Research into homeopathy has been carried out continuously for over 200 years. Samuel Hahnemann began doing this in Europe with his experimentation into homeopathic medicines in the late 18th century and those initial findings that showed the benefits of this form of therapy have been have been repeatedly confirmed by human, animal, in vitro and plant studies ever since. Following are highlights from recently published work in this area.
1.Shukla P, et al. Homoeopathic Management of Breast Fibroadenoma—An Open Label, Single Arm, Observational Trial. Homœopathic Links. 2020;33(02):090-098. 64 women with fibroadenoma of the breast were treated with individualised homeopathy. The outcome measures were changes in clinical picture, number and size of lumps by ultrasonomammography. ER/PR study was performed by immuno-histochemistry using quick score analysis. Post-treatment response of 23 cases (35.93%) revealed disappearance of lump. Partial improvement was noticed in 22 cases (34.37%) with significant reduction in mean size (p < 0.001). Similarly significant reduction in number of lesions was seen in fibroadenoma (p <0.05). Conium maculatum and Phytolacca decandra were found to be the most useful remedies. Quick score value of ER after treatment showed significant reduction (Z = 4.910).
2. Sharma R, et al. Homeopathic Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: An Open, Single-Arm, Non-Comparative Study. Homœopathic Links. 2020;33(04):272-82. 84 people with acne vulgaris were treated with individualised homeopathy. Global Acne Grading System (GAGS) scores and Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI) scores were analysed at baseline and post medication at 3 and 6 months using one-way repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) in Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19 to assess the outcomes of intervention. Those enrolled in the study were analysed under a modified intention to treat approach. Significant differences were found in the severity of the disease and quality of life from baseline to 6 months in terms of GAGS (mean difference, 15.47; standard error [SE], 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 13.79–17.16; p < 0.001) and CADI (mean difference, 6.94; SE, 0.33; 95% CI, 6.12–7.75; p < 0.001) scores. A one–way repeated measures ANOVA was calculated and significant effects were found for GAGS scores (Wilks’s lambda = 0.142; F [2, 82] = 248.50; p < 0.001; effect size = 0.748) and CADI scores (Wilks’s lambda = 0.159; F [2, 82] = 217; p < 0.001; η2 = 0.786) at baseline and 3 and 6 months post medication. There was a positive correlation between the GAGS and CADI: r = 0.585, n = 84, p < 0.001. Nat-m (n = 14), Calc-s (n = 14), Sulph (n = 13), Kali-br (n = 10) and Hep-s (n = 9) were the most frequently used remedies.
3. Mukherjee A, et al. Evidence for the Efficacy of Ultra-High Diluted Homoeopathic Medicines in the Management of Influenza-Like Illness: A Narrative Review. Homœopathic Links. 2020;33(04):257-62. A search was conducted on standard databases for randomised clinical research on the use of homeopathy in influenza-like illness (ILI). The Jadad scale was applied as an assessment tool with the criteria of randomisation, blinding and withdrawal rates to evaluate the methodological quality of the selected randomised controlled trials. 7 trials were identified that fulfilled the inclusion criteria, lying between the ranges of 2 to 5 with a mean score of 3.71 indicating the efficacy of homeopathy in ILI. 6 studies showed a significant role for homoeopathy in the faster recovery of ILI symptoms. 1 trial, however, reported no noticeable difference in inter-group (treatment and placebo group) improvement but distinct intra-group comparison was observed.
4. Jain L, et al. Effectiveness of Individualised Homoeopathic Medicines versus Conventional Treatment in the Management of Primary Dysmenorrhoea in Young Unmarried Females: A Randomised, Open-Label, Clinical Study. Homœopathic Links. 2021;34(02):093-099. 80 women with primary dysmenorrhoea were randomly allocated to 2 groups: individualised homeopathic treatment (Group I) and the other with conventional treatment (Group II). The follow-up of cases was done every month for 6 cycles. Visual analogue score (VAS) was used to assess pain intensity and World Health Organization Quality of Life: Brief Version (WHOQOL-BREF) scale was used for assessing QoL, at 3 and 6 months of treatment. In Group I, out of 40 patients,14 (35%) cases reported moderate pain and 26 (65%) reported severe pain before treatment, out of whom 29 (72.5%) patients had mild pain, 8 (20%) cases moderate pain and 3 (7.5%) cases severe pain, after homeopathic treatment. In Group II, out of 40 patients, 11 (27.5%) reported moderate pain and 29 (72.5%) had severe pain before treatment, whereas 12 (30%) patients reported mild, 16 (40%) moderate pain and 12 (30%) severe pain, after conventional treatment. The t-value was –4.186 (p < 0.0001) for VAS and 3.988 (p < 0.0001) for overall domain WHOQOL-BREF mean transformed score.
