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Homeopathy provided by a national health service: Only in Italy?

Published:March 23, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2017.03.013
      Homeopathy was born in Germany around the end of the eighteenth century through the work of Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843). In the context of a medical era characterized by remedies such as bloodletting and the therapeutic use of odd blends of poorly defined substances, it can be understood that homeopathy had its own appeal. Yet, taking into account the Avogadro law as well as the huge dilutions of homeopathy products, their contents in term of active principles is close to zero, thus making indistinguishable the various available brands with alleged different therapeutic properties. In 1988 the interest for homeopathy rose because a scientific publication [
      • Davenas E.
      • Beauvais F.
      • Amara J.
      • et al.
      Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE.
      ] offered the views that the dilutions and shakings of the homeopathy products would trigger a putative “memory of the water”. This bold hypothesis was subsequently dismantled by experiments carried out with a double-blind design and suitable controls [
      • Hirst S.J.
      • Hayes N.A.
      • Burridge J.
      • Pearce F.L.
      • Foreman J.C.
      Human basophil degranulation is not triggered by very dilute antiserum against human IgE.
      ].

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