Scientific Research

More Research on Homeopathy

Written by Robert Medhurst

Robert Medhurst shares more in-vitro and in-vivo research related to homeopathy. read these research summaries to remain updated about homeopathic clinical and lab research.

Homeopathy works. And throughout the history there have been some notable examples of this. One of the most well known cases is that of the cholera outbreak in London in the 1850’s. The records of the London Homoeopathic Hospital of the time attest to the fact that of the patients suffering from cholera during the 1854 cholera outbreak and treated by homeopathy, 83% survived. In the neighbouring Middlesex Hospital, of those patients treated for cholera by orthodox medicince, 46% survived1. These records were presented to the British house of parliament later that year and can still be seen there today. Evidence of the effects of homeopathy are still being generated and can be found in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Following are some recent examples of work done in this area.

  1. Leary B. Cholera 1854 Update. Brit Hom J. 1994;83(2):117-121.

Human Research

  1. de Souza GM, et al. Comparative Effectiveness of the Homeopathic Preparation Traumeel S in Third Molar Extraction Surgery: A Preliminary Triple-Blind Clinical Trial. Homeopathy. 2021;110(4):229-35. 17 otherwise healthy people had their lower asymptomatic bilateral third molars removed. Patients were randomised to receive the homeopathic combination product, Traumeel S, or dexamethasone pre-operatively by injection into the masseter muscle; each patient acted as his/her own control. At 24, 48, 72 hours and 7 days after the surgery, the pain was evaluated according to a visual analog scale, oedema through linear measurements of the face, and trismus through the maximum buccal opening. Wilcoxon statistics or paired t-test were used, and a significance level of 95% was adopted. For pain, the results for Traumeel S were not different (p > 0.05) from those of dexamethasone after 24 hours, 72 hours, and 7 days. For oedema, the results for Traumeel S were not different (p > 0.05) from those of dexamethasone at all post-operative evaluations. For mouth opening, the results for Traumeel S were not different (p > 0.05) from those of dexamethasone at 72 hours and 7 days after third molar extraction.

 

  1. Raak CK, et al. Hypericum perforatum to Improve Postoperative Pain Outcome After Monosegmental Spinal Sequestrectomy (HYPOS): Results of a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Integr Complement Med. 2022;28(5):407-17. Hospital in-patients undergoing lumbar sequestrectomy surgery were randomised to receive homeopathic Hypericum or placebo in addition to usual pain management. The primary endpoint was pain relief measured with a visual analogue scale. Secondary endpoints were the reduction of in-patient post-operative analgesic medication and change in sensory and affective pain perception. Pain perception between baseline and day 3 did not significantly differ between the study arms. With respect to pain medication, total morphine equivalent doses did not differ significantly. However, a statistical trend and a moderate effect (d = 0.432) in the decrease of pain medication consumption in favour of the Hypericum group was observed.

 

  1. Gupta G, et al. Homoeopathic treatment of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome: A prospective observational study. Ind J Res Homeopathy. 2021;15(1):12-23. 18 women with PCOS were prescribed individualised homeopathy. The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire (PCOSQ) was used to evaluate the quality of life. Serum levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, progesterone, prolactin, estrogen, testosterone and insulin were tested at the baseline and at 12 months of treatment. The data analysis was done with ‘modified Intention to Treat’ approach. The comparison of PCOSQ from baseline to 12 months in 34 patients using the paired t-test showed significant improvement in the overall PCOSQ of the patients (mean increase ± standard error: −2.3 ± 0.5; 95% confidence interval CI: -3.2 to -1.3 P = 0.001). The number of cysts in both ovaries reduced with a statistically significant difference. There was a mean reduction of two cysts on each side of the ovary. The most prescribed medicines were Calcarea carbonica (38.24%) and Lycopodium. (26.47%) accounting to 64.71% of the total medicines.

 

  1. Gupta J, et al. Homoeopathic therapy in cervical spondylosis pain management: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ind J Res Homeopathy. 2020;14(4):242-50. 134 people suffering from cervical spondylosis were randomly assigned to either predefined homeopathic medicines or placebo. The improvement in pain was 56.18% in the homeopathy group and 46.45% in the placebo group, as per the Cervical Spondylosis Pain Management Scale. The mean improvement between the groups was not significant: 60.36% in the homeopathy group and 48.66% in the placebo group. The mean score of quality of life, assessed using the ‘Patient’s Global Impression of Change Scale,’ was 2.29 ± 1.90 quality of life in the homeopathy group and 2.93 ± 2.28 in the placebo group. There was 27.95% more improvement in the homeopathy group, as compared to the placebo group. Among the most used medicines were Rhus toxicodendron (n = 19) 28.8%, Calcarea carbonica (n = 7) 10.6%, Kalmia latifolia (n = 7) 10.6% and Paris quadrifolia (n = 8) 12.1%.

