Studies on the effectiveness of homeopathy and Anthroposophic Medicine

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Published: 25.04.2024

Anthroposophic Medicine and its remedies have been an integral part of the German healthcare system for many years and enjoy broad acceptance among the population. Anthroposophic clinics receive top marks in patient surveys conducted by health insurance companies. Nevertheless, anthroposophic and homeopathic medicines are criticised for not being scientifically proven to be effective, which is demonstrably false. The following is a list of relevant research articles that demonstrate the scientific quality of anthroposophic and homeopathic medicines in terms of their clinical efficacy, benefits and safety.

Selected studies

  • Baars EW, Kienle GS, Heusser P, Pedersen PA, van Wietmarschen HA, Kiene H, von Schoen-Angerer T, Hamre HJ. Anthroposophic Medicinal Products: A Literature Review of Features, Similarities and Differences to Conventional Medicinal Products, Scientific and Regulatory Assessment. Global Advances in Health and Medicine 2022 Mar 8;11:21649561211073079. DOI: Anthroposophic medicinal products (AMPs) are produced in accordance with good manufacturing practice and national drug regulations and have an excellent safety record; the available evidence points to clinical benefit.
  • Baumgartner S, Flückiger H, Kunz M, Scherr C, Urech K. Evaluation of Preclinical Assays to Investigate an Anthroposophic Pharmaceutical Process Applied to Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) Extracts. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014:2014:620974. DOI: The investigated high-speed mistletoe extract mixing process did not affect toxicity towards cancer cells, but appeared to maintain morphostasis and increase resistance to external deleterious influences leading to phenomenological malformations.
  • Bornhöft G, Wolf U, von Ammon K, Righetti M, Maxion-Bergemann S, Baumgartner S, Thurneysen AE. Effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of homeopathy in general practice - summarized health technology assessment. Forschende Komplementmedizin 2006:13 Suppl 2:19-29. DOI: Taking into account internal and external validity criteria, the effectiveness of homeopathy can be supported by clinical evidence and its professional and appropriate use can be considered safe.
  • European Coalition on Homeopathic and Anthroposophic Medicinal Products. European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) Statement on Homeopathic Products and Practices. Available at (25.04.2024).
  • Gaertner K, Loef M, Frass M, Mittal R, Khurana A, Manchanda R, von Ammon K, Frei-Erb M, Walach H, Baumgartner S. Bibliography of Homeopathic Intervention Studies (HOMIS) in Human Diseases. Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine 2023 Jan;29(1):14-21. DOI: This bibliography provides an excellent overview of the state of clinical research in homeopathy.
  • Hamre HJ, Glockmann A, Heckenbach K, Matthes H. Use and Safety of Anthroposophic Medicinal Products: An Analysis of 44,662 Patients from the EvaMed Pharmacovigilance Network. Drugs Real World Outcomes 2017;4(4):199-213. DOI: In this analysis of a large sample, adverse effects of therapy with anthroposophic medicines in outpatient care were rare; adverse effects of high intensity and severe adverse effects were very rare.
  • Hamre HJ, Glockmann A, Marti J, Soldner G. Systematik ärztlicher Anwendungserfahrungen mit Arzneimitteln aus ganzheitlichen Therapiesystemen: Eine deskriptive Analyse des Vademecum Anthroposophische Arzneimittel. Der Merkurstab 2021;74(3):261-272. The Vademecum contains structured information on anthroposophic medicinal products (AMPs), including therapeutic ratio, indications and recommendations for use. The information is based on the documentation of physicians' experience of use, which is subsequently reviewed by an interdisciplinary editorial group. The Vademecum comprises 799 different AMPs recommended for 1,773 indications, which accounted for 52.6% of all AM medicinal products that were on the market in Germany in 2015–2016.
  • Hamre HJ, Glockmann A, von Ammon K, Riley DS, Kiene H. Efficacy of homoeopathic treatment: Systematic review of meta-analyses of randomised placebo-controlled homoeopathy trials for any indication. Systematic Reviews 2023;12:191. DOI: Only studies with the highest level of scientific evidence – randomised and placebo-controlled (RCT) – and for each indication were included in the analysis. The meta-analyses (MAs) examined comprised between 16 and 110 studies published between 1943 and 2014. The risk of bias (low/unclear/high) was categorised as low for three MAs and high for three MAs. The results of this systematic analysis clearly indicate that homeopathy has beneficial effects on human disease beyond placebo.
  • Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (IKIM): State of clinical research in homeopathy:
  • Jong MC, van Wietmarschen H, Glockmann A, Baars EW, Hamre HJ. Safety of Anthroposophic Medicinal Products: An Analysis of Adverse Drug Reactions from German Pharmacovigilance Databases. Drugs Real World Outcomes 2021;8(4):589-601. DOI: In this retrolective safety analysis of pharmacovigilance data, the frequency of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) with anthroposophic medicinal products was 1.50 per million maximum daily doses. The frequency of ADRs in this study, which is based on spontaneous reports, is not directly comparable with the frequency in prospective clinical trials.
  • Kienle GS, Glockmann A, Grugel R, et al. Klinische Forschung zur Anthroposophischen Medizin – Update eines «Health Technology Assessment»-Berichts und Status Quo. Forschende Komplementmedizin 2011;18(5):269-82. DOI: Studies of varying design and quality describe a medically favourable, safe and presumably also cost-effective treatment outcome for Anthroposophic Medicine in a variety of diseases. Further high-quality evaluations are necessary.
  • Süsskind M, Thürmann P A, Lüke C, Jeschke E, Tabali M, Matthes H, Ostermann T. Adverse drug reactions in a complementary medicine hospital: a prospective, intensified surveillance study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012:320760. DOI: The data show that adverse effects caused by anthroposophic medicinal products are rare and limited to mild symptoms.

Research news

Mistletoe therapy in addition to standard immunotherapy in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer indicates improved survival rates 
Immunotherapy with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors has significantly improved the survival rates of patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Results of a real-world data study (RWD) investigating the addition of Viscum album L. (VA) to chemotherapy have shown an association with improved survival in patients with NSCLC - regardless of age, degree of metastasis, performance status, lifestyle or oncological treatment. The mechanisms may include synergistic modulations of the immune response by PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors and VA. However, the results should be taken with caution due to the observational and non-randomised study design. The study has been published open access in Cancers

Further information on Anthroposophic Medicine