A FAMOUS homeopath has defended the much-debated practice after a physician to Japanese Emperor Akihito as well as top scientists slammed homeopathy as “absurd” and urged health workers to steer clear of this alternative treatment which is growing in popularity.
Carlo Odermatt, a Swiss homeopath and chemist with more than 25 years’ experience in classical homeopathy, spoke on the subject in Port Elizabeth this week.
Homeopathy, an independent system of healing which seeks to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself, is practised in 41 of 42 European countries. It is believed to work in harmony with the immune system.
Odermatt said the greater the success of homeopathy, the fiercer the opposition – to the extent that the evidence supporting the efficacy of homeopathic treatment was completely ignored.
“When a homeopathic study is not successful, this is often widely publicised by opponents of homeopathy. If a mainstream study fails, this is merely acknowledged (for instance, the devastating studies on antidepressants or hormone replacement therapy).
“It’s all about business. What is more, mainstream medicine has much more money at its disposal for propaganda – and funding clinical studies,” Odermatt said.
There are estimated to be more than 500000 physicians practising homeopathy worldwide, with an estimated 500 million people receiving treatment.
Odermatt said the public interest in and acceptance of homeopathic treatment was growing worldwide.
“Last year, 67% of Swiss people demanded that complementary medicine must be promoted in future. Furthermore, US market research shows that sales of homeopathic medicines have grown at a rate of 25-50% a year during the past 10 years,” he said.
A number of studies have already pointed to the efficacy of homeopathic products, Odermatt said, for instance in the treatment of hay-fever, rheumatoid arthritis and childhood diarrhoea.
The mere fact that homeopathy had been around for almost 200 years was proof of its efficacy, he said.