What is it not:
it is not New Age
it is not an Eastern healing art
it is not plants or phyto-therapy (although plants are used to prepare some remedies, homeopathic remedies can be made from anything: sand, salt, x-ray radiation, mineral water, fungus, milk!)
it is not placebo (although placebo can be prescribed at times)
So what is homeopathy?
It is a complete system of medicine that has existed for over 200 years.
In fact homeopathy used to be so popular that in the early 1900’s there were, in the USA alone,
22 homeopathic medical schools
100+ homeopathic hospitals
1000+ homeopathic pharmacies
The oldest national physician organisation in the USA is not the American Medical Association but the American Institute of Homeopathy.
This popularity was well-founded and based on real results.
In 1864, the homeopathic Cavalry Depot Military Hospital in St-Louis reported a mortality of 0.6% vs 12% at the conventional St-Louis City Hospital during the same period.
Denver homeopathic hospital records from 1910 show that out of +150.000 deaths, the casualties from conventional treatments were 1.8x to 4.99x those of homeopathy. That’s 180% to almost 500% increased risk of death from conventional treatment vs homeopathic treatment.
Homeopathy attracted the most respected literary elite, many of the leading members of the clergy, well-placed politicians and many of the richest families of America, as well as most European Royal family members.
So what happened?
From its inception, homeopathy antagonised conventional physicians and pharmacists.
Physicians because homeopathic physicians openly criticised the conventional treatments of the time: blood-letting, prescriptions of mercury, arsenic, lead and other poisons in high doses. So much so, that the American Medical Association (AMA) banned its members from consulting with a homeopath, using homeopathy or even taking on a homeopath’s patient.
Pharmacists because at the time, pharmacists had the monopoly of making and selling prescriptions. They charged for their drugs based on the amount of the specific substance. Needless to say, selling homeopathic remedies was not profitable and to make things worse, preparing them was labour-intensive. Eventually, homeopathic physicians would prepare remedies themselves, which angered the entire pharmacist profession.
Let's rewind back to the first half of the 20t century
to understand how alternative healthcare practitioners like homeopaths, naturopaths, chiropractors and osteopaths, which made up to 50% of the medical body, were pushed aside and established as tier 2 medicine (or downright quackery).
At the time, the AMA was lacking credibility among the general public and generating very little revenue. It remedied this situation with two parallel course of actions.
There were then 4x more physicians per capita in the USA than in Germany. In order to reduce supply, the AMA ordered the Flexner Report, conducted by the Carnegie Foundation and published in 1910. Abraham Flexner, accompanied by the head of AMA’s Council on Medical Education, travelled throughout the country to audit all medical schools with the ultimate purpose to streamline and standardise medical education. As a result, all women’s medical colleges, most black medical colleges and most homeopathic colleges were closed, as well chiropractic, osteopathic and naturopathic. Thus homogenising the profession and making it more exclusive.
Meanwhile the AMA installed the practice of stamping with “AMA’s seal of approval” drugs whose manufacturers placed large and frequent ads in its journal, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). The practice later extended to food and tobacco industry. So much so, that by 1950 tobacconists were the largest advertiser in the JAMA and the AMA generated over $9million in advertising revenue.
Meanwhile, philanthropic funding to homeopathic colleges and hospitals dwindled.
Between 1900 and 1930 Rockefeller, who was a staunch defender of homeopathy, donated over $550 million to the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (RIMR) and made it clear he wanted both allopathy and homeopathy equally supported. Unfortunately none of the funding made it to support homeopathic education or research since Frederick T. Gates, who administered Rockefeller’s philanthropic endeavours and Rockefeller’s son, John D. Rockefeller Jr, considered homeopathy a cult.
So 100 years later,
The combined profits of the 10 largest drug companies in Fortune 500 exceeded the combined profits of the other 490 companies (2002).
70% of Americans are on prescription medication and more that 50% on 2 prescription drugs.
America spends 15% of its GDP on health care, but ranks 21st in infant mortality rates and 17th in life expectancy rates, slightly ahead of Albania.
And for the 1st time in recorded history, the current generation has a lower life expectancy than its parents’.
I'm not disputing the fact that conventional medical care has provided and continues to provide life-saving treatments. For example: A&E, insulin and antibiotics. But as far as chronic illnesses are concerned, there is no cure for diabetes, autism, asthma, or even the flu - only symptom-management, which often means lifelong treatment.
To summarise, homeopathy used to be extremely popular thanks to its high success rates in treating epidemics and chronic cases alike.
But for financial and ideological reasons, it was pushed asYet homeopathy is not dead. Quite the opposite: it is making a strong resurgence.
CONTINUED IN PART 2 - STAY TUNED