Scientific Research

Research in Homeopathy Part 4

Part 4 of Robert Medhurst’s latest list of research studies in homeopathy.

Past issues of this journalhave examined aspects of research on homeopathy. This builds upon that work with further examination of trials in homeopathy.

Human studies

  1. Manchanda R.K., Mehan N., Bahl R., Atey R., Double Blind Placebo Controlled Clinical Trials of Homeopathic Medicines in Warts and Molluscum contagiosum, CCRH Quarterly Bulletin, 1997, 19, 25-29. This trial was reported in two parts, one to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathy for warts (remedies included Ruta graveolens, Nitricum acidum, Dulcamara, Causticum and Thuja) the other to evaluate the homeopathic remedy, Calcarea carbonica, for Molluscum contagiosum. Placebo controlled studies involving a total of 147 subjects using single remedies in 30C potencies three times daily, 200C twice daily and 1M daily, for 15 days, showed that homeopathy was superior to placebo. Thuja was the most successful of the remedies used for warts.
  2. Shealy C.N., Thomlinson P.R., Cox R.H., and Bormeyer V. Osteoarthritis Pain: A Comparison of Homeopathy and Acetaminophen. American Journal of Pain Management, 8, 3, July 1998, 89-91. In this trial, 65 sufferers of Osteoarthritis (OA) were split into 2 groups, and through a double blinding process were given either a homeopathic medicine or Acetaminophen, a commonly prescribed drug for pain relief in OA. Researchers found that homeopathy provided a level of pain relief that was superior to Acetaminophen, and produced no adverse reactions.
  3. Chapman E.H., Weintraub R.J., Milburn M.A., Pirozzo T.O., Woo E., Homeopathic Treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.Journal of Head Trauma and Rehabilitation, 14, 6, December 1999, 521-42. In a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial involving 60 subjects and a 4 month follow-up period, homeopathy provided significant improvement in parameters using measures such as “Difficulty with Situations”, “Symptoms Rating Scale” and a “Participation in Daily Activities” scale.
  4. Davidson J.R.T., Morrison R.M., Shore J., Davidson R.T., Bedayn G., Homeopathic Treatment of Depression and Anxiety. Alternative Therapies, 3, 1, January 1997, 46-49. In this trial, 12 subjects suffering from major depression, social phobia or panic disorder, were treated for 7 to 80 weeks with individually prescribed homeopathic remedies and assessed on a clinical global improvement scale (CGIS) or self-rated SCL-90 scale and the Social Phobia Scale (SPS). Subjects were given homeopathic treatment either because they asked for it directly or because conventional treatment had been unsuccessful. The overall response rates for homeopathy were 58% on the CGIS and 50% on the SCL-90 and SPS.
  5. Sanchez-Resendiz J., Guzman-Gomez F., Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Boletin Mexicano de Homeopatica, 30, 1997, 11-15. 36 women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and fitting the mental picture of the homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla, were given Pulsatilla 6C, 4 hourly throughout the day for 2 weeks after the end of menstruation, and this was repeated for 4 consecutive cycles. At the end of the trial 30 of the 36 women had complete disappearance of the symptoms of PCOS and the production of normal ovulating follicles and a further 4 of the 36 became asymptomatic.
  6. DorfmanP., Lassere N.M., Tetau M., Homeopathic Medicines in Pregnancy and Labor, Cahiers de Biotherapie, 94, April 1987, 77-81. In this randomised double blind trial involving 93 women, a combination of Caulophyllum, Actea racemosa, Arnica, Pulsatilla and Gelsemium, all in 5C potency, was used to determine its effect on the length of labor and complication rates. The medicine was used from the beginning of the ninth month of pregnancy, and reduced the average time of labor to 5.1 hours, in comparison to the placebo, the use of which was associated with an average labor time of 8.5 hours. The rate of complications for those using the homeopathic combination was 11.3% while the complication rate under placebo was 40%.
  7. Barnes J., Resch K-L., Ernst E., Homeopathy for Post-Operative Ileus: A Meta-Analysis. Biomedical Therapy, 17, 2, 1999, 65-70. Researchers examined the existing placebo controlled trials on this subject and, using the time to first flatus after surgery as a measure, found that those trials that used remedies potentised above 12C showed little difference to placebo, but those trials where the researchers used remedies potentised below the 12C threshold did produce results that were statistically better than placebo. Seven trials were examined in the study.
  8. Friese K.H., Kruse S., Ludtke R., Moeller H., The Homeopathic Treatment of Otitis Media in Children. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 35, 7, 1997, 96-301. In this trial, 131 children suffering from medically diagnosed otitis media were split into two groups. 28 were treated by a team of four ear, nose and throat practitioners using singly or in combination, nasal drops, antibiotics, secretolytics or antipyretics (Group B). 103 children were treated by one homoeopath using single homeopathic remedies (Group A). The average duration of pain for Group A was 2 days, as opposed to 3 days for Group B. 70.7% of the Group A children were free of recurrences within the first year of treatment and 29% had a maximum of 3 recurrences while in Group B, 56.5% were free of recurrences within the first year of treatment and 43.5% had a maximum of 6 recurrences.
  9. Taylor M.A., Reilly D., Llewellyn-Jones R.H., McSharry C., Aitchison T.C., Randomised Controlled Trial of Homeopathy versus Placebo in Perennial Allergic Rhinitis, British Medical Journal, 321, 19 August 2000, 471-476. A group of 51 people suffering from allergic rhinitis were given either placebo or a 30C potency of their main allergen. The group given the homeopathic medicines showed significant improvement in nasal airflow compared to placebo.
  10. Jacobs J., Jimenez M., Malthouse S., Chapman E., Crothers D., Masuk M., Jonas W.B., Acute Childhood Diarrhoea- A Replication., Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 6, 2000, 131-139. In a replication of a previous trial carried out by Jacobs and others, 116 Nepalese children aged 6 months to 5 years suffering from diarrhoea were given an individualised homeopathic medicine or placebo. Treatment by homeopathy showed a significant improvement in the condition in comparison to placebo.

Animal studies

  1. Sukul A., Sinhabau S.P., Sukul N.C., Reduction of Alcohol Induced Sleep time in albino mice by Potentised Nux vomica prepared with 90% Ethanol. British Homeopathic Journal, 88, 1999, 58-61. In a controlled experiment to determine the effect of Nux vomica 30C on alcohol induced sleep, mice that had sleep induced via an injection of 25% ethanol were given a control substance or Nux vomica 30C. Nux vomica 30C prepared in 90% ethanol was effective in reducing the sleep time.

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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