Scientific Research

Research in Homoeopathy

The author presents a formidable list of homeopathy research studies (abstracts) to counter any lingering claim that homeopathy is not proven.

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.

Human studies

1. Albertini H, Goldberg W, Sanguy B, Toulza CL. Homeopathic treatment of dental neuralgia by Arnica and Hypericum. Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 1985, 3, 126-129. Carried out at the Faculty of Medicine of Marseilles, this placebo controlled study was designed to determine the effectiveness of Arnica 7C and Hypericum 15C for people suffering from dental neuralgia. 60 people received either 4 pilules of Arnica alternated with 4 pilules of Hypericum every 4 hours or placebo administered in the same way. Pain levels were assessed over 3 days from the beginning of the trial. From this assessment it was found that 12 of the 30 people who received the placebo had a positive response to this intervention, and 23 of the 30 people given the homeopathic medicines responded positively to these.

2. Alibeu JP, Jobert J. Aconite in Post-Operative Pain and Agitation in Children, Pediatrie, 1990, 45, 7-8, 465-6. In this double blind placebo controlled trial, 50 children suffering from post-operative pain and agitation were given either Aconite or placebo. The effects of Aconite were significantly better than placebo

3. Ammerschlager H., Klein P., Weiser M., Oberbaum M. Treatment of inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract – comparison of a homeopathic complex remedy with xylometazoline. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005, Feb, 12, 1,:24-31. In a multi-centre, controlled, cohort study, 739 people suffering from rhinitis or sinusitis were given either xylometazoline (a drug commonly used for nasal congestion, sinusitis and hay fever) or a homeopathic combination. Both forms of therapy provided similarly effective results.

4. Baars EW, De Bruin A. The effect of Gencydo injections on hayfever symptoms: a therapeutic causality report. J Altern Complement Medorrhinum 2005 Oct, 11, 5, 863-9. In this study, 13 Dutch medical practitioners submitted patients (who between them had a mean history of hayfever of 9 years), for therapy involving injections of a combination homeopathic product. All but 1 patient were given the medication before the onset of the hayfever season and all were given it during the hayfever season. Of these 13, during the course of the trial 9 people found no increase in nasal and non-nasal hayfever symptoms when the hayfever season began or during it and only 1 of the 13 felt compelled to use conventional hayfever medication.

5. Baduluci S, Chirulescu Z, Chirila P, Rosca A.  Zinc: Immunoglobin Relationship in Patients with Cirrhosis of the Liver Before and After treatment with Zincum metallicum 5C. International Research Group on Very Low Dose and High Dilution Effects, 1993 Giri Meeting, British Homoeopathic Journal, April, 1994, 83, 84-100. 10 people suffering from Zinc deficiency as determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry were treated with Zincum metallicum 5C. Analysis following this treatment showed a substantial improvement in zinc levels.

6. Banerjee A, Chakrabarty SB, Karmakar SR, Chakrabarty A, Biswas SJ, Haque S, Das D, Paul S, Mandal B, Naoual B, Belon P, Khuda-Bukhsh AR. Can Homeopathy bring additional benefits to Thalassemic Patients on Hydroxyurea Therapy? Encouraging Results of a Preliminary Study. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2010 March; 7(1): 129-136. In this observational study, 38 people suffering from thalassaemia who were taking hydroxyurea, were allowed to continue their use of hydroxyurea but were given one of several homeopathic medicines. The effects of this additional treatment were compared to the outcomes of another 38 people suffering from thalassaemia who used hydroxyurea alone, assessed immediately before and at 3 months after starting the homeopathic treatment. Of a range of haematological and clinical parameters, those people using the combined treatment showed an increase in levels of foetal haemoglobin over those on hydroxyurea alone, along with a reduction in serum ferritin. Where splenomegaly was present, a significant reduction in this was noted in those on the combined therapy and this group also noted an improvement in general health with a longer period allowed between blood transfusions.

7. Barnes J., Resch K-L., Ernst E. Homoeopathy for Post-Operative Ileus: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 1997, Dec, 25, 4, 628- 633. 7 separate trials examining the effects of homoeopathic treatment for post-operative ileus after abdominal or gynaecological surgery when compared with placebo, specifically, for the time to first flatus after surgery. Subsequent analysis showed that homoeopathy provided superior results to placebo.

