The National Academy of Homoeopathy, India (NAHI) undertook a statistical and clinical research on a comparative study between Atenolol (most commonly used antihypertensive) and Veratrum viride, one of the efficacious homoeopathic hypertensive drugs.
Key words: Systemic Hypertension, Veratrum Vir, Atenolol
Introduction – Of all the life-style disorders, Systemic Hypertension reigns supreme, at-least in India. This is a constitutional dysmetabolic state with myriad clinical expressions. It belongs to the tubercular miasmatic state of disposition. It currently affects nearly one billion people worldwide. It is a major cause of global morbidity and mortality and also a major risk factor for various chronic and fatal diseases. Economically, it has proved to be a very expensive disease in terms of direct costs (screening, diagnosis, clinic visits, laboratory tests, drugs, adverse reactions, transport cost, time lost from work, etc.) and indirect costs (income lost due to absence from work, cost of therapy for co-existing conditions, etc). The World Health Organization reports that suboptimal rise in blood pressure (>115 mmHg SBP) is responsible for 62% of cerebrovascular disease and 49% of Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD), with little variation of gender. In addition, suboptimal rise in blood pressure is the number one attributable risk factor for death throughout the world.
The number of individuals suffering from hypertension has increased over the years, yet the rate of patients with a controlled blood pressure (<140/90 mmHg) remains poor. While the demand for traditional, complementary and alternative medicine including homoeopathy is on the rise throughout the world and especially in India, more evidence is needed to evaluate whether the clinical use of homeopathy will bring any beneficial effects to the community at large and hypertensive patients in particular. Being well aware of the fact that systemic hypertension is a constitutional disorder and the philosophy of homoeopathy dictates that it should be viewed in a holistic and individualistic manner, such a study was attempted to substantiate if only isolated objective parameters can also be influenced by a homoeopathic remedy and if yes, to what extent.
In homoeopathy there are several drugs to lower blood pressure like Apis mel, Gelsemium, Viscum alb, etc. but at our center, Veratrum vir is more frequently used. Hence we took up this drug for the study. Atenolol is a selective β1 receptor antagonist, a drug belonging to the group of beta blockers. It is commonly used by practitioners of Modern Medicine for controlling systemic hypertension, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction and supraventricular tachycardia, etc. The common side-effects are blurring of vision, cold extremities, confusion, difficult breathing, dizziness, sweating, constriction in the chest, tiredness, wheezing, etc.
Veratrum Viridie or White American Hellebore is a proved homoeopathic remedy. It is especially adapted to plethoric persons. In its proving the pulse is slow, soft, weak, irregular (atrial fibrillation) and intermittent. The provers have reported a constant, dull, burning pain in the precordial region. There is a sensation of beating of pulses throughout body, especially in the right thigh. Veratrum Vir induces fall of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Potency selection for a case receiving a homoeopathic remedy depends upon the
certainty about the remedy chosen, source of the medicine, age, gender and occupation of the patient, susceptibility, vitality, nature of the patient, type of the disorder (functional or structural), extent of the pathology, duration (acute or chronic), presence of clear mentals, similarity of the medicine with the disease / patient, the type of response desired (palliative or curative) and the miasmatic state of the patient. In a study of this kind, individuality is lost. Hence the lowest potency of LM scale was selected.
Aim – The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of Veratrum Vir 0/1 in short term BP control as against Atenolol.
Methods – This study was done at The National Academy of Homoeopathy, India (NAHI) Nagpur, Maharashtra India. Cases diagnosed and treated for systemic hypertension in 2014 under the outpatient and inpatient departments affiliated to Shaad Homoeopathic Hospital Complex & Research Centre were assessed for their eligibility – the onset, type and duration of systemic hypertension, co-morbid conditions, complications and the present treatment being taken by them. After a week on placebo the blood pressure and other vital parameters were recorded. For Blood Pressure measurement we used the mercury Sphygmomanometer. The operators were trained and the patients were properly prepared and positioned. The auscultatory method of blood pressure measurement was used. Before blood pressure measurement, patients were seated quietly for at least 5 minutes in a chair with feet on the floor and arm supported at the heart level. We made sure that the patients had not taken caffeine or exercise or smoke just before the blood pressure measurements. 17 hypertensives were randomly given Atenolol 25 mg once daily (n = 9, 53%, average age 49 years) and Veratrum Viridie 0/1 three times daily (n=8, 47%) for 2 weeks. Blood Pressure and a dverse reactions were monitored on a daily basis.
Results – Statistical results with repeated measures – Analysis of variance ANOVA suggest that compared with the Atenolol group, the group of Veratrum viride had an equal or slightly lesser reduction in sitting systolic (12 mm Hg) and diastolic (8mm Hg) blood pressures at 2 weeks interval. This was true for both men and women and all the races. Age was the only significant predictor of blood pressure reduction at 2 weeks, with older patients experiencing greater reduction in
diastolic blood pressure than younger patients.
1. Veratrum Vir 0/1 is equally effective for short term BP control as compared to Atenolol.
2. The patients can be saved from the side-effects of Atenolol.
3. The miasmatic evolution of the disorder can also be curtailed
4. The constitutional correction can be done under an indicated Simillimum. Veratrum vir can also occupy this position if indicated.
5. The danger of medicinal aggravation while using Veratrum vir does not arise since it was administered in LM potency.
6. Further studies are needed to substantiate results by increasing the potency of Veratrum Vir as well as using various other well proved homoeopathic remedies to lower elevated blood pressures.
7. A larger population based study need to be conducted.
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