There have been many controlled trials carried out to establish the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment. The Faculty of Homeopathy maintains a section giving a clear account of the research evidence in homeopathy on its web site here: Homeopathic research
The Faculty of Homeopathy has published “The Research Evidence Base for Homeopathy”,
The summary follows:
Systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of homeopathy
- Four of five major comprehensive reviews of RCTs in homeopathy have reached broadly positive conclusions. Based on a smaller selection of trials, a fifth review came to a negative conclusion about homeopathy.
- Positive conclusions have been reported in 9 of 23 reviews of RCTs in specific categories of medical condition (the other 14 are largely inconclusive):
- allergies and upper respiratory tract infections
- childhood diarrhoea
- influenza treatment
- post-operative ileus
- rheumatic diseases
- seasonal allergic rhinitis
RCTs of homeopathy – the original peer-reviewed research literature
- Up to the end of 2009, 142 RCTs had been published: 63 positive; 11 negative; 68 not statistically conclusive. In addition to the above seven conditions, there is positive evidence from two or more RCTs in each of the following three areas:
- There is evidence from single RCTs (not refuted elsewhere) in favour of homeopathy for a number of other conditions, including: acute otitis media, ankle sprain, bronchitis, chronic fatigue, premenstrual syndrome.
Cost effectiveness of homeopathy
- Integration of homeopathy with conventional treatment is associated with better clinical outcomes for similar or lower costs.
Clinical observational studies
- 70.7% of 6,544 follow-up patients, treated at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital for a wide range of chronic medical complaints, reported positive health changes.
- Many patients attending the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital were able to reduce or stop conventional medication following homeopathic treatment.
- Laboratory research has obtained evidence that water may retain information about homeopathically-prepared solutes.
- Additional laboratory studies have shown that homeopathic dilutions can exert biological effects.
Jayney Goddard the President of The Complementary Medical Association highlights some very recently published Homeopathic Research studies. Including:
- Effects of two homeopathic complexes on bovine sperm mitochondria activity
- Potential of the homeopathic remedy Arnica 30c (NOTE: “beyond Avogadro’s number”) to reduce DNA damage
- Phenotypic evidence of ultra-high dilutions of homeopathic remedies acting at gene expression level
- Strychnos nux-vomica extract at dilutions beyond Avogadro’s number (30c) reduce voluntary alcohol intake in rats
- Merc Chl and Nux V 30c allow water permeability in cells fresh-water fish Clarius batrachus w/ ethanol intoxication
- Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor expression and use of homeopathic Nux Vom and Calendula.
Homoeopathy and autism
A pilot study with homoeopathic Secretin by Tony Pinkus, Ainsworths Homoeopathic Pharmacy.
- Principles of homoeopathy
- Homoeopathy and autism
- Homoeopathic Secretin
- What is Secretin?
- Action of Secretin
- How did Secretin become associated with ASD?
- The origin of homoeopathic secretin
- Homoeopathic Secretin pilot study
- Secretin Pilot study
Nobel laureate’s research may explain homeopathic medicines’ action
On 28th June 2010 during the prestigious 60th anniversary conference of Nobel Laureates held in Germany, Prof. Luc Montagnier, postulated a mechanism that he considers may explain how homeopathic medicines’ informational content is created and maintained. Montagnier, awarded the Nobel Prize in 2008 for his discovery of the link between HIV and AIDS, gave a lecture entitled ‘DNA between physics and biology’ based on his own research. He reported findings from his research that some DNA sequences belonging to pathogenic bacteria and viruses are able to induce specific structures of nanometric size in water. When sufficiently diluted in water, these structures emit a spectrum of electromagnetic waves of low frequencies. During the conference he astonished his colleagues by postulating that his results may suggest the long sought after explanation for the mechanism of action of homeopathic medicines.
Conference Abstract: http://www.lindau-nobel.org/AbstractDetails.AxCMS?AbstractID=1102
Related journal article: Electromagnetic signals are produced by aqueous nanostructures derived from bacterial DNA
Placebo effect in homeopathy not higher than in conventional medicine
A comparison of placebo-controlled randomised clinical trials (RTCs) found that the placebo effect was equally strong (or weak) in conventional medicine as in homeopathy. In a systematic review of placebo-controlled double-blind RCTs of classical homeopathy researchers matched existing homeopathy
trials with trials in conventional medicine. Each homeopathy trial was compared to three conventional trials treating the same medical diagnosis. A total of 25 homeopathic RCTs were included. Out of these 13 homeopathic trials had a larger and 12 had a lower placebo effect compared to conventional trials (p=0.39). The authors conclude that: “Placebo effects in RCTs on classical homeopathy were not larger than placebo effects in conventional medicine.”
Lüdtke R, Nuhn T, Garaedts M. Placebo effects in homeopathic and conventional drugs. 5th International Congress on
Complementary Medicine Research (ICCMR), Abstract book, 2010, O-089: 35.
Homeopathy effective in dairy cows
In an EU-funded research project, researchers found results indicating that homeopathy might protect cows against potential udder infection. Over 100 cows from 13 Swiss organic dairy farms received either homeopathic remedies, internal teat seal or no treatment. Results showed a nine-fold chance of protection of cows with higher levels of leucocytes that received homeopathic remedies, compared to control. Cows treated with internal teat seal were only marginally better compared to control.
The potential risk of development of antibiotic resistant micro-organisms, the risk of chemical drugs ending up in the food chain and increasing consumer demand has forced farmers and veterinarians to look for alternatives to antibiotics. Alternatives to antibiotics include internal and external teat sealing, but results indicate only temporary effects or these approaches. Homeopathy is one preferred method of treating mastitis in organic farming. Farmers rely on homeopathy as it is easily administered, inexpensive and does not require withholding of milk after treatment.
In this trial milk samples were taken before and after treatment, and 102 cows were randomly allocated to three different treatment groups: teat sealing (Orbeseal®), homeopathy and control (no treatment). Homeopathic remedies were administered in the 6x potency over a 10 day period, and were selected after consideration of the predominant cow type in each of the 13 herds. One out of eight remedies were prescribed for each heard (Merc, Lach, Sulph, Calc, Calc-p, Puls, Sep, Sil). In addition, Silica 6x was given to all cows at the end of the treatment cycle. The choice of a herd-specific homeopathic remedy was based on the observation that individuals within a herd show similar behaviour, disease profiles and constitutional traits, as well as being subject to similar environmental conditions. The authors do however speculate on whether a more individualised approach could have led to greater effects.
The total number of cows included in this trial is somewhat low to draw firm conclusions, but further research is warranted as homeopathic treatment might be an effective alternative to teat sealing, it is an environmental friendly alternative to antibiotics, and may play a significant role in veterinary medicine.
Klocke P, Ivemeyer S, Butler G, Maeschli A, Heil F. A randomized controlled trial to compare the use of homeopathy and internal Teat Sealers for the prevention of mastitis in organically farmed dairy cows during the dry period and 100 days post-calving. Homeopathy 2010, 99: 90-98.
Here is a link to an interesting article on the Science Direct web site about use of homeopathy as a replacement to antibiotics in piglets.
Today homeopathy represents the second most used medicine in the world and is consistently increasing in popularity.
You may find this article interesting – it documents the successful use of a homeopathic prophylaxis in a Leptospirosis epidemic in Cuba – Read Article.
The following link is the response from Harry van der Zee Editor of Homeopathic Links to the recent press coverage of the World Health Organisation’s reaction to homeopathic treatment of serious diseases.