Since homeopathy is most often used as an individualized holistic treatment, clinical trials are not the basis of treatment as in conventional medicine. Homeopaths use provings for that purpose instead. Furthermore, homeopathy does not produce optimal results in the situation where 100 people with the same diagnosis are given the same homeopathic remedy—someone should select a potentially different remedy for each individual. Nevertheless, clinical studies are used in less-individualized uses of homeopathic remedies—where they can still be beneficial in some cases— and in evaluating homeopathic treatment in comparison to conventional treatment, and also in refuting sceptics. This page contains some samples of the many good studies which demonstrate the effectiveness of homeopathy.
The National Center for Homeopathy has a Research Summary page. Some examples:
K. Linde, N. Clausius, G. Ramirez, et al.,
Are the Clinical Effects of Homeopathy Placebo Effects? A Meta-analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials
Lancet, September 20, 1997, 350:834-843.
This state of the art meta analysis reviewed 186 studies, 89 of which fit pre-defined criteria. Rather than count and compare the number of trials which show efficacy of treatment, the researchers pooled the data from the various studies to assess data. The results showed that patients taking homeopathic medicines were 2.45 times more likely to experience a positive therapeutic effect than placebo.
Banerjee A, Chakrabarty SB, et al,
Can Homeopathy Bring Additional Benefits to Thalassemic Patients on Hydroxyurea Therapy? Encouraging Results of a Preliminary Study
Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2007 Oct 29.
In a study involving 38 thalassemic patients receiving hydroxyurea (HU) therapy for varying periods of time, administration of appropriately selected homeopathic medicine for three months was found to be associated with significant decreases in serum ferritin and increases in serum fetal hemoglobin. Furthermore, a significant decrease in the size of the spleen was found in most of the patients with splenomegaly (enlarged spleen). Moreover, an increased gap between transfusions was found in most patients who received the homeopathic medicine, in addition to hydroxyurea therapy.
M. Frass, et.al
Adjunctive homeopathic treatment in patients with severe sepsis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in an intensive care unit
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Homeopathy, 2005.
Seventy patients with severe sepsis received homeopathic treatment (n = 35) or placebo (n = 35). RESULTS: On day 30, there was non-statistically significantly trend of survival in favour of homeopathy (verum 81.8%, placebo 67.7%, P= 0.19). On day 180, survival was statistically significantly higher with verum homeopathy (75.8% vs 50.0%, P = 0.043). No adverse effects were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that homeopathic treatment may be a useful additional therapeutic measure with a long-term benefit for severely septic patients admitted to the intensive care unit.
C. N. Shealy, MD, R.P. Thomlinson, V. Borgmeyer,
Osteoarthritic Pain: A Comparison of Homeopathy and Acetaminophen
American Journal of Pain Management, 1998;8:89-91.
A double-blinded study to document the relative efficacy of homeopathic remedies in comparison to acetaminophen for the treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) among 65 patients. An IRB approved protocol. Results of the study documented better pain relief in the homeopathic group (55% achieved measured relief from homeopathy as compared to 38% from acetaminophen); however, the superiority of this treatment, in comparison with the acetaminophen group, did not reach statistical significance. The investigators conclude that homeopathic treatments for pain in OA patients appear to be safe and at least as effective as acetaminophen, and are without its potential adverse effects including compromise to both liver and kidney function. Many of the patients asked to continue with the homeopathic treatment.
Another recent study in a peer-review scientific medical journal:
Michael Frass, MD; Christoph Dielacher, RN; Manfred Linkesch, MD; Christian Endler, PhD; Ilse Muchitsch, PhD; Ernst Schuster, PhD and Alan Kaye, MD,
Influence of Potassium Dichromate on Tracheal Secretions in Critically Ill Patients
A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial of 50 critically ill ventilated patients with a previous history of COPD and tobacco use. Five C30 pellets of potassium dichromate or placebo were administered twice daily until extubation and it was found that those receiving the homeopathic formulation had statistically significant (p<0.0001) tracheal secretion reductions, earlier extubation times and shorter lengths of stay in critical care as compared to their placebo counterparts.
An article critical of homeopathy was published by The Lancet
in August 2005. It is a shame that it was portrayed in the press
as a scientific article, because this was not prejudice not science.
Here are some places where you can get the details.
- Prominent U.S. Research Scientists Counter Lancet Claims On Homeopathy.
- The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a special issue on homeopathy which has several articles refuting the Lancet article's claims.