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Research Into Homeopathy – Part 30

researchUnless you regularly scan the relevant scientific journals or internet medical research databases, you may not be aware of much of the research work that’s been done on homeopathy. I monitor these resources periodically and following are summaries of some of the work in this area that’s recently come to light.

 

Human Research

  1. Bell IR, et al. Short-term effects of repeated olfactory administration of homeopathic Sulphur or Pulsatilla on electroencephalographic alpha power in healthy young adults. Homeopathy, 2011, 100, 4, 203-11. Iris Bell and colleagues from the University of Arizona explored encephalograms as a means of registering a remedy and potency specific response to homeopathic medicines. To do this they enrolled college psychology course student volunteers who’d been screened for their homeopathic constitutional type (via the Homeopathic Constitutional Type Questionnaire or CTQ) and gave them 4 different succussion levels of 6c, 12c, and 30c potencies of the indicated remedy (in this case either Sulphur or Pulsatilla), one potency per week, or one of two controls, in a randomly assigned order. Remedies were given by inhalation via a double blinded protocol for three weeks and the subjects were assessed using relative EEG power (alpha 1 8-10 Hz; alpha 2 10-12 Hz) averaged over 19 electrode sites. An analysis of the results revealed significant main effects for remedy type (Sulphur >Pulsatilla) in both alpha bands, controlling for gender, baseline resting EEG alpha, and control responses. Additional analyses showed significant nonlinear interactions between dilution and time (weekly session) in alpha 2 for both remedies and alpha 1 for Sulphur.

 

  1. Gründling C, Schimetta W, Frass M. Real-life effect of classical homeopathy in the treatment of allergies: A multicenter prospective observational study. Wien Klin Wochenschr, 2012, 124, 1, 211-7. This Austrian study builds on previous work seeking to determine the outcomes of individualised homeopathic therapy, and in this case, therapy for people suffering from allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma or neurodermatitis. 40 people suffering from this illness were treated using individualised homeopathy in one of nine separate Austrian clinics by general practitioners trained in homeopathy. An assessment of the condition was done at baseline and after treatment by a visual analogue scale. On analysis a statistically significant association was shown between the homeopathic intervention and a discontinuance of conventional medicine in 62% of participants and a dose reduction in at least one conventional medicine in 38% of participants. No side effects were reported during treatment.

 

  1. Nayak C, et al. Homeopathy in chronic sinusitis: a prospective multi-centric observational study. Homeopathy. 2012, 101, 2, 84-91. This study was conducted under the auspices of India’s Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy and sought to assess the benefit or otherwise in chronic sinusitis of 13 predefined homeopathically prepared materials. 550 people with radiologically confirmed chronic sinusitis were given one of thirteen homeopathically prepared materials based on their individual symptoms and monitored at baseline, 3 months and 6 months. Assessment was by radiology and the chronic sinusitis assessment score. On analysis a statistically significant association was found between the homeopathic therapy and a reduction in both the radiological evidence of the condition and the chronic sinusitis assessment score. The most frequently prescribed homeopathically prepared materials were Silica, Calc carb, Lycopodium, Phosphorous and Kali iod.

 

  1. Kundu T, et al. Homeopathic medicines substantially reduce the need for clotting factor concentrates in haemophilia patients: results of a blinded placebo controlled cross over trial. Homeopathy. 2012, 101, 1, 38-43. This Indian study looked at the effects of individualised homeopathic management for people suffering from haemophilia. 28 people suffering from this condition were treated with either conventional protocols and placebo control, or conventional protocols and individualised homeopathy, for 12 months, after which the interventions were switched between the two groups. An analysis of the results was done by independent experts who were blinded to the interventions. The analysis was based on the frequency of bleeding, extent of bleeding, blood products consumed, pain scores and general wellbeing. When compared to controls a strong association was seen between the homeopathic intervention and improvements in all of these parameters. Interestingly, plasma levels of clotting factors did not change. Arnica, Ledum palustre, Magnesium phosphorica and Hypericum were found most useful for pain while Arnica, Hamamelis and Millefolium, were useful in acute bleeding. Calcarea fluorica was found to be of greatest help with haemophilic synovitis. Millefolium was effective for epistaxis. Most patients had haemophilic arthritis of one or more joints. Constitutional remedies like Causticum, Calcarea carbonica and Hepar sulphuris and Lachesis were found useful.

 

  1. Eizayaga JE, Eizayaga JI. Prospective observational study of 42 patients with atopic dermatitis treated with homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy. 2012, 101, 1, 21-7. Researchers at the Universidad Maimónides in Argentina set about evaluating the effectiveness of individualised homeopathic treatment for atopic dermatitis in the University outpatient clinic and the clinic of the treating physician. Patients with medically diagnosed atopic dermatitis were assessed for Rajka and Langeland’s score and a set of four Visual Analogue Scales, these evaluating disease severity, itch, general and psychological wellbeing as well as quality of sleep. 26 people with the condition completed the study and after the results were compared with the baseline measurements, it was shown that individualised homeopathic therapy was associated with a statistically significant reduction in these parameters. Sulphur accounted for 60% of cases with good treatment response but aggravations were recorded after nearly 30% of prescriptions.

