I’m Rachel Roberts and
I’m Chief Executive of the Homeopathy Research Institute. That means that I work very closely,
on a day to day basis, with Dr. Alex Tournier, who is the HRI chairman, and together we’re
responsible for the day to day running of the institute.
HRI can be summed up, I think, in the simplest way, by saying that we have a group of individuals
who are either expert researchers, expert scientists or clinicians in homeopathy, who
are committed to rigorous scientific method. And they are of the opinion that everything
they’ve learnt through their experience in the job and through what they know about
the evidence base, that homeopathy can be an effective treatment option. So that’s
enough justification for them to say we need to do really serious research on the subject.
We need to find out what homeopathy can and can’t do. And we need to find out how these
ultra-high dilution homeopathic medicines work. So the charity was founded to bring
these people together, and form an institute where really high quality studies could be
done to answer these key questions. One of the most interesting pieces of research
I’ve come across recently, it was probably a study done in the Netherlands. It’s interesting
and intriguing because it’s a randomised clinical trial set on a farm. So it’s a
very high quality, in terms of scientific method, for testing whether a homeopathic
medicine really works. It was compared with placebo and it was done in a very correct
manner so that we would know the results would be reliable.
So what took place on this farm was that they looked at an issue, which apparently has a
big financial impact, which is e-coli diarrhoea in piglets. So they made a homeopathic medicine
from e-coli and they found at the end of this trial, that the homeopathic medicine definitely
prevented – it reduced the incidence of the e-coli diarrhoea.
So that has potentially huge meaning in many ways. Because, first of all, you’ve got
one of these ultra-high dilutions that shouldn’t have any molecules present, having an effect,
for sure, in piglets. So, all these people who say, “It’s just
water”, or “It’s a placebo effect”, or “People just want to get better”, you
really can’t apply that theory to this situation. The other impact, of course, is much more
practical, because it means if we can use homeopathic medicines in this way, with livestock,
we can reduce the use of antibiotics which are currently the only option for preventing
this kind of disease. And that means fewer antibiotics in the food chain. It’s better
animal welfare, and it’s better human welfare, because we’re cleaning up the food chain.
So the implications of that one study alone are huge.