Con Homeopatía No Resolvemos Nada

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dilutionEstimada Vanessa,

Leí con interés tu artículo en EfectoCocuyo sobre el alarmante crecimiento del uso de “tratamientos” (por decirlo de alguna manera) homeopáticos en el contexto de la creciente la escacez de medicamentos convencionales en el país.  Es un artículo desolador, un retrato de una sociedad al borde del desquicio por la desesperación causada por la escasez de medicamentos.

Lamentablemente, debo decir que tu manera de abordar este tema puede dar pie a malas interpretaciones que podrían poner en riesgo la salud de tus lectores.

No es cierto, Vanessa, decir que alrededor del uso de la homeopatía “existe una fuerte polémica.”

Se puede decir que sobre un tema existe “una fuerte polémica” cuando expertos calificados en la materia difieren en sus conclusiones al respecto.

Al rededor de la homeopatía lo menos que hay es polémica. En términos científicos, lo que existe es lo contrario de una polémica: un consenso sólido, practicamente unánime, fundado sobre una enorme base de investigación que data de hace ya varias décadas.

Tras cientos de estudios, no se ha encontrado evidencia alguna de que la homeopatía sea eficaz en el tratamiento de dolencia o enfermedad alguna.

Como bien menciona tu artículo, el Consejo Nacional de Salud e Investigación Médica de Australia hace muy poco publicó un meta-analisis de 225 estudios científicos y de 57 revisiones sistemáticas (systematic reviews) sobre los tratamientos homeopáticos y llegó a la enfática conclusión de que no existe evidencia alguna que la homeopatía funcione mejor que un placebo para ningún tipo de dolencia.

Tampoco el australiano es el primer estudio de estudios ellegar a esa conclusión. Tan resuelta está la controversia científica que la comisión del parlamento británico que estudió el asunto llego a la conclusión que es antiético seguir llevando a cabo estudios sobre un tema ya dirimido.

Los australianos concluyen enfáticamente que “las personas que eligen la homeopatía pueden poner en riesgo su salud si rechazan o retrasan tratamientos para los que sí hay evidencia sólida de su eficacia y seguridad.”

(Aunque claro, ese justamente es el drama venezolano: la gente no escoge un tratamiento espurio pudiendo adoptar uno de comprobada eficacia, lo escogen porque los otros sencillamente no están disponibles.)

Lo curioso es que a pesar de la montaña de estudios y evidencias disponibles que dan fe que la homeopatía no funciona mejor que un placebo, la gente sigue confiándole su salud a un sector que, a estas alturas, sólo se puede calificar de abiertamente fraudulento.

Como comunicadores es imperativo que seamos diáfanos con nuestros lectores y reflejemos fielmente los consensos científicos tal y como son. Existen intereses económicos poderosos que tienen mucho que ganar creando la ilusión de polémica en temas en los que los científicos están más que claros. Tenemos una responsabilidad de no hacerles el juego a charlatanes y timadores.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Mi querido Francisco, lo de la polémica lo puse yo. A pesar de que cites estudios prolijos sobre el tema; lo cierto es que una importantísima parte de la población considera la homeopatía como una posibilidad. Por cierto, no es mi caso ni mucho menos el de Efecto Cocuyo; pero desconocer eso queriendo decir que es un tema enterrado, es hacerse la vista gorda de una realidad que efectivamente está presente en casi todos los países del mundo. Esto es según un informe de la OMS: Up to 80% of the popUlation in Africa and 65% in India depend on traditional medicine to help meet their health care needs. Elsewhere, in Asia and in Latin America, historical circumstances and cultural beliefs mean that populations continue to use
    traditional medicine. In many developed countries, certain complementary and alternati ve
    medicine therapies are popular; the percentage of the population that has used complementary
    and alternative medicine at least once is 48% in Australia, 70% in Canada, 70% in USA, 40% in Belgium and 49% in France”.
    Pero más allá de estas consideraciones académicas, lo cierto es que la escasez de medicamentos en Venezuela alcanza niveles alarmantes. Nada más desesperante que tu niña de cuatro años tenga un ataque de asma y no consigas el broncodilatador (lo digo por experiencia propia). Creo que este es el enfoque del trabajo que más horror y escándalo debe levantar. Mucho más que los expertos de universidades en países industrializados puedan pensar. Esto es realmente criminal.
    Dicho esto, concuerdo en que hay detalles de la primera versión del texto que debieron ser rectificados (como efectivamente se hizo). Siempre estamos atentos a mejorar y abiertos a cualquier observación alrededor de nuestro trabajo.

    • Claro, en ese sentido el estudio del House of Commons en Inglaterra es interesantísimo: desglosa cuidadosamente la “eficacia” de la “efectividad”. No hay evidencia de que los tratamientos homeopáticos sean eficaces, pero hay muchísima evidencia de que son efectivos -> la gente efectivamente sí se siente mejor luego de usarlos, porque el efecto placebo es MUY efectivo.

      Yo lo que creo es que el artículo había que enfocarlo de otra manera: tenía que ser un exposé de la manera en que la escasez de medicamentos lleva a la gente a botar la plata, por desesperación, en tratamientos carísimos que no son más que un placebo. ESO para mi es un escándalo.

      • Francisco Toro, throwing stones at glass houses and all that, weren’t you the one all upset because someone had “hoped” something of nefarious consequences? Hoping isn’t even as effective as a placebo!

    • “una importantísima parte de la población considera la homeopatía como una posibilidad.”

      Eso me recuerda a una cita de Asimov: “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Que una gran parte de la poblacion piense algo no significa mucho. Una gran parte de la poblacion lee el horoscopo. Peor aun, pretender que algo es comun porque 50% o 70% de la poblacion lo ha intentado UNA vez es (en spanglish) disingenuo. Yo he leido mi horoscopo y no me lo creo. Cual sera el porcentaje de la poblacion que no se lo cree a pesar de que lo ha probado?

      Claramente lo que importa es la situacion de no poder conseguir medicinas. Entonces por que decir esto que tiende a legitimar a la homeopatia? No es necesario y no ayuda.

    • Weffer dice:

      ” lo cierto es que una importantísima parte de la población considera la homeopatía como una posibilidad.”

      La misma cantidad de gandules cree en Nicolas Maduro.

      Lo considera usted como una “posibilidad?”

      • Tambien hay otras importantísimas partes de la población que creen que con yendo a Sorte a cantarle, bailarle y prenderle velas a Maria Lionza se van a curar.

    • Any healing alternative that can pass rigorous clinical trials is adopted by the medical world. So there really is no such thing as “alternative medicine”. It either passes clinical trials or it doesn’t.

      That said, I remember an anecdote about a medical doctor graduated from a top medical university in USA who went to Cuba to bring “real medicine” to his parent’s homeland. He would prescribe medicines to his clients, but they would not get better. The same clients would then go to a neighbor brujo, after which they would heal. After months of observing this and feeling very disappointed with all his knowledge of medicine, he went to the brujo and asked how that could be. The brujo told him, your medicine is fine. The reason it’s not working is because the people here don’t believe in it, so they don’t take it as prescribed. So I get them to believe in it by telling them things like, you need to take it when the moon is visible, or with a glass of water to which you must add this powder, which is just pepper, or things like that.

