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


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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    • "Other observational studies on the comparability of homeopathic treatment and conventional treatment of URTIs have also shown positive outcomes for homeopathy.[1617] A double-blind crossover study in 27 healthy volunteers found a difference in reported responses (short-term signs and symptoms) when treated for 3 days with Acn 30 C versus placebo, indicating that Acn at that dose had a recognizable effect.[18] "
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    ABSTRACT: Aconitum napellus (Acn) is used topically to relieve pain, itching and inflammation, and internally to reduce febrile states, among others. Any circadian time-related consequences of Acn administration are unknown. The objective of this study was to explore the effects of two doses of Acn on body temperature (BT) of mice treated at six different times over 24 hours. BALB/c female mice were housed in six chambers (six mice each) with air temperature 24 ± 3°C, humidity 60 ± 4%, and a 12-hours light (L)/12-hours dark cycle, but with L-onset staggered by 4 hours between chambers so that study at one external test time resulted in six test times (02, 06, 10, 14, 18 and 22 hours [h] after light onset). Rectal temperature (RT; in °C) was measured at baseline (B) and 1 hour after oral treatment with placebo (P) or two doses of Acn (6C and 30C, two studies each) in six studies over an 8 day span. The difference in RT for each mouse from the respective B + P timepoint mean RT was computed following each Acn treatment, and data from each of the six studies (original RT and difference from B + P) were analyzed for time-effect by analysis of variance (ANOVA) and for circadian rhythm by 24-hour cosine fitting. A CIRCADIAN RHYTHM IN RT WAS FOUND AT B AND AFTER P (MEAN: 35.58°C vs. 35.69°C; peak: 15:31 h vs. 15:40 h) and after each Acn dose (30C or 6C). Acn induced hyperthermia and the overall change in BT was rhythmically significant for each dose (mean = +1.95°C vs. +1.70°C), with greatest hyperthermia observed during the L-span for each dose (peak = 08:56 h vs. 05:17 h). Acn administered around the clock induced hyperthermia overall and in a time-dependent manner, with greatest effects during the resting (L) span. Thus, time of day may significantly impact the outcome of Acn and other homeopathic treatments and should be considered in determining optimal dosing and treatment time(s) in order to increase the desired outcome and decrease undesired effects.
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