The evidence base

Randomised controlled trials

Up to the end of 2014, a total of 104 papers reporting good-quality placebo-controlled randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in homeopathy (on 61 different medical conditions) have been published in peer-reviewed journals. 41% of these RCTs have reported a balance of positive evidence, 5% a balance of negative evidence, and 54% have not been conclusively positive or negative.

The medical conditions for which positive RCTs of homeopathy have been reported include the following: allergies and upper respiratory tract infections; childhood diarrhoea; hay fever; influenza; insomnia; rheumatic disease; sinusitis; vertigo.

2-summary of evidence with full references

Patient outcome studies

Bristol Homeopathic Hospital, 2005
In 2005, the largest service evaluation of homeopathic treatment reported that 70% of 6,500 follow-up patients experienced improvement in their health.  Eczema, asthma, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome – difficult chronic problems suffered by many people – all improved. Download full paper

Five-hospital study, 2008
The most recent hospitals outcome study confirms the findings of earlier studies. A total of 1,602 patients were seen at follow-up appointments in all five UK NHS homeopathic hospitals during one month in 2007. The study found that eczema is currently the most common referral to homeopathy by NHS doctors. Other commonly treated complaints were chronic fatigue, menopausal disorder and osteoarthritis. Download full paper