  2. Sr. Toro, en ningún momento el objetivo fue promover la homeopatía. Quise contar una realidad por la escasez de medicamentos en Venezuela. Sin embargo, aprecio su punto de vista. Me disculpo y me comprometo a buscar más información al respecto.
    Nos encanta saber que estamos siendo leídos y que recibimos opiniones e información para mejorar.

      • Están metiendo en el paquete de homeopatía a un espectro muy amplio de medicina y tratamientos tradicionales, herbales, y nutricionales, reconocidamente efectivos que nada tienen que ver con la homeopatía. La Homeopatia es un tipo de “medicina” alternativa cuyo principio se basa en ofrecer medicamentos cuyos principios activos están diluidos para no tener contraindicaciones, pero están tan extremadamente diluidos, que los hace inefectivos, siendo en efecto un placebo como dice Quico. De manera contraintuitiva, los homeopatas creen que mientras mas diluida, mas efectiva es, y no es asi.

        En cambio, la medicina tradicional china, la medicina herbal, chamanica, medicina nutricional, técnicas y tratamientos son otro tema. Con lo que hay que tener cuidado es que se debe entender que estos tratamientos son eficaces para dolencias no extremas (indigestión, dolor de cabeza, gripe, alergias, dolores articulares, menstruales, desequilibrios hormonales, etc) pero nunca un substituto para dolencias graves como el cáncer, cirrosis, etc. pero pueden ser muy efectivas como tratamientos paliativos complementarios (a mi mama la ayudo mucho la medicina china para que su cuerpo pudiera soportar mejor la agresiva quimioterapia a la que la sometieron para tratar un cáncer de mama invasivo; jamas de los jamases pensamos que se curaría el cancer a punta de reflexologia y yerbitas).

        La escasez de medicinas en Venezuela hace que, en un país donde ya la cultura acepta lo magico-religioso, donde así seas catolico-apostolico-romano-golpe de pecho, te vas a Quinta Crespo a que te recen la culebrilla y compras yerbas para que te den el trabajo, cuando se llega al desespero por la escasez de medicamentos esenciales, y ante una falta de criterio y conocimiento sobre esto caes en creer que una matica te cura lo que sea. Y se hace terreno fértil para que charlatanes y comerciantes sin escrúpulos se aprovechen del desespero de la gente. Es una tragedia.

        Y no sea crean que porque aqui en UK puso en claro lo de la homeopatia, no se consiguen clínicas de esta vaina en cada esquina con su respectiva tiendita de menjurjes hipster… o quienes dicen que se entrenaron con un chaman en no se donde en medio de la nada y te pueden curar lo que sea, y lo que mas me irrita es que todos estos personajes hablan/se visten así:

    • Creo que la falta es más de omisión que de hecho, lo que hace que el artículo de Francisco Toro parezca particularmente virulento (in spite of himself, probablemente). Existe, sí, una ‘fuerte polémica’ sobre la homeopatía; pero la polémica no es científica. En Francia, la Seguridad Social continúa reembolsándola porque su uso es una preferencia societal, independientemente de su eficacia científica. Lo de Venezuela es otra historia…

  3. Ay Quico, le estás buscando cinco patas al gato! El artículo no hace la apología de la homeopatía, simplemente retrata de una realidad. A mi me pareció super-interesante y yo no le agregaría ni quitaría nada.

  4. Me equivoco ?? o es este el primer blog de CC en el que tanto el articulo como todos los comentarios son en castellano ??

  5. No te equivocas Bill Bass y además que creo que hay una razón válida; el señor Toro es claramente un iletrado. Señor Toro, por favor, es posible que que baje de su torre de marfil y edite su artículo para eliminar su horror ortográfico?

    Muy agradecido,

    La Gerencia

  6. Yo tengo 30 años usando homeopatía y estoy feliz, vivita y coleando y sana! Se usa en Inglaterra, Francia, Alemania etcetc como algo usual. Hasta la Reina Isabel y la fmla Real usan homeopatía y existen hospitales homeopáticos. Las personas deciden sin etiquetas discriminatorias si quieren utilizar la homeopatía y /o la alopatía. En el caso europeo no es por escasez de medicamentos alopáticos sino, obviamente por convicción. Pero… Big Pharma no está contento con la tendencia cada vez mayor de las personas buscar en la medicina alternativa lo que no consigue en la tradicional y eso debe respetarse. Es decisión de cada quién. Hasta donde yo creo. Y siento…

    • La gente clase media con nada mejor que hacer con su dinero puede botarlo comprando productos homeopáticos si quiere, eso se respeta.

      Para que una sustancia pueda ser comercializada como medicamento solo necesita 3 cosas: (1) Efectividad en reducción de los síntomas en la inmensa mayoría de los casos (2) Que exista un mecanismo bien comprendido por medio del cual funcione y (3) Que se haga un estudio comparativo con un placebo. Son tres requisitos bien fáciles y la homeopatía no cumple con ninguno.

      La crítica de Toro y cía es que el artículo de EC dibuja una controversia científica inexistente.

    • Sure, even in Germany you can go to the witch. I have got flyers in my mailbox telling me Frau X or Herr Y cure all kinds of diseases.
      You can find lots of books about the power of stones and all that in the main German bookshops.

      Here
      http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/kosten-nutzen-rechnung-krankenkassen-kaempfen-fuer-homoeopathie-a-706336.html

      Still, the percentage of people who believe in the Evil Eye or in homeopathy is lower in Germany than in Venezuela. And even if it weren’t: so what? What counts is science.
      In the USA half of the population rejects creationism, a higher percentage than in Russia. The USA has the lead in most sciences, beating the USA.

      You really have problems with logic and what numbers and percentages tell you.

      • Sorry, I meant
        “In the USA half of the population supports creationism (and rejects evolution), a higher percentage of evolution deniers than in Russia. The USA has the lead in most sciences, beating the USA.”

        • “In the USA half of the population supports creationism (and rejects evolution), a higher percentage of evolution deniers than in Russia. The USA has the lead in most sciences, beating the USA.””

          Just because people don’t think exactly like you and your heroes (Richard Dawkins, Al Gore, Darwin etc.) do, that doesn’t make them ‘stupid’. Einstein did believe in God. Isaac Newton, Max Planck and Michael Faraday (among many others) were fervorous Christians. Intolerance is a sign of stupidty/backwardness (see Chavismo).

          • Marc,

            You also have comprehension problems. I am not discussing here God. I am mentioning here evolution.
            Evolution is the absolute basis of a lot of current science.

            If you cannot accept evolution, you are the one showing absolute backwardness. Someone who at this stage rejects evolution is as stupid as someone who thinks the sun goes around the Earth and the Earth is flat.

            You can also read a discussion by Collins, a Christian scientist who wrote “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”. You would be an absolute embarrassment for any Christian who is a scientist.

