Homeopathy Really works!- Daily Mail UK

Homeopathy really does work and doctors should recognize its healing effects, say researchers.

A study found that allergy sufferers who were given homeopathic treatment were ten times more likely to be cured than those given a dummy pill instead. Doctors should be more positive about the alternative medicine, which is the only complementary therapy available on the NHS, the researchers said. Their study attempts to settle the controversy over homeopathic treatment, which critics say is not effective because of the tiny level of active substance used in most remedies. It works on the principle that a substance which in large doses will cause the symptoms of an illness can be used in minute doses to relieve the same symptoms.

Critics argue that the active substance is so diluted that homeopathic remedies have no more effective than placebo or dummy treatment.

The study put homeopathy to the test in 50 patients suffering from nasal allergies. They were given either a homeopathic preparation or a placebo.

Each day for four weeks patients recruited from general practices and a hospital in London measured their nasal air flow and recorded symptoms such as a blocked, runny or itchy nose, sneezing or eye irritation.

Both groups reported that they got better – but on average patients who received homeopathy had a 28 percent improvement in nasal airflow compared with 3 percent among those in the placebo group.

The study was carried out by doctors in Glasgow, led by Dr. David Reilly of the Glasgow Homeopathic

Hospital, one of five specialist hospitals in Britain. He said the difference in results from the two treatments was statistically significant.

Dr. Reilly said this was the fourth trial carried out by his hospital, all with similar results. In addition, there were positive findings in 70 per cent of a further 180 clinical trials.

‘I hope this will encourage doctors to examine the volume of evidence supporting homeopathy – they might be quite surprised at the positive outcome in many trials,’ he said.

He added that it would take the consistent scientific investigation to persuade some doctors, but attitudes were changing.

About 20 percent of doctors in Scotland have basic homeopathic training compared with one percent 15 years ago.

‘It isn’t just about the remedies, which can be put to the test in trials, but about a greater holistic approach in encouraging self-healing and self-recovery.’

Dr. Bob Leckridge, president of the Faculty of Homeopathy – the body for doctors, vets, nurses and other health professionals – said: ‘This latest research builds on existing evidence that homeopathy works, something that hundreds of doctors and their patients have known for 200 years.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4040/Homeopathy-works.html

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New Study at Dutch University: Homeopathy Works for E-Coli Diarrhoea

A research study at the Wageningen University in Holland suggests that homeopathy may be an alternative to antibiotics in neonatal diarrhea of piglets. This is a randomized, observer blind and placebo-controlled trial done on piglets, not prone to the placebo effect. It is another remarkable example of a study showing that homeopathy works and that there is scientific verification for it. You can find the results in pubmed.

The Biological Farming Systems Group at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands recently conducted a research study to investigate if homeopathy might be an alternative to antibiotics in one of the most common illnesses in swine which is neonatal diarrhea of piglets. This disease leads to weight loss and increased piglet mortality, which has substantial economic consequences. Conventional treatments of Escherichia coli (E. coli) diarrhea is the administration of antibiotics to affected piglets or preventive vaccination of the cows.

To investigate if E. coli diarrhea in neonatal piglets could be prevented by homeopathy, the researchers set up a randomized, observer blind and placebo-controlled trial. On a commercial pig farm 52 sows of different parties, in their last month of gestation, were treated twice a week with either the homeopathic agent Coli 30K or placebo. The 525 piglets born from these sows were scored for occurrence and duration of diarrhea.

Piglets of the homeopathically treated group had significantly less E. coli diarrhea than piglets in the placebo group (P < .0001). Especially piglets from first parity sows gave a good response to treatment with Coli 30K. Diarrhea seemed to be less severe in the homeopathically treated litters, there were less transmission and duration appeared shorter.

Advantages at farm level are the application of the treatment by the farmer and cost reduction. These advantages and the positive results from this study make the homeopathic agent Coli 30K an attractive potential alternative in the prevention of E. coli diarrhea. This study also suggests that homeopathic treatment in livestock may help the European citizen be protected from pharmacological residues in animal products and thus reduce the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Reference
Camerlink I, Ellinger L, Bakker EJ, Lantinga EA (2010). Homeopathy as replacement to antibiotics in the case of Escherichia coli diarrhea in neonatal piglets. Homeopathy, 99; 57–62.

