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Homeopathy is twice as effective as placebo

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Homeopathy is dismissed as being nothing more than placebo; in other words, any benefits are entirely in the mind of the patient and not in the remedy. But a new review has found that homeopathic remedies are almost twice as effective as placebo.

People given a homeopathic remedy are, on average, 1.98 times more likely to improve compared to those given only a placebo, or dummy pill. But the key is that the participants were given individualised remedies, which tend to be the type prescribed by a homeopath when face-to-face with the patient.

Earlier studies-that found no benefit over placebo-had evaluated the effectiveness of general homeopathic remedies, such as arnica for muscle pains, or oscillococcinum for flu symptoms.

In the new analysis, researcher Robert Mathie from the British Homeopathic Association considered 32 trials, covering 24 medical conditions, but decided to work with only three, which he found to be the most robust.

(Source: Systematic Reviews, 2014; 3: 142)

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Article Topics: homeopathy, placebo
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