Warning: iridology scientific evidence?


Warning: iridology scientific evidence?


Online Iridology Classes (3)

Herbalist Michael Tierra has described how he became disillusioned with iridology. After making various observations, he stopped using it but still hoped that it would turn out to have some value. Then, however:

A younger colleague fully equipped with the most up-to-date specialized iridology equipment introduced himself and stated that he wanted to give iridology readings at my clinic and at the same time monitor the course of my patients over a period of six months.

Given the fact that for most of us as well my patients six months is quite a long period, there was ample opportunity for many of these to go through a variety of health-related changes. Some people became well and got sick again with either the same or perhaps a different set of symptoms, others suffered injuries or operations. They all had their irises repeatedly photographed and studied by my colleague and myself. Where was Peczely’s owl or the markings he claimed to observe in patients of the 19th century Hungarian hospital ward? Where were the fine white healing lines that were supposed to knit together the small dark lacunae corresponding to the healing of operations and injuries of different parts of the body?

Our conclusion after six months: my colleague, trying to hold on to the fast disappearing shred of belief in the validity of iridology sheepishly and somewhat guiltily sold his camera to another would-be iridology enthusiast. I buried my official iridology magnifying head band in a box in a dark, hopefully soon forgotten area of my office closet, where I must confess it still remains after over 15 years, unopened .

Another former iridologist, Joshua David Mather Sr., has written a detailed account of the origin and termination of his beliefs. He began studying iridology at age nine when his father became a practitioner. He abandoned it at age 25 after examining polaroid films of many patients and finding out that although their symptoms often improved, their eye markings never changed .

“Iridology, apparently, can only discern those things that cannot be verified or falsified. What you end up with is a medical cold reading – similar to what a mentalist does to create the illusion of mind reading or psychic powers. While “reading” the iris the iridologist can ask about certain health issues. If they are present, that is used to validate iridology. If absent, then the subject simply has a susceptibility for the missing problem…Iridology is an excellent example of pseudoscience in medicine, displaying many of the core features. It was invented by one individual based upon a single observation. It follows a pre-scientific notion of biology – the homunculus model. It lacks any basis in anatomy, physiology, or any other basic science…Anyone using or promoting iridology is, therefore, a pseudoscientific practitioner. Any profession that endorses iridology is not science-based and should be looked upon with suspicion.” Steven Novella MD, Science Based Medicine (21st December 2011)

“The concept of iridology is biologically implausible, not based on generally accepted scientific principles, and there is no evidence its methods are efficacious in detecting or treating human disease.” Campaign for Science Based Healthcare (2009)

“…iridology is of no value in diagnosing patients. Iridologists had no better than chance percentage of correctly diagnosing a patient and would often give a false-positive, diagnose them with a disease that they didn’t have, which could cause a patient mental anguish as well being financially expensive. More dangerous of course are false-negatives, not picking up on a disease they suffer from. For these people, seeing an iridologist could delay the proper medical diagnosis of their disease which, worst case, could prove fatal.” Skeptical Say How blog (19th January 2010)

nerve rings iridology Examples

“Research suggests that iridology is not an effective method to diagnose or help treat any specific medical condition.” InteliHealth (May 2004)

“Besides repeated failures and an evidence vacuum, there is one other essential problem which iridology faces: iridologists agree that the markings of the iris change to reflect changing states of health. Yet the pattern of a person’s iris, like their fingerprints, remains the same their whole life long, which is why, like fingerprints, the markings of the iris can be used for biometric identification.” Skeptic Wiki (The Encyclopaedia of Science and Critical Thinking)

“Iridology is an alternative medicine practice in which patterns, colors and other characteristics of stromal fibers of the iris are examined for information about a patient’s systemic health. Practitioners match their observations to iris charts which divide the iris into many zones believed to correspond to specific parts of the human body. Little if any rigorous scientific evidence exists confirming any such link between aspects of the iris and a patient’s state of health and there is no recognized causative mechanism for any purported correlation.” Includes a look at the history of iridology, methods used by iridologists, support for iridology, criticism of iridology, and scientific research into iridology. (Wikipedia)

“Iridology is a method of detecting tiny defects or impurities in the iris. Their location and colour tell the iridologist which organ is endangered. Iridologists make several assumptions that are clearly out of line with our knowledge of anatomy and physiology.” Edzard Ernst, British Journal of General Practice (May 2007)

“Controlled studies reveal that iridology is of no use whatsoever for the detection of cancer and other diseases in the stomach, intestines, kidney, lungs and heart…and it is concluded that this type of alternative medicine is not harmless.” Dan. Medicinhist Arbog. (2003)

“Iridology is not merely worthless. Incorrect diagnoses can unnecessarily frighten people, cause them to waste money seeking medical care for nonexistent conditions, or steer them away from necessary medical care when a genuine problem is overlooked.” Article by Stephen Barrett, CANOE (25th October 2000)

“The validity of iridology as a diagnostic tool is not supported by scientific evaluations. Patients and therapists should be discouraged from using this method.” E. Ernst, Forsch Komplentarmed. (February 1999)

Online Iridology Classes (2)

Iridology in many medical colleges as full of elective courses. Do you believe that Iridology is really, and that you have judged it through this article?


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