Homeopathy Papers

Frequently asked questions – for Novices in Homeopathy

Written by Cor van der Meij

Frequently asked questions – for Novices in Homeopathy

Does homeopathy really work?

According to several meta analyses (analysis of multiple studies) on homeopathy as well as hundreds of other studies and clinical reports, the weight of the evidence is in favor of a healing effect from homeopathy.


a) Mathie, R. The research evidence base for homeopathy: a fresh assessment of the literature. Homeopathy 92: 84-91. 2003. Meta-analysis of 89 trials of homeopathic medicine versus placebo. Result: significantly in favour of homeopathy (OR 2,45 (95% CI 2,05-2,93)).

b) 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.

c) Summary by Robert Medhurst :


The Homeopathic Medicine Research Group report with overview of clinical research in homeopathy, identified 184 controlled clinical trials. They selected the highest quality randomized control trials, which included a total of 2617 patients for a meta-analysis. This meta-analysis resulted in a p-value of 0.000036 (which means that results are highly significant) indicating that homeopathy is more effective than placebo. The researchers concluded that the “hypothesis that homeopathy has no effect can be rejected with certainty”. Homeopathic Medicine Research Group.

c) Report to the European Commission directorate general XII: science, research and development. Vol 1 (short version). Brussels: European Commission, 1996:16-7.

Of the 105 trials with interpretable results, 81 trials indicated positive results.

d) More positive results:  Kate Chatfield’s conclusions regarding 22 reviews and meta analyses:

“Results were found in favour of homeopathy in 20 of 22 systematic reviews on the effect of homeopathic high-potencies on cells or living organisms. ”



Are homeopathic remedies just water?

Until 2010 the general idea was that homeopathic potencies above 12C did not contain one molecule of the original substance, due to the dissolving process in water. This idea was based on the Law of Avogadro, a 200 year old theory on dilution and molecules. A 12C-potency means one part of the substance (e.g. a plant residue) dissolved in 99 parts of water and succussed 100 times and then one part of that dissolved in 99 parts of water and succussed and this procedure repeated 12 times. In 2010 scientists from India discovered that in 30C-potencies, nano particles of the substance were still present. This is a major breakthrough in discovering the working mechanism of homeopathic remedies.


Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective.

www.homeopathyjournal.net/article/S1475-4916  (10)00054-8/abstract


Does one have to believe in homeopathy for it to work?

Until recently some people questioned whether the effectiveness of homeopathy was due to a placebo effect from the long homeopathic consult. German research from 2009 has indicated that the “Placebo effects in RCTs on classical homeopathy did not appear to be larger than placebo effects in conventional medicine.”

Placebo effect sizes in homeopathic compared to conventional drugs – a systematic review of randomised controlled trials.



It looks like a miracle, does it not?

Wonder pills do not exist, but, if you have acute complaints, homeopathy can give you relief within a few hours. In chronic diseases one may expect a slight relief after a few weeks, but the overall healing process depends on your constitution, disposition, age, vitality and nature, and the severity and duration of the chronic disease. In chronic disease the process of healing will certainly take several months to more than a year. The great advantage is that you will come out of this healing process with more vitality and without bad side effects.


Are homeopathic remedies made from poisons?

About 60% of Homeopathic remedies are made from plants. The rest are made of minerals and animal extracts. Every substance has a toxic value, even water. For every substance this toxic value differs.  E.g. 20 grams of Arsenic is lethal, but the same amount of water is healthy. This also means that every substance has a scale of healing values (small amounts) and toxic values (mostly great amounts).

E.g Arsenic in pure form can cause disease symptoms of the stomach, intestines and liver, or even death. In homeopathic diluted form it has the ability to heal these same complaints (except death of course!). This is the basic principle of homeopathy: healing the symptoms of the disease with a substance that can cause the similar symptoms in a healthy person.


For one month I used a homeopathic remedy, but nothing happened.

Your homeopath has given you the wrong remedy, which is less peculiar than you might think. Finding the right homeopathic remedy is a difficult job. Most complaints can in theory be cured by selecting correctly from among hundreds of homeopathic remedies. The decision of your homeopath is based on the symptoms you have told him. The more specific, detailed and peculiar these symptoms are, the easier it becomes to find the right remedy. Another possibility is that there is a blocking factor that stops the homeopathic remedy from working. This factor can be regular medication, e.g. antibiotics and/or hormone based medication, a low vitality or lack of reaction. All these “blocking” conditions can be managed by your homeopath.


Is it possible to cure everything with one remedy?

In cases of acute complaints it may be possible. Although a complicating factor can be that recurring acute complaints can be caused by an underlying disposition for a chronic disease. In this case the acute symptoms are a warning sign for this chronic disease, which is also causing the acute symptoms. In cases of chronic disease it is normal that several homeopathic remedies are used (one at a time). This is necessary, not only to start the healing process, but also to cure the underlying hereditary causes.


Can homeopathy only cure simple complaints?

No, on the contrary. Homeopathy can cure both serious acute and serious chronic  complaints.


Is homeopathy just keeping symptoms at bay?

No, the effectiveness of homeopathy shows itself in performing real cure. The disease is not suppressed and one cannot become dependent on homeopathic remedies. Furthermore you end up with a better vitality, because a homeopathic remedy stimulates your inner healing power.


Are there side effects with homeopathy?

In general there are no side effects from homeopathic remedies. There are two exceptions: sometimes it is possible that when starting a homeopathic remedy an initial worsening of symptoms is noticed. This is a temporary healing aggravation. You should consult your homeopath when this happens.  Also, if you were to use the wrong remedy repeatedly, it is possible that new symptoms would occur. That is called a proving. This is unlikely to occur when the case is handled by an experienced homeopath.  Those symptoms disappear when the remedy is stopped.

About the author

Cor van der Meij

Cor van der Meij has been practicing homeopathy since he graduated as a classical homeopath in 1998. Afterwards he followed a master degree in Disease Classification at the Stichting Hahnemann Homeopathie. Cor was a member of the editorial staff for "Dynamis" a Dutch quarterly on homeopathy. He has written several articles and book reviews for Links, Homeopathy4 Everyone and Dynamis.


  • Hmmm…”I am concerned about your answer to “For one month I used a homeopathic remedy, but nothing happened.” More times than not something HAS happened, but the client is unaware of this as homeopathy is meant to act subtly and gently. How often have we had a client call and say the remedy hasn’t done anything, then when asked about each symptom they had at the previous consultation, discover that many of the complaints have gone or are greatly improved? This is a common occurrence in homeopathy and I think it is important for novices to be aware of this so that they do not so easily give up on homeopathy or assume the homeopath gave them the wrong remedy.

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