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.
3 June 2013
HRI Conference Advances the Science of Homeopathy in Barcelona
In what was considered by participants to be a landmark event, the Homeopathy Research Institute's first international conference in Barcelona on 31 May - 2 June 2013 proved to be a showcase for highly promising developments in homeopathy research. In the conference rooms of the striking Hotel Porta Fira, 39 presenters from around the world presented the latest findings in fundamental, clinical and epidemiological research together with presentations on veterinary homeopathy, health economics, and research ethics. The audience of some 180 researchers, homeopaths, homeopathic doctors and other interested parties clearly felt the science of homeopathy is moving forward.
Three strong areas of interest permeated the conference. The long missing explanation of the action of homeopathy's high dilution medicines seems to be on the horizon with the modern field of nano-technology offering a clear possibility of providing that explanation. Evidence of homeopathy's clinical effectiveness in a variety of conditions continues to emerge as does the very exciting possibility of homeopathy playing a significant role in the prevention and treatment of epidemic and endemic infectious diseases in countries such as Brazil, Cuba and India, .
It was particularly inspiring to see and hear researchers from the two communities of homeopaths and homeopathic doctors sharing and discussing the latest research projects with the common goal of advancing the science of homeopathy. There were many excellent presentations from researchers who have made a career path into academia and research based on their prior education and professional practice as homeopaths. This progression is proof of the continuing evolution of an educated and experienced homeopathy profession worldwide.
Information on the conference proceedings will soon be available from the Homeopathy Research Institute at: http://www.homeoinst.org/
NB: ICH and its sister organisation ECCH are proud to have contributed in a small way to the conference's success as sponsors.
23 May 2013
Press release: Anti-microbial resistance, bacterial and viral infections and homeopathy’s potential to help address a growing crisis.
The world is facing a major crisis due to anti-microbial resistance. At the 66th World Health Assembly of the WHO in Geneva in May 2013 Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of the WHO in her opening address stated ‘The spread of antimicrobial resistance is rendering more and more first-line treatments useless. .. With few replacements in the pipeline, medicine is moving towards a post-antibiotic era in which many common infections will once again kill’ .. We must recognise, and respond to, the very serious threat of antimicrobial resistance.”
At a side event of the 66th WHA entitled ‘Antibiotic Resistance – a threat to Global Health Security and a Case for Action’ 12 countries outlined their strategies to address the problem, strategies that essentially involve: severely reducing antibiotic use in the humans and animals, preventing drug-resistant microbial infections and researching new pharmaceutical products. Despite the fact that there is serious doubt about the capacity of the pharmaceutical industry to develop new antimicrobial products (the last new antibiotic class was developed in 1987) not one country showed any lateral thinking and proposed exploring the use of alternative systems of prevention and treatment of infectious illness such as homeopathy or herbal medicine. This in our view, is a serious oversight, particularly from those countries such as India and China, both of which have a strong history of use of such systems.
In the face of the global crisis of antimicrobial resistance far more attention now needs to be paid to how medicinal systems such as homeopathy and herbal medicine can play a significant contributing role in combating the crisis and protecting the power of antibiotics for when then are truly needed.
As far as homeopathy is concerned existing evidence from RCTs and observational studies shows it can potentially have a frontline role to play in preventing and treating infectious illness.* (see appendix)
More centrally funded research is now needed to show how homeopathy can effectively play a role in the future prevention and treatment of infectious illness thereby helping prevent antimicrobial resistance and preserving antibiotic effectiveness.
International Council for Homeopathy
NB the file here includes the message above together with an appendix of references
Homeopathy - a two century old history of empiricism and antagonism
On 10 April 2013, the 258th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Hahnemann (pictured), founder of homeopathy as a medical science, it is worth reflecting on the history of homeopathy with reference to an example of its long history of empiricism and antagonism. Samuel Hahnemann was one of medicine's finest empiricists and developed homeopathy on the basis of experimentation, first on himself and then with others. The limits of the scientific understanding of his day did not allow Hahnemann to explain how potentised medicines worked, but his empirical approach allowed him to perceive and understand that they did work. To this day that empirical basis underpins homeopathy's growing success.
