Studied Homeopathic Remedies
- Homeopathic Remedies Given in Succession: Opium, Arnica, and Raphanus
- Homeopathic Remedy Containing China regia, Raphanus sativus niger, and Arnica
- Aconitum napellus
- Bellis perennis
- Carbo vegetabilis
- Acetic acid
Surgery, at best, is an unpleasant process. Not only does the surgical wound cause pain, but general anesthesia causes its own side effects.
Homeopathic treatments have been studied for possible benefits in the period around surgery, with some promising results. Even though they have not been proved effective, there is one thing that can be offered in their favor: unlike herbs, which might be dangerous during or after surgery, homeopathic tablets should be entirely safe under all circumstances. (See A Note about Safety
Scientific Evaluations of Homeopathic Remedies for Surgery Support
Preliminary, double-blind trials
Recovery of Digestive Function Following Surgery
If you have major surgery, especially to the abdomen, your digestive tract will shut down for several days. Until it starts working again, you can't eat or drink, and certainly can't go home from the hospital. Passing gas is the first sign of recovery; once it occurs, the return of digestive function is imminent.
The results of several double-blind studies suggest that homeopathic remedies may reduce the time it takes for the digestive tract to recover.
For example, a
Another double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 80 people undergoing abdominal surgery evaluated the effects on bowel function of a homeopathic remedy containing
China regia, Raphanus sativus niger,
Similar results were seen in several other studies as well.
A meta-analysis mathematically combined the results of six published trials on homeopathy for speeding the return of bowel function.
Reducing Pain After Surgery
Pain following surgery is a common, if not nearly universal, experience. The homeopathic remedy
is traditionally used as a treatment for trauma, and therefore has been proposed for reducing surgical pain. The results from preliminary studies have been somewhat promising, but far from definitive.
A study of 190 people undergoing tonsillectomy compared Arnica 30c (two tablets six times daily the first day after surgery, then two tablets twice a day for the next seven days) against placebo.
Another double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved 59 participants undergoing oral surgery.
In yet another double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, use of homeopathic
D6 tablets for 2 weeks following carpal tunnel surgery led to decreased pain as compared to placebo treatment.
However, other double-blind, studies failed to find benefit. In a study comparing
D4 and diclofenac sodium, 50 mg, a common analgesic medication,
was less effective for postoperative pain following bunion surgery among 88 patients. Nevertheless,
was equivalent to diclofenac for postoperative irritation, toe mobility, and the use of other analgesics. Since no control group was included in the study, it is unknown whether either treatment was better than placebo.
In a placebo-controlled trial, researchers tested Arnica 30c in the postoperative recovery of 93 women who had undergone total abdominal hysterectomy. In terms of pain and its relief, infection, and medication use, no statistical difference was observed between the two groups.
In another double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study also failed to find benefit.
In yet another controlled trial, patients recovering from knee surgery who were given the a homeopathic complex (
5 CH, and
3 DH) were no more or less likely to adjust their morphine dose 1 to 3 days postoperatively compared to patients given a placebo.
Restlessness and Agitation After Surgery
Besides pain, many people experience restlessness and agitation after surgery, perhaps due in part to the effects of general anesthesia.
One double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the potential benefits of homeopathic
for children who had undergone various surgeries.
Bruising after Surgery
is a popular home remedy for bruising, investigators have studied it as a possible treatment for reducing bruising after surgery. However, overall, the evidence for benefit with Arnica is inconclusive.
For example, in a double-blind trial of 130 people undergoing surgery for varicose veins, researchers found no benefit with homeopathic
at 5x potency as compared to placebo.
Traditional Homeopathic Treatments for Surgery Support
If you experience fear and a feeling of panic before surgery, you might fit the
If after surgery you experience bruising, swelling, or soreness, you may fit the classical symptom picture for Arnica .
Depending on the type of surgery, the homeopath might recommend other remedies believed to have particular affinities for different organs or circumstances, such as Bellis perennis for breast and abdominal surgeries; Calendula, Hypericum, Arnica, or Staphisagria for dental surgeries; and Carbo vegetabilis when there is great weakness and loss of fluids. Homeopathic Acetic acid might be used to help effect a quick recovery from the after-effects of general anesthesia (nausea and wooziness).
5. Pinsent RJFH, Baker GPI, Ives G, et al. Does Arnica reduce pain and bleeding after dental extraction? A placebo control led pilot study conducted by the Midland Homoeopathy Research Group (MHRG). Comm Br Hom Res Grp . 1986;15:3–11.
7. Hart O, Mullee MA, et al. Double blind, placebo controlled, randomized clinical trial of homeopathic Arnica 30C for pain and infection after total abdominal hysterectomy. JR Soc Med . 1997;90:73–78.
12. Wolf M, Tamaschke C, Mayer W, et al. Efficacy of ARNICA in varicose vein surgery; results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2003;10:242-7.
14. Seeley BM, Denton AB, Ahn MS et al. Effect of Homeopathic Arnica montana on Bruising in Face-lifts: Results of a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Arch Facial Plast Surg . 2006;8:54-9.
17. Paris A, Gonnet N, Chaussard C, et al. Effect of homeopathy on analgesic intake following knee ligament reconstruction: a phase III monocentre randomized placebo controlled study. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2008;65:180-187.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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