Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Homeopathy


This study aimed to provide a long-term cost comparison of patients using additional homeopathic treatment (homeopathy group) with patients using usual care (control group) over an observation period of 33 months.

Concepts: Controlling for a variable, Scientific control, Scientific method, Retrospective, Economics, Homeopathy


Perimenopausal period refers to the interval when women’s menstrual cycles become irregular and is characterized by an increased risk of depression. Use of homeopathy to treat depression is widespread but there is a lack of clinical trials about its efficacy in depression in peri- and postmenopausal women. The aim of this study was to assess efficacy and safety of individualized homeopathic treatment versus placebo and fluoxetine versus placebo in peri- and postmenopausal women with moderate to severe depression.

Concepts: Menopause, Estrogen, Menstrual cycle, Placebo, Endometrium, Menstruation, Homeopathy, Menarche


A rigorous systematic review and meta-analysis focused on randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of non-individualised homeopathic treatment has not previously been reported. We tested the null hypothesis that the main outcome of treatment using a non-individualised (standardised) homeopathic medicine is indistinguishable from that of placebo. An additional aim was to quantify any condition-specific effects of non-individualised homeopathic treatment.

Concepts: Experimental design, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Placebo, Hypothesis, Alternative medicine, Null hypothesis, Homeopathy


The use of homeopathic medicine is poorly described and the frequency of combined allopathic and homeopathic prescriptions is unknown.

Concepts: Alternative medicine, Homeopathy


Aim:  The aim of this systematic review was to critically evaluate the evidence regarding the adverse effects (AEs) of homeopathy. Method:  Five electronic databases were searched to identify all relevant case reports and case series. Results:  In total, