Scientific Research

Homeopathic Research Update

Part 36 in Robert Medhurst’s important series on research in homeopathy.

Regardless of the belief that some people have that there’s no evidence for homeopathy, that evidence continues to appear. Following are some recent examples of this from the scientific journals.

 

Human Research

  1. Suppurative TonsillitisMalapane E, Solomon EM, Pellow J. Efficacy Of A Homeopathic Complex On Acute Viral Tonsillitis. J Altern Complement Med, 2014, 20, 11, 868-873. This study aimed to determine the efficacy of a homeopathic complex on the symptoms of acute viral tonsillitis in children in South Africa using a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled design. Thirty children aged 6 to 12 years and diagnosed with acute viral tonsillitis were recruited from a primary school in Gauteng, South Africa. Participants took two tablets containing a homeopathic combination four times daily for 6 days. The treatment group received lactose tablets medicated with the homeopathic combination (Atropa belladonna 4X, Calcarea phosphoricum 4X, Hepar sulphuris 4X, Kalium bichromat 4X, Kalium muriaticum 4X, Mercurius protoiodid 10X, and Mercurius biniodid 10X). The placebo consisted of unmedicated lactose tablets. Symptoms were assessed using the Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale measured pain intensity, and a Symptom Grading Scale. The results showed that the treatment group had a statistically significant improvement in the following symptoms compared with the placebo group: pain associated with tonsillitis, pain on swallowing, erythema and inflammation of the pharynx, and tonsil size.

 

  1. Mourao LC, et al. Additional Effects Of Homeopathy On Chronic Periodontitis: A 1-year Follow-Up Randomized Clinical Trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract, 2014, 20, 3, 141-146. Periodontology experts from Brazil tested the hypothesis that homeopathy (H) enhances the effects of scaling and root planing (SRP) in patients with chronic periodontitis (CP). To do this, 50 patients with CP were randomly allocated to one of two treatment groups: SRP (C-G) or SRP + H (H-G). Assessments were made at baseline and after 3 and 12 months of treatments. The local and systemic responses to the treatments were evaluated by clinical and serologic parameters, respectively. After analysing the results it was found that both groups displayed significant improvements, however, using clinical attachment gain and reductions in HDL, LDL and total cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and uric acid, from baseline to 1 year, as criteria for treatment success, H-G performed significantly better than C-G.

 

  1. Naidoo P, Pellow J. A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study of Cat Saliva 9cH and Histaminum 9cH in Cat Allergic Adults. Homeopathy, 2013, 102, 123-129. A team from the University of Johannesburg conducted a study designed to determine the effect of Cat saliva 9C and Histaminum 9C (combined) on cat allergic adults. 30 participants with a positive test result for a cat allergy skin prick test (SPT) were recruited to a double-blind, randomised, placebo controlled clinical trial. Participants took two tablets twice daily for 4 weeks of either a placebo, or a combination of the Cat saliva and Histaminum, and attended a follow-up consultation at the end of weeks 2 and 4. The measurement tool used was the SPT, conducted at the beginning and at the end of the study. The active medicine produced a statistically significant reduction in the wheal diameter of the cat allergen SPT at the end of week 4. The placebo group showed no statistically significant change.

 

  1. Rossi E, et al. Long-Term Results in Children with Atopic Dermatitis. Homeopathy, 2012, 101,13-20. Researchers from Tuscany in Italy studied the socio-demographic features and the results of homeopathic treatment for atopic diseases in children. This was an observational longitudinal study carried out on 213 children with atopic diseases out of 551 children consecutively examined from September 1998 to December 2008. The team used the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital Outcome Score to evaluate the results that were classified on the basis of a Likert scale. Eighty-three (39%) children were affected by asthma, 51 (24%) by allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, 76 (36%) by atopic dermatitis (AD) and 3 (1%) by food intolerance. 104 children were available for follow-up and 65 (62.5%) of them reported a major improvement or resolution. The parents of paediatric patients suffering from AD, who had started homeopathic treatment at <4.9 years of age were invited to follow-up assessment 8 years later and 40 children (mean age 12.9) were examined; 28/40 (70%) had a complete disappearance of AD, 12/40 children (30.0%) were still affected by AD; 8/40 (20%) had asthma and 8/40 patients had, or developed, allergic rhinitis.

 

  1. Bell IR, et al, Nonlinear Dynamical Systems Effects of Homeopathic Remedies on Multiscale Entropy and Correlation Dimension of Slow Wave Sleep EEG in Young Adults with Histories of Coffee-induced Insomnia. Homeopathy, 2012, 101, 182-192. Iris Bell and a team of researchers from the University of Arizona investigated homeopathic medicine related sleep stage alterations in human subjects by testing the feasibility of using two different nonlinear dynamical systems (NDS) analytic approaches to assess remedy effects on human slow wave sleep EEG. To do this, 54 young adult male and female college students with a history of coffee-related insomnia participated in a 4-week study of the polysomnographic effects of homeopathic medicines on home-based all-night sleep recordings. Subjects took one bedtime dose of a homeopathic remedy (Coffea cruda 30C or Nux vomica 30C). The team computed multiscale entropy (MSE) and the correlation dimension (Mekler-D2) for stages 3 and 4 slow wave sleep EEG sampled in artefact-free 2-min segments during the first two rapid-eye-movement (REM) cycles for remedy and post-remedy nights, controlling for placebo and post-placebo night effects. MSE results indicated significant, remedy-specific directional effects, especially later in the night (REM cycle 2) Overall, the results showed that the homeopathic medicines Coffea cruda and Nux vomica in 30c potencies altered short-term nonlinear dynamic parameters of slow wave sleep EEG in healthy young adults.

