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IAVH President Edward De Beukelaer and others respond to a recent Veterinary Record article which attempts to dismiss homeopathic medicine

Over the past few years, a number of loud but poorly informed veterinarians in the United Kingdom have carried out a misinformation campaign against veterinary homeopathy. One more instance of this occurred recently, when the Veterinary Record published a two-part article, entitled "Comparison of veterinary drugs and veterinary homeopathy." While the article is written as if it is based upon science, in fact the entire basis of their "proof" against homeopathy is that it cannot work as we don't understand how it could work (at least according to Newtonian physics).

Of course, Galileo was excommunicated and imprisoned for saying that the earth revolves around the sun, but in the end he was proven correct. And many physicists resisted theories of quantum mechanics until this also was shown to be true.

Just because we cannot yet understand the mechanism by which homeopathic medications work does not imply they cannot work.

The Veterinary Record articles are more political than scientific or medical.

Dr. De Beukelaer crafted and signed a letter to the Editor in response, along with Drs. Hélène Renoux, President of the European Committee for Homeopathy, Ton Nicolai, spokesperson for EUROCAM, and Alexander Tournier, Executive Director of the Homeopathy Research Institute.

You can download the letter to the Editor of Veterinary Record here: IAVH/ECH/Eurocam Letter to Veterinary Record

Additionally, there are translations of the letter available in German and Italian: Deutsch (PDF download), Italiano (googledocs link)

The editors of Veterinary Record have not published similar letters from IAVH or anyone else in response to previous articles. However, as of December 2017, they did publish the current IAVH response letter, for which we are grateful.

More criticism of homeopathic medicine

And now, a "report" by EASAC, the European Academies Science Advisory Council, on Homeopathic Medicines and Products. More rehashing of the same slanted viewpoints. The British Homeopathic Association debunks the report. See the BHA response here: BHA response to the EASAC report.

And here is a response by the French organisation, SOCIÉTÉ SAVANTE D’HOMÉOPATHIE: La SSH response to the EASAC report.

  • Just One Drop

Just One Drop tells the little known story of homeopathy: the most controversial system of medicine ever invented. Homeopathy is a specific form of medicine that uses minute doses of a highly diluted substance that stimulates the body to cure itself. To many, homeopathy seems implausible. They fear it is purely a placebo effect or worse, a form of deception or quackery. Yet, homeopathy has been around for over 200 years and is used by millions worldwide. The film explores the controversy, dispels myths and misconceptions, and asks whether or not homeopathy has been given a fair shake. Click the link in the frame above to see the trailer, and see http://www.justonedropfilm.com for details about viewing the entire film.

If the video link does not work in your browser, try a different browser. It works in Safari, but sometimes not in Firefox or Chrome. Vimeo links are a bit temperamental.

Welcome!

Welcome to the IAVH website, the international resource for everything relating to veterinary homeopathy.

And welcome to homeopathy, the modern, scientific medicine which is not new, not changing every few years, where the scientific principles underlying homeopathic practice have not changed for over two hundred years. In fact, during these two centuries, homeopathic physicians and veterinarians have utilised these medical theories successfully time and time again. We see that the original principles, as espoused by Samuel Hahnemann, have been refined by subsequent generations of practitioners, but they still remain as true today as when they were first written. The foundation of homeopathic medicine is solid.

In an era when modern medicine is thought to make much progress, more and more animal guardians and caretakers are realising something is missing in the way we treat our animals. This is one farmer’s experience (We’ve changed his name to Mark): Mark had been thinking about starting to learn to use homeopathy on his farm for some time. He had talked about it to vets, colleagues and ‘other people in the know’ and was always told it was a waste of time. One day a farming colleague told him how well homeopathy worked on his farm, so Mark decided to go on a course and learn about homeopathy for himself. After starting to use it on his farm his comments were as follows: ‘Homeopathy is MASSIVE and it is double advantaged, it gives me a better price for my milk and saves me £2000 a year in vet and medicine costs’’. He went on "I am actually angry with the medical profession, with science; every time I looked at it they told me it was rubbish, then I talked to another farmer and he said he used it, so I tried it. I am angry with them, they held me back, I am ten years behind.’

