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Archive for Monday, September 27, 2010

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Treating like with like: Lawrence community increasingly turns to homeopathy

Farb harvests her garden with her youngest daughter Samantha, 12, at her Lecompton home.

Farb harvests her garden with her youngest daughter Samantha, 12, at her Lecompton home.

September 27, 2010

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“Word of mouth has led to a growing interest in homeopathy,” says Lowen Millspaugh, assistant wellness manager at the Community Mercantile, 901 Iowa. “More people want to take healing into their own hands and they like homeopathy’s lack of side-effects.”

Mehdi Khosh, a naturopathic doctor, is pictured in his office at Natural Medical Care, 4935 Research Park Way. Khosh says he’s been practicing homeopathic medicine for about 13 years.

Mehdi Khosh, a naturopathic doctor, is pictured in his office at Natural Medical Care, 4935 Research Park Way. Khosh says he’s been practicing homeopathic medicine for about 13 years.

JoAnn Farb is pictured with a drawer of various homeopathic remedies Thursday at her home. Farb became a believer in homeopathic remedies about 15 years ago when she sought the help of a homeopath in Australia for help with her daughter Sarina’s eczema.

JoAnn Farb is pictured with a drawer of various homeopathic remedies Thursday at her home. Farb became a believer in homeopathic remedies about 15 years ago when she sought the help of a homeopath in Australia for help with her daughter Sarina’s eczema.

Homeopathy is based on the principle “treat like with like.” For example, if you get itching, watery eyes and a runny nose from peeling onions and develop similar symptoms during an acute cold or allergy attack, a homeopath might prescribe a micro-dose of allium cepa (red onion) to help you recover. This approach contrasts with allopathic medicine’s general approach where symptoms are suppressed or eradicated with opposing substances like antibiotics.

Development of homeopathy

References to the “treat like with like” principle can be traced back to Greek physician Hippocrates (c.460-377 B.C.) and Persian physician, Avicenna (980-1037), who also emphasized the importance of considering the patient’s temperament and physiological type when deciding treatment options. His 12-volume “Canon of Medicine” and “Book of Healing” were used in European medical schools until the beginning of the 20th century, and are still used by homeopaths today.

For example, you and your partner may seek homeopathic treatment for acute, dry, hacking coughs. Your partner, with identical symptoms, may find they worsen during evenings or when she hot; she might like spicy food, have a fiery nature, and be taller and smaller-boned than you. Your cough may worsen in the mornings or when you’re cold, and you may have a sweet tooth and nature to match. You will each receive a different homeopathic remedy for your cough.

Homeopathy locally

Lawrence naturopath Mehdi Khosh, Natural Medical Care, 4935 Research Park Way, treats about 35 percent of his patients with homeopathy. He says some initial visits might last three hours but that it’s cost-effective in the long run.

“We don’t give a homeopathic remedy for a disease, we give the remedy for a person so it’s important to know them well,” he says. “I ask questions about their likes, dislikes, dreams, background, personality traits, fears and lifestyle. I also observe their outward appearance and gestures. Sometimes chronic conditions are rooted in childhood trauma, and I need to be sensitive to that. It’s important for me to give the right remedy so the person can begin to heal at all levels.”

JoAnn Farb, from rural Lawrence, has a microbiology background and didn’t believe in homeopathy until 15 years ago. During a visit to Australia her 1-year-old daughter’s eczema worsened, and friends recommended a homeopathic doctor.

“Six weeks after seeing the homeopath her eczema cleared completely, and I was totally surprised,” Farb says.

“I was amazed by the obvious outward changes. Her whole demeanor changed, and she lost her fear of the ocean and flying.”

Farb has used homeopathy since then with some pretty dramatic personal results.

“It’s particularly helpful for emotional issues,” she says.

Self-treatments

Mercantile customer Jevon Groenewold self-treats with homeopathic remedies

“I had severe asthma as a child and was dependent on strong medications,” he says.

