This review of research is not meant to be complete. Readers are encouraged to review the books listed in the Resources section of this chapter for access to many other clinical and laboratory studies as well as to theoretical foundations of homeopathic microdoses.
Despite the now strong evidence that homeopathic medicines promote biological activity and clinical efficacy, there is still great resistance to them. Recently, the Lancet published the research on the homeopathic treatment of asthma.44 In a press release announcing this research, they emphasized that although homeopathic medicines may provide some benefit to people with asthma, conventional medicines offer greater benefit.
This was a strange statement for two reasons. First, the study didn't compare homeopathic and conventional medicine; it only compared homeopathic medicine with a placebo. Any other conjecture was not founded on the data presented. Secondly, the Lancet refused to openly acknowledge that homeopathic medicines may work after all.
One can't help but wonder whether if a man flew and science proved that he flew, the editors of some medical journals would remark: "But he doesn't fly as high or as fast as a jet plane!"
Despite the resistance to change in general and to homeopathy specifically, it is getting increasingly difficult for physicians and scientists to doubt the benefits that homeopathic medicines offer. Italian hematologist Paolo Bellavite and Italian homeopath Andrea Signorini's Homeopathy: A Frontier in Medical Science is presently the most comprehensive resource of controlled studies on homeopathy. The authors conclude, "The sum of the clinical observations and experimental findings is beginning to prove so extensive and intrinsically consistent that it is no longer possible to dodge the issue by acting as if this body of evidence simply did not exist."45
They go on to say, "To reject everything en bloc, as many are tempted to do, means throwing out the observations along with the interpretations, an operation which may be the line of least resistance, but which is not scientific because unexplained observations have always been the main hive of ideas for research."
To ignore the body of experimental data that presently exists on homeopathic medicines and to deny the body of clinical experience of homeopaths and homeopathic patients, one would have to be virtually blind. One can only assume that this blindness is a temporary affliction, one that will soon be cured.
- Dana Ullman
1 A.R.D. Stebbing, "Hormesis: The Stimulation of Growth by Low Levels of Inhibitors," Science of the Total Environment, 1982, 22: 213-34. Also, Health Physics, May 1987. This entire issue was devoted to the increased effects of low doses.
2 M. Oberbaum and J. Cambar, "Hormesis: Dose Dependent Reverse Effects of Low and Very Low Doses," in P.C. Endler and J. Schulte (eds.), Ultra High Dilutions, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1994. Stebbing, op. cit..
3 Oberbaum and Cambar; Stebbing op. cit..; Health Physics op. cit..
4 J. Kleijnen, P. Knipschild, G. ter Riet, "Clinical Trials of Homoeopathy," British Medical Journal, February 9, 1991, 302:316-323.
5 Because much research on homeopathy has been performed by homeopaths who are primarily clinicians and are not adequately trained in research, they predictably committed errors in research design, analysis, and description of their studies.
6 David Reilly, Morag Taylor, Neil Beattie, et al., "Is Evidence for Homoeopathy Reproducible?" Lancet, December 10, 1994, 344:1601-6.
7 Jennifer Jacobs, L. Jimenez, Margarita, Stephen Gloyd, "Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea with Homeopathic Medicine: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Nicaragua," Pediatrics, May 1994, 93,5:719-25.
8 Bruno Brigo, and G. Serpelloni, "Homeopathic Treatment of Migraines: A Randomized Double-blind Controlled Study of 60 Cases," Berlin Journal on Research in Homeopathy, March 1991, 1,2:98-106.
9 E. de Lange de Klerk, J. Blommers, D.J. Kuik, et al., "Effect of Homoeopathic Medicines on Daily Burden of Symptoms in Children with Recurrent Upper Respiratory Tract Infections," British Medical Journal, November 19, 1994, 309:1329-32.
10 R.G. Gibson, S. Gibson, A.D. MacNeill, et al., "Homoeopathic Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Evaluation by Double-blind Clinical Therapeutic Trial," British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1980, 9:453-59.
11 P. Fisher, "An Experimental Double-Blind Clinical Trial Method in Homoeopathy: Use of a Limited Range of Remedies to Treat Fibrositis," British Homoeopathic Journal, 1986, 75:142-47.
12 P. Fisher, A. Greenwood, E.C. Huskisson, et al., "Effect of Homoeopathic Treatment on Fibrositis," British Medical Journal, August 5, 1989, 299:365-66.
