Homeopathic remedy 'ineffective' 
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 Homeopathic remedy 'ineffective'

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The popular homeopathic remedy arnica proved to be no more effective than a
dummy treatment in clinical trials.
However, critics say the study is flawed, and does not prove that arnica has no
effect.

Arnica tablets are available in most High Street chemists and are usually sold
to control bruising, reduce swelling and generally help recovery after an injury
or operation.

It is one of the most popular and well known homeopathic remedies.

However, although there are lots of anecdotes about cases where arnica 'really
works', scientific studies have produced contradictory results.

Researchers, from the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon & Exeter
Hospital, focused on three groups of patients who were about to have surgery on
their wrists for carpal tunnel syndrome.

One group was given 'high-potency' homeopathic arnica tablets to be taken before
the operation and afterwards for two weeks.

Another group was given 'low-potency' tablets and the third was given a placebo.

Analysis

Patients filled in a standard pain-assessment questionnaire before and after
surgery.

They recorded their symptoms and use of painkillers in a daily 'pain diary'.

The hospital analysed photographs of patients' wrists, using computer software
to measure exact shades of bruising.

They also measured changes in swelling around the wrist.

There was no significant difference between any of the groups in terms of pain,
bruising, swelling, or the number of painkillers the patients had taken.

Lead researcher Professor Edzard Ernst said: "I hope this research will help
people to look for more effective treatments and save money by not buying
homeopathic arnica."

Professor Ernst suggested that arnica had gained a reputation because people who
took it and recovered quickly from surgery tended to tell their friends about
it, while those who did not were much less likely to mention it.

Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, he said: "These results
do not support the routine use of homeopathic arnica for preventing or reducing
post-operative complications such as bruising, swelling and pain.

"However, they do not rule out the possibility that individual patients could
benefit."

Inconclusive

Dr Janet Richardson, chairman of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine
(RCCM), told BBC News Online the results of the study were far from conclusive.

She said: "The results suggest that people undergoing carpal tunnel surgery are
not helped by arnica.

"But this does not mean that arnica is of no help with other conditions."

Dr Richardson said 16 articles extracted from the RCCM database showed a split
between those that showed arnica had a positive effect, and those that showed
negative results.

She added that the new study was poorly designed and based on a small sample.

In addition some patients did not necessarily follow the treatment properly.

-30-



Fri, 22 Jul 2005 18:26:00 GMT
 Homeopathic remedy 'ineffective'
Snake oil was (and still is!) considered to be ineffective in the United
States (well, it takes us a LONG time to learn!).

But the original Chinese herbal remedy was derived from WATER snakes which
are the highest known natural source of certain essential oils.

But in the U.S. this treatment was "imported" WITHOUT regard for the proper
source, WITHOUT regard for the proper preparation, WITHOUT regard for the
proper handling and storage, WITHOUT regard for the proper indications,
WITHOUT regard for the proper protocol,    (need I go on?!)

So we used the oil from LAND snakes (very LOW in those oils), kept it warm
and for indefinite periods (the Chinese knew it had to be kept as cold as
possible and used very fresh as it is highly perishable and the rancid oil
is actually harmful), and we used it for any and all conditions.

Naturally we "found" it to be highly ineffective!

[Remember the next time someone disparages something as "snake oil": he/she
is actually revealing the extent of his/her ignorance!]

We did it with vitamin C for scurvy too!  What many texts omit to mention is
that after Lind did his famous experiment, someone else did one (using
BOILED juice with the vitamin C destroyed thereby (and from the wrong fruit
in addition!)) that "proved" that citrus juice did NOT prevent scurvy and it
was the better part of a century before the British navy actually
implemented the preventive therapy!    (Medicine really really REALLY does
NOT like to admit things it did wrong!)

One can only wonder whether a similar thing is occurring with homeopathy
remedies:   ("Hey, is all THIS, really necessary?   Let's take a shortcut!")

Not saying it IS, but wouldn't bet that it isn't!



Quote:
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2710107.stm

> The popular homeopathic remedy arnica proved to be no more effective than
a
> dummy treatment in clinical trials.
> However, critics say the study is flawed, and does not prove that arnica
has no
> effect.

> Arnica tablets are available in most High Street chemists and are usually
sold
> to control bruising, reduce swelling and generally help recovery after an
injury
> or operation.

> It is one of the most popular and well known homeopathic remedies.

> However, although there are lots of anecdotes about cases where arnica
'really
> works', scientific studies have produced contradictory results.

> Researchers, from the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon & Exeter
> Hospital, focused on three groups of patients who were about to have
surgery on
> their wrists for carpal tunnel syndrome.

> One group was given 'high-potency' homeopathic arnica tablets to be taken
before
> the operation and afterwards for two weeks.

> Another group was given 'low-potency' tablets and the third was given a
placebo.

> Analysis

> Patients filled in a standard pain-assessment questionnaire before and
after
> surgery.

> They recorded their symptoms and use of painkillers in a daily 'pain
diary'.

> The hospital analysed photographs of patients' wrists, using computer
software
> to measure exact shades of bruising.

> They also measured changes in swelling around the wrist.

> There was no significant difference between any of the groups in terms of
pain,
> bruising, swelling, or the number of painkillers the patients had taken.

> Lead researcher Professor Edzard Ernst said: "I hope this research will
help
> people to look for more effective treatments and save money by not buying
> homeopathic arnica."

> Professor Ernst suggested that arnica had gained a reputation because
people who
> took it and recovered quickly from surgery tended to tell their friends
about
> it, while those who did not were much less likely to mention it.

> Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, he said: "These
results
> do not support the routine use of homeopathic arnica for preventing or red
ucing
> post-operative complications such as bruising, swelling and pain.

> "However, they do not rule out the possibility that individual patients
could
> benefit."

> Inconclusive

> Dr Janet Richardson, chairman of the Research Council for Complementary
Medicine
> (RCCM), told BBC News Online the results of the study were far from
conclusive.

> She said: "The results suggest that people undergoing carpal tunnel
surgery are
> not helped by arnica.

> "But this does not mean that arnica is of no help with other conditions."

> Dr Richardson said 16 articles extracted from the RCCM database showed a
split
> between those that showed arnica had a positive effect, and those that
showed
> negative results.

> She added that the new study was poorly designed and based on a small
sample.

> In addition some patients did not necessarily follow the treatment
properly.

> -30-



Fri, 22 Jul 2005 23:56:55 GMT
 
 [ 2 post ] 

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