Unfortunately, however, when someone proposes homeopathy as an alternative approach, many may well frown or even argue against its use, as this farmer experienced. The reason for this is usually that they lack any knowledge or experience of using homeopathy. In some cases it may even be that they just prefer homeopathy to be ineffective because it would otherwise challenge their vision of medicine, and perhaps even their worldview.

The fact that the international scientific community is waking up to the issue of anti-microbial resistance is a strong justification for asking whether there are any ‘other and better options’ for practising medicine. Whereas many believe that the solution to anti-microbial resistance is to develop new anti-microbial drugs, or even vaccines, there is also a realisation that we should search for better alternatives rather than simply pursuing the same short-term solutions. And as homeopathic medicines work by strengthening immune responses in sick individuals, they do not depend upon anti-microbials, and there is no possibility of resistance, no possibility of creating “superbugs.”

Still, there are many who argue that homeopathy does not work, even cannot work because current theories do not always explain its effects. There is a lot of scientifically sound evidence, however, that homeopathy does indeed work. The real scientist looks at the data, and the data is there: homeopathy makes a difference more than placebo (see the research tab in this website). And millions of patients through two centuries provide even stronger evidence.

Besides the scientific debate, those who investigate homeopathy as practised by qualified homeopathic practitioners soon realise the potential of this type of medicine. It is often their personal experience with homeopathy that convinces them about the possibilities and power of the 'little drops or pills'. And it is not only the efficacy of a well prescribed homeopathic remedy that is convincing—it is also the respectful attention given to the patient's individuality. In homeopathy, the patient is not simply a statistic—each patient is seen as a unique being and therefore given the individual attention required for a return to health: homeopathic medicine comes with an ethos where the patient is absolutely central to therapy.

Homeopathy is very much a modern medicine, in fact ahead of its time—the first scientifically based studies of medicines were carried out on homeopathic medicines. And homeopathy has the ability to touch the patient's deepest self, helping them to return to good health. This is medicine of the future, available now! It can do this not only for one individual, but also for a group of animals suffering from the same disease—and it does this in a non-toxic way without depleting natural resources. Homeopathy is scientific, natural, effective, and environmentally friendly. What can be better than this?

The possibilities of homeopathic medicine are endless: we are only just discovering what is possible.

Welcome to the future! Welcome to homeopathy!

International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy IAVH

The IAVH is the International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy. It was founded 1986 with the goal to preserve and to develop the knowledge, understanding and practical perception.

We have members in the following 32 countries:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the USA.

IAVH press releases: Proof of the effectiveness of homeopathy in animals

In organic agriculture, the use of homeopathic remedies in Europe is explicitly recommended: they should be preferred over conventional medicine, according to the corresponding EU organic regulations of the European Commission. While farmers experience daily success with homeopathy, more research is warranted to confirm these results. In this context, the International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy (IAVH) commented on the review by Doehring and Sundrum, published in Veterinary Record (1) in December 2016, in terms of objective reporting.

Scientific studies and a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials provide, though limited, evidence for the effectiveness of veterinary homeopathy versus placebo (2-4). With regard to the review published by Doehring and Sundrum (1), according to IAVH the most critical point to be noted is the following: Whereas this review by Doehring and Sundrum was thoughtful about research of homeopathy in a farm context in general, the conclusion of the authors ‘… replacing or reducing antibiotics with homeopathy currently cannot be recommended …’ seems not permissible since no new findings were obtained to existing literature (4-6) and only the need for further high-quality studies can be derived.

Conclusion:

·      The recent review by Doehring and Sundrum (1) on effectiveness of homeopathy in livestock does not tell us anything new about the evidence base in homeopathy. The findings are broadly consistent with the findings of a previous, high-quality, review by Mathie and Clausen (6).

·      A meta-analysis by Mathie and Clausen (4) showed that overall there is a positive trend in the evidence on veterinary homeopathy which is robust upon sensitivity analysis. The positive studies showing effectiveness of homeopathy in animals demonstrate that homeopathy may have a role to play in livestock: e.g. as a replacement for antibiotics for treating E.coli diarrhoea in piglets (2).