5. Sexena R, et al. A Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial to Assess the Efficacy of Osteoarthritic nosode in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis. Homœopathic Links. 2021;34(03):199-205. 45 people who were radiographically diagnosed to be suffering from knee OA excluding Grade 4 of knee OA were allocated equally and randomly into two treatment groups. The patients in Group A received placebo and physiotherapy and patients in Group B received the homeopathic osteoarthritic nosode, and physiotherapy. The changes in patients’ symptomatic and functional domain were evaluated by Knee Outcome Survey-Activity of Daily Living Scale (KOS- ADLS) questionnaire score assessed at the baseline and after 3 months (6 follow-ups at 15 days interval) of treatment. The results showed that the patients with knee OA in Group B had significant improvement in both symptomatic and functional domains after treatment when compared with their initial status and when compared with Group A. Group A showed non-significant to no improvement in 72% of cases and 16% were aggravated when assessed on the symptomatic and functional domains. Group B showed mild to marked improvement in 80% of cases, whereas 12% showed non-significant to no improvement when assessed on the symptomatic and functional domains.
6. Ray AS, et al. Homoeopathic Treatment in Hypothyroidism—An Open-Label, Prospective, Single-Arm, Clinical Trial. Homœopathic Links. 2021;34(03):191-8. 36 people suffering from hypothyroidism were treated with individualised homeopathic medicine (IH). Changes to serum TSH and free T4 (FT4) were the primary outcomes and Zuleswki’s clinical scoring (ZCS) and thyroid symptom questionnaire (TSQ) as the secondary outcomes, measured at baseline and after 3 months of treatment. Intention-to-treat sample was analysed in the end by paired t-tests. Improvement in both primary and secondary outcomes was statistically significant (p <0.001, paired t-tests), TSH (mean reduction: 2.7, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.9–3.6, p = 0.001), FT4 (mean increase: −0.2, 95% CI: −0.3 to −0.2, p = 0.001), ZCS (mean reduction: 3.7, 95% CI: 2.9–4.6, p = 0.001), and TSQ (mean reduction: 2.9, 95% CI: 2.1–3.6, p = 0.001). Most frequently used medicines were Sulphur (20%), Pulsatilla nigricans (12.5%), Iodium (10%), Phosphorus (10%), and Natrum muriaticum (7.5%).
In Vitro Research
- Nagai MYDO, et al. Effects of homeopathic medicines on macrophage- E. cuniculiinter action in vitro. Int J High Dilution Res. 2018;17(1):1. Encephalitozoon cuniculi (E. cuniculi) is a fungus that behaves as an intracellular parasite infecting different types of cells. In rabbits and immuno-suppressed animals of other species, including humans, it parasitises neural tissues causing a highly characteristic neurological syndrome, for which homeopathic repertory analysis indicates Phosphorus. Successful treatment of 7 naturally infected rabbits with Phosphorus confirmed that this medicine probably is the remedy of the ‘epidemic genius’ of microsporidiosis. In the present study, an in vitro model was used to evidence the intracellular relationship between macrophages and E. cuniculi after treatment of co-cultures with different potencies of Phosphorus. RAW 254.7 macrophages were co-cultivated with E. cuniculi and treated with Phosphorus 6C, 30C and 200C. Controls were untreated co-cultures and cultures treated with vehicle (0.06% final alcohol concentration). Phagocytosis and lysosome activity were assessed after 1 and 24 hours of incubation. The vehicle increased IL-6, MCP-1 and MIP1 production (p<0.05) and reduced the number of phagocytised parasites (p<0.0001) after 1-hour incubation, but no effect was detected after 24 hours of treatment. Phosphorus 6C increased lysosome activity after 1- and 24-hour incubation and reduced the number of phagocytised parasites after 24 hours (p<0.05). Phosphorus 30C increased lysosome activity after 1-hour incubation, followed by reduction of parasite internalisation (p<0.001), and increased MCP-1 production (p<0.05) after 24 hours compared to both controls. The 200C potency increased lysosome activity at 1 and 24 hours(p<0.05), together with reduction of internalised parasites (p<0.01) and increase of MCP-1(p<0.05) compared to both untreated cells and cells treated with vehicle.
