We challenge homeopaths to demonstrate that homeopathy is effective by showing that the Cochrane Collaboration has published a review that is strongly and conclusively positive about high dilution homeopathic remedies for any human condition.
Or, we challenge homeopaths to have such a review published within 12 months of the first publication of extracts from Trick or Treatment? (8 April, 2009).
The Prize will be £10,000 – it will be paid by Ernst and Singh out of their own pockets to the first person or persons to present such evidence.
I’ve just finished reading the book, and recommend it highly, even to people who, like me, do not need convincing that complementary and alternative medicine doesn’t really work. (Here in the U.K., it’s called Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial.)
Ernst and Singh put four popular alternative therapies under the microscope. Acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy and herbal medicine, each have a devoted chapter, in which the evidence for and against is comprehensively examined. 30 more alternative therapies are summarized in the appendix.
The conclusion is that acupuncture can be effective as a short-term analgesic and in treating nausea; chiropractic is somewhat effective as a treatment for back pain; and some herbal remedies, such as garlic for high cholesterol, are effective. Given their confidence about offering £10,000 of their own money in this challange, you can imagine what they concluded about homeopathy.
What made this book enjoyable for me was the strong historical emphasis. I learned, for example, that the Nazis advocated homeopathy, and that George Washington died as a result of having half of his blood drained from his body by bloodsucking leeches.