Welcome to the website of the International Council for Homeopathy
The International Council for Homeopathy (ICH) is the international professional platform representing professional homeopaths and the practice of homeopathy around the world. ICH presently consists of 31 professional associations of homeopaths from 28 countries in four continents, and aims eventually to have member associations in all continents. Through networking and dialogue, members of ICH engage in the promotion and evaluation of the status of homeopathy in every part of the world; with emphasis on the development of international guidelines promoting freedom of access to the highest possible standard of homeopathic care.
5 April 2015
Congratulations to our colleagues in Ontario
After many years planning and effort by the homeopathy profession in Ontario, Canada, the Homeopathy Act of 2007 was proclaimed on 1 April 2015. The provisions of the Act include the authority to register homeopaths, administer a quality assurance program, and receive and investigate complaints and reports. Above all this Act means protection for patients who consult homeopaths registered with the College of Homeopaths register. For further information refer to the following web-site:
This Act is another step in the recognition and regulation of the homeopathy profession that, step by step, is taking place around the world.
22 March 2015
Canadian Class action against Boiron thrown out
After almost three years of legal wrangling, the class action suit instigated by the anti-homeopathy organization Centre for Inquiry (CFI) against Boiron Canada in Quebec has been dismissed. Another similar suit in Ontario is still in process, but its chances of succeeding now seem much more remote.
Boiron, Canada's largest manufacturer of homeopathic medicines, was served with papers in April of 2012 after Adanna Charles of West Montreal and her son took doses of Boiron's Oscillo products for flu and allegedly noticed no relief. According to her story, she decided to launch the suit after learning via the Internet that Boiron had settled a US class action suit earlier, and a friend recommended a class-action lawyer.
According to Iain Martell, then head of CFI's anti-homeopathy division, its strategy was to legally attack the largest homeo-pharmacy along with the largest drugstore selling Oscillo products (Shoppers Drug Mart, in a separate suit) so as to make an example of them, as part of a contemplated campaign of successive lawsuits.
"If we win with this case, that sets an example for everyone else," Martell wrote in a comment on the website of the Canadian Atheist. "A hefty fine against Boiron might lead other snake oil producers to be more careful in their labelling. And so on... until the next lawsuit." The comment was subsequently deleted, but not before 3CH took a screen capture of it.
"Again, the Court is reluctant to hold that there is an arguable case to be made that Oscillo products have no effect on the symptoms of flu sufferers strictly on the basis of these articles alone, notably because of the fact that Oscillo products have successfully met the requirements of Health Canada, have been approved for sale and, also, because these articles seem, at first glance, to be all out attacks on homeopathy."
The judge also rejected Adanna Charles as a suitable representative for other people who supposedly suffered damages from buying Oscillo products, because she did nothing about the supposed problem until she spotted the article about the American lawsuit about six months later.
In this instance, there is no allegation that Petitioner communicated with Boiron, complained, asked questions. There is no allegation that she attempted to find people who had used the Oscillo products and were dissatisfied. What seems, prima facie, to be the real trigger of the recourse is the lawyer-induced opportunity to obtain a settlement in Canada, because one was achieved in the U.S. against Boiron U.S.A., based, prima facie, on different circumstances, including the representations by Boiron U.S.A. on the presence of an "active ingredient"."
For these and other reasons, Judge Lacoursière dismissed the suit and awarded Boiron costs, meaning that Charles and/or any supporters she might have, if they are willing, will have to pay a substantial amount of Boiron's hefty legal bill.
18 March 2015
Further criticism of the Australian Government report from scientists
Scientists connected with the Homeopathy Research Institute have now produced an incisive critique of the faulted methodology used by the NHMRC in compiling its report for the Australian Government. Homeopathy is safe, effective and cheap - why are the powers that be so desperate to destroy it we wonder??
The Australian Government continues the extraordinary attempts to eradicate homeopathy and undermine patient choice with a report that is methodologically, factually and ethically deeply faulted.
