Homeopathy: Myths and Facts About Globules

Thinking in analogies, sugar spheres with a "potentiated" dilution and a spirit-like force in matter - these are the basics of homeopathy. In popular ideas, homeopathic remedies are somewhere between home-made sage tea, daily horoscope and aspirin.

Medicines yes, but somehow gently and without side effects, because it is good naturopathy in contrast to the bad pharmaceutical industry, and because homeopathy is holistic instead of just treating symptoms. Such ideas are as common as they are wrong. The following article clarifies and deals with some of the most common myths about homeopathy.

The placebo effect

“A placebo effect hurts homeopathic honor and seems to contradict practical success. Indeed, it is a narcissistic insult to leave the position of grandiose healer and allow banal medical and scientific facts instead. Yes, the placebo effect can do amazing things, the regression to the middle does the rest, and symptoms also change randomly. Especially in a benevolent “holistic view” environment. It's hard to accept that nothing else is responsible for such a change. ”Natalie Grams

Myth 1: Homeopathy is naturopathy

Homeopathy associates sellers and buyers of homeopathic remedies with naturopathy. Naturopathy in the narrow sense means healing with means that are not produced synthetically. Naturopathy includes medicinal plants or minerals on the one hand, and "forces of nature" such as heat, cold, water or air on the other. Hot baths, alternating showers, Kneipp cures, sage tea or saunas are all methods of naturopathy - homeopathy is not.

Samuel Hahnemann, the inventor of today's homeopathy, suspected a "spiritual power" as the cause of illnesses and was specifically directed against the "herbal medicine" of his time.

Everything that causes a symptom as a "mother tincture" can serve as a remedy in homeopathy, not only plants, but also dog excrement, pig embryos or plutonium. By dilution, the finished agent actually contains nothing of the starting material.

Homeopathy critic Norbert Aust is particularly bothered by the term medicine: “Every medicine is associated with an effect on the patient that starts from something that is effective. These do not necessarily have to be active ingredients, also warmth, physical influence (massages), or conversations are known to have a positive or negative effect.

This is precisely not the case in homeopathy, which sees itself as drug therapy. In medium potencies, the active ingredient is contained in hardly measurable amounts, in high potencies no longer at all, even though these preparations in particular are said to have increased effectiveness. "

According to him, homeopathy is not a medicine, but a salvation teaching: “Homeopathy is therefore a salvation teaching that assumes that evaporation residues from shaken water on sugar have a specific efficacy based on the non-existent mother tincture. These can be as natural as they want: it is not a real medicine. "

The critic Natalie Grams adds: "Naturopathy can have specific effects and is the basis of many of our normal medications (e.g. penicillin, digitalis), homeopathy is a humbug from times long past and has nothing to do with medicine and nature in two ways."

Grams writes: “The popularity of homeopathy is based, among other things, on the serious misunderstanding that it belongs to naturopathy. That is wrong. For example, there is talk of herbal ingredients and the method is described as natural. But due to the extreme thinning, these herbal ingredients are no longer in the preparations. "

Naturopathy comes from traditional experience medicine, and this tradition came about because the remedies for the same illnesses always had the same effect. Many synthetically manufactured drugs are nothing more than substances made from plant-based medicines that have been tested using evidence-based medicine.

Naturopathy is therefore based on natural means, and these are means from the material environment of man. This also includes physical effects. Scientific methods have long proven the healing effects.

Naturopathy, however, is not a belief in spiritual powers that haunt the world, in demons, angels or divine miracles. Samuel Hahnemann explicitly rejected the treatment of the body in the physical-material sense - as well as the connection between dose and effect of a medicine, which should not cover a disease by a stronger similar disease, but should combat the disease.

However, a sage tea also fights a sore throat instead of trying to trigger a sore throat. When homeopaths describe themselves as natural healers, they contradict their esoteric founding father.

Myth 2: Science isn't far enough to explain the effects of homeopathy

Norbert Aust writes: “Despite all the criticism of homeopathy, we see Hahnemann as someone who has used the methods of his time to come to new knowledge. He had no way of knowing his mistakes, because falsification as an essential scientific principle was only introduced into scientific theory long after his death. ”

Homeopaths claim that the “information about the active ingredient” is transferred to a solvent by shaking it as a “spiritual power”. This stores the information and remembers it.

A critic writes: “In the preparation Belladonna D30, the starting substance is diluted 30 times in succession by a solvent such as alcohol or milk sugar. From the 24th dilution stage, however, there is no Belladonna molecule in the solution, but it should still work. It is similar to throwing a car key into the Main in Würzburg and then trying to start the vehicle with the Mainwasser in Frankfurt. ”

Active ingredients are characterized by the fact that they work regardless of the belief of the consumer: heroin as well as alcohol, aspirin as well as sage tea.

