Scientific Research

More Homeopathic Research –Part 35

Homeopath Robert Medhurst presents part 35 in his important series on research in homeopathy.

In answer to the to the ever increasing call of “Show us your research..”, what follows are more homeopathic research highlights from recent issues of the scientific journals.

 

Human Research

  1. Peckham EJ, et al. Interim Results of a Randomised Controlled Trial of Homeopathic Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Homeopathy, 2014, 103, 3, 172-177. A UK research team randomly assigned 94 people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to receive one of three interventions- usual care, individualised homeopathic treatment provided by two professional homeopaths plus usual medical care, and supportive listening plus usual medical care. The treatment persisted for 26 weeks and patients were assessed via a change in irritable bowel symptom severity. An interim assessment of the results found no statistically significant difference between the three arms. However, a post-hoc test comparing homeopathic treatment plus usual care to usual care alone found a statistically significant difference in favour of homeopathic treatment. In addition, 62.5 percent of patients in the homeopathic treatment arm (compared to 25.0 percent of those in the usual medical care arm), achieved a clinically relevant change in irritable bowel symptom severity score.

 

  1. Miglani A, Manchanda RK. Observational Study of Arctium Lappa in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris. Homeopathy, 2014, 103, 203-207. This uncontrolled observational study, conducted through India’s Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, sought to scientifically validate the management of acne, with homeopathically prepared Arctium, which is a relatively common prescription for this problem. 32 people diagnosed with acne vulgaris who met the study’s inclusion criteria were given 6C to 1M homeopathic potencies of Arctium over a period of 6 months. Assessment was done by observing the change in acne lesion counts supplemented with Global Acne Grading System (GAGS) and subjective assessment by using Acne-Specific Quality of Life questionnaire (Acne-QoL). The results displayed statistically significant improvement in all of the parameters measured.

 

  1. Frass M, et al. Influence of Adjunctive Classical Homeopathy on Global Health Status and Subjective Wellbeing in Cancer Patients – A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial. Complement Ther Med, 2015, 23, 3, 309-317. The Medical University of Vienna was the setting for this randomised, controlled work that looked at whether homeopathy has the capacity to influence global health status and subjective wellbeing, when used as an adjunct to conventional cancer therapy. 410 people diagnosed with cancer were treated either with standard anti-neoplastic or individualised homeopathic adjunctive therapy in addition to standard therapy. The main outcome measures were global health status and subjective wellbeing, as assessed by the patients. At each of three visits (one baseline, two follow-up visits), patients filled in two different questionnaires. The improvement of global health status between visits 1 and 3 was significantly stronger in the homeopathy group (p=0.005) when compared with the control group. A significant group difference was also observed with respect to subjective wellbeing by (p<0.001) in favour of the homeopathic as compared with the control group. Control patients showed a significant improvement only in subjective wellbeing between their first and third visits.

 

  1. Macias-Cortes EC, et al, Individualized Homeopathic Treatment and Fluoxetine for Moderate to Severe Depression in Peri and Postmenopausal Women (HOMDEP-MENOP study): A Randomized, Double-Dummy, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. PLoS One, 2015 Mar 13;10(3):e0118440. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118440. eCollection 2015. Researchers working in a public hospital in Mexico City assessed the efficacy and safety of individualised homeopathic treatment versus placebo and fluoxetine versus placebo in peri- and postmenopausal women with moderate to severe depression. The research model used was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, double-dummy, superiority, three-arm trial with a 6 week follow-up. 133 peri- and postmenopausal hospital outpatients diagnosed with major depression according to DSM-IV (moderate to severe intensity) were included in the study. The outcomes were: change in the mean total score among groups on the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, Beck Depression Inventory and Greene Scale, after 6 weeks of treatment, response and remission rates, and safety. Efficacy data were analysed in the intention-to-treat population (ANOVA with Bonferroni post-hoc test). Fluoxetine acted as a positive control. After 6 weeks of treatment, it was shown that homeopathy and fluoxetine are effective and safe antidepressants for climacteric women. Homeopathy and Fluoxetine were significantly different from placebo in response definition only. Homeopathy, but not fluoxetine, improved menopausal symptoms scored by the Greene Climacteric Scale.

 

  1. Saha S, et al, Documentation of Prescriptions and Clinical Outcomes in a Homeopathic Hospital Setting in West Bengal, India. J Evid Based Complement Altern Med, 2015, 20, 3, 180-185.

