Homeopathy is wholly capable of satisfying the therapeutic demands of this age better than any other system or school of medicine. ~ American physician Charles Menninger
In 1796, German physician Samuel Hahnemann claimed a medicinal treatment based on a “law of similars,” where “like cures like.” This notion gave rise to homeopathy: medicines made from substances causing similar symptoms in healthy people, prepared by serial dilutions until little or none of the supposed active ingredient remains.
In 1988, French immunologist Jacques Benveniste published an article in the magazine Nature, to the open skepticism of the publisher, of an experiment reportedly showing that water has a “memory” of the compound last diluted in it, even after dilution is repeated until no molecule of the diluted compound remains. Such a claim would provide scientific support for homeopathy, a treatment based upon such dilution. But Benveniste’s results were irreproducible.
Nature magazine called the idea of water memory “scientifically unacceptable, although this doesn’t yet seem to have affected the commercial success of homeopathy.” Nor perhaps should it.
Homeopathy as a purely medicinal treatment may be harmlessly ineffective, but placebos can be powerful medicine. A skilled, seemingly knowledgeable speaker imparts to someone willing to believe that healing power is within the patient’s grasp. That life-affirming belief alone positively affects the spirit, and thus the immune system. (While adults may self-deceive themselves to health, babies cannot. Treating infants homeopathically has an abysmal track record.) Beyond belief, homeopathy is bunk.
Homeopathy not only doesn’t work; it couldn’t possibly work. It is inconsistent with our basic knowledge of physics, chemistry, and biology. ~ American physician Harriet Hall