Friday, September 26, 2008

Reckeweg Prices.doc

The first link on is to word document listing the "Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg Prizes." It's just a list of awards, giving fragments of the abstracts for the "research" that justified the award. The awards were awarded by "The International Society for Homotoxicology".

It's important to note that the "research" involves products manufactured and marketed by

The document gives no real numbers, just the grandiose claims of the researchers. Since I already have a lot of data to go over, I'm not going to go spelunking for studies for which very little data is given. If anyone has links to the studies below, please post them in the comments section.

From the document:
The first Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg Prize was awarded in 1995 to Professor Ryszard Matusiewicz, M.D., of the Department of Internal Medicine of Gorchowski Hospital, Warsaw. Dr. Matusiewicz conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 40 asthmatic patients, all of whom required corticosteroid therapy. In addition to their standard medication, some of the patients received Engystol N while others took a placebo. The Engystol group experienced improvements in pulmonary function and were able to reduce their corticosteroid dosages significantly.

No information on where the study may have been published was given.

In 1996 the prize was shared between two contestants. Dr. Karl-Heinz Ricken of Saarlouis received the award for successful use of a combination of antihomotoxic medications in treating not only digestive disorders but also Helicobacter pylori infections of the gastric mucosa. The other prizewinners, chemist and pharmacist Dr. Alessandro Orlandini of the University of Brescia (Italy) and his two coauthors, also demonstrated noteworthy achievement, clinically confirming the protective effect of Zeel on cartilage cells.

Again, no publication data was given.

The struts of Homeopathy

I recently stumbled across what amounts to an op-ed piece by
By Dr. Patrick Massey entitled Homeopathy a viable alternative ... sometimes. Massey describes himself as the "medical director for complementary and alternative medicine for Alexian Brothers Hospital Network."

Finding the article full of nonsense, I decided to sign up and post a reply. You can see my replies under then name "The Comet" at the linked page above. Not surprisingly I got some replies proponents of Homeopathy. One of those replies contained a list of links to studies that allegedly demonstrate the effectiveness of Homeopathy. As I have a full time job, a wife and infant son, my time is scarce, so it will take a few days, perhaps weeks to go through the studies and address each one. I decided to start off with this post listing the alleged proof of Homeopathy. This is a starting point into my journey of discovery about Homeopathy.

As I said in the comments on the original essay by Massey:

I should point out however that your first linked to is the web site of a company that manufactures Homeopathic treatments. For years now, people claiming vaccines cause Autism have been claiming that all the studies done by pharmaceutical companies are "tainted" because they were done by people who profit from positive results. How then, do you justify the use of a Homeopathic "treatment" manufacturer as a source?

It's also necessary to point out that the page contains links to PDFs of the studies, NOT links to them on external sites. Were these studies even peer reviewed? I'll know more when I read them.

And the following presentation by Dr. Iris Bell, MD, PhD, in a presentation at a Homeopathy debate, gives a good overview of current Homeopathic research:
-- Citizen Jimserac

This last link is a blog post that has a LOT of links. I'll go through them one by one as time permits.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Homeopath hangs herself

Homeopath hangs self-Lucknow-Cities-The Times of India

The original article called her a "doctor" but then mentions her reliance upon Homeopathy. Anyone who thinks it's a bit heartless for me to comment on her suicide should take a look at the Homeopathy section of I don't have much empathy for a woman whose profession involved giving people water and telling them it's medicine.

Doctor's diary

Doctor's diary - Telegraph

The "Doctor's Diary" linked above is a perfect example of the "Argument form Ignorance." The author, James Lefanu claims that:

it is unreasonable, given the oceans of medical ignorance, to dismiss the experience of those who have benefited from acupuncture or homeopathy simply because we don't know how they work.

Lefanu goes on to list a battery of things he considers unexplained, as if this list somehow justifies an interest in Homeopathy. What he leaves out, the little detail he ignores is that a lot of research has already been done into Homeopathy and all of it has concluded that homeopathy performs no better than placebo. Science has demonstrated that homeopathy is nothing more than wishful thinking. Thee is no medical evidence that it actually works. Questions of HOW it would work IF it actually worked become moot.