Rather than present our own elucidation of the above statement we leave it to our colleagues from the Australian Homeopathic Association to present their critique of this report and the process by which it has been written. Their must-read response is attached here - open_response_letter_by_aha_to_nhmrc.pdf
9 December 2014
The first rigorous systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials of individualised homeopathic treatment cautiously concludes that medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects. Homeopathic medicines can be prescribed in a number of different ways but most homeopaths agree that individualised treatment of patients is the most effective method. Yet for research purposes this methodology poses the greatest challenge, firstly because a wide variety of homeopathic medicines can be prescribed for a set of patients with a similar diagnosis and secondly, because the detailed case-taking involved gives rise to there being an inevitable effect on the patient from the therapeutic encounter, this is often referred to as the 'placebo effect'. The 'placebo effect' has been consistently used and mis-used by homeopathy's critics to explain any success shown from homeopathic treatment.
This highly rigorous systematic review's conclusions, while being very conservative, are therefore significant in that they conclude that prescribed homeopathic medicines may have specific treatment effects over and above any potential 'placebo effect'.
Those who practise individualised homeopathy know from experience that placebo effects are short-lived and only when the correctly chosen medicine acts successfully do long-term treatment benefits for patients ensue. This study is an important step forward in evidencing the daily experience of homeopaths and their patients that correctly prescribed homeopathic medicines work. The abstract and full paper can be accessed here:
Background and Objectives: Childhood autism is severe and a serious disorder. A study was conducted by Spandan holistic institute of applied Homoeopathy, Mumbai, with the objective of demonstrating the usefulness of homeopathic management in autism. Materials and Methods: Sixty autistic children of both sexes, ≤12 years were selected for this study. It was nonrandomized, self-controlled, pre and post-intervention study, wherein the initial 6 months of observation period was used as the control period and the same patients were thereafter treated for 1 year and compared with post-intervention findings. Results: The study demonstrated significant improvement of autistic features with mean change in ATEC score (ATEC 1 -pre-treatment with ATEC 5 -post-treatment) was 15.12 and ATEC mean percent change was 19.03. Statistically significant changes in ATEC scores were observed in all the quarters analyzed through repeated measures ANOVA, with F-value 135.952, P = 0.0001. An impact was observed on all core autistic features, which included communication, 12.61%, socialization, 17%, sensory awareness, 18.82%, and health and behavior, 29% (P = 0.0001). Significant improvement was observed in behavior by Autistic Hyperactivity Scale, AHS 1 36 to AHS 5 14.30 with F-value 210.599 (P = 0.0001). Outcome assessment was carried out using MANOVA, which showed statistically significant changes in post-treatment scores, P < 0.005. Total 88.34% cases showed improvement, 8.33% showed status quo, and 3.33% cases worsened. Nine out of 60 cases showed a reversal of CARS putting them into non-autistic zone, P = 0.0001. A sharp decrease (34%) in ATEC scores, in the first quarter implied positive effect of homoeopathic medicines, prescribed, as per the homoeopathic principles. Conclusion: The study has demonstrated usefulness of homoeopathic treatment in management of neuropsychological dysfunction in childhood autism disorder, which is reflected in significant reduction of hyperactivity, behavioral dysfunction, sensory impairment as well as communication difficulty. This was demonstrated well in psychosocial adaptation of autistic children.
Homeopathy reduces NSAID use in elderly with muscolosketal complaints with no loss of effect
Musculoskeletal pain is common in elderly persons. Analgesic use is high in the elderly and may involve unacceptable risk in individuals with chronic pain. The aim of this study was to compare the socio-demographic characteristics of elderly subjects with musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and to assess medication use and clinical evolution of musculoskeletal pain according to physician prescribing preference: homeopathy (Ho) group, conventional medicine (CM) group, or mixed prescription (MX) group.
The study showed NSAID use was significantly higher in elderly MSD patients consulting a conventional practice general practitioner. In contrast, analgesic use and MSD evolution were similar in the three groups. Consulting a homeopathic physician for MSD management does not appear to represent a loss of therapeutic opportunity, and decreases the use of NSAIDs.
For the abstract and to download a copy of the full article go here:
Arnica - a valid alternative to NSAIDS in certain conditions
Arnica montana has been widely used as a homeopathic remedy for the treatment of several inflammatory conditions in pain management and postoperative settings. This review gives an overview of the therapeutic use of Arnica montana in the above-mentioned fields also focusing on its mechanisms of action learned from animal models and in vitro studies. Arnica montana is more effective than placebo when used for the treatment of several conditions including post-traumatic and postoperative pain, edema, and ecchymosis. However, its dosages and preparations used have produced substantial differences in the clinical outcome. Cumulative evidence suggests that Arnica montana may represent a valid alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, at least when treating some specific conditions.