·      Considering the global threat of anti-microbial resistance, such promising areas deserve investment in further research, in particular high-quality randomized clinical trials.

References: 

(1)   Doehring C, Sundrum A. Veterinary Record 2016; 179: 628.

(2)   Camerlink I et al. Homeopathy 2010; 99: 57-62.

(3)   Epstein 2014 theavh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Homeopathy-White-Paper.pdf

(4)   Mathie RT, Clausen J. Homeopathy 2015; 104: 3-8.

(5)   Mathie RT, Clausen J. BMC Vet Res 2015; 11: 236.

(6)   Mathie RT, Clausen J. Veterinary Record 2014; 175: 373-381.

 

Contact:
Dr. Edward De Beukelaer, President – IAVH office(at)iavh.org, Tel +44 7786 21 36 36

Dr. Petra Weiermayer, General Secretary – IAVH office@iavh.org, Tel +43 664 861 89 64

 

Long version:

In organic agriculture, the use of homeopathic remedies in Europe is explicitly recommended: they should be preferred over conventional medicine, according to the corresponding EU organic regulations of the European Commission. While farmers experience daily success with homeopathy, more research is warranted to confirm these results. In this context, the International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy (IAVH) commented on the review by Doehring and Sundrum, published in Veterinary Record (1) in December 2016, in terms of objective reporting.

Scientific studies and, last but not least, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials provide, though limited, evidence for the effectiveness of veterinary homeopathy versus placebo (4, 6, 11). Further studies of high quality are required – as in many areas of medicine. There are also studies on the mode of action of homeopathy (2, 8, 9, 13, 14) as well as a YouTube video of Bell, 2016, containing a solid summary (3).

In a randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind study (4) for the homeopathic treatment of diarrhoea in piglets caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), it was already shown in 2010 that the homeopathically treated group had significantly fewer piglets with E. coli diarrhoea. In addition, the severity of the disease was lower and diarrhoea, if it occurred, of a shorter duration. Homeopathic remedies were used as replacement to antibiotics in the case of E. coli diarrhoea in neonatal piglets. The study was classified as high-quality by Doehring and Sundrum, as well as by Mathie and Clausen. The repeatability of this study is currently being examined in other study centers.

AMR Action Plan

It is important to note that in the recently published documents on the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) Action Plan of the EU Commission, CAM (complementary, alternative medicine), homeopathy included, is mentioned as a potential approach to solutions to AMR, and their demand for further research in CAM is particularly relevant in terms of the importance of the AMR problem in humans and animals. In addition, in an annex to the RAND Survey on antibiotic resistance, submitted by the European Committee for Homeopathy, numerous homeopathic studies on infectious diseases in humans and animals are listed and described.

In his meta-analysis from 2013 (7), Robert Hahn (Head of Research, Södertälje Hospital Sweden, Professor of Anesthesia & Intensive Care, Linköping University) has stated that, in order to demonstrate that homeopathy in humans does not show effectiveness, more than 90% of the available clinical studies must be excluded or scientifically untenable statistical methods must be applied. At this point, a Cochrane Review (5) has to be mentioned, with 1016 systematic reviews on conventional therapies being investigated, with 44% positive, 7% negative results and 49% of the reviews reporting that the evidence did not support either benefit or harm.

Review by Doehring and Sundrum – critical points

In the recently published review conducted by Doehring and Sundrum (1), critical points should be noted: for example, in only 13 out of 48 studies was homeopathic therapy performed by a veterinarian with sound homeopathic training. Correct choice of remedy is the crux of effectiveness of homeopathy! Whereas this review by Doehring and Sundrum was thoughtful about research of homeopathy in a farm context in general, it has no additional value beyond that of the prior literature (10-12) in making any comments about the effectiveness of homeopathy. More research is clearly required, as the authors recommend, but it seems a step too far for them to state, ‘replacing or reducing antibiotics with homeopathy currently cannot be recommended’. Hence, the contribution of this paper and the advice it offers to the reader and the EU needs to be questioned. Of course, numerous further scientific studies have to be carried out in veterinary homeopathy. As with antibiotic studies, external factors must always be taken into account in farm animal practice in studies. Obtaining financial support for conducting an independent research is a major challenge both in conventional medicine and in homeopathy.