For the past two centuries that success has engendered antagonism, first in local opposition to Hahnemann himself from allopathic doctors and apothecaries (pharmacists) where he practised, whose practice, profits and paradigm they felt he threatened, up until present time in a more widespread opposition from conventional medicine for the same reasons. A fascinating early example of empiricism and antagonism is related in a historical perspective of a situation in Parisian hospitals printed in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2010.
As stated above, the antagonism towards homeopathy goes on for much the same reasons that it did two hundred years ago. Thankfully so does the empiricism. Patients around the world continue to want homeopathic treatment based on their positve experience of using it and the related experience of others. On a macro-level the Indian Government are investing heavily in it as a part-solution to addressing the health needs of a huge population effectively and economically.
The exploration of homeopathy's clinical and scientific basis continues, with steadily accumulating evidence for its effectiveness and underlying scientific rationale. The latest findings are to be presented in Barcelona at the beginning of June in a conference entitled 'Cutting Edge Research in Homeopathy'. http://www.hribarcelona2013.org/
All true empiricists are invited to attend!!
31 January 2013
Economic evaluations of homeopathy: - positive indications but better studies needed
A paper presenting a balanced review of economic evaluations of homeopathy has just been published in the European Journal of Health Economics. Under "Results" the authors record: Eight out of 14 studies found improvements in patients’ health together with cost savings. Four studies found that improvements in homeopathy patients were at least as good as in control group patients, at comparable costs. Two studies found improvements similar to conventional treatment, but at higher costs. Studies were highly heterogeneous and had several methodological weaknesses. They conclude: Although the identified evidence of the costs and potential benefits of homeopathy seemed promising, studies were highly heterogeneous and had several methodological weaknesses. It is therefore not possible to draw firm conclusions based on existing economic evaluations of homeopathy. The authors end by making recommendations for future research in the area. The full abstract and paid access to the full article can be found here: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10198-013-0462-7
31 January 2013
CAM and homeopathy popular with children and adolescents with chronic conditions
The journal 'Pediatrics' has published an article demonstrating that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is high among children and youth with chronic illnesses in Canada. The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence and patterns of use of CAM in 10 sub-speciality clinics in Canada and to compare CAM use between two diverse geographical locations. The most common CAM products currently used were multivitamins/minerals, herbal products, and homeopathic remedies. The most common CAM practices currently used were massage, chiropractic, relaxation, and aromatherapy. Eighty adverse effects were reported, and 55 (68.8%) of these were self-assessed as minor.
The results of this study indicate that CAM use is high among pediatric specialty clinic outpatients. Most respondents felt that their CAM use was helpful with few or no harms associated. Patients want more information about CAM from their sub-specialty providers. Many patients, using CAM alongside their conventional medicines, are still not discussing their CAM use with their primary physicians.
This month sees the publication of the first joint newsletter from ECCH & ICH carrying news and views on the latest events and developments in homeopathy in Europe and Worldwide. Click here to download a copy:
Homeopathic medicines' - nanomedicines that mobilise biological adaptive mechanisms? PART 2
Further to the article referred to on 23 October 2012, Iris Bell and colleagues have moved the discussion on with a further article published in the journal "Homeopathy" . The article proposes the Nanoparticle-Allostatic Cross-Adaptation-Sensitization (NPCAS) model for the action of homeopathic remedies in living systems. The NPCAS model suggests a way forward for systematic research on homeopathy. The central proposition is that homeopathic treatment is a form of nanomedicine acting by modulation of endogenous adaptation and metaplastic amplification processes in the organism to enhance long-term systemic resilience and health.
Homeopathic medicines' - nanomedicines that mobilise biological adaptive mechanisms?
