The following is reprinted with permission from the Canadian Society of Homeopaths
Homeopathy: Â Evidence Based Medicine
Research on the effectiveness of homeopathy has been carried out in independent laboratories around the world, and published in numerous peer-reviewed medical journals.
While skeptics claim that homeopathy is â€˜unscientificâ€™, there is in fact a significant body of supportive research. While more research is needed, many randomized, controlled clinical trials already support homeopathyâ€™s effectiveness beyond placebo, and new techniques in basic science demonstrate specific biological effects of ultrahigh dilutions. Â Clinical outcome studies reveal that homeopathic patients find treatment beneficial in a high percentage of cases.
The Evidence:Â Homeopathy is more effective than placebo
As of 2009, there have been 142 randomized, placebo controlled trials published in peer-reviewed journals that compared homeopathy with placebo.Â A recent study found that 63 of the 74 conclusive studies were positive for homeopathy and 11 were negative. 1
A meta-analysis published in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, a peer reviewed medical journal, examined three double blind clinical trials of diarrhea in 242 children. The results were highly significant and showed that individualized homeopathic treatment decreases the duration of childhood diarrhea.2
Four out of five systematic reviews have found homeopathy more effective than placebo across hundreds of randomized, placebo controlled trials.Â 3,4,5,6
The one review that found homeopathy to be not as effective as placebo based its results on only 8 unidentified trials. 7
A study published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics found that homeopathy is effective treatment for acute ear infections in children. The 103 children who received individualized homeopathic treatment experienced faster pain relief and lower incidence of recurrence compared with the children who received conventional treatment 8
Studies have shown that homeopathy performs as well as or better than conventional medicine for osteoarthritis pain 9 and depression 10.
The Evidence in Practice: Clinical Outcome studies support homeopathy
Clinical outcome studies reflect the real life experience of the patient under normal conditions, rather than the artificial conditions created by clinical trials.Â When 210 MDâ€™s were asked what forms of evidence they preferred when recommending an alternative therapy, they ranked clinical outcome studies highest. 11
Large scale study found 70% of patients experienced improvement from homeopathic treatment. A study involved 6500 patients of Bristol Homeopathic Hospital over 6 years. The evaluation found that 70% of patients reported an improvement in their health, including 50% who reported â€˜major improvementâ€™ 12
A German study involving 3,981 patients in 103 primary care practices demonstrated that homeopathic treatment lessened the severity of diseases and led to sustained improvements in health. 13
The Basic Science – Homeopathic medicines are more than ‘just water’:
Recent studies have demonstrated clear physical differences between homeopathically prepared samples and control samples such as water or solvents. These differences have been measured using accepted scientific techniques such as calorimetry (10) â€“ the amount of heat given off by a substance; spectroscopy, 14,15,16 the measurement of how a substance absorbs, scatters or emits radiation; and thermoluminescence (17) -the amount of light a substance emits when heated.
Laboratory experiments have shown that homeopathically prepared substances have biological effects that are reproducible:
Homeopathically prepared doses of thyroxine affect frog metabolism:
Thyroxine is known to stimulate metamorphosis, causing tadpoles to turn into adult frogs faster. Â In this study, ultrahigh dilutions of thyroxine had clear but opposite effects â€“ significantly slowing down metamorphosis.
These results were replicated by five separate laboratories in Austria. Â The homeopathic thyroxine used was a 10-30 dilution i.e. a dilution at which you would no longer expect any molecules to be present. 18
 Mathie, R. The Research Evidence Base for Homeopathy. British Homeopathic Association, 2009.
 Jacobs J, Jonas WB, Jimenez-Perez M, Crothers D. Homeopathy for childhood diarrhea: combined results and metaanalysis from three randomized, controlled clinical trials. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2003; 22: 229â€“34
Â Kleijnen J, et al. Clinical trials of homeopathy. Br Med J, 1991; 302: 316â€“23;
(4) Linde K, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. Lancet, 1997; 350: 834â€“43;
(5)Linde K, et al. Impact of study quality on outcome in placebo controlled trials of homeopathy. J Clin Epidemiol, 1999; 52: 631â€“6;
(6) Cucherat M, et al. Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy â€“ A meta-analysis of clinical trials. Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2000; 56: 27â€“33 .
Â Shang A, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy. Lancet, 2005; 366: 726â€“32
 Friese K-H, et al. Homeopathic treatment of otitis media in children: comparisons with conventional therapy. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther, 1997; 35: 296-301
 Shealy C.N., Thomlinson P.R., Cox R.H., and Bormeyer V. Osteoarthritis Pain: A Comparison of Homoeopathy and Acetaminophen. American Journal of Pain Management, 1998; 8 (3): 89-91;
(10) Adler UC, et al. Homeopathic Individualized Q-potencies versus Fluoxetine for Moderate to Severe Depression: Double-blind, Randomized Non-inferiority Trial. eCAM, 2009
 Reilly D. The Evidence For Homeopathy, Article version 5.5 January 2003
 Spence D, Thompson E and Barron S. Homeopathic treatment for chronic disease: A 6-Year, university-hospital outpatient observational study. J Altern Complement Med 2005; 5: 793-8.
 Witt CM, et al. Homeopathic medical practice: long-term results of a cohort study with 3,981 patients. BMC Public Health, 2005; 5: 115
 Elia V, Niccoli, M. New physico-chemical properties of extremely diluted aqueous solutions. J of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 2004; 75: 815-36
 Rao ML, Roy R, Bell IR, Hoover R. The defining role of structure (including epitaxy) in the plausibility of homeopathy. Homeopathy, 2007; 96: 175â€“182.
 Roy R, Tiller WA, Bell IR, Hoover MR. The structure of liquid water; novel insights from materials research; potential relevance to homeopathy. Materials Research Innovations, 2005; 94: 577â€“608
(17) Rey L. Thermoluminescence of ultra-high dilutions of lithium chloride and sodium chloride.Â Physica A, 2003; 323: 67â€“74
 Endler PC, Heckmann C, Lauppert E, et al. The metamorphosis of amphibians and information of thyroxine. In: Schulte J, Endler PC (eds). Fundamental Research in Ultra High Dilution and Homoeopathy. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998.