Homeopathic Research Update
By Frank King, DCTo keep a healthy balance within our profession, we need to periodically check ourselves against two basic extremes. One is that our minds are so closed that we lose the progressive movement our profession needs to mature to the forefront as health care leaders. The other is that we often have such open minds that we "lose it." This causes us to become lost in unfounded, unproductive procedures that could cause destruction, both personally and professionally.
I personally give daily thanks for the founding principles of our great profession. However, are we truly fulfilling the potential of our principles of treatment that we stand for?
Whenever critics may say that homeopathy does not have any good research, we can confidently inform them that they are not familiar with the scientific literature. Homeopathy has an impressive accumulation of statistics that has been acquired over the last 200 years. This paper summarizes a number of good double-blind studies including both laboratory studies, and clinical research. In a time when there is a rapid turnover of medicines due to harmful side-effects or ineffectiveness, homeopathy stands the test of time. As basic truths will always exist, so have the remedies of homeopathy. It should be known that in 1975 the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment estimated that only 10 to 20 percent of all conventional medical practices have been shown to be efficacious by controlled trial.1
To the surprise of most people, the first double-blind cross-over student ever performed was done in 1906 by homeopaths. This impressive study was done concurrently in 11 different cities on 51 subjects. This particular experiment consisted of 665 pages, which was the provings of Belladonna.2
Also at the turn of the century, a book was published called The Logic of Figures or Comparative Results of Homeopathic and Other Treatments. This book provides dozens of charts comparing dis-ease and death rates in homeopathic and allopathic hospitals. These included the epidemic dis-eases of scarlet fever, yellow fever, typhoid, etc. The homeopathic hospitals usually had 50 to 80 percent less deaths per 100 people, depending on the dis-ease compared.
Another early double-blind study was sponsored by the British government during World War II. The experiment demonstrated that those patients given homeopathic remedies experiment significant improvement in burns from mustard gas in comparison to those given a placebo. A 1982 review provided further substantiation of the statistical significance of the research.3,4
The number one criticism of homeopathy by the scientific community has been the "infinitesimal" nature of the dilution principle in homeopathy. Homeopaths do agree that once a remedy is diluted beyond 24X or 12C potencies, they are diluted beyond Avogadro's number (6.23 x 10-23) which theoretically indicates that no molecules are present from the original substance. However, both laboratory and clinical results over the last 190 years have demonstrated definite effectiveness with remedies beyond those potencies.
A recent nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) study showed that 23 different homeopathic remedies tested at different potencies had distinctive readings of subatomic activity while the placebos did not. This demonstrates that homeopathy's function is not so much chemical, but energetic. As chiropractors, you will observe dramatic clearing of sensory nerve interference and pathological reflex activities that cause chronic recurring subluxation activity and dis-ease.5
A recent double-blind study has shown the antiviral effect of homeopathic remedies. Eight of 10 remedies tested inhibited viruses in chicken embryos for 50 to 100 percent depending on the potencies used.6
The respected journal Human Toxicology published a study showing that homeopathic doses of arsenic eliminated crude doses of trapped arsenic that had been previously fed to the rats.7
Four German scientists at a veterinary college showed that homeopathic chelidonium lowered serum cholesterol when given twice a day to rabbits on a cholesterol-rich diet.8
British veterinarian, Christopher Day conducted several pilot studies demonstrating how homeopathic remedies have reduced labor problems in cattle, still births in pigs, and mastitis in cattle.9
The Cancer Research Center in India found that of the 77 mice that received a transplant of fibrosarcoma, 52 percent survived more than one year. The 77 mice that were untreated died within 10-15 days.10
Scientists at a British pharmacy school found that rodents given hypericum were able to inhibit pain responses. Rodents were able to remain on a hot plate longer than the control group. When given naloxone which inhibits pain killing endorphins, the protective effects of hypericum were reduced, showing that homeopathic hypericum activates endorphins when needed. Please note that these rodents were free to walk off the hot plate whenever discomfort was noticed.11
Homeopathic apis and histimine have a significant effect on reducing the release of certain allergy causing chemicals from basophils, which demonstrated one reason for homeopathy's positive effects on allergies.12
