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More research on homoeopathy.

For those of us who use or prescribe homoeopathic medicines, or who simply take an academic interest in the subject, any news of research that objectively confirms the effectiveness of homoepathy is usually of great interest. It's with this in mind that I have summarised some of the more recent studies that have been published in this area.

Human Studies

1. Khuda-Bukhsh AR, Pathak S, Guha B, Karmakar SR, Das JK, Banerjee P, Biswas SJ, Mukherjee P, Bhattacharjee N, Choudhury SC, Banerjee B, Bhadra S, Mallick P, Chakrabarti J, Mandal B. Can homeopathic arsenic remedy combat arsenic poisoning in humans exposed to groundwater arsenic contamination? A preliminary report on first human trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2005;2(4):537-48.

In a study that helps to confirm earlier work done in this area, researchers at the University of Kalyani in West Bengal, India, tested the capacity of homoeopathic Arsenicum album 30C to assist in the removal of arsenic in 123 people suffering from arsenic toxicity from groundwater contamination.

Given in intervals for ten and seven days, at the end of each interval the level of arsenic in the blood and urine, as well as the activity of various toxicity markers, was assessed in all subjects. Subsequent analysis of the results confirmed that the ingestion of Arsenicum album 30C by this group of people was associated with a statistically significant reduction in blood and urinary arsenic, and a normalisation of arsenic-associated toxicity markers.

2. van den Meerschaut L, Sunder A. The homeopathic preparation Nervoheel N can offer an alternative to lorazepam therapy for mild nervous disorders. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009;6(4):507-515.

This study, conducted in Belgium and the Netherlands, was constructed to compare the relative effects of a complex of homoeopathic ingredients (Nervoheel N) and lorazepam (sold in Australia as Ativan) in 2,478 people diagnosed with various mild nervous disorders, including insomnia, anxiety, restlessness and burnout.

The people enrolled in the study were assessed at baseline and underwent treatment in a non-randomised, open-label format and were reassessed at two weeks and four weeks by their prescribing practitioner. Analysis of the results after four weeks found that both interventions provided significant symptomatic improvement, with the people in the Nervoheel N group experiencing a slightly better level of improvement than those people using lorazepam.

3. Adler UC, Paiva NMP, Cesar AT, Adler MS, Molina A, Padula AE, Calil HM. Homeopathic individualized Q potencies versus fluoxetine for moderate to severe depression: double-blind, randomized non-inferiority trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009;17 Aug. [Epub ahead of print].

Using a randomised, double placebo-controlled design, researchers at the Federal University of Sao Paolo in Brazil enrolled 91 people who had been diagnosed with depression, using the DSM-IV criteria, into the study and randomly assigned them to receive either individualised homoopathy, fluoxetine (a drug commonly used to treat depression, otherwise known as Prozac) or a placebo version of both.

Using the standard therapeutic regime for either, at the end of the fourth and eighth weeks, all of those who completed the study were re-assessed for depression. Subsequent analysis found that both interventions were equally successful, with outcome scores for homoeopathy slightly ahead of those for fluoxetine, and the adverse reaction rate for homoepathy assessed at less than half of that for fluoxetine.

4. Witt CW, Ludtke R, Willich SN. Homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic sinusitis: a prospective observational study with eight years follow-up. BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders 2009, 9:7 doi:10.1186/1472-6815-9-7.

One hundred and thirty-two participants were enrolled in this study. They had been suffering from chronic sinusitis for an average of 10.7 years and were treated by a total of 62 physicians. Ninety-seven percent of these participants had previously been treated with conventional medicine without any sustained level of success.

In this study, they were all treated with individualised homoepathy, had their progress followed by their physicians for two years, and were monitored for symptom severity, quality of life, and conventional medicine use. After two years, participants monitored their own progress for a further six years. Of those that completed the study, average sinusitis symptom scores had reduced by 73%, physical quality of life scores had improved by 38% and mental quality of life scores had improved by 36%.

