In previous issues of this journal I’ve presented two articles on research related to Homoeopathy 1, 2. Since that time there have been more developments in this area, and some which I’d not unearthed until recently.
Why is this issue important? It’s critical to have a solid research database in Homoeopathy because of the radical departure it makes from known scientific principles. Given the fact that other medicines used by natural therapists such as herbs and nutrients are essentially working at a pharmacological level, we don’t have to stretch our imaginations too far to accept the clinical evidence for them. However, unless one has had direct clinical experience of the benefits of Homoeopathy, it can take a much larger leap of faith to accept that a potentised substance diluted out often past the point where there’s any physically active material present, will produce any effect at all, let alone a therapeutic one.
So for many, particularly those with an orthodox science background, the brave new world of homoeopathy is unlikely to be explored unless something solid can be felt under the explorer’s boot. With this in mind, following are some more abridged highlights from the annals of homoeopathic research.
1. Fisher P., Greenwood A, Huskisson EC, Turner P and Belon P. Effect of Homoeopathic Treatment on Fibrositis, British Medical Journal, 5 August, 1989, 299, 365-366. Patients using Rhus tox 6C three times daily in a double blind placebo controlled crossover trial found significant relief with the medicine over the placebo.
2. Bignamini M, Saruggia M, Sansonetti G. Homeopathic Treatment of Anal Fissures using Nitricum acidum Berlin J on Res in Hom, 1, 4/5, 286-287, December 1991. Patients using Nitricum acidum 9C once daily in a double blind placebo controlled trial found subjective relief with the medicine over the placebo.
3. Alibeu JP, Jobert J. Aconite in Post-Operative Pain and Agitation in Children, Pediatrie, 1990, 45, 7-8, 465-6. Children given homoeopathic Aconite in a double blind placebo controlled trial found significant relief (95%) with the medicine over the placebo.
4. Gibson R.G, & Gibson S.L.Homoeopathic Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Evaluation by Double Blind Clinical Therapeutic Trial, Br J. Clin. Pharmac., 9, 1980, 453-459. Patients using a number of different homoeopathic medicines, prescribing according to homoeopathic principles, were given this medicine or a placebo with their normal anti-arthritic drug. The trial was carried out blind and significant results were achieved with the medicine over the placebo in all areas measured.
5. Gasssinger CA, Wunstel G, Netter P. A Controlled Clinical Trial for Testing the Efficacy of the Homoeopathic Drug, Eupatorium perfoliatum, D2 in the Treatment of Common Cold Arznei Forsch, 1981, 31, 4, 732-736. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either Aspirin or Eupatorium perfoliatum 2X. The latter was found to be as effective as Aspirin in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms.
6. Ferley JP, Zmirou D, D’Adhemar D, Balducci F. A Controlled Evaluation of a Homoeopathic Preparation in the Treatment of Influenza-like Syndrome. Br J Clin Pharmacol, 1989, Mar, 27, 3, 329-335. 487 people suffering from influenza were assigned to either Oscillococcinum (Anas barb.) 200CK or placebo, twice daily for 5 days. Significant results were achieved with the medicine over the placebo in all areas measured. This trial was repeated in 1998 (Papp R, Schuback G, Beck E, Burkard G, Bengel J, Lehrl S, Belon P. Oscillococcinum in Patients with Influenza-like Syndromes. British Homeopathic Journal, April 1998, 87, pp69-76) with 372 people with the same results.
7. Barnes J, Resch KL, Ernst E. Homoeopathy for Post-Operative Ileus? J. Clin Gastroent, 1997, December, 25, 4, 628-633. A number of controlled studies comparing the activity of various homoeopathic medicines with placebo were analysed. Patients using low potency homoeopathics were found to have a significantly better response to the homoeopathic medicines over the placebo.
8. Moroweiec-Bajda A, Lukomski M, Latkowski B. The Clinical Efficacy of Vertigoheel in the Treatment of Vertigo of Various Pathology. Panminerva Medica, 1993, June, 35, 2, 101-104,
Weisser M, Strosser W, Klein P. Homeopathic vs Conventional Treatment of Vertigo. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 1998, Aug, 124, 8, 879-885. In this study, 31 patients with vertigo from various aetiologies were treated with a homoeopathic complex- regression of symptoms was seen in the majority of cases. This trial was repeated in1998 under double blind conditions and compared with an orthodox medicine routinely used for this condition in 118 people. The homoeopathic provided similar results to the orthodox medicine. (Homeopathic vs Conventional Treatment of Vertigo Weiser M, Strosser W, Klein P Arch of Otoloaryng- Head and Neck Surg, august, 1998, 124, 879-885)
9. Erythema Hill N, Stamm C, Tuinder S, Van haselen RA. Homoeopathic After-Bite Gel for Reducing Mosquito bite-induced Erythema. Eur J. Pharmacol, 1995, 49, 03-108. Under double blind placebo controlled trial conditions, patients using an after bite gel containing homoeopathic ingredients for insect bites found significant relief with the medicine over the placebo.
