The most excellent Leonie Joubert (a journalist and acclaimed author) had a great Mail & Guardian column about homeopathy a while back. Writes Joubert:
I've taken my share of homeopathic remedies over the years and have given the same assertion that most users do: "I tried it when I had x-y-z and I got better." Well, maybe the placebo effect was strong, or I was going to get better anyway (after all, illnesses either run their course or kill you). Personal anecdote isn't evidence of efficacy.Also check out Leonie's blog. Oh, and I reviewed Leonie's book, Scorched, some time ago.
What's the harm in a bit of placebo effect, dressed up as a legitimate remedy? Britain's Royal Pharmaceutical Society agrees there's place for "harmless faith-based remedies". But when a cancer patient abandons chemo or a kid's eardrum ruptures because the infection didn't get treated with more than sugar pills, that's another matter. And my medical aid payments are subsidising another's sham treatment. That irks.