Homeopathy: what does the "best" evidence tell us?

Med J Aust. 2010 Apr 19;192(8):458-60. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2010.tb03585.x.


Objective: To evaluate the evidence for and against the effectiveness of homeopathy.

Data sources: The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (generally considered to be the most reliable source of evidence) was searched in January 2010.

Study selection: Cochrane reviews with the term "homeopathy" in the title, abstract or keywords were considered. Protocols of reviews were excluded. Six articles met the inclusion criteria.

Data extraction: Each of the six reviews was examined for specific subject matter; number of clinical trials reviewed; total number of patients involved; and authors' conclusions. The reviews covered the following conditions: cancer, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma, dementia, influenza and induction of labour.

Data synthesis: The findings of the reviews were discussed narratively (the reviews' clinical and statistical heterogeneity precluded meta-analysis).

Conclusions: The findings of currently available Cochrane reviews of studies of homeopathy do not show that homeopathic medicines have effects beyond placebo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy
  • Chronic Disease / therapy
  • Dementia / therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Homeopathy / methods*
  • Homeopathy / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / therapy
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Phytotherapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / therapy


  • Plant Extracts