8. Bell IR, Lewis DA, Brooks AJ, Schwartz GE, Lewis SE, Walsh BT, Baldwin CM. Improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients treated with individualized homeopathic remedies versus placebo. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2004 May;43(5):577-82. 53 people suffering from fibromyalgia took part in this trial, comparing individualised homoeopathic treatment to placebo. The levels of tender points and tender point pain as well as quality of life, mood and general health were assessed by the practitioners and subjects involved in the trial. 3 months after commencing treatment, all parameters were found to be improved by the use of homoeopathy when compared to placebo.

9. Belon P, Banerjee P, Choudhury SC, Banerjee A, Biswas SJ, et al. Can administration of potentized homeopathic remedy, Arsenicum album, alter antinuclear antibody (ANA) titre in people living in high-risk arsenic contaminated areas? I. A correlation with certain hematological parameters. Evid Based Complement Alternat Medorrhinum 2006 Mar; 3 (1):99-107. To investigate whether or not potentised Arsenicum album has an effect on arsenic-induced elevations of antinuclear antibody (ANA), selected inhabitants of arsenic affected villages in India’s West Bengal were randomly assigned to receive either Arsenicum album or placebo. After 2 months of administration, it was found that not only did the remedy provide superior results in reducing the ANA titre, it also caused a correction of arsenic-induced haematological changes such as total count of red blood cells and white blood cells, packed cell volume, haemoglobin content, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and blood sugar level.

10. Belon P, Banerjee A, Karmakar SR, et al. Homeopathic remedy for arsenic toxicity? Evidence-based findings from a randomized placebo-controlled double blind human trial. Sci Total Environ. 2007 Jul 10. This was a pilot study carried out on 25 people from an Indian village where arsenic contamination was endemic and 18 people from another Indian village without arsenic contamination. These people were randomly assigned to receive either Arsenicum album 30C or a succussed placebo control. After 2 months on either active medicine or placebo, these people had their blood and urine assessed for arsenic as well as several widely accepted toxicity biomarkers and pathological parameters related to arsenic toxicity. The use of Arsenicum album 30C had a beneficial effect on these biomarkers. It was also found to improve the appetite and general health of those people who previously exhibited signs and symptoms of arsenic toxicity.

11. Berrebi A, Parant O, Ferval F, Thene M, Ayoubi JM, Connan L, Belon P. Treatment of Pain due to Unwanted Lactation with a Homeopathic Preparation given in the Immediate Post-Partum Period. Gynecology, Obstetrics and Biological Reproduction, 2001, June, 30, 4, 353-7. 71 post- parturient women who were unwilling or unable to breast feed were divided into 2 groups, one being given a placebo and the other group being given a mixture of Apis 9C and Bryonia 9C, to determine the effects of either on lactation pain. A significant improvement was noted in the group using the mixture, when compared to those in the placebo group.

12. Bignamini M, Saruggia M, Sansonetti G. Homeopathic Treatment of Anal Fissures using Nitricum acidum Berlin Journal on Research in Homoeopathy, 1, 4/5, 286-287, December 1991. Patients using Nitricum acidum 9C once daily in a double blind placebo controlled trial found subjective relief with the medicine over the placebo.

13. Bornhoft G, Wolf U, Ammon K, et al. Effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of homeopathy in general practice – summarized health technology assessment. Forsch Komplementarmed. 2006;13 Suppl 2:19-29. This was an effectiveness and safety study on homeopathy carried out for the Swiss Federal Office for Public Health. Using Internet-based resources, manual search and contact with experts, and assessed according to internal and external validity criteria, investigators found that the trend was in favour of a therapeutic benefit from homeopathic intervention. In addition, it was stated by the authors of the study that, “…effectiveness of homeopathy can be supported by clinical evidence and professional and adequate application be regarded as safe. ”

14. Brigo B, Serpelloni G, Homoeopathic Treatment of Migraine Berlin Journal on Research in Homoeopathy, 1, 2, March, 1991, 98-106. In this randomised, placebo controlled double blind study, 60 people suffering from migraine were treated using constitutional homoeopathy over a period of 4 months. Those patients in the control group experienced a reduction in migraine frequency from 9.9 attacks per month to 7.9 per month, while those in the treatment group reduced their monthly attack rate from 10 to between 1.8 and 3 per month.

15. Cairo J, Elliot BE, Barnouin J, Fleites P, Araoz A, Morales M, Verdura T, Sanchez M, Serrano C, Alvarez JL, Veillard JJ. Homeopathy in Cuban Epidemic Neuropathy: An Open Clinical Trial. British Homoeopathic Journal, 2001, 90, 150-157. In this uncontrolled trial, 15 people suffering from optic endemic neuropathy (group 1) and 16 people suffering from peripheral epidemic neuropathy (group 2) were given homeopathic Carbon sulph and homeopathic Tabacum for 30 days. The subjects were assessed for improvement in neurologic and ophthalmologic tests on commencement and again at 90 days after commencement of the trial. Those in group 1 experienced an averaged improvement of 73% and group 2 of 12.5%.