 

  1. Khurana A, et al. Ferrum phosphoricum 3X and Ferrum metallicum 3X in the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in children: Randomized parallel arm study. Ind J Res Homeopathy. 2020:14(3):171-8. 2,878 children were screened for anaemia and 792 were identified to have haemoglobin (Hb) between ≤11.9 g% and ≥8 g%. 102 of these children were enrolled in the trial with Ferrum phosphoricum 3X (FP) given to 30 children with mild anaemia, Ferrum metallicum 3X (FM) given to 29 children with mild anaemia, FP given to 21 children with moderate anaemia and FM to 22 with moderate anaemia. Significant increase in Hb was seen in children with moderate anaemia in FP group (9.95 ± 0.749–10.97 ± 1.51). Increase in Hb in other groups was not significant.

 

  1. Shukla P. et al. Effects of pre-defined Homoeopathic medicines to mitigate adverse dermatological effects of radiotherapy and vomiting of chemotherapy in breast carcinoma: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot trial in the context of usual care. Ind J Res Homeopathy. 2020:14(3):189-99. The aim here was to examine whether usual care (UC) plus pre-defined homeopathic remedies can produce different effects beyond UC plus placebo in dermatological adverse effects of radiotherapy and vomiting of chemotherapy in breast carcinoma. 80 women suffering from dermatological adverse effects due to radiotherapy or vomiting due to chemotherapy were randomised to receive either UC + homeopathy or UC. The outcome measures were the number of responders showing any reduction of grades of Acute Radiation Morbidity Scoring Criteria (ARMSC) of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and Common Toxicity Criteria (CTC) for vomiting, measured at baseline and after 7 and 14 days. Relative Risk (RR) with 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) was assessed; Chi-square tests were run to report P values. The number of responders as per the ARMSC score after 7 days (11/18 vs. 1/19, RR = 3.3, 95% CI = 1.7–6.3, P = 0.001) and 14 days (16/18 vs. 1/19, RR = 9.4, 95% CI = 2.5–35.2, P < 0.001) was statistically significant, favouring verum over control. Similar results were obtained according to the CTC scoring after 7 days (15/22 vs. 2/21, RR = 3.3, 95% CI = 1.7–6.3, P < 0.001) and 14 days (21/22 vs. 4/21, RR = 15.1, 95% CI = 2.2–102.4, P < 0.001). In conclusion, the actions of pre-identified homeopathic medicines appeared superior to placebo, warranting further evaluation.

 

In Vitro Research

  1. Bonfim LT, et al. In Vitro Assessment of Cytoprotective Effects of CANOVA against Cell Death Induced by the Anti-malarial Artesunate – A Preliminary Experiment. Homeopathy. 2021;110(03):174-9. Artesunate (ATS) is a semi-synthetic compound derived from artemisinin, which is widely accepted in the treatment of malaria. However, there is evidence that ATS, under certain in vitro conditions, induces several impairments to normal cell functions. Canova (CA) is a Brazilian homeopathic formulation indicated for patients with depressed immune system. CA shows both in vitro and in vivo protective effects against mutagenic/carcinogenic compounds. Therefore, authors aimed to assess in vitro the cytoprotective effects of CA against the cytotoxicity of ATS in Vero cells. The viability of Vero cells exposed to ATS was assessed by MTT assay, whereas the anti-cytotoxic effect of CA was evaluated by apoptosis and necrosis quantification with fluorescent dyes. After 24 hours of ATS treatment, a reduction in cell viability was observed at 32 and 64 µg/mL, the latter being statistically significant (p < 0.05) in relation to the negative control. The concentration of 64 µg/mL was chosen for the subsequent experiments. ATS significantly induced both apoptosis and necrosis in Vero cells in relation to controls (p < 0.01). Authors also observed a statistically significant decrease in the number of apoptotic cells observed in the CA 16% + ATS co-treatment compared with ATS treatment (p < 0.01). Treatment with CA alone also had no influence on either type of cell death.

