Homeopathy has a ‘clinically relevant’ effect way beyond placebo
Critics have always dismissed homeopathy as offering nothing more than a placebo effect – you just think it’s making you better. A new study has proved them wrong. Classical homeopathy has clear benefits to cancer patients that are “clinically relevant and statistically significant”, say researchers.
Classical homeopathy – where a specific remedy is chosen to complement the physical and emotional profile of an individual – had a dramatic effect on the quality of life of 259 cancer sufferers, who were being treated with chemotherapy. Their improvements were tracked against 380 other cancer patients, who were not given homeopathic remedies.
Most given a remedy found their fatigue improved, although their anxiety and depression levels – the ones usually associated with the placebo effect – did not alter over a three-month period. Improvements to fatigue levels continued to improve over a 12-month period.
The researchers from Albert Ludwig’s University Freiburg in Germany said they tried to match the patients as closely as possible, so that there were similar health profiles in the homeopathic and non-homeopathic groups.
(Source: BMC Cancer, 2011; 11: 19; doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-11-19).