The Research Evidence Base for HomeopathySystematic reviews of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of homeopathy
• Two major reviews of RCTs of individualised homeopathyhave reached broadly positive conclusions.
• Four of five major comprehensive reviews of RCTs in homeopathy have reached broadly positive conclusions.
Only Based on a smaller selection of trials, a fth review came to a negative conclusion about homeopathy.
• Positive conclusions have been reported in 9 of 35 reviews of RCTs in specic categories of medical condition (the other 26 are largely inconclusive):
•allergies and upper respiratory tract infections
•seasonal allergic rhinitis
Placebo-controlled RCTs of homeopathy - the original data
Up to the end of 2014, the peer-reviewed literature included 153 papers reporting
placebo-controlled RCTs, of which 104 have data eligible for our analysis: 43 positive;
5 negative; 56 not statistically conclusive. In addition to the medical conditions above,
there is a positive balance of evidence in the following, for example:
There is evidence from singleton placebo-controlled RCTs in favour of homeopathy for
a number of other conditions including:
- chronic fatigue syndrome,
- premenstrual syndrome.
Cost effectiveness of homeopathy
• 70.7% of 6,554 follow-up patients, treated at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital for a wide
range of chronic medical complaints, reported positive health changes.
Many patients who attended the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital were able to reduce or
stop conventional medication following homeopathic treatment.
Laboratory research has obtained evidence that water may retain information about
Additional laboratory studies have shown that homeopathic dilutions can exert biological
Integration of homeopathy with conventional treatment is associated with better clinical
outcomes for similar or lower costs.
Clinical observational studies
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2. Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy
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3. Linde K, Scholz M, Ramirez G, et al. Impact of study quality on outcome in
placebo controlled trials of homeopathy. J Clin Epidemiol 1999; 52: 631–6.
4. Cucherat M, Haugh MC, Gooch M, Boissel JP. Evidence of clinical efficacy of
homeopathy – A meta-analysis of clinical trials. Eur J Clin Pharmacol
2000; 56: 27–33.
5. Shang A, Huwiler-Muntener K, Nartey L, et al. Are the clinical effects of
homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of
homoeopathy and allopathy. Lancet 2005; 366: 726–32.
6. Linde K, Melchart D. Randomized controlled trials of individualized
homeopathy: a state-of-the-art review. J Altern Complement Med 1998,
7. Mathie RT, Lloyd SM, Legg LA, et al. Randomised placebo-controlled trials of
individualised homeopathic treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis.
Syst Rev 2014, 3: 142.
8. Bornhöft G, Wolf U, Ammon K, et al. Effectiveness, safety and
cost-effectiveness of homeopathy in general practice –summarized health
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9. Bellavite P, Ortolani R, Pontarollo F, et al. Immunology and homeopathy. 4.
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Medicine;eCAM, 2006; 3:293-301
10. Jacobs J, Jonas WB, Jimenez-Perez M, Crothers D. Homeopathy for
childhood diarrhea: combined results and metaanalysis from three randomized,
controlled clinical trials. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2003; 22: 229–34.
11. Barnes J, Resch K-L, Ernst E. Homeopathy for postoperative ileus?
A meta-analysis. J Clin Gastroenterol 1997; 25: 628–33.
12. Jonas WB, Linde K, Ramirez G. Homeopathy and rheumatic disease –
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Rheum Dis Clin North Am 2000; 26: 117–23.
13. Wiesenauer M, Lüdtke R. A meta-analysis of the homeopathic treatment of
pollinosis with Galphimia glauca. Forsch Komplementärmed Klass Naturheilkd
1996; 3: 230–6.
14. Taylor MA, Reilly D, Llewellyn-Jones RH, et al. Randomised controlled trials
of homoeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of
four trial series. Br Med J 2000; 321: 471–6.
15. Bellavite P, Ortolani R, Pontarollo F, et al. Immunology and homeopathy.
4. Clinical studies – Part 2. eCAM 2006; 3:397–409.
16. Schneider B, Klein P, Weiser M. Treatment of vertigo with a homeopathic
complex remedy compared with usual treatments: a meta-analysis of clinical
trials. Arzneimittelforschung 2005;55: 23–9.
17. Ferley JP, Zmirou D, D’Adhemar D, Balducci F. A controlled evaluation of
a homoeopathic preparation in the treatment of influenza like syndromes.
