July 14, 2020

Iridology claims that it can diagnose diseases through a careful examination of the iris. Unsurprisingly, there is no proof for this, and when. Iridology is an alternative medicine practice that used to diagnose illness Then, use iris charts that allow them to compare the eyes with Iridology is an alternative medicine technique whose proponents claim that patterns, colors, and other characteristics of the iris can be examined to determine information about a patient’s systemic health. Practitioners match their observations to iris charts, which divide the iris into . For example, one of the iridologists diagnosed 49% of the patients with gall.

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Iridology claims that it can diagnose diseases through a careful examination of the iris.

Unsurprisingly, there is no proof for this, and when tested it fails spectacularly. There are many medical pseudosciences that persist despite a utter lack of either plausibility or evidence for efficacy. They were just made up — homeopathy, for example, or subluxation theory. Iridology belongs to this latter category — a system of diagnosis that was invented entirely by Ignatz Peczelya Hungarian physician who first published his ideas in The story goes that Peczely as a boy found an owl with a broken leg.

At the time he noticed a prominent black stripe in the iris of one eye of the owl. He nursed the bird back to health and then noticed that the black line was gone, replaced by ragged white lines.

From this single observation Peczely developed the notion of iridology. This basic approach to diagnosis or treatment is called the homunculus approach — the idea that one part of the body maps to the rest of the body, including the organ systems. Reflexology, auricular acupuncture, and even straight chiropractic follow this approach. This is what might have happened next: After publishing his initial observations, Peczely set out to test his ideas with well-designed observations that were capable of proving his hypothesis wrong.

He carefully built a body of descriptive, but well-established, facts about the relationship between the iris and health. Later, anatomists discovered the underlying mechanism of this connection — a vast system of interconnectedness between the iris and the rest of the body. Of course, this is not what happened. Peczely did not do any serious scientific research.

Rather, he simply invented a pseudoscience, by drawing maps of the iris that were as much a product of his imagination as observation, and were largely the result of confirmation bias.


He did not perform blinded studies, or produce the kind of evidence that could separate a real phenomenon from an imaginary one. Iridology, as his practice became known, is the N-rays of medical diagnosis. Further, no subsequent science has supported the plausibility or reality of iridology.

This, unfortunately, has not stopped iridology from surviving on the medical fringe for more than a century. The modern popularity of iridology, especially in the US, can be traced back to a chiropractor named Bernard Jensen. He published the book, The Science and Practice of Iridology in Iridology, or iris diagnosis, continues to be practiced by so-called alternative practitioners, including some chiropractors and naturopaths.

It has never been recognized as a legitimate medical practice. Often the iris diagnosis which can also be done by software analysis leads to recommendations for supplementation, which are conveniently sold by the iridologist. Here is a description of how iridology is used by a proponent:.

The iris reveals changing conditions of every part and organ of the body. Every organ and part of the body is represented in the iris in a well defined area. In addition, through various marks, signs, and discoloration in the iris, nature reveals inherited weaknesses and strengths.

Iridology cannot detect a specific disease, but, can tell an individual if they have over or under activity in specific areas of the body. For example, an under-active pancreas might indicate a diabetic condition.

Other sites caution that iridology cannot diagnosis pregnancy, because that is a natural condition of the body, and also cannot diagnose prior surgery, as anything that happens under anesthesia will block the signals that would otherwise change the iris. In other words — iridology only tells you iridoloty the susceptibility for disease — it cannot actually diagnose a disease or any other verifiable condition.

This reasoning is called special pleading — the invention of a special rationalization for each fact that might otherwise falsify a claim or belief. 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. If they are present, that is used to validate iridology.

Iridology – Wikipedia

If absent, then the subject simply has a susceptibility for the missing dhart. Iridology lacks any plausibility and its history is that of a pseudoscience, not a legitimate practice. But still we listen to the best scientific evidence in determining whether or not iridology is real. Perhaps Peczely got lucky and made a cchart observation despite his lack of scientific confirmation. If iridologists could demonstrate that their readings provide real information, then we would have to take their claims seriously.


In Edzard Ernst not surprisingly published a systematic review of iridology research. In conclusion, few controlled studies with masked evaluation of diagnostic validity have been published.

None have found any benefit from iridology. As iridology has the potential for causing personal and economic harm, patients and therapists should be discouraged from using it. As with N-rays, when blinding is introduced iridology is exposed as a complete fiction. Under controlled conditions iridologists cannot agree with each other as to diagnosis, and cannot distinguish healthy subjects of very ill subjects.

Since the Ernst review I found one other well-controlled study of iridology, this one in cancer diagnosis. One hundred ten subjects were enrolled in the study: All subjects were examined by an experienced practitioner of iridology, who was unaware of their gender or medical details.

Iridology identified the correct diagnosis in only 3 cases sensitivity, 0.

What is iridology diagnosis chart?

Iridology was of no value in diagnosing the cancers investigated in this study. 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. And the research clearly shows that iridology has absolutely no effect — it does not provide any useful information at all.

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. Novella also has produced two courses with The Great Coursesand published a book on critical thinking – also called The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.

Everything You Need to Know About Iridology

Irridology Science and Medicine. Iridology Iridology claims that it can diagnose diseases through a careful examination of the iris. Steven Novella on December 21, NaturopathyScience and Medicine Tagged in: Show comments Hide comments. The facts, the controversies, and the pseudoscience.