 

  1. Tasinov O, et al. Ferrum phosphoricum D12 Treatment Affects J774A.1 Cell Proliferation, Transcription Levels of Iron Metabolism, Antioxidant Defense, and Inflammation-related Genes. Homeopathy. 2022;111(02):113-20. Authors aimed to analyse the molecular mechanisms of action of Ferrum phosphoricum 12X (FP) on cell proliferation and mRNA expression of iron metabolism, antioxidant defence and inflammation-related genes in mouse J774A.1 macrophages. Cell proliferation was examined using the MTT test. RT-qPCR analyses were performed to estimate gene expression changes. Relative gene expression levels were calculated using the 2–ΔΔCt method. The effect of treatment using FP was compared with that using placebo (P). FP in low concentrations (0.0125 mg/mL to 0.025 mg/mL) significantly stimulated proliferation of J774A.1 cells by up to 11% (p < 0.01) versus control untreated cells and by up to 40% (p < 0.01) versus P-treated cells in the respective concentration. FP versus P induced a significant increase in mRNA expression of ferritin light chain (Ftl1) (by 8-fold, p < 0.01), β-2-microglobulin (B2m) (by 2.5-fold, p < 0.05) and iron-responsive element binding protein 2 (Ireb2) (by 4-fold, p < 0.05), and induced a slight decrease in myosin IE (Myo1e) mRNA expression levels (by 0.4-fold, p < 0.01) in macrophages. A highly significant (r2 = 0.99, p < 0.05) correlation was observed between Ireb2 and B2m transcription levels. Significant stimulation of antioxidant enzyme Gpx-1 (by 1.27-fold, p < 0.01) in cells by 0.025 mg/mL FP, but a slight decrease (by 0.12-fold, p < 0.05) in 0.0125 mg/mL-treated cells, was observed. A significant increase in the gene expression of IL-1β (by 3.5-fold, р < 0.05) in macrophages was also detected. This showed that FP potentially exhibits iron retention, antioxidant and immunomodulation activities, possibly by modulating transcription levels of related genes in non-stimulated mouse macrophages.

 

  1. da Silva TC, et al. Phenotypic Changes in Mammary Adenocarcinoma (4T1) cells In Vitro after Treatment with Carcinosinum. Homeopathy. 2022;111(04):278-87. This study aimed to identify possible phenotypic changes in 4T1 (murine mammary adenocarcinoma) cells in vitro, including viability, HER-2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor-type 2) expression, and metastatic potential, after treatment with Carcinosinum in different homeopathic dilutions (12C, 30C, 200C) made up in water. Treated cells were cultured in R10 medium, using 24-well plates, 105 cells per well, and treated control (the water that was used to made the Carcinosin potencies), Carcinosinum 12C, 30C or 200C; untreated cells were used as the baseline control. After 24 hours of treatment, the percentage of apoptotic cells was analysed by annexin V. Cell morphology was evaluated by microscopy after haematoxylin-eosin and Giemsa staining, whilst HER-2 expression was assessed using immunocytochemistry. The metastatic potential was determined by the expression and activity of the enzyme matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) using zymography. The cytokine profile was established using the cytometric bead array method. Treatment of 4T1 cells in vitro with Carcinosinum 30C produced an increase in the number of annexin V-positive cells (apoptosis) and decreased expression of pro-activated MMP-9. Cells treated with Carcinosinum 200C presented hyper-expression of HER-2 on the plasma membrane, identified by immunocytochemistry.

 

Plant Research

  1. Abasolo-Pacheco F, et al. Agronomic behavior of the turnip (Brassica napus L.) during the application of homeopathic medicines. Terra Latinoamericana. 2020;38:67-82. The production of the turnip (Brassica napus L.) in Ecuador, depends largely on the use of agrochemicals, whose indiscriminate use causes negative effects on the environment. In order to help improve the sustainable production of vegetables, the effect of 7C and 31C potencies of 3 homeopathic medicines for human use was evaluated: Silicea terra (SiT), Natrum muriaticum (NaM) and Phosphoricum acidum (PhA), on the germination, emergence and vegetative development of B. napus plants, applying a completely randomised 2 × 3 + 1 block design with 3 repetitions for the 3 stages of the crop. The variables evaluated during germination and emergence were: percentage of germination and emergence, length of stem and radicle, fresh weight of the aerial part and radicle, dry weight of the aerial part and radicle. The variables evaluated during vegetative development were: plant height, stem diameter, number of leaves, weight, leaf area and productive yield. Significant differences were recorded in all the variables and stages of development studied. The highest germination values corresponded to SiT-7C and PhA-7C (100%), surpassing the control group. The PhA-7C and NaM-31C treatments stimulated stem growth in the germination stage (3.40 cm) and NaM-7C root growth (4.07 cm) in the emergence stage. During the vegetative development, the plants with the highest production were those treated with NaM-7C. The highest profitability of the crop (71.33%), with a benefit / cost ratio of 1.7% was obtained with SiT-7C.

About the author

Robert Medhurst

Robert Medhurst BNat DHom DBM DRM DNutr is an Australian Naturopath & Homeopath with 40 years of clinical experience. He has written many articles and lectured on homeopathy throughout Australia and the U.S. Robert previously set up and operated 5 natural therapies practices in Sydney and Adelaide and was involved in teaching and medical 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, as well as The Concordant Clinical Homeopathic Repertory. For more information see adelaidehillsnaturopath.com.au.

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