A respected pharmacology journal showed that homeopathic silica had a significant effect on stimulating macrophages in mice, which destroy foreign particles, bacteria, and old cells.13
The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a double-blind experiment on patients with rheumatoid arthritis. An impressive 82 percent of those given a homeopathic medicine experienced some relief of symptoms while only 21 percent of those given a placebo experienced any similar degree of improvement. If a conventional drug ever demonstrates the quality results of reducing pain in 82 percent of the rheumatoid arthritis without side effects, it will be major news in all forms of U.S. media.14
Another double-blind trial was conducted on patients with dental neurologic pain following tooth extraction. An impressive 76 percent of those given the homeopathic medicine arnica and hypericum experienced relief of pain.15
The respected German Pharmacological Journal demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in reducing vertigo and nausea with a homeopathic combination formula.16
French researchers recently completed a double-blind trial using a homeopathic formula to treat pregnant women. The study found this homeopathic formula to reduce labor time and decrease abnormal labor. The average labor time of the women given the homeopathic formula was 5.1 hours, while the placebo group was 8.5 hours. Only 11.3 percent of the women given the homeopathic formula had any abnormal labor, while 40 percent of the placebo group had an abnormal labor.17
Doctors seriously interested in keeping up with or informed about homeopathic research should subscribe to the British Homeopathic Journal. This is probably the most important homeopathic journal in the world (Headley Brothers, The Invicta Press, Ashford, Kent TN24 8HH, England; $34/year, published quarterly).
The British Homeopathic Research Group provides a bi-annual publication, Communications, which focuses on homeopathic research (C/o Dr. Anita Davies, 101 Harley Street, London W1N 1DF, England; $15/year).
The majority of these studies were done by non-homeopathic researchers, and published in non-homeopathic research journals. It will not be long before this news breaks in our country. We as chiropractors should be the leaders of this valuable treatment system. Homeopathy has the great ability to clear sensory nerve interference and deep seated pathological reflexes, creating the correction of recurrent subluxation activity. Homeopathy is the ideal mate that chiropractic has been looking for, to carry us into the 21st century as leaders in the health care delivery system.
As I look back to my roots in chiropractic college, I am reminded of D.D. Palmer's statement in his book The Chiropractor's Adjustor: "But, as soon as the human mind is capable of absorbing a still more refined and advanced method and human aspiration demands it, it will be delivered to the denizens of the earth. A few years ago, it was thought impossible to send a telegram without using a stretched wire from post to post to convey it from one point to another. Today, by proper adjusting, messages are sent thousands of miles over land and sea without the need of posts or wire. Is it too much to expect a similar development, along chiropractic lines, to be awaiting our beck and call?"
The appropriate chiropractic adjustment will relieve the majority of symptoms, especially when related to the motor nervous system. The real question is, did the chiropractic adjustment truly correct the underlying causes of the dis-ease in all the cases you have treated? Honestly, in how many cases have adjustments been a band-aid treatment until your patient becomes either a "chiropractic junkie" or drops off in disappointment due to repeated visits, financial stress, or lack of permanent results?
In all sincerity, this is a tremendous blow to our profession and our reputation. I hope that this has been a question that every conscientious chiropractor has at least silently posed. The answer actually depends on whether the chiropractic adjustment was effective in clearing the sensory nerve interference as well.
How many cases of herpes, depression, parasites, anorexia and bulimia, breast cysts, mastitis, feminine discharge, male impotency, gout, diarrhea, psoriasis, acne, food allergies, bladder incontinence, chronic fatigue syndrome, lung disorders, or warts have been corrected with the chiropractic adjustment? All of us have had some cases which we have been successful in correcting with the chiropractic adjustment, however, permanent correction of these conditions is usually the exception and not the rule.
The greatness of chiropractic stands on the founding principles of our great profession. We should be getting the results with the above type conditions as often as we do with the musculoskeletal side of our practice for these principles to be true. Homeopathy provides the chiropractor with the ability to treat the whole nervous system.
Frank King, DC
Leicester, North Carolina
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