New Study at Dutch University: Homeopathy Works for E-Coli Diarrhoea

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Research Experiment: Homeopathic Remedies Prevent Dye-induced Liver Cancer in Mice

An older study using two homeopathic remedies to determine if they could stop or prevent the growth of cancerous tumors previously induced in mice showed a very positive result for the homeopathic remedies versus placebo.
 Here are the details of the study:
Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741 235, India.

Indian journal of biochemistry & biophysics (Impact Factor: 0.87).08/2009; 46(4):307-18. Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The study was undertaken to examine whether Carcinosin-200 (Car-200- [a homeopathic remedy]) could provide additional ameliorative effect, if used intermittently with Natrum sulphuricum-30 (Nat Sulph-30- [a homeopathic remedy]) against hepatocarcinogenesis induced by chronic feeding of p-dimethylaminoazobenzene (p-DAB) and phenobarbital (PB) in mice (Mus musculus). Mice were randomly divided into seven sub-groups: (i) normal untreated; (ii) normal + succussed alcohol; (iii) p-DAB (0.06%) + PB (0.05%); (iv) p-DAB + PB + succussed alcohol, (v) p-DAB + PB + Nat Sulph-30, (vi) p-DAB + PB + Car-200, and (vii) p-DAB + PB + Nat Sulph-30 + Car-200. They were sacrificed at 30, 60, 90 and 120 days for assessment of genotoxicity through cytogenetical end-points like chromosome aberrations, micronuclei, mitotic index and sperm head anomaly and cytotoxicity through assay of widely accepted biomarkers and pathophysiological parameters. Additionally, electron microscopic studies and gelatin zymography for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were conducted in the liver at 90 and 120 days. Results showed that administration of Nat Sulph-30 alone and in combination with Car-200 reduced the liver tumors with positive ultrastructural changes and in MMPs expression, genotoxic parameters, lipid peroxidation, gamma-glutamyl transferase, lactate dehydrogenase, blood glucose, bilirubin, creatinine, urea and increased GSH, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase activities and hemoglobin, cholesterol, and albumin levels. Thus, intermittent use of Car-200 along with Nat Sulph-30 yielded additional benefit against genotoxicity, cytotoxicity, hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress induced by the carcinogens during hepatocarcinogenesis.

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New Scientific Study Shows Homeopathic Remedy Has Significant Effect

A new study has been performed at the Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory Department of Zoology, India with amazing results. The study can be seen here in the JCIM Journal.

“The Objective: Whether ultra-highly diluted homeopathic remedies can affect living systems is questionable. Therefore, this study sees value in the analysis of whether homeopathically diluted glucose 30C has any effect on Escherichia coli exposed to arsenite stress.”

The astounding results were:

” In arsenite-exposed E. coli, the glucose uptake increased along with decreases in the specific activities of hexokinase and glucokinase, intracellular ATP and membrane potential and an increase in the gene expression level of glucose permease. Glucose uptake increased further by the addition of 1%, 3% or ultra-highly diluted glucose in the medium, but not by the placebo.”

Heidi Stevenson writes more about it in Gaia Health:

New Scientific Study Shows Homeopathic Remedy Has Significant Effect

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homeopathy really does work

I was a dedicated scientist about to begin a PhD in neuroscience when, out of the blue, homeopathy bit me on the proverbial bottom.

Science had been my passion since I began studying biology with Mr Hopkinson at the age of 11, and by the age of 21, when I attended the dinner party that altered the course of my life, I had still barely heard of it. The idea that I would one day become a homeopath would have seemed ludicrous.

That turning point is etched in my mind. A woman I’d known my entire life told me that a homeopath had successfully treated her when many months of conventional treatment had failed. As a sceptic, I scoffed, but was nonetheless a little intrigued.

She confessed that despite thinking homeopathy was a load of rubbish, she’d finally agreed to an appointment, to stop her daughter nagging. But she was genuinely shocked to find that, after one little pill, within days she felt significantly better. A second tablet, she said, “saw it off completely”.

I admit I ruined that dinner party. I interrogated her about every detail of her diagnosis, previous treatment, time scales, the lot. I thought it through logically – she was intelligent, she wasn’t lying, she had no previous inclination towards alternative medicine, and her reluctance would have diminished any placebo effect.

Scientists are supposed to make unprejudiced observations, then draw conclusions. As I thought about this, I was left with the highly uncomfortable conclusion that homeopathy appeared to have worked. I had to find out more.

