TABLE 1:

Details of 18 placebo-controlled randomised controlled trials

ConditionSpeciesTrialFirst authorPublication yearHomeopathic medicineLevel of dilution*SettingFundingFree from vested interestNotes
Individualised homeopathy/treatment
MastitisCattleA01Hektoen2004IndividualisedNot stated39 dairy herds in eastern NorwayGovernmentUnclearSemi-crossover trial
A02Werner2010IndividualisedMostly D6 or D12One organic and three conventional dairy herds in GermanyGovernment; charityUnclearSemi-crossover trial
Non-individualised homeopathy/treatment
DiarrhoeaCattleA05de Verdier2003PodophyllumD3012 dairy herds in SwedenCharity; remedies were gifts from HPCNo
A09Kayne1994Arsenicum album30CUnstated number of cattle farms in ScotlandRemedies were gifts from HPCNo
Fear of firework noisesDogsA04Cracknell2008Fixed formulation of five remedies6C, 30CDogs whose owners replied to national advertising in the UKHPCNo
Induction of farrowingPigsA11Wolter1966CaulophyllumD30At least 23 pig herds in GermanyRemedies were gifts from HPCNo
InfertilityCattleA06Fidelak2007Three different complex preparations of over 20 remediesD1 to D10One organic dairy herd in GermanyNone statedUnclear
A28Williamson1995Sepia (24 to 48 hours and 14 days postpartum)200COne dairy herd in ScotlandRemedies were gifts from HPCNoRCT of homeopathy (group 1) v homeopathy (group 2) v untreated controls v placebo
MastitisCattleA03Andersson1997Six different remediesD2 to D1212 dairy herds in GermanyEuropean Union, remedies were gift from HPCNo
A08Holmes2005Mastitis nosode30COne dairy herd in EnglandCharityYes
A10Searcy1995Complex of three remedies200COne dairy herd in MexicoNone statedUnclear
OsteoarthritisDogsA07Hielm-Björkman2009Complex of 14 remediesD2 to D8Dogs screened via owner-completed telephone interview in FinlandCharities; drug industry; remedies were gifts from HPCNoRCT of homeopathy v placebo v NSAID
Non-individualised homeopathy/prophylaxis
EndometritisCattleA23Arlt2009Either two or three different remedies, taken consecutivelyNot statedOne dairy herd in GermanyHPCNoRCT of homeopathy (group 1) v homeopathy (group 2) v placebo
DiarrhoeaPigsA24Camerlink2010Coli30KOne commercial pig farm in the NetherlandsNone statedUnclearTreated sows and evaluated piglet litters
Growth ratePigsA26Guajardo-Bernal1996Sulphur201COne university pig unit in MexicoNone statedUnclear
Infectious diseases (respiratory)PigsA22Albrecht1999Complex of five remediesD1 to D4One intensive pig farm in GermanyCharity; HPCNoRCT of homeopathy v placebo v antibiotics
Metabolic disturbance postpartumGoatsA25Danieli2009Echinacea purpurea30COne commercial goat farm in ItalyNone statedUnclearRCT of homeopathy v placebo v anti-ketogenic v anti-ketogenic+ homeopathy
Reproductive performancePigsA27Soto2010Avena sativa and/or Pulsatilla nigricans6COne commercial pig farm in BrazilNone statedUnclearRCT of each of three homeopathic remedies v placebo
  • HPC Homeopathic pharmacy company, RCT Randomised controlled trial.

  • *Note on homeopathic dilutions: The number refers to the number of successive serial dilutions to which the starting material has been subjected. The letter refers to the scale on which the dilution has been carried out: the letter D denotes the decimal method of dilution (that is, one part of liquid is added to nine parts of purified water, ethanol, glycerol or lactose); the letter C indicates the centesimal method (one part added to 99 parts of diluent). In the Korsakovian method (denoted K), a single piece of glassware is used; this is emptied and refilled, the liquid adhering to the walls of the vessel in which it is diluted. In homeopathic dilutions above 12C/D24 (10-24 molar) – beyond Avogadro's constant, 6.02 x 1023 mol-1 – there are, in theory, no material traces of the original substance; such dilutions are known as ‘ultra-molecular’