“My mom took me to a homeopathic doctor, and after several treatments I came off medications and my immune system got stronger. I’ve been using it ever since.”

He uses ignatia, byronia and aconite remedies regularly.

Comments

frador 4 years, 2 months ago

This is major quackery. Supposedly the more diluted the substance, the stronger it is. Some of the "stronger" potions are diluted to the point that there would be a single molecule of the "effective" ingredient in all the oceans of the world. So it's basically water. There's no science whatsoever behind this.

nathanandrew 4 years, 2 months ago

This is wonderful news for Lawrence. There have been many clinical trials proving the effectiveness of homeopathy. The quackwatch-type comments above originate from big pharma - these companies are threatened by the loss of profits when people are healed through homeopathy.

frador 4 years, 2 months ago

There have been no clinical trials "proving" the effectiveness of homeopathy. According to A Systematic Review of the Quality of Homeopathic Trials, "Clinical homeopathic research is clearly in its infancy with most studies using poor sampling and measurement techniques, few subjects, single sites and no replication. Many of these problems are correctable even within a "holistic" paradigm given sufficient research expertise, support and methods."

It's magical thinking, pure and simple.

I have absolutely no connection with "Big Pharma." Sure, pharmaceutical companies make money. But they also have proven results. Sometimes they make mistakes. But they are heavily regulated. Homeopathic "medicine" has no regulation. And they make huge amounts of money.

I just like science. It works.

dontsheep 4 years, 2 months ago

Pharma does a great job treating symptoms. They do an even better job at causing additional problems. They are horrible at curing the cause.

Pharma spends $57B on direct to consumer advertising annually. How much profit do you think they generate? Homeopathic's profits are only a fraction of a percent in comparison.

frador 4 years, 2 months ago

I would still rather use something that's tested in well designed, clinical trials than something that's completely untested.

Don't get me wrong, pharmaceutical companies aren't good guys. They're companies that want to make a profit. Same as homeopathic companies. For this reason, many of big pharma companies are getting into homeopathy because of the complete lack of regulation and the much higher profit margin. They can make much more money on these supposed cures because there's effectively no active ingredient in the and you don't have to spend any money on r&d.

nathanandrew 4 years, 2 months ago

Actually, homeopathic remedies are regulated by the FDA.

Of course there are many more clinical trials of pharmacueticals - and the companies have billions to spend on these trials. And is this research biased...hmm, I wonder. How many times does a drug get pushed through to the market despite evidence that it causes harm only to be pulled once people start experiencing serious adverse reactions? I do think there is a place for modern western medicine and pharmaceuticals, but there is also a place for homeopathy. Millions of people throughout the world have experienced healing through homeopathy, so who are you to say it doesn't work? How can you speak about something if you haven't experienced it?

Below are a few blind and double blind studies published in respected peer reviewed journals such as Lancet, British Medical Journal, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

British Medical Journal 302-(Feb 1991 ):316-323 Kleignen, J et al-Clinical Trials of Homeopathy- Published review of 105 clinical trials with homeopathic remedies. Eighty one demonstrated effectiveness.

Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital- 1986-Homeopathic remedies proved 6 times as effective in controlling asthma as did placebo.

French Study-Cahrs de Biotherapie 94 (April 1987) 77-81-Double blind -Caulophyllum- Difficult deliveries-Remedy reduced labor time and decreased decreased abnormal labor. Labor time 5.1 hrs average in treated grp. but 8.5 hrs in placebo grp. Also, 11.3% of treated grp had abnormal labor compared with 40% for placebo group.

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology-9 (May 1980):453-459- Gibson, R.G. et al-Homeopathic Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthiritis-Double blind– 82% of patients experienced some relief compared with 21% for placebo.

Shipley M. et al. -Controlled trial of Homeopathic treatment of Osteoarthritis- Lancet -1 (1983) 97-98.

