Studied Homeopathic Remedies
- Isopathic Remedies
- Galphimia glauca
- Combination Homeopathic Remedy Containing Euphorbium
- Combination Remedy containing Cinnabaris, Echinacea, Hydrastis, and Kalium bichromicum
About 7% of all Americans suffer from hay fever, an allergic condition that can cause runny nose, sneezing, and teary eyes. It is known officially as allergic rhinitis, allergic sinusitis, or allergic conjunctivitis, depending on whether symptoms manifest mainly in the nose, sinuses, or eyes, respectively. Asthma and chronic sinus infections may be related to these allergies as well.
Hay fever usually peaks when particular plants are pollinating or when molds are flourishing. People who suffer from year-round hay fever may be allergic to ever-present allergens, such as dust mites.
Scientific Evaluations of Homeopathic Remedies for Hay Fever
Several apparently well-designed,
double-blind, placebo-controlled studies
on homeopathic remedies for hay fever have yielded positive results. The best evidence at present is for
A special form of homeopathy known as isopathy
Several well-designed double-blind, placebo-controlled studies testing the efficacy of isopathic remedies for various allergy symptoms have been reported, most of them conducted by one highly respected research group.
Two such studies by this group tested the effects of a combination isopathic preparation consisting of mixed grass pollens at a 30c potency on almost 200 people with active hay fever.
Another double-blind, placebo-controlled trial by the same research group used isopathic remedies made from allergens specific to each participant.
Furthermore, benefits were seen regarding allergic asthma in a small, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using an isopathic remedy made from allergens specific to the participants.
In science, one seeks independent confirmation of results by more than one research group. Such confirmation is available for isopathic treatment of hay fever–like symptoms. More than a decade before the studies described above, another group of scientists had also studied isopathic remedies for hay fever–like symptoms, and they too found positive results.
However, there have been negative outcomes as well. Two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies performed by a single research group evaluated the effects of an isopathic remedy made from birch pollen on people with allergies to that plant, but no benefits were seen.
In addition, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 242 people with asthma caused by dust-mite allergy failed to find any benefit with an isopathic remedy made from the mites.
Seven double-blind, placebo-controlled studies involving a total of 752 participants have evaluated the potential benefits of Galphimia in relieving symptoms of hay fever. 9
In the best of these studies, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of
in alleviating hay fever symptoms in 201 people.
Not all of the studies found evidence of benefit. However, when researchers put the results of all the studies together, using sophisticated statistical methods called a meta-analysis, the results indicated that the remedy worked significantly better than the placebo in relieving the symptoms. The success rate in those treated was an average of 78%, a rate that was superior to placebo by about a factor of 1.35.
Combining studies in this way is common in medical research. It is considered especially appropriate when the individual studies were quite similar, as they were in this case. However, there are many potential statistical pitfalls in a meta-analysis. One of the problems here is that not all of the double-blind studies produced
Another problem is that all the studies were reported by one group of scientists. To confirm these results, we really need a study by an independent research team.
A subsequent double-blind study, enrolling almost 150 people, evaluated the effectiveness of a nasal spray containing homeopathic
Luffa operculata, Histamine,
by comparing it to a standard treatment for hay fever: cromolyn sodium.
Researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Euphorbium D3 for the treatment of an acute attack of hay fever. 12
Another double-blind, placebo-controlled trial tested two homeopathic nasal spray formulas containing
for the treatment of chronic sinus problems.
In each case, participants were instructed to use two sprays to each nostril four times per day for 4 weeks. Information from questionnaires, as well as the findings from fiberoptic scope and ultrasound examination of the sinuses, were recorded at the first appointment, again at 2 weeks and at 4 weeks, and then again at a post-treatment follow-up at 4 months.
The results indicated that the first homeopathic solution was more effective than placebo, improving such symptoms as nasal congestion, sensation of pressure, and headache. However, the second remedy did not prove effective.
Cinnabaris, Echinacea, Hydrastis, and Kalium bichromicum
A single, but substantial study evaluated a combination of Cinnabaris D3, Echinacea D1, Hydrastis D3, Kalium bichromicum D3 for the treatment of hay fever.
Traditional Homeopathic Treatments for Hay Fever
When you chop an onion, your eyes often sting, water, and itch as they do if you have hay fever. A person with profusely watery eyes and a nose that runs like a faucet fits the
However, hay fever doesn’t always appear in this form. If you are experiencing a pressing headache with dizziness, a fluent nasal discharge, difficulty breathing, and much sneezing, then you fit the symptom picture for the homeopathic remedy
6. Aabel S, Laerum E, Dolvik S, et al. Is homeopathic 'immunotherapy' effective? A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with the isopathic remedy Betula 30c for patients with birch pollen allergy. Br Homeopath J . 2000;89:161–168.
7. Aabel S. No beneficial effect of isopathic prophylactic treatment for birch pollen allergy during a low-pollen season: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of homeopathic Betula 30c. Br Homeopath J . 2000;89:169–173.
8. Lewith GT, Watkins AD, Hyland ME, et al. Use of ultramolecular potencies of allergen to treat asthmatic people allergic to house dust mite: double blinded randomized controlled clinical trial. BMJ . 2002;324:520–523.
11. Weiser M, Gegenheimer LH, Klein P. A randomized equivalence trial comparing the efficacy and safety of Luffa comp.-Heel nasal spray with cromolyn sodium spray in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Forsch Komplementarmed . 1999;6:142–148.
13. Weiser M, Clasen B. Klinische studie zur Untersuchung der wirksamkeit und vertraglichkeit von Euphorbium commpositum—nasentrofen S bei chronischer sinusitis [in German; English abstract]. Forsch Komplementarmed . 1994;1:251–259.
14. Kim LS, Riedlinger JE, Baldwin CM, et al. Treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis using homeopathic preparation of common allergens in the Southwest region of the US: a randomized, controlled clinical trial (April). Ann Pharmacother . 2005 Mar 1 [Epub ahead of print]
15. Friese KH, Zabalotnyi DI. Homeopathy in acute rhinosinusitis : a double-blind, placebo-controlled study shows the efficacy and tolerability of a homeopathic combination remedy. HNO . 2006 Dec 19 [Epub ahead of print].
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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