The 200 year old mystery of how homeopathy's diluted medicines work seems to have been moved a step closer to being solved. A new piece of research published in the open access journal 'BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine' proposes a novel model for homeopathic remedy action on living systems.Homeopathic remedies are proposed as source nanoparticles that mobilize hormesis and time-dependent sensitization via non-pharmacological effects on specific biological adaptive and amplification mechanisms in living biological systems.
The main criticism of homeopathy has always been based on the fact that its high dilutions go beyond the so-called Avogadro number and therefore that no molecules of the source material can be present. It seems that as science moves on far beyond Newton, and nanotechnology is a clear example of that happening, an explanation for the mechanism of action of homeopathy's medicines comes ever closer to being able to be elucidated.
For access to the abstract and the full article please go to:
Antibiotics not recommended for uncomplicated rhino-sinusitis - can homeopathy help?
On the basis of the risks outweighing the benefits, a recent systematic review published by the Cochrane Data-base concluded that: The potential benefit of antibiotics in the treatment of clinically diagnosed acute rhinosinusitis needs to be seen in the context of a high prevalence of adverse events. Taking into account antibiotic resistance and the very low incidence of serious complications, we conclude that there is no place for antibiotics for the patient with clinically diagnosed, uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis.
Trials of homeopathy in this common condition clearly indicate its potential to successfully treat it. In addition, the use of homeopathy avoids the immediate risks of adverse reactions associated with anti-biotics and the more long-term problem of anti-microbial resistance
Randomised Controlled Trials of homeopathy in rhinosinusitis
Friese K-H, Zabalotnyi DI. Homeopathy in acute rhinosinusitis. A double-blind, placebo controlled study shows the efficiency and tolerability of a homeopathic combination remedy. HNO 2007; 55: 271–277. Weiser M, Clasen B. Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of the clinical efficacy of the homeopathic Euphorbium compositum-S nasal spray in cases of chronic sinusitis. Forschende Komplementärmedizin 1994; 1: 251–259. Zabolotnyi DI, Kneis KC, Richardson A, et al. Efficacy of a complex homeopathic medication (Sinfrontal) in patients with acute maxillary sinusitis: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial. Explore (NY) 2007; 3: 98–109.
Witt CM, Lüdtke R, Willich SN. Homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic sinusitis: a prospective observational study with 8 years follow-up. BMC Ear Nose and Throat Disorders 2009; 9: 7.
9 August 2012
New Study finds homeopathic medicines effective for menopausal hot flashes
In a new study published in the conventional pharmaceutical journal 'Drugs in R&D' a combination of individual medicines known to be effective in the treatment of women suffering adverse menopausal symptoms proved effective in treating hot flashes. In a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study carried out between June 2010 and July 2011 in France, the prescribed treatment was either BRN-01 tablets, a registered homeopathic medicine containing Actaea racemosa (4 centesimal dilutions [4CH]), Arnica montana (4CH), Glonoinum (4CH), Lachesis mutus (5CH), and Sanguinaria canadensis (4CH), or identical placebo tablets.
Conclusion: BRN-01 seemed to have a significant effect on the hot flashes, compared with placebo. According to the results of this clinical trial, BRN-01 may be considered a new therapeutic option with a safe profile for hot flashes in menopausal women who do not want or are not able to take hormone replacement therapy or other recognized treatments for this indication. No serious adverse events were recorded for either group of patients.
Australian Government clarifies position on homeopathy
In response to what can only be called a recent 'feeding frenzy' of mis-informed attacks on homeopathy driven by the small but vociferous sceptic community in Australia with support from two well-known sceptics from the UK, the Australian Government has put out a clarifying statement on the position of its National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). There had been various reports in the media in relation to a draft NHMRC position statement on the efficacy of homeopathic preparations. The document referred to in the media reports was an internally drafted NHMRC paper unauthorised for release.
