More evidence challenges homeopathy

Homeopathic_medicineHomeopathy is a form of alternative medicine based on the premise that “like cures like.” The idea is something that leads to disease symptoms in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people.

While thousands of people across the world practice homeopathy, there is very little evidence that demonstrates it is more effective than placebo treatments. Dozens of systematic reviews have all come to the conclusion that homeopathy is ineffective in treating health problems.

This month, the Australian government’s National Health and Medical Research Council published a meta-analysis that looked at all of the available evidence on homeopathy. The analysis includes 57 separate systematic reviews on the topic. In total, the review included 176 individual studies that compared the effectiveness of homeopathy with placebos and other medical treatments. The studies investigated the use of homeopathy for 68 different health conditions including asthma, arthritis, bronchitis, eczema, depression, malaria, and ear infections.

In the end, the authors concluded: “Based on all the evidence considered, there were no health conditions for which there was reliable evidence that homeopathy was effective. No good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than placebo, or caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment.”

On this topic, the evidence is crystal clear: Homeopathy is not an evidence-based medical practice.

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