"Science" has been able to explain very well why the mechanism of action believed by Hahnemann cannot exist. If there were a memory in the water and a spirit-like force, a fifth basic physical force could necessarily be derived from it.

All physical theories, for example electrodynamics, quantum mechanics or relativity, are based on only four basic forces.

Vince Ebert writes: “If there was really a fifth basic force, our world would look completely different. It would work according to completely different laws of nature, which would then be observed in many other areas. And because that is not the case, the postulated mechanism of homeopathy does not exist. ”

Natalie Grams adds: “The principle of similarity doesn't work. Similarity is a human way of thinking and seeing. Nature has no similarities. What is similar to people is far from being a healing principle. Analogy conclusions are also not a scientific criterion. "

It is exactly the opposite: Samuel Hahnemann was not yet far enough to apply systematic methods of modern science - science is much further today.

Myth 3: Homeopathy works, as studies have shown

“Studies” that prove the effectiveness of homeopathy are either not statistically significant, not reproducible, methodologically weak because of no blinding and with few participants, or they do not test the effect at all because they ask how satisfied users are with a certain homeopathic remedy that says nothing about a real effect.

The English House of Commons came to the following results in 2009:
1. Homeopathy has no advantages over placebos
2. If patients report successes, 1 is true anyway
3. The National Health Service should not pay for homeopathy

All methodically strong studies with double blindness, many participants and good randomization showed no effect that exceeded the placebo effect. Extensive examinations at an early stage were devastating. The series of examinations of the Reich Health Office (1936-1939) were just to find evidence that homeopathy as "Germanic medicine" was superior to the evidence-based "Jewish medicine". But the result was devastating. The same applies to Martinis drug testing of homeopathic drugs on healthy people between 1939 and 1955.

Dagny Lüdemann summarizes: "All previous studies have shown that the agents based on extreme dilution - manufactured according to the theories of the German Samuel Hahnemann from the 18th century - have no health effect that goes beyond that of a dummy medicine (placebo). The most recent overview study commissioned by the Australian health authority NHMRC came to a devastating result in 2015 after evaluating more than 1,800 homeopathy studies: no homeopathic remedy could be recommended for any conceivable condition (here the NHMRC report as PDF). Those who do without traditional remedies in favor of homeopathy are even in danger. "

The emeritus professor at the University of Exeter, Edzard Ernst, adds: “Whatever we do, the current study situation does not prove the effectiveness of homeopathy. And it should be thought that this has not clearly succeeded in over 200 years. Homeopaths earn their living by saying the opposite - maybe everyone has the right to their own opinion, but certainly not to their own facts! ”

Myth 4: Homeopathy is holistic

In 1946, the WHO defined holistic health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of illness or ailment."

Holistic medicine sees people as a fixed, but open system to the outside world. The parts of this system are related to each other as well as to the system as a whole and to the outside world.

The factors of one's own person (psyche and body), the social environment (relationships, relatives, friends, colleagues, the world of work, community and society) and the natural environment (water, air, earth, climate, weather) contribute to illness and health etc.), the artificial environment (technology, science etc.) and the worldview (philosophy, ethics, ideology, religion etc.). All of these factors are related and holistic medicine means considering their interactions.

A "conventional" doctor checks the history of an illness. He asks about the accompanying circumstances. For high blood pressure, for example, he sees whether the patient is moving enough, suffering from obesity, smoking, drinking alcohol etc. The social environment also plays a role: Is the person at work or in the family highly negative Exposed to stress etc.? The doctor inquires about general health, takes into account genetic stress etc.

A “school doctor” doesn't just prescribe medication. A patient with a headache, the cause of which is tense shoulders, will also recommend massages or heat cushions. He will recommend a balanced diet to a patient with high blood pressure or relaxation exercises for stress-related illnesses.

An entire team often works together on complicated illnesses that include a psychosomatic component, especially serious illnesses that also put a strain on the psyche, such as cancer: specialists, psychotherapists and physiotherapists, as well as neurologists and physiotherapists. They all take very different factors into account and then coordinate a combination of different therapies: cancer surgery and chemotherapy are followed, for example, by movement therapy in the rehab clinic and a weekly session with a talk therapist.

The explanation of homeopathy, on the other hand, is not only wrong, it is monocausal: every disease therefore has the same origin and is treated by the doctor causing a complex of symptoms. The healing of the disease “proves” whether and how these symptoms show up.

A critic writes: “To heal the sick simply by eliminating their symptoms is absurd! Because diseases have causes, and this is exactly where scientific medicine comes in to treat in a targeted manner. "Experience medicine" and "holism" are not a characteristic of homeopathy. All scientific medicine, which is so derogatively called "conventional medicine", is based on it. "

"Conventional medicine" is therefore holistic, if holism means assuming an effective structure of different factors that have to be included both for the development of the disease and for its healing.

