Scientific Research

Adding to Homeopathic Research –part 37

Homeopath Robert Medhurst presents part 37 in his continuing series on research in homeopathy.

The body of good quality research that validates the practice of homeopathy is constantly growing. As a means of keeping you informed of the latest developments in this area, following are summaries of homeopathic research from around the globe.

Human Research

  1. Mehra P. Usefulness of Homoeopathy in Essential Hypertension: An Exploratory Interventional Trial. Homeopathy, 2014, 103, 1, 88. This work from New Delhi, which was an observational study done as part of a post-graduate thesis, examined the usefulness of homoeopathic medicines in the management of essential hypertension (EH). The study was conducted at the Dharam Kiran Govt. Homoeopathic Hospital, Hyderabad from 2004-06. 30 people diagnosed EH were enrolled from the outpatients department of the hospital. Individualisd homeopathic medicines were prescribed and modifiable risk factors such as obesity excess salt intake, alcohol consumption etc. were recorded at baseline. The cases with Stage II hypertension as per Joint National Committee on prevention, detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood pressure VII report (JNC VII) were followed up every 15 days and cases with Stage I hypertension were followed every one month for one year. Status was assessed considering changes in staging according to the JNC VII and general health. The main outcome measure was the change in blood pressure in Stage I and II hypertension..Data was analysed by using statistical software SPSS version 16 and Wilcoxon’s signed rank test.16 (53.33%) cases showed marked improvement, 8 (26.67%) cases improved moderately, 3 (10%) showed no improvement and 3 (10%) cases dropped out. Arsenicum album, Natrum muraticum, Nux vomica, Causticum and Lycopodium were found useful in the management of essential hypertension. The difference in values for both systolic and diastolic blood pressures before and after treatment were found to be statistically significant (p<0.001).
  1. Van Wassenhoven M. Clinical Verification in Homeopathy and Allergic Conditions. Homeopathy, 2013, 102, 54-58. In this report, Michel Van Wassenhoven described the clinically verified prescribing symptoms of homeopathic medicines used in his clinic in the treatment of people presenting with atopic disorders. For preventive treatments in hay fever patients, Arsenicum album was the most effective homeopathic medicine followed by Nux vomica, Pulsatilla pratensis, Gelsemium, Sarsaparilla, Silicea and Natrum muriaticum. For asthma patients, Arsenicum iodatum appeared most effective, followed by Lachesis, Calcarea arsenicosa, Carbo vegetabilis and Silicea. For eczema and urticaria, Mezereum was most effective, followed by Lycopodium, Sepia, Arsenicum iodatum, Calcarea carbonica and Psorinum.
  1. Nayak C, et al. A Prospective Multi-centric Open Clinical Trial of Homeopathy in Diabetic Distal Symmetric Polyneuropathy. Homeopathy, 2013, 102, 130-138. A prospective multi-centric clinical observational study was carried out to evaluate homeopathic treatment in the management of diabetic distal symmetric polyneuropathy. It was conducted from October 2005 to September 2009 by the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) (India) at its five Institutes/Units. Patients suffering from diabetes mellitus (DM) and presenting with symptoms of diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) were screened, investigated and were enrolled in the study after fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Patients were evaluated using the Diabetic Distal Symmetric Polyneuropathy Symptom Score (DDSPSS) developed by the Council. A total of 15 homeopathic medicines were identified after repertorising the nosological symptoms and signs of the disease. The appropriate constitutional medicine was selected and prescribed in 30C, 200C and 1M