So, I started reading about homeopathy, and what I discovered shifted my world for ever. I became convinced enough to hand my coveted PhD studentship over to my best friend and sign on for a three-year, full-time homeopathy training course.

Now, as an experienced homeopath, it is “science” that is biting me on the bottom. I know homeopathy works, not only because I’ve seen it with my own eyes countless times, but because scientific research confirms it. And yet I keep reading reports in the mediasaying that homeopathy doesn’t work and that this scientific evidence doesn’t exist.

The facts, it seems, are being ignored. By the end of 2009, 142 randomised control trials (the gold standard in medical research) comparing homeopathy with placebo or conventional treatment had been published in peer-reviewed journals – 74 were able to draw firm conclusions: 63 were positive for homeopathy and 11 were negative. Five major systematic reviews have also been carried out to analyse the balance of evidence from RCTs of homeopathy – four were positive (Kleijnen, J, et alLinde, K, et alLinde, K, et alCucherat, M, et al) and one was negative (Shang, A et al). It’s usual to get mixed results when you look at a wide range of research results on one subject, and if these results were from trials measuring the efficacy of “normal” conventional drugs, ratios of 63:11 and 4:1 in favour of a treatment working would be considered pretty persuasive.

Of course, the question of how homeopathy works is another matter. And that is where homeopathy courts controversy. It is indeed puzzling that ultra-high dilutions of substances, with few or no measurable molecules of the original substance left in them, should exert biological effects, but exert biological effects they do.

There are experiments showing that homeopathic thyroxine can alter the rate of metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs, that homeopathic histamine can alter the activity of white blood cells, and that under the right conditions, homeopathic sodium chloride can be made to release light in the same way as normal sodium chloride. The idea that such highly-diluted preparations are not only still active, but retain characteristics of the original substances, may seem impossible, but these kinds of results show it’s a demonstrable fact.

Surely science should come into its own here – solving the riddles of the world around us, pushing the frontiers of knowledge. At least, that is the science I fell in love with. More of a puzzle to me now is the blinkered approach of those who continue, despite increasing evidence, to deny what is in front of them.

In the last few years, there has been much propaganda and misinformation circulated, much of it heralding the death of homeopathy, yet the evidence shows that interest in complementary and alternative medicine is growing.

In February, the “sceptics” campaign had a breakthrough – a report from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee recommended no further NHS funding for homeopathy, despite a deeply flawed hearing.

The Society of Homeopaths – the largest body representing professional homeopaths – was refused permission to give oral evidence. Also notable by their absence from the panel were primary care trusts who currently commission homeopathy and representatives of patients who use homeopathy. Yet oral evidence was heard from a journalist previously investigated by the Press Complaints Commission for unsubstantiated criticism of homeopaths, and a spokesperson for a charity that has long publicly opposed homeopathy. It is significant that one of the four MPs asked to vote on the report abstained due to concerns about the lack of balance in the evidence heard.

Homeopathy is well-established in the UK, having been available through the NHS since its inception in 1948. More than 400 GPs use homeopathy in their everyday practice and the Society of Homeopaths has 1,500 registered members, from a variety of previous professions including pharmacists, journalists, solicitors and nurses.

And yet the portrayal of homeopathy as charlatanism and witchcraft continues. There is growing evidence that homeopathy works, that it is cost-effective and that patients want it. As drugs bills spiral, and evidence emerges that certain drugs routinely prescribed on the NHS are no better than placebos, maybe it’s time for “sceptics” to stop the witch hunt and look at putting their own house in order.

It’s all a far cry from the schoolgirl biologist who envisioned spending her life in a laboratory playing with bacteria.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/jul/15/homeopathy-works-scientific-evidence

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Scientific Evidence for Homeopathic Medicine

Most people with a little experience in homeopathy have no doubt that these medicines work, though inevitably they will have some family members, friends, neighbors, and physicians who will be skeptical about it. One way to deal with these people’s skepticism is to become familiar with research on the efficacy of homeopathic medicines (see also Chapter 5 for a discussion on how to respond to skeptics’ remarks; sorry, not online at present). There is actually considerably more laboratory and clinical research on homeopathic medicine than most people realize. That said, it must also be recognized that more research is certainly needed, not simply to answer the questions of skeptics but to help homeopaths optimize their use of these powerful natural medicines.