A critic writes: “The homeopathic method is based on the recording of a symptom description as far as possible, not on the diagnosis of diseases. The illness itself is - only - the disruption of the "vital force", which manifests itself in symptoms and - this is important - is not questioned at all with regard to the reasons for its origin, its deeper causes. There can be no question of "holism" in the sense that it is used today as a catchphrase. "

So homeopathy is the exact opposite of a holistic examination and treatment of diseases - its explanations are monocausal, and it is devoted exclusively to symptoms.

What does holistic mean? Consider different causes when symptoms weaken? Avoid unrelated causal relationships? Examine mechanisms of action with honest methods and meta studies? In this sense, homeopathy is not holistic, but a religious concept that sells psychic symbols as substances - as "holistic" as the blood of Jesus at the sacrament in the Catholic Church.

Myth 5: Homeopathy addresses the cause, conventional medicine only the symptoms

Samuel Hahnemann wrote in his main work Organon: "Since you can now perceive nothing else than an illness, from which there is no obvious cause or maintenance cause (causa occasionalis), the disease signs, so it must [...] to be only the symptoms by which the disease demands the medication suitable for its help and can refer to it ... in a word, the totality of the symptoms for the medical artist must be the most important thing, indeed the only thing, that he has in every case of illness recognize and take away through his art so that the disease is cured and turned into health. "

Evidence-based medicine heals countless illnesses because it knows their cause. This also applies to disease prevention. Hahnemann, on the other hand, denied the cause of infections caused by viruses and bacteria - he considered a disrupted life energy to be the trigger.

Knowing and treating the cause, for example, led to vaccination programs that no longer pose a threat to large parts of the world today through the scourges of humanity such as smallpox, plague, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and even rabies.

Deficiency diseases can also be treated very well precisely because the cause is known: rickets, a consequence of vitamin D deficiency, is hardly an issue today in industrialized countries.

Without knowing the cause of an illness such as a tumor, poisoning by mold, parasites or nerve disorders, it would not be possible to treat it “in conventional medicine”.

So while "conventional medicine" doesn't just "treat symptoms", this is by definition the basis of homeopathy. Hahnemann only observed symptoms of diseases and agents that are supposed to artificially produce comparable symptoms.

He explained illnesses with a spirit-like power and the "life energy", esoteric fantasies, which are not anchored in reality. Homeopathy presupposes these fictions as the cause of diseases: Hahnemann and his successors do not systematically search for the causes of diseases.

Myth 6: The "first aggravation" shows that globules work

Samuel Hahnemann believed that artificially triggering a "major illness" with the same symptoms would mask the original illness. These triggering globules would then be discontinued and the disease would be cured. That is why homeopathic remedies use an "initial worsening", which means that the symptoms get worse at first.

This idea explains the supposed effects of homeopathic remedies. Infectious diseases usually run with a regression towards the middle: the fever begins, then it rises rapidly and decreases again.

For example, if someone initially takes globules for a flu-like infection, the symptoms will naturally increase (as well as without globules) and then decrease. If someone takes the sugar globules and the symptoms improve (as well as without globules), this also shows the effect for believers in homeopathy. If the symptoms remain the same (as without globules), the homeopath, according to Hahnemann, looks for other globules that work. If the symptoms decrease at some point (as well as without globules), this again speaks for the effect of the remedies.

In other words: Since disease symptoms can generally only improve, remain the same or worsen, the effect of the globules is proven in the eyes of the user in any case. So it is classic self-deception.

The idea of ​​"initial aggravation" can have dire consequences for patients when it comes to serious illnesses.

One affected person reports: “A few years ago my wife asked me to see a doctor for homeopathy because of my allergic asthma, because it would be nice not to be dependent on this bad cortisone anymore. I complied with the request. The doctor took a medical history and then gave me globules on a plastic spoon, noting that I no longer had to worry about my asthma.

I followed the instructions and took the globules according to the instructions. At night I almost suffocated from an asthma attack. I am still alive only with the right medication, emergency spray (salbutamol) and cortisone spray. After that, homeopathy died for me. When my wife went to see the doctor at some point, she asked why I would never have come again. She reported my asthma attack. As a result, the doctor mumbled something about initial aggravation. But she never told me about it, and I would also be dead now because of the initial deterioration. "

Myth 7: Homeopathy is a modern therapy

Samuel Hahnemann's homeopathy is based on the belief in a spiritual force in matter - hence the fiction of "information" in water. He took the idea of ​​treating something similar with something similar from the signature theory of the Middle Ages: Accordingly, mistletoe helped against epilepsy because it did not fall off the tree, and the belladonna was supposed to help against rabies, because both made "mad".

