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. 2006 Dec;3(4):397-409.
doi: 10.1093/ecam/nel046. Epub 2006 Jul 31.

Immunology and Homeopathy. 4. Clinical Studies-Part 2

Free PMC article

Immunology and Homeopathy. 4. Clinical Studies-Part 2

Paolo Bellavite et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The clinical studies on the effectiveness of homeopathy in respiratory allergy (18 randomized trials and 9 observational studies) are described. The literature of common immunologic disorders including also upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and otorhinolaryngology (reported in part 1), is evaluated and discussed. Most of initial evidence-based research was addressed to the question of whether homeopathic high dilutions are placebos or possess specific effects, but this question has been often equivocal and is still a matter of debate. The evidence demonstrates that in some conditions homeopathy shows significant promise, e.g. Galphimia glauca (low dilutions/potencies) in allergic oculorhinitis, classical individualized homeopathy in otitis and possibly in asthma and allergic complaints, and a few low-potency homeopathic complexes in sinusitis and rhinoconjunctivitis. A general weakness of evidence derives from lack of independent confirmation of reported trials and from presence of conflicting results, as in case of homeopathic immunotherapy and of classical homeopathy for URTI. The suitable methods to evaluate homeopathy effectiveness, without altering the setting of cure, are also analyzed.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Effect of homoeopathic immunotherapy (HIT) on visual analogue scale (VAS) scores averaged over four trials. On average, there was a mean reduction of the visual analogue scale score of 10.9 mm in the homoeopathy group compared with 1.1 mm in the placebo group (P < 0.001). Reproduced with permission from Taylor et al, reference 28.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Oscillatory effects in a homeopathic clinical trial. Although the study failed to show a clinical improvement at the end of the trial period, there was nevertheless a significant difference between active treatment compared to placebo: the pattern of data indicate that verum, compared to placebo, approximates to an oscillation. PEF, peak of expiratory flow; VAS, visual analogue scale. Reproduced with permission from Hyland and Lewith, reference 46.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Titles of Lancet's two publications on homeopathic trials. Reproduced with permission from Lancet 1986;2:881–6 (A) and from Lancet 2005;366:726–32 (B).

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