            Einstein and God? You really had no clue but some stupid quotes from some Brazilian evangelicals, I assume. You can read a decent biography of Einstein like the one by Alfreid Fösling.
            Again: the point was not discussing God or not God but evolution. And there is absolute no scientist at this stage (XXI century) who doubts evolution.

          • When new information arrives Science changes…it is possible that both evolution and creationism exist simultaneously.When our minds close, we lose the right to call ourselves scientists.When we say God is the architect of our lives and reject science at the same time, we have no faith in that which we profess to believe in.

            I say that even when I do not believe in God.

            People love to feel superior more than they love truth.

          • Sure, perhaps we will find out that the Earth is, after all, flat, and that it does not revolve around the sun.

          • And again: the discussion is not about God. Evolution is pretty basic stuff anyone should be able to understand.

          • Kepler’s (it’s a shame that someone like him uses Johannes Kepler’s name as nickname) frame of mind is the one from a Chavista! Rude, intolerant, close-minded, name-calling kind of person, I bet he was a die-hard Chavista until the last very minute, until a point that he was directly affected by the regime and couldn’t stand anymore. Then, and only then, he started to change.

            And it’s absolutely pointless to discuss anything with someone like that. Although very useful to understand Venezuela’s current situation.

          • Kepler you are not thinking like a Scientist.A Scientist knows that he or she does not have all knowledge needed to make a definitive answer.It is an ongoing process.Only Pseudo Scientists make those kinds of statements.A proper Scientist would say that up til now evidence shows that evolution is a fact but they would not negate the possible of simultaneous creationism.

          • I actually am a professional scientist. Science does not provide absolute truths, but partial answers substantiated in high quality data that is reproducible by other scientists. If a hypothesis is proven wrong, it cannot be proposed again unless new data suggests it may be right.

            Homeopathy has never been proven right after hundreds of studies. There is no reason to believe it works, not even paranoid reasons such as “Big Pharma hates it”. If homeopathy worked, Big Pharma would have patented it and profited from it.

            The hypotheses known as “creationism”, “intelligent design” and “theism” have never been proven even remotely right. Never, ever.

            To wit: there is no quantifiable phenomenon in the natural world measured by human-made instruments up to now that suggests the presence of a god, or that life was designed, or created.

            And believe you me, humans can detect and measure a LOT of stuff. E.g, we can measure the mass of a Higgs boson, sequence the genome of a mammoth, determine each of the communication pathways a cancer cell uses, see galaxies beyond our own, etc, etc. The fact is we know a lot.

            The same way science does not provide absolute answers, it cannot accept incorrect hypothesis as proof of “openness”.

            A stupid idea is just a stupid idea, no need to be open to it.

          • Thank you, Alejandro, for that sanity, wherein I didn’t need to follow circuitous non-logic, as a dog would try to bite its tail.

        • “Half the population” is certainly an exaggeration. As can be expected, the higher one’s education levels, the lower the belief in creationism, which is another way of saying those who hold such views are not those who are working in the sciences.

          • Sorry to disappoint you, but the ongoing debate between evolutionism, creationism and Intelligent design is only over in the comments’ section of this particular blog… But definitely far from over among people working in the sciences, just see the number of books about the theme being released every year to confirm that.

            But since some here seem to have all the ultimate answers that mankind have been trying to find for ages (to compare it with things THAT CAN BE PROVED quite easily like the sun not revolving around the Earth and the Earth not being flat is just absurd), I would like to know too:

            Does extraterrestrial life exist or not? What happened before the big bang?

            I don’t want theories! I want only the ultimate truth that not even Stephen Hawking can answer with certainty. Thanks!

            (I smell some possible Nobel prizes over here)

          • Marc, you are lying. In the scientific community there is no ongoing debate about creationism. It was basically over a century ago.

            The books and “scientific” journals that try to prove creationism have a pre-set conclusion (God created us) and adjust their data to arrive to it. That is no science, that is just claptrap. Science has no pre-set conclusions, only experimental results.

            Usually scientific data is published in papers in peer-reviewed journals. Peer review means each experiment is judged, analysed and reproduced to determine its validity. Textbooks are not peer reviewed and cannot be considered part of the advance of science, but rather a repository of past knowledge.

            I insist, science does not provide “ultimate” answers, but partial. But following the same principle, it cannot accept hypotheses that propose ultimate answers without data. This is specially true of hypotheses proven wrong (such as homeopathy, creationism, Lysenkoism, etc)

            If you need ultimate answers I suggest you join a religion. I cannot guarantee you will also get truths, but you will probably get what you want to hear.

    • A ver, ¿pero como te vas a morir si es solo agua con azúcar bien diluida? ¿y qué importa que la use “la familia real”? ¿acaso Carlos de Inglaterra es un oráculo científico?

      No, la homeopatía la usan personas ignorantes y crédulas que al mismo tiempo se convencen de una mentira porque las hace sentir especiales (“soy la alternativa “, “conozco una cura secreta”, “se más que los médicos “, etc)

      Lo tendencia cada vez mayor… ¿dónde están esos datos? ¿quién ha medido esa tendencia?

      Y no, no es una decisión puramente personal. Imagina que todos los contagiados de VIH decidieran tratarse con homeopatía: no sólo morirían sino que provocarían el contagio de millones. O los enfermos de Ebola. O los portadores de VPH16.

      No, la gente enferma tiene también la obligación de tratarse responsablemente por el bien de todos.,

      • Cuando hablo de la Familia Real lo hago pues en esta discusión sobre la inmortalidad de los cangrejos, es un punto. Se supone que son personas educadas, instruidas y leídas. No estoy hablando de los indios del Amazonas o tribus Aborígenes quienes saben más de curación que mucha gente. Si los hubiese mencionado a ellos ¿qué diría el atajo de pontificadores que se ha dado a discutir un tema sobre el que ni han experimentado para discutirlo?
        En fin… Chacun a son goût.

    • “Big Pharma no está contento con la tendencia cada vez mayor de las personas buscar en la medicina alternativa”

      Don`t forget to put on your tin hat whenever you go outside.

      Evil government agencies are spying on your thoughts!!!

      • You are being agressive by being cynical, not good for making a point. Or don’t you believe this sudden onslaught on Homeopathy is lobbied by Big Pharma, as the gringos call it?

    • Yo tengo 30 años sin haber usado ni una vez la homeopatía y también estoy feliz, vivita y coleando y sana!

      Checkmate!

      • Checkmate? Heeeellloooo? Nadie está discutiendo aquí medicamentos alopáticos. Y nadie que está pontificando, incluyéndote, sobre si son buenos, malos, chamánicos, superstición o ganas de botar el dinero, ha utilizado homeopatía para tomar lados de acera en esta discusión. Sigo insistiendo que es decisión de cada quien. Y si a mi me quita las migrañas tomarme unas pepitas debajo de la lengua en vez de tomar Imigran, me sirve, y es mi decisión! Están discriminando contra algo que ni conocen ni han experimentado.
        En Venezuela sólo pueden ser homeópatas, Médicos Cirujanos. De los de antes, no de los graduados con títulos rojitos de cartón como los zapatos de Manacho. No chamanes. Pero… A Galileo lo ejecutaron cuando habló del sistema solar. So…. Qué se puede esperar de este oscurantismo salvaje?

