[FoRK] Homeopathy

Corinna corinna.schultz
Thu Nov 3 12:31:05 PST 2005

Has anyone heard about this research finding? Is it legit?


MADELEINE Ennis, a pharmacologist at Queen's University, Belfast, was the 
scourge of homeopathy. She railed against its claims that a chemical remedy 
could be diluted to the point where a sample was unlikely to contain a 
single molecule of anything but water, and yet still have a healing effect. 
Until, that is, she set out to prove once and for all that homeopathy was 

In her most recent paper, Ennis describes how her team looked at the effects 
of ultra-dilute solutions of histamine on human white blood cells involved 
in inflammation. These "basophils" release histamine when the cells are 
under attack. Once released, the histamine stops them releasing any more. 
The study, replicated in four different labs, found that homeopathic 
solutions - so dilute that they probably didn't contain a single histamine 
molecule - worked just like histamine. Ennis might not be happy with the 
homeopaths' claims, but she admits that an effect cannot be ruled out.


 You can understand why Ennis remains sceptical. And it remains true that no 
homeopathic remedy has ever been shown to work in a large randomised 
placebo-controlled clinical trial. But the Belfast study (Inflammation 
Research, vol 53, p 181) suggests that something is going on.

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