I should perhaps note that I do have a very particular and vehement loathing of people who exploit the otherwise perfectly natural fears and anxieties that parents have in regards to the health and well-being of their offspring, so if you’re in the business of pushing woo on kids then consider yourself warned.
I wish to complain about health claims made by a Mr Len Marlow on his website ‘Homeopathy Today’, which can be accessed at the following internet URL:
According to his website, Mr Marlow trades as a homeopath from four separate clinics (listed here – http://homeopathytoday.wordpress.com/clinics/) and offers consultations via the internet for which he charges £40 for a one-off consultation and/or a subscription fee of £25 per month for regular monthly consultations.
Details of Mr Marlow’s fees are available on this webpage:
My complaint relates specifically to a series of health-related claims made under the page heading ‘Pregnancy and Childbirth. The URL of this webpage, which I viewed at 12:30am on 1 March 2011 is:
This webpage includes the following claims, none of which are, to the best of my knowledge, supported by robust scientific evidence:
– Common issues where homeopathy is particularly helpful, may be in dealing with morning sickness, or in turning a breech baby at term. It is also possible to help where there is difficulty in conceiving, or in instances of frequent miscarriage.
There is no robust evidence to support the use of homeopathy for any of these conditions and I therefore believe these claims to be misleading.
– Birth itself is such a high energy process that it is often possible to offer a few acute remedies with clear indications for their use:
– to help with the delivery
– baby not coming out
– placenta not coming out
– excessive bleeding
and then afterwards with:
– healing emotionally; transition, shock/trauma
– healing bruising, episiotomy wounds, tears
– breast feeding; sore nipples, milk flow, mastitis
There is no robust evidence to support the use of homeopathy for any of these conditions.
In the case of induced labour, which is referred to above as ‘baby not coming out’, a systematic review published by the world renowned Cochrane Library concluded that:
“The review of two trials, involving 133 women, found there was not enough evidence to show the effect of a homeopathy as a method of induction.” – Smith CA. Homoeopathy for induction of labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2003, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD003399. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003399, available online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD003399/frame.html
I am particularly concerned by the reference to ‘excessive bleeding’; a claim which could delay or dissuade some people from seeking proper and possibly urgently needed medical advice and treatment.
– They [babies] are always so small… but so strong! Here homeopathy can be truly magical, babies crying all night (and all day!) turn into quiet little lambs. Horrendous eczema can just “evaporate”. Nappy rash, constipation, teething, all do very well with homeopathy.
Again, there is no robust clinical evidence to show that homeopathy is effective in treating any of these conditions. Eczema can be a serious condition in young children if left untreated and can result in both disfigurement and, in extreme case, even deaths, if proper medical advice is not sought by parents.
– Many families, having had a good experience through pregnancy and childbirth, find a prominent place for homeopathy in the family medicine chest. They will look to homeopathy as the first port of call for those childhood problems: teething, constipation, night terrors, asthma and eczema, coughs and colds and for any possible issues that may come up for the parents – such as PND, menstrual disorders, re-balancing of hormones, adapting to changes in family relationships.
There is no robust clinical evidence to support the use of homeopathy for any of the many conditions listed in this paragraph.
– As children grow they develop various ailments (nobody is perfect!). Glue ear and earaches are now quite common, homeopathy is often a good intervention before grommets and may avoid the need for such a move.
There is no robust clinical evidence to support the use of homeopathy for either of these conditions.
– Because homeopaths base their prescriptions on a whole person approach, the therapy is particularly good with developmental problems and those symptoms described as on the ‘autistic spectrum’. In fact, we often see patterns between certain common physical symptoms and very troubling emotional symptoms.
There is no robust clinical evidence to support the use of homeopathy for any of these conditions.
A systematic review of the evidence relating to homeopathy and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), a common developmental disorder, concluded that:
“This review aimed to assess the evidence for homeopathy as an intervention for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Four trials were retrieved and assessed with mixed results. Overall the results of this review found no evidence of effectiveness for homeopathy for the global symptoms, core symptoms or related outcomes of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” – Heirs M, Dean ME. Homeopathy for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or hyperkinetic disorder. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD005648. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005648.pub2. – available online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD005648/frame.html
– While it is usual for a teenager to arrive with a physical problem (hay fever or glandular fever) and this yields well to homeopathy, it is the psychodynamic improvements (for that read attitude!) that are the most remarkable. Children nearly pushed out of school start looking for their A stars. Kids in fights start to walk away from all that stuff. Low self confidence responds just as well to homeopathy as spots!
There is no robust clinical evidence to support the use of homeopathy as a treatment for either glandular fever or hay fever.
There is no robust clinical evidence to support the claim that homeopathy has any ‘psychodynamic’ effects other than acting as a placebo.
To summarise, I do not believe that Mr Marlow can substantiate any of the health-related claims made on this webpage to the standards required by the ASA and that more or less the entire contents of this webpage are misleading in such a manner as to abuse the trust of members of the public and exploit the public’s lack of knowledge and experience of the limitations of homeopathy.
I would like to confirm that I have no commercial interest.
I enclose a PDF copy of the webpage to which these complaints relate.