There is a measles outbreak in the Waikato and folks are presenting certificates of homeopathic prophylaxis against measles as proof of immunity, to avoid exclusion from school.
It is frightening to think that the holder of the certificate below is under the impression they have protection against the listed epidemic diseases.
Homeopathic products do not immunise against disease, nor do they treat it. They are no substitute for vaccines. Even the British Homeopathic Association recommends immunisation should be carried out in the usual way. The same cannot be said for the NZ Council of Homeopaths who appear blatantly antivax, evidenced by their erroneous assertions about vaccine safety, as would appear the NZ Homeopathic Society.
The principals of homeopathy defy the laws of physics, chemistry, biology and common sense, yet there are an abundance of websites and books that will tell you homeopathy works. Technically it is German Voodoo although perhaps in the eighteenth century it was safer than leeching and purging. Funny how leeching found its way to science-based medicine and homeopathy did not. That is because homeopathy is in no way science-based and the idea that water has a memory is mumbo jumbo which is easily invalidated – the science of thermodynamics springs to mind, along with what may happen when you fill an empty wine bottle with water, surely an everlasting supply of Pinot Gris?
The reason there is really no way homeopathy can work is because it relies on dilution to the point of extinction (nothingness). The key ingredient (perhaps duck liver or mercury) is serially diluted up to 200 times. The magic, we are told, is in the ‘imprint’ the molecules leave behind. If you believe a vial of nothing but water will protect you against measles you effectively believe in magic. That is ok but there is not a shred of evidence that it will work. Not even a tatter, or sniff. None. Zilch.
Perhaps in the 1800s it was understandable to believe in homeopathy. [click here for full article] Here is an article THE MEASLES EPIDEMIC. Waikato Times, Volume VIII, Issue 423, 2 February 1875, Page 2.
But today we have methods for looking at his stuff and I am afraid it does not stack up. [click here for full article]
I have no particular bone to pick with homeopathy. I am a great fan of the placebo effect and mind body medicine. Psychoneuroimmunology it is called. Fascinating field of science – this is the science behind the interconnectedness of the mind, the nervous system and the immune system.
What I get razzed up about is when people are led to believe that homeopathy is a substitute for science-based medicine such as immunisations via vaccination. Homeopaths can make their practice sound all sciencey, this is called pseudoscience, but it cannot and does not work the way people are sometimes led to believe.
Unfortunately pseudoscience thriving in NZ awaiting unwitting and well-intended customers (BTW, childhood vaccines are free in NZ). A quick web search found numerous websites and books suggesting just that.
…the information herein provides an avenue for the treatment of disease without the use of vaccination.
This practice of offering alternatives to immunisation is alive and well in NZ, for example Northland and recently during a measles outbreak in Waikato where parents have trotted out homeopathic vaccine certificates as proof of their child’s immunity.
Sadly, this certificate suggests to the holder that the aforementioned tonics have induced immunity to whooping cough, measles, polio, meningococcal disease, hepatitis B, influenza, diphtheria, mumps and rubella along with ‘constitutional clearance’ (whatever constitutional clearance is, sounds bad).
These are potentially devastating diseases and the administration of homeopathy in this context is a dangerous practice. Buyer be warned, homeopathy is an art, not science.