The Government statement clarifies that the NHMRC is reviewing evidence on the efficacy of alternative therapies such as homeopathy. As part of its review, the NHMRC has invited the Australian Homoeopathic Association, the national association member of ICH, and the Australian Medical Fellowship of Homeopathy to submit evidence that demonstrates the efficacy of homeopathic preparations to the NHMRC for consideration.
It had also been reported in the media that the NHMRC intends to ban homeopathy. This is incorrect too. The Governmnet stated that the role of the NHMRC is to provide evidence-based advice and does not extend to regulating alternative therapies.
Homeopathy has an important role to play in public health
An interview with Dr Manchanda, Deputy Director (homeopathy) of the Indian Government Directorate of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy, reveals his understanding of the potential role homeopathy has to play in the large public health arena such as dealing with epidemic and pandemic disease. Homeopathy is unique in that at one end of the scale its best results come from the individualised treatment of each patient irrespective of the diagnosed condition they present with while, at the other end of the scale, it is capable of dealing with epidemic acute diseases using a relatively narrow range of medicines homeopathic to the epidemic disease in question. India is leading the way globally in appreciating and using the diverse low-cost potential of homeopathy.
ICH Congratulates Robin Lim, Winner of CNN's 'Hero of the Year' Award This year's winner of CNN's annual 'Hero of the Year' award is Robin Lim, an American midwife who has helped thousands of poor Indonesian women have a healthy pregnancy and birth through encouraging natural childbirth which she supports with homeopathic treatment. 'Mother Robin'' as she is called by the locals, offers free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid in Indonesia, where many families cannot afford care. For more information and a video clip please visit:
New study shows highly diluted tinctures act as biological response modifiers A research group has been investigating the action of highly diluted substances and tinctures on cells from the immune system. Based on the results obtained their experiments appear to show that highly diluted tinctures modulate immune responses. They posit therefore that there is an indication that such highly diluted tinctures could be used as therapeutic interventions in disorders where the immune system is compromised. For a copy of the abstract and of the full article text please go to: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/11/101/abstract
31 July 2011ICH and ECCH publish revised guidelines for the education of homeopaths
After a two year long process of consultation and revision ICH is pleased to announce the publication of the International Guidelines for Homeopathy Education - May 2011. This is a new and revised version of the 2000 European guidelines for homeopathic education is now the official curriculum document recommended by ICH for the education and training of a competent practitioner of homeopathy in any country of the world. A copy of the revised guidelines can be downloaded here:
Homeopathy may offer help with patients suffering severe sepsis
The latest volume of 'Homeopathy' that celebrates 100 years of its existence as a scientific and medical journal, features a piece of research first published in 2005 that indicates that individualised homeopathy may be helpful adjunctively in the treatment of patients suffering severe sepsis. In a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial of patients diagnosed with severe sepsis in a hospital intensive care unit, there was a significant trend of survival for patients receiving homeopathy together with normal care. The homeopathic physicians involved prescribed individually for each patient. The most frequently prescribed homeopathic medicines were Apis mellifica, Arsenicum album, Baptisia, Bryonia, Carbo vegetabilis, Crotalus horridus, Lachesis muta, Lycopodium clavatum, Phosphorus, and Pyrogenium.
For a copy of the abstract and of the full article text please go to:
World Homeopathy Awareness Week celebrates Samuel Hahnemann's Birth 256 years on
10 April 1755 was the day Samuel Hahnemann was born. The discoverer of the natural principles that underpin homeopathy could not have envisioned that 256 years later homeopathy, the medical art and science he developed from those principles, has spread right around the World, is used by millions of people every day and is practised by 100s of thousands of homeopaths and medical doctors. Yet even now homeopathy remains controversial simply because it's mechanism of action is still not fully elucidated and it poses a perceived threat to the current paradigm and practices of the medical and pharmaceutical establishment, just as it did in Hahnemann's day. That homeopathy works there is no doubt, how it works still needs to be fully established. To honour Hahnemann's birth we offer a short résumé of the growing body of clinical evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy in musculo-skeletal complaints. With an aging population becoming an increasing challenge to healthcare and to healthcare budgets, and in the face of the increasing awareness of the adverse affects of NSAIDS and steroids in patients suffering musculoskeletal complaints, the role of homeopathy in this important area needs to be taken into serious consideration.