        • Con todo respeto: no es una decisión personal. Si usted sufre una enfermedad infecciosa (Ebola, por ejemplo) y decide tratarse con homeopatía, entonces usted se convierte en un peligro para toda su comunidad.

          Si usted decide que además de tomar medicina real se va a tomar sus globulitos de juguete, me parece fenomenal.

          Yo no discrimino en contra de lo que no conozco: claro que sé lo que es la homeopatía, aunque por eso mismo nunca la he experimentado. Porque es mentira.

          La mejora que usted siente se llama efecto placebo, y eso también lo conocemos los científicos.

          Con toda modestia, voy a decirle que entre usted y Galileo hay una diferencia: el tenía las pruebas que certificaban su hipótesis, usted no tiene las que prueban el efecto de la homeopatía.

          • Alejandro. No se puede tratar Ébola con homeopatía. Nadie ha propuesto eso. Aunque a lo menor es porque no ha habido research de compañías homeopáticas como la frnacesa Boiron o la aleman a Heel sobre como mutó una bacteria de los Fruit Bats a afectar a los Humanos. Quién sabe? Pero si es excelente para tratar achaques crónicos que no soy life threatening: traumatismos, calorones, migrañas, golpes, dolores de muela, quemaduras, picaduras, eruptivas ¿Porqué no?
            El Dr. Porras que fué junto con el Dr Rizquez, uno de los fundadores en Venezuela pudieran contestarte eso mejor que yo.

          • ¿Y de que le sirvió tener las pruebas a Galileo? Igualiticomse lo rasparon. Yo no me comparo con Galileo, comparo las circumstancias de una discusión bizantina de varios homeopaticofóbicos que en su vida la han experimentado, incluyéndolo. Lo cual es su decisón, poero entonces no debata sibre lo que no ha experimentado. Ud jamas la ha probado para saber si le sirve o no. No se escude detrás de la ciencia pues en Venezuela solo pueden estudiar homeopatía los médicos cirujanos. No el yerbatero de la esquina. Que hay homeópatas chimbos? Si igualito que médicos y científicos chimbos. En cualquier rubro o escala.

          • Me permito señalar otra de las muchas diferencias que hay entre usted y Galileo: el aceptaba conclusiones distintas de las suyas si estaban respaldadas por evidencia.

            La homeopatía no cambia su ineficacia porque la estudien los médicos. Newton creía en la astrología y eso no hace que el horóscopo diga la verdad.

            Yo sé lo que es la homeopatía, por eso precisamente no la he experimentado. Sé también lo que es el excremento y como se produce, por eso nunca lo he comido. Esta última conducta me diferencia de usted.

    • qué tratamiento recentan los homeópatas para el hipotiroidismo? Y cuál es el costo de eso para yo poder comparar?

      Otra cosa, se dice que medicamentos (no vencidos) a base de yerbitas, no tienen control de calidad. Por ello, uno no puede confiar en la potencia. Y eso no me convendría.

    • Te felicito lavici! Después de todo, quién necesita médicos? De qué sirve la ciencia? La investigación? Hay homeópatas y curanderos con recetas secretas y ancestrales que no fallan, sólo hace falta tener fe, mucha fe….

  7. Big Pharma is fighting Homeopathy because_______ . Get over yourself Quico. It’s a personal choice. I’ve used it for 30 years. Still counting…

      • El grado de ignorancia de tu comentario y otros aquí, me hace decidir no perder mi tiempo ni energía con personas que discuten por discutir son siquiera haber experimentado lo que significa.
        El Dr Diego Rízquez egresado de la UCV se fué a Italia a especializarse en Otorrinolaringología cuando a su hijo le dió un severo ataque de asma. Cuando llegó al hospital, vió con asombro como lo trataban con homeopatía y salió de la crisis sin lts de Cortisona. Y decidió dedicarse a este tipo de Medicina Alternativa. Tiene 40 años de experiencia. Y su principio es “simil similibus” like cures like. Digamos que el mismo principio de las vacunas. Pero es una decisión PERSONAL.
        Están homofóbicos con un tema que ni han experimentado!
        No sabía que estábamos como Corea del Norte.

    • Lavici: Does homeopathy have a cure for diabetes mellitus (Type 1, injectable)? I’d love to pass along the information to my dear nephew. Thanks in advance.

      • Dónde está tu sobrino? Si en Venezuela que consulte con los Dres. Risquez o Fernando Iglesias. Como regla general es excelente para tratar problemas crónicos: migrañas, sinusitis, dermatitis varias, reumatismo, dolores de muelas, eruptivas, contracturas, picadas de insectos (lo uso con mis nietos), golpes, para traumatismos, incluso el árnica montana ya es utilizada por muchos cirujanos plásticos y cirujanos odontólogos pre operaciones para evitar hematomas. Y algunos problemas agudos también.
        Con el sistema endocrino la situación es más complicada.
        P/ej: Cuando yo hice un trek estando en Bhután hasta la frontera con el Tíbet y escalábamos 8 horas diarias a una altitud hasta de 7.000 msnm, nunca tomé antiinflamatorios. Tres pepitas antes de dormir de Rhus Tox y Ruta y amanecía nueva. So… A MI, Janine le ha servido durante nnnnn mil años. Y nadie, nadie nadie me va a coartar mi libertad de usar lo que YO decida, es mi cuerpo y nadie me lo va a cambiar por otro. En los hospitales gratuitos en Bhután los pacientes son los que deciden si quieren que los Dres usen Medicina Alopática o Tradicional.
        Hasta en Bhután… Donde el respeto por el otro es sagrado.

          • Si, Bhután… Life expectancy no es tan maravillosa porque todo el tiempo mastican betel nut con lye, a pesar que el Rey lo ha prohibido, tiene una incidencia muy grande en Cáncer estomacal. Y la comedera de ajíes Chireles con sal desde los dos años. La caipsicina hace eso.Contra eso?

          • Acaso no hay gotitas que curen esos vicios? En lo negativo (cosa que sorprendería), Bután representa una nueva frontera homeopática. Qué esperas, lavici?

          • En Bhután no existe la Homeopatía. Sino medicina tradicional Butanesa. qué espero preguntas? Que no seas cínico y respetes mi derecho a tomarme “el aguita con azúcar “si me provoca…

          • muy bien, siempre y cuando respetes las preguntas serias que se te han hecho, la mía por ejemplo, sobre la diabetes mellitus, pregunta que has esquivado, por algo sera…

        • mi sobrino vive en el Canada. Pero al grano… me gustaría saber el nivel de tu compomiso con la medicina homeopática, que tanto defiendes. Por ello pregunto: si a tí te tocara el diabetes mellitus, qué camino tomarías: el de la Big Pharma o de la Itty-bitty-sugar-drop-Pharma?

