During a virtual meeting with WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and a group of WHO senior officials, representatives of more than 300 civil society organisations (CSOs) and over 600 people brought the full force of the knowledge and expertise on traditional, complementary, and integrative health to the forefront This virtual dialogue was coordinated by the People’s Declaration for Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Healthcare.
This meeting held on 3 July was organised to discuss the priorities on traditional, complementary and integrative medicine in the lead-up to the WHO Traditional Medicine Global Summit on 17 and 18 August 2023 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.
In his opening remarks, Dr Tedros said: “Traditional, complementary, and integrative health is rooted in the knowledge and resources of communities. For millions of people worldwide, it is their first stop for health and well-being and an integral part of their health system. For precisely these reasons, dialogues with civil society organisations are so important to WHO, as we shape our guidance and policy recommendations for countries.”
WHO has started the development of the new traditional medicine strategy 2025-2034 as requested by its Member States at the World Health Assembly in May 2023, during which they have also extended WHO traditional medicine strategy: 2014-2023 for another two years until 2025.
Suggestions and proposals from the civil society will contribute to this important task. They will also inform the work of the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine to harness the potential of traditional medicine from across the world to improve the health of people and the planet. Furthermore, the dialogue will contribute to WHO’s work on traditional, complementary and integrative medicine (TCIM), which seeks to respond to requests from countries for evidence and data to inform policies and practice, global standards and regulations to ensure safety, quality, equitable access and use, and support for scientific, innovation and technological advances in traditional medicine practices.
Read the whole article here:
The World Health Assembly met for their 76th session in Geneva from May 21 to 30 and adopted a decisionfor WHO’s current Traditional Medicine Strategy to be extended until 2025 and for WHO to develop a new 2025-2034 global strategy in the meantime.
The decision also rules that stakeholders should be included in the drafting process along national governments of WHO member states. Member states unanimously supported this decision, highlighting the need for continuous action in the field of Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Healthcare to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
The People’s Declaration for Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH Declaration), representing a global coalition of over 300 professional and patient organisations, research and research institutes, applauds this decision. We advocate for the meaningful inclusion of diverse stakeholders in the drafting process, including civil society, NGOs, healthcare providers, researchers, and practitioners, to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive approach. TCIH plays a significant role in the healthcare landscape, providing accessible, culturally sensitive, and patient-centred healthcare solutions. We believe that the integration of TCIH into primary healthcare and mainstream healthcare systems can lead to improved health outcomes and holistic well-being for individuals and communities worldwide.
“Including diverse stakeholders in the development of the new Traditional Medicine Strategy is a crucial step towards fostering collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity in healthcare,” commented Tido von Schoen-Angerer, Board member of the International Federation of Anthroposophic Medical Associations, one of the co-sponsors of the TCIH Declaration. “We welcome the opportunity to contribute our expertise and collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure the strategy reflects the diverse perspectives and needs of the global community.”
Leveraging the experiences of civil society related to TCIH will help tailor the new strategy to address specific country contexts and effectively support local healthcare needs. Such an approach will promote healthcare equity, and strengthen healthcare systems worldwide, contributing to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goals.
“The development of a new strategy provides an opportunity to develop “a positive vision of health that integrates physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being” – stated KEI, co-signatory of the TCIH Declaration at the WHA, concluding that “synergies with other WHO strategies, traditional, complementary and integrative medicine can meaningfully enhance health promotion, prevention and disease management in key areas.”
The TCIH Coalition is committed and looks forward to actively participating with its expertise in the drafting process of the new Traditional Medicine Strategy and will advocate for evidence-based approaches, quality standards, and regulatory frameworks that uphold patient safety and promote the integration of TCIH within national healthcare systems.
About the TCIH Coalition
The TCIH Coalition is an international coalition dedicated to advocating for the benefits and integration of Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH) approaches in global healthcare systems. We strive to foster collaboration among stakeholders and advocate for equitable access to diverse healthcare options.
A new survey of 1066 Italian adults, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Boiron in October 2022, confirms that more than half of Italians have used homeopathy in their lifetime.
The survey, “Homeopathy: knowledge and use in Italy”, measured the behaviour and attitude of Italians towards homeopathic medicines. Its aim was to measure awareness, trust and use of various treatment options, and to understand the place that homeopathy has within modern medicine.
