Scientific Research

Homeopathic Research- An Update

Homeopath and author Robert Medhurst presents part 39 in his important series on research in homeopathy.

In the increasingly evidence-based sphere of healthcare, it’s thought by some that the practice of homeopathy has yet to be objectively validated. This isn’t true. There is a significant body of evidence to justify its use and what follows are summaries of some of the more notable findings from the pages of the scientific journals.

Human Research

  1. Saha S, et al. Documentation of Prescriptions and Clinical Outcomes in a Homeopathic Hospital Setting in West Bengal, India. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2015, 1-6. In this work, 6 homeopathic physicians participated in a methodical data collection over a 3-month period in outpatient departments of the Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, West Bengal, India. A specifically designed Microsoft Excel spreadsheet enabled the recording of consecutive appointments- date, patient identity, medical condition/complaint, whether chronic/acute, new/follow-up case, patient-assessed outcome (7-point Likert-type scale: -3 to +3), prescribed homeopathic medication, and whether other medication/s were being taken for the condition. Spreadsheets were submitted monthly for data synthesis and analysis. A total of 1972 patients’ follow-up generated data of 2905 appointments, of which 2272 (78.2%) were positive, 183 (6.3%) negative, and 450 (15.5%) showed no change. Strongly positive outcomes (scores of +2/+3) were recorded in osteoarthritis, haemorrhoids, cough, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, chronic suppurative otitis media, and conjunctivitis.
  1. Taylor JA, Jacobs J. Homeopathic Ear Drops As An Adjunct To Standard Therapy In Children With Acute Otitis Media. Homeopathy, 2011, 100, 109-115. 94 children diagnosed with acute otitis media were randomly assigned to receive either standard medical care or homeopathic ear drops. The treatment was given for 5 days and the symptoms were monitored by the children’s parents using a rating scale for 5 symptoms of the disease. The results showed a statistically significant superiority of response to the homeopathic ear drops compared to standard medical treatment and the rate of symptom improvement occurred more rapidly in those children who were given homeopathics.
  1. Leone L, et al. Measuring the Effectiveness of Homeopathic Care Through Objective and Shared Indicators. Homeopathy, 2011, 100, 212-219. This Italian study looked at the effects of homeopathic treatment as measured by the level of patient’s pharmaceutical drug use as well as standard medical hospitalisation indicators. The study was carried out using data from two homeopathic centres in the Local Health Authority in Pisa and compared users of homeopathic medicine with the general population in the same area. It was shown from this that the patients using homeopathic medicines were able to reduce their intake of pharmaceutical drugs significantly and frequently showed improvements in hospitalissation indicators when compared with the general population.
  1. Ghosh S, et al. Dental Practice Scenario in a Government Homeopathic Hospital in West Bengal, India. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2014, 1-5. This was a systematic review of data on dental homeopathy from the dental outpatient section in a government homeopathic hospital in West Bengal, India. One conventionally trained dentist and 3 homeopathic doctors collected data from 949 appointments of 411 patients over 3 months. A specifically designed Excel spreadsheet enabled recording of consecutive dental appointments that was subjected to data synthesis and analysis. A total of 87.3% conditions were chronic, and chronic periodontitis was most frequent (27.5%). Positive outcomes were observed in 72.3% appointments. Strongly positive outcomes (scores of +2 or +3) were achieved most notably in toothache (84.6%). Single medicines were prescribed in 83.5% of encounters, and mostly in tincture form (29.9%). Arnica montana constituted of 17.8% prescriptions.

