Systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of homeopathy
Four of five major comprehensive reviews of RCTs in homeopathy have reached broadly positive conclusions.1,2,3,4 Based on a smaller selection of trials, a fifth review came to a negative conclusion about homeopathy.5
Positive conclusions have been reported in 9 of 23 reviews of RCTs in specific categories of medical condition (the other 14 are largely inconclusive):
- Allergies and upper respiratory tract infections6
- Childhood diarrhoea7
- Influenza treatment8
- Post-operative ileus9
- Rheumatic diseases10
- Seasonal allergic rhinitis11,12,13
RCTs of homeopathy – the original peer-reviewed research literature
Up to the end of 2009, 142 RCTs had been published: 63 positive; 11 negative; 68 not statistically conclusive. In addition to the above seven conditions, there is positive evidence from two or more RCTs in each of the following three areas:
There is evidence from single RCTs (not refuted elsewhere) in favour of homeopathy for a number of other conditions, including: acute otitis media, ankle sprain, bronchitis, chronic fatigue,25 premenstrual syndrome.26
Cost effectiveness of homeopathy
Integration of homeopathy with conventional treatment is associated with better clinical outcomes for similar or lower costs.27,28,29
Clinical observational studies
70.7% of 6,544 follow-up patients, treated at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital for a wide range of chronic medical complaints, reported positive health changes.
Many patients attending the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital were able to reduce or stop conventional medication following homeopathic treatment.
Laboratory research has obtained evidence that water may retain information about homeopathically-prepared solutes.
Additional laboratory studies have shown that homeopathic dilutions can exert biological effects.
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