Efficacy of homeopathic Arnica: A systematic review of placebo- controlled clinical trials
ABSTRACT The efficacy of homeopathic remedies has remained controversial. The homeopathic remedy most frequently studied in placebo-controlled clinical trials is Arnica montana.
To systematically review the clinical efficacy of homeopathic arnica.
Computerized literature searches were performed to retrieve all placebo-controlled studies on the subject. The following databases were searched: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CISCOM, and the Cochrane Library. Data were extracted in a predefined, standardized fashion independently by both authors. There were no restrictions on the language of publications.
Eight trials fulfilled all inclusion criteria. Most related to conditions associated with tissue trauma. Most of these studies were burdened with severe methodological flaws. On balance, they do not suggest that homeopathic arnica is more efficacious than placebo.
The claim that homeopathic arnica is efficacious beyond a placebo effect is not supported by rigorous clinical trials.
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ABSTRACT: By applying the principle of therapeutic similarity, homeopathy seeks to stimulate the organism to react against its own disturbs. For homeopathic medicines to awaken effective homeostasis responses they must be individualized, this means that they must be chosen according to their similarity to the set of characteristic symptoms in patients. In this way, by aiming at decreasing individual susceptibility predisposing to disease, homeopathic medicines have healing and preventive effects in many human illnesses. On the other hand, homeopathic medicines may have specific indications in the treatment and prevention of epidemic diseases provided they are also chosen according to the particular set of symptoms peculiar to a given epidemic, viz. the so-called “epidemic genius”, as historical examples show. This update paper discusses the epistemological foundations of Hahnemann’s homeopathy as a preventive medical approach, the scientific evidences supporting its clinical application and the minimum requirements to employ it both therapeutically and preventively in epidemics.
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