Cochrane Summaries

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Homeopathy for chronic asthma

McCarney RW, Linde K, Lasserson TJ
Published Online: 
8 October 2008

Homeopathy is a complementary healing system based on "curing like with like". It involves greatly diluting substances (potentising) which ordinarily may or may not cause symptoms, in order to strengthen the body's own healing response to a problem. Homeopathic remedies (potencies) aim to minimise the risk of adverse effects. There are different types that may be used for asthma, such as classical homeopathy (tailored to an individual's symptoms) or isopathy (for example using a dilution of an agent that causes an allergy, such as pollen). The review of trials found that the type of homeopathy varied between the studies, that the study designs used in the trials were varied and that no strong evidence existed that usual forms of homeopathy for asthma are effective. There has been only a limited attempt to measure a 'package of care' effect (i.e., the effect of the medication as well as the consultation, which is considered a vital part of individualised homeopathic practice). Until stronger evidence exists for the use of homeopathy in the treatment of asthma, we are unable to make recommendations about homeopathic treatment.

This record should be cited as: 
McCarney RW, Linde K, Lasserson TJ. Homeopathy for chronic asthma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1999, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000353. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000353.pub2
Assessed as up to date: 
1 August 2007