Many thanks for Oliver Dowding for these thoughts on homeopathy, and the assault it is currently receiving from the vested interests of conventional medicine.
Oliver is not a homeopathy. He is a former farmer who discovered that
homeopathy helped his livestock, and treated them successfully for many
years with homeopathy.
"Homeopathy is regularly confronted by cynics, sceptics, regulators and
goodness knows who-else, trying to deny the efficacy of homoeopathy, and
insisting that it be regulated in a manner which emasculates all its
Now, we find that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have decided
that qualified homoeopaths are now no longer permitted to explain how
homoeopathy works. Furthermore, they're not allowed to publish evidence on
their websites, provided by their own patients, because of new regulations
and bureaucracy. No matter that these patients have actually benefitted from
homeopathy, and are well again. It seems ludicrous that homoeopath are not
allowed to explain how they perceive homoeopathy to work.
There are many forms of medicine, and medications, and treatments, and
operations performed on people which by their very nature are exploratory
and poorly understood. Whilst the precise mechanism by which homoeopathy
operates may not be fully understood, yet, the reality of its efficacy is
well appreciated by many.
To me it defies logic that people who claim to be 'educated' scientists can
deny the results gained when homoeopathy is used to treat huge animals, such
as farm animals and others.
Rather than deny its validity, surely it should be a question of
investigating why it worked rather than trying to find reasons why shouldn't
Therefore, it seems totally logical to allow the homoeopath to offer an
opinion to the patient. I'd be fairly certain that the vast majority of
doctors couldn't explain how a particular drug that they are about to offer
the patient actually worked. They do not understand the mode of operation,
simply that giving drug "A" seems to be successful in treating condition
I also find it frustrating that a homoeopath can no longer advertise what
conditions they are able to treat. This applies equally to a veterinary
surgeon using homoeopathy for livestock. Why should this be?
I appreciate that it's impossible for any homoeopath to be definitive about
everything they treat, because in reality many conditions have variants.
However, I cannot see why it would be wrong for them to be able to explain
the typical conditions they treat. It's a simple matter of fact that if
you've used remedy "X" to treat condition "Y" and seen positive results that
you should be allowed to report those.
Naturally, I appreciate that there are many people who might be unscrupulous
and place bogus testimonials on websites or in literature. However, as long
as they have a verifiable source for that, and can back up their claims, I
see no problem in such testimonials being allowed. Indeed, it ought to be
obligatory as that's the only way that the intended patient can see that
there is a positive potential.
I fail to see why somebody who has improved health following a visit (or
perhaps succession of visits) to a homoeopath cannot report how things have
changed for them. I've met many people who have had great success following
One that always stands out is an arch critic of homoeopathy, who following
many years enduring a persistent cough, or more pertinently his family had
had to endure for many years, agreed to visit a homoeopath as every
conventional option possible had failed to yield any benefit. Within the
week the cough had gone, and has never returned, much to his consternation
and chagrin. However, I did give him credit for being prepared to admit
That this kind of restraint is now being imposed by ASA is felt by many to
be dispiriting. Why is homeopathy being targeted in this way? I suggest that
itís partly because it is cheap and effective. It is therefore easy to
suggest that those trying to regulate or denigrate homoeopathy are part of
an orchestrated campaign by those from within the pharmaceutical industry,
who perhaps feel that their commercial fiefdom is under threat.
However, in my opinion that's exactly what it is, a campaign and/or a
vendetta. Furthermore, despite there being many conventional doctors,
veterinary surgeons and others trained conventionally, who subsequently have
undertaken additional training and become qualified in human or animal
homoeopathy, it still amazes me how closed-minded so many of the
conventional doctors and veterinary surgeons can be.
I've personally received much vilification when explaining my many positive
experiences over 15 years with dairy cattle being treated predominantly by
homoeopathy. This criticism comes in many cases from people who've been
involved in medicine for a lifetime. I've met these accusations and
dismissals both in private, at public meetings and even in media encounters.
I'm not sure whether those trying to criticise me feel personally
threatened, or that I might in some way be questioning their professional
capability in some way, but what disturbs me is their unwillingness to allow
somebody else who has a differing opinion from themselves and the differing
way of treating illness to voice their opinions and suggestions.
I thought science was all about investigation and discovery. It has made me
sad to see how many so-called scientists (which of course include doctors et
al) appear to have such a closed mind. In this world in which we live we
need every resource we can find, not least in the parts of the world where
money is not available to afford the more expensive medicine that we've
become used to in the West. There are a great many people, in countries such
as India, and I'm talking tens of millions, who are routinely benefiting
from being treated by homoeopaths. The suffering these people would endure
without homoeopathy is unimaginable.
Furthermore, I find it disconcerting that whenever I've raised the subject
with government, the NHS, and others charged with improving the health and
welfare for the population, my offers have been either politely declined, or
more usually ignored. When that happens, it does little more than to confirm
suspicions of an agenda that is anti-alternative medicine, and specifically
For example, I've tried to interest the BBC, through their farming unit, to
take up the subject of how homoeopathy is being used so successfully on many
farms. The organisation which offers training to farmers to use homoeopathy,
HAWL (www.hawl.co.uk) was in 2010 voted the third best in the category
"livestock adviser of the year" at the Farmers Weekly annual awards. The
Farmers Weekly can safely be considered very conservative, and not naturally
friendly to alternative options - especially given the revenue it needs to
earn from advertisers, the largest of which are almost invariably the large
pharmaceutical, chemical and fertiliser companies.
When the journalist who runs the 'Farming Today' program, with whom I spoke
at a conference in early 2010, expressed surprise that you could use
homoeopathy on animals, I suggested she consider making a feature of this.
Repeated enquiries via e-mail and letter have been ignored completely. The
reason for this remains a mystery to me, as I thought journalism was about
reporting everything, not selectively censoring things, which appears to be
what's happening in parts of the BBC, not least with regard homoeopathy.
This is disappointing to say the least.
The end result of all this is that we must not give up our campaigning
because were not getting heard. We must work harder, and shout louder so
that our voice cannot be ignored. Our experiences need to be gathered
together, and presented coherently. We cannot be allowed to be squashed.
Long live homoeopathy!