13 J. Paterson, "Report on Mustard Gas Experiments, Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 1944, 37:47-50, 88-92.
14 R.M.M. Owen and G. Ives, "The Mustard Gas Experiments of the British Homeopathic Society: 1941-1942, Proceedings of the 35th International Homeopathic Congress, 1982, 258-59.
15 D. Zicari, et al., "Valutazione dell'azione Angioprotettiva di Preparati di Arnica nel Trattamento della Retinpatia Diabetica," Bolletino de Oculistica, 1992, 5:841-848.
16 J.P. Ferley, D. Zmirou, D. D'Admehar, et al., "A Controlled Evaluation of a Homoeopathic Preparation in the Treatment of Influenza-like Syndrome," British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, March 1989, 27:329-35.
17 Christopher Day, "Control of Stillbirths in Pigs Using Homoeopathy," Veterinary Record, March 3, 1984, 114,9, 216. Also Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, December 1986, 779, 4:146-47.
18 M. Shipley, H. Berry, G. Broster, et al., "Controlled Trial of Homoeopathic Treatment of Osteoarthritis," Lancet, January 15, 1983, 97-98.
19 David Reilly, Morag Taylor, C. McSharry, et al., "Is Homoeopathy a Placebo Response? Controlled Trial of Homoeopathic Potency, with Pollen in Hayfever as Model" Lancet, October 18, 1986, 881-86.
20 P. Dorfman, M.N. Lasserre, M. and Tetau, "Preparation a l'accouchement par Homeopathie: Experimentation en double-insu versus Placebo," Cahiers de Biotherapie, April 1987, 94:77-81.
21 P. Eid, E. Felisi, M. Sideri, "Applicability of Homoeopathic Caulophyllum thalictroides during Labour," British Homoeopathic Journal, 1993, 82:245.
22 P. Eid, E. Felisi, M. Sideri, "Super-placebo ou action Pharmacologique? Une Etude en Double Aveugle, Randomisee avec un Remede Homeopathique (Caulophyllum thalictroides) dans le Travail de l'accouchement, Proceedings of the 5th Congress of the O.M.H.I. (Internatiional Organization for Homeopathic Medicine), Paris, October 20-23, 1994.
23 J. Zell, W.D. Connert, J. Mau, et al., "Behandlung von akuten Sprung-gelenksdisotrionen: Doppelblindstudie zum Wirksamkeitsnachweis eines Homoopathischen Salbenpraparats," Fortschr. Medicine, 1988, 106:96-100.
24 W. Thiel, and B. Borho, "Die Therapie von Frischen, Traumatischen Blutergussen der Kniegelnke (Hamartros) mit Traumeel N Injectionslogung," Biol. Medizin, 20:506.
25 E. Ernst, T. Saradeth, K.L. Resch, "Complementary Treatment of Varicose Veins: A Randomised, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind Trial," Phlebology, 1990, 157-163.
26 A.V. Williamson, W.L. Mackie, W.J. Crawford, et al., "A Study Using Sepia 200c given Prophylactically Postpartum to Prevent Anoestrus Problems in the Dairy Cow," British Homoeopathic Journal, 1991, 80:149. See also by the same researchers: "A Trial of Sepia 200," British Homoeopathic Journal, 1995, 84:14-20.
27 G. Both, "Zur Prophylaxe und Therapie des Metritis-Mastitis-Agalactic: Komplexes des Schweines mit Biologischen Arzneimitteln," Biologische Tiermedizen, 1987, 4:39.
28 M. Labrecque, D. Audet, L.G. Latulippe, et al., "Homeopathic Treatment of Plantar Warts," Canadian Medical Association Journal, 1992, 146(10):1749-53.
29 R. Gupta, O.P. Bhardwaj, and R.K. Manchanda, "Homoeopathy in the Treatment of Warts," British Homoeopathic Journal, April, 1991, 80,2:108-11.
30 W.E. Boyd, "The Action of Microdoses of Mercuric Chloride on Diastase," British Homoeopathic Journal, 1941, 31:1-28; 1942, 32:106-11.
31 Mock, D., "What's Going on Here, Anyway?° A Review of Boyd's 'Biochemical and Biological Evidence of the Activity of High Potencies,'" Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 1969, 62:197.
32 K. Linde, W.B. Jonas, D. Melchart, D., et al., "Critical Review and Meta-Analysis of Serial Agitated Dilutions in Experimental Toxicology," Human and Experimental Toxicology, 1994, 13:481-92.