          • Syd yo no te puedo contestar tus conchas de mango pues no soy homeópata. Utilizo ambos tipos de medicina. Pero uso la homeopática la mayoría de las veces. No te go tiempo para discutir sobre algo que no aceptan no conocer. Es como discutir sobre la inmortalidad de los ángeles.
            No soy yo la que está en el Patíbulo de la Imquisicón de CC. Tengo todo el derecho a contestarle a quien quiero y a quien no. Me atengo al first ammendment. Lo que si te digo,es que desde que me vine a USA a casarme y ahora resido aquí me hace tanta falta el Dr Risquez como el Avila, los duraznos del Jarillo y mi amada ciudad.
            Aquí en USA los homeópatas no tienen que ser MD’s. En su mayoría son chiropractors. Y no he conseguido a nadie que llene sus zapatos…aún! Repito Chacun a son gout. Aqui en este kimdergarten patio pissing contest la única manera de ganar un punto en el debate es descalificarme. O insultarme…. Boooooring.

  8. lavici y demás defensores
    Puedes usar homeopatía toda la vida y eso no significa en lo más mínimo que sea medicina curativa. Que la use la reina o el sultán del sahara, no son argumentos válidos sobre su efectividad. Como bien indica Francisco la comunidad científica da por sentado su nula base científica y en el mejor de los cosas que sea tan efectiva como un placebo. Que la homeopatía es un negocio que juega con lo esperanza de la gente para producir millones de dolares lo saben todos los doctores serios. SI ustedes quieren seguir regalando su dinero, adelante. Pero por favor infórmense sobre el tema, lean en lo que se basa la homeopatía y verán que es anticiencia.

    • … A MI, Janine , me ha servido durante nnnnn mil años. Para diversas situaciones Y nadie, NADIE nadie me va a coartar mi libertad de usar lo que YO decida, es mi cuerpo y nadie me lo va a cambiar por otro. Me importa UN CARAJO o varios carajos si prefieres, lo que la comunidad científica decida. Si me calma las migrañas, o una sinusitis, o le mejora una infección de oídos, o una picada infectada. Ni que venga el presidente de Big Pharma a ofrecerme villas y castillos. Uso lo que me ha servido en realidad. And that’s it, baby…

  9. Sr Toro,

    Mi reconocimiento a su claridad. La homeopatía es un fraude.

    Es verdad que hay gentes que aun la usan, en el primer mundo por ignorancia y en Venezuela por desesperación. Y es lógico que no se envenenen, porque el agua con azúcar hasta hoy no ha matado a nadie ni tiene efectos secundarios.

    Hay fuertes movimientos anti-científicos en todo el mundo. Se niega la evolución, el calentamiento global y la eficacia de la vacunación. Muchas veces la prensa les hace juego al adoptar una falsa imparcialidad (lo que se caricaturiza con la frase “views on shape of the Earth differ”) pero aquí usted ha dado una lección de como hacer periodismo.

    Y en buen español además.

  10. Leyendo el artículo de Efecto Cocuyo, se me viene a la mente que lamentablemente nuestra aproximación a la medicina (la normal, la de los médicos graduados en facultades de medicina), es muchas veces similar a la que tenemos con las alternativas. Cuasi religiosa. “Noooo, el doctor tal me mandó unas pastillas que son buenííísimas para la tensión! No, mi amor, esas no sirven, estas son mejores”.

    Y de dónde sacamos esa información? De una amiga, de un primo, de un vecino que tiene una tía que va donde un doctor en la clínica tal, que además “es beeeello! Not very rational or scientific….

    Today I found, and read, this:
    http://www.wired.com/2015/04/alternative-medicine-believers-journey-back-science/

  11. Hablando de fraudes y medicina lo unico que me alegra es que Chavez se murio como un perro, con mucho dolor con su medicina cubana.

  12. Aclarado que aquì el problema es la escasez. Dicho esto, la defensa dde la homeopatìa:

    Cuando a mi me mencionan un mèdico infame, anoto su nombre para asegurarme de no ir. Lo mismo va con los homeòpatas o cualquier clase de charlatàn, el punto es escoger uno bueno, estudiado y MEDICO.
    Yo uso medicina alopàtica como cualquiera, pero el gran èxito en mi vida fuè olvidarme por 27 años de la migraña que me matò por 12. Gracias a un mèdico con toda clase de postgrados que usaba la homeopatìa como importante COMPLEMENTO a sus tratamientos. Los 27 años de felicidad terminaron cuando tuve mis cambios hormonales, mi mèdico fabuloso muriò (no lo habìa visto màs) y ningùn otro ha podido ayudarme en eso. En otras cosas tambièn me ha ido muy bien -igual que con la medicina alopàtica.
    Solo porque no sean creyentes no califiquen a los demàs de quacks. Eso si, creyentes, alèjense de los que pretendan ayudarlos eliminando por completo la medicina alopàtica, esos cometen el mismo error, y en la mayorìa de los casos son los sinvergûenzas. (y no es un error, no encontrè la dièresis)

    • El medico occidental de Mao escribio una biografia donde revela que Mao en algunas cosas se confiaba a la medicina moderna y en otras a la china tradicional ( que si existe), donde no hacia caso a la medicina occidental era en el cuidado de su dentadura, nunca se cepillaba los dientes sino que se los enjuagaba con unos menjurjes tradicionales , con el tiempo una muela se le infecto y como no queria tratarsela estuvo a punto de causarle la muerte. La biografia es excelente y ofrece un testimonio vivo de como era Mao , el retrato que nos revela no es nada halagueno.!!

  13. There are serious problems in the world of healthcare and Big Pharma, yes. But that doesn’t mean alternative medicine is legit as anything more than a placebo.

    Or, to use an analogy: “Just because there are problems with aircraft design, that doesn’t mean magic carpets really fly”

    • Why? What makes Big Pharma legit and alternative medicine not? Where is the new Moses with the engraved stone in the blood of thousands of sick people judging what is and what is not?

      • What makes Big Pharma legit and alternative medicine not?

        Diabetes mellitus. Or death. What’ll it be, lavici?

          • Life is short and anyway you’ll die like a fruit fly. So? You choose… You should read about Ikaria the island where most people are beyond 100 old. To see if you get it…g’night and good luck…

        • La verdad, prefiero leerme mi libro du jour, que seguir leyendo sandeces del pissing contest del kindergarten patio.

          • Lavici: has esquivado la pregunta, quizás por miedo. Vuelvo a preguntarte de otra manera:
            si dentro de un año te falleciera el pancreas y por ello, padecieras del diábetes mellitus, qué camino tomarías? el de la Big Pharma o el de las gotitas de azúcar?

            Se te espera la respuesta sin patadas.

            Btw, a mi sobrino le llegó el diabetes mellitus a los 18 meses de edad. Hoy tiene 23 años y sobrevive gracias a la CIENCIA comprobada de los doctores Banting y Best — quienes dieron al mundo su increíble descubrimiento, desde entonces, refinado gracias a los ciéntificos y el financiamiento de parte de la Big Pharma, que tanto horror te produce.

            Yo me pregunto: si fueras su mamá, dirías como lo pusiste, arriba mencionado: “Life is short and anyway you’ll die like a fruit fly. So?”