 

  1. Shafei HF, Abdel Dayem SM, Mohamed NH. Individualised Homeopathy in a Group of Egyptian Asthmatic Children. Homeopathy, 2012, 101, 224-230. Using a prospective observational longitudinal study design, workers from the, National Research Center in Cairo evaluated individualised homeopathy as an adjunctive treatment for bronchial asthma in children. The effects of homeopathic medicines were assessed in 30 children with asthma as an adjunct to conventional treatment. The main outcome measures were frequency of attacks, use of medication, night awakening and spirometry at baseline and at follow-up till 6 months. An analysis of the results showed clinically relevant and statistically significant changes in asthma severity, indicating relative improvements after 3 months and absolute improvements after 6 months of treatment by homeopathic medicines, providing evidence that homeopathic medicines, as prescribed by experienced homeopathic practitioners, improve severity of asthma in children. The most frequently indicated medicines were Hepare sulph, Ant tart, Calc carb and Natrum muriaticum

 

  1. Hati AK, et al. Constitutional, Organopathic and Combined Homeopathic Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy: a Clinical Trial. Homeopathy, 2012, 101, 217-223. A team of Indian scientists compared homeopathic treatment strategies using constitutional medicines (CM) or organopathic medicines (OM) alone or in combination (BCOM) in patients suffering from benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). 220 men aged 30-90 years were recruited in Odisha, India. Patients presenting with symptoms of prostatism, with or without evidence of bladder outflow obstruction, were included in the study. Patients with serum prostate specific antigen (PSA)> 4 nmol/mL, malignancy, complete urine retention, stone formation and gross bilateral hydronephrosis were excluded. Patients were sequentially allocated to OM, CM or BCOM. The main outcome measure was the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS). 73, 70 and 77 patients respectively were sequentially allocated to OM, CM or BCOM. 180 patients (60 per group) completed treatment and were included in the final analysis. Overall 85% of patients showed improvement of subjective symptoms such as frequency, urgency, hesitancy, intermittent flow, unsatisfactory urination, feeble stream, diminution of residual urine volume but there was no reduction in prostate size. Treatment response was highest with BCOM (38.24%) compared to OM (31.62%) and CM (30.15%). Effect sizes were highest for the decrease in IPSS, residual urine volume and urinary flow rate.

 

Animal Research

  1. Sato C, Listar GH, Bonamin LV. Development Of Broiler Chickens After Treatment With Thymulin 5cH: A Zoo Technical Approach. Homeopathy, 2012, 101, 68-73. Brazilian scientists from the Universidade Paulista added to previous research on the immune-modulating effects of Thymulin 5C by looking at its effects on the growth of immune tissue in chickens. 72 young chickens were divided in two groups: (a) test: birds with free access to thymulin 5C diluted into their drinking water and (b) control: birds with free access to water only, for 42 days. All experimental procedures were done in blind. The results show that thymulin 5C treated group had increased growth index compared to controls (391.45 versus 261.93) associated with higher viability in the 7th week (p = 0.013), and a possible shunt to B lymphocyte activity. The data suggest that thymulin 5C could be a viable means of improving productivity in poultry production due to its immune modulation properties.

 

  1. Patel DR, et al. Toxicodendron Pubescens Retains Its Anti-arthritic Efficacy At 1M, 10M and CM Homeopathic Dilutions. Homeopathy, 2012, 101, 165-170. This Indian study aimed to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of Rhus tox in homeopathic potencies of 1M, 10M and CM in rats. The animals with this disease had the severity of inflammatory lesions measured plethysmometrically and the intensity of pain was measured using a digital Von Frey apparatus. Other estimations included serum C-reactive protein (CRP), haematological parameters, body weight changes, arthritic pain score and radiological analysis of the arthritic paws. The 1M, 10M and CM homeopathic dilutions of Rhus tox reduced primary and secondary arthritic lesions, improved body weight gain and protected rats against any further arthritis. A significant reduction in the serum levels of CRP and an improvement in pain threshold of arthritic paws was observed, confirming that the anti-arthritic potential of Rhus tox is retained at 1M, 10M and CM potencies.

 

  1. Lotfollahzadeh S, et al, The Therapeutic Effect Of Tarentula Cubensis Extract (Theranekron) In Foot-And-Mouth Disease In Cattle: A Randomised Trial In An Endemic Setting. Homeopathy, 2012, 101, 159-164. Iranian workers from the University of Tehran conducted a randomised controlled clinical trial of a homeopathic preparation of Tarentula cubensis (Theranekron) during an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in cattle in Iran. A single subcutaneous injection of Theranekron was used as sole treatment in 50 infected animals (treatment group). The control group comprised 15 infected animals treated with standard medication including: daily injection of flunixin meglumine and oxytetracycline and daily dressing of lesions with 4% sodium carbonate. Systemic and local signs were recorded over 14 days. Rectal temperature in the treatment group subsided to normal range within 1 day of homeopathic treatment, and was significantly lower in the test group than in the control group on several successive days (P < 0.05). Healing of inflamed mucosal areas and appetite score of the treatment was significantly better than the control during the first 3 days of treatment (P < 0.05) showing that Theranekron is effective for the treatment of systemic and local signs of FMD-infected cattle.

 

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 adelaidehillsnaturopath.com.au. Robert Medhurst is author of the recently released : The Concordant Clinical Homeopathic Repertory

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