potency on an individualised basis. Patients were followed up regularly for 12 months. Out of 336 patients (167 males and 169 females) enrolled in the study, 247 patients (123 males and 124 females) were assessed. All patients who attended at least three follow-up appointments and baseline curve conduction studies were included in the analysis.). A statistically significant improvement in DDSPSS total score (p = 0.0001) was found at 12 months from baseline. Most objective measures did not show significant improvement. Lycopodium clavatum (n = 132), Phosphorus (n = 27) and Sulphur (n = 26) were the medicines most frequently prescribed.
  1. Wadhwani GG. Homeopathic Drug Therapy Homeopathy in Chikungunya Fever and Post-Chikungunya Chronic Arthritis: An Observational Study. Homeopathy, 2013, 102, 193-198. The objective of this Indian study was to observe the effect of homeopathic therapy in Chikungunya Fever (CF) and in Post-Chikungunya Chronic Arthritis (PCCA) in a primary health care setting using a prospective observational study design. It was conducted at the Delhi Government Homeopathic Dispensary, Aali Village, New Delhi, India, from the 1st of October 2010 to the 31st of March 2011. 126 patients (75 CF and 51 PCCA) were enrolled based on predefined inclusion criteria. A single homeopathic medicine was prescribed for each patient after case taking with the help of a homeopathic materia medica and/or repertory. Results were evaluated on the basis of visual analogue scale and symptom scores. Complete recovery was seen in 84.5% CF cases in a mean time of 6.8 days. 90% cases of PCCA recovered completely in a mean time of 32.5 days.
  1. Mathie R, et al. Homeopathic Treatment of Patients with Influenza-like Illness during the 2009 A/H1N1 Influenza Pandemic in India. Homeopathy, 2013, 102, 187-192. . This prospective, multi-centre, data collection survey was carried out to examine the practice of homeopathic practitioners in India in the management of influenza-like illness in India during the 2009 pandemic of A/H1N1 influenza (‘swine flu’, SF) with respect to: (a) patients’ symptoms at presentation and at follow-up (FU) consultation; (b) homeopathic medicines prescribed. Data collection took place from October 2009 to February 2010, at the peak of the pandemic. All patients satisfying the minimum diagnostic symptoms of SF were eligible for inclusion. Data per appointment (in person or by telephone) were recorded by practitioners in spreadsheet format. All records were included: regardless of whether patient was immunised against A/H1N1; influenza symptoms at consultation; the homeopathic medicine/s prescribed; or whether antiviral medicine were prescribed. Twenty-three homeopathic physicians contributed to data collection. At the first appointment, 1126 patients had valid SF symptoms. A total of 89 different combinations of SF symptoms was observed, the most common being temperature >38_C + cough + runny nose (n = 170; 15.1%). A total of 44 different homeopathic medicines (or combinations of medicines) were used at these first appointments, the most frequently prescribed being Arsenicum album (n = 265; 23.5%). For a total of 99 FU appointments with valid SF symptoms, Arsenicum album was prescribed most frequently overall (n = 28; 28.0%).
  1. Nimgulkar CC, Patil SD, Kumar BD. Anti-asthmatic And Anti-anaphylactic Activities of Blatta Orientalis Mother Tincture. Homeopathy, 2011, 100, 138-143. This Indian work was designed to assess the effects of the homeopathic mother tincture of Blatta against the bronchospasm and atopic response in rats and guinea pigs to acetylcholine and histamine, and thereby demonstrating its effect in asthma and anaphylaxis. Mast cell degranulation, serum IgE, eosinophil count and observation were used to measure the response and it was shown from the results that the use of Blatta was associated with significant reductions in both bronchospasm and anaphylaxis when compared to controls.