            Gracias a Dios que el fanaticismo no existe en mi familia. Porque mi sobrino es una maravilla de persona.

          • Ya te respondi arriba. Yo uso ambas medicinas dependiendo del caso,.. No me vengas con insultos u descalificaciones. Tus conchas de mango no las piso pues no soy medico cirujano especializado en Homeopatía. Soy paciente de Homeopatía. Y gracias a Dios, a mi me ha servido para la mayoría de mis achaques. Qué te importa que yo crea en lo aue yo creo? Cuál es tu Rollo?

    • This is great news. Don’t worry, people won’t starve. If Polar goes down, the Regime might follow.

      Hopefully, the Escasez will get a lot worse, the Queues a lot longer, and then, maybe, people will begin to wake up. The more escasez, the more inflacion, the better, at this point.

    • Judging from Osorio’s comments yesterday, I think this sets the stage for the sacking of Polar.

      “La Polar y todas las empresas. No es ensañamiento con Polar pero si Polar comete errores, tomaremos las medidas, contra ellos tomaremos las medidas, no es que tengamos ensañamiento, no tenemos ensañamiento con Polar, pero si no trabajan iremos con las autoridades y si implica quitar, expropiar e intervenir lo tenemos que hacer”.

      In a situation where it is impossible to produce and distribute, how do you not make mistakes and fail to operate effectively?

      I think this will be a real test for homeopathy….after all, everyone will soon be diluting their food down 50-100 times to survive.

  14. Its funny how people sometimes understand facts , an european anthrpologist was visiting this very primitive tribe in an island in the pacific and discovered that they had very hazy ideas about human conception and gestation , so he very patiently explained to them how human beigns were conceived as a result of sexual copulation between a woman and her man , and how the mother carried her childs fetus for nine months until the child was born .!!

    Ha!! exclaimed an skeptical old timer, ” its all hog wash and I can prove it to you, if it takes 9 monts after a man lays with his women for the child to be born how come Kaluna here has a six month child and her husband has been away for 2 years !!!”

    Suffice to say that the anthropologist faced with such argument made no further attempts to explain the basics of human gestation to these primitive islanders.

  15. En fin… Comomsi en Venezuela la gente humilde no fuese a brujos y los yerbateros pululan en los mercados. Eso es malo? Bueno para mi todo origina en las medicinas de las teibus aborígenes. Tanto la alopática como la homeopáticas. Las yerbas y hongos de la medicina tradicional china. Todo se origina en las plantas. So… Use whatever makes you happy and can find without stressing out. Life is short, and anyway you die. FIN

  16. I do not know how this post came about. However,it looks to me like a highly contentious view is being exposed here. Personally, I know squat about homeopathy and eat religiously 2 apples a day so as to keep at least two doctors away. If homeopathy was such a treat on our health, it would have been outlawed by various governments by now. Does not look so:

    http://www.homeopathie-francaise.com/
    http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/
    https://www.homeopathy.org/
    http://www.esrhu.com/
    http://www.homeopathie-unio.be/fr/general/homeopathie/homeopathie-en-belgique/les-associations-homeopathiques-belges/la-societe-royale-belge-d-homeopathie-1920
    http://www.homeopathyeurope.org/Italy

    And I have not yet looked at homeopathic sites in Hong Kong, Rwanda and Fiji. The interesting part is that in some countries such as Italy, you can only practice homeopathy if you have a doctor’s license. If it looks like a quack, talks like a quack and walks like a quack what is it? An homeopath? Dr Francisco Toro, you give me a good laugh. Many thanks.

    • In Venezuela you also have to be a graduated MD since Homeopathy started at least 50 years ago. But this is a pissing contest. So…
      Let’s hope Toro’s next post is about Santería.

  17. Is there a scientific explanation for the placebo effect?, the whole notion that the way you think about a thing can affect some concrete aspect of your health or bodily condition is pretty outlandish . I suppose that a placebo effect can work both to improve a persons health or to worsen it . We eschew explanations which dont follow a strictly scientific process of verification but then discover that sometimes there isnt one which is scientifically persuasive.

    Knew a gentlemen, a rather gangly, un prepossesing looking language teacher in his late fifties who fell madly in love with a very young woman (one of his pupils) , left his charming intelligent wife of many years to go and live with this young woman (who strangely enough corresponded his affections) . At one point the young woman demanded he divorce his wife to marry her but, he couldnt bear doing that to his faithful wife of so many years , so he broke up with his young lady and he went back to his wife.

    Shortly thereafter he started having devastating athsma attacks which came close to suffocating him , the doctors couldnt find anything wrong with his health, couldnt find a medical explanation for those athsma attacks and concluded that maybe this was a somatic reflection of his deep remorse at having abandoned his wife (other less charitable souls believed he felf remorse at having abandoned his young lover for his old wife)

    The thing is that after repeated attacks the gentlemen in question ended up by dying suffocated in one of his attacks. This an actual ocurrence.

    Sometimes we assumme that science has all the answers but then discover that there are very oulandish things , almost metaphysical in nature for which science has not easily credible explanation but which it declares do exist. .

    For example I am baffled by the scientific explanation about the event that brought about the birth of the universe , the so called big gang , we are told that in the beggining was nothingness, and I dont mean just empty space , but an ontological condition where there was no time , no space , nothing that could serve as the building blocks of matter or energy even in its most elemental form and that from this nothingness sprung suddelnly an explosion from which the whole universe evolved !!

    This explanation which cosmologists tell us is the only scientifically credible one on how the universe was born is as incredible and fantastic as those supernatural explanations which we recieve from traditional religions .

    We men are confronted with misteries that appear to have no explanation we can even begin to understand . misteries that are deep and darkly disquieting .Religion may represent an attempt by primitive people to come to terms with those misteries in a way that they could understand . There may be possible explanations which approach the religious but which are different from the traditional biblical accounts that for us represent religion . This is a topic which a blog which deals with more mundane matters of a political or economic nature might best avoid. Venezuela today is not a mistery so much as a torment which we never tire of discussing and bemoaning . Perhaps we should stay phocused in what is the principal subject matter thats brought us together to this blog.

    • The deadly asthma attacks were undoubtedly due to leaving the young lover. This is a scientific fact.

    • And about the Big Bang cute little fairy tale: it will soon become true, but only within the boundaries of a combustible Venezuela, regardless of any absurd epistemological theories or stupid religions.

      • Maicol, in my youth physicists were divided into two bands concerning the issue of whether the universe had an origin or had always existed ,there were two contending theories : the first theory was known as the big bang theory and second as the ‘steady state theory’, eventually the first theory was empirically demonstrated to be true, the scientist who made the proof were awarded the noble price . The big bang explanation is know part of the scientific canon , I dont find the big bang explanation cute , if you think about it and its implications its rather horrifying , We have a hard time understanding the notion of nothingness as excluding things like space and time and matter and yet thats what science tells us , much less how from such nothingness sprung an explosion so huge and vast that it made the universe. I dont think the ancients had the imagination to think of something so impossible to conceive .!! and yet science vouchs for its truth.!! If you come down to it most ancient cosmogonies went for the steady state explanations , their gods didnt create the universe, there was always a protouniverse but it lacked order , it existed in a state of primeval chaos , what their gods did was infusse it with order , nothing more . The jews were the first to conceive of a God that actually created the universe from nothingness. countering a native mental intuition which in latin is expressed as ‘nihil ex nihil fit’, nothing can come from nothing. But what science is telling us is exactly the reverse. !!