16. Campistranous- Lavout JL., et al. Hypertension Trial. Boletin Mexicano, 1999, 32, 42- 47. 68 people suffering from mild to moderate hypertension were enrolled in a double-blind randomised clinical trial comparing individualised homoeopathic therapy with placebo. Successful results were obtained with 82% of those using homoeopathy compared with 57% of those using placebo.

17. Castellsague API, Sturza CM. Retrospective Study in Asthma, Revista Homeopatica AMBH, 1998, 37, 5-21. In this multi-centre retrospective (uncontrolled) analysis, 196 people were treated for asthma with homoeopathy. Of the 196, 54 were claimed to have been cured and improvement was seen in a further 117.

18. Cavalcanti AM, Rocha LM, Carillo R Jr, Lima LU, Lugon JR. Effects of homeopathic treatment on pruritus of haemodialysis patients: a randomised placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Homeopathy. 2003 Oct;92(4):177-81. Pruritis, commonly experienced by those undergoing haemodialysis, was treated in 20 subjects under double-blind placebo-controlled randomised trial conditions comparing individualised homoeopathic treatment to placebo. Assessments were made at 15, 30, 45 and 60 days treatment, and after collating the results, researchers found that homoeopathic management reduced pruritis by 49%. The majority of the reduction in pruritis had occurred by day 30.

19. Chapman EH, Weintraub RJ, Milburn MA, Pirozzo TO, Woo E. Homoeopathic Treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Head Trauma and Rehabilitation, 14, 6, December 1999, 521-42. In a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial involving 60 subjects and a 4 month follow-up period, homoeopathy provided significant improvement in parameters using measures such as “Difficulty with Situations”, “Symptoms Rating Scale” and a “Participation in Daily Activities” scale.

20. Chapman EH. Homeopathic treatment of patients with persistent mild traumatic brain injury. British Homeopathic Journal, 2000, 89, Suppl 1,S60. In a randomised, placebo-controlled trial, 50 people with persistent mild traumatic brain injury were treated either with their constitutional homeopathic remedy or placebo. The homeopathic treatment provided superior results to those from the placebo control.

21. Clark J, Percivall AA. Preliminary Investigation into the Effectiveness of the Homoeopathic Remedy, Ruta graveolens, in the Treatment of Pain in Plantar Fasciitis. British Journal of Podiatry, 2000, 3, 3, 81- 85. In a randomised double-blind trial, 14 people suffering from plantar fasciitis were given Ruta graveleons 30C or placebo. Those using the Ruta reported a greater level of pain relief than those using placebo.

22. Clover A, Ratsey D. Homeopathic Treatment of Hot Flushes. British Homoeopathic Journal, 2002, 91, 75-79. Researchers at the Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital in the UK enrolled 31 female outpatients who had complained of menopausal flushes in this trial. They were treated using individualised homeopathic management and after their initial consultation and at least one follow-up, patients completed their own self-assessment rating of the treatment. 79% of the women enrolled in the study reported a reduction in both the severity and frequency of hot flushes as a result of the treatment.

23. Colin P. Homeopathy and respiratory allergies: a series of 147 cases. Homeopathy. 2006 Apr;95 (2):68-72. In this case series, 147 consecutive patients suffering from respiratory allergy who attended a private homeopathic clinic were assessed for their response to constitutional homeopathic treatment. Of these patients, 105 were sufferers of ear, nose and throat allergies. Only 2 of these patients failed to respond to treatment and none experienced an exacerbation of symptoms. The other 42 patients were sufferers of pulmonary allergies, all except 5 of whom experienced relief, with 2 of these experiencing an exacerbation of symptoms.

24. Davidson JRT, Morrison RM, Shore J, Davidson RT, Bedayn G. Homeopathic Treatment of Depression and Anxiety. Alternative Therapies, 3, 1, January 1997, 46-49. In this trial, 12 subjects suffering from major depression, social phobia or panic disorder, were treated for 7 to 80 weeks with individually prescribed homoeopathic remedies and assessed on a clinical global improvement scale (CGIS) or self-rated SCL-90 scale and the Social Phobia Scale (SPS). Subjects were given homoeopathic treatment either because they asked for it directly or because conventional treatment had been unsuccessful. The overall response rates for homoeopathy were 58% on the CGIS and 50% on the SCL-90 and SPS.