Hahnemann believed in astrology and esotericism, in mystical forces that are invisibly buzzing around in existence. His worldview came from antiquity and the Middle Ages and was influenced by religion. Homeopathy is based on a vertical view of the world, in which everything in heaven and earth and of course in the human body is connected in hierarchies and analogies.

This thinking can be explained excellently with today's knowledge about the organization of our brain: Our fast associative thinking constantly forms patterns on the basis of which we orientate ourselves in the environment. These familiar patterns, which are stored as memories, have nothing to do with natural mechanisms of action outside of humans.

Our associative thinking connects deadly cherries and rabies, mistletoe and epilepsy and weaves them out, literally, in the imagination. Hahnemann and his disciples do not represent an “alternative” but a pre-scientific world view of a time when people believed that the earth was a disk and the unicorn really existed.

Homeopathy contradicts evolutionary science in biology, thermodynamics in physics, contradicts chemistry, and in particular contrasts with scientific medicine and modern knowledge of the human body.

Myth 8: So I have had the experience that globules work

Homeopathy fans like to refer to their own experiences in discussions - mostly as soon as studies find no evidence that homeopathic remedies work beyond the placebo effect, medical historians discuss the traditional assumptions behind Hahnemann's constructs, or scientists note that the assumed mechanism of action of homeopathy is not scientifically scientifically can exist.

An individual "experience" is a manslaughter argument, more precisely, no argument at all. Likewise, someone can tell about his experience of God, which showed him that God exists - and no one else can dispute this experience because he did not have it himself.

On the one hand, the reference to your own experience in discussions is dishonest, because no one else can test it. Dishonest also means that such claims have no scientific significance.

On the other hand, your own experience is deceptive at the latest when it serves as evidence of the effect of something. If experience means that I was sick, then I got well, it says nothing about the effects of globules - unless factors that also provide explanations are sufficiently taken into account.

Here postmodern arbitrariness coincides with Hahnemann's premodern thinking. The basis of Hahnemann's homeopathy is a prime example of a fallacy from personal experience. He fell ill after eating Chinese bark, which was a remedy for malaria at the time. Then he believed that his symptoms were congruent with malaria and concluded that remedies that triggered similar symptoms cured an illness.

Today we know that the symptoms he developed firstly did not come from the Chinese bark and secondly did not match those of malaria. For example, he had no fever. However, even if the symptoms were the same, there are innumerable causes that can trigger similar symptoms because the human body has only a limited repertoire of such expressions.

Michael Hohner writes on “As a rule, new discoveries begin with someone being puzzled. But science starts at this point, it does not end with “it works for me”. If you want to find out whether it was really your homeopathic mixture that brought about the improvement, then you just have to carry out a systematic check, as just described. You do it precisely because you can be very easily mistaken, even people “who don't let fairy tales be told” (because they do). The clinical trial is ultimately a protection against human fallibility. ”

Myth 9: Chemically explaining homeopathy is like scientifically testing the phrase "I love you"

A homeopathic supporter wrote this against critics who referred to randomized studies that showed that homeopathic remedies have no effect beyond the placebo effect.

Without wanting to, he confirmed the position of the critics by claiming that homeopathy works like a placebo. The phrase "I love you" to blow a child on a wound and generally suggest to a sick person "we will take care of you" is namely crystal-clear placebo effects.

Placebo effects refer to positive psychological and physical reactions that are not due to the chemical effectiveness of a drug, but to the psychosocial setting of the therapy.

Now homeopaths claim a completely different mechanism of action. According to them, the globules do not serve as placebos, i.e. as pseudo medications with symbolic meaning, but act because of their alleged potentiation.

The effect of homeopathy can actually be explained in a similar way to the phrase "I love you". Above all, the sick child internalizes that mom cares and gives him a globule when the child is doing badly.

Placebos, in other words self-suggestion, act directly on the neurotransmitters and hormones and change the work of the brain, while the mechanisms of action believed by Hahnemann do not exist and are not unsolved puzzles, but are based on a refuted understanding of medicine.

Myth 10: Globules also work on children and animals, so they are not placebos

Because of the psychosocial care that dogs and children have, placebos are even more effective than adults. Above all, the "affected" experience that parents or their owners are concerned about them.

The intuitive connection between toddlers and their mothers is extremely strong. The infant recognizes subtle signals and reacts to them - this is vital. Mother and child feel that they have done the right thing, and both are doing well.

Natalie Grams writes: “Homeopathy is now particularly adept at using these two mechanisms. On the one hand, she administers tablets without active ingredients and she often combines this with a ritual of care, empathy and the strength of good experiences. The globules therefore have the meaning "I will give you help, dear child" and without this being necessarily expressed in words. "

Homeopathy is expressly medically oriented, and the globules therefore reinforce the effect "I will help you". Mother and child expect the globules to work and the placebo effect to work.

