Research in Homoeopathy
Robert Medhurst BNat DHom
I’m constantly amazed at the ease with which critics of homeopathy confidently declare that there’s no evidence for homeopathy, and even more amazed at the lack of scrutiny that’s given to this statement by the media. Whether this declaration is made through simple ignorance, stupidity or with the deliberate intent to deceive, would make an excellent topic for investigation. Either way, the assertion that there’s no evidence for homeopathy is plainly and clearly wrong. Shown below are abstracts from human, animal, plant and in-vitro scientific studies that attest the reality that there is indeed evidence for homeopathy, and lots of it.
Research by the European Network for Homeopathy Researchers
These are brief summaries of homeopathy research put together by the European Network for Homeopathy Researchers (ENHR). All of the findings referred to are backed by scientific studies and full references are available.Homeopathy is practiced in 41 out of 42 European countries. It is officially recognised and included in the national health system in a number of countries both within and outside of Europe.
- In one study of 6,544 patients making 23,000 visits to homeopaths over a six year period just under 71pc of patients reported positive health changes. Half of the patients said they felt much better than before after treatment.
- Of the1,270 children treated in the same study 80.5pc had some improvement and 65.8pc of these felt better or much better.
- Seven out of 10 patients visiting Norwegian homeopaths reported a meaningful improvement in their main complaint.
- Seven out of ten patients visiting Norwegian homeopaths reported a meaningful improvement in their
- In a survey of 233 British patients 90oc indicated and improvement.
- Another study of 160 British patients found that 73pc had very positive effect and 27pc had some effect.
Women often consult homeopaths for help with reproductive health problems, menstrual disorders, menopause and problems during pregnancy and childbirth.
A number of studies have shown that women make up between 64pc and 80pc of the clientele visiting homeopaths.
- Pre menstrual syndrome (PMS) – one double blind clinical trial found 90pc of women treated with homeopathy for this condition reported a more than 30pc improvement.
- Menopausal complaints – in a study of 102 patients 81.4pc reported improvements in symptoms with homeopathy. They were treated for an average of five months each for hot flushes, sweats, tiredness, anxiety, sleeping difficulties, mood swings and headaches. A total of 88pc reported clinical significant improvement in their primary symptoms.
- Homeopathy after oestrogen withdrawal – A total of 40 out of 45 women with breast cancer, withdrawing from oestrogen and treated with homeopathy reported significant improvement in their primary symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Hot flashes after breast cancer therapy – a survey in a British homeopathic hospital showed homeopathy effective for women suffering from hot flashes after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment for breast cancer.
- Infertility – 57pc of women in a trial on fertility disorders reported positive results.
- Sperm quality – a trial of 45 sub-fertile men showed that homeopathy improved the number and quality of sperm.
- A British survey of 37 patients with psychological complaints found that 81pc were “very satisfied”, 16pc “satisfied” and 3pc “not satisfied at all” after homeopathic treatment.
Diarrhoea in children
- A study of 81 children between six months and five years treated for acute childhood diarrhoea in Nicaragua found that homeopathic treatment showed a significant decrease in the duration of the diarrhoea.
- A similar study of 116 Nepalese children in the same age group showed significant improvement when treated with homeopathy compared to those treated with a placebo.
Respiratory tract complaints
- A study of 500 patients treated by 30 practitioners in four countries showed a response rate of 82.6pc in the homeopathy group compared to 67.3pc in the group receiving conventional medicine.
- Patients treated with homeopathy had pain for an average of two days compared to three days in the conventional medicine group. Seven in 10 of the children receiving homeopathy did not have another ear infection the next year compared to five in 10 of the conventional medicine group. In the group receiving homeopathy only five out of 103 children needed antibiotics.
Glue ear in children
- In a pilot study in children suffering from glue ear treated with homeopathy 75% had normal tympanogram, compared to 31% in the group treated with conventional medicine.
- In a trial of 119 suffering from acute sinusitis with headache, pressure pain at nerve exit points and irritating cough symptoms were reduced after 4 days on homeopathic remedies. The average duration of treatment was two weeks and 81.5pc of patients described themselves as symptom free or significantly improved after that time.
Hay fever, asthma and perennial rhinitis
- A study of 200 patients suffering from hypersensitivity illnesses, including asthma, eczema, urticaria, hayfever and other allergies showed that homeopathy was at least as effective as conventional treatment. Patients in the homeopathy group reported a larger improvement in their general state of health after treatment compared to the conventional group
- A trial of 115 hyperactive patients between three and 17 years of age showed a 73pc clinical improvement after homeopathic treatment.
- A randomised double-blind trial involving 62 patients with ME, reported in some detail, found that 33pc of patients in the group receiving homeopathic remedies showed definite improvement
- In a survey of 26 patients receiving homeopathic Arnica or placebo after face-lift operation,patients receiving homeopathic Arnica had statistically significant smaller areas of bruising after operation.