Lots of people swear by homeopathic medicines, but a small group thinks they should be banned. In the book “Think Like a Freak”, authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner tell us that the three hardest words in the English language are “I don’t know.” These three words are the reason for arguments against homeopathy.
We know homeopathic medicines work. We don’t know why. We don’t know how. We often fear what we don’t understand. Fear can lead to anger and accusations when we simply don’t know. Homeopathy is a bit like acupuncture, vaccinations, and prayer. They don’t seem logical, but we know they work sometimes. We don’t understand.
Why should you love your homeopath? There are lots of reasons:
1. For Love: Love your family, love thy neighbor, love your homeopath. Even if you don’t need a homeopath, your aunt, your grandmother, or grandchild might. The decision to love your homeopath expands your future – and the futures of your friends and family. Your health includes the health of those you love, and your communities.
2. For money. Homeopathic medicines are generally less expensive than patent medicines, which have prices driven by profit, not by cost nor benefit. Also many homeopathic medicines are designed to cure disease – while many patent medicines only treat symptoms by ongoing, expensive, subscriptions. Mahatma Gandhi, said “Homeopathy …. cures a larger percentage of cases than any other method of treatment and is beyond doubt safer and more economical and most complete medical science.”
3. For your bodies, minds, spirits, and communities. Homeopathy works. Sometimes it works after many other medicines have failed. Take a look around. Most of us have no difficulty finding a friend who swears by a homeopath in their past, or in their family. How is it possible that everyone can find instances where a homeopathic doctor was able to solve a problem, one that other doctors could not solve, while others claim that homeopathic medicines can’t work?
There are some who claim that homeopathic medicines should be banned because they work “no better than a placebo”. They don’t remember that a placebo is defined as ‘a lie from your doctor’. Nor that lies from your doctor work too. Of course they don’t mention that placebos often work so well that they embarrass medical researchers. No medicine works all of the time. Even a null medicine works some of the time. Patent medicines, homeopathic medicines, placebos, and even simple empathy, have each been tested in clinical studies – with some positive results and some negative results. Do those who suggest banning homeopathic medicines also suggest banning doctor empathy, or a patient’s hopes, and their family’s prayers?
4. Because you are royalty. Kings and queens have used homeopathy – with positive effects. The Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II has a personal physician – a homeopath. She has used homeopathic medicines for her pets as well. If it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for you.
5. Because someday you might need a chiropractor, a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Acupuncturist, an Osteopathic Doctor, an Ayurvedic practitioner, or even a midwife. Remember the famous speech by Martin Niemöller:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
Attacking homeopathy, suggesting it be banned, is a first step in the wrong direction. Many medical disciplines are attacked independently, with a goal to remove them all from your market, your freedom to choose. If we ban homeopaths, ask yourself – who’s next?
6. For Your Freedoms: Freedom to choose Homeopathy. Freedom to choose your medicines and treatments. There are many who might prefer that you have fewer freedoms, especially those with something to sell. There are many nonsense restrictions on your freedom to choose, and freedoms avoid, specific medical treatments. It’s your body, your mind, your spirit, and your life. You have the right to choose. Love your homeopath, to maintain your freedom.
7. For your symptoms. The medical model classifies all symptoms as indications of illness. It does not recognize that symptoms can be indications of healthiness, and seldom recognizes that symptoms can be indications of healing or fighting illness. Homeopathy looks at symptoms from a completely different viewpoint. When we have more viewpoints we see farther and find more effective treatments.
8. For your health. Today, it’s illegal to market a product that claims to ‘improves your health’, without reference to illness. All ‘health claims’ must reference ‘a disease or health related condition’. It is illegal to sell a ‘health product’ without a reference to scientific studies of ‘illness’. Medicine, is blind to health. Homeopathy challenges many medical dogmas, opening a door open to a more comprehensive, broader, more clear view of healthiness – not just illness.
9. For your Doctor. Whether your doctor is a homeopath or not, she might need access to homeopathic ideas and medicines. Homeopathy is practiced by many doctors, dentists, naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, physician assistants, nurses, even veterinarians, and more. If homeopathy is banned, these medical professionals will be limited, or forced to hide their beliefs and activities.
10. For science. Some argue that homeopathy cannot pass the tests of science. These are people who do not understand science. Science does not find truths, it asks questions and seeks answers. The answers it finds, if they are useful, raise higher, more important questions. When science is stifled, when science becomes illegal, we all lose.
The science of clinical studies is a valuable tool for medicine, but it is a very limited tool. Homeopathy challenges the limitations of clinical studies, which ignore individual cases, relying instead on statistical models. Complete understanding of medical issues, including homeopathy cannot be found solely by the science of clinical studies.
10. Because we don’t know. We don’t know how homeopathy works. We don’ t know why acupuncture works. We don’t know why empathy, or hope, or prayer works. But we know they can work. We need to accept that we do not know, and work to understand, not to ignore, dismiss, or reject them.
We know that homeopathic medicines work. But we don’t know how. We don’t know why. You’ve gotta love it.
11. Why stop at ten? Science doesn’t stop counting when it runs out of toes. Listing 10 reasons limits ability to explore, to know, and to understand. There are many more reasons to love your homeopath, because it’s the right thing to do. You can find more yourself, if you look for them.
For your fears: These days, we are surrounded by fear mongers. Sadly, this is nothing new. Fear has long been used to manipulate people. Dictators rely on fear to maintain power. Fear is used to enforce conformance. We fear terrorists, criminals, and drugs, and ‘those who don’t believe what we believe’.
There are people who would rather have you to fear your homeopath, your chiropractor, your acupuncturist, your Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, and more. So they can control.
Fight back. Love yourself, your family, your ability to choose, without fear, who provides your medical and health services.
Love your Homeopath, because your Homeopathic doctor cares about you and your health. Too much medicine is profit based, pursuing only corporate goals: growth, profit. Your homeopathic doctor is not interested in getting rich at your expense. Homeopath’s don’t get rich. Homeopathic doctors want to make you better, to make you healthier, to serve your family and your community. Many conventional doctors also want to make you healthier, but they can be trapped by a system of medicine, that pursues profit at all cost.
Love the rebel in you. Love your homeopath. Your homeopath is a rebel, like you. Supporting medicines that work. Rebelling against the limitations of “clinical studies medicine”, which often treat chronic disease with ongoing drug subscriptions for illness.
Because you are smart: There is a long history of people who are not so smart dismissing, or even banning what they don’t understand. It’s a history of darkness, of extended, intentional unknowing. Smart people are not afraid of ‘not understanding’.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” – and the right to make my own choices. We need to embrace what we understand with courage, and accept what we don’t understand, without rejection, if we are to move forward.
to your health, tracy
Think Like a Freak, Steven D Levitt & Stephen Dubner, Chapter 2: The Three Hardest Words in the English language.
USFDA Health Claim Definition: “A “health claim” by definition has two essential components: (1) a substance (whether a food, food component, or dietary ingredient) and (2) a disease or health-related condition. A statement lacking either one of these components does not meet the regulatory definition of a health claim.”