Homeopathy and science

 

Madam, – We would like to point out several inaccuracies in relation to Paul O’Donoghue’s article (Science Today, September 9th). 1) Homeopathy is a well-recognised and effective system of treatment used throughout the world, for which there is ample evidence. 2) The UK government has recently vindicated the continued use of homeopathy as a choice under the NHS. 3) A recent pilot study in Northern Ireland found that homeopathy and other complementary therapies were highly effective in the treatment of chronic illnesses. 4) Quinn and Aviva do cover homeopathy in their plans; however, the VHI does not yet offer cover.

Let’s not forget that there were, up to the end of 2009, 74 randomised controlled trials of homeopathy published in peer-reviewed journals, of which 63 were positive for homeopathy.

Recent trials carried out in the Netherlands with placebo controls on E-coli diarrhoea in newborn piglets have also confirmed homeopathy’s effectiveness, six times more effective than placebo.

Research in France by Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier (co-discoverer of the HIV virus) found that pathogenic bacteria and viruses show a distinct electromagnetic signature at dilutions ranging from 10(-5) to 10(-12) (corresponding to 5X to 12X) and that small DNA fragments (responsible for pathogenicity) were solely accountable for the electromagnetic signal.

Other recent laboratory research proves that ultra-high dilutions have clearly discernible effects.

Homeopaths do not only use ultra-high dilutions. We use our remedies from mother tinctures upwards. The main principle governing homeopathy is “the Law of Similars”, which means that a substance which can cause a certain group of symptoms can stimulate a healing response in a person presenting with those same symptoms when taken in much smaller doses. This is recognised in toxicology as hormesis. The second guiding principle of homeopathy is the minimum dose and is in fact validated by the hormesis principle.

We would question why Mr O’Donoghue, who continues to give inaccurate information about homeopathy, is listened to by any serious scientist? Surely we can do better than this and have a proper debate on the subject? – Yours, etc,

SHEELAGH BEHAN,

Lic ISH, IS Hom,

Irish Society of Homeopaths,

Portmarnock,

Co Dublin.

Madam, – There is a good reason why alternative medicine is called alternative medicine. It is unproven and most likely a waste of time, not to mention money. – Yours, etc,

THOMAS G COTTER,

Professor of Biochemistry,

University College Cork.