In teaching terms, classical homeopathy as a field of study at the Institute of Complementary and Integrative Medicine familiarizes students with the fundamental principles of homeopathy so they will be able to answer patients' questions and requests about this method once they have qualified as physicians. In terms of research, the usual scientific research methods are used to assess (from a health care perspective) the question of how/when to use complementary medicine and alternative medicine and the issues associated with its use within various groups of patients and professionals. In terms of clinical research, the focus is on assessing the homeopathic treatment of children and adolescents with attention deficit disorder either with or without hyperactivity. Services for the wider population include an outpatient surgery and a consultation service for inpatients at Bern University Hospital and the children's clinic.
A homeopathic treatment is an individual therapy that is usually carried out in accordance with the precepts of classical homeopathy as per Hahnemann  and may be defined as follows:
Classical homeopathy is a form of medical treatment that has been used for 200 years. Patients are administered potentized individual substances – selected in accordance with the totality of characteristic symptoms – with a view to stimulating and supporting the organism's natural capacity to heal itself. The choice of individual homeopathic medication is informed by the law of similars.
Once any remediable cause has been dealt with, the residual symptoms – i.e. any deviations from the healthy state as perceived by the actual patient or as perceived and observed by those around them and their doctor – are the expression of a disruption and weakening of the so-called life force. These symptoms are referred to as the totality of characteristic symptoms for a patient. Not only do these symptoms encompass the disease/diagnosis as per the criteria used in conventional medicine, they also encompass the various changes occurring at a physical, psychological and emotional level.
According to the law of similars, the patient should be given the homeopathic medication that best reflects their state at the time.
Classical homeopathy predominantly uses individual substances. Mixed preparations consisting of various individual substances (complex substances) are not really used.
1 Hahnemann S.: Organon 6 der Heilkunst [Organon 6 of the Art of Healing]. Verlag Peter Irl, Buchendorf 2007
Clinical studies and reviews
- Hahn RG. Homeopathy: meta-analyses of pooled clinical data. Forsch Komplementmed. 2013;20(5):376–81. doi:10.1159/000355916.
- Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, Melchart D, Eitel F. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. Lancet, The. 1997;350(1):834–43.
- Shang A, Huwiler-Müntener K, Nartey L, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy. Lancet. 2005;366(9487):726–32.
- Lüdtke R, Rutten ALB. The conclusions on the effectiveness of homeopathy highly depend on the set of analyzed trials. J Clin Epidemiol. 2008;61(12):1197–204. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2008.06.015.
- Rutten AL, Stolper CF. The 2005 meta-analysis of homeopathy: the importance of post-publication data. Homeopathy. 2008;97(4):169–77. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2008.09.008.
- Frei H, Everts R, von Ammon K, et al. Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial. Eur J Pediatr. 2005;164(12):758–67. doi:10.1007/s00431-005-1735-7.
- Frass M, Linkesch M, Banyai S, et al. Adjunctive homeopathic treatment in patients with severe sepsis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in an intensive care unit. Homeopathy. 2005;94:75–80. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2005.01.002.
- Frass M, Dielacher C, Linkesch M, et al. Influence of potassium dichromate on tracheal secretions in critically ill patients. Chest. 2005;127(3):936–41. doi:10.1378/chest.127.3.936.
- Jäger T, Scherr C, Shah D, et al. Use of homeopathic preparations in experimental studies with abiotically stressed plants. Homeopathy. 2011;100(4):275–287. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2011.05.008.