Dogs and cats also have very fine antennas for the feelings of their owners - for example, dogs could feel "master" epileptic seizure before he notices anything himself. Dogs smell fears and other moods and react intensely when someone turns to them. “Suffering” cats can be pacified, and rituals are very important to them.

In addition, animals cannot talk, and since homeopathy followers primarily give globules to their favorites, they are convinced of the positive effects and interpret the behavior of the animal accordingly. It remains to be seen whether Fiffi is really sad or happy. In addition, animals have excellent self-healing powers, and the keeper really only sees a completely natural process when the symptoms subside.

Myth 11: Globules may work as a placebo, but they don't harm either

Norbert Aust writes: “Children obviously have to work like clockworks and the daily routine is structured accordingly by taking globules. To the delight of the homeopathy industry, they see "diseases" and "disorders" that no responsible conventional medical professional would consider a disease worth treating. "

According to Grams, the globule-believing parents give other globules if the first do not “work”. Then cure the disease on its own, the symptoms disappeared on their own, and both mother and child are convinced of the effect of the globules. And the next time you sniff, the game repeats itself.
According to Aust, the children would be dependent on a magical ritual: "They will learn that there is nothing that simply goes away and does not require special attention and treatment."

This limits self-confidence and can be dangerous in serious illnesses. Instead of looking for effective methods to combat the cause, such as infection, believers try one globule after another, missing valuable time in which the disease progresses.

Grams schreibt: „Es gibt Homöopathen, die meinen, sie können chronische Krankheiten wie Diabetes, Asthma oder gar Krebs damit heilen. Das ist nicht harmlos, sondern gefährdet die Gesundheit der Patienten, wenn eine wirksame Behandlung verzögert wird.“ Denn Rituale, Glauben und Placebos machen schwere Erkrankungen zwar erträglicher, heilen sie aber in der Regel nicht.

Ein Kritiker schreibt: „Scheintherapien können sehr wirkungsvoll sein und es spricht nichts dagegen diese gezielt anzuwenden. Ich mache das bei kleinen Wehwehchen von meinen Kindern gern (Blessur pusten, angewärmte Zwiebel bei Ohrenschmerzen etc.). Mit dem festen Glauben an bessere Wirksamkeit von Homöopathika geht aber leider oft auch das Misstrauen gegen andere Pharmazeutika einher, wodurch es dann zu einem stärkeren Nocebo-Effekt kommen kann. Solange der bessere Therapieerfolg von Homöopathie nicht wissenschaftlich nachgewiesen werden kann, gibt es für mich kein überzeugendes Argument dafür, dass Globuli nehmen besser sein sollte als beten.“

Mythos 12: Wer heilt, hat recht

Diese Aussage trifft zwar vordergründig zu. Ein Arzt, aber auch ein Schamane oder Medizinmann, der erfolgreich Krankheiten heilt, ist glaubwürdiger als ein „Heiler“, dessen Patienten dahin siechen.

Das entbindet aber nicht von einer systematischen Untersuchung, warum Heilungen wirken. Es schmälert zum Beispiel Heilerfolge eines Schamanen überhaupt nicht, wenn die Neurowissenschaften feststellen, dass seine Methoden die Selbstheilungskräfte des Körpers aktivieren und eine psychotherapeutische Funktion haben, aber nicht auf das Wirken von Geistern oder Dämonen zurück gehen.

Wenn also in einer homöopathischen Behandlung das besondere Verhältnis zwischen Arzt und Patient, die psychosoziale Beziehung und der Glaube an die Wirkung der Globuli Heilungsprozesse verstärken, hat der homöopathische Heiler trotzdem nicht recht, wenn er behauptet, dass der Grund für die Heilung eine geistartige Kraft ist.

Um überhaupt die Aussage zu treffen „wer heilt, der hat recht“, müssen alternative Gründe für die Heilung ausgeschlossen sein. Da hapert es bei der Homöopathie gewaltig. Spontanheilungen, die Regression zur Mitte oder Krankheiten, die von selbst heilen, werden so der Wirkung der Globuli zugeschrieben; die normale Kurve zwischen Aufstieg und Abfall von Symptomen liegt im homöopathischen Denken an den homöopathischen Mitteln.

Die ehemalige Homöopathin und heutige Homöopathie-Kritikerin Natalie Grams zum Beispiel war bei der Behandlung von Patienten erfolgreich, sieht aber heute klar, dass für diesen Erfolg nicht die Homöopathie verantwortlich war.

Auch Ärzte der Antike und des Mittelalters nutzten oft richtige Methoden, hatten dafür aber falsche Erklärungen. Heute haben wir Möglichkeiten, zu erkennen, warum ihre Methoden wirkten, die die Menschen in ihrer Zeit nicht hatten. Wer recht hat, erklären heute Studien.