Br J Clin Pharmacol 1989; 27: 329–335.
18. Papp R, Schuback G, Beck E, et al. Oscillococcinum® in patients with
influenza-like syndromes: a placebo-controlled double-blind evaluation.
Br Homoeopath J 1998; 87: 69–76
19. Kolia-Adam N, Solomon E, Bond J, Deroukakis M. The efficacy of Coffea
cruda on insomnia: a double blind trial. Simillimum 2008; 21: 91–99.
20. Naudé DF, Couchman IMS, Maharaj A Chronic primary insomnia: efficacy
of homeopathic simillimum. Homeopathy 2010; 99: 63–68.
21. Harrison CC, Solomon EM, Pellow J. The effect of a homeopathic complex on
psychophysiological onset insomnia in males: a randomized pilot study. Altern
Ther Health Med 2013;19: 38-43.
22. Friese K-H, Zabalotnyi DI. Homeopathy in acute rhinosinusitis. A double-blind,
placebo controlled study shows the effectiveness and tolerability of a homeopathic
combination remedy. HNO 2007; 55: 271–7.
23. Zabolotnyi DI, Kneis KC, Richardson A, et al. Efficacy of a complex homeopathic
medication (Sinfrontal) in patients with acute maxillary sinusitis: a prospective,
randomized, doubleblind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial. Explore (NY)
2007; 3: 98–109.
24. Diefenbach M, Schilken J, Steiner G, Becker HJ. Homeopathic therapy in
respiratory tract diseases. Evaluation of a clinical study in 258 patients.
Z Allgemeinmed 1997; 73: 308–14.
25. Weatherley-Jones E, Nicholl JP, Thomas KJ, et al. A randomized, controlled,
triple-blind trial of the efficacy of homeopathic treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.
J Psychosom Res 2004; 56: 189–97.
26. Bell I, Lewis D, Brooks A, et al. Improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients
treated with individualized homeopathic remedies versus placebo.
Rheumatology 2004; 43: 577–582.
27. Yakir M, Kreitler S, Brzezinski A, et al. Effects of homeopathic treatment in women
with premenstrual syndrome: a pilot study. Br Homeopath J 2001; 90: 148–53.
28. Witt C, Keil T, Selim D, et al. Outcome and costs of homeopathic and conventional
treatment strategies: a comparative cohort study in patients with chronic disorders.
Complement Ther Med 2005; 13: 79–86.
29. Witt CM, Lüdtke R, Baur R, Willich SN. Homeopathic medical practice: long-term
results of a cohort study with 3,981 patients. BMC Public Health 2005; 5: 115.
30. Trichard M, Chaufferin G Nicoloyannis N. Pharmacoeconomic comparison between
homeopathic and antibiotic treatment strategies in recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis in
children. Homeopathy 2005; 94: 3–9.
31. Spence D, Thompson E, Barron S. Homeopathic treatment for chronic disease:
a 6-year university hospital based outpatient observational study. J Altern Complement
Med 2005; 5: 793–8.
32. Sharples F, van Haselen R, Fisher P. NHS patients’ perspective on complementary
medicine. Complement Ther Med 2003; 11: 243–8.
33. Rey L. Thermoluminescence of ultra-high dilutions of lithium chloride and sodium
chloride, Physica (A) 2003; 323: 67–74.
34. Bell IR, Lewis DA, Brooks AJ, et al. Gas discharge visualisation evaluation of
ultramolecular doses of homeopathic medicines under blinded, controlled conditions.
J Altern Complement Med 2003; 9: 25–38.
35. Elia V, Niccoli M. Thermodynamics of extremely diluted aqueous solutions.
Ann N Y Acad Sci 1999; 879: 241–8.
36. Linde K, Jonas WB, Melchart D, et al. Critical review and meta-analysis of serial
agitated dilutions in experimental toxicology. Hum Exp Toxicol 1994; 13: 481–92.
37. Belon P, Cumps J, Ennis M, et al. Histamine dilutions modulate basophil activation.
Inflamm Res 2004; 53: 181–8.
38. Witt CM, Bluth M, Albrecht H, et al. The in vitro evidence for an effect of high
homeopathic potencies – A systematic review of the literature.
Complement Ther Med 2007; 15: 128–38.
Nathalie Parmentier is Klassiek Homeopaat, Orthomoleculair Therapeut en oorspronkelijk Ingenieur (Ir)
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