International, interdisciplinary cooperation

The European Homeopathy Congress took place in Vienna from 17-19 November 2016 with 480 participants from well over 30 different countries. Veterinarians (International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy, IAVH), human doctors and pharmacists (European Committee for Homeopathy, ECH), and patient representatives (European Federation of Homeopathic Patients' Associations, EFPHA) jointly organized the congress. Conventional medicine and homeopathy in mutual synergy was a key theme at the congress. Presentations like on State-of-the-art in the treatment of cancer patients and of orthopedic & internal emergencies in horses in combination with numerous presentations on human and veterinary homeopathic studies and on the classical homeopathic treatment of humans and animals in practice as well as a political and pharmaceutical discussion made the congress unique. Following the press conference, positive articles were to be read in two Austrian newspapers (15,16).

The International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy (IAVH) has 745 active members and offers the possibility of obtaining the IAVH certificate. In all training courses on veterinary homeopathy, the principle that conventional medicine and homeopathy are always complementary to the well-being of the patient is fulfilled.

 

This is also the recommendation of the WHO strategy for CAM (complementary, alternative medicine) 2014-2023, which asks for the integration of CAM into health systems.

 

Finally, Dr. Alojz Peterle, member of the European Parliament, is quoted from his videomessage, which he provided for the political discussion at the first European homeopathy congress in Vienna: "To me homeopathy stands for a holistic, complete, cost-effective and safe approach to promote health, prevent and treat disease.We are obviously facing a growing number of health related challenges: an aging population, rising levels of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease ... and the anti-microbial resistance. ... European citizens increasingly recognize the benefits of homeopathy and its inherent holistic approach to care. ... For these reasons … , we need to incorporate ways in which homeopathycan contribute to sustainable healthcare systems in Europe including its role in health maintenance, reduction of use of antibiotics, less invasive and more cost-effective treatment of illness, which are also some of objectives of the EU Health Strategy 2014-2020. ... The time is ripe to seriously consider homeopathyas both innovation and added value for European citizens and animals.”

 

Conclusion:

·      The recent review by Doehring and Sundrum (1) on efficacy of homeopathy in livestock published in the Veterinary Record does not tell us anything new about the evidence base in homeopathy.

·      This review’s findings (1) are broadly consistent with the findings of a previous, high-quality, review by Mathie and Clausen (10), published 2014 in the same journal, which clarified that further veterinary research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn and any clinical recommendations can be made. This need for further research was subsequently confirmed by another high-quality review by the same authors (12).

·      A meta-analysis by Mathie and Clausen (11) showed that overall there is a positive trend in the evidence on veterinary homeopathy which is robust upon sensitivity analysis: i.e. the positive trend is unchanged whether one considers only the highest quality trials or all existing trials regardless of quality.

·      The evidence base of veterinary homeopathy comprises a relatively small number of studies ‘scattered’ across a wide range of clinical conditions and species. The repetition of positive studies is currently underway.

·      The positive studies showing effectiveness of homeopathy in animals demonstrate that homeopathy may have a role to play in livestock: e.g. as a replacement for antibiotics for treating E.coli diarrhoea in piglets (4).

·      Considering the global threat of anti-microbial resistance, such promising areas deserve investment in further research, in particular high-quality randomized clinical trials.