Mehr als 100 wissenschaftliche Studien brachten keinen belastbaren Nachweis für eine Wirksamkeit homöopathischer Arzneimittel, die über den Placebo-Effekt hinausgeht.

Mythos 13: Wissenschaft kann nicht alles erklären – Medizin ist nicht nur Naturwissenschaft

Das ist sicherlich ein Argument, weil ein guter Arzt auch immer ein „Künstler“ ist. Es heißt aber nicht im Umkehrschluss, alles behaupten zu können und sich jeder Prüfung zu entziehen. Dann wäre es nämlich keine Medizin, sondern Religion.

Auch in antiken Kulturen und in Gesellschaften außerhalb Europas basiert Medizin auf überliefertem Wissen. Traditionelle Kulturen hatten zwar nicht die Instrumente der modernen Naturwissenschaft zur Verfügung, sie kannten sich aber mit Heilmitteln aus überlieferter Erfahrung hervorragend aus.

Ob, warum und welche Mittel traditioneller Kulturen wirken, zum Beispiel Chinarinde oder Salbei, den Indigene Amerikas als heilenden Rauch nutzen, lässt sich wissenschaftlich nachweisen.

„Geistige Heilungen“ von Schamanen lassen sich wissenschaftlich ebenfalls ausgezeichnet erklären. Wir können heute nämlich messen, welche Hormone und Botenstoffe der Körper aussendet, oder Zauberrituale als mentales Training würdigen, bei dem sich Bewegungen und geplante Handlungen in den Synapsen verankern, um in der entsprechenden Situation abrufbar zu sein.

Die Behauptung, Homöopathie stehe außerhalb der Grenzen (natur-)wissenschaftlicher Erklärungen ist eine bewusste oder unbewusste Ausflucht, weil sich „homöopathische“ Wirkungen inzwischen hervorragend erklären lassen, nämlich als Selbstsuggestion.

Mythos 14: Homöopathie ist keine Religion, sondern alternative Medizin

Religion ist ein Sammelbegriff für Weltanschauungen auf der Basis des Glaubens an Transzendenz, also an überirdische, übernatürliche und übersinnliche Kräfte. Diese Kräfte lassen sich nicht wissenschaftlich beweisen, sondern nur intuitiv und individuell erfahren.

Samuel Hahnemann setzte als Wirkmechanismus eine geistige Kraft in der Materie voraus. Damit zitierte er die mittelalterliche Vorstellung, dass Gott das Universum harmonisch geordnet hätte und in der gesamten Schöpfung sein Geist lebe.

Diese Vorstellung ist gänzlich religiös. Wer an Vorstellungen festhält, die wissenschaftlich widerlegt sind wie an die Grundannahme der Homöopathie, dass diese Vitalkraft als Lebensenergie im Körper steckt, glaubt. Wer glaubt, obwohl wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse zu gänzlich anderen Ergebnissen kommen, hängt einer Religion an.

Mythos 15: Homöopathische Medikamente lassen sich nicht mit den gleichen Verfahren prüfen wie herkömmliche Medizin

Warum nicht? Wenn Globuli eine Wirkung haben, dann lässt sich diese Wirkung in randomisierten Verfahren testen. Es geht dabei nicht einmal darum, wie etwas wirkt, sondern darum, dass es wirkt. Die Wirksamkeit von Paracetamol zum Beispiel ist durch Studien hinreichend belegt, auch wenn wir bis heute nicht genau wissen, wie es wirkt.

Ein Kritiker gibt zu bedenken: „Homöopathie ist wie Onkel Doktor Spiele für Erwachsene – man bekommt „echte“ Arzneimittel aus „echten“ Apotheken mit „echt“ klingenden Namen (auch wenn es wie im Spiel am Ende immer die gleichen Zuckerpillen sind) und um mitzuspielen braucht man nicht mühsam erst einmal Medizin zu studieren und Unmengen an Spielregeln auswendig zu lernen – nein jeder der an das Spiel glaubt darf auch mitspielen – und wenn er will auch seine eigenen Spielregeln erfinden. Irgendwelche Belege für den Sinn der ausgedachten Spielregeln werden i.A. von den Mitspielern nicht verlangt – erlaubt ist was gefällt.“

Natalie Grams schreibt: „Wasser kann keine Informationen speichern. In Wasser kann man nicht schreiben. Wenn man es trotzdem tut, kann man das Geschriebene nicht lesen. Die Idee von „Molekülclustern” hilft nicht weiter: Die entscheidenden Wasserstoffbrückenbindungen ändern sich in jeder Sekunde 1 Billion mal. Auch die Quantenphysik hilft nicht weiter. Wo nichts ist, kann nichts wirken.“

