Even though homeopathy is used by 500 million people worldwide, animals are also being treated with these implausible concoctions that a new study by scientists at the Royal Veterinary College London are calling quackery.
The Daily Mail is reporting on the new research, led by Professor Peter Lees and published in Veterinary Record, which reviewed more than 50 animal trials over three decades and concluded that there is no way that homeopathic “medicines” can work.
‘It is scientifically implausible that homeopathy has any effect,” Professor Lees said. “It cannot have any benefit and by giving homeopathy you may be withholding alternative drug based products which may have some benefit. Ultimately homeopathy is quackery and using it may prolong suffering and shorten lives.”
For this reason, it has been deemed “unethical and outrageous” by researchers.
This new study follows a previous decision by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) to ban distribution of homeopathic remedies as part of a major cost-cutting drive.
Homeopathy has an enormous following in England, spurred by the support of Prince Charles. In spite of this, the NHS has stated that there is “no robust evidence” that homeopathy works and has launched a drive to stop British doctors from prescribing it.
Seven years ago, a House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report on homeopathy declared the remedies to perform no better than placebo in studies.
More recently, a 2015 report from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council studied the results of 200 studies on the effectiveness of homeopathy and determined that these treatments are no better than a sugar pill and have not been proven effective for any condition.
Based on the concept that like cures likes, homeopathy was founded by a German doctor named Samuel Hahnemann who claimed that a substance that causes symptoms can actually be used to cure those symptoms if taken in smaller amounts. For example, infinitesimal amounts of caffeine are used to treat insomnia and traces of pollen are used to treat hayfever.
These homeopathic solutions are created in a process of dilution in alcohol or distilled water along with shaking, which is known as succussion. Proponents say the more a substance is diluted, the more powerful it becomes. Even though some solutions are diluted until not even a trace of the substance remains, homeopaths believe water has a “memory” and remembers everything that ever touched it – a theory that is not supported by known science.