Allergies, Diarrhea and ADHD

Research in Homoeopathy -2

Robert Medhurst

Hpathy Ezine, February, 2013 | February 6, 2013

The 2nd of Robert Medhurst’s 13 part series on research in homeopathy.

The Academic Department Library at the Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital claims to hold 19,000 scientific papers written on the subject of Homoeopathy for human use. In this article we’ll look at the human studies done on this subject, not the 19,000 mentioned, as this may be more information than you need, but some of the more high profile clinical trials that have been conducted in the last few years.

One of the first and most important of these was not a clinical trial as such, but a retrospective view of the differences between the mortality figures of the European homeopathic hospitals and orthodox medical hospitals seen during the cholera outbreak in Europe during the mid 1800’s. During this outbreak in Vienna for example, 30% of the cholera sufferers sent to hospitals practicing orthodox medicine were cured of this disease, whereas homeopathic hospitals operating in the same area had a cure rate of 67%. Much higher rates of cure by homeopathy were reported for other areas in Europe. Whilst there may be many variables at work here that could have influenced these figures, they gave a very early indication of the usefulness of homeopathy.

Over 100 years later in 1986, Dr David Reilly of the Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital published an article in the Lancet discussing his research on the use of homeopathic potencies of mixed grass pollens versus placebo, in the treatment of 144 people suffering from hay fever. The use of homeopathic dilutions of the pollens showed a significant difference from the use of placebo. It’s noteworthy that the mixed pollens were given in a 30C potency. This potency is several dilutions less than that which would, mathematically, contain no pollen at all. Therefore, physically, these medicines contained absolutely no active ingredients.

David Reilly was at it again in 1994 with another placebo controlled trial looking at the use of homeopathic medicines with patients diagnosed with allergic asthma. Once again, homeopathy proved superior to placebo, and once again, medicines in the 30C potency range were used. One of the criticisms often leveled at clinical trials using this system of medicine is that they’re poorly designed. This last trial of Reilly’s was so well designed and conducted that the editors of the Lancet commented that “either there is something amiss with the clinical trial as conventionally conducted, or the effects of homoeopathic immunotherapy differ from those of placebo…carefully done work of this sort should not be denied the attention of Lancet readers.”

In 1991 the British Medical Journal released an article written by three epidemiologists from the Netherlands that has been a frequent source for discussion ever since it was published. In it, the authors looked at 105 clinical trials on homeopathy. Of these, they found that 81 showed a statistically significant benefit from homeopathy. The authors also divided these trials into those covering specific conditions, to compare the success or otherwise of this therapy for particular diseases. For example, 5 out of 5 of the clinical trials for hay fever showed a positive result and 8 out of 10 trials looking at mental or emotional problems showed a beneficial effect, while 6 out of 7 trials for infection showed that homeopathy could effectively relieve the problem.

In 1994 the journal Paediatrics published a paper by Dr Jennifer Jacobs comparing homeopathic medicines with placebo (for childhood diarrhea), using double blinding to eliminate the possibility of either the patients or the prescribers knowing whether they were using placebo or the medicines. To further increase the reliability of the data the medicine and the placebo were switched over between the 2 groups. The researchers found that both duration and severity of the disease was reduced by homeopathy.

Finally, in 1997, Dr John Lamont published a study in the British Homoeopathic Journal which outlined the details of a study looking at the effect of homeopathy on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Again, this was placebo controlled and double blinded. Significant improvement occurred with the treatment group over the placebo group. The medicines were selected via a computer program, and of these, the remedies Stramonium and Hyoscyamus were among the main ones prescribed.

Visit Robert Medhurst – BNat DHom – at his website :

1. Leary, Cholera 1854 Update, Brit Hom J., April 1994, 83,117-121.
2. Reilly, et al., Is Homoeopathy a Placebo Response?, Lancet, 1986, 881-886.
3. Reilly et al., Is evidence for homoeopathy reproducible?, Lancet, Vol 344, December 10, 1994, 1601-1606.
4. Lancet, Vol 344, December 10, 1994, 1585.
5. Kleinjen et al., Clinical Trials in Homoeopathy, BMJ, 1991: 302, 316-23.
6. Jacobs, J, et al, Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhoea with Homeopathic Medicine: A Randomised Clinical Trial in Nicaragua, Pediatrics, Vol 93, No 5, May, 1994, 719-724.
7. Lamont, J., Homoeopathic Treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder, Briti Hom J, October 1997, Vol 86, 196

Robert Medhurst BNat DHom DBM DRM DNutr is a qualified Naturopath & Homoeopath with 28 years of clinical experience and currently practices in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. He has written many articles and lectured on homeopathy throughout Australia and the U.S. Robert previously operated several natural therapies practices in Sydney and was involved in teaching and research. He was formerly the Expert Advisor on Homeopathy to the Federal Government of Australia, Dept. of Health & Ageing. He specialises in homeopathy and is the author of The Business of Healing, the definitive guide for clinical practice establishment and management. For more information see

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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