Nobel Laureate declares high dilution phenomena are ‘something’
Prof. Luc Montagnier, virologist and 2008 Nobel Prize winner for his pioneering research into HIV, gave a rare interview in December 2010 (1) in which he stated he is moving to China to continue his research into the electromagnetic waves that he says emanate from the highly diluted DNA of various pathogens.(2) In the interview he states that one main reason he is moving his research to China is to escape the ‘intellectual terrorism’ he has experienced in the West, something he says Jacques Benveniste was subjected to and something all too familiar to homeopaths.
When asked whether he thought his recent research discoveries were relevant to homeopathy he stated, “I can’t say that homeopathy is right in everything. What I can say now is that the high dilutions are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures that mimic the original molecules. We find that with DNA, we cannot work at the extremely high dilutions used in homeopathy; we cannot go further than a 10-18 dilution, or we lose the signal. But even at 10-18, you can calculate that there is not a single molecule of DNA left. And yet we detect a signal.’
Many Brain Tumour Patients use Homeopathy and other CAM Treatments
Many people with incurable brain tumours use alternative therapies, such as taking vitamins and homeopathy, in addition to their conventional treatments, according to a study published in the December 14, 2010, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The BBC Honours Samuel Hahnemann - plus ça change!
In the year that marks the 200th anniversary of Samuel Hahnemann's writing of his master treatise on health and medicine 'The Organon', the BBC has marked it with a 30 minute documentary on Hahnemann's life, thought and work. The programme reveals that in 200 years very little has changed. Conventional doctors now, as they did then, do not understand the profound nature of Hahnemann's insights into the nature of disease and the medicines that can treat it. Yet, as the programme points out, what he discovered remains in use to this day and its use continues to spread around the world - and it is still perceived as a threat and a competitor by the interests of today's conventional medicine.
The programme is available as a BBC podcast until 1130 GMT on the 17th December 2010 at:
ICH's Response to the recent discourse of the Chairman of Japan’s Science Council
The International Council for Homeopathy wishes to respond to a number of errors and assumptions in the recent ill-informed pronouncement on homeopathy by Dr Ichiro Kanazawa, Chairperson of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ). His statement is clearly superficial in nature and shows he has made no effort to verify what he has said. ICH is the international council representing the homeopathy profession Worldwide and includes the Japanese Homeopathic Medical Association in its membership.
1) From the content of his statement SCJ has clearly not made any real effort to understand the nature of homeopathy or the pharmacological basis of its medicines. Statements such as ‘remedies (therapeutic medicines), which are soaked with 'a kind of water' show that he really has not made any effort to study and understand the way homeopathic medicines are prepared. They are prepared in a very specific manner according to pharmacopeia that have been developed and refined over the 200 years of homeopathy’s existence. Homeopathic medicinal products are an increasingly important part of the international health product market and are recognized in the directives of the European Union and by its member states, by the FDA in the USA as well as by the WHO (1).
2) SCJ states on the subject of the effectiveness of potentised nature of homeopathic medicines ‘Needless to say, this claim has no scientific basis and I call it such an absurd idea.” Unfortunately here too he shows he has not done his homework. Apart from a large numbers of studies from within homeopathy itself that verify the effects of high potency medicines (2-8), there are an increasing number of studies from other areas of science which show evidence of the effects of high dilutions (9-19).
3) He states ‘In past, there are articles to claim 'homoeopathy has curative effects', however, these articles were wrong and the results were same as placebo, in other words, it is mental effects and there is no scientific evidence of curative effects in later verifications.1 and quotes an article in the Shang et al. (20) that has been much quoted by the sceptics of homeopathy, but which in fact has since been shown to be a deeply faulted piece of research, biased in its methodology by its already sceptical authors (21-22).