 

  1. Sinha MN, et al. Randomized controlled pilot study to compare Homeopathy and Conventional therapy in Acute Otitis Media. Homeopathy. 2012, 101, 1, 5-12. This study, carried out by workers from the Regional Research Institute of Homeopathy in Jaipur, India, sought to contrast the comparative benefits of homeopathy and conventional therapy for acute otitis media. 80 children suffering from this condition were randomly assigned to receive either homeopathic therapy using one of a number of clinically indicated remedies in fifty millesimal potency, or conventional therapy consisting of analgesics, antipyretics and anti-inflammatory drugs. The clinical progress outcomes were monitored over 21 days using the Acute Otitis Media-Severity of Symptoms (AOM-SOS) Scale and Tympanic Membrane Examination. On analysis, there were no significant differences between groups for the main outcome. Symptomatic improvement was quicker in the group given homeopathic therapy, and there was a large difference in antibiotic requirements, favouring homeopathy. The most commonly prescribed homeopathic medicines were Pulsatilla nigricans, Mercurius solubilis, Silicea, Chamomilla, Lycopodium clavatum & Sulphur. These medicines were useful in treatment of (n= 36) 85% of patients.

 

Animal Research

  1. Rocha MPS, et al. Behavior of rats treated with Rhus toxicodendron 200cH. Int J High Dilution Research, 2008, 7, 22, 3-6. The object of this exercise was to determine the effects of homeopathically prepared Rhus tox 200C and diazepam, on hyperactivity and hypoactivity in mice in open field tests, compared to controls. Mice were classified into hyperactive or hypoactive groups and assigned to receive Rhus tox 200C, diazepam or a water control, and their activities in an open field environment observed before and after treatment. Upon analysis it was found that Rhus tox 200C and diazepam both produced statistically significant reductions in hyperactivity when compared to controls. None of the interventions produced a significant effect on hypoactivity.
  1. Banerjee P, et al. Evidences of Protective Potentials of Microdoses of Ultra-high Diluted Arsenic Trioxide in Mice Receiving Repeated Injections of Arsenic Trioxide. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011: 391752. Published online 2011 February 14. This study was undertaken to determine if Arsenicum Album 200C has hepatoprotective effect in mice subjected to repeated exposure to arsenic trioxide. Arsenic intoxicated mice were divided into: (i) those receiving Arsenicum Album-200C daily, (ii) those receiving the same dose of diluted and succussed alcohol (Alc 200C) and (iii) another group receiving neither drug nor ASlc 200C. Two other control groups were also maintained: one fed a normal diet only and the other receiving normal diet and Alc-200C. Toxicity biomarkers such as aspartate and alanine aminotransferases, glutathione reductase, catalase, succinate dehydrogenase, superoxide dismutase and reduced glutathione contents were periodically assayed’. Additionally, electron microscopic studies and gelatin zymography for matrix metalloproteinases of liver tissues were made at day 90 and 120. Blood glucose, haemoglobin, oestradiol and testosterone levels were also assessed. When compared to controls, the mice that were fed Arsenicum Album-200C showed less evidence of chronic arsenic exposure.

 

  1. Aleixo DL, et al. Diluted benznidazole decreases side effects in animals infected by Trypanosoma cruzi and treated with benznidazole in ponderal dose. Int J High Dilution Res, 2012, 11, 40, 170-171. Proceedings of the XXVI GIRI Symposium; 2012, Sep, 20-22; Florence (Italy). The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at any one time there are approximately 8 million people suffering from Chaga’s Disease in Mexico, Central and South America. The disease is normally treated with benznidazole but this therapy is associated with significant side effects. Brazilian scientists set out to investigate the possibility of using homeopathically prepared benznidazole as a means of dealing with these side effects. To do this mice infected with Tyrypanosoma cruzi, the organism thought to cause Chaga’s disease, were treated with a benznidazole, benznidazole 30X, benznidazole plus benznidazole 30X, benznidazole plus benznidazole 30X started 4 days after beginning benznidazole treatment, or a control substance. The mice were then assessed for body weight, water and food intake, amount of faeces, temperature, aspect of the fur, mortality and survival time, and parasitemia. The results showed that when compared to the control and the mice treated with benzidazole alone, those mice treated with benznidazole plus either concurrent benznidazole 30X or benznidazole 30X after 4 days, all showed a statistically significant reduction in side effects. The mice given material doses of benznidazole had a reduction in their parasitaemia and those given benznidazole 30X alone derived no benefit from it at all.

 

In-Vitro Research

  1. Coelho CP, et al. Effect of homeopathic treatment used in commercial boar semen diluent on sperm viability. Int J High Dilution Res, 2012, 11, 40, 174-176. Proceedings of the XXVI GIRI Symposium; 2012, Sep, 20-22; Florence (Italy). This Brazilian study sought to determine the effects of homeopathically potentised material, Pulsatilla 6C, Avena sativa 6C, or a combination of the two, on the quality of boar semen. Semen samples were obtained from two 18 month old sexually mature boars and one dose of two globules of each of the test materials, plus a control, were added to individual aliquots of 100 mL of diluted boar semen, which were then chilled. All samples were labeled in codes for blinding. On analysis of the results the team discovered that when compared to controls, Pulsatilla 6C produced a statistically significant improvement in the quality of cooled and stored pig semen.