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Unread 03-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
Agosto
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Default Hyland's Restful Legs (homeopathy)

I have been debating with myself for some time whether or not to post this. I've decided to do so, for whatever good may come of it. I hope it will be received in the friendly and non-judgemental spirit in which it is offered.

In this Tapering off & post-taper subforum I frequently see recommendations of a product called Hyland's Restful Legs. By the manufacturer's own description, it is a homeopathic product. I won't comment here on the product itself (as I've little experience with it, and it's entirely possible that it works for many people), but I will provide some important background on what "homeopathic" really means and what "homeopathic medicine" actually is.

First, a clarification: Homeopathy is NOT the same thing as naturopathy, nor is it synonymous with herbal medicine, or any kind of "natural" remedy as those terms are commonly used. Homeopathy is a very specific kind of medical philosophy, developed in Germany in the early 19th century.

And in my lay opinion and in the expert opinion of most scientists and scholars, homeopathy is utterly scientifically bankrupt. Pure quackery. Here's why:

The key concepts in homeopathy are

1) The Law of Similars, or "Like cures like" - the idea that in very small doses, something that would normally cause a malady, will actually cure it (eg, spicy pepper extract might actually cure a fever).

2) The Law of Infinitesimals - the (bizarre) idea that the smaller the dose of the remedy, the more effective it is. To this end, homeopathic compounds are diluted in water, and diluted, and diluted, and diluted, and diluted, and diluted, and diluted, and diluted again (often 'til scarcely a molecule of the original substance remains). The solution, which is by then effectively pure water, is thought to be at its most effective.

Again, I am not making any claims about the Hyland's product, and I certainly don't want to discourage people from trying any restless-leg remedies that they believe might work for them. But before you go out and spend money on any kind of medicinal product, it might be a good idea to understand exactly what it is and why it's supposed to work.

Please note as well that I am not claiming that homeopathic medicines are useless. For a variety of reasons that science has not yet fully explained, many treatments can bring relief even when there is no plausible bio-/physiological model for how that might work (the placebo effect).

Sources:
Wikipedia article on homeopathy
Nat'l Institutes of Health entry on homeopathy
The Skeptic'S Dictionary: Homeopathy
James Randi explains homeopathy
Quackwatch (Stephen Barrett, MD): Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake

Last edited by Agosto; 03-04-2013 at 01:41 PM..
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Unread 03-04-2013, 05:29 PM   #2
HopeThisWorks
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Worked for me. Been off subs for over 2 years. Hylands was only a small part in my recovery but was helpful in my opinion.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 05:36 PM   #3
Agosto
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I tried it during withdrawal once, in desperation. But I already knew about homeopathy, so I couldn't even get a placebo thing goin'.

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