Solid base of research in homeopathy for livestock needs new focus
New comprehensive literature review of homeopathy in livestock farming shows positive results but contains an important message for the future work of homeopathy researchers.
A new comprehensive literature review of the use of homeopathy in livestock, focused on where homeopathic medicines could possibly replace or prevent the use of antibiotics in the case of infective disease, has been published in the Veterinary Record. Carried out as part of the IMPRO project that received EU Commission FP7 funding, the reviewers’ search results revealed a total of 52 trials from 48 publications that fulfilled set criteria. 28 trials (53%) were in favour of homeopathy, with 26 showing a significantly higher efficacy in comparison to a control group. Despite the high number of positive trials the reviewers identified a significant weakness i.e. that no one study “was repeated under comparable conditions”. Consequently, they conclude that the use of homeopathy cannot claim to have significant prognostic validity where efficacy is concerned and it cannot not yet be validated as a replacement for antibiotics in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
What emerges from this study is a highly significant lesson for those researching homeopathy, whether in animals or humans i.e. that rather than carrying out different new trials, previously successful trials need to be replicated a number of times under the same conditions to really have impact in proving homeopathy’s case.