Most recently a study involving a population of 2.3 million people in Cuba recorded a highly significant impact of homeopathic treatments used to prevent Leptospirosis (23). Do they really want to insist that a homeopathic medicine that was routinely prescribed across a whole population without the individualised case-taking of each person had some sort of mass placebo effect?
4) SCJ also quotes the report of the House of Commons, Science and Technology Committee report of earlier this year (24). This report was the result of a hastily mounted enquiry initiated by a sceptic MP in the UK Parliament. It was carried out and written up in a deeply faulted and highly biased fashion such that it was only ever going to produce the result that the sceptic MP wanted. The final report was eventually signed off by just 3 MPs, two of whom did not even participate in the enquiry process, and it was not even debated or endorsed by the full UK Parliament. The UK Government quite rightly, while acknowledging the report, did not act on its recommendation to exclude homeopathy from the NHS (25).
In conclusion: Thousands of medical doctors around the World are turning to homeopathy and integrating it into their daily medical practice because it helps many patients for whom conventional medicine does not provide a satisfactory answer to their health problems. Additionally, a new profession of the homeopath, trained in homeopathy as a discrete healthcare discipline, has appeared and developed over recent decades in response to the growing patient need.
Rather than trying to simply sweep homeopathy aside in the uninformed way SCJ has appeared to do in this statement, SCJ would be well advised to actually engage with the patients who are benefiting from homeopathic treatments and with the growing numbers of medical doctors and practitioners who are treating them to try to understand why its popularity is growing and to understand how it works. In this way they may come to understand that homeopathy can work alongside and with conventional medicine in order to give patients a broader range of effective options for their healthcare.
For further information on the content of this statement please contact:
2.Jonas, W. B., Kaptchuk, T. J., & Linde, K. 2003b, "A critical overview of homeopathy", Ann.Intern.Med., vol. 138, no. 5, pp. 393-399.
3.Cucherat, M., Haugh, M. C., Gooch, M., & Boissel, J. P. 2000, "Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy. A meta-analysis of clinical trials. HMRAG. Homeopathic Medicines Research Advisory Group", Eur.J.Clin.Pharmacol., vol.. 56, no. 1, pp. 27-33.
13.Rao ML, Roy R, Bell IR, Hoover R: The defining role of structure (including epitaxy) in the plausibility of homeopathy. Homeopathy 2007;96:175–182.
14.Samal S, Geckler KE: Unexpected solute aggregation in water on dilution. Chem Commun 2001;21: 2224–2225.
15.van Wijk R, Bosman S, van Wijk EP: Thermoluminescence in ultra-high dilution research. J Altern Complement Med 2006;12:437–443.
16.Elia V, Elia L, Cacace P, Napoli E, Niccoli M, Savarese F: Extremely diluted solutions as multivariable systems: a study of calorimetric and conductimetric behaviour as functions of the parameter time. J Therm Anal Calorim 2006;84:317–323.
19.Montagnier L, Aïssa J, Ferris S, Montagnier JL, Lavallée C. Electromagnetic signals are produced by aqueous nanostructures derived from bacterial DNA sequences. Interndiscip Sci Comput Life Sci, 2009; 1: 81-90.
23.Bracho G, Varela E, Fernández R, Ordaz B, Marzoa N, Menéndez J, García L, Gilling E, Leyva R, Rufín R, de la Torre R, Solis RL, Batista N, Borrero R, Campa C. Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control. Homeopathy, 2010; 99: 156-166.
24.House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy. Fourth Report of Session 2009 – 10, 22 Feb 2010.
25.Government Response to the Science and Technology Committee report ‘Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy’. Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State of Health by Command of Her Majesty, July 2010.
