Scientific Research

Recently Released Research Into Homeopathy

Last modified on August 20th, 2018

Robert Medhurst
Written by Robert Medhurst

Homeopath Robert Medhurst reports on homeopathy  research into bowel nosode remedies, rheumatoid arthritis, recurrent tonsillitis, HIV, crotalus horridus, Trypanosoma cruzi infection and much more.

It’s been well over 200 years since Samuel Hahnemann investigated the possibility of using diluted and succussed substances as medicines, and those investigations have not stopped.  Around the world, scientists and prescribers continue to test the possibilities inherent in homeopathy. What follows are summaries of the outcomes of just some of that research.

Human Studies

  1. Uchiyama-Tanaka Y. Case Study of Homeopathic Bowel Nosode Remedies for Dysbiotic Japanese Patients. J Altern Complement Med, 2017 Aug 14. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0061. Bowel nosodes made from the intestinal bacteria of European patients from the 1900s were administered to Japanese patients suffering from gastrointestinal disturbances, such as constipation and diarrhea, to determine their therapeutic efficacy. Twenty-eight outpatients from Yoko Clinic (11 males, 17 females; age range, 4-72 years) were enrolled in this study. One nosode remedy was selected for each case. Patients took six pills for 2 days. After a month, the effect of each treatment was evaluated using the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital Outcome Scale (grade +4 to -4). Patient numbers for each grade was +4 (N = 2), +3 (N = 4), +2 (N = 7), +1 (N = 3), 0 (N = 7), with no negative grades. Of the 23 patients treated, 69.6% showed some type of improvement, and no harmful effects from taking bowel nosodes were observed. 26% of patients showed major improvement or were “cured.”
  2. Tapas K, et al. To evaluate the role of homoeopathic medicines as add‑on therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis on NSAIDs: A retrospective study. Indian J Res Homoeopathy, 2014, 8, 24-30. This study was carried out to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receiving homoeopathic medicines with respect to QoL, Disease Activity Score (DAS), Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), morning stiffness/pain and frequency of analgesics after homoeopathic intervention using a retrospective analysis design. Patients diagnosed as sero‑positive for RA antigen receiving homeopathic medicines were assessed for DAS, QoL, frequency of analgesics, ESR and pain/morning stiffness. Ten people testing sero‑positive for RA with at least four clinical signs were evaluated from a single homoeopathic Out‑Patient Department from February 2009 and February 2011. Cases were analysed to determine the effect of homoeopathic constitutional treatment in people with RA. The use of the homoeopathic medicines was associated with a reduction in the intensity of pain in patients with RA (t = 4.3733, P < 0.01) along with reduction in consumption of NSAIDs (t = 2.4, P < 0.05). The DAS reduced in all 10 patients (t = 2.67, P < 0.01). The QoL was also found to improve under homoeopathic medication (t = 4.044, P < 0.01) and no further deterioration was observed in any of the 10 patients. Mean ESR improved to 19.5 from 38.1 (t = 2.235, P < 0.05). Out of 10, 3 (30%) patients were found to be sero‑negative after homoeopathic constitutional similimum.
  3. Palm J, et al. Effectiveness of an add-on treatment with the homeopathic medication SilAtro-5-90 in recurrent tonsillitis: An international, pragmatic, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract, 2017 Aug, 28, 181-191. In this international, pragmatic, controlled clinical trial, the research team investigated the effectiveness and safety of the homeopathic product SilAtro-5-90 in recurrent tonsillitis. 256 patients (6-60 years) with moderate recurrent tonsillitis were randomised to receive either SilAtro-5-90 in addition to standard symptomatic treatment, or to receive standard treatment only. The primary outcome was the mean time period between consecutive acute throat infections (ATI) within 1 year (analysed via repeated events analysis). During the evaluation year, the risk of getting an ATI was significantly lower (hazard ratio: 0.45, proportional means model, p = 0.0002, ITT) with SilAtro-5-90 compared to control. Tonsillitis-specific symptoms were significantly reduced (p < 0.0001, ITT) and the need of antibiotics to treat acute throat infections (p = 0.0008; ITT) decreased. 3 non-serious adverse drug reactions were reported for SilAtro-5-90.
  4. Pannek J, et al. Usefulness of classical homoeopathy for the prevention of urinary tract infections in patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction: A case series. Indian J Res Homoeopathy, 2014, 8, 31-36. The aim in this study was to assess the effectiveness of constitutional homeopathy in the treatment of people diagnosed with urinary tract infection (UTI) due to spinal cord injury (SCI), as an add‑on to standard urologic care. After the exclusion of morphological abnormalities and the initiation of a standard regime for prophylaxis, all patients with a neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction due to SCI, with more than three symptomatic UTI/year, were offered additional homoeopathic care. Symptoms were fever, incontinence, increased spasticity, decreased bladder capacity or pain, and decreased general health combined with significant bacteriuria. Eight patients were followed up for a median period of 15 months at the end of which five patients remained free of UTI, whereas UTI frequency was reduced in three patients.
  5. Shah, R. Clinical trial for evaluation of a Human Immunodeficiency Virus nosode in the treatment for Human Immunodeficiency Virus‑Infected individuals. Indian J Res Homoeopathy, 2015, 9, 25-33. 27 people diagnosed with HIV infection were given the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) nosode in 30C and 50C homeopathic potencies. An analysis of the outcomes found that of the study participants, 7 (25.93%) showed a sustained reduction in the viral load from 12 to 24 weeks and 9 participants (33.33%) showed an increase in the CD4+ count by 20% in 12th and 24th week. Significant weight gain was observed at week 12 (P = 0.0206). 63% and 55% showed an overall increase in either appetite or weight. 52% (14 of 27) participants showed either stability or improvement in CD4% at the end of 24 weeks, of which 37% participants showed improvement (1.54‑48.35%) in CD4+ count and 15% had stable CD4+ percentage count at week 24 week. 16 out of 27 participants had a decrease (1.8–46.43%) in CD8 count.
  6. van Haselen R, et al. The Effectiveness and Safety of a Homeopathic Medicinal Product in Pediatric Upper Respiratory Tract Infections With Fever: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Glob Pediatr Health, 2016, doi: 10.1177/2333794X16654851. Researchers in this trial investigated the clinical effectiveness of homeopathic add-on therapy in a paediatric subpopulation with upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) in a randomised, controlled, multinational clinical trial. Patients received either on-demand symptomatic standard treatment (ST-group) or the same ST plus a homeopathic combination (Influcid; IFC-group) for 7 days. Outcome assessment was based on symptom and fever resolution and the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 (WURSS-21). A total of 261 (<12 years) patients (130 IFC-group; 131 ST-group) were recruited in Germany and the Ukraine. The IFC-group used less symptomatic medication, symptoms resolved significantly earlier (P = .0001), had higher proportions of fever-free children from day 3 onwards, and the WURSS-assessed global disease severity was significantly less (P < .0001) during the entire URTI episode that the ST group. IFC as add-on treatment in paediatric URTI reduced global disease severity, shortened symptom resolution, and was safe in use.

