Ultramolecular homeopathy has no observable clinical effects. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled proving trial of Belladonna 30C
Article first published online: 4 AUG 2003
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Volume 56, Issue 5, pages 562–568, November 2003
How to Cite
Brien, S., Lewith, G. and Bryant, T. (2003), Ultramolecular homeopathy has no observable clinical effects. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled proving trial of Belladonna 30C. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 56: 562–568. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.2003.01900.x
- Issue published online: 4 AUG 2003
- Article first published online: 4 AUG 2003
- Received 24 March 2003, accepted 19 May 2003.
- randomized controlled trial;
Aims To investigate if ultramolecular homeopathy has any clinical effects. This was assessed using the proving of the homeopathic remedy Belladonna given at an ultramolecular dose (30C), as a model. A proving states that when a homeopathic remedy is given to a healthy person, they will experience symptomatic effects specific to that remedy. If ultramolecular doses are clinically active, the Belladonna 30C group should experience more true Belladonna proving symptoms than the placebo group.
Methods Healthy subjects (n = 253), aged 18–30 years, took part in this double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study. Total study duration was 4 weeks. Subjects were randomized before 1 week placebo run-in. They received 2 weeks of treatment intervention (Belladonna 30C or placebo) and were followed up for 1 week. Subjects recorded any symptoms experienced during the total study period on a daily basis using a structured questionnaire. Symptom diaries were analysed blind to determine if each subject had proved or not (based on predefined criteria). The main outcome was the proportion of subjects who had proved in each treatment group.
Results No significant group differences in proving rates were observed [Belladonna provers N = 14 (13.9%); placebo provers N = 15 (14.3%); mean difference − 0.4%, 95% confidence interval − 9.3, 10.1] based on intention to treat analysis. Primary outcome was not affected by seasonality or the individual's attitude to complementary medicine.
Conclusion Ultramolecular homeopathy had no observable clinical effects.