Mythos 16: Homöopathie ist eine nichtkommerzielle Alternative zur Profitgier der Pharmakonzerne

Natalie Grams erörtert: „Es wird gern der Eindruck vermittelt, Globuli wachsen an Biobäumchen und werden der Allgemeinheit geschenkt. Das stimmt nicht! Sie werden von Pharmaunternehmen produziert, die damit Geld verdienen. Diese Firmen profitieren, wenn positiv über eigentlich wirkungslose Zuckerkügelchen geschrieben wird. Dass Journalisten solche Artikel verfassen, finde ich höchst fragwürdig.“

Ein Kritiker schreibt: „Glauben Sie denn allen Ernstes homöopathische Globuli würden ehrenamtlich durch freiwillige Homöopathiegläubige hergestellt? All die großen Hersteller von Globuli und ähnlicher Pseudomedizin (ob DHU, Weleda, Heel und wie sie alle heißen) sind Mitglied im Bundesverband der pharmazeutischen Industrie. Von den Gewinnspannen der Globulihersteller können andere Hersteller nur träumen. Entwicklungskosten = 0; Kosten für die Zulassung: kleiner 10.000 Euro; Risiko einer Nichtzulassung: praktisch gleich 0; Materialkosten: praktisch vernachlässigbar da nur Zucker. Herstellungkosten: Verschütteln und Verdünnen erfordert weder aufwendige Maschinen noch qualifizierte Mitarbeiter. Der einzige Haken an dieser „Gelddruckmaschine“: Weltweit gesehen spielt Homöopathie nur eine winzige Randrolle – die Zahl der Gläubigen und damit der Gesamtumsatz ist arg begrenzt.“

2014 lag der Gesamtumsatz für homöopathische Mittel in Apotheken bei 528 Millionen Euro. Die Deutsche-Homöopathie-Union macht mit 500 Mitarbeitern einen Umsatz von 100 Millionen Euro pro Jahr. Es handelt sich also ebenso um einen großen Markt wie in der „konventionellen“ Pharmaindustrie, der zudem den großen Vorteil hat, dass die Produkte den Prüfverfahren für Arzneien entzogen sind – Homöopathie ist Pharmaindustrie pur.

Für die Patienten günstiger ist eine homöopathische Behandlung keinesfalls. Grams zeigt: „Ein homöopathisches Arzneimittel in Apotheken kostet durchschnittlich 10,86 Euro. Der Durchschnittspreis von echter Medizin beläuft sich auf 7,75 EUR. Nebenbei erwähnt: Für Homöopathika-Hersteller fallen natürlich keine Kosten für Forschung und Entwicklung an, was die Gewinnspannen im Vergleich zur oft gescholtenen „Pharmaindustrie“ in ungeahnte Höhen treiben dürfte.“

Insgesamt zahlen die homöopathisch behandelten Patienten mehr als in der „Schulmedizin“: „Eine Untersuchung, bei der Daten von 44.550 Patienten ausgewertet wurden, zeigt: „Die Gesamtkosten lagen in der Homöopathiegruppe nach 18 Monaten höher als in der Vergleichsgruppe. Das galt für alle Diagnosen.“ Dabei zieht die homöopathische Behandlung jede Menge Folgebehandlungen nach sich, sowohl was physische als auch psychische Belange angeht: „In den Monaten 1-3 hatten die homöopathischen Patienten 126,2 Prozent mehr Diagnosen als die Kontrollen. Der größte Unterschied zwischen den Gruppen fand sich bei den psychischen Störungen (38.9 Prozent).“

Mythos 17: Es gibt eine Kontroverse zwischen der „Schulmedizin“ und der Homöopathie

Kontroverse hört sich wissenschaftlich an, und tatsächlich gibt es immer wieder solche gegensätzlichen Standpunkte in der Wissenschaft. Da stehen dann verschiedene Hypothesen gegeneinander und die eine Seite findet Belege für ihre Hypothese, die andere für die andere.

Eine Kontroverse ist eine Auseinandersetzung auf Augenhöhe. Eine typische Kontroverse fand zum Beispiel um 1860 zwischen dem Anatomen Richard Owen und Charles Darwins Anhänger Thomas Henry Huxley statt. Owen behauptete, der Mensch unterscheide sich durch einen Hippocampus minor von anderen Primaten, Huxley behauptete, das Gehirn von Mensch und Affe gleiche sich im Aufbau. Die Untersuchungen zeigten: Huxley hatte Recht. Damit war die Kontroverse beendet.