25. Derasse M, Klein P, Weiser M. The effects of a complex homeopathic medicine compared with acetaminophen in the symptomatic treatment of acute febrile infections in children: an observational study. Explore (NY). 2005 Jan;1(1):33-9. In this non-randomised observational study carried out in 38 Belgian clinics, 198 children suffering from acute febrile infections were assessed for their response to either acetaminophen or a combination of homeopathic medicines. The children had their infection symptoms, which included fever, cramps, disturbed sleep, crying, and difficulties eating or drinking, assessed and graded for a response to their respective medicines. After taking the results from all variables into account, it was found that the homeopathic combination was as effective as acetaminophen. The tolerance to medicines was also assessed as part of this trial and in this respect it was found that the homeopathic combination was superior to the acetaminophen.

26. Dorfman P, Lassere NM, Tetau M, Homoeopathic Medicines in Pregnancy and Labor, Cahiers de Biotherapie, 94, April 1987, 77-81. In this randomised double blind trial involving 93 women,  a combination of homeopathic Caulophyllum, Actea racemosa, Arnica, Pulsatilla and Gelsemium, all in 5C potency, was used to determine its effect on the length of labor and complication rates. The medicine was used from the beginning of the ninth month of pregnancy, and reduced the average time of labor to 5.1 hours, in comparison to the placebo, the use of which was associated with an average labor time of 8.5 hours. The rate of complications for those using the homoeopathic combination was 11.3% while the complication rate under placebo was 40%.

27. Eid P, Felisi E, Sideri M; Applicability of Homoeopathic Caulophyllum thalictroides during labour. British Homoeopathic Journal, October, 1993, 82, 245-248. 22 women experiencing their first pregnancies were given homoeopathic Caulophyllum and their post-treatment deliveries compared to 34 labours retrospectively selected on the criteria used to select the test subjects. On analysis it was found that the women who were given the homoeopathic remedy had a reduction of the duration of labour by an average of 90 minutes.

28. Ernst E, Saradeth T, Resch KL, Complementary Treatment of Varicose Veins.. Phebology, 1990, 5, 157-163. Over a period of 24 days, the effects of a homoeopathic complex preparation and placebo on varicose veins were tested in a double-blind trial of 61 people suffering from this condition. The homoeopathic complex produced an averaged 44% improvement in the condition while those given the placebo experienced an averaged worsening of the disorder.

29. Ferley JP, Zmirou D, D’Adhemar D, Balducci F. A Controlled Evaluation of a Homoeopathic Preparation in the Treatment of Influenza-like Syndrome..Br J Clin Pharmacol, 1989, Mar, 27, 3, 329-335. 487 people suffering from influenza were assigned to either Oscillococcinum (Anas barb.) 200CK or placebo, twice daily for 5 days. Significant results were achieved with the medicine over the placebo in all areas measured. This trial was repeated in 1998 (Papp R, Schuback G, Beck E, Burkard G, Bengel J, Lehrl S, Belon P. Oscillococcinum in Patients with Influenza-like Syndromes. British Homeopathic Journal, April 1998, 87, pp69-76) with 372 people with the same results.

30. Fisher P., Greenwood A, Huskisson EC, Turner P and Belon P.  Effect of Homoeopathic Treatment on Fibrositis. British Medical Journal, 5 August, 1989, 299, 365-366. Patients using Rhus tox 6C three times daily in a double blind placebo controlled crossover trial found significant relief with the medicine over the placebo.

31. Fisher P. An Experimental Double-blind Clinical Trial method in Homoeopathy- Use of a Limited Range of Remedies to Treat Fibrositis. British Homoeopathic Journal, 1986, July, 75, 3, 142-7. 24 subjects suffering from fibrositis were treated for the condition for 3 months with Arnica, Bryonia or Rhus tox, depending upon the similarity between the individuals’ symptoms and the clinical picture for the remedy. Using scores for pain, number of tender spots, and sleep quality to determine the response to the therapy, these remedies produced a statistically significant improvement, but only when the remedy was well indicated.

32. Frass M, Linkesch M, Banyai S, et al. Adjunctive homeopathic treatment in patients with severe sepsis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in an intensive care unit. Homeopathy. 2005 Apr; 94, 2, 75-80. In this study, 70 people admitted to an intensive care unit suffering from severe sepsis were treated either with individualised homeopathic treatment or placebo. On reviewing the signs of sepsis, organ failures, need for mechanical ventilation and other parameters at 180 days after beginning treatment, 76% of the patients using homeopathy met survival criteria versus 50% of those on placebo.