J. of Pediatrics- Diarrhea-Nicaragua- Remedies show effectiveness in relieving diarrhea in children. Controlled study.

Albertini , H. et al. Homeopathic Treatment of Neuralga Using Arnica & Hypericum: Summary of 60 observations - J. of American Institute of Hom.-78(Sept.’85) 126-128 -. 76% of those given Arnica and Hypericum experienced pain relief.

German Pharmacological Journal (Arzneim. Forsch/Drug Res., 34 (1984):1791-98- HomeopathicCombination formula reduced vertigo and nausea.

werekoala 4 years, 2 months ago

Gah!!! Homeopathy!

I swear to God we DESERVE to return to the Dark Ages! This BS majickal thinking crap is probably fine if you've got a number of vague, minor complaints that are probably half psychosomatic anyway. But if you've got a, y'know, actual serious medical problem, you probably should seek remedies that are tested in controlled, peer-reviewed settings. Or you could just listen to what some random guys said a few thousand years before the Enlightenment...

disclaimer: I have no connection to Big Pharma, and think they are some cold hearted evil bastards. It's just that right now they are at least semi-regulated into providing some non-anecdotal data about their products.

Oh, and I think one of the biggest crocks going is the FDA's refusal to evaluate the efficacy of herbal supplements, etc. It no doubt keeps many effective treatments from being studied since a drug company can't patent a naturally occuring plant. And no one else can afford to pay for the extensive trials it takes to get a substance cleared for consumer use.

If you ask me, that's a big indication that our current economic model of developing new health care treatments is terribly flawed, but that's another topic.

But seriously, F homeopathy, faith healers, and snake oil salesmen. It's kooks like you that make the rest of us who want some sensible change look like dumb hippies.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Medical insurance companies do not provide health care. Why pay them? Many with medical insurance have filed bankruptcy.

Pharmaceuticals do not cure anything. They relieve symptoms an M.D. once said.

Rest exercise and diet can be a major contributor to good health and a substantial immune system.

Once Maalox might have been a part of my life. Instead Aloe Vera Juice,liquid acidophilus and creamed papaya were suggested. The symptom disappeared and has never returned. This was more than 30 years ago. Acidophilus by way of yogurt is a daily matter because I learned it is excellent for the digestive system.

Homeopathy can work.

Green Vibrance, and whole food vitamins are fine for supplements but will never replace a produce aisle loaded with herbs,fruits and vegetables. The Merc carries several labels of all.

Also Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch is a good reference book for the home.

Kyle Reed 4 years, 2 months ago

"Homeopathy can work."

So can crossing your fingers and wishing upon a star. I don't think I'm going to bet my life it however.

If they want people to take this kind of thing seriously do some clinical trials. Otherwise hope for a starry night next time you get sick.

BorderRuffian 4 years, 2 months ago

Homeopathy isn't some insidious sort of anti-gay thing, it is?

booyalab 4 years, 2 months ago

I think homeopathy might get it right in some ways. There's the placebo effect and in the example of the patients with different eating habits, that can definitely effect the healing process. But on the first thing, why would you PAY someone so much money for what is essentially a prescription for a more optimistic outlook. On the second, the interaction between lifestyle habits and physical illness did nor originate and is not excluded to homeopathy. It's not about holistic wellness, it involves specific chemical processes that mainstream scientific medicine is well aware of. For instance, I'm getting over a cold and I wanted to make sure it doesn't turn into bronchitis like it often does with me. So I did some research online and found out that I have to avoid dairy and sugar because they both can lead to chest congestion. Now, a homeopath might have told me that. But she also probably would have told me a bunch of other things that would be completely redundant...like eat 2 grapefruits, drip some wax on your aura and sing to Gaia while doing yoga stretches on a hemp yoga mat sprinkled with linseed.

AlwaysHappy 4 years, 2 months ago

autie, I think you should seek some help to manage your anger. If you google I am sure there will a good Homeopathic remedy for it. Happiness brings good to your heart.

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