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Placebo Effect in Homeopathy

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Sat, Aug 28, 2010 @ 11:27 AM

Tags: Homeopathy, Placebo Effect

homeopathy medicineA new study was done to see if the placebo effect is greater in homeopathy than conventional medicines. Researchers went through literature to match homeopathy trials to conventional trials.  These trials matched classical homeopathy trials.  In classical homeopathy trials, each remedy is individualized for each person and condition.   

Some matches had to be excluded for the data because insufficient amount of data.  Other matches were excluded because there was not a sufficient match on the conventional side to compare against.  Similar criteria was evaluated for each trial.  25 trials were evaluated.  13 trials showed the placebo effect in homeopathy to be more than conventional medicines.  12 trials showed the placebo effect in conventional medicines to be greater than homeopathy. The researchers found that the placebo effect in homeopathy is no greater than in conventional medicines.  

Homeopathy success rate in clinical trials is about 44%.  Roughly half of the trials in homeopathy are successful.  These trials include both classical homeopathy and combination medicine homeopathy in the trials.  Homeopathy has been successful in the following areas.  These trials have been replicated a couple of times as well.  The study groups in most of these trials are small.

The following treatments that homeopathy seems effective for in clinical trials are childhood diarrhoea , fibromyalgia , influenza, osteoarthritis, seasonal allergic rhinitis , sinusitis  and vertigo.

The treatments that homeopathy are not good for according to clinical trials are  anxiety, childhood asthma, insect bites  menopausal symptoms in breast cancer , migraines , muscle soreness, post-operative bruising, swelling, rheumatoid arthritis  , stroke , upper respiratory tract infection and warts.  Trials for these were either negative or inconclusive.

This basically shows that homeopathy's placebo effect is not stronger than conventional medicine.  People had theorized that homeopathy trials had a higher fail rate in trials because of a greater placebo effect than conventional medicines.  

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20129180

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/homeopathy/ucm2402.htm

The Wonder Plant Arnica

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 @ 12:01 PM

Tags: Arnica Montana, Homeopathic Arnica

arnica montana

Arnica Montana is also known as Leopard's bane, wolf's bane, mountain tobacco and mountain arnica. Its orange-yellow flowers and the rootlets are naturally therapeutic. It’s grown in herb gardens found across many European countries.  It has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s.

The plant also contains derivatives of Thymol, which may have anti-inflammatory effect therefore it has many uses in reducing pain and swelling and promoting healing by increasing circulation to the blood vessels. Arnica Montana acts best on skin with debilitated and impoverished blood. When applied on skin it helps circulation to relax blood vessels. This promotes tissue regeneration and healing.

Arnica Montana contains a toxin call Helenalin, if ingested by mouth in large quantities, could be very harmful because it causes gastroenteritis and internal bleeding in digestive tract. Even though it’s seldom used in the ingested form, it has some diuretic effects and it is chiefly used in low fevers. 

Homeopathic preparations of this drug are diluted to the point where it is not toxic any more. These are safe for digestion.  Homeopathic preparations come in the forms of liquid and pills. Creams and ointments forms are more commonly used as a homeopathic medicine.

Arnica used in its external form is extremely useful in promoting healing by increasing blood flow to areas that are injured. This medicine is primarily used to treat strains, sprains, rheumatic pain, inflammation from insect bites, and bruises. Professional athletes with swelling due to fractures also frequently use commercial preparations.  Athletes often carry arnica with them to help with muscle soreness.

Homeopathic Remedies For Hemmorhoids

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 @ 09:42 PM

Tags: homeopathic remedies for hemmorhoids, hemmorhoid treatment

 

hemorrhoids resized 600

Hemmorhoids is a skin conditon that causes painful and swollen veins in the rectum area.  These veins can become itchy and painful when sitting.  There may also be pain during bowel movements.

Homeopathy has a wide range of remedies to fight this condition.  Some may be taken internal.  Other ointments and creams may help fight the hemmorhoids externally.

The most common cause of hemmorhoids are straining during bowel movements.  This is commonly caused by constipation.  Constipation causes the veins to be bruised and inflamed.  This causes the hemmorhoid.  Other causes of hemmorhoids include sitting to much, anal infections and possible liver disease. 

The most common medicines to treat hemmorhodis  are

Hamamelis Virginiana

  Hamamelis should be taken if you have a bruised anus.  The hemmorhoid may bleed.  Applying warmth to the affected area makes things worse.

Aesculus Hipposcastanum

  Aesculus needs to be taken if the hemmorhoid feels itchy.  Sharp shooting pain the rectum area is usually felt.

Aloe Socotrina

  This remedy is used to for severely swollen hemmorhoids.  The hemmorhoids protrude out like a bunch of grapes.

Collinsonia

  Hemmorhoids that are large and itchy.  This is a chronic condition accompanied with constipation.

Try these remedies in a 6C potency.  Take up 4 pills about 4 times a day.  Do this for about a week.

  Of course with the condition of hemmorhoids, remedies that fight constipation should also be considered. 

Alumina

Alumina helps stool pass without sweeling your veins. This is used when little or few stools pass.  Sluggish stools occur.  A craving for fruits and vegetables.  Prefers not to eat meet or drink beer.

Nux vomica

Seems like their is a need to pass stool but nothing comes out.  People that have a not active lifestyle and have a poor diet need this type of remedy.

Try these remedies in a 6C potency.  Take up every couple hours upto 10 doses or the constipation eases.