About the author

Robert Medhurst

Robert Medhurst

Robert Medhurst BNat DHom DBM DRM DNutr is a qualified Naturopath & Homoeopath with 28 years of clinical experience and currently practices in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. He has written many articles and lectured on homeopathy throughout Australia and the U.S. Robert previously operated several natural therapies practices in Sydney and was involved in teaching and research. He was formerly the Expert Advisor on Homeopathy to the Federal Government of Australia, Dept. of Health & Ageing. He specialises in homeopathy and is the author of The Business of Healing, the definitive guide for clinical practice establishment and management. For more information see adelaidehillsnaturopath.com.au. Robert Medhurst is author of the recently released : The Concordant Clinical Homeopathic Repertory

9 Comments

  • The fact is that we do not need further proofs that homeopathy works, because the scientific basis to explain why homeopathy works exists already.

    Sadly the cause of the skepticism is not grounded in science, but in money money money … pharmaceutic lobbies denies everything which reveals a great threat to their profits.
    This is also the reason why the so called “modern medicine” is still antiquated in contrast to the electrifying discoveries made in physics in the last 100 years.

    Skeptics are not scientists, or not good scientist at least. I propose to ignore the dogs and concentrate on further research and teaching.

  • I am glad, more and more studies are published for homeopathic medicines and its applications to humans. I myself would want to have clinical studies on my experiences on my practice in homeopathy.

    Thank you for your studies and I will be utilizing them not just as literatures to studies and research but also as evidences of effectivity of homoepathic management to diseases.

  • Dear Colleague and Homeopath Robert Medhurst

    Thank you so much for what we need to do much more than before, i.e.

    Research,Research and research. What a useful article. You deserve many

    thanks. You have mentioned so many valuable researches in one article. Well

    done. I confirm true effectiveness of the Divine method of Healing,

    Hahnemannian Homeopathy,too.

    God Help you in healing your patients, S.Sadeghi Hom.Pysician

  • Dear Doctor.
    Thank you for your nice work. I believe anyone who read this will appreciate it.
    Well,from my point of view, is it necessary to prove how homeopathy works, to the allopath? And is it possible to prove in double blind method, the method they accept?
    The answer is No. Why? because it will not change any thing. Unless and untill Homeopathy unable to give commerce to them they will not accept it.
    The only reason to find answer of this question is to satisfy ourselves.

    Sorry if I hurt any one.

    Dr.Nazmul Hasan.

    • Homoeopathy does not deal with the names of the disease instead it individualises the patient
      on the basis of totality of symptoms subjective and objective ie Mind, general and modalities
      of the complaints. Diseases are grouped as occupational diseases and corporeal diseases. This
      is not body becomes sick but the will, intelligence and memory are the dynamic planes the
      chronic diseases oroginates dynamically. Miasms Psora, Syphilis and sycosos are the three
      ills responsible for the chronic diseases. There is a universal law action and reaction are equa
      and opposite. Under this law only all the events are happening in this universe. We are using
      thee most advanced softwares and repertorising the cases. Please do write me. Thanks.

  • Look at the first half dozen studies:

    1. Small sample size and a subjective pain study.
    2. Small sample size and a subjective pain and agitation study.
    3. The treatment matched placebo. Not a positive result!
    4. Small sample size and no placebo control.
    5. Placebo controlled???
    6. Small sample size and a preliminary study.

    I would hope that the first studies listed would be quality, but no. The first principle of science is to try not to fool yourself, yet these studies seem to be trying to do so, no?

  • This is a useful exercise but a depressing one. Look at us throwing out our ‘First do no harm’ principle for our gentle healing art and including experiments done on lab rats and mice. Over 3/4 of the Animal Studies you have included need to be discarded in my view. A big debate is raging in UK about the problem with ‘sciencifying’ our art and forgetting our Hahnemannian roots which remind us that our science is practised and proved on healthy individuals – not cadavers or stressed lab animals. Humanely husbanded farm animals and companion animals (pets) – if treated homoeopathically and not ‘experimented on’ – can add their powerful vital forces to our arguments but NEVER should we stoop to the torture of sentient beings in laboratories as done by the so called ‘homeopathic’ researchers. Such studies can never be called ‘positive’. The only studies that deserve that description are those that demonstrate homeopathy returning diseased people and animals to health – real homeopathy in other words, not a version of it that involves suffering, harm and distress.
    Let’s just simply say no to referring to or the publication of these trials. They lower our aspiration and will surely destroy us.

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