your brain cells? I then encouraged you to become big supporters of "health food store" homeopathy...and yet, not of you have backbone (or neuron) to acknowledge this. Whooops.

Worst of all, you are very sloppy in your critique of homeopathy by grouping together ALL of homeopathy. The irony of your non-scientific thinking is dripping. There is so little difference in your thinking and those religious fundamentalist. More irony.

And yes, I too am honored that Orac has tried to go after me. He thinks that just by calling me "clueless" that his arguments get stronger. Whooops.

Instead of gentlemanly discourse, he resorts to name-calling and imprecise argumentation. Whoooops. Judge for yourself.

No "respectful" insolence here, just insolence.
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Old 14th December 2007, 12:29 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
You love thinking in such black and white terms that you don't and seemingly cannot appreciate complexity. A tad ironic, isn't it.
It is ironic that you do not see that the wonderful world of homoeopathy is a tad too simple for the complex real world. Dilute anything and everything out existence while shaking, and you are able to cure every ailment known to man, and magically without side effects. How ironic!

Quote:
When a reporter asked him about his conquests of the secrets of nature, Kettering responded, "Hah, it’s not the conquest of nature, it’s the conquest of our own ignorance. And as for secrets, there is only one secret of nature I want to pry into. Why is the human skull as dense as it is? Nowadays we can send a message around the world in one-seventh of a second, but it take years to drive an idea through a quarter-inch of human skull."
How true! 200 years have not been enough to make homoeopaths realise that they are fooling themselves and their patients.

Quote:
You folks have such THICK skulls, nothing gets through. Nothing. Your loss.
Your thick skulls come at the loss of your patients.

Quote:
Once again, the majority of homeopathic medicines sold in health food stores and pharmacies today are in potencies usually under 12C...where there are some molecules, though they are in considerably lower dose than any of your regular drugs. And yet, I have shown again and again and again that these "lower potency" homeopathic medicines have biological action.

I have referred to the entire field of hormesis (low dose science) that has nothing to do with homeopathy, except that it shows the power, according the numerous fields of scientific experiment, of infinitesimal doses (still material doses, but still very very small). (Do some googling on hormesis...it is a very fertile area of investigation, that is, it is for people who want to learn)
Are you now disowning the entire field of trans-avogadral doses?
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