Previous issues of this journal have contained summaries of some of the more notable pieces of research carried out on homeopathy. As a means of keeping you up to date on this subject, more of these follow. If you use homeopathy in your clinical practice, this sort of information is useful to be aware of. Those of us who practice this modality are often asked to justify it by something other than anecdote. Given the difficulty that orthodox medicine and science has in accepting a mechanism for homeopathy, having knowledge of the controlled clinical evidence in homeopathy is of great help in being able to do this.
1. Frass M, Linkesch M, Banyai S, et al. Adjunctive homeopathic treatment in patients with severe sepsis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in an intensive care unit. Homeopathy. 2005 Apr; 94, 2, 75-80. In this study, 70 people admitted to an intensive care unit suffering from severe sepsis were treated either with individualised homeopathic treatment or placebo. On reviewing the signs of sepsis, organ failures, need for mechanical ventilation and other parameters at 180 days after beginning treatment, 76% of the patients using homeopathy met survival criteria versus 50% of those on placebo.
2. Frei H, Everts R, von Ammon K, et al. Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial. Eur J Pediatr. 2005 Dec, 164, 12, 758-67. 83 children diagnosed as suffering from ADHD using DSMIV criteria were treated with individually prescribed homeopathic medicines. Using the Connor’s Global Index scale it was determined that 63 of these children had a positive response to this treatment. These children were then randomised to receive either placebo or homeopathic medicines for 6 weeks and at this point were crossed over to receive placebo if they’d been using the homeopathics or visa versa. At the end of this period it was found that homeopathic therapy provided significantly better results than placebo.
3. Haila S, Koskinen A, Tenovuo J. Effects of homeopathic treatment on salivary flow rate and subjective symptoms in patients with oral dryness: a randomized trial. Homeopathy. 2005 Jul, 94, 3, 175-81. In this blind, placebo-controlled study, 28 people diagnosed with xerostomia (dryness of the mouth) were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or individually prescribed homeopathic medicines. Assessed using un-stimulated and wax-stimulated salivary flow rates and visual analogue scales at the end of the trial, only 26 of those people using homeopathic treatment and none using placebo were found to have had significant relief from the xerostomia. Following the assessment of these results, those on placebo were switched to homeopathic therapy, after which all experienced relief from their xerostomia.
4. Sevar R. Audit of outcome in 455 consecutive patients treated with homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy. 2005 Oct, 94, 4, 215-21. This study examined the effect of individualised homeopathic treatment of 455 consecutive patients in a homeopathic medical clinic who’d previously had unsuccessful orthodox medical treatment or were considered to be unsuitable for orthodox medical treatment. Of these, 67% derived benefit from homeopathic therapy, and 33% were able to stop or maintain a substantial reduction in their pharmaceutical drug therapy.
5. Baars EW, De Bruin A. The effect of Gencydo injections on hayfever symptoms: a therapeutic causality report. J Altern Complement Medorrhinum 2005 Oct, 11, 5, 863-9. In this study, 13 Dutch medical practitioners submitted patients (who between them had a mean history of hayfever of 9 years), for therapy involving injections of Gyncedo, a combination homeopathic product. All but 1 patient were given the medication before the onset of the hayfever season and all were given it during the hayfever season. Of these 13, during the course of the trial 9 people found no increase in nasal and non-nasal hayfever symptoms when the hayfever season began or during it and only 1 of the 13 felt compelled to use conventional hayfever medication.
1. Ruiz-Vega G, Poitevin B, Perez-Ordaz L. Histamine at high dilution reduces spectral density in delta band in sleeping rats. Homeopathy. 2005 Apr, 94, 2, 86-91. Histamine in material doses is a central nervous system stimulant operating via H1 receptors. The researchers in this study examined the effects of histamine in 30C homeopathic potency on the sleep patterns of rats. Using the spectral density of the delta band in the sleep electroencephalogram to measure the effects of the remedy, which is higher during periods on non-REM sleep, researchers found that histamine 30C produced an increase in wakefulness when compared to controls.
2. Sukul NC, Ghosh S, Sinhababu SP. Reduction in the number of infective Trichinella spiralis larvae in mice by use of homeopathic drugs. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005 Aug, 12, 4, 202-5. Trichinellosis, a disease caused by Trichinella spiralis which occurs in humans and animals, was the subject of this trial. Mice infected with this organism were given Podophyllum mother tincture, Cina 30C, Santonin 30C, or ethanol 30C as a control substance. After 120 days the mice were examined for the presence of the T. spiralis larvae and this was compared with the larval load before therapy. At 120 days the mice given Podophyllum had their larval load reduced by 61% when compared to the control, those given Santonin had a reduction of 81% and the mice given Cina had a reduction of 84%.
3. Aziz DM, Enbergs H. Stimulation of bovine sperm mitochondrial activity by homeopathic dilutions of monensin. Homeopathy. 2005 Oct, 94, 4, 229-32. Mitochondrial activity is an important marker for the health of sperm. It’s linked to sperm motility and in research laboratories monensin is commonly used as an inhibitor for sperm mitochondrial activity. The researchers in this study examined the effects of the 5th to the 14th decimal potencies of monensin on the activity of the mitochondria of sperm taken from mature bulls. All of the potencies produced a stimulatory effect on the bull sperm mitochondrial activity, with the 9X producing the strongest of these effects.
1. Brizzi M, Lazzarato L, Nani D, Borghini F, Peruzzi M, Betti L. A biostatistical insight into the As(2)O(3) high dilution effects on the rate and variability of wheat seedling growth. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005 Oct, 12, 5, 277-83. Wheat seedlings previously stressed with sub-lethal doses of arsenic, a substance known to be lethal to this plant, were treated with various potencies of Arsenicum album (5X, 15X, 25X, 35X and 45X), equivalent potencies of water and equivalent un-succussed dilutions of arsenic trioxide. The stem lengths of the seedlings was assessed at day 7 and it was found that the 45X potencies of Arsenicum and the water but not the diluted arsenic trioxide induced an increase in seedling height.
2. Binder M, Baumgartner S, Thurneysen A. The effects of a 45x potency of arsenicum album on wheat seedling growth — a reproduction trial. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005 Oct, 12, 5, 284-91. In a repeat performance of the previous trial, wheat seedlings previously exposed to sub-lethal doses of arsenic were cultivated in either Arsenicum album 45X, water 45X or un-potentised water, and the seedling height measured at 7 days. The experiment was independently reproduced 8 times and after the results were collated the wheat seedlings cultivated in Arsenicum 45X showed a significant reduction in height when compared to the 2 controls. This is a reversal of results seen in previous studies of this type, but does confirm a reproducible effect of this particular homeopathic medicine under these experimental conditions.
In Vitro Studies
Oberbaum M, Glatthaar-Saalmüller B, Stolt P, Weiser M. Antiviral activity of Engystol: an in vitro analysis. J Altern Complement Medorrhinum 2005 Oct, 11, 5, 855-62. Cultured tissue cells infected with herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), human rhinovirus (HRV), adeno 5 (A5V) and respiratory syncitial virus were exposed to Engystol, a homeopathic combination product. These cells were then assayed for virus clearance using plaque reduction, virus titration and Elisa methods. The results of these assays showed an 80% reduction in HSV-1 specific proteins, a 73% reduction in A5V specific proteins and a reduction in infectivity of RSV by 37% and HRV by 20%.
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