What health issues can homeopathy be used for?
Around the world, there is a growing body of clinical research showing the effectiveness of homeopathic preparations in the management of a wide range of health issues.
Imagine 43 children, all of them with severe enough ADHD problems to have their own social worker tracking them. These were the children who were chosen to take part in a trial of homeopathy. Dr Lamont thought that if you want to show that homeopathy can work on ADHD then these children are the ones to try to help. Children who were on medication for ADHD could be accepted for the study but only if they had been on this medication for at least six weeks. The latter condition was determined because Dr. Lamont didn’t consider it wise to admit children new to medication in the trial, as it then could not be ascertained whether improvement was the result of their conventional or homeopathic medicine.
When parents reported that improvement from the treatment was not obvious, the homeopath prescribed a second or a third remedy. Follow-up interviews observed that the majority of children treated homeopathically experienced sustained improvement in their condition. After two months, 57 percent of children experienced continued improvement. Read more about the ADHD homeopathy trial. Read more about the Harbord Homeopathic Children’s Clinic.
Studies have shown that homeopathy is a reasonable alternative treatment with beneficial effects in allergy-related conditions. A study was conducted to investigate the effects of a homeopathic medicine for common allergens (tree, grass, weed species). Forty participants aged 26-63 years of age, diagnosed with moderate to severe seasonal-allergic-rhinitis had significant relief from the medicine. These findings indicate the potential benefits of homeopathy in reducing symptoms and improving the quality of life. Read more about the allergies and homeopathy trial.
A study was conducted to investigate whether homeopathy is effective in preventing childhood upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). One hundred and sixty-nine children below the age of 10 years were included and there was a positive effect from using homeopathy in the prevention of URTI in children.
Depression and Anxiety
In Australia, depression and anxiety account for 10% of all health problems for women, twice that of men (4.8%). Anxiety and depression are some of the most commonly treated conditions by homeopaths in Sydney. In a 6-year study of 6,544 patients using homeopathy in a university hospital outpatient clinic, 205 were treated for depression and as many as 71% improved. So, research confirms the positive experience homeopaths have in treating these patients, whilst a new wave of meta-analyses suggests that antidepressants are not much better than placebo for major depression. Therefore, antidepressants not only don’t work, but even worse, they harm patients because of the risk of adverse effects. Researchers say there is little reason to prescribe antidepressants to any but the most severely depressed patients.
Diarrhea is one of the important defenses of the body. It is the way that the body hastens elimination of certain infective organisms. Although one can consider taking conventional drugs to suppress the diarrhea, they simply allow the bacteria or parasites to remain in the body longer.
In Kathmandu, Nepal, a research team set out to investigate whether the findings of a previous study on childhood diarrhoea could be replicated. Their results were consistent with the previous study that individualized homeopathic treatment decreases the duration of diarrhoea in children with acute childhood diarrhoea.
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Ear Infections and Acute Otitis Media
The use of antibiotics in the initial treatment of ear infections is currently being questioned. Despite the fact that Homeopathy has been used historically to treat this illness, there were no contemporary studies on the topic. Therefore, a randomized double blind placebo control pilot study was conducted in a private paediatric practice in Seattle, WA. Seventy-five children with early signs of ear infection received either an individualized homeopathic medicine or a placebo three times daily for 5 days, or until symptoms subsided, whichever occurred first. The results of the study found a positive effect from homeopathy. Read more about the Harbord Homeopathic Children’s Clinic.
Eczema in Children
A study in Japan set out to evaluate the effect of homeopathy on intractable eczema. Seventeen people were given individualized homeopathic treatment in addition to continuing their conventional dermatological therapy from 6 months to 2 years and 7 months. Although all of the patients had previously been treated with conventional medicine and various psychological approaches, they still had severe conditions. Over 50% improvement was reported by all patients using homeopathy despite the severity of their condition.
Endometriosis is an important cause of infertility. It may also cause painful periods, heavy periods, and sometimes chronic pelvic pain. Research has shown that homeopathy is one of a number of natural medicines that women find useful in treating endometriosis.
Some conditions, such as fibromyalgia, are more typically found in women than in men. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment for fibromyalgia giving significantly greater improvements in tender point count and tender point pain, quality of life, global health and a trend toward less depression.
Help for chronic illness
The treatment results of 455 consecutive patients (1100 consultations) who presented for homeopathic treatment were studied. The patients were all suffering from a chronic illness in which treatment from their doctor had either: failed, reached a plateau in effect, or was contra-indicated by side effects, age or condition of the patient. 66.8% of these people had a benefit from homeopathic treatment. 32.5% were able to stop or maintain a substantial reduction in their conventional drugs. The 10 most frequent clinical conditions treated were eczema, anxiety, depression, osteoarthritis, asthma, back pain, chronic cough, chronic fatigue, headaches and essential hypertension.
High Blood Pressure
68 people suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension) were enrolled in a clinical trial comparing homeopathic treatment with placebo. Successful results were obtained with 82% of those using homeopathy compared with 57% of those using placebo. Reference: Campistranous- Lavout JL., et al. Hypertension Trial. Boletin Mexicano, 1999, 32, 42- 47. 68. When homeopathy helps with high blood pressure it is because the focus is not just on helping cure the disease but helping the person who has high blood pressure, to deal with stress and restore their health.
Infertility in Men
A study of 45 sub-fertile men showed that homeopathy improved both the number and the quality of sperm. Significant improvements were found in sperm quality. The general health of the patients also improved significantly. It did not matter whether these men were subject to stress or had been childless for a long period of time.
Infertility in Women
An increasing number of couples experience difficulties in conceiving. This may be due to problems both with the woman and the man. Some causes in women may be hormonal imbalances, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or in men – poor sperm quality. In many cases no apparent reason can be found.