9 August 2010
Large scale Cuban study indicates homeopathy's prophylactic capacity to prevent Leptospirosis
In a large population study carried out in Cuba homeopathic prophylaxis has been shown to substantially reduce the normally widespread epidemic of Leptospirosis that occurs after the rainy season there. In areas where the prophylaxis was not applied the normal levels of contagion and infection occurred. The abstract and full details of the study are available through:
UK Govt. Maintains Patient Access to Homeopathy in the NHS
In its formal response to the UK Parliament House of Commons Science and TechnologyCommittee report on homeopathy, the UK Government has responded by underlining the principle that patients should be able to make informed choices about their treatment and GPs have the right of therapeutic plurality on their patients' behalf.
At the end of a deeply faulted enquiry process, the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee recommended in March that homeopathy should no longer be available on the NHS, provided in facilities such as the outpatient clinics of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital.
The Committee's report said the absence of evidence of homeopathy’s efficacy meant it should not be available on the NHS. Promoted under headlines such as 'MPs recommend the stopping of homeopathy', the report was the result of a hasty enquiry process initiated and driven through by one sceptic MP, carried out by less than 10 MPs and finally signed off by only 3 MPs, two of whom did not even participate in the enquiry process. The sceptic MP lost his seat in the May UK Parliamentary elections.
In its response to the Report, the Government said: ‘We believe in patients being able to make informed choices about their treatments, and in a clinician being able to prescribe the treatment they feel most appropriate in particular circumstances, within the regulatory and guidance frameworks by which they are bound.’
It added: ‘Our continued position on the use of homeopathy within the NHS is that the local NHS and clinicians, rather than Whitehall, are best placed to make decisions on what treatment is appropriate for their patients - including complementary or alternative treatments such as homeopathy - and provide accordingly for those treatments.'
A copy of the Government's response can be obtained at:
In an EU-funded research project, researchers found results indicating that homeopathy might protect cows against potential udder infection. Over 100 cows from 13 Swiss organic dairy farms received either homeopathic remedies, internal teat seal or no treatment. Results showed a nine-fold chance of protection of cows with higher levels of leucocytes that received homeopathic remedies, compared to control. Cows treated with internal teat seal were only marginally better compared to control.
The potential risk of development of antibiotic resistant micro-organisms, the risk of chemical drugs ending up in the food chain and increasing consumer demand has forced farmers and veterinarians to look for alternatives to antibiotics. Alternatives to antibiotics include internal and external teat sealing, but results indicate only temporary effects or these approaches. Homeopathy is one preferred method of treating mastitis in organic farming. Farmers rely on homeopathy as it is easily administered, inexpensive and does not require withholding of milk after treatment.
In this trial milk samples were taken before and after treatment, and 102 cows were randomly allocated to three different treatment groups: teat sealing (Orbeseal®), homeopathy and control (no treatment). Homeopathic remedies were administered in the 6x potency over a 10 day period, and were selected after consideration of the predominant cow type in each of the 13 herds. One out of eight remedies were prescribed for each heard (Merc, Lach, Sulph, Calc, Calc-p, Puls, Sep, Sil). In addition, Silica 6x was given to all cows at the end of the treatment cycle. The choice of a herd-specific homeopathic remedy was based on the observation that individuals within a herd show similar behaviour, disease profiles and constitutional traits, as well as being subject to similar environmental conditions. The authors do however speculate on whether a more individualised approach could have led to greater effects.
The total number of cows included in this trial is somewhat low to draw firm conclusions, but further research is warranted as homeopathic treatment might be an effective alternative to teat sealing, it is an environmental friendly alternative to antibiotics, and may play a significant role in veterinary medicine.
Klocke P, Ivemeyer S, Butler G, Maeschli A, Heil F. A randomized controlled trial to compare the use of homeopathy and internal Teat Sealers for the prevention of mastitis in organically farmed dairy cows during the dry period and 100 days post-calving. Homeopathy 2010, 99: 90-98.
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