References:

(1)  Doehring C, Sundrum A. Efficacy of homeopathy in livestock according to peer-reviewed publications from 1981 to 2014, Veterinary Record; 179: 628.
veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/179/24/628

 

(2)  Bell IR et al (2013). Testing the nanoparticle-allostatic cross-adaptation-sensitization model for homeopathic remedy effects. Homeopathy; 102: 66-81. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539158/

 

(3)  Bell IR. (2016) https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=U8lUZRc8-DU&utm_content=buffer5344f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

(4)  Camerlink I et al. (2010). Homeopathy as replacement to antibiotics in the case of Escherichia coli diarrhoea in neonatal piglets. Homeopathy; 99: 57-62. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20129177

 

(5)  El Dib RP, Atallah AN, Andriolo RB (2007). Mapping the Cochrane evidence for decision making in healthcare. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice; 13: 689-692. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17683315

 

(6)  Epstein 2014 http://theavh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Homeopathy-White-Paper.pdf

 

(7)  Hahn RG. (2013). Homeopathy: meta-analyses of pooled clinical data. Forsch Komplementmed; 20: 376-81. Epub 2013 Oct 17. www.karger.com/Article/FullText/355916

 

(8)  Khuda-Bukhsh AR et al. (2011). Modulation of Signal Proteins: A Plausible Mechanism to Explain How a Potentized Drug Secale Cor 30C Diluted beyond Avogadro’s Limit Combats Skin Papilloma in Mice. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Article ID 286320, 12 pages, 2011. doi:10.1093/ecam/nep084
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/286320/

 

(9)  Marzotto M, Bonafini C, Olioso D, Baruzzi A, Bettinetti L, Di Leva F, et al. (2016) Arnica montana Stimulates Extracellular Matrix Gene Expression in a Macrophage Cell Line Differentiated to Wound-Healing Phenotype. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0166340. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166340
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0166340&utm_content=buffer2f226&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

(10)        Mathie RT, Clausen J (2014). Veterinary homeopathy: systematic review of medical conditions studied by randomised placebo-controlled trials. Veterinary Record; 175: 373-381.
http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/175/15/373.abstract

 

(11)        Mathie RT, Clausen J (2015). Veterinary homeopathy: meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials. Homeopathy; 104: 3-8.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25576265/

 

(12)        Mathie RT, Clausen J (2015). Veterinary homeopathy: systematic review of medical conditions studied by randomised trials controlled by other than placebo. BMC Vet Res; 11: 236.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4570221/

(13)        Montagnier L et al. (2009). Electromagnetic signals are produced by aqueous nanostructures derived from bacterial DNA sequences. Interdiscip Sci; 1: 81-90. Epub 2009 Mar 4. http://sphq.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/etudes_Montagnier_Electro-signals-produced-by-aqueous-DNA.pdf

 

(14)        Witt CM et al. (2007). The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies-a systematic review of the literature. Complement Ther Med; 15: 128-38. Epub 2007 Mar 28. http://www.complementarytherapiesinmedicine.com/article/S0965-2299(07)00013-1/abstract

(15)        mobil.derstandard.at/2000047663681/Homoeopath-Leibarzt-der-Queen-am-Kongress-in-Wien

 

(16)        m.kurier.at/wellness/sogar-die-queen-verwendet-homoeopathische-globuli/231.045.247

 

 

Contact:

Dr. Edward De Beukelaer, President – International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy (IAVH) office(at)iavh.org Tel +44 7786 21 36 36

Dr. Petra Weiermayer, General Secretary – International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy (IAVH) office(at)iavh.org Tel +43 664 861 89 64

 

Database for veterinarians

The Karl and Veronica Carstens Foundation (www.carstens-stiftung.de) has created the first database of clinical research in veterinary homeopathy online. Interested parties can obtain an overview of the scope and content of previous research efforts in the field of veterinary homeopathy. Anyone who wants to be active themselves in this field or already works in research gets a good insight into the current state of research in his area of interest. It should be noted that the individual contributions are listed multiple times depending on the question in the results because the study was treated within several questions. It also should be noted that the claim of completeness isn’t raised with the present database; each user is invited to report any gaps, so that they can be closed immediately. Other critical comments are welcome.

Here you can find the database: www.carstens-stiftung.de/clinresvet/index.php

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For veterinarians

Veterinarians who are interested in the IAVH certification in veterinary homeopathy (CertIAVH) will receive information regarding the certificate here.
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Liesbeth Ellinger "Homeopathy - Research in Veterinary Practice"

Liesbeth Ellinger "Homeopathy - Research in Veterinary Practice"

Liesbeth Ellinger "Homeopathy - Research in Veterinary Practice"

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