Some skeptics insist that research on homeopathy is mandatory since the exceptionally small doses used do not make sense and there is no known mechanism for action for these drugs. While it is true that homeopaths presently do not know precisely how the homeopathic microdoses work, there are some compelling theories about their mechanism of action (see the discussion in Chapter 1, “The Wisdom and Wonder of Small Doses”). More important, there is compelling evidence that they do work, as this chapter will show. And although homeopaths may not understand how their medicines work, keep in mind that leading contemporary pharmacologists readily acknowledge that there are many commonly prescribed drugs today, including aspirin and certain antibiotics, whose mechanism of action remains unknown, but this gap in knowledge has yet to stop physicians from prescribing them.

Many conventional physicians express doubt about the efficacy of homeopathy, asserting that they will “believe it when they see it.” It may be more appropriate for them to acknowledge that they will “see it when they will believe it.” This is not meant as a criticism of conventional physicians as much as of conventional medical thinking. The biomedical paradigm has narrowed the view of, the thinking about, and the practice of medicine to the treatment of specific disease entities with supposedly symptom-specific drugs and procedures. An integral aspect of this approach to medicine is the assumption that the larger the dose of a drug, the stronger will be its effects. While this seems to make sense on the surface, knowledgeable physicians and pharmacologists know that it isn’t true. There is a recognized principle in pharmacology called the “biphasic response of drugs.”1 Rather than a drug simply having increased effects as its dose becomes larger, research has consisently shown that exceedingly small doses of a substance will have the opposite effects of large doses.

The two phases of a drug’s action (thus the name “biphasic”) are dose-dependent. For instance, it is widely recognized that normal medical doses of atropine block the parasympathetic nerves, causing mucous membranes to dry up, while exceedingly small doses of atropine cause increased secretions to mucous membranes.

This pharmacological principle was concurrently discovered in the 1870s by two separate researchers, Hugo Schulz, a conventional scientist, and Rudolf Arndt, a psychiatrist and homeopath. Initially called the Arndt-Schulz law, this principle is still widely recognized, as witnessed by the fact that it is commonly listed in medical dictionaries under the definition of “law.”

More specifically, these reseachers discovered that weak stimuli accelerate physiological activity, medium stimuli inhibit physiological activity, and strong stimuli halt physiological activity. For example, very weak concentations of iodine, bromine, mercuric chloride, and arsenious acid will stimulate yeast growth, medium doses of these substances will inhibit yeast growth, and large doses will kill the yeast.

In the 1920s, conventional scientists who tested and verified this biphasic response termed the phenomenon “hormesis,” and dozens of studies were published in a wide variety of fields to confirm this biological principle.2

In the past two decades there has again been a resurgence of interest in this pharmacological law, and now hundreds of studies in numerous areas of scientific investigation have verified it.3 Because these studies have been performed by conventional scientists who are typically unfamiliar with homeopathic medicine, they have not tested or even considered testing the ultra-high dilutions commonly used in homeopathy. However, their research has consistently shown very significant effects from such small microdoses that even the researchers express confusion and surprise.

Reference to this research on the Arndt-Schulz law and hormesis is important for validating homeopathic research because it demonstrates the evidence for the important biphasic responses and microdose effects that lie at the heart of homeopathy. This research is readily available to physicians and scientists yet is often ignored or not understood.

The amount of research on homeopathic medicines is growing, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore these studies, because they are now appearing in many of the most respected medical and scientific journals in the world. This chapter is not meant to be exhaustive (that would require a book or two of its own). It will include many of the best studies, most of which have been published in conventional medical and scientific journals. Some of the studies are discussed because of the impressive results they showed, and others are included for their implications for better understanding homeopathy and the healing process. The review of research is not simply to provide evidence of the efficacy of homeopathic medicine but also to enlighten readers on how to evaluate homeopathic research, whether positive or negative results are obtained.

To best understand the remaining part of this chapter, some definitions are helpful:

Double-blind trials refer to experiments in which neither the experimenter nor the subjects know whether a specific treatment was prescribe or a placebo (a fake medicine that looks and tastes like real homeopathic medicines).

Randomized trials are those in which subjects of an experiment are randomly placed either in treatment groups or in placebo groups. The researchers attempt to place people with similar characteristics in equal numbers in treatment and placebo groups.