        Still if all of the above bores you ( as well it might) I view with sympathy your forecast that Venezuela become soon the scenario of a big bang ( i would prefer bloodless) capable of ridding us of the regime that oppresses us .!!

        • Bill, I disagree that “Science” “proved” the Big Bang, or any other creationist theory. “Empirically, mathematically or otherwise. There is broad controversy still, plus neither prevalent theories you describe truly makes any sense. That’s why you and and most of us remain “baffled” as you put it by such unanswered questions.

          Among the main problems we have as little, ignorant humans, are arrogance, excessive ego, and fear. A pervasive combination of those and other character defects makes some “leading scientists” or “theologians” think that they know what today is clearly unknown, and perhaps, to us, forever unknowable.

          For the majority, it’s too tough to simply admit “I don’t know.”. And about how this universe started, or even what “reality” is, we just don’t know. I think we are not currently equipped to handle intellectually some far away concepts like time/space and other possible dimensions and/or forms of matter/energy.

          At some point, according to any mathematics, physics, “religion” or human “logic” nothingness and something-ness must meet. A Big Bang, or a small anything – out of Nothing.. does not make any sense either. Socrates and countless Agnostics through history continue to conclude that much.

          • Maicol I simpathize very much with your idea that sometimes , where science or experience or logic offers us no plausible or credible answer the wisest thing is to be honest with one self and simply admit that one doesnt know . you are right that too often pride has us attempt to assert ourselves by adopting a position which really we cant rationally vouch for. Somehow humankind is saddled with the superstition that not being all knowing makes us ‘lose face’ and thats really absurd . The most distinguished proponent of this idea is none other than Montaigne whose favourite motto was ‘ Que sais je’ (not sure about the spelling) but which translates into ‘what do I know??’.

            Now about the big bang theory with all respect I must correct you on two points , one that its a creationist theory , it is not , that the universe has a beginning doenst mean that it was created by a biblical god , just that we dont know how to explain the phenomena in ways that are naturally understandable , the right posture of course is as you suggest ‘ We just dont know’.

            If you try to have a deaf man understand what a Mozart piece sounds like , or explain to a colour blind man what the colour yellow is like , or if a dog tried to explaint to you ( assumming it is equiped with a capacity for speech) what the world of its smells are like , they will not be able to do so because there are natural epistemological barriers that you cant cross ,perhaps understanding nothingness in the sense that is proposd to us by the big bang theory is something that we cant understand because of an epistemological barrier of the kind I mention above .

            The second correction is that as far as Ive ben able to determine , the confrontation between the steady state theory and the big bang theory was settled several decades ago and there is very litttle doubt if any among scientists that the big bang theory is nowadays the canonical explanation for how the universe was born ..

            Do keep in mind that Im absolutely indifferent to the creationist vs evolutionist conflict that so fiercely divides people in the US , in fact Im a life long devotee of evolutionary views and think that any one doubting evolution has to be either daft or much ofuscated by some sort of recalcitrant fanatism .

            The catholic church in fact has not trouble defending the truth of evolution although it has adapted some of its tenets to make them compatible with church teaching . Some people like having their cake and eating it too , and I ve no problem with that either , if that makes them happy provided they dont attempt to force me to take a similar view.

          • Well, how do these scientists “canonize” their “proven” Big Bang theory without any Creationist hints?

            The point is no one really knows much at all about anything, we’re pre-prehistorical in my view: ignorant infants. We know very little about the Universe, recently just guessing it’s expanding, but slower than thought a few years ago, that in theory space-time can be bent, other dimensions.. we really know shyt.. in relative terms. A bit more than a few hundred years ago when we swore the Earth was flat and today, people still swear Noah saved us all (animals and Masburro included) on his wonder boat.

            For all we know there may be mutiple alternate realities or dream worlds in perpendicular or parallel Galaxies from some other time Trillions or Billions of Zillions of years ago. That’s how little we know when we honestly even begin to look at our little skies, a speck of dust in Trillions of Universes, or so it seems.

          • There is a book written by a highly talented writer on Scientific topics , Nathalie Angier . The book is called ‘The Canon’ , it attempts to educate non scientists on those very basic scientific topics every modern person should know , among them of course the Big Bang. She is a pleasure to read , fluently literate but rich in details , I suggest you try and find this book and read from the bottom of page 242 onwards ( the Mariner book edition) . By the way she is an avowed and militant atheist . In her book there is no doubt about the truth of the Big Bang Theory. Please dont be like the people you criticize , give your mind a chance .!!

          • BB “The second correction is that as far as Ive ben able to determine , the confrontation between the steady state theory and the big bang theory was settled several decades ago and there is very litttle doubt if any among scientists that the big bang theory is nowadays the canonical explanation for how the universe was born”

            Little doubt are the key words.A true scientific attitude is something not all scientists have precisely because they are subject to tenure, funding and politics.

            But the truly scientific attitude will declare a fact with the understanding that that fact could be negated in the future, which would give the scientist a humble opinion rather than feel the owners of an arrogant truth.This has always been the beauty and strength of Science up til recently when politics has insinuated itself into the science world…I think that a lot people who are now opposing this pseudo scientific attitude are in reality reacting to arrogance which has never been a traditional part of true Science.

          • Bill Blass Scientists do not deal in the word truth.They speak of facts….Big difference.

          • Facts by themselves are meaningless , they have to be interpreted and explained to be understood , the interpretation is correct or wrong or part right and part wrong , either way an interpretation which is correct is by common convention called truth.. there are scientific statements which have been proven beyond the doubt of almost all scientists ( scientific truth does nor require unanimity there are always cranks even in science) , in that case the answer deemed correct by the preponderance of scientific opinion is held to be true unless some new fact surfaces which casts reasoinable doubt on the original answer . it may well be that actually the sun moves arround planet earth , but you wont find many scientists waiting for the proof of that to suddenly surface.!! facts are ubfirnation , interpretations are knowldge , knowledge applied to life can be wisdom. !!

    • BB: To answer your questions + anecdote, the latter lending itself to parody, hopefully not distasteful if the gentleman was a friend of yours …

      Is there a scientific explanation for the placebo effect?
      As a lay person I can guess that there is no scientific explanation for the placebo effect. But, I do know where the placebo effect is definitely used in science. Case in point: when the placebo group forms a significant part of carefully-controlled drug studies, prior to tallied results and their presentation for final vetting by the appropriate national authorities. One study I’ve recently read about is the A4 Study (North America) to determine the efficacy of a developed drug for Alzheimer’s. In the study, the control group of two is given a placebo, the other group, a drug that is undergoing human trials, prior to both groups being examined under MRI.