 

This work was deigned to assess prescriptions and clinical outcomes in routine homeopathic practice. Six homeopathic physicians participated in methodical data collection over a 3-month period in 6 outpatient departments of Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, West Bengal, India. A specifically designed Microsoft Excel spreadsheet enabled 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 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. Brule D, et al. An Open-Label Pilot Study Of Homeopathic Treatment Of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder In Children And Youth. Forsch Komplementmed, 2014, 21. 5. 302-309. Researchers attempted to determine the effects of individualised homeopathic therapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants (aged 6-16) were recruited through community advertisement and outreach. Participants completed 1 screening and 9 individualised homeopathic follow-up consultations. ADHD symptoms were assessed using the Conners 3 – Parent Questionnaire administered at each consultation. The pre- and post-study difference in Conners Global Index – Parent (CGI-P) T-score was evaluated for each participant. Baseline data of those who showed a statistically significant improvement (responders) were compared to those who did not (non-responders). 35 participants were enrolled over 11 months. 80% completed all 10 consultations in a median of 12.1 months. 63% had a statistically significant improvement in the primary outcome, first occurring after a mean of 4.5 visits. Overall scores for participants completing at least 2 data points decreased from a baseline median of 85.5 to 74.0 (p < 0.001, CI 95%). There were no significant baseline differences between responders and non-responders and no serious adverse events related to the therapy were reported.

 

Animal Research

  1. Bagai U, Walter NS. Antiplasmodial Potential Of Homeopathic Drugs Chelidonium And Nosode Against Plasmodium Berghei Infection. J Complement Integr Med, 2014, 11, 3, 195-201. Plasmodium berghei is associated with malaria and in this research, the antimalarial efficacy of a combination of two homeopathic medicines, Chelidonium 30C and nosode 30C were evaluated against Plasmodium berghei (P. berghei) infection in mice using Peters 4-day test. The combination of the medcines demonstrated considerable antimalarial activity with chemosuppression of 91.45% on day 7. The combination also significantly (p < 0.0005) enhanced the mean survival time of mice which was calculated to be 22.5 ± 6.31 days, whereas it was 8.55 ± 0.83 days in infected controls.

 

  1. Aziz DM, Schnurrbusch U, Enbergs H. Effects Of Two Homeopathic Complexes On Bovine Sperm Mitochondrial Activity. Homeopathy, 2012, 101, 2, 99-102. Workers from Boon and Leipzig Universities evaluated the effects of two homeopathic combination products on bovine sperm mitochondrial activity. To do this, bovine sperm viability, acrosomal integrity and sperm chromatin structure, were assessed in vitro before and after exposure to the homeopathic combination products. An analysis of the results showed that the homeopathic combinations stimulated the mitochondrial activity of bovine sperm without effects on their viability, acrosomal integrity or chromatin structure. The authors proposed the possibility that this translates into improved fertilization capacity in artificial insemination and should be further investigated.

 

  1. Marzotto M, et al. Effects Of Ignatia Amara In Mouse Behavioural Models. Homeopathy, 2012, 101, 57-67. Ignatia in homeopathic potency has a long history of use the treatment of anxiety. This Italian research was conducted in an effort to add to work already done in this area. Groups of 8 mice were given homeopathically prepared 4C, 5C, 7C, 9C or 30C Ignatia. Groups of 8 mice were also given a negative control substance (diluent) or a positive control (Diazepam). Validated test models for locomotion and emotional response, the Open-Field (OF) and the Light Dark (LD) tests, were employed. Five replications of the same protocol were carried out, in a randomised manner using coded drugs/controls. The results indicated that, compatred with controls, homeopathic potencies of Ignatia modify some emotion-related symptoms in laboratory mice without affecting locomotion and that the most effective of these was the 9C potency of Ignatia.

 

Plant Research

  1. Marotti I, et al. Transcriptome Profiling Of Wheat Seedlings Following Treatment With Ultrahigh Diluted Arsenic Trioxide. Evid Based Complement Altern Med, 2014:851263. doi: 10.1155/2014/851263. This Italian study, conducted by workers from the University of Bologna and others, was done to test whether 7-day-old wheat seedlings, grown from seeds either poisoned with a sublethal dose of As2O3 (Arsenic trioxide or Arsenicum album) or un-poisoned, showed significant differences in gene expression profiles after the application of homeopathically prepared As2O3 compared to water (control). The results provided evidence for a strong gene modulating effect of ultrahigh diluted As2O3 in seedlings grown from poisoned seeds: a massive reduction of gene expression levels to values comparable to those of the control group was observed for several functional classes of genes. A plausible hypothesis is that homeopathically prepared As2O3 treatment induced a re-equilibration of those genes that were upregulated during the oxidative stress by bringing the expression levels closer to the basal levels normally occurring in the control plants.

 

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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