Animal Research

  1. Aubry E, et al. Early Udder Inflammation in Dairy Cows Treated by a Homeopathic Medicine (Dolisovet_): a Prospective Observational Pilot Study. Homeopathy, 2013, 102, 139-144. French researchers in this study set out to assess the effects of a topical homeopathic combination product containing Belladonna 1X, Calendula mother tincture, Echinacea 1X and Dulcamara 1C, on mastitis in dairy cows. Data from 31 cows with udder quarters identified as being inflamed by an automated milking system (AMS) was assessed to evaluate the effect of the product on selected parameters of mammary inflammation. Inflamed quarters were identified when milk quality started to deteriorate, via an alert generated by the AMS, on the basis of electrical conductivity (EC). Milk yield and EC were retrieved five to seven days prior to the AMS alert, on the day of the alert, and for the following seven days. The product was administered twice daily for two consecutive days, commencing on the day of the AMS alert. A significant reduction in EC was observed at 4-7 days following the first treatment and an increase in milk yield was also observed following the first treatment.
  1. Jyothilakshmi V, et al. Preliminary Investigation on Ultra High Diluted B. vulgaris in Experimental Urolithiasis. Homeopathy, 2013, 102, 172-178. An Indian research group from the University of Madras and the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy focused on the anti-urolithiasis potential of homeopathically prepared Berberis vulgaris 200C in rats. Animals with urolithiasis were given Berberis v. 200C, 20 ml/100 g body weight/day for 28 days. Urine and serum samples were analysed for calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, uric acid and creatinine. Enzyme markers for renal damage (alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, leucine aminopeptidase and g-glutamyl transpeptidase) were assessed in kidney and urine and renal tissues were analysed for oxalate content. Compared to untreated controls, rats treated for urolithiasis with Berberis v 200C exhibited a statistically significant reduction in most of the parameters measured.
  1. Sampath S, et al. Effect of Homeopathic Preparations of Syzygium Jambolanum and Cephalandra Indica on Gastrocnemius Muscle of High Fat and High Fructose Induced Type-2 Diabetic Rats. Homeopathy, 2013, 102, 160-171. Researchers from India’s Central Council for Research in Homeopathy and University of Madras, looked into the effects on diabetes of homeopathic medicines prepared from Syzygium Jambolanum and Cephalandra Indica- two medicines with a long history of use in diabetes in humans. Homeopathic preparations of Syzygium and Cephalandra in mother tincture, 6C and 30C, were used to examine the molecular mechanism of antidiabetic effects in the skeletal muscle of rats with type-2 diabetes mellitus. Positive (metformin and streptozotocin) and negative (diluent) controls were also used After 30 days of treatment, fasting blood glucose, serum insulin and insulin signalling molecules in the skeletal muscle (gastrocnemius) were measured. The rats given the homeopathics showed a significant decrease in serum insulin and lipid profile as well as low levels of insulin receptor (IR), v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (Akt), p-Aktser473 and glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4) protein expression (p < 0.05) with a significant increase in fasting blood glucose level (p < 0.05), compared to the controls. Treatment with homeopathic medicines significantly increased the serum insulin and expression of these proteins (p < 0.05) with a significant decrease in fasting blood glucose (p < 0.05).
  1. Eyles D. Amelioration of Pain and Distress in Tail-Ringed Lambs Using Homeopathy. Homeopathy, 2014,103, 1, 68. In this randomised triple blind controlled trial UK researchers dealt with the issue of pain experienced by lambs as a result of processes used in tail-docking. 54 lambs were randomly assigned to receive a homeopathic complex of Aconite, Arnica and Hypericum, all at 200C potencies, or a negative (diluent) control. The behaviour of each lamb was recorded on a standardised form, every minute for 20 minutes. Every movement was categorised according to the degree of stressed behaviour exhibited and counted using check marks, each time that type of movement occurred in each minute. The scores for each minute were then totalled to give a score for the whole 20 minutes of study. At the end of the 20 minute recording period, the final distress scores for the lambs given the complex group were approximately 35% lower than the distress score recorded for the placebo group.
  1. Santana F, et al. Modulation of Chronic Inflammation Response to Leishmania (L.) amazonensis by Thymulin 5CH in Mice. Homeopathy, 2014, 103, 1, 64. Brazilian scientists from the Universidade Paulista and Universidade de Santo Amaro, sought to assess the effects of homeopathically prepared Thymulin 5C on protozoal infections in mice. Mice suffering from an infection with Leishmania (L) amazonensis were treated with Thymulin 5C or diluent (negative control) for 60 days. An analysis was then made of the inflammatory cells and spleens, as well as the lymph nodes of the mice. Treated mice exhibited an increase in B1 stem cells in relation to other cell types, and a more organised and pronounced inflammatory response in the infection site, with a decrease in the number of parasites per field (p=0.05). The results show that Thymulin 5C is able to improve B1 stem cell activation and Leishmania (L) amazonensis phagocytosis efficiency in mice.
  1. De Oliveira SM, et al, Mercurius Solubilis: Actions on Macrophages. Homeopathy, 2011, 100, 228-236. Brazilian scientists from the University of Parana investigated the effects of 6C, 12C, 30C and 200C homeopathic potencies of Merc sol on the functions of macrophages from mice. The animals were given the Merc sol potencies in their drinking water for 7 days and the macrophages in cell culture were similarly exposed. The macrophages from the mice and the cell cultures were assessed for their morphological activation, interferon gamma release, and interleukin 4 production, as well as their production of nitric oxide, superoxide and hydrogen peroxide production. All of these functions reflect the level of immune and homeostatic acivity of these cells, and an analysis of the results from the macrophages from both the mice an the cell cultures showed that the homeopathic potencies of Merc sol modulate reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species and cytokine production, which are central mediators of the immune system, wound healing and hormesis.

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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