The scientific foundations of hormesis are now well established and include various biochemical and molecular criteria for testing the hormetic nature of chemicals and other modulators. In order to claim homeopathy as being hormetic, it is essential that, in addition to the hormetic biphasic dose response, homeopathic remedies should fulfill one or more molecular criteria.
Homeopathy is the best known medical analogue of hormesis, others include hormoligosis and paradoxical pharmacology. Homeopathy is based on the concept Similia similibus curentur ('Let like be cured by like'); the exploitation of secondary effects of drugs, the body's reaction rather than the primary pharmacological action. The most controversial aspect of homeopathy is its use of 'ultramolecular' dilutions in which a single molecule of the starting substance is unlikely to be present.
Postexposure conditioning, as a part of hormesis, involves the application of a low dose of stress following exposure to a severe stress condition. Depending on whether the low-dose stress is of the same type of stress or is different from the initial high-dose stress causing the diseased state, postconditioning can be classified as homologous or heterologous, respectively. In clinical homeopathy, the same distinction is found between isopathic and homeopathic application of low-dose substances.
Homeopathy is an empirical method of treatment. Hormesis, while stemming from within the rationalist tradition, has yet to be explained according to current pharmacological theory. Both share in common sub-threshold doses of toxic substances and an initial semi-toxicological insult followed by a greater compensatory (or healing) response. We question whether the differences between these fields may be amenable to scientific research.
Homeopathy is an ancient and complex therapeutic method that is rediscovering its scientific foundations. Hormesis is a frequently observed phenomenon that has been rigorously reported with precise dose-response curves. The therapeutic method based on the principle of 'like cures like' should not be confused with hormesis, which has several different implications from those of homeopathy. Yet, because both these approaches to nature and medicine are very broad in scope, they do end up having some points of contact.
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among menopausal women has increased in the last years. This review examines the evidence from systematic reviews, RCTs and epidemiological studies of CAM in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Some evidence exists in favour of phytosterols and phytostanols for diminishing LDL and total cholesterol in postmenopausal women. Similarly, regular fiber intake is effective in reducing serum total cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women.
This Australian study sought to understand how practitioners of the traditional systems of what is now termed complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are responding to the adoption of their traditional medicine therapies by the mainstream health care system, and the practice of these therapies by mainstream health care practitioners. A grounded theory approach was used for this study.
BACKGROUND: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in paediatric populations is common yet, to date, there has been no synthesis of the evidence of its effectiveness in that population. This overview of systematic review evaluates the evidence for or against the effectiveness of CAM for any childhood condition. METHODS: Medline, AMED and Cochrane were searched from inception until September 2009. Reference lists of retrieved articles were hand-searched. Experts in the field of CAM were contacted. No language restrictions were applied.
BACKGROUND: This nationwide study assessed the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) methods in departments of obstetrics in Croatia and compared it with an identical assessment carried out in Germany. METHODS: All Croatian obstetrics departments were sent a questionnaire already tested in Germany which assessed the use of CAM methods: whether any were used during childbirth and if so how frequently, and the reasons behind their application. RESULTS: Questionnaires were returned by 100% (36/36) of departments identified.
Even after 200 years, homeopathy has remained a highly disputed method. Its principles fly in the face of science. The totality of about 200 clinical trials fails to demonstrate its efficacy beyond placebo. Its use as a benign placebo is ethically unjustifiable. It follows that homeopathy cannot be recommended for use in medical routine.