If you’re at all familiar with alternative medicine, you’ve heard of homeopathy. The system was first developed in the late 18th century, and served — at least for a time — as a chief competitor to what is now mainstream Western medicine.
Unfortunately for proponents of the system — and I’m married to one — homeopathy is in unmistakable decline. Consider the situation in pro-homeopathy Britain, where the National Health Service covers the treatments:
Earlier this year, a report from the Commons Science and Technology Committee concluded that the principles of homeopathy are implausible and that the evidence fails to show that it works better than placebo. The MPs also criticised homeopaths for trying to mislead the public by providing inaccurate information. Their recommendation to government was to stop funding homeopathy on the NHS.
Then the Prince of Wales’s Foundation for Integrated Health, a staunch supporter of homeopathy in the NHS, folded in the midst of a police investigation for fraud and money laundering.
Last month, the British Medical Association described homeopathy as “witchcraft” and called for an end to all funding on the NHS.
A streak of bad luck? Not really. Homeopathy’s fortunes have been crumbling for quite some time. The evidence to suggest that it has effects beyond those of a placebo has become less and less convincing. In 2005, The Lancet even pronounced “the end of homeopathy.”
I’d be interested in hearing from others who have had experience with homeopathy, both pro and con.