Homeopathy and other useless Medical Treatments

With the recent swine flu ‘non-event’ in the news, people tend to come up with the hokiest shit Rhustoxto stay healthy  or get better. I wrote some time ago about going to see my doctor about my sinuses, and having to see another doctor in the clinic. We talked about my problem, and he proceeded to tell me about a friend of his that had sinus problems like me and he took these homeopathic pills that worked.

Great, ONE of his friends took this thing and he got better. I was a bit surprised to say the least! Great science. Anecdotal evidence drives me nuts. I hear it all the time where I work. “I took this oil of oregano, & I got better”. I always call bull shit, and that doesn’t go over well!
Linus Torvalds( the Linux godfather ) calls homeopathy full of shit too. Here is a small snippet from his recent blog posting…

Also like me, she’s allergic to pollen. She gets itchy, watery eyes. So at the optometrist, when they ask about whether she’s had problems with her eyes, the allergies come up. And what do you know, they have eye-drops for that.

Ok, not surprising. But what I do find surprising is the kind of eye-drops they have. This is a doctor’s office, you’d expect them to be professional. But their eye-drops are homeopathic, and the doctor talks them up as not having any harsh medication in them. Well, duh! They’re saline solution.

So I sit there quietly, and don’t call him out for being a quack…
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Now, I recognize that the placebo effect is real, but don’t try to sell me some un-documented new age pseudo-science, and make it sound like it is the cure for all the problems of the world. Reminds me of the fraudster Kevin Trudeau.He was the king at promoting fake shit on infomercials, and got busted for it.

Here is a good article on the placebo effect…

Understanding the power of the placebo effect is crucial to understanding the value of a claimed alternative therapy. If it’s well designed and well delivered, an implausible therapy with no clinical value can indeed produce a subjective improvement in the patient’s symptoms. To debunk a worthless alternative therapy, it’s not necessary to prove that it has no effect at all. Rather, understand that under the right conditions it can, in fact, have a sometimes significant effect; an effect which can almost certainly be fully explainable as a placebo.
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An old comic from cectic.com about ‘herbal remedies’… I wish Rudis would continue on with the site…
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