      Regarding the anecdote, I do believe that the body and the mind are inextricably linked, and could give rise to certain psychosomatic illnesses or conditions. But getting the point of the anecdote, could the asthma attack not have had a more simple explanation? Here’s how I see it. When the man returned to the home of his then ex-wife, she took him back under two conditions: one, that she be reinstated in his will; and two, that she never have to dust the house again. Needless to say, on both counts, she was very happy!

    • Bill Bass, the placebo effect has been tested and it is considered medically effective only in treating subjective symptoms, such as pain.

      • Thanks both to syd and to ex for the placebo explanation . Still there are times when you just wonder . My wife as a small child was her grandads favourite, one time she fell ill with a heavy fever that wouldnt fall , her father was away on a trip so he first brough her to the physician to see whether he could lower her temperature , nothing doing , then he tried praying the prayers of his religion (he was jewish) , nothing doing , then he went to his friend the parish priest and had him say some masses , nothing doing , finally he went to the local witchdoctor and by chance after some rezos and passes her fever dissapeared .

        I liked his pragmatism , by turn he tried different remedies until he found one that worked , it didnt bother him who lowered his grandchilds temperature , what method he used , what principles he appealed to , he just wanted the fever to fall and thats what he got.!!

        • BB, I hope the local witch doctor recommended that the young girl drink a glass of water, at least, or take a cold bath. Thankfully, he was no fool, likely knowing that one of his recommendations, combined with the element of time would surely take care of lowering the fever.

          And as for the recommendations, I’d wonder first what they were before considering them as placebos.

          • As far as I know all he did was pray and make some hand passes over her head , I dont think this was the placebo effect working but pure chance , her temperature was going to fall after some time and it did by coincidence when he intervened . The real point in the anecdote is that if you are pragmatic then you never discard an alternative once the proven remedies or solutions dont work !! you roll the dice and if there is nothing to be lost by playing you just try something else.

        • otra cosa…
          Six years ago, on a proverbially dark and rainy night, my driver’s side was bashed in by a rogue driver of an express city bus, who was shaving time by using the left-turn lane. I was in shock, and again when the police tried to frame me as the guilty party. (Unions protecting unions.) The policewoman, who had falsified the drawing indicating vehicle positioning, didn’t realize that in the 4 hours it took for her to arrive at the scene, I somehow managed to photograph what the camera captured from my dashboard. And for the next 2 + years, I couldn’t concentrate, had anxiety levels I couldn’t control, etc. My family phyx who recommended melatonin (useless for the job at hand) next referred me to a psychologist, who had no clue how to deal with the issues — another shaggy dog story. Next, I was to a psychiatrist. He knew that a drug would be overkill; instead, he recommended a yerbita: St. John’s Wort, known to calm nerves. It worked, and trust me, I’m deeply skeptical — of everything! So this St. John’s Wort did not cure me, but calmed me enough so that I deal with daily activities a little more effectively, including the hiring of a defense lawyer, and the presentation of my photographic evidence. (Two years later, the case was thrown out of court; ex-camera, the prosecutor told the policewoman and the bus driver that the jig was up.) I no longer take the St. John’s Wort, but then anxiety levels are now very mild and more or less psychologically manageable.

        • Bill Bass, as a psych professor once explained superstition: indians don’t dance and make it rain, they dance until it rains…

          • extorres,

            There are different types of knowledge, and the trick is to know how to use each type and when to use it.

            Only a very insecure person, and one not versed in the different levels of knowledge would waste too much time proving the other wrong.

            Science deals in facts, and medical science is provable using the scientific method and has a certain amount of consistency based on trials,

            Intuitive healing techniques are often based on intuition and usually count on belief and the power of belief for it to work, though not always.Some folk medicine has not been tested by science and yet is useful even without belief

            However I think most people would agree that it is better to take our chances on the more consistent scientifically developed medicine when dealing with dangerous illness.But this is up to the each person.

  18. It’s frightening to see that even among the enlightened readers here at CC a lack of science education abounds. No, homeopathic medicine will not cure your chakras or align your auras or some other bullshit (I have a cousin who looooves her New Age crap) The fact that “science cant explain” things doesn’t mean they’re other-wordly or need a different form of explanation. It’s the basic proof of God fallacy. “You can’t prove A, therefore B is correct.” What I’ve learned over the years is that people who believe in curanderos, yerbas and other crap that doesn’t work aren’t easily convinced. They don’t get that ‘el tio de mi vecino jura que da resultados’ is anecdotal evidence and they usually defend this anecdotal evidence with more anecdotal evidence. If global warming and Holocaust deniers are still around in the US and Europe is it really surprising that we’ve got this crap down here?

    • “If global warming deniers are still around in the US and Europe (…)?”

      Buddy, are you still in 2006? Don’t you read the news in 2015? I mean, I expect chavistas to believe at everything thrown at them, but one would expect that CC’s “enlightened readers” would be a little bit more, you know, skeptical about everything? Fanaticism is something very dangerous my friend.

      http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/548516/North-South-poles-not-melting-Dr-Benny-Peiser

      • I left Venezuela a long time ago. Since then I have watched, sadly but safely, how Venezuelans take wrong decisions and destroy their country.

        Unfortunately, I cannot leave planet Earth. So just watching people squirm in ignorance like little worms and take stupid decisions is a luxury that none of us can afford.

        You read someone like Marc, how he produces and eats his own excrement, and yeah, sure, you can think how funny it is but the fact is ignorant arses like him vote and have an influence, since there are quite a few like him.

        One of the challenges we face is to find a way to de-politicise science, so understanding global warming or evolution ceases to be a political position and starts being just an educational problem.

        Having an educated, well-informed electorate is the way to prevent a return to populism.

      • You tell people not to believe everything thrown at them, then you link to an article by Dr Benny Paiser? Seriously? The guy has zero expertise in climate science, he’s a social anthropologist. In his own words, he is “not a climate scientist” and has “never claimed to be one.” The original reason he got well known was when he challenged an academic paper’s conclusion that the unanimous consensus of thousands of peer reviewed articles was that global warming was real…but then later had to admit he was wrong and he really only found one article that rejected global warming, and that article was not submitted for peer review. He later withdrew his letter, but by that time he was already a hero on Fox News and other organizations.

        He’s a mediocrity who’s made a career out of being a talking head global warming denialist, not dissimilar to those so called academics abroad who go on TV shows and defend the Chavista regime using all sorts of false stats and phony logic. Come to think of it, aren’t a few of the remaining outspoken Chavista defenders in the West all anthropology or sociology professors?

  19. Three medical issues that particularly engage me in Venezuela (when I am not debating the soundness of gluten in Canada):

    -cold weather will not injure your health and so it is okay for kids to play outside in the snow
    -playing basketball does not make you taller (though it is a good thing to do)
    -if you are a new mother, the people that tell you that you are not able to breastfeed are probably wrong
    -dried cat shit is not a cure for dengue

    Everybody quickly reverts medieval thinking when it comes to health issues. Strange. Happens everywhere.

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