Clinical and laboratory trials in homeopathy generally have two aims. The first of these is to test the effect of a homeopathic intervention, whether this intervention is a homeopathically prepared substance or a substance that’s homeopathic to the experience of the person with the illness being treated. The second is, as much as possible, to exclude any variables other than the homeopathic intervention that might affect the outcome of the trial. If successful, trials can provide us with both proof of concept and proof of the effect of the intervention. Below are summaries of some recent examples of research in this area that have shown positive outcomes .
- Roll S, et al. Comparative effectiveness of homoeopathic vs. conventional therapy in usual care of atopic eczema in children: long-term medical and economic outcomes. PLoS One, 2013, 8, 1, e54973. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054973. Epub 2013 Jan 31. German scientists using a prospective multi-centre, comparative, observational, non-randomized, rater-blinded study design, looked at the effects of either individualised homeopathic or conventional therapy for 135 children diagnosed with mild to moderate atopic eczema. The main outcome was via the SCORAD (SCORing Atopic Dermatitis) rating system at 36 months and was performed by a blinded rater. A multilevel ANCOVA was used, with physician as random effect and the following fixed effects: age, gender, baseline value, severity score, social class and parents’ expectation. The concluding assessment showed no statistical differences between the clinical outcomes achieved for both groups. It was also shown that homeopathic treatment was more expensive than conventional therapy.
- Govekar JP, et al. Clinical evaluation of homoeopathic medicines in sinusitis. Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy, 2008, 2, 1, 26-37. This was an open, multi-centric, prospective, observational study coordinated by an Indian government research team and looked at the effect of individualised homeopathy on sinusitis. 394 people diagnosed with acute or chronic sinusitis were enrolled in the study. Homeopathic medicines in different potencies (Q, 6, 30, 200 & 1M) were administered according to their prescribing indications and the treatment period ranged from 1 month to 6 years depending upon the nature of the disease condition. Then results showed that 138 patients had a complete remission of symptoms after a follow up period of one year. Varying degrees of improvement were seen in the rest of the cohort. Marked improvement was seen in 80 patients, moderate improvement in 91 patients, and mild improvement was seen in a further 66 patients. 4 patients experienced an aggravation of their condition and 15 patients showed no improvement.
- Garg KL. A Study to clinically evaluate the Efficacy of Homoeopathic preparations of Cinnamonum Q, Erigeron Q, Ficus Religiosa Q, Geranium Maculatum Q, Thalapsi Bursa Pastoris Q, Ledum pal 30, 200, Trillium Pendulum Q in Menorrhagia. Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy, 2007, 1, 1, 9-12. This Indian government study looked at the potential effectiveness of a number of predefined homeopathically prepared substances in the management of menorrhagia. To do this, the researchers enrolled 174 women diagnosed by a gynaecologist with menorrhagia. They were given one of the predefined homeopathic medicines based on their presenting signs and symptoms and assessed over 30 days according to predefined criteria. An analysis of the results found that of the 174 women enrolled, 81 showed a marked improvement, 69 experienced a moderate improvement, 13 had a mild improvement and 11 were unresponsive to treatment.
- Sunil S, et al. An open clinical observational study on the usefulness of pre-defined homoeopathic medicines in the management of chronic sinusitis. Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy, 2009, 3, 1, 34-40. This study, conducted under the control of the Indian Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, sought to determine what improvements, if any, homeopathy could provide for people suffering from clinically diagnosed chronic sinusitis. To do this, one of 17 predefined homeopathic medicines in centesimal scale of potencies (30C, 200C and 1M), were prescribed on the basis of the presenting signs and symptoms. 51 people completed the treatment and follow-up period of 6 months and were assessed using the Chronic Sinusitis Symptom Score (CSSS). At the end of the 6 month period, it was shown that 88% of the subjects experienced improvement in varying degrees. Marked improvement was seen in 31(61%), moderate improvement in 10 (20%) and mild improvement in 4 (8%) of the subjects.
- Reddy GRC. Treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in elderly Men with Homoeopathy – a series of eleven cases. Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy, 2009. 3, 4, 37-40. In this case series from the Indian government’s Clinical Research Unit (Homeopathy) in Andhra Pradesh, individualised homeopathy was prescribed for 11 men suffering from clinically diagnosed benign prostatic hyperplasia. They were followed up for one year and assessed via the American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUASI) to quantify the severity of illness. Of the 11 men treated, 7 were relieved of their urinary symptoms with the homeopathic medicine Pulsatilla nigricans and 4 with Thuja. In all the cases, reduction in AUASI score was found. In 6 cases prostate volume was reduced; in 3 cases prostate size and volume increased, while in 2 cases prostate volume remained unchanged.