5. de Menezes Fonseca GRM, de Almeida Bolognani F, Durao FF, Souza KM, Accioly MCC, Bagarollo FM. Effect of homeopathic medication on the cognitive and motor performance of autistic children (Pilot study). International Journal of High Dilution Research 2008;7(23);63-71.

In this uncontrolled pilot study carried out in Brazil, 30 children diagnosed with autism using the DSM-IV criteria and evaluated via the Psychoeducational Profile Revised (PEPR), were treated with individualised homoeopathy and organotherapy. Assessment was carried using PEP-R before treatment and again four to ten months after beginning treatment. Subsequent analysis and assessment showed an improvement in depression in all subjects.

6. Marino R. Homeopathy and collective health: the case of Dengue epidemics. International Journal of High Dilution Research 2008;7(25):179-185.

In 2001 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, researcher Renan Marino conducted a trial using the homoepathic medicine, Eupatorium perfoliatum 30C, in a single dose, to protect residents against the development of Dengue Fever. A total of 1,959 people were given the medicine and were monitored to determine what effect, if any, was produced by the medicine over a fixed period of time. When this data was collected and compared to the Dengue Fever notification rate for a similar location, it was found that the single dose of the homoepathic medicine was associated with an 81% reduction in the development of the disease.

Animal Studies

1. Khuda-Bukhsh AR, Bhattacharyya SS, Paul S, Dutta S, Boujedaini N, Belon P. Modulation of signal proteins: a plausible mechanism to explain how a potentized drug, Secale cor 30C diluted beyond Avogadro's limit combats skin papilloma in mice. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009;16 Jul. [Epub ahead of print]

This study was carried out at the Department of Zoology at the University of Kalyani in India's West Bengal and was designed to test the hypothesis that the means by which homoopathic Secale 30C cures skin papilloma is by modulating the signalling proteins involved in the disease.

While this modulation may only be secondary to some other primary action, the researchers were able to detect, via histological, cytogenetical, immunofluorescence, ELISA and immunoblot assessment, not only a modulation of the signaling proteins involved in the pathology, but a statistically significant improvement in the condition.

2. Hielm-Bjorkman A, Tulamo RM, Salonen H, Raekallio M. Evaluating complementary therapies for canine osteoarthritis--Part II: A homeopathic combination preparation (Zeel). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009;6(4):465-71.

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki was the setting for this trial, which involved an investigation of the anti-osteoarthritic capacity of Zeel, a combination of homoepathically potentised ingredients. Using a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled protocol, 44 dogs suffering from osteoarthritis were randomly allocated to receive either Zeel or one of two versions of a placebo control.

All dogs received these materials for eight weeks and were examined every four weeks after an initial assessment which consisted of mobility, force-plate variables and owner-evaluated chronic pain, and pain and mobility index, as well as the intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The results collected showed that when compared to controls, the intake of Zeel was associated with a statistically significant reduction in osteoarthritic pain.

3. Preethi KC, Nair CK, Kuttan R. Clastogenic potential of Ruta graveolens extract and a homeopathic preparation in mouse bone marrow cells. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 2008;9(4):763-9.

This Indian study was carried out to determine what effects, if any, a plant extract of Ruta graveolens would exert on the bone marrow cells of mice, and whether or not a 200C homoepathic potency of the same material produced a similar effect. Both forms of Ruta plus a control were administered to separate groups of mice for 30 days (the extract was given in two different concentrations) and the bone marrow cells examined.

At the end of the study, measurements indicated that when compared to controls, both the plant extract and 200th potency of Ruta were found to have produced statistically significant changes to the cellular nuclear morphology, gross cellular morphology and cellular DNA.

Interestingly, a study published by the same author in 2006, found that a plant extract of Ruta and its 200C potency exhibited cytotoxicity against several common forms of tumor. The fact that both forms of Ruta will cause the same problem in healthy cells that they are capable of curing in cells that are already in this state, is a useful example of the similia principle in action.

