Examples of published homoeopathic research
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS):
In this pilot study, 100 patients, who had been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, were divided into three groups:
1) conventional medical care
2) conventional medical care plus individualised homoeopathic treatment
3) conventional medical care plus 'supportive listening'
Patients receiving homoeopathic medication in addition to conventional care showed more improvement than those who received conventional care alone or conventional care with 'supportive listening'. Because of the size of the study and the small number of patients for whom homoeopathic medicines were prescribed, the results were not statistically significant (in scientific terms this means that firm conclusions cannot be drawn) but they warrant a larger size study.
View website here
In the developing world acute diarrhoea in children carries a high mortality rate. Studies were carried out in Nepal and Nicaragua with 186 and 81 children, respectively, aged between 6 months to 5 years. In these randomised double-blind clinical trials, children were either prescribed individualised homoeopathic treatment or a placebo, both together with standard oral re-hydration.
The groups receiving homoeopathic treatment had a statistically significant decrease in the duration as well as the frequency of the diarrhoea.
Link to the abstract for the Nicaraguan trial
The results from the clinical trial in Nepal can be found in this document: Homeopathic Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhoea
A randomised controlled trial in four series of homoeopathy versus placebo was reported in the British Medical Journal in 2000. The trial was carried out by scientists at Glasgow Royal Infirmary; University of Glasgow; Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford; University of Sydney, Australia; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York.
Fifty patients completed the study with the group receiving homoeopathic treatment reporting a significant objective improvement in nasal airflow compared with the placebo group. Both groups reported improvement in symptoms, with patients taking homoeopathy reporting more improvement in all but one of the centres, which had more patients with aggravations.
The research paper can be downloaded at this link: Taylor at al: 'Allergic Rhinitis'
The full article can be accessed here
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD):
This pilot study, which has now been expanded into a pragmatic randomised controlled clinical trial, after showing positive results from homoeopathic treatment, compared twenty children against a control group of ten children. The children whose treatment included homoeopathy showed significant improvements after 24 weeks which still continued after one year.
View information here
Evidence-based medicine (EBM)
The following article is a discussion of the current debate around evidence-based medicine (EBM).
A scholarly article by Michel Van Wassenhoven entitled 'Scientific framework of homeopathy': View document
Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homoeopathy, was a highly educated man who spoke several languages and was trained in the medical and chemical sciences of his time. Hahnemann's contribution to science was the development of a rigorous and inductive method of research, whereby nothing was taken for granted unless proven by multiple trials and verified in clinical practice. The theoretical findings of his many years of experiments were recorded in a book called Organon of the Medical Art.
Homoeopathy is based on a number of principles. The first, 'like cures like', if developed further, leads to the principle of individualisation. By closely matching the entire diseased state of a person, including both objective and subjective symptoms, with a medicine, which has shown the ability to produce a similar state in a healthy individual, a homoeopathic treatment will be most effective and lasting.
This foundation upon which homoeopathy is based provides the premise, or required framework, for meaningful research into its efficacy. Current standards of scientific trials, which are based on statistic probabilities, do not sit comfortably with individualisation of medical treatment, rather, most medical trials are carried out to test the efficacy of a medical substance against the most common symptom/s of a given condition.
For example, medicines for asthma may be tested for their ability to dilate the airways, thereby relieving breathlessness, while not taking into account any other accompanying symptoms.
There is a growing body of research for homoeopathy. Many trials have shown statistical efficacy even when using standard research methods as compared to the unique methodology required for homoeopathic research.
The attached paper by R T Mathie discusses the research evidence base for homoeopathy.
R T Mathie - Original Paper.
Below are some examples of homoeopathic research for specific conditions.
Further research links
The Homeopathy Research Institute (HRI), UK, View website
The Faculty of Homeopathy, UK: 'Randomised Controlled Trials' - View website
The Faculty of Homeopathy, UK: 'Clinical Outcomes Studies' - View website
The Faculty of Homeopathy, UK: 'Randomised Controlled Trials on Individualised Homeopathy' - View website
National Center for Homeopathy, USA: View website
BioMed Central, Open Access Publisher: View website
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