The results of some very good scientific research have been published in medical journals and other scientific publications. THe Lancet published a review of eighty-nine double-bline or randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials (Linde et al, 1997) in which the authors conclude that the clinical effects of homeopathic medicines are unlikely to be simply the results of a placebo effect. In fact, they found that homeopathic medicines had a 2.45 times greater effect than placebos did. The lead author of this review of homeopathic research Klaus Linde, M.D. was the same German professor who reviewed the research on St. John’s wort that received international attention.
Another survey of research published in the British Medical Journal indicated that 81 out of 107 controlled clinical trials showed that homeopathic medicines had beneficial results (Kleijnen et al, 1991). For more details about many of these studies, see my book, “The Consumer’s Guide to Homeopathy or The Emerging Science of Homeopathy (Bellavite and Signorini 2002).
Homeopathy became popular in USA and in Europe during the 1800’s because of its success in treating the many infectious diseases that raged then, including yellow fever, scarlet fever, and cholera. The death rate in homeopathic hospitals was between one-half to one-eighth of that in conventional medical hospitals. It is hard to imagine that these significant results in treating serious infectious disease were due to a placebo effects.
Homeopathic medicines also have been shown to work on infants and on various animals (including dogs, cats, horses and cows), creatures seemingly incapable of experiencing the placebo effects. Homeopathy also finds that people who are being treated with homeopathic medicine for a chronic disease sometimes experience a temporary exacerbation in their symptoms as the body’s defenses are being stimulated. Homeopaths have found that a “healing crisis” is sometimes necessary to achieve healing. It is highly unlikely that this temporary worsening of symptoms is the result of a placebo response.
Remember that the small doses used by homeopaths only have an effect when the person taking the remedy has a hypersensitivity to the small doses given. If the wrong medicine is given to a person, nothing happens. If the correct medicine is given, it acts as a catalyst to the person’s defenses. In any case, homeopathic medicines do not have side effects.
 Dana Ullman, M.P.H., essential homeopathy – What it is & What it can do for you, 2002.