American Journal of Therapeutics 2014 Sep 17.
Effectiveness and Safety of Arnica montana in Post-Surgical Setting, Pain and Inflammation.
Homeopathy Research Institute finds Australian draft report flawed.
The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recently published a draft report reviewing the evidence for homeopathy in a range of health conditions. For reasons that are unexplained the NHMRC did not include anyone in their review committee with any expertise in homeopathy or in homeopathy research. This may explain why the UK based Homeopathy Research Institute (HRI) has found the report to be flawed and biased in its conclusions.
What is unsettling is the way the NHMRC has chosen not to correct the media's interpretation of their conclusion, i.e. that the evidence does not yet tell us whether homeopathy works or not for the 61 conditions they considered. The media lept to the conclusion that the report shows homeopathy does not work and trumpeted it far and wide. Hopefully the NHMRC will see fit to take on board the HRI's response and put out a corrected report.
Brilliance and dedication to homeopathy and humanity recognised in the awarding of a Knighthood to Jan Scholten
For dedication to advancing the science of homeopathy through exploring the realms of the natural world and the connection with the ills of mankind and animal-kind, there is none more worthy of being awarded a knighthood than Jan Scholten MD. In response to nomination and then a wealth of support from friends and colleagues inside and outside the Netherlands, Jan has been decorated as Knight in the Dutch Order of Orange Nassau by the Mayor of Utrecht on 25 April 2014.
On behalf of the international community of homeopaths represented by ICH, we congratulate Jan on this well-deserved honour and thank him for his dedication over many years to the science and art of homeopathy, neither one of which can exist without the other.
For a more full description of the award please go here:
Homeopathic Medications as Clinical Alternatives for Symptomatic Care of Acute Otitis Media and Upper Respiratory Infections in Children
Medicamentos homeopáticos como alternativas clínicas para la atención sintomática de la otitis media aguda y de la rinofaringitis (infección respiratoria de las vías respiratorias altas) en niños
Glob Adv Health Med. 2013 January; 2(1): 32–43: Iris R. Bell, MD, PhD, United States; Nancy N. Boyer, RN, NP, PA-C, United States
The public health and individual risks of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and conventional over-the-counter symptomatic drugs in pediatric treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) and upper respiratory infections (URIs) are significant. Clinical research suggests that over-the-counter homeopathic medicines offer pragmatic treatment alternatives to conventional drugs for symptom relief in children with uncomplicated AOM or URIs. Homeopathy is a controversial but demonstrably safe and effective 200-year-old whole system of complementary and alternative medicine used worldwide. Numerous clinical studies demonstrate that homeopathy accelerates early symptom relief in acute illnesses at much lower risk than conventional drug approaches. Evidence-based advantages for homeopathy include lower antibiotic fill rates during watchful waiting in otitis media, fewer and less serious side effects, absence of drug-drug interactions, and reduced parental sick leave from work. Emerging evidence from basic and preclinical science research counter the skeptics' claims that homeopathic remedies are biologically inert placebos. Consumers already accept and use homeopathic medicines for self care, as evidenced by annual US consumer expenditures of $2.9 billion on homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy appears equivalent to and safer than conventional standard care in comparative effectiveness trials, but additional well-designed efficacy trials are indicated. Nonetheless, the existing research evidence on safety supports pragmatic use of homeopathy in order to “first do no harm” in the early symptom management of otherwise uncomplicated AOM and URIs in children.
A new randomised placebo-controlled single-blind pilot trial published in the Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy seems to show that individualised homeopathic treatment of children with ADHD is beneficial.
A total of 61 patients aged 6-15 diagnosed with ADHD (Homoeopathy = 30, placebo = 31) were randomised to receive either individualised homoeopathic medicine in fifty millesimal (LM) potency or placebo for a period of one year. All patients in the homoeopathy group showed better outcomes and the authors conclude that: this pilot study provides evidence to support the therapeutic effects of individualised homoeopathic medicines in ADHD children. However, the results need to be validated in multi-center randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.