What Does Research Say About Homeopathic Medicines?

Clinical Research

Since homeopathy was first developed, there has been extensive documentation of clinical experience with this therapy — that is, doctors and other healthcare professionals documenting how their patients respond to treatment prescribed in accordance with the law of similars. In the 19th century, homeopathy became very popular because of impressive results reported in treating people for illnesses that were common then.  These results were published in 1900 in a book by T L Bradford MD titled The Logic of Figures or comparative results of homoeopathic and other treatments.

More recently, the results of randomised clinical trials, where homeopathic treatments are compared with a placebo (dummy treatment) or with conventional medicines, have begun to build a more comprehensive picture of homeopathy’s effectiveness. There are now more than 150 scientific studies of homeopathy which fulfil strict evidence criteria and have been published in highly-regarded medical journals. Many of these studies have shown favourable results for homeopathy when compared with a placebo or conventional medicine. 2,3,4,5,6

An extensive review of homeopathic clinical trials (known as a meta-analysis) was published in the British Medical Journal in 1991. This meta-analysis found that 81 of the 107 studies reviewed had a result in favour of homeopathy compared with placebo, while 24 studies did not.5

In late 2011, the Swiss government published the results of its five-year review of homeopathy involving many independent international university researchers. The report has been published as a book and is the most comprehensive review of homeopathy ever undertaken by a government body. The review confirmed that high potency homeopathic medicines appear to stimulate balancing or normalising effects and specific changes in cells or living organisms.

Examining 22 different meta-analyses of homeopathy, the review found that 20 of these showed a trend that was at least in favour of homeopathy.7 The authors concluded that clinical evidence supports a finding that homeopathic treatment is both effective and cost-effective.8 On the other hand, a review of this conclusion suggested that this report is scientifically flawed and misinterprets studies previously exposed as weak.9

 

World Wide Studies

In 2010, the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee published a report which concluded that there is no credible evidence of the efficacy of homoeopathy and that any perceived effectiveness is solely due to the placebo effect.  The report was widely criticised for poor procedure in its treatment of submitted evidence.  Its recommendation that homeopathy should not be funded through the NHS was not supported by the UK Parliament.

 

Australian Research

In October 2013 the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) published an evaluation of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy for clinical conditions.   This evaluation concluded that there is a paucity of good-quality studies of sufficient size that examine the effectiveness of homeopathy as a treatment for any clinical conditions in humans and that the available evidence is not compelling and fails to demonstrate that homeopathy is an effective treatment for any of the reported clinical conditions in humans. 

In response, Australian professional homoeopathic organisations have expressed concern at the acknowledged limitations of the NHMRC evaluation which considered only systematic reviews of homeopathy rather than searching for all individual published studies of homeopathy.  They also believed that the NHMRC failed to directly examine submitted evidence and instead relied on what others had found from systematic reviews. In particular, they stated that the NHMRC “named the discredited UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report as the basis of the NHMRC inquiry” and that it appeared to repeat both the language and opinion of this source. 

These homoeopathic bodies submitted for consideration 192 randomised controlled trials of which 96 were positive, 88 were inconclusive and 8 were negative.  They expressed concern that the evaluation failed to report on these 96 positive trials, noting that although this evidence may in some instances be of a lower quality, it does not support a conclusion that homoeopathic treatment equates to placebo treatment.  In particular, this submission to the NHMRC noted that of 61 trials of homeopathic complexes, 31 were positive, 29 inconclusive and 1 negative. 

The homeopathic bodies felt that the NHMRC evaluation ignored such positive findings, effectively distorting the conclusions of many systematic reviews, and excluded observational and outcomes studies that examined effectiveness of treatments in real-world conditions.

 

Evidence Based

The evidence to support the action of homeopathic ingredients in Brauer products featured on this website is based solely on their traditional use through published reports in the traditional homeopathic literature of clinical experience with their use in accordance with the law of similars.

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Brauer Natural Medicine is a proudly South Australian made and owned homeopathic company. Based in Adelaide’s beautiful Barossa Valley we believe in combining traditional homeopathic medicines and natural ingredients with modern science. Brauer, your body’s choice, naturally.