London: Researchers who examined more than 6,500 people over a period of six years have discovered that 70 per cent given homeopathic remedies had health improvements.
The results of the survey by Bristol Homeopathic Hospital have been published in the Journal of Compementary Medicine.
The researchers said the findings demonstrated the value of homeopathy to the NHS and showed that it should be made more widely available.
Another study in August in the Lancet suggested the opposite that the benefits of homeopathic remedies were all in the imagination and they had no more effect than placebo pills.
In homeopthy illnesses are are treated using highly diluted forms of herbs and minerals that in higher quantities could produce the symptoms of the illness they are attempting to cure.
The patients examined in the resarch had a range of conditions including asthma, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, menopausal problems and depression.
All had been referred for treatment by the GP after conventional medication had failed to fully control their symptoms.
The doctor recorded their condition at the first appointment and at each follow-up visit patients were asked about any improvement or worsening of their symptoms.
The study found that, overall, 70 per cent noted some improvement in their condition as a result of the homeopathic remedy they were given. Children particularly appeared to benefit.
Among under 16s with asthma, 89 per cent reported improvements and 75 per cent felt ‘better’ or ‘much better’.
Study author Dr David Spence, of the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital and chairman of the British Homeopathic Association, said the results demonstrated the value of homeopathy within the UK’s state medical system, the National Health Service.
A homeopath takes a detailed account of a patient’s medical history, symptoms and personality to create tailor-made pills for them. The study did not identify specific remedies that volunteers were given for their conditions.
However, those with asthma will often be prescribed complementary remedies such as arsenicum album, carbo vegetabilis and chamomilla to help ease anxiety, coughs and breathing problems.
The range of homeopathic substances given to those with eczema include calendula, petroleum and antimonium crudum which all help ease skin problems.
Other researchers cast doubt on the latest findings.
They directly contradict the study in The Lancet which concluded-that homeopathic remediesare no better than the ‘dummy pills’ in clinical trials.