One of the world’s top scientists calls homeopathy a “therapeutic dead-end” after a through study found the controversial treatment had nothing more than a placebo effect.
Professor Paul Glasziou, a leading academic in evidence-based medicine at Bond University, reviewed 176 trials of homeopathy to if the treatment truly does work. The study focused on 68 specific illnesses and conditions – and discovered zero evidence homeopathy was more effective than placebo for any one of them.
If you aren’t familiar with homeopathy, it’s an alternative medicine that revolves around the idea of diluting substances in water, based on your illness/ailment. This is how the National Health Service describes it:
“Practitioners believe that the more a substance is diluted in this way, the greater its power to treat symptoms. Many homeopathic remedies consist of substances that have been diluted many times in water until there is none or almost none of the original substance left.”
But after Glasziou’s review, he concluded “there was no reliable evidence from research in humans that homeopathy was effective for treating the range of health conditions considered”.
“I had begun the journey with an ‘I don’t know attitude’, curious about whether this unlikely treatment could ever work… but I lost interest after looking at the 57 systematic reviews which contained 176 individual studies and finding no discernible convincing effects beyond placebo,” Glasziou wrote in the British Medical Journal’s blog.
Samuel Hahnemann – the founder of homeopathy – sought better medicine practices than what was offered in the 18th century at the time. Homeopathy came off as more natural than the now-barbaric medical practices like blood-letting and purging. Glasziou figures Hahnemann wouldn’t be happy with what he learned in his study:
“I would guess he would be disappointed by the collective failure of homeopathy to carry on his innovative investigations, but instead continue to pursue a therapeutic dead-end.”