10. Zell J, Connert WG, Mau J, Feuerstake G. Treatment of Acute Sprains of the Ankle. Biol Ther, 7, 1, 1989, 106. Under double blind placebo controlled trial conditions, patients using an ointment containing homoeopathic ingredients for soft tissue injury found significant relief with the medicine over the placebo.
11. Tveiten D, Bruset S, Borchgrevink CFS, Norsch J. Arnica and Muscle Soreness Focus on Alternative and Complementary Medicine (FACT), 1998, 3 (4), 155-156. 46 competitors in the 3 day 1995 Oslo marathon were randomly assigned either Arnica or placebo twice daily and assessed for muscle soreness after the event. Those using Arnica found significant relief with the medicine over the placebo.
12. Taylor MA, Reilly D, Llewellan-Jones RH, McSharry C, Aitchison TC. Randomised Controlled Trial of Homoeopathy versus Placebo in Perennial Allergic Rhinitis with Overview of Four Trial Series. British Medical Journal, 2000, 321, 471-476, 19 August. 51 people suffering from allergic rhinitis were randomly assigned either potentised allergens or placebo. Those given the medicine experienced significant relief over those assigned the placebo.
1. Ruiz- Vega G, Perez- Ordaz L, Proa- Flores P, Aguilar- Diaz Y. An Evaluation of Coffea cruda effect on Rats. British Homeopathic Journal , 2000, 89, 122-126. This study tested the effects of Coffea 30C on the sleep patterns of rats assessed using EEG readings. The results showed a definite effect consistent with increased sleeping activity.
2. Spranger J. Testing the Effectiveness of Antibiotic and Homeopathic Medication in the Frame of Herd Reorganisation of Subclinical Mastitis in Milk Cows. British Homeopathic Journal, 2000, 89, Supplement 1, S62 The preliminary report on this study indicates that antibiotics and homoeopathic medicines provide similar levels of protection against mastitis.
3. Day C. Stillbirth in Pigs. Veterinary Recorder, 1984, 9114, 216. Caullophyllum 30C given to pigs greatly reduced the number of stillbirths.
4. Guajardo-Bernal G, Searcy-Bernal R, Soto-Avila J. Growth Promoting Effect of Sulphur 201C in Pigs. British Homeopathic Journal , 85, January, 1996, 15-16. In a blind placebo-controlled trial Sulphur 201C was given to pregnant sows every 10 days. By day 30, significant increases were seen in weight and weight gain in the medicine group versus the placebo.
5. Williamson AV, Mackie WL, Crawford WJ, Rennie B. A Trial of Sepia 200. British Homeopathic Journal, 84, 1, January 1995, 14-20. Using a randomised placebo control method, Sepia 200C was assessed for its ability to increase reproductive performance in a herd of Fresian cross diary cows. Sepia increased all parameters measured.
1. Endler PC, Pongratz W. Homoeopathic Effect of a Plant Hormone? Berlin J on Res in Hom, 1, 3, June, 1991, 148-150. This study showed that Indole Butyric Acid, known at material levels to enhance the growth of new roots and leaves from plant slips, at a 33X potency, continued to provide enhancement of growth
2. Bornoroni C. Synergism of Action between Indolacetic Acid and Highly Diluted Solutions of Calc carb on the Growth of Oat Celeoptiles. Berlin J on Res in Hom, 1, 4/5, December 1991, 275-278. This study demonstrated that Calc carb 5X significantly increased the growth stimulating effects of the plant growth stimulant, indole acetic acid.
3. Jones RL, Jenkins MD. Plant Responses to Homoeopathic Medicines. British Homeopathic Journal, 70, 3, July 1981, 120-146. The authors show the effects of various potencies of Silver nitrate, on the growth characteristics of the leaf sheaths of wheat. Potencies of silver nitrate were shown to either inhibit or stimulate growth, depending upon the potency.
1. Fougeray S, Moubry K, Vallot N, Bastide M. Effect of High Dilutions of Epidermal Growth Factor on in vitro Proliferation of Keratinocyte and Fibroblast Cell Lines. 6th Giri Symposium, Munich, Oct 1992, reported in British Homeopathic Journal, 93, 82. In this experiment, it was shown that 19X and 45X potencies of Epidermal Growth Factor inhibited the proliferation of Keratinocyte and Fibroblast Cell Lines.
2. Fleisbach A, Fejfar V, Spranger J. Effects of Homoeopathic Potencies: Growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in Potentised Copper Sulphate Dilutions. British Homeopathic Journal, 2000, 89, Supplement 1, S65. Material concentrations of copper sulphate inhibit the growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Potentised dilutions of copper sulphate above that which would be expected to contain any physical amounts of copper sulphate, exhibited a potency dependant inhibition or enhancement of growth.