It showed that:
- 57% of Italians have used homeopathy in their lifetime and 46% in the last twelve months
- 81% of users declare themselves to be satisfied with it
- 66% of Italians trust homeopathic medicine and 77% consider it complementary to conventional medicine
- 86% of Italians claim to know about homeopathy but only 26% would be able to explain it correctly
- 60% expect to use homeopathy in the future – they base their choice on the fact that homeopathic medicines are natural and without the risk of side effects (57%), a preference not to use chemical medicines (45%), the effectiveness of the treatment (26%) and because they believe it to a better alternative for their health (24%)
- 45% say they would first consult a homeopathic doctor or a general practitioner, while 40% would ask their pharmacist directly
- 72% of Italians recognise the pharmacy as the most suitable place for the purchase of homeopathic medicines
- 84% of Italians believe that homeopathy should to be offered by health professionals, and about 40% would like to associate homeopathy with conventional therapies.
The study results highlight the need for more information and education on homeopathy.
The MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine and Health will host the event ‘Integrative Mental Health – the way forward’ on Tuesday 28 March 2023 at 16:00-18:00 CET.
Take the opportunity to meet with leading academic experts and members of the European Parliament. Experts working at the intersection of mental health and Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine (TCIM) will share evidence-based solutions and explain the particular benefits of applying TCIM in this important area.
The role of TCIM – Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine
Nearly 125 million people in the WHO European region – equivalent to 13% of its population – were already living with mental illness before the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the pandemic has worsened the situation by increasing the rates of already-common conditions such as depression and anxiety by more than 25%. Mental health problems are becoming more and more serious and costly, whether they result from various factors, such as rising economic and social inequities, rapid societal, political, and environmental shifts or the COVID-19 pandemic.
To address these challenges, Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine (TCIM) can play an important role in mitigating the effects of these developments on the human psyche. Among the array of available TCIM techniques, popular practices such as mindfulness or yoga training, and methods such as acupuncture, should be accessible to more people. By using these techniques, Europeans can equip themselves with enjoyable and effective tools for preventing ill mental health, improving their daily management of mental illness, and building up mental and physical resilience. Mental health is critically important to everyone, everywhere, and it is essential to recognize that there is no health without mental health, as WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus rightly argues.
EUROCAM runs the secretariat of the MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine and Health. ECCH is member of EUROCAM.
Resolving AMR by reducing the reliance on antibiotic treatment
It needs to become a priority to resolve AMR by reducing reliance on antibiotic medicines.
This can be achieved by keeping people, animals and the environment healthy. Health-creating strategies aimed at making people more resilient to infections should be prioritised in all EU health policies.
It is paramount that health policies put more emphasis on health promotion in the European population so that the issue of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) can be tackled. Medical interventions that improve the resilience of people to infectious agents should be fostered. This approach to resolving the AMR issue is currently insufficiently addressed.
An efficient immune system
Infectious illness arises when two factors come together: contact with an infectious agent (microbe) and, more importantly, the people’s susceptibility to the infectious agent. The presence of infectious agents is natural. There is ample evidence that people (and animals) with a well-balanced, active immune system are less susceptible to pathogens and fight off infectious diseases more effectively without the need for antibiotic treatment.
Definition of health
In 1946, the World Health Organization defined health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ , paving the way for a healthcare system founded on people’s resilience.
The modern definition of health also highlights this patient-centred approach, emphasising that health is: ‘The ability to adapt and self-manage in the face of social, physical and emotional challenges.’ .
This means shifting the perception of health away from ‘a state of the absence of a disease’ and promoting a patient-centred care and positive health  approach. Lifestyle choices and also treatments that improve the patient’s immune system responses have a central role.
An effective and sustainable approach
A European health strategy founded on prevention, health promotion and people’s resilience is an effective and sustainable approach to reduce the incidence of AMR:
- Healthy populations put less pressure on health care;
- Humans and animals resilient to infectious diseases will need fewer antibiotics which reduces the incidence of AMR;
- Health promotion and resilience further a multisectoral One Health approach  to AMR;
- Medical research that invests in examining host factors will bring about health-oriented research and, consequently, health-promoting medicine.
The strategy to reduce AMR
Health promotion and resilience should be an integral part of any strategy to prevent and tackle AMR, alongside adequate preparedness, antibiotic stewardship, surveillance, and vaccine development. EUROCAM proposes the following actions:
- Promoting healthy lifestyles in public education through targeted campaigns and the inclusion of lifestyle coaches in primary healthcare;
- Researching and investing in safe and effective, non-polluting  non-antibiotic treatments and models that help prevent, treat and manage infectious diseases through improved patient resilience.
Establishing an effective, sustainable and resilience-oriented healthcare system requires action in the areas of policy, public education, research and development.