Diets high in fiber also help ease constipation symptoms.  This is a long term goal.  It is easy to get more fiber in your diet.  Try brown rice instead of white rice.  Have wheat bread instead of white bread.  Take oatmeal for breakfast instead of sugary cereal.

Hemmorhoids can be treated with homeopathy.  There are several remedies that can be used.  Match your symptoms closest to the remedy that you need.  Lifestyle changes will stop the hemmorhoids from coming back.

Is Homeopathy Against Vaccinations

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Tue, Aug 24, 2010 @ 04:32 PM

Tags: Homeopathy, vaccinations

  Homeopathy is a system of medicine developed well before vaccines came on the market.  Homeopathy is an all natural form of alternative medicines that uses diluted substances to treat a disease. 

Vaccines are made from a weakened microbe of the disease such as whopping cough.  These vaccines are injected so the body can easy fight off the infection.

Homeopathy and vaccines are similar in this regard that they both use diluted substances for treatment.  Homeopathy does dilute many medicines to the point where there is no substance left.  However, the slighly diluted substances in homeopathy would be similar to a vaccine. 

There is a misconception that all homeopaths are against vaccinations.  This is certainly true in some cases.  This blog show an entry of a homeopath against vaccinations.  However, Dr. Peter Fischer, the homeopath to the queen, has said homeopathy is in no way against vaccinations.  

Vaccines have help to eradicate diseases such as measles, small pox and whooping cough.  Most children's immune system can fight off diseases on their own, the vaccines do reduce the suffering.  Some children are not strong enough to fight the disease.  This vaccine helps save these children lives.

The controversy with the vaccines start with a trial done by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in England.  He say there is a link between vaccines and autism.  However, this study was later found to be flawed.  They found the researcher manipulated data and broke other ethical codes.  Dr. Wakefield is now in the US.  He says that  he still stands by his study. 

Subsequent studies found no link between autism and vaccines.  However, these studies were not as large as the Wakefield study. Let us also remember that Dr. Wakefield did not recommend not getting your kids vaccinated.  Wakefield had suggested that kids not receive all their vaccines at once.  He recommended giving the kids one vaccine at a time per month. 

The US government has compensated victims of vaccination.  See the article below.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/03/06/vaccines.autism/

However, the US still states there is no correlation between autism and vaccines.

Do vaccines cause autism?

Why are some homeopaths against vaccination? 

Is the Wakefield trial flawed?

I look forward to your comments.

Treatment with Rhus Toxicodendron

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Thu, Aug 19, 2010 @ 11:05 AM

Tags: Rhus Tox

poison ivy plant

Rhus Toxicodendron is a very popular homeopathic medicine.  It is often called Rhus Tox for short. Rhus tox is made from the poison ivy plant itself. The plant is picture above.  It is generally hand picked and then diluted. The dilution process removes most of the poison ivy out of medicine.  There are trace amounts of poison ivy left in various potencies.  The poison ivy plant is easy to identify.  Each leaf on poison ivy and poison oak has three small leaflets. The middle leave is longer than the other two leaves.  The poison ivy plant is found all throught out most of the eastern United States. In the west coast, a close cousin of poison ivy called poison oak is found there.

 Rhus tox is used to treat a wide variety of ailments. Rhus tox is most famous for treating outbreaks of poison ivy. Rhus tox comes in ointment, liquid and pill form to help treat poison ivy.  Since poison ivy produces an inflammation, Rhus Tox is commonly used to treat conditions with inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Rhus tox in the lower potencies with less dilution are used to treat conditions such as poison ivy.  Rhus Tox 4X is the common potency for poison ivy pills.  Higher dilutions such as Rhus Tox 200C are generally used to treat conditions such as arthritis. 

Rhus tox is also used to treat other various conditions such as  restlessness, sprains, burning discharges, dehydration, ailments of skin and joints, sciatica, back pain, chicken pox,  flu, skin rashes, sore throat, and stiff upper back and neck. People who use this remedy show restlessness, indifference, and sadness. These people often better with warmth and walking, and worse at night during sleep

Rhus Tox can be used for a wide variety of things and aliments.  All homeopathic medicines are individualized.  Start with a low potency when you begin a treatment.

Largest Homeopathy Trial In Cuba

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Sun, Aug 15, 2010 @ 02:09 AM

Tags: Homeopathy, infectious disease

A very large homeopathic trial has been done in Cuba.  This trial shows evidence that a highly dilute substance, prepared according to homeopathic principles, may help stop the spread of Leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis (also known as Weil's Disease) is a contagious disease carried by rodent and caused by bacteria called spirochetes. People contract the disease through contact with contaminated water. 

Leptospirosis usually happens during heavy rainfall.  Rodents become more active and the bacteria spreads to the drinking water.  In late 2007,  Cuba only had enough Leptospirosis vaccine to treat 15,000 people. Cuba decided an alternative approach using homeopathy.  Homeopathy could easily treat most of Cuba's population.

The homeopathic medicine was given to the 2.3 million population of the provinces usually worst affected with an outbreak. Within a few weeks the number of cases had fallen significantly.  The provinces that did not receive the homeopathic treatment did not see a drop in the outbreak.  Homeopathy was tried again in 2008 to prevent this infectious disease.  Homeopathic remedies were given to the areas that are generally most affected by Leptospirosis.  A significant drop was seen again. This was the first time Leptospirosis had seen a drop during heavy rain fall season.  The provinces that did not take the homeopathic medicines saw increase in the infectious disease.

This trial is still not yet confirmed.  Observers are going through the trial to make sure things are accurate.  If the trial is confirmed, it shows homeopathy can be effective in stopping certain infectious diseases. 

references

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/197128.php