You'd have to destroy my trust in my ND first, before you made any headway in convincing me of anything here. She's got excellent qualifications in CAM and has helped many people over many years, including me. She never prescribes homeopathic remedies alone; she actually despises "classical homeopathy" as much as a drug-based approach to healing. And she's never prescribed one for me. But if she did, I would try it.
This is what you are facing here: people's personal relationships with those who heal them. Dissecting studies here does not make a whit of difference, you're correct. I know the bias you bring to the dissection and other people may have different but equally valid interpretations.
Do you understand that a homeopathic "medication" is nothing but water?
Do I understand that it is likely that a homeopathic preparation does not contain a single molecule of anything but water? Yes.
Is it "nothing but water"? A scientist would say so. The original idea was that the "memory" of the substance is retained in the water. Like I said, I haven't looked into it and I don't know enough to be able to comment knowledgeably. However, as you are well aware, I believe that there are potentially many aspects about the world we live in that are waiting to be discovered. We don't know it all. Maybe we don't even know it all about water.
If it works, it works. What's the deal?
Are you going to continue with this "But they believe it too!" nonsense?
You mean the majority of people, even doctors, aren't always right? Are you sure that's what you want to be saying to me?
I'm not going to defend homeopathy here with the same vigour that I've defended things elsewhere, because I agree that it sounds highly improbable. My mind says it's complete nonsense. However, I also trust my ND. Homeopathy is a small part of what she does and she's never prescribed it for me. If she did, I would give her the benefit of the doubt and try it. There's no harm in it, it's not as if I'm hoping it's going to cure my cancer or mend a broken leg.
I've found a site called Water Structure and Science that appears to address many of the questions asked here. It looks to be well-referenced. I can't say I understand it all because I am not a chemist, but I am sure others here will have no trouble working all of it out. Would you like to have a look?
This is an interesting bank of resoucres which I'll be reading myself in coming days. It's called the National Center for Homeopathy. If you want, you can scroll down to the Peer Reviewed Journals section.
One reason I've read about why some homeopathy studies fail to show results. It's because they take one remedy at one potency and give it to all the people showing one same symptom. The remedy doesn't work for most and homeopathy is declared quack medicine.
But, the one of the first premises of homeopathy is that you do not treat one symptom, you treat the totality of symptoms. This would lead to choosing several different remedies for these people.
Homeopathy has been given to dogs and infants with good effects, and these are not prone to a placebo effect.
Prescribed well, I'd be happy to try it as an adjunct to other therapies.
Is Homeopathy a Placebo Response? Controlled Trial of Homeopathic Potency with Pollen in Hayfever as Model D. Reilly, M. Taylor, C. McSherry 18 October 1986
by D. Reilly
The double-blind study compared a high dilution homeopathic preparation of grass pollens against a placebo in 144 patients with active hay fever. The study method considered pollen counts, aggravation in symptoms and use of antihistamines and concluded that patients using homeopathy showed greater improvement in symptoms than those on placebo, and that this difference was reflected in a significantly reduced need for antihistamines among the homeopathically treated group. The results confirmed those of the pilot study and demonstrate that homeopathic potencies show effects distinct from those of the placebo.
Is Evidence for Homoeopathy Reproducible? D. Reilly, M. Taylor, N. Beattie, et al. 10 December 1994
by D. Reilly
This study successfully reproduced evidence from two previous double-blinded trials all of which used the same model of homeopathic immunotherapy in inhalant allergy. In this third study, 9 of 11 patients on homeopathic treatment improved compared to only 5 of 13 patients on placebo. The researchers concluded that either homeopathic medicines work or controlled studies don't. Their work has again be recently replicated and is submitted for publication. (See Is Homeopathy a Placebo Response? Lancet 1986.)
Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea with Homeopathic Medicine: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Nicaragua J. Jacobs, L. Jimenez, S. Gloyd, 01 May 1994
by J. Jacobs
Pediatrics, May 1994, 93,5:719-25.
This study was the first on homeopathy to be published in an American medical journal. The study compared individualized high potency homeopathic preparations against a placebo in 81 children, between ages 6 mo. and 5 yrs., suffering with acute diarrhea. The treatment group benefited from a statistically significant 15% decrease in duration. The authors noted that the clinical significance would extend to decreasing dehydration and postdiarrheal malnutrition and a significant reduction in morbidity.