33 A.R. Khuda-Bukhsh, S. Banik, "Assessment of Cytogenetic Damage in X-irradiated Mice and its Alteration by Oral Administration of Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Ginseng D200," Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy, 1991, 1,4/5:254. Also Khuda-Bukhsh, A.R. Maity, S., "Alteration of Cytogenetic Effects by Oral Administration of Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Ruta graveolens in Mice Exposed to Sub-lethal X-radiation," Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy, 1991, 1, 4/5:264.
34 J. Bildet, M. Guyot, F. Bonini, et al., "Demonstrating the Effects of Apis mellifica and Apium virus Dilutions on Erythema Induced by U.V. Radiation on Guinea Pigs," Berlin Journal of Research in Homeopathy, 1990, 1:28.
35 P.C. Endler, W. Pongratz, G. Kastberg, et al., "The Effect of Highly Diluted Agitated Thyroxine on the Climbing Activity of Frogs," Veterinary and Human Toxicology, 1994, 36:56. Also, P.C. Endler, W. Pongratz, R. van Wijk, et al., "Transmission of Hormone Information by Non-molecular Means," FASEB Journal, 1994, 8, Abs.2313.
36 J.L. Demangeat, et al., "Modifications des Temps de Relaxation RMN a 4 z des Protons du Solvant dans les Tres Hautes Dilutions Salines de Silice/lactose." Journal of Med. Nucl. Biophy, 1992, 16:35-45.
37 J. Benveniste, "Further Biological Effects Induced by Ultra High Dilutions: Inhibition by a Magnetic Field," in Ultra High Dilution, P.C. Endler and J. Schulte, (eds.), Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1994, 35. Also J. Benveniste, B. Arnoux, L. Hadji, "Highly Dilute Antigen Increases Coronary Flow of Isolated Hart from Immunized Guinea-pigs," FASEB Journal, 1992, 6:Abs.1610.
38 C. Doutremepuch, O. de Seze, D. Le Roy, et al., "Aspirin at Very Ultra Low Dosage in Healthy Volunteers: Effects on Bleeding Time, Platelet Aggregation and Coagulation," Haemostasis, 1990, 20:99.
39 Roeland van Wijk and Fred A.C. Wiegant, Cultured Mammalian Cells in Homeopathy Research: The Similia Principle in Self-Recovery, Utrecht: University of Utrecht, 1994.
40 E. Davenas, F. Beauvais, J. Amara, et al., "Human Basophil Degranulation Triggered by Very Dilute Antiserum Against IgE," Nature, June 30, 1988, 333:816-18.
41 J. Maddox, "When to Believe the Unbelievable," Nature, June 30, 1988, 333:787.
42 J. Maddox, J. Randi, and W. Stewart, "'High-dilution' Experiments a Delusion," Nature, July 28, 1988, 334:443-47.
43 J. Benveniste, E. Davenas, B. Ducot, et al., "L'agitation de Solutions Hautement Diluees n'induit pas d'activite Biologique Specifique, C.R. Acad. Sci. Paris, 1991, 312:461.
44 Reilly, et al., 1994. See note 6.
45 Paolo Bellavite and Andrea Signorini, Homeopathy: A Frontier in Medical Science. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1995.
Paolo Bellavite and Andrea Signorini book, Homeopathy: A Frontier in Medical Science. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1995
Harris L. Coulter, Homoeopathic Science and Modern Medicine: The Physics of Healing with Microdoses. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1980
P.C. Endler and J. Schulte (editors), Ultra High Dilution: Physiology and Physics. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1994
M. Doutremepuich (ed.), Ultra-Low Doses. Washington, DC/London: Taylor and Francis, 1991
Gerhard Resch and Viktor Gutmann, Scientific Foundations of Homoeopathy. Munich: Bartel and Bartel, 1987
A.M. Scofield, "Experimental Research in Homoeopathy: A Critical Review," British Homoeopathic Journal, 73, 3-4, July-October 1984, 161-80, 211-26
Dana Ullman (ed.), Monograph on Homeopathic Research, volumes I and II, 1981, 1986
Roeland van Wijk and Fred A.C. Wiegant, Cultured Mammalian Cells in Homeopathy Research: The Similia Principle in Self-Recovery. Utrecht: University of Utrecht, 1994
British Homoeopathic Journal (2 Powis Place, Great Ormond St., London, WC1N 3HT, England)