Homeopathic Remedies: Natural Miracle Cures, “Faith-Based Medicine,” or Plain Old Scam?

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Are alternative homeopathic treatments—which produce no provable results according to science, yet which are still recommended by some doctors—some combination of natural remedy and mind game?

“Ultimately, who gives a damn whether it’s scientifically proven if it works? … There are very valid questions about how it works, but whether it’s my mind or the product, it’s working and it’s working without side effects.”

That’s the argument for homeopathic remedies presented by Anthony Qaiyum, the co-owner of a large homeopathic pharmacy in Chicago, quoted in a recent Chicago Tribune story. He has a point. If you feel that some vitamin or herb is helping, then it’s helping. Then again, I’m sure that centuries ago, people genuinely felt that leeches helped ease their arthritis or chronic back pain.

For some doctors and scientists, the prospect of unproven, scientifically unfounded treatments is   borderline insulting. The Tribune sums up the sentiment of homeopathy critics here:

Few things rile scientific skeptics more than homeopathy, a baffling form of alternative medicine in which patients are given highly diluted  Continue reading