It's pretty clear that James Lefanu's knowledge of medicine is pretty outdated. In the same article he claims:

There must be a reason why someone gets any of thousands of diseases in the medical text book - but what it is, we know not.

It's sad when someone writing an article entitled "Doctor's Diary" is entirely ignorant of germ theory.

Science Meets Magic in Talent Pharmacy East meets West in Talent pharmacy

The linked article above is a glowing review of a quack who mixes science based medicine with Homeopathy.

I don't think most people realize what a scam homeopathy really is. According to all the clinical research, it's no more effective than placebo. There aren't even any active ingredients in homeopathy. By the time you get a homeopathic "remedy" all you're getting is water. The Tribune should be investigating this quack for practicing what amounts to magic in treating patients, not lionizing him as if his fanciful "treatments" were considered valid by science based medicine.

Scam artists Offer Fake Flu "Immunization" and it's legal.

True Health Holistic Offers Oral Flu Immunization

I often wonder why these scam artist aren't arrested. A company named "True Health" is offering "homeopathic flu immunizations". Their press release makes it sound like this is a good thing.

"There are no dangerous chemicals used in the preparation of homeopathic immunizations"

Well, I suppose that's true. The thing is, all people are getting is water. The "medicine" has been diluted to the point where there's little to no chance of encountering even a single molecule of the alleged medicine. These "medications" flat out don't work. There has never been a properly constructed clinical trial that demonstrated any effect better than placebo. A placebo is, for anyone not familiar with the term, a substance used in trials so test subjects THINK they're getting an active component when they aren't. This means Homeopathy is, according to everything science can tell us, just as effective as taking a sugar pill.

Homeopathy degree suspended after criticism

The University of Central Lancashire has been offering undergrads a degree in homeopathic medicine. Now, thanks to the efforts of proponents of science based medicine the university has suspended the degree. While they'll process the poor saps who have already enrolled, they will not be accepting applicants for the 2009 school year.

Of course they haven't REALLY killed off the degree in magic, but have instead made it clear they're waiting to see how the climate changes with time. If interest in using distilled water that's been shaken properly as medicine increases then they'll not doubt resume accepting applications for the degree.

Personally, I think anyone with a degree from the University of Central Lancashire should be nervous. The adminsitration seems determined to turn the place into a diploma mill for random nonsense. No one wants to find their school reduced to a resume stain.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2008 Sucks

What happened to all McCain's talk about Obama not having enough
experience to be President? If McCain's elected he'll be the oldest
first term president in US history and the VP will be a woman with a
few years experience as the mayor of a 3,000 person town and less than
two years running a state that doesn't even have a full time
legislature. Let's be honest here, the average University President
faces more leadership challenges than this woman has.

Was he REALLY that desperate to counter Obama's celebrity status? It's
as if the Republicans and Democrats are TRYING to make the election as
pathetic as possible.

The Republicans are offering us a man who claims to have been tortured
during Vietnam, but according to the Bush administration definition of
"torture" (A definition McCain endorses) none of what McCain experienced
was torture
. He jokes about bombing Iran when our military is already
occupying two countries with literally one tenth the troops the
Pentagon said they would need. He calls his opponent "elitist" when he
doesn't even know how many houses he owns.

His VP has never had to deal with political issues on the national,
let alone global scale. The entirety of her political experience is in
a state that describes itself as a "big small town."

The Democrats are offering a man who is being positioned as the next
coming of JFK, all the while completely ignoring the fact that JFK was
a terrible president who escalated the Vietnam war. JFK was
charismatic and handsome but incompetent and elitist. Obama's
political experience ventures onto the national scale but he hasn't
been in congress very long. His "Obama 08 World Tour" may have been a
nice photo op, but in the end I doubt he really learned a lot about
global diplomacy. At least he's willing to meet with other leaders,
instead of demanding concessions before talks even start. The
Democratic VP seems to have been picked for having a personality
diametrically opposed to Obama's. He's the anti-charisma. It's as if
they wanted a ticket that averaged out to a "normal" degree of

You know the country is in trouble when a friend jokes about a Nader /
Perot ticket and you both realize it's probably a better option than
what's already on the table.

Wondering what ever happened to the Whigs,