Australia’s top medical body has slammed the ancient medical practice of homeopathy, stating that it is “completely ineffective” for treating any condition.
Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have concluded that homeopathy is not effective for treating any health condition. The body arrived to the conclusion after undertaking an extensive review of existing studies.
NHMRC has, for the first time, thoroughly reviewed 225 research papers on homeopathy to come up with its position statement, released on Wednesday,
“Based on the assessment of the evidence of effectiveness of homeopathy, NHMRC concludes that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.”
To ensure the report is unbiased, NHMRC is said to have gotten an “independent company” to review its findings, which in turn appraised the evidence and attested the findings.
Homeopaths, or practitioners and believers of the treatment, firmly believe that substances that can actually cause illness, have the power to heal or treat unwell people if administered in minute doses. By diluting such substances in water or alcohol, homeopaths claim the resulting mixture retains a “memory” of the original substance that triggers a healing response in the body.
In simpler words, the homeopaths maintain that these potentially harmful substances “enhance” the immunity of the body and allow it to develop a resistance to diseases.
Though these claims have been widely discredited by multiple studies in the past, they were quickly dismissed as propaganda by the believers of homeopathy. Speaking about the same, Chairman of the NHMRC Homeopathy Working Committee, Professor Paul Glasziou, said,
“There will be a tail of people who won’t respond to this report, and who will say it’s all a conspiracy of the establishment. But we hope there will be a lot of reasonable people out there who will reconsider selling, using or subsiding these substances.”
Glasziou hopes the findings would lead private health insurers to stop offering rebates on homeopathic treatments, and force pharmacists to reconsider stocking them.
Studies at regular intervals claim that homeopathy is effective. However, NHMRC claims the quality of those studies has always been poor and suffered serious flaws in their design. Moreover these studies did not have enough participants to support the idea that homeopathy worked any better than a sugar pill. The study stopped short of confirming if homeopathy was risking people’s lives.[Image Credit | Careers360]