Extraordinary Evidence: Homeopathy’s Best Research
There have been hundreds of research studies on homeopathy with positive results. Rather than make you slog through a list of them, we’ll show you the ten most amazing and convincing. (And it was a tough choice… ADHD and eczema were a close 11th and 12th.) If you hear someone say there is no scientific evidence for homeopathy, please share with them this jaw-dropping collection.
NEW: Swiss government study validates homeopathy. See #1 below.
The late eminent materials scientist, Dr. Rustum Roy, makes hash of the “only water” argument.
1. Swiss government finds out homeopathy provides more bang for your euro (or buck)
Studer HP, Busato A., Speicherschwendi, University of Bern, Switzerland. Comparison of swiss basic health insurance costs of complementary and conventional medicine. Forsch Komplementmed. 2011;18(6):315-20. Epub 2011 Nov 25. In this government-requisitioned report, complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) is shown to be just as effective as conventional medicine (COM), with patients reporting better patient-physician relationships and fewer side effects with CAM. But one modality stands out:
“Statistical procedures show similar total practice costs for CAM and COM, with the exception of homeopathy with 15.4% lower costs than COM” (emphasis added). Western governments struggling with spiralling health-care costs, take note…!
2. Why Cubans no longer have to worry about leptospirosis
Bracho, Gustavo et al. Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control. Homeopathy, 2010; 99: 156-166. Full paper, not just abstract.
This was the largest-scale ever homeopathic study, involving 2.3 million patients in parts of Cuba, who were given two doses of a homeopathic remedy as a preventative to the hurricane-triggered disease. The infection rate for leptospirosis dropped to near zero, for a cost that was a small fraction of what they had been paying for vaccination. Cuba now uses the homeopathic protocol with its entire population (Bracho, Gustavo, personal communication).
Currently, they’re working on another study on upper respiratory infections, with nine million (9,000,000) people. Stay tuned.
3.The meta-meta: looking at all the studies
A meta-analysis is a study of studies, a totaling of results reached in a group of them. The Faculty of Homeopathy did a meta-meta-analysis, and found: “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.”
Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of homeopathy. Br Med J 1991; 302: 316–23.
Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. Lancet 1997; 350: 834–43.
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.
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.
4.Could homeopathy save your life? Yes.
M. Frass et al. Adjunctive homeopathic treatment in patients with severe sepsis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in an intensive care unit. Homeopathy (2005) 94, 75–80. With 67 patients, after 180 days, 75.8% of the homeopathic patients were still alive, vs. 50% of the placebo patients.
Um… Professor Frass? Never do this again. Give the homeopathic to ALL OF THEM.
5.Placebo effect, when it’s little kids with diarrhea? And placebo-controlled?
Jacobs, J. et al. Homeopathy for childhood diarrhea: combined results and metaanalysis from three randomized, controlled clinical trials Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 2003;22:229–34. A meta-analysis of three studies showing homeopathy dropped the duration of the disease by a quarter. Authors recommend using it along with oral rehydration. When, as they say, “acute diarrhea is a leading cause of death in children in the developing world, with more than 3 million deaths per year worldwide,” what excuse is there for not using it?
6.Staggering implications for breast cancer patients
Frenkel, M. et al. Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells International Journal of Oncology 2010 Feb;36(2):395-403. Conclusion: Four homeopathic remedies caused death of breast cancer cell lines in the laboratory, similar to the effect of chemotherapy, but without affecting normal cells. Authors suggest more research. We suggest lots more research.
7. Homeopathy makes colds go away faster, especially in kids
Homeopathic and conventional treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints: A comparative study on outcome in the primary care setting BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2007, 7:7.
This comparative cohort study, involving more than 1,500 patients in primary care practices of at least 6 different European countries, concludes that homeopathic treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints was not inferior to conventional treatment. But look at this little graph:
“Figure 3: Onset of improvement within the first week. Onset of improvement within the first week of treatment (cumulative percentages of patients that experienced their first improvement).” Homeopaths already knew this.
8.Fibromyalgia patients take note
Bell I.R. et al, Improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients treated with individualized homeopathic remedies versus placebo. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2004 May;43(5):577-82. “Participants on active treatment showed significantly greater improvements in tender point count and tender point pain, quality of life, global health and a trend toward less depression compared with those on placebo.”
More info on studies testing homeopathy on fibromyalgia here.
9.Who says homeopathy doesn’t belong in hospitals?
Frass et al., Influence of Potassium Dichromate on Tracheal Secretions in Critically Ill Patients CHEST March 2005 vol. 127 no. 3 936-941. You’re breathing on your own now. They want to pull the breathing tube out, but it’s stuck due to stringy stuff in your trachea. This study shows that they’ll be able to do it faster if they give you some Kali bichromicum 30C, which, again, homeopaths already knew. Several other hospitals, by the way, are currently working on replicating this study.
10.Homeopathy works in the long term, too.
Witt, CM, Ludtke R, Baur R et al. Homeopathic medical practice: long-term results of a cohort study with 3981 patients. BMC Public Health 2005, 5:115 Conclusion: Quality of life and disease severity showed significant improvement after two years, based on both patient and physician assessment. Conditions treated were allergic rhinitis in men, headache in women, and atopic dermatitis in children.
Thompson, E.A. et al, Homeopathic treatment for chronic disease: a 6-year, university-hospital outpatient observational study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2005 Oct;11(5):793-8.
This six-year study of 6,544 patients treated homeopathically showed that 70% of patients reported improved health. 50% had major improvement in inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal problems and migraines. Children had improvements in eczema and asthma.
Witt, CM et al, How healthy are chronically ill patients after eight years of homeopathic treatment? – Results from a long term observational study BMC Public Health, 2008 Dec 17;8:413. 3,709 patients. “Patients who seek homeopathic treatment are likely to improve considerably.”
Oh, and… the WORST.
Remember we said four out of five meta-analyses showed positive results for homeopathy? This is the fifth: Shang, A. 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
The authors took 110 placebo-controlled studies of homeopathy, and concluded that homeopathy has no more effect than placebo, based on eight of them. But they did not—and will not—reveal which eight, making a mockery of the research principles of transparency and reproducibility. That and other flaws made this “research” an utter failure. But it was widely publicized in the media—causing bitter consequences for homeopaths and their patients, especially in the UK.
See lots more homeopathy-related research at:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed : search “homeopathy”
Thank you to the National Center for Homeopathy and David Brule for writing help on this page.