Wie sieht das bei der Homöopathie aus? Natalie Grams weist auf folgendes hin: „Die der Homöopathie zugrunde liegenden Krankheitsmodelle sind vor dem wissenschaftlichen Zeitalter entstanden. Postulierte Kräfte wie “Lebenskraft”, “Lebensenergie”, “Miasmen”, “Nosoden” sind nicht-existente Phantasiegebilde. Die tatsächlichen Krankheitsursachen wie Bakterien, Viren, Pilze, krebserregende Stoffe, Gifte oder Mangelerscheinungen (Hormonmangel, Vitaminmangel, Mangel an Mineralstoffen) werden hingegen nicht als Krankheitsursache akzeptiert.“

Über Hahnemanns Glaubensgerüst gab es bereits schon im 19. Jahrhundert keine Kontroverse mehr innerhalb der Wissenschaft. Zellularpathologie und Ätiologie führten Hahnemanns „geistartige Kraft“ und seinen vermuteten Wirkmechanismus ad absurdum – die Kenntnis über Viren, Bakterien und Pilze erklärte, dass Krankheiten wie Malaria, Tollwut oder Grippe durch Erreger von außen entstehen, was Hahnemann kategorisch abgelehnt hatte.

Natalie Grams schreibt: „Trennung von Wirkung und Nebenwirkungen ist nicht möglich. Es ist nicht erklärbar, dass von einem Substanzgemisch nur die wirksame Substanz potenziert wird, alle anderen unwirksamen Störsubstanzen aber nicht. Es ist auch nicht erklärbar, dass von der wirksamen Substanz nur die von Menschen erwünschte Wirkung potenziert wird, die von Menschen unerwünschte Nebenwirkung aber nicht. Wie sollen Substanzen wissen, was wir wollen?“

Es gibt also keine Kontroverse zwischen der esoterischen Idee einer Vitalkraft und des Simile-Prinzips einerseits und der Ätiologie, die Körpererkrankungen aus Fehlfunktionen des Zellsystems erklärt, andererseits.

Im Gegenteil: Die Ätiologie konnte solche Krankheiten klassifizieren, identifizieren, und die moderne Medizin entwickelte auf dieser Basis wirksame Gegenmittel.

Es gibt auch keine Kontroverse zwischen Hahnemanns Vorstellung, Potenzen aus verdünnten Substanzen „heraus zu schütteln“ und der modernen Pharmakologie. Die Pharmakologen können nämlich im Gegensatz zu Hahnemann exakt berechnen, welche Gehalt einer Substanz in einem Medikament ist und genau nachweisen, wie sie wirken. So lassen sich Schmerzmittel heute in genauester Dosis verabreichen.

Es gibt auch keine Kontroverse zwischen der magischen Signaturlehre und moderner Forschung ebenso wie es keine Kontroverse gibt zwischen Astrologen, die Tageshoroskope erstellen und der unbemannten Weltraumforschung oder eine Kontroverse zwischen Kreationisten, die glauben, dass Gott die Welt in sieben Tagen schuf, und der Evolutionswissenschaft.

Ebenso gibt es keine Kontroverse zwischen „homöopathischer Grundlagenforschung“ und „der“ Naturwissenschaft. Zwar führen diverse homöopathische Schulen immer neue Parameter ein, um die Homöopathie den Naturgesetzen scheinbar anzunähern, doch damit entfernen sie sich gerade immer weiter von belastbaren Hypothesen – ein wissenschaftlicher Kardinalfehler.

Udo Endruscheit schreibt: „Es wäre sehr hilfreich, wenn vor allem der Journalismus einmal zur Kenntnis nehmen würde, dass eine „ausgewogene Berichterstattung“ mit „Schulmedizin“ rechts und „Homöopathie“ links der Sache nicht gerecht wird. Parität und Pluralität kann es sinnvollerweise nur zwischen faktenbasierten Standpunkten geben, ansonsten wären beide schlicht Einfallstore für Unsinn.“

Was bleibt?

Natalie Grams schließt: „Nein, liebe Homöopathen. Die Erde war schon immer eine Kugel. Und die Homöopathie schon immer falsch in allen wesentlichen theoretischen Grundannahmen. Sie für wirksam zu erklären, bedeutet, die Erde zur Scheibe zu machen und nicht umgekehrt. Ich hätte mir gewünscht, dass mehr Homöopathen die Offenheit in sich aufbringen können, die Fakten mal wirklich einschlagen zu lassen. Kritik an der Homöopathie ist nicht nur erlaubt, sie ist nötig, um über die Methode wirklich urteilen zu können.“ (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Dieser Artikel ist als Fachbeitrag zu der laufenden Debatte rund um das Thema Homöopathie gedacht, in der wir sowohl Kritikern als auch Befürworten Platz für eine Darstellung ihrer Positionen einräumen. Weitere Beiträge zu dem Thema finden Sie hier:
Homeopathy - Popular with users, proven by studies!

Author and source information

Video: मठ गलय! Globules in Homeopathy! Property Uses Dispensing! (December 2021).