My post last week on homeopathy got a lot of attention and I was surprised by the number of people that commented and a few people even suggested that Homeopathy works. One of these people was “Dr.” Nancy Malik.
Here is her definition of Dr.
A BHMS degree (a regular full-time 5.5 years of medical degree course recognised by Central Council of Homoeopathy, Deptt. of AYUSH, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India) from prestigious ‘Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital’, Chandigarh affiliated to Punjab University (accredited), Chandigarh, India
Oh, you have got to be kidding me! BHMS = Bachelor of Homeopathy Medical Science. Let me point out that the degree is called “Bachelor”. So at best you have a degree and are not a Doctor! Additionally, Homeopathy is a scam so you have a worthless “degree”.
Nancy, made some big claims….
…there have been 245 human studies published in 98 peer-reviewed international medical journals (80 integrative, 9 homeopathy and 9 CAM) including 11 meta-analysis, 6 systematic reviews, 1 Cochrane Review and 100 DBRPCT in evidence of homeopathy.
A worthless degree and some studies published in non-medical journals. Not a good start. I asked Nancy to pick one study for me to look at…
I am not plowing through hundreds of BS citations just to have you claim another one is better. Please cite 1 or take your claims elsewhere.
Nancy actually picked one out. Well done Nancy!
Cochrane Review – Homeopathic medicines for adverse effects of cancer treatments (2010). Homeopathic medicines for the prevention or treatment of adverse effects of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and menopausal symptoms caused by hormonal therapies or oestrogen withdrawal.
Wow! That sounds fancy. Well, I was out camping for a couple of days and would have to review the claim later. Thankfully, SkepticMoney has some really smart readers. Savonarola stepped up and wrote this beauty….
[The Cochrane Review] requires a subscription to read the full text of the article. However, the abstract is available, so what do we see there? Of eight studies, four show negative results. Two of the remaining four “positive” students aren’t explained, one more had only 32 participants, and the last studied a 4% by mass ointment. Sorry, but 4% by mass isn’t homeopathic in terms of serial dilutions; in fact, 4% by mass is more than enough for the substance, calendula, itself to have an effect.
So no, nothing here supports the idea that water retains some imprint of molecules previously in contact with them. [emphasis added]
I could not have said it better myself. Nancy’s citation turned out to NOT support her claims. Savonarola did not stop there….
I went to Malik’s previously-linked site of over 100 allegedly pro-homeopathic peer-reviewed articles. I clicked the first one with the full text available. 404 error. So I tried the second, from the Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. This 2004 paper specifically contains the following tidbit:
>> It’s worth noting that no work of this kind, concerning
>> the study of the physicochemical properties of these
>> ‘anomalous solutions’, namely the ‘extremely diluted
>> solutions’, with significative results, is known in
>> current literature.
So as of 2004, there was no published evidence for a basis for homeopathy. Not that this article changed anything.
Oh, SNAP! But wait there’s more….
The experimenters neglected to use deionized water when determining effects of ions in water.
The experimenters tested “extremely diluted solutions,” the most dilute of which were as much as 36 orders of magnitude more concentrated than many homeopathic products (claim to be).
The authors continued testing only on samples that happened to be “active”; no homeopathic-friendly explanation for why any sample could be “inactive” exists.
Samples showing anomalous results did so at a rate of no more than 50%. No homeopathic-friendly explanation for why any of these samples would show non-positive results exists.
Samples showing anomalous results were found, by-and-large, to have measurable levels of contaminants. Making matters worse, I have already pointed out that the authors chose a source solvent expected to contain contaminants, and they did not test for anionic contaminants to account for additional variance.
Finally, *nothing* here supports the idea that water has memory of solutes previously dissolved in it, which is the foundation of modern homeopathy. So going to Dr. Malik’s own site and starting with those citations she lists first, we see nothing that supports her point.
Hey, Nancy! Not actually a Doctor – strike one. A bogus degree – strike two. Your own citations show NO support for homeopathy – strike three.