E.g. https://ec.europa.eu/health/system/files/2020-01/amr_2017_action-plan_0.pdf and https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32021R0522&from=EN
 Huber M, Knottnerus JA, Green L, van der Horst H, Jadad AR, Kromhout D, Leonard B, Lorig K, Loureiro MI, van der Meer JW, Schnabel P, Smith R, van Weel C, Smid H. (2011) How should we define health? BMJ, 343():d4163. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21791490
 Huber M, van Vliet M, Giezenberg M, Winkens B, Heerkens Y, Dagnelie PC, Knottnerus JA. (2016). Towards a ‘patient- centred’ operationalisation of the new dynamic concept of health: a mixed methods study. BMJ open, 6(1), e010091. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010091
The Homeopathy Research Institute (HRI) is pleased to announce the findings from Dr Robert Mathie’s latest clinical evidence update:
Total number of randomised controlled trials (RCTs):
2021: 255 RCTs of homeopathic treatments for 136 medical conditions
It is promising to see a slight increase in the volume of trials published per year, i.e. 14 RCTs in 2021, compared to 12 RCTs in 2020.
Double-blind placebo-controlled trials (DB-RCTs):
Considering only DB-RCTs in humans, published in peer reviewed journals (excluding prophylaxis and cross-over studies), the analysis found:
2020: 140 trials on 86 different medical conditions
2021: 148 trials on 88 different medical conditions
148 RCTs of homeopathy (end of 2021)
The 8 new DB-RCTs – 2 positive1,2 0 negative and 6 inconclusive3-8 trials – have resulted in a slight shift in the overall balance of evidence as follows:
Positive: ↓ 1%
Negative: ↓ 2%
Inconclusive: ↑ 2%
Our most popular FAQ webpage has been updated to include:
- the new 2021 data on homeopathy trials
- the full list of references for the 148 double-blind placebo controlled trials represented in the pie chart.
- Ghosh S, Ravindra RK, Modak A et al. Efficacy of individualized homeopathic medicines in primary dysmenorrhea: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. J Complement Integr Med 2021 Jun 3. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2020-0512. Online ahead of print.
- Shahid S, Ghosh S, Chakraborty AS et al. Efficacy of Individualized Homeopathic Medicines in Plantar Fasciitis: Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Homeopathy 2021 Sep 07. DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1731383. Online ahead of print.
- Dey S, Hashmi S, Saha S et al. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Pilot Trial of Individualized Homeopathic Medicines for Cutaneous Warts. Homeopathy 2021 Aug;110(3):149-159
- Dey S, Shaikh AR, Saha S et al. Efficacy of Individualized Homeopathic Medicines in the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis in Adults: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Preliminary Trial. Complement Med Res2021 Apr 15;1-10
- Dolev T, Ben-David M, Shahadi I et al. Attention Dysregulation in Breast Cancer Patients Following a Complementary Alternative Treatment Routine: A Double-Blind Randomized Trial. Integrative Cancer Therapies 2021; 20: 1–10
- Dutta S, Ganguly S, Mukherjee SK et al. Efficacy of individualized homeopathic medicines in intervening with the progression of pre-hypertension to hypertension: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Explore (NY) 2021 Jun 5;S1550-8307(21)00098-7.
- Parewa M, Burman AS, Brahma A et al. Individualized Homeopathic Medicines in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Pilot Trial. Complement Med Res 2021; 28(5):407-418
- Sadhukhan S, Singh S, Michael J et al. Individualized Homeopathic Medicines in Stage I Essential Hypertension: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Trial. J Altern Complement Med 2021 Jun; 27(6):515-521
The project ’the role of homeopathy in the treatment of depression is completed in 2018. It carried out as part of a PhD programme at the University of Sheffield and evaluated the impact of providing homeopathic treatment in addition to usual care, for patients with self-reported depression. Multiple research methods were combined to assess the acceptability of this approach, its clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.
The research project is registered with the ISRCTN register of Current Controlled Trials to ensure that all findings are made public. The project also obtained ethics approval from an NHS Research Ethics Committee. Patients were recruited from the ongoing NIHR CLAHRC funded Yorkshire Health Study.
Dr P Viksveen – Petter carried out this project within a Health and Related Research PhD studentship, which he completed in 2016. PhD (University of Sheffield), MSc Homeopathy (University of Central Lancashire), BA pedagogy (University of Oslo), Registered Homeopath MNHL (Norway).
