Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My take on Homeopathic Medicine

It's one of my continuing frustrations that the eminently common sense approach of home birth (after all, the vast majority of births are very straightforward, and in this day and age it's not as if emergency medical help is far away) often comes hand in hand with a somewhat flaky approach to other things as well.


mandamum said...

Agreed. I don't really notice homeopathy any more, and I'm all for herbs if the person knows enough to keep me safe. The ones that drive me the most nuts are things like Reiki--can't I get a smart sensible person to be my lifeguard at the edge of the pool that is birth (not necessarily a real birth pool) that isn't also offering things that are a direct affront to my faith? I'm glad we have the Catholic Medical Assn.--now why aren't there more Catholic midwives like Alicia from Fructus Ventris? Our local NFP-only OB made it clear she thinks homebirths are crazy-dangerous. And yet, aside from her, the Reiki-offering, homeopathic-prescribing midwives are the only ones who will take my charts and "date of ovulation" and what-not seriously. Everyone else would just sigh and supress an eyeroll and ask patiently for the date of my last menses....

So whither good science...?

Love the homeopathic lagers :)


Dorian Speed said...

This is just fantastic, and best appreciated by those who have carried around a roll-on stick of Arnica in a first aid kit.

Amber said...

Wow, that was fantastic. "People with more money than sense" lol

And I heartily agree with mandamum there - I don't get it either. Although there is a Catholic midwife sort of in my area, but I must admit I have a bit of a bias against her. Anyone who puts up a business web page full of glaring spelling errors is rather suspect in my book. Sure, spelling and midwifery don't exactly have to go hand in hand, but sheesh, how hard is it to run spellcheck before you put something up for the whole world to see?? It doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Robyn said...

Awesome video! Homeopathy is nothing but water and sugar pills. Not to mention quackery.

It pains me that my otherwise wonderful MIL is a huge proponent of alternative medicine, with homeopathy topping her list. We have tacitly agreed not to ever, ever discuss it because we want to continue to get along. Once she experimentally tried to break the agreement by mentioning that homeopathy has a scientific basis—it's based on "vibrations." My silence reaffirmed that our agreement really, really should remain in place. Mentally I have ranted whole paragraphs at the folly of believing in magical "vibrations."

But don't just take my word for it that homeopathy doesn't work. Read for yourself at

Pentimento said...

I saw a homeopath for a long time. All the opera singers in my circle were going to her and reporting huge improvements in their health. I had a very large fibroid tumor and was leery of surgery, so we started on a regimen of little white pills. The fibroid, however, grew even larger under her care, and I ended up having to have major surgery, which coincided with the end of my first marriage -- which caused my homeopath to remark, "We couldn't get rid of your fibroid; you had to get rid of your husband," words whose maddening glibness didn't strike me till later, as I was pretty much reeling at the time.

A few years later, I had to call her to cancel an appointment, since I was literally in the middle of a miscarriage (yes, I had kept on seeing her). She said, "Do you think you're meant to adopt a baby instead?"

Well, maybe so. In fact, as you know, we're doing an adoption right now. But it seemed to me that it wasn't the right moment to discuss adoption plans. In spite of the fact that we were good friends, I never talked to her again after that.

mrsdarwin said...

Pentimento, I know from experience that one memory that never fades is that of receiving an insensitive remark while you're having a miscarriage. I wouldn't have talked to the lady again either.

Anonymous said...

It's so frustrating how much quackery and other silliness goes on in the home and natural birth communities. The lady who taught my childbirth class is convinced that if you know the circumstances surrounding your mother giving birth to you, that it will directly influence how your giving birth goes.

My having a c-section after a failed induction at 42 weeks was directly caused by knowing that my mother also never went properly into labor, according to her. Despite the fact that I didn't feel a single contraction until they started pumping me full of pictocin, and even that couldn't make my uterus contract properly. It's all psychological. Bah.

My OB and his nurses might offensively roll their eyes at my NFP, but they never bothered me as much as that childbirth instructor did.

MacBeth Derham said...

I half expected the "doc" to ask for dilithium crystals. Thanks for this.

Dorian Speed said...

I'm pretty sure all of the remedies discussed in the video are genuine (although it has been two days since I watched it, and my memory may have lapsed). My favorite part was when he says something like, "What - do you have a better idea?"

alicia said...

Hey, Amanda, thanks for the mention! Some of my sister midwives really are out there, but then so are many OB docs. Just in different directions. I do use some 'alternative' therapies, but none that would be condemned by the church. I have found that some herbal and nutritional interventions work really well, and I am a big fan of chiropractic for joint and muscle pain as well as for encouraging babies to get into a good position (before birth) and to breastfeed well (after birth, obviously). Homeopathic to me comes under the category of it probably won't do any harm as long as it doesn't cause delay in treatment of serious or surgical conditions like appendicitis. But the homeopathic teething tablets have helped lots of moms (if only for the feeling that they can do SOMETHING!)And I have found that the Bach's Rescue remedy ( a homeopathic) can be very helpful in some circumstances. But those are the exceptions. Oh, and I do think that the Badger Brand sleep balm really does help simple insomnia. And I almost think that those particulars might work more from the aroma than from the "vibrations".

Kelly said...

I laughed so hard I cried. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

hola hola soy angie rafi

eulogos said...

Glad to hear you all say this.

I usually say something like, "Well, I don't understand the mechanism by which it is supposed to work, but I don't rule anything out a priori." And I don't. Make it make sense to me...or show me with double blind studies that it works and I will be glad to accept it.

Herbs are a different matter. After all, digitalis is an herb! While a lot of people have mistaken ideas about the effectiveness of certain herbs, I was actually shocked to find that cohosh (I forget, is it blue or black?)actually will induce labor. I used it once when I was supposedly 11 days overdue and they were threatening C section because they wouldn't induce a former section. It took three days and was the weirdest labor I ever had. The baby looked early, not late, the only one of mine with lots of vernix, and my opinion is that I was more like two weeks early than two weeks late. Another friend of mine whose early labor had sort of petered out, who wanted to have the baby now since I had driven six hours from another state to be with her, took one pill of cohosh and 20 minutes later was in active labor. It made me almost scared to think anybody can buy this stuff.

Some homebirth midwives pick up this stuff from the general culture they run in, and are not very critical about it, and a lot of it is essentially harmless. On the other hand, they learn what they know about birth from being at births, so that is real knowledge.

My daughter, a certified massage therapist, can give a good massage; which is real knowledge, and then there is all that stuff about aromatherapy and so on .... I try not to argue.

It seems odd to me that the NFP practitioner would not see analogies between artificial contraception and managed, hi-tech birth, between NFP and natural birth. I don't understand the NFP practicing Catholic woman who has an epidural as early as possible for every one of her births. Of course, the Church hasn't forbidden epidurals....

A question is struggling to be formatted here.
The natural law which artificial contraception violates isn't the same as the way hi tech birth is unnatural, right? Contraception violates the natural MORAL law. It is also unnatural in the more usual modern sense of the word natural.
But, as people will be quick to point out to you in internet debates, so are antibiotics.
What is natural in THAT sense isn't necessarily a moral norm, and what is unnatural in that sense isn't necessarily bad.

So was I wrong to feel that the NFP practitioner should also understand natural birth? Isn't there some commonality here in respecting the rhythm's of one's own body?

Is there any connection between these two understandings of the word natural?

I'll think some more about it. If anyone else can clarify this I'd appreciate it.
Susan Peterson

m1 said...

Maybe you are all wrong!

Elliott Broidy said...

I love the research done on this