Crossover studies refer to experiments in which half of the subjects of a study are given a placebo during one phase of a study and then given the active treatment during the second phase, while the other half begin with the active treatment and then receive the placebo during the second phase. Crossover studies sometimes do not test a placebo and instead compare one type of treatment with another type of treatment.

Modern research is designed to evaluate the results of a therapy as compared to a placebo and/or another therapy. This type of study is valuable because many patients respond very well to placebos, and this “treatment” is so safe and inexpensive it is generally assumed that “real treatments” should have considerably better results than placebo medicine. One should note that placebo effects can be significant, and clinically, these effects can be very positive (some people think of them as a type of self-healing).

Double-blinding an experiment is important to research because experimenters tend to treat people who are getting the real treatment differently or better than those given a placebo, thus throwing off the results of the experiment. Research is randomized so that those people treated with the real medicine and those treated with the placebo are as similar as possible, making a comparison between real treatment and placebo treatment more accurate. Crossover studies allow researchers to compare the separate effects of a placebo and a treatment on all subjects in an experiment.

Statistics obviously are an important part of research. A treatment is thought to be considered better than a placebo if the results, according to statistical analysis, have no more than a 5% possibility of happening at random (the notation of this statistical probability is: P=.05). A study with a small number of patients (for example, 30 or less) must show a large difference between treatment and nontreatment groups for it to become statistically significant. A study with a large number of patients (for example, several hundred) needs to have only a small but consistent difference to obtain a similar statistical significance. This information is provided so that readers will know that all the studies described in this chapter are statistically significant, except when otherwise noted.

Clinical Research

People are often confused by research, not only because it can be overly technical but because some studies show that a therapy works and other studies shows that it doesn’t. To solve this problem, a recent development in research is used, called a “meta-analysis,” which is a systematic review of a body of research that evaluates the overall results of experiments.

In 1991, three professors of medicine from the Netherlands, none of them homeopaths, performed a meta-analysis of 25 years of clinical studies using homeopathic medicines and published their results in the British Medical Journal.4 This meta-analysis covered 107 controlled trials, of which 81 showed that homeopathic medicines were effective, 24 showed they were ineffective, and 2 were inconclusive.

The professors concluded, “The amount of positive results came as a surprise to us.” Specifically, they found that:

  • 13 of 19 trials showed successful treatment of respiratory infections,
  • 6 of 7 trials showed positive results in treating other infections,
  • 5 of 7 trials showed improvement in diseases of the digestive system,
  • 5 of 5 showed successful treatment of hay fever,
  • 5 of 7 showed faster recovery after abdominal surgery,
  • 4 of 6 promoted healing in treating rheumatological disease,
  • 18 of 20 showed benefit in addressing pain or trauma,
  • 8 of 10 showed positive results in relieving mental or psychological problems, and
  • 13 of 15 showed benefit from miscellaneous diagnoses.

Despite the high percentage of studies that provided evidence of success with homeopathic medicine, most of these studies were flawed in some way or another. Still, the researchers found 22 high-caliber studies, 15 of which showed that homeopathic medicines were effective. Of further interest, they found that 11 of the best 15 studies showed efficacy of these natural medicines, suggesting that the better designed and performed the studies were, the higher the likelihood that the medicines were found to be effective. Although people unfamiliar with research may be surprised to learn that most of the studies on homeopathy were flawed in one significant way or another,5 research in conventional medicine during the past 25 years has had a similar percentage of flawed studies.

With this knowledge, the researchers of the meta-analysis on homeopathy concluded, “The evidence presented in this review would probably be sufficient for establishing homeopathy as a regular treatment for certain indications.”

There are different types of homeopathic clinical research, some of which provide individualization of remedies; which is the hallmark of the homeopathic methodology; some of which give a commonly prescribed remedy to all people with a similar ailment, and some of which give a combination of homeopathic medicines to people with a similar condition. While one can perform good research using any of these methods, there are certain issues that researchers have to be aware of and sensitive to in order to obtain the best objective results.

For instance, if a study does not individualize a homeopathic medicine to people suffering from a specific ailment and the results of the study show that there was no difference between those given this remedy and those given a placebo, the study does not disprove homeopathy; it simply proves that this one remedy is not effective in treating every person suffering from that ailment, each of whom may have a unique pattern of symptoms that requires an individual prescription.

In describing specifics of the following studies using homeopathic medicines, differentiation has been made between studies that allowed for individualization of medicines and those that did not.

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