4. Martins CR, Vieria EC, Gazim ZC, Massambani C. Treatment of subclinical mastitis by homeopathic mineral supplementation of the diet of lactating dairy cows: a case study. Cultura Homeopdtica 2007;19(2):16-19.

Carried out at the University of Paranaense, the authors of this uncontrolled trial tested four different complexes of homoepathic medicines, the ingredients of which were selected on the basis of the pathogenetic action of the individual ingredients and their ability to modify the symptoms of subclinical mastitis.

Thirty-two cows suffering from clinically confirmed mastitis were individually assigned to one of the four treatment groups based on their clinical symptoms, and given the medicine daily. Inflammatory cell counts were performed on the cows before they were given the homoepathic combinations and again at 90 days after starting treatment. An examination of these results found that on average, the homoepathic combination therapy was associated with a reduction in relative inflammatory cell count from 44.5% to 3.9%.

5. Alecu A, Alecu M, Cojocaru A, Brezeanu R. Effect of the homeopathic remedy Arnica montana 7CH on mechanical trauma in mice. Cultura Homeopatica 2007;(6)20:16-18.

Researchers at Romania's University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Targu Mures, carried this study out to determine what effect, if any, Arnica 7C could bring to bear on mice suffering from trauma, when compared to placebo. Forty mice were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or Arnica 7C, and the effects of either intervention assessed with reference to oedema and pain, every 15 minutes for three hours. Compilation and analysis of the results showed that Arnica 7C produced a statistically significant reduction in both parameters over and above that of the placebo.

6. Alecu A, Alecu M, Marcus G, Brezeanu R, Cojocaru A. Effect of the homeopathic remedies Arnica montana and Staphisagria on the time of healing of surgical wounds. Cultura Homeopathic 2007;(6)20:19-21.

This controlled experiment was designed test the hypothesis that homoeopathic Arnica and Staphysagria accelerate the recovery from the incisional wounds occurring in surgery. Seventy rats who had undergone surgery were randomly assigned to receive Arnica 7C, Arnica 30C, Staphysagria 7C, Staphisagria 30C, or placebo.

The wounds were sutured and observed daily for the degree of cicatrization. On analysis, it was found that both potencies of both medicines provided a similar acceleration of recovery, reducing cicatrization time from 20-23 days for the placebo, down to an average of 15-16 days for the homoeopathic medicines.

7. Barzon CD, de Medeiros F, Moraes RE, da Silva LCM, Massambani C, Takemura OS, Gazim ZC. Preliminary study of homeopathic treatment of subclinical mastitis evaluated through somatic cells count and California mastitis test. International Journal of High Dilution Research 2008;7(24):147-151.

This uncontrolled study, carried out at the University of Paranaense in Brazil, looked at the effects of a complex of homoepathic remedies on subclinical mastitis in cattle over a fixed period of time. Using the California Mastitis Test to determine the clinical progress and backing this up with a somatic cell count, 25 cows suffering from subclinical mastitis were treated for 75 days. The homoeopathic complex produced a clinically significant regression in the condition in 82% of the cows.

Plant Studies

1. Bonfim FPG, Martins ER, das Dores RGR, Barbosa CKR, Casali VWD, Honoriol CC. Use of homeopathic Arnica montana for the issuance of roots of Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Lippia alba. International Journal of High Dilution Research 2008;7(23);113-117.

This Brazilian study was conceived to determine the effects of Arnica 3C, 6C, 9C and 12C on the number and length of shoots and the percentage of sets and quality of stakes of Rosemary and White Lippia when compared to two different controls.

By adding 10 drops of each potency of Arnica in 400 mL of water to each plant, repeating this four times, and comparing the results from these plants to the controls, variance analysis confirmed that the 3C, 6C and 12C potencies of Arnica stimulated all of the rooting variables for both species.
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Author:MedHurst, Robert
Publication:Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:3BRAZ
Date:Sep 1, 2010
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