At the Harbord Homeopathic Clinic we follow the work of Melbourne homeopath Liz Lalor who, as at August 2011, had treated 290 couples for infertility, resulting in 252 babies born. Her natural fertility program has a success rate of 87% within four cycles using a series of homeopathic remedies that are taken during each menstrual cycle. This has been validated by homeopaths around Australia and the world using the program.
Insomnia and Sleep problems
$5 billion a year: that’s the unbelievable amount spent on sleep disorders in Australia. Apparently sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome are a problem for more than 1.5 million of us. Also, according to the Sleep Health Foundation most of us are getting one hour less sleep per night than we should even when it is taken into account that different people need different amounts of sleep. Eight and a quarter hours is the average for adults. Some people can cope very well with much less and some need much more every night.
Can homeopathy help with sleep problems? There was an interesting study done on young adults with a history of coffee-related insomnia, who also demonstated cynical hostility or anxiety sensitivity on personality tests. They were enrolled in a sleep study to assess if homeopathic remedies affected their quality of sleep. Electrodes were attached to their bodies to record their brain waves, eye movements and heart rate. This objective approach had previously shown improvement in the non rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep of animals following certain homeopathic remedies but this was the first time it had been used to assess the effect with humans.
The study showed that compared to placebo, NREM and total sleep time was significantly increased with the use of the homeopathic remedies.
Another study found homeopathy to be a viable treatment for chronic primary insomnia (definition: difficulty in going to sleep or staying sleep or of non-restorative sleep that lasts for at least 1 month and causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning).
The use of natural medicine for menopause symptoms is common, with women generally finding it to be beneficial. A telephone survey of more than 850 women aged 45 to 65 years showed that 76 % used alternative therapies with 22 % using these therapies to treat their menopause symptoms. As many as 89 % found these therapies to be helpful.
Another study showed that 80% of women treated with homeopathic medicine experienced significant improvements in their hot flushes, tiredness, sleep problems, headaches and psychological problems.
Another menopause study, in 2011, showed improvement in stress levels, hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, palpitation, depression, insomnia, and so on but interestingly the research also found that cholesterol levels after homeopathic treatment were improved significantly.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
The root cause of PCOS lies in hormonal disturbance. In a clinical trial of 36 women suffering from PCOS, 32 women had complete disappearance of symptoms of PCOS, followed by the production of normal ovulating follicles. A further 4 of the 36 became asymptomatic.
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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Research has shown that 90% of women with PMS experience improvement after homeopathic treatment. Also, the number of sick-days and the use of conventional drugs was reduced.
For something which is the size of an innocent walnut, the prostate gland can cause quite a few problems for men over the age of 50. For some men, it may be a difficult topic to discuss even with their doctor. Possibly due, in part, to the simple but rather unpopular physical examination, which is necessary to check for prostate enlargement.
A prostate management plan will include an individually chosen specific homeopathic medicine, vitamins and minerals as needed. It is important to have a Hair Mineral Analysis to check if you have high mercury levels, low zinc levels or anything else that may be affecting your prostate
Also it’s great to know that exercise can reduce the risk of developing benign enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH) by 25% with a weekly regimen of 2-3 hours of walking. In an ongoing US study of over 30,000 men, it was found that the more active that the men were, the less likely they were to suffer from BPH.
A 2012 study using Homeopathy in the treatment of chronic sinusitis, was conducted by the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, India. There was a statistically significant reduction in sinusitis symptoms. Radiological appearances also improved. There was a follow up period for 6 months. No complications or side effects were observed during treatment.
A previous multicentre observational study from 2009, found that patients with sinusitis treated with homeopathy showed marked health and quality of life improvements that lasted for 8 years.
A study found that children with recurrent sore throats, who were prescribed a Homeopathic medicine were significantly more likely to experience a positive result from treatment compared with those children prescribed an antibiotic. It was also found that the children given a homoepathic medicine had significantly fewer complications and a higher quality of life. Further, the study found that the parents of the children given the Homeopathic medicine had significantly less sick-leave days than the parents of children given an antibiotic. Conclusions: Homeopathy is a cost-effective alternative to antibiotics in the treatment of children with recurrent sore throats/ rhinopharyngitis.
Sprains, Strains and Trauma
A study set out to compare the effectiveness and safety of homoeopathic Traumeel compared with conventional therapies in the treatment of sprains, strains, bruises, trauma and injuries. It was conducted by German physicians who were using homoeopathy in addition to conventional medicine. Complete resolution of the symptoms at the end of treatment occurred in 59% of patients in the homoeopathy group versus 57.8% of patients in the conventional group. No side effects were reported in the Traumeel group compared to 6.3% in the conventional group. The conclusion was that Traumeel is as effective as conventional medicines in the management of mild to moderate injuries and was safe to use and was judged by physicians to be better tolerated than conventional medicines.
Tonsillitis and Enlarged Tonsils
In a multicentre study, homeopathic Lymphomyosot was found effective for the treatment of infected tonsils (tonsillitis), as well as enlarged tonsils which were not infected. Homeopathy helped to maintain a healthy immune system and lymphatic system. The study reported that for acute tonsillitis there was a “surprisingly good effect” and that homeopathy was compatible with other Doctor prescribed medications. Zenner, Mettleman. Therapeutic use of Lymphomyosot. Biological Therapy, June 1990, Vol. V11, No. 3, p.49. Read more about the Harbord Homeopathic Children’s Clinic.
DISCLAIMER In any long-term or chronic illness, the advice of your medical healthcare professional should always be sought. You are encouraged to ask them any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition and to explore further your health management options. In the treatment of chronic, serious or ongoing illness, co-operation and open dialogue between your homeopath and your medical doctor will ensure that you are receiving the best medical care possible.