Dr Clare Relton – Research Fellow, School of Health and Related Research (University of Sheffield), and a Registered Homeopath
Prof Jon Nicholl – Professor of Health Services Research and Dean of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
Prof Paul Bissell – Professor of Public Health and the Director of the Public Health Section, School of Health and Related Research (University of Sheffield)
Read more and see the video in which Petter Viskveen explained the importance of research.
Homeopathic Medications as Clinical Alternatives for Symptomatic Care of Acute Otitis Media and Upper Respiratory Infections in Children
The public health and individual risks of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and conventional over-the-counter symptomatic drugs in the pediatric treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) and upper respiratory infections (URIs) are significant. Clinical research suggests that over-the-counter homeopathic medicines offer pragmatic treatment alternatives to conventional drugs for symptom relief in children with uncomplicated AOM or URIs. Homeopathy is a controversial but demonstrably safe and effective 200-year-old whole system of complementary and alternative medicine used worldwide. Numerous clinical studies demonstrate that homeopathy accelerates early symptom relief in acute illnesses at much lower risk than conventional drug approaches. Evidence-based advantages for homeopathy include lower antibiotic fill rates during watchful waiting in otitis media, fewer and less serious side effects, absence of drug-drug interactions, and reduced parental sick leave from work. Emerging evidence from basic and preclinical science research counter the sceptics’ claims that homeopathic remedies are biologically inert placebos. Consumers already accept and use homeopathic medicines for self-care, as evidenced by annual US consumer expenditures of $2.9 billion on homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy appears equivalent to and safer than conventional standard care in comparative effectiveness trials, but additional well-designed efficacy trials are indicated. Nonetheless, the existing research evidence on safety supports the pragmatic use of homeopathy in order to “first do no harm” in the early symptom management of otherwise uncomplicated AOM and URIs in children. Read the whole article here.
New survey: More than half of Germans have used homeopathy and 70% are open to it
A new survey shows that the proportion of adults in Germany in 2021 who have used homeopathic medicines or who would be willing to try them remains as high as last year.
More than half the respondents (54%) say they have had experience with homeopathy or have used homeopathic medicines. This proportion is consistent with user numbers at the beginning of last year: in the forsa survey in February 2020, 55% of those surveyed stated that they had experience with homeopathy.
A further 16% are generally willing to try homeopathic medicines. This proportion of potential users is also stable compared to 2020 (15%).
In total, 70% of German adults are open to homeopathy or have already had experience with this form of treatment.
More women use homeopathic medicines than men – 64% compared to 42%. The use of homeopathy is most widespread among 45-59-year-olds, 61% of whom said they had experience with homeopathy. They are closely followed by the 30-44-year-olds (59%). Even among younger adults (18-29 years), significantly more than half (57%) have used homeopathy. The lowest user base is found amongst the over 60s, at 43%.
A clear majority (67%) of those with experience of homeopathy have so far been satisfied (48%) or very satisfied (19%) with the effectiveness and tolerability of homeopathic medicines.
The survey was carried out by forsa on behalf of DHU (Deutsche Homöopathie-Union) between 30th July and 9th August 2021. 2006 people aged 18 and over were questioned nationwide as part of a population-representative, multi-topic survey. This was the latest annual survey on the opinions of Germans on the subject of homeopathy that has been running since 2010.
That’s Farming, spoke to Pat Aherne, the homeopath farmer
Pat Aherne is located on “properly the last piece of farmland” between Cork Airport and Cork city.
He holds the title of being the last farmer in his parish of Ballyphene, a once-thriving farming community and home to the famous CMP Dairies.
He owns 90 cows under the AnnaMaria prefix, which he named after his two daughters. He is the third generation on the farm, which his grandmother bought in 1958. Pat’s father, Patrick, acquired it in 1970 before he took its reins in 2014.
By happy accident, he discovered homeopathy in 2010 – an event that would change his life.
Two years later, he was so impressed with the dramatic reduction in his use of antibiotics on the herd that he began to research more into homeopathy.
His herd’s health improved so much that it led to a string of co-op milk quality awards for supplying the best quality milk to Dairygold Co-op throughout 2016.
Pat describes himself as a “conventional farmer, with an unconventional outlook”.
He has transformed his herd health and fertility whilst reducing antibiotic use through a homeopath approach learned over the last ten years.
He is passionate about a naturopathic approach to his herd of 90 dairy cows and now leads the way in Ireland and the UK as a homeopath farmer.
However, he admits it has been a journey of ups and downs, though. Pat still has cases of mastitis, but he prevents most cases from worsening and improves recovery time just by using homeopathy and holistic approaches.