Animal Research

  1. Patil CR, et al. Modulation Of Arthritis In Rats By Toxicodendron Pubescens And Its Homeopathic Dilutions. Homeopathy, 2011, 100, 131-137. Rhus tox (Toxicodendron Pubescens) is commonly prescribed in homeopathy for inflammatory joint disorders. This study was designed to confirm these effects experimentally and determine if the homeopathic potency of the medicine influenced these effects. Rats that were destined to develop arthritis were pretreated with one of 5 forms of Rhus tox- the crude substance, 3C, 6C, 30C and 200C. Asessment was made using clinical symptoms, haematology, C-reactive protein assay and blinded radiology. All of the homeopathic potencies and the crude preparation were shown to be effective, with the highest level of activity being seen in the crude form of Rhus tox at a dose of 10mg/kg per day.
  1. Lakshmipathy PR, et al. Anxiolytic Effect of Homeopathic Preparation of Pulsatilla nigricans in Swiss Albino Mice. Homeopathy, 2012, 101, 171-174. An Indian team from the Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute in Tamilnadu conducted a study on mice to evaluate the anxiolytic activity of

Pulsatilla and compare its activity with the standard anxiolytic drug, Diazepam. Twenty four mice were divided into 4 groups of 6 animals each- control, standard, and two test groups. The control group was treated with diluent at a dose of 10 ml/kg. The standard group received Diazepam, 1 mg/kg. Pulsatilla 3X and 6X solutions were given at the dose of 10 ml/kg to the test groups. All animals were given the test and control treatments orally for 15 days. The anxiolytic effect was tested on days 1, 8 and 15 using the Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) and Open Field Test (OFT). Both Diazepam and Pulsatilla showed significant anxiolytic activity in EPM and OFT test compared to the control. The total number of entries and time spent in open arm in EPM was increased by both Diazepam and Pulsatilla, and the effect of 3X homeopathic potency of Pulsatilla was greater than diazepam. In the OFT the number of squares crossed, rearing and assisted rearings decreased with both Diazepam and Pulsatilla, compared to the control and the anxiolytic effect of Diazepam was greater than that of Pulsatilla. The anxiolytic effect was greater for the 3X Pulsatilla than the 6X potency and overall, the study showed that the anxiolytic effect of homeopathically prepared Pulsatilla was comparable to that found with Diazepam.

  1. Junior RP, et al. Morphometry of White Muscle Fibers and Performance of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Fingerlings treated with Methyltestosterone or a Homeopathic Complex. Homeopathy, 2012, 101, 154-158. The Nile tilapia is a popular farmed table fish and scientists from various universities in Brazil tested a homeopathic combination product against methyltestosterone or a negative control to determine whether or not the homeopathic combination had an anabolic effect and affected survival rates. A total of 4800 post-larval fish were randomly assigned by tank to receive one of three treatments: negative control, homeopathic combination, or 17-alpha-methyltestosterone, supplemented in the feed for 28 days. At the end of the study it was found that fish treated with the homeopathic combination had improved survival and muscle fibre hypertrophy, but were smaller (probably related to increased survival and overcrowding) compared to fingerlings treated with synthetic hormone or control.

Plant Research

  1. Jager T, et al. Comparative Study of Two Bioassays with Weakened Duckweed and Yeast Treated with Homeopathic Preparations. Homeopathy, 2014, 103, 1, 71. Swiss and German researchers in this study examined the hypothesis that more complex organisms show stronger reactions to homeopathic medicines than less complex ones by comparing the response to two homeopathic preparations of Arsenic (As5+) stressed bioassays with duckweed (Lemna gibba, a multi-cellular autotrophic organism) and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a singlecellular heterotrophic organism). For duckweed, growth rates of leaf area and leaf number were evaluated. For yeast, growth kinetics were determined by measuring slope, yield and Et50 (point in time when yield was half maximum) of the sigmoid growth curve. The experiments with duckweed and yeast were performed in parallel (same day, same location and identical homeopathic preparations). After screening 17 substances, three homeopathic preparations (Arsenicum album, nosode, and Gibberellic acid) were chosen for a repeated experimental series. Five independent experiments were conducted for each medicine with both organisms in parallel. Potency levels used were in the range of 17X to 33X for duckweed and 17X to 30X for yeast. To control for test system stability, systematic negative control experiments were conducted over the complete experimentation period. All experiments were blinded and randomised. The systematic negative control experiments did not yield any significant effects. The application of potentised Arsenicum album in the duckweed bioassay yielded the largest effects compared to water controls without medicines for the parameters, leaf area and leaf number (p<0.001). Potentised nosode preparations also had significant effects on duckweed’s leaf area and leaf number (p<0.01). Growth was enhanced across all potency levels. In the yeast system the three homeopathic medicines did not show any significant effects on any growth curve parameter. The results obtained are in line with the hypothesis, that more complex organisms show stronger reactions to homeopathic remedies than less complex organisms..

About the author

Robert Medhurst

Robert Medhurst

Robert Medhurst BNat DHom DBM DRM DNutr is a qualified Naturopath & Homoeopath with 28 years of clinical experience and currently practices in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. He has written many articles and lectured on homeopathy throughout Australia and the U.S. Robert previously operated several natural therapies practices in Sydney and was involved in teaching and research. He was formerly the Expert Advisor on Homeopathy to the Federal Government of Australia, Dept. of Health & Ageing. He specialises in homeopathy and is the author of The Business of Healing, the definitive guide for clinical practice establishment and management. For more information see Robert Medhurst is author of the recently released : The Concordant Clinical Homeopathic Repertory

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