From time to time in various parts of the world, government therapeutic good’s regulators have called for the establishment of a robust evidence base to justify the use of various therapeutic interventions. These calls have contributed in part to a world-wide trend referred to as “evidence-based medicine”. This now affects all types of therapeutic interventions; devices, procedures and medicines, to ensure that their use is underpinned by rigorous peer-reviewed and placebo controlled evidence. Homoeopathy has not been ignored in this, and in an effort to keep readers up to date with the results of research in this area, what follows is another in the Hpathy homeopathic research series.
- Oberbaum M, Schreiber R, Rosenthal C, Itzchaki M. Homeopathic Treatment in Emergency Medicine, a case series. Homeopathy, 2003, 92, 44-47. In this study, 15 people suffering from orthopedic trauma were treated in a medical centre with homoeopathy, in addition to standard medical treatment. Treatment was commenced 24 hours after admission. All patients initially received Arnica 200C and anxiety was treated with Aconite, Opium, Ignatia or Arsenicum album, all in 200C potency. One day following this treatment, the majority of patients reported a reduction in pain and anxiety. 48 hours after admission, patients were treated with individualised homeopathic remedies. At discharge, 67% of patients rated the homeopathic treatment as successful.
- Kneusel O, Weber M, Suter A. Arnica montana Gel in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: an open, multiceter clinical trial. Advanced Therapies, 2002, Sep-Oct, 19, 5, 209-18. In this uncontrolled study, 79 people suffering from mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee were given a gel containing Arnica and asked to apply it twice daily. They were assessed at 3 and 6 weeks for pain, stiffness and functional ability of the knee. Both assessments showed a significant reduction in pain and stiffness, and a significant improvement in the functional ability of the knee.
- Maronna U, Weiser M, Klein P. Comparison of the Efficacy and Tolerance of Zeel comp. and Diclofenac for the Oral Treatment of Gonarthrosis. Biological Medicine, 2000, 29, 3, 157-158. Diclofenac, a non-steroidal inflammatory drug, is a commonly prescribed medicine for rheumatic diseases. The effects of this drug were compared to those of Zeel, a homeopathic complex preparation, with 121 people suffering from gonarthrosis. The trial was designed as a randomised, double-blind, actively controlled parallel study. Assessments for pain, stiffness and functional ability were carried out at 2, 4, 6 and 10 weeks after commencing treatments. By the end of the 10 week period, there were no statistical differences observed in the outcomes of both treatment regimes. The homeopathic complex product and the drug were equally effective in the management of gonarthrosis.
- Weiser M, Gegenheimer LH, Klein P. A Randomised Equivalence Trial Comparing the Efficacy and Safety of Luffa comp.- Heel Nasal Spray with Cromolyn Sodium Spray in the Treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. Forschende Komplementarmedizin, 1999, 6, 142-148. In this trial, 146 people suffering from hay fever were treated with either Luffa comp.-Heel Nasal Spray (a homeopathic combination product) or with Cromolyn Sodium Spray (a pharmaceutical drug commonly prescribed for hay fever). The treatment outcomes were measured according to a quality of life scale and both medicines provided the same level of remission of the condition, which was rapid and persistent.
- Kayne S. A Pilot Trial to Study the Perceived Effectiveness of Homoeopathic remedies bought Over The Counter (OTC) in British Pharmacies. Journal of the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital NHS Trust, 1997, January 23-24, 90-94. 1000 questionnaires were sent to 8 UK pharmacies, requesting them to pass the questionnaires to customers. These, questionnaires asked the customers whether or not they found OTC homeopathic medicines effective for the conditions for which they were purchased. A total of 257 users responded, and the accumulated results showed that 83% of respondents felt better after taking the product.
- Schroder D, Weiser M, Klein P. Efficacy of a Homeopathic Crataegus preparation compared with usual therapy for Mild Cardiac Insufficiency: Results of an Observational Cohort Study. European Journal of Heart Failure, 2003, June, 5, 3, 319-26. In a non-randomised cohort study, 212 people suffering from mild cardiac insufficiency were given Cralonin, a homeopathic combination product, or a combination of an ACE inhibitor and diuretic (a combination medical therapy normally prescribed for this condition). Both products were similarly effective in controlling the condition.
- Itamura R, Hosoya R. Homeopathic Treatment of Japanese patients with intractable Atopic Dermatitis. Homeopathy, 2003, 92, 108-114. In this uncontrolled study, 17 people suffering from intractable atopic dermatitis undertook individualised homeopathic treatment for the condition in conjunction with their existing pharmaceutical therapy, for a period of up to 2 years and 7 months. On an objective assessment and the patient’s own assessment, all patients experienced in excess of 50% improvement by the end of the trial.
In Vitro Studies
- Chirila M, Hristescu S, Manda G, Neagu M, Olinescu A. The Action of Succussed Substances on the Human Lymphocytes and PMN Granulocytes in Vitro Stimulated with Phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and Zymosin Opsonised (ZO). Berlin Journal on Research in Homoeopathy, Congress Report, 1991, June, 1, 3, 166-167. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were taken from people with a history of allergy to bee products (Group 1) and people who were immunosuppressed (Group 2). These cells were incubated in culture media supplemented with a succussed water control or various homeopathic potencies of bee venom (for Group 1 cells) or cortisone (for Group 2 cells) and artificial proliferation of the cells was produced. The proliferation of Group 1 cells was inhibited by the potencies of bee venom, indicating that these remedies may be useful in the management of allergies to bee products. The effects of the potencies of cortisone on the Group 2 cells varied from stimulation to inhibition.
- Chakrabarti J, Biswas SJ, Khuda-Bukhsh AR. Cytogenetical Effects of Sonication in Mice and their Modulations by Actinomycin D and a Homeopathic drug, Arnica 30. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 2001, December, 39, 12, 1235-42. Mice were exposed to ultrasonication (high frequency shaking) and assessed for the effects of the unltrasonication after the administration of either Arnica 30 or Actinomycin D. These interventions were assessed against controls for parameters such as chromosome aberrations, mitotic index, sperm head anomaly and micronucleated erythrocytes. All of these parameters were used to assess the cellular and sub-cellular damage caused to the mice by the ultrasonication. In comparison the control mice, the mice that were given Arnica 30, had appreciably reduced effects from the ultrasonication, indicating that Arnica 30 can ameliorate the cellular and subcellular damage resulting from this form of physical trauma.
- Oberbaum M, Weissman Z, Bentwich Z. Treatment of Murine SLE by Idiotype Isotherapy. Berlin Journal on Research in Homoeopathy, Congress Report, 1991, June, 1, 3, 168. Using the knowledge that Systemic Lupus Erythrematosis (SLE) is induced by anti-DNA idiotype 16/6, homeopathic potencies were made of this material and it was administered to mice suffering from SLE. When compared to controls, 100% of the mice treated with the 30X potency of the idiotype had a positive response to the treatment.
- Herkovits J, Perez-Coll CS. Could Potentized Microdoses of Cadmium change the Toxicological Effect of this Heavy Metal? Berlin Journal on Research in Homoeopathy, Report from the 4th Giri Symposium, 1991, June, 1, 3, 171. Toad embryos were exposed to Cadmium in 4X, 8X and 10X potencies. Either immediately or 24 hours later, the embryos were exposed to a (normally lethal) solution equivalent to 1mg/l of Cadmium. Both on immediate and delayed exposure, the potencies of cadmium exerted a statistically significant protective effect against the actions of the cadmium solution.