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Is Homeopathy Pseudoscience? Top Russian Science Body Thinks So

7 February 2017, 7:02 am EST By Alyssa Navarro Tech Times
Is homeopathy a pseudoscience? A top science body in Russia has called the alternative medicine system pseudoscientific, arguing that its methods have no scientific basis.  ( Peter Macdiarmid | Getty Images )

A top science body in Russia has dubbed homeopathy a "pseudoscience," arguing that this alternative medicine treatment has no scientific basis.

In a new memorandum, the Commission to Combat Pseudoscience and Falsification of Scientific Research, which is part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the methods of homeopathy contradict biological, chemical, and physical laws.

"Homeopathic diagnosis and treatment should be qualified as pseudoscientific," the memorandum said.

Furthermore, the Russian commission urges people not to confuse homeopathy with phototherapy, a use of plants for therapeutic purposes. It involves the use of plants with medicinal properties to treat relevant diseases.

Is Homeopathy Effective?

Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine developed by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796. It is based on a belief that a substance that causes symptoms of an illness in healthy people would cure the same symptoms among sick people.

For instance, a fly agaric mushroom causes hallucinations when eaten. According to homeopathy, the same mushroom should be used in small doses to treat hallucinations. However, there is not enough scientific data to prove that the mushroom has any medicinal qualities.

An Australian report published in 2016 concluded that homeopathy is ineffective in 0 out of 68 illnesses, calling the practice a "therapeutic dead-end."

"Though that body [of evidence] was mixed in size and quality, no clear signal of effectiveness emerged from the higher quality studies," said Paul Glasziou, a professor of medicine who led the study.

In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it does support the use of homeopathy against diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, infant diarrhea, influenza, and malaria.

In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to regulate homeopathic products. These products are currently regulated by the FDA. In September 2016, the FDA warned against the use of homeopathic gels and tablets as they may pose a risk to children and infants.

Prince Charles And Homeopathy

In 2016, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales shared in a conference that he had used homeopathy on his farm animals. The Prince said he chose homeopathy to treat his farm animals to reduce the use of antibiotics and prevent the emergence of antibiotic resistance, which has become a global threat.

Meanwhile, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH) suggests that homeopathy should not be used as a substitute for proven conventional care or a replacement to postpone seeking a health care provider about a medical issue. A homeopathic product should also be consulted with a health care provider first before being taken.

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