- Bindra SK, et al. Usefulness of homoeopathic therapy in Distress During Climacteric Years. Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy, 2010, 4, 1. 21-28. In this open trial carried out by workers from the Indian government’s Clinical Research Unit (Homeopathy) in Jharkhand, individualised homeopathy was prescribed for 35 women diagnosed with menopausal symptoms, for 12 months. An analysis of the results at this point indicated that averaged level of change in symptoms severity across all presenting menopause symptoms was a 68% reduction. Some symptoms, such as hot flushes and night sweats, were reduced in severity by an average of 90%.
- Keirn AP, et al. The Multicomponent Medication Lymphomyosot Improves the Outcome of Experimental Lymphedema. Lymphatic Research and Biology, 2013, 11, 2, 81-92. In this study from the Michigan Technological University in Michigan, USA, researchers sought to evaluate the ability of the homeopathic combination product, Lymphomyosot, to treat tissue swelling and promote lymphangiogenesis in experimental models of murine lymphoedema. To do this, experimental models of mouse lymphoedema were injected with varied amounts of Lymphomyosot or saline as a control. Measurements of tail swelling and wound closure were taken and compared amongst the groups. Three separate groups of mice were analysed for lymphatic capillary migration, lymphatic vessel regeneration, and macrophage recruitment. On analysis of the results it was found that Lymphomyosot was associated with significantly reduced swelling and an increased the rate of surgical wound closure.
- Merlini LS, et al. Effects of a homeopathic complex on the performance and cortisol levels in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Homeopathy, 2014, 103, 2, 139-42. This work was performed in an effort to determine what effects, if any, a homeopathic combination product (Homeopatila 100) had on the cortisol levels of farmed fish (Nile tilapia) suffering from stress. 60 fish were randomly distributed into six water tanks and received one of two treatments: 30 animals received a negative control substance and 30 animals received the homeopathic complex. Blood levels of cortisol were assessed on days 1, 30 and 60. At the end of the experiment it was found that the fish receiving the homeopathic complex had significantly lower circulating cortisol level (17.96 ng/mL ± 0.95) than the control group (38.68 ng/mL ± 1.21).
- Naoual B, Stéphane C, Terzan L. Assessment of anti-inflammatory activity of homeopathic Arnica Montana. Int J High Dilution Res, 2013; 12(44):121-122. Proceedings of the XXVII GIRI Symposium; 2013, Sep, 03-04; Bern (Switzerland) 121. This study was done in two parts; in-vitro and in-vivo. The aim of the in-vitro trial was to measure the effect of Arnica montana 5C on the expression of intracellular cell adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) plays an important role in the inflammatory process and immune response. These cells were cultured and exposed to either Arnica or a placebo and assayed for molecular expression, after which it was shown that Arnica significantly attenuated ICAM-1 expression in endothelial cells compared to placebo, thereby displaying a significant endothelial anti-inflammatory effect. The in-vivo part looked at the effect of different homeopathic potencies of Arnica montana versus placebo, in the regeneration of skeletal muscle and inflammatory parameters in rats after injury. The results for this part of the study weren’t quite as successful as the in-vitro arm but did show an increase in the ratio of M2 to M1 macrophages, indicating a reduction in inflammation.
- Rajan A, Bagai U. Antimalarial potential of homeopathic medicines against schizont maturation of Plasmodium berghei in short-term in vitro culture. Int J High Dilution Res, 2012, 11, 41, 224-236. Scientists from the Department of Zoology in the Panjab University at Chandigarh in India performed this in-vitro experiment to discover what effect, if any, various dilutions of homeopathically prepared materials would have on the viability of Plasmodium berghei, a parasite commonly implicated in malaria, when compared to the action of chloroquine. Using the in-vitro schizont maturation inhibition assay, P. berghei was cultured, and at the intra-erythrocyte phase of its life cycle, exposed to mother tincture, 6C, 30C or 200C homeopathic preparations of China officinalis, Chelidonium majus or Arsenicum album, or material doses of chloroquine. Significant reduction of the growth of intra-erythrocyte stages of P. berghei was observed with the decreasing dilutions of mother tincture and the various potencies of China, Chelidonium and Arsenicum, exhibiting a dose-dependent effect. Maximum schizont maturation inhibition (80%) was observed with China mother tincture, China 30C and Chelidonium 30C, with chloroquine providing an inhibition of 95%. Arsenicum 30C provided an inhibition of 75%.