Originally published by Dana Ullman
Effectiveness of human and veterinary homeopathy in general and treatment of infections in particular
Dr Petra Weiermayer, Prof Michael Frass, Dr Thomas Peinbauer and Dr Liesbeth Ellinger, two human physicians and two veterinarians, have written a narrative review of homeopathic human and veterinary research that was recently published in a respected conventional peer review journal. 1
This article, entitled “Evidence-based homeopathy and veterinary homeopathy, and its potential to help overcome the antimicrobial resistance problem – an overview,” was written and published in the spirit of the World Health Organization’s goal of “One Health.”
This review of homeopathic research was published in The Swiss Archive for Veterinary Medicine, which is the oldest veterinary journal in the world (founded in 1816). It is the scientific and practice-related official publication of the Society of Swiss Veterinarians.
The authors provide evidence for the effectiveness of human and veterinary homeopathy in general, and in homeopathic treatment of infections in particular.
Criticism of the second Australian Report and the EASAC
On the basis of scientific evidence, they criticize the approach taken in the second Australian NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) Report and the EASAC (European Academies Science Advisory Council) Statement) which have ignored or mischaracterized the body of scientific evidence for homeopathy.2, 3
This review serves, among other things, as a foundation for a cooperation with universities in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland regarding research projects to evaluate the potential of homeopathy and phytotherapy for the reduction of antibiotics.
In view of the demands of the European Green Deal (Farm2Fork Strategy) and the EU Organic Regulation 2018/848, the authors show how homeopathic medicine could help Europe in these goals:
Homeopathic Medicine Could Help Europe In These Goals
1) to reduce the use of antibiotics by 50% throughout the EU by 2030 
2) to increase the number of organic farms in the EU from 8% to 25% by 2030 
3) to give preference to homeopathy and phytotherapy in organic farms before conventional medicines, including antibiotics, are used 
Integrative veterinary medicine seeks to combine conventional and complementary medical therapy procedures (“best practices”) in a proactive and innovative manner.
The conclusion of the narrative review clearly discusses the legal and scientific foundations of homeopathy. Evidence level 1a studies (systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials) are reviewed regarding external evidence on the general use of human and veterinary homeopathy, and, when focusing on external evidence on the use of homeopathy in infections, some evidence level 1a, 1b (individual randomized controlled trials), 2c studies (outcomes research) are described in more detail. They conclude:
“The current national laws (Switzerland, Austria, Germany) and EU legislation guarantee the quality and safety of homeopathic medicinal products as well as the safety of homeopathic therapies carried out lege artis (denotes that a certain intervention is performed in a correct way). [6 – 15]
Evidence for the Effectiveness of Homeopathy in the Treatment of Infections
Evidence for the effectiveness of human and veterinary homeopathy in general, and in particular in the treatment of infections, is sufficiently proven for further research in this field. Five of the six meta-analyses on different indications up to 2014 (see Table 2) concluded that the effectiveness of homeopathic therapy differs from placebo. [16 – 20].
Only the systematic review with meta-analysis of 2005 as well as the second Australian NHMRC Report and the EASAC Statement, where more than 90% of the studies were excluded from the analysis in each case, did not show any effectiveness of homeopathy beyond placebo [21, 2, 3].
A review in 2013 already confirmed that more than 90% of all studies must be excluded in order to conclude that homeopathy is not effective .
Individualized homeopathy especially demonstrates effects at all quality levels according to Cochrane criteria, even in the methodologically high-quality studies. Obviously non-scientific interests consequently led to misinformation about homeopathy .
In addition to studies on the proof of effectiveness of homeopathy for infections, data from health care research, so-called Real World Data, show the potential for a significant reduction in the use of antibiotics through homeopathic treatments (see Table 3).
Not least because of the global threat posed by the problem of antibiotic resistance, further methodologically high-quality studies are urgently needed in human homeopathy just as in veterinary homeopathy.
Implementation of studies at university facilities is a prerequisite for quality assurance, which can only be achieved by integrating complementary medicine including homeopathy at the universities.
This absolutely necessary consequence and demand in the interest of the patients is already asserted by the American Consensus Guideline for university continuing education in integrative veterinary medicine and is legally anchored in Switzerland according to the Medical Professions Act for teaching and research at the university [24, 25].
The full text of the narrative review (in German, with an English, French, and Italian abstract, including the 3 tables can be read here:
(Click on “Download full text” at this link)
With many thanks to Dana Ullman for his tireless work in promoting the scientific and clinical evidence for homeopathy.
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Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Classical and Modern Homeopathy
Sooke, BC, Canada
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