The biggest improvements were found in children, with over 80 per cent reporting a positive health change. The conditions most improved were childhood asthma, eczema, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn's disease, IBS, depression, headache/migraine. menopausal symptoms and arthritis (J Altern Comp Med, 2005; 11: 793-8).
"Homeopathy's clinical potential may be much wider than current [randomized control trials] evidence alone would indicate," says Bristol Clinical Director Dr David Spence. Homeopathy and animals
One of the areas rarely covered in the homeopathy debate is the evidence from vets. There are now close to 100 fully qualified vets in the UK who have largely abandoned conventional drug-based medicine in favour of homeopathy-simply because they find it works better. These alternative vets don't just operate in the cosy world of pets, but also in the hard commercial world of farming, where sick animals cost money and farmers want results.
One of the pioneers of veterinary homeopathy is Oxfordshire vet Christopher Day. He runs a thriving practice for "last-resort" pets, and over the last 20 years has amassed thousands of case histories of animals he has saved using homeopathy, often after conventional medicine has failed. His most impressive cases, however, are with farm animals. He has been able to eradicate difficult-to-treat conditions like New Forest Eye and udder disease in cows, simply by adding a homeopathic remedy to the animals' water.
Day has done some very successful clinical trials. In one study of the effect of homeopathy on the rate of stillbirths in pregnant pigs, he showed that untreated pigs had an 80 per cent incidence of stillbirths, compared to 30 per cent among the treated pigs (Inter J Homeop, 1986; 1: 26-8).
In another classic double-blind study, he compared the rates of mastitis in two groups of 40 cows. Although housed in the same shed, the cows were physically separated and had different water supplies. A homeopathic remedy was added daily to the water of one group, and a placebo remedy to the other's. The results were staggering. While there was a 48 per cent incidence of mastitis in the untreated cows, the figure for the treated cows was just 3 per cent (Inter J Homeop, 1986; 1: 15-19).
To date there have been nine RCTs studying the effect of homeopathy on farm animals-all successful. These alone offer powerful evidence that the conventional explanation of homeopathy-as nothing more than a placebo effect-finally won't wash.