Animal Studies

  1. Tungnunga IB, et al. Therapeutic evaluation of drug Crotalus horridus 200C against ehrlichiosis‑infected dogs in Mizoram. Indian J Res Homeopathy, 2016, 10, 42-51. The aim here was to study, the effect of the homeopathic medicine, Crotalus horridus 200C, on ehrlichiosis in dogs in an endemic area of Aizawl district of Mizoram state of India. 12 positive cases confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were divided into two groups comprising six dogs in each group. One group was treated with standard therapy (doxycycline) and other group was treated with Crotalus h at 4 pills orally for 20 days. Clinical improvement of affected dogs was recorded after therapy. Haemoglobin (Hb), packed cell volume (PCV), total erythrocyte count (TEC), total leukocyte count (TLC), differential leukocyte count (DLC), platelet count, total protein, albumin, globulin, A:G ratio, total bilirubin, serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and liver‑specific enzymes namely alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were assessed following standard protocols before and after treatment. All parameters were compared with a healthy control group (T3). The results from the PCR and blood tests showed a statistically significant association between the use of Crotalus h and recovery from canine ehrlichiosis.
  2. Brustolin Aleixo CF, et al. Beneficial immunomodulatory and neuro digestive effect in Trypanosoma cruzi infection after Lycopodium clavatum 13c treatment. Microb Pathog, 2017, 112, 1-4. This work evaluated the effects of Lycopodium clavatum, at 13C potency, on Wistar rats infected with T. cruzi. Rats were allocated into groups: IC (infected control group) and Ly (treated with Lycopodium 13C). The cytokines dosage (IFN-γ, IL-12, IL-10, IL-4), quantification and morphometry of myenteric neurons were evaluated. The treatment with Lycopodium modified the immune response, with an increase of IFN-γ on day 10 and IL-12 on day 24, a decrease of IL-10 concentration on day 10, and a subsequent increase of this cytokine and IL-4 on day 24, affording a bigger number of myenteric neurons compared to IC group. Thus, the use of Lycopodium was associated with an improved immune response in rats infected with T. cruzi, reducing the pathogenic progression of digestive Chagas disease.

Plant Studies

  1. Gupta VK, et al. Dose‑dependent effect of homoeopathic drug Zinc sulphate on plant growth using Bacopa monnieri as model system. Indian J Res Homoeopathy, 2014, 8, 19-23. Indian researchers analysed the effects of a homeopathic preparation of Zinc sulphate on plants through in‑vitro assay using Bacopa monnieri as a model plant system. Six homeopathic potencies (1X to 6X) of Zinc sulphate were used along with the control (MS basal agar medium). The samples were evaluated by adding a fixed amount (100 μl) in the media as well as by dipping the explants in the test sample overnight. At the completion of the incubation period (14 days) the fresh and dry weight, number and length of the roots, number and length of the shoots and the number of leaves were analysed. It was observed that Zinc sulphate showed growth inhibition at potencies from 1X to 5X, whereas at potency 6X, it exhibited growth promotion effect, when compared with the control.

In-Vitro Studies

  1. Passeti TA, et al. Action of antibiotic oxacillin on in-vitro growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) previously treated with homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy, 2017, 106, 1, 27-31. The team sought to assess the effect of the homeopathic medicine Belladonna (Bell) and a nosode (biotherapy) prepared from a multi-drug resistant bacterial species, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), on the same bacterium. Bell and MRSA nosode were prepared in 6C and 30C potencies in 30% alcohol and sterile water and tested on MRSA National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) 10442. The team assessed in-vitro bacterial growth, deoxyribonuclease (DNAase) and hemolysin activity, and in-vitro bacterial growth in combination with oxacillin (minimum inhibitory concentration – MIC). All values were compared to control: 30% alcohol and water. In-vitro growth of MRSA was statistically significantly inhibited in the presence of Bell and nosode 6C and 30C compared to controls (p < 0.0001); and with a combination of Bell or nosode 6C and 30C and oxacillin (p < 0.001). Bell 30C and nosode 6C and 30C significantly decreased bacterial DNAse production (p < 0.001) and reduced red blood cell lysis. This showed that cultures of MRSA treated with Belladonna or MRSA nosode exhibited reduced growth in-vitro, reduced enzymatic activity and became more vulnerable to the action of the antibiotic, oxacillin.

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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