- Silva TC, et al. Study of the Effects of Homeopathic Medicine Carcinosinum on Mammary Adenocarcinoma (4T1 cells) in vitro. Int J High Dilution Res. 2018;17(2):22-3. The goal here was to identify the possible phenotypic changes, including viability, HER-2 expression and metastatis, using 4T1 cells in vitro as a model, after treatment with Carcinosinum in different homeopathic dilutions (12C; 30C; 200C), in 70% hydro-alcoholic solution. The final dilutions were inserted in the culture medium in a volume equal to 10%, at the time of cell seeding. The same succussed vehicle used to prepare the medicines (70% hydro-alcoholic solution), from the same batch and diluted 1:100 in sterile pure water, was used as control. All treated cells were cultivated in bottles of 25ml with cell density of 5 x 105 cells / ml and, after 24 hours of treatment, they were analysed for the apoptosis index. The morphology of the 4T1 cells was monitored by staining fixed cell smears with haematoxylin-eosin method. The samples were evaluated in quadruplicate and the data were analysed by one-way ANOVA. The results obtained showed that the treatment with Carcinosinum 12C produced a different pattern of cell death compared to the other treatments, with significant reduction in apoptosis index (one-way ANOVA, p=0.01) and clear hydropic degeneration phenotypic pattern.
- Travagin DRP, et al. Use of Homeopathic Arnica montana 30cH for Postoperative Analgesia in Female Dogs Undergoing Elective Ovariohysterectomy. Homeopathy. 2022;111(02):134-8. 30 healthy female dogs underwent the surgical procedure for ovario-hysterectomy with an anaesthetic protocol and analgesia that had the aim of maintaining the patient’s wellbeing. After the procedure, they were randomly divided into three groups of 10. 1 group received Arnica montana 30C; another received 5% hydro-alcoholic solution; and the third group, 0.9% NaCl saline solution. All animals received 4 drops of the respective solution sublingually and under blinded conditions, every 10 minutes for 1 hour, after the inhalational anaesthetic had been withdrawn. The Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale was used to analyse the effect of therapy. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by the Tukey test was used to evaluate the test data. Statistical differences were deemed significant when p ≤0.05.The arnica group maintained analgesia on average for 17.8 ± 3.6 hours, whilst the hydro-alcoholic solution group did so for 5.1 ± 1.2 hours and the saline solution group for 4.1 ± 0.9 hours (p ≤0.05).
- Bonfim FPG, et al. Production of Tomato Seedlings using Seeds Pelleted with Natrum muriaticumand Submitted to Saline Stress. Int J High Dilution Res. 2019;18(1):2-10. The development and yield of plants are directly related to the effects of salinity. Several scientific studies report a significant reduction in the growth and production of tomatoes in soils with high electrical conductivity. The correction or recovery of salinised soils, although technically possible, is a slow and costly process, making it necessary to develop new technologies. This study aimed to evaluate the production of tomato (Solanum lycopersicon L.) seedlings using seeds pelleted with a homeopathic preparation of Natrum muriaticum (Nat-m) submitted to saline stress. The treatments consisted of the pelletisation of tomato seeds with six dynamisations of Nat-m (3C, 5C, 7C, 9C, 11C, and 13C). Coated or uncoated seeds (controls) were placed in phenolic foam blocks, kept in plastic trays previously moistened with 50 mM NaCl saline solution (2.922 g.L-1 of NaCl, electrical conductivity = 4.5 dSm-1) and nutrient solution (0.15 dS.m-1) at half the ionic strength, containing 4, 1, 2, 1, 0.5, and 0.5 mmol.L-1 of N, P, K, Ca, Mg and S, and 17.5, 9.5, 10.5, 2, 0.45 and 0.35 mmol.L-1 of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, and Mo, respectively. The variables evaluated were the percentage of emerged plants, emergence speed index, shoot length, leaf area, number of leaves, root volume, root dry matter, and shoot dry matter. The treatments pelleted seeds/talc Nat-m 5C and pelleted seeds/talc Nat-m 7C increased all variables evaluated. However, they differed statistically from the controls, positively developing tomato seedlings under disequilibrium conditions.