Scientific Research

Recent Research in Homeopathy – Part 22

Robert Medhurst
Written by Robert Medhurst

Homeopath Robert Medhurst presents part 22 in his continuing series on research in homeopathy.

research.jpgI use homeopathy a lot and have done so for some time. I know it works and I rely on it to assist my clients in getting well. But how do I know that it’s the homeopathy that’s working and not something else that’s occurring in the consultation? How do I know that the people who come into my clinic wouldn’t have recovered their health without any intervention from me? How do I know that giving them a placebo, some sort of inert material, or some other form of medicine, wouldn’t have worked as well as or even better than a homeopathic? Properly designed research can and has been done to answer these questions and the best of them remove every possible variable from the equation so that we know conclusively that the intervention being tested either worked or it didn’t. Research results are a valuable resource and following are summaries of some of the more recent or recently unearthed work done in this area.

 

Human Research

 

  1. Mathie RT, Farrer S. Outcomes from homeopathic prescribing in dental practice: a prospective, research-targeted, pilot study. Homeopathy, 2007, 96, 2, 74-81. This paper presented the results of a study into the effectiveness of individualised homeopathic medicines for the management of common dental complaints and the effectiveness of a specific protocol used to collect such data. 14 dentists who routinely practice homeopathy contributed data to the study and data from the observations of and by 726 individual patients were collected. Of the 496 patients who were able to be followed up, 90.1% reported a positive outcome, 1.8% experienced a deterioration of the condition and 7.9% of patients reported no change.

 

  1. Matusiewicz R. The effect of a homoepathic preparation on the clinical condition of patients with corticosteroid dependant bronchial asthma. Biomedical Therapy, 1997, 15, 3, 70-74. In this double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study, 40 people suffering from corticosteroid-dependant bronchial asthma were given either placebo or a combination homeopathic formula, every 5 to 7 days by subcutaneous injection. Using standard spirometry and granulocyte function to measure the response, researchers found that the combination product provided superior results to placebo.

 

  1. Milewska G, Trzebiatowska-Trzeciak O. Homoeopathic Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal British Homoeopathic Journal, 1993, Oct, 82, 249-251. Alcohol withdrawal and delirium tremens experienced by 30 alcoholics was the focus of this uncontrolled study carried out in a Polish medical clinic. Patients were treated with individualised homeopathy and their progress followed for 2 months. The treatment resulted in a reduced duration of alcohol withdrawal time and delirium tremens in all patients.

 

  1. Mohan GR, et al, Cervical Spondylosis- a Clinical Study, British Homoeopathic Journal, 1996, Jul, 85, 131-133. In this uncontrolled study, 154 people suffering from cervical spondylosis were prescribed either homoeopathic Calcium fluoride, or a remedy selected via repertorisation of their mental and physical general symptoms, and their progress monitored for 1 year. Of those given Calc fluor, clinical improvement was seen in 60% of cases. 48% of those given the remedy arrived at by repertorisation reported clinical improvement.

 

  1. Mojaver YN, et al. Individualized homeopathic treatment of trigeminal neuralgia: an observational study. Homeopathy, 2007, 96, 2, 82-6. This uncontrolled study, carried out in the Department of Oral Medicine at Iran’s Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, was designed to discover if individually prescribed homeopathic medicines could provide relief from medically diagnosed trigeminal neuralgia. 15 people suffering from the condition were enrolled in the study and after receiving their individual prescriptions they were assessed monthly using a Visual Analogue Scale to gauge the severity of their symptoms. After the results were assessed at 4 months it was found that individualised homeopathic treatment was associated with an average reduction in pain intensity of more than 60%.

 

  1. Müller-Krampe B, et al. Effects of Spascupreel versus hyoscine butylbromide for gastrointestinal cramps in children. Pediatr Int, 2007, 49, 3, 328-34. In this observational cohort study, 204 children under 12 years of age suffering from gastrointestinal spasms and cramps were given either hyoscine butylbromide, a drug commonly prescribed for these conditions, or Spascupreel, a homeopathic complex. After a 1 week period of treatment, the results from these interventions were assessed by a practitioner reviewing reports from the child’s parent or carer using severity of spasms, pain or cramps, sleep disturbances, eating or drinking difficulties, and the frequency of crying, to measure outcomes according to a 4 point scale. Analysis of the results showed that both medicines provided similar levels of benefit.

Animal Research

 

  1. Graunke H, et al. Treatment of lowland frogs from the spawn stage with homeopathically prepared thyroxin (10(-30)). Scientific World Journal, 2007, 22;7:1697-702. In this project, performed at the Interuniversity College for Health and Development in Graz, Austria, lowland frog spawn were exposed to thyroxine potentised to 30C to determine the effect, if any, of this remedy of the development of the spawn into 2 and then 4 legged frogs, when compared to controls. It would be normal for the development of frog spawn to be accelerated by exposure to material levels of thyroxine. In this instance, exposure to 30C thyroxine produced a statistically significant reduction in the speed of development from spawn to 4 legged lowland frogs.

 

  1. Kumar KH, Sunila ES, Kuttan G, et al. Inhibition of chemically induced carcinogenesis by drugs used in homeopathic medicine. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2007, 8, 1, 98-102. In this study, carried out at the Amala Cancer Research Centre in India’s Kerala State, rats and mice were treated for the development of liver tumors using homeopathic Hydrastis, Lycopodium, Phosphorus, Ruta or Thuja. Assessment was made on the basis of the development of tumors and their corresponding biochemical markers such as gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, glutamate pyruvate transaminase, glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase and alkaline phosphatase in the serum and in liver. Of the 5 medicines tested, Ruta (in a 200C potency) and Phosphorous (in a 1M potency) provided the most benefit.

 

Plant Research

 

  1. Betti L, et al. Effectiveness of ultra high diluted arsenic is a function of succussion number as evidenced by wheat germination test and droplet evaporation method. Int J High Dilution Res, 2013, 12, 44, 127-128. Proceedings of the XXVII GIRI Symposium; 2013, Sep, 03-04; Bern (Switzerland) 127. This Italian research was performed to determine what effect, if any, the number of successions used in the preparation of a homeopathic medicine, has on its activity. Previous research has shown that homeopathically prepared potencies applied to arsenic-stressed wheat seeds stimulate their germination rate. In this study multiple replications of this model were employed using controls and a 45X homeopathic potency of arsenic trioxide succussed 4, 8, 16, 32, 40, 70 and 100 times. On analysis of the results it was shown that increasing the number of the succussions increased the activity of the arsenic 45X.

 

In-Vitro Research

 

  1. Ive EC, Couchman IM, Reddy L. Therapeutic Effect of Arsenicum album on Leukocytes. Int J Mol Sci, 2012, 13, 3, 3979-87. Scientists from South Africa’s Durban University of Technology performed this in vitro study to determine the effects of various succussed and unsuccussed homeopathically prepared Arsenic trioxide (Arsenicum album) on human T lymphocytes grown in tissue culture. Cells were intoxicated with arsenic trioxide and then exposed to succussed and unsuccussed Arsenicum 6C, succussed and unsuccussed Arsenicum 30C, succussed and unsuccussed Arsenicum 200C or a control substance for 24, 48 or 72 hours. Cells were assessed for viability at baseline and at these three data points. After the counts from these data points were assessed it was shown that when compared to controls, all of the homeopathically prepared Arsenicum potencies provided a statistically significant increase in cell viability. These results were unaffected by whether the material was succussed or unsuccussed, but were affected by the length of exposure time to the remedy.

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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  • This is such an important series. Everyone who cares about homeopathy and defends it, should read Mr. Medhurst’s articles.