Research

Article Index

Examples of published homœopathic 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 homœopathic treatment
3) conventional medical care plus 'supportive listening'
Patients receiving homœopathic 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 homœopathic 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

Childhood diarrhoea:
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 randomized double-blind clinical trials, children were either prescribed individualised homœopathic treatment or a placebo, both together with standard oral rehydration. 
The groups receiving homœopathic 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

Allergic rhinitis:
A randomised controlled trial in four series of homœopathy 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 homœopathic treatment reporting a significant objective improvement in nasal airflow compared with the placebo group. Both groups reported improvement in symptoms, with patients taking homœopathy 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 homœopathic treatment, compared twenty children against a control group of ten children. The children whose treatment included homœopathy 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).
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A scholarly article by Michel Van Wassenhoven entitled 'Scientific framework of homeopathy': View document


Research paradigms

Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homœopathy, 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.

Homœopathy 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 homœopathic treatment will be most effective and lasting.

This foundation upon which homœopathy 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 homœopathy. Many trials have shown statistical efficacy even when using standard research methods as compared to the unique methodology required for homœopathic research.
The attached paper by R T Mathie discusses the research evidence base for homœopathy.
R T Mathie - Original Paper.
Below are some examples of homœopathic 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


Advertising of research projects

If accepted by the AHA's National Council, the AHA will advertise research proposals as an insert or a flier in the AHA National Newsletter, asking AHA members to provide their support where possible and appropriate.
Research proposal must have ethics approval from the researcher's college/university.
The charge to advertise such proposals is $220 inc. GST.

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