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Monday 17 May 2010

The popularity of homeopathy

Homeopaths are expecting more attacks from conventional medicine in the coming weeks and months. In particular, we suspect that the forces of Conventional Medicine, in the interest of the Big Pharma companies, will start a campaign to stop homeopathy being available to patients through the NHS (however limited this availability is currently). The campaign has already started, not least in the attacks on the Homeopathy hospitals.

Yet the subject was debated by Jeremy Vine today on BBC Radio 2. I only listened to the end of the debate, but what I heard, and certainly from his concluding comments, the popularity of homeopathy came through strongly from the majority of people who phoned and wrote into the programme. I was surprised and heartened by the number of people who gave evidence for homeopathy, denying that it was 'merely placebo', and outlined the way it has helped them, their families, their pets, and indeed farm animals. Many said they tried everything that Conventional Medicine gave to them, but nothing worked until they tried homeopathy - and homeopathy worked for them within a few weeks in many cases.

I should not have been surprised. Perhaps I listen too much to the denialists who write in, ad-infinitum, to this blog with their denials, their arrogant (usually implicit) support of ConMed treatment, their dismissal of all the personal testimony of homeopathy's effective, and the growing science that supports it.

Indeed, it was refreshing to hear from patients who have benefitted from homeopathy. Like homeopaths themselves, they are sometimes too quiet and their voice is unheard. I am confident that if the denialists, and Conventional Medicine supporters, launch their expected attack the availability of homeopathy on the NHS, it will serve mainly to raise the profile of homeopathy, and increase patient demand for it.