Verena Groom-White, RSHom
Dip Hom Med, MNCHM
The initial consultation will last approximately one and a half hours. I will ask questions about your physical symptoms, as well as general things about food likes and dislikes, thirst, perspiration and sleep etc. I will also ask you about your personality, fears and anxieties in order to get a clear picture of how you respond to certain situations. This will help me to determine which remedy is best for you. In some circumstances, I may advise you to contact a medical practitioner to have tests or discuss other options. All consultations are conducted in the strictest confidence, and all your personal information is kept secure in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Or you may notice a temporary release of emotional symptoms. Later, you may notice that old, sometimes forgotten, symptoms appear briefly. Homeopaths believe this is a good sign, as it means the body is dealing with conditions that were previously suppressed or not dealt with at the time.
It is best to avoid eating, drinking or cleaning your teeth for 15 minutes before and after taking a remedy, as this can reduce its effect.
Homeopathic medicines come in different potencies (strengths) in the form of liquid, powders, and hard or soft pills.
It is easy to confuse homeopathy with herbalism, because we also use plants in some of our medicines. Herbalists use tinctures (crude doses), but, although many medicinal plants are POTENTIALLY poisonous, our medicine is highly diluted, so there is no chance of toxicity.
This can vary because each individual case is different. Some patients report changes within hours or days, but deep-seated conditions may take some time to resolve.
Yes, because homeopathy works in a different way, it can safely be used alongside conventional medicine.
Homeopaths specialise in the treatment of individuals and their unique responses to disease. So we work with a different health model from the conventional one, which aims to increase 'herd immunity'. The Society of Homeopaths acknowledges that there is much anecdotal and scientific evidence to support the arguments presented for and against vaccination. We believe that parents should be supported in making rational, informed decisions on the short and long-term implications of vaccination.
While it is true that there is an element of placebo in any therapeutic relationship,homeopathy has been in continued use for over 200 years and its success rates are much higher than that which could be attributed solely to placebo. For instance, homeopathic remedies are regularly used on babies and animals, who clearly have no appreciation of what they have been given.
Many meta-analysis trials have shown that homeopathy is more than placebo, for example:
K. Linde, N. Clausius, G. Ramirez, et al
Are the clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials.
J. Kleijnen, P. Knipschild, G. ter Riet
Clinical trials of homeopathy
Br Ned J 1991:302:316-23
M. Cucherat, M.C. Haugh, M. Gooch, J-P. Boissel
Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy. A meta-analysis of clinical trials.
Eur J Chin Pharmacol 2000:56:27-33
Experiments in the area of quantum physics, that is, at the sub-molecular level, tend to support our theory that homeopathy is rather like a message to the body to heal itself.
There is also some evidence that water has a 'memory', and research into that is ongoing. A study by Masaru Emoto has shown that water contains 'messages' of any thoughts or emotions it is exposed to: http://www.whatthebleep.com/crystals/
An interesting book about water, including the memory of water in the quantum field, is The Story of Water: Source of Life by Alick Bartholomew (Floris Books, ISBN-13: 9780863157387).
Furthermore, a recent study by French virologist and Nobel laureate Professor Luc Montagnier reports the electromagnetic effects within high dilutions, such as those used in homeopathy:
Speaking in 2010, Professor Montagnier said: "High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules. It's not pseudoscience. It's not quackery. These are real phenomena which deserve further study."
We are frequently told in the media that there is no evidence that homeopathy works and that it is 'unscientific' (i.e. not based on any scientific evidence). The implication is that mainstream medicine is. Interestingly, the British Medical Journal recently reported that 50% of all treatments prescribed through the NHS are not evidence-based – in other words, not supported by scientific research. If we were to apply the same requirements asked of homeopathy to the NHS, all these treatments would have to be discontinued. The best evidence that homeopathy works is provided by patients who say they feel better after using it.
Science has only recently been able to explain how anaesthesia works, but no one would have dreamt of getting rid of it before this point was reached. Indeed, orthodox medicine has often relied on clinical experience and their observations of it working, rather than a scientific understanding of the way it works. For example, aspirin is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, yet it was used for over 70 years before it was discovered how it worked in 1971. The drug is still actively being researched because it has many effects on the body that even today are still not fully understood. Saying that homeopathy does not work because there is no scientific evidence is illogical.
I often say to my patients that, while 'experts' in the early 17th century believed the earth was flat, it continued to be round! These 'experts' refused to listen to Galileo or look at his evidence, and he was imprisoned for his views. Eventually, science caught up.
Yes, there is a good evidence base for homeopathy.
By the end of 2007, 134 Randomised Controlled Trials of homeopathy had been published in peer-reviewed journals. Of these trials, 59 are positive (i.e. demonstrating that homeopathy has an effect beyond placebo), 8 are negative and the remaining 67 are inconclusive. This is despite the fact that RCTs are not a good way to trial homeopathy because it is an individual treatment.
In 2005, the largest service evaluation of homeopathic treatment, carried out at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital, reported that 70 per cent of 6,500 follow-up patients experienced improvement in their health:
D.S. Spence, E.A. Thompson, S.J. Barron
Homeopathic Treatment for Chronic Disease: A 6-Year, University-Hospital Outpatient Observational Study
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2005, 11:793-798.
There have been many other studies, as well as meta-analysis trials like those listed in the How do we know homeopathy works? Could it just be a placebo? section above, which demonstrate that homeopathy does work. Below is just some of the more recent research:
Dr. Concepción Campa, Dr. Luis E. Varela, Dr. Esperanza Gilling, MCs. Rolando Fernández, Tec. Bárbara Ordaz, Dr. Gustavo Bracho, Dr. Luis García, Dr. Jorge Menéndez, Lic. Natalia Marzoa, Dr. Rubén Martínez
Homeoprophylaxis: Cuban Experiences on Leptospirosis
Presented at the International Meeting on Homeoprophylaxis, Homeopathic Immunization and Nosodes againstEpidemics, 2008, Havana
A. Steinsbekk, R. Lüdtke
Patients' assessments of the effectiveness of homeopathic care in Norway: A prospective observational multicentre outcome study
Homeopathy, 94 (2005), 10-16
Claudia M. Witt, Rainer Lüdtke, Nils Mengler, and Stefan N. Willich
How healthy are chronically ill patients after eight years of homeopathic treatment? – Results from a long-term observational study
BMC Public Health, 8 (2008), 413
For laboratory evidence see:
Memorandum submitted by Dr Peter Fisher' (HO 21), House of Commons Science and Technology Committee
Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy
London: The Stationery Office Limited, 2010, pp. Ev 25-26.
For further examples of studies of clinical practice, in addition to those above, see:
Evaluation [of a] Complementary and Alternative Medicines Pilot Project
London: Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, 2008
Full report at:
Dr. Adrian Hunnisett
Homeopathy Service Survey
Cirencester: The Park Surgery, 2005
M. Brook et al
Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, Effects of homeopathic Arnica Montana on bruising in face-lifts – results of a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial
Volume 8, No 1, Jan-Feb 2006
For the latest research updates see:
You can try to alleviate some minor ailments with over-the-counter remedies. However, more serious or recurrent problems need proper assessment by a qualified homeopath who can examine the underlying causes and determine the most appropriate treatment. If your symptoms persist you should always consult a doctor.
All consultations are conducted in the strictest confidence, and all your personal information is kept secure in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
© 2010-2017 Verena Groom-White. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 23 March 2017.