Test of a Homeopathic Dilution of Aconitum napellus A Clinical, Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Crossover Study in Healthy Volunteers

Research Department, Paracelsus Hospital, Richterswil, Switzerland.
Forschende Komplementärmedizin / Research in Complementary Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.65). 07/2009; 16(3):168-73. DOI: 10.1159/000219316
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although healthy persons often report on reactions to homeopathically diluted substances, the mechanism behind such reactions remains unclear. This study examines whether a distinction can be made between the short-term reactions of healthy volunteers to a homeopathically diluted substance - Aconitum napellus C30 - and to a placebo.
From the 33 subjects randomized for this double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, 27 could be included in the analysis. The study comprised two 7-day-long treatment periods, each including the intake of a study preparation for 3 days and a wash-out period of 4 days. One group was first treated with Aconitum napellus C30 and then with placebo; the other group received the two study preparations in the reverse order. The signs and symptoms before the first treatment and after each treatment were collected, evaluated, weighted and repertorized. Based on this classification the blinded physician assessed these signs and symptoms as study outcome parameter to represent the responses to each of the study preparations. Statistical analysis of the data was performed using the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney rank test.
Crossover differences yielded statistical significance between the classified reactions towards Aconitum napellus C30 and to placebo (p = 0.004).
A clear difference between the reported short-term reactions of healthy subjects towards Aconitum napellus C30 and towards placebo was shown. The crossover design with intra-individual comparisons proved to be adequate to recognize the study preparations and for the statistical analysis of a small population sample.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Homeopathic Pathogenetic Trials (HPTs) are a pillar of homeopathy, a key source of the symptoms characteristic of a particular homeopathic medicine. Homeopaths choose homeopathic medicines by comparing these remedy pictures with the symptoms the patient is presenting. Thus, recognition of these symptom sets underpins the clinical practice of homeopathy. Objective To test whether HPTs generate consistent and recognisable sets of symptoms in consecutive trials. Design Practising homeopaths, blinded to the homeopathic medicine under investigation, were given the set of symptoms generated during an unpublished HPT and asked to identify the homeopathic medicine used. Homeopathic trial substance Ozone, prepared by homeopathic method to the ultramolecular dilution of 30c (10−60 dilution), was chosen at random from twenty potential medicines. Results Seven practising homeopaths were asked to make three guesses as to the identity of the remedy. Initially from the full list of possible remedies (N = 2372). Two of the seven homeopaths guessed the identity of the remedy correctly (p < 0.0001). Subsequently, when their choice of possible medicines was restricted to a list of 20, the same two homeopaths selected the correct medicine, however none of the other practising homeopaths did so (p = 0.2). Discussion The selection of the correct homeopathic medicine from the unrestricted list (N = 2372 medicines) by two homeopaths is noteworthy given that the homeopathic medicine used during the HPT was diluted well beyond Avogadro's number and would not be expected to produce any detectable or recognisable symptomatology. Possible reasons why the remaining five homeopaths did not guess correctly are discussed. Conclusion The results show that practising homeopaths may be able to correctly identify a homeopathic medicine from the set of symptoms generated during an HPT. This suggests that such symptom pictures generated by taking an ultramolecular homeopathic medicine are recognisable and specific to the substance taken. Since identification of the remedy was based on past HPT information held in the materia medica, this demonstrates that HPT-generated symptom pictures are reproducible, thus validating the HPT methodology. These promising preliminary findings warrant replication; possible improvements to the trial design to be incorporated in future studies were identified.
    Homeopathy: the journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy 04/2014; 103(2):108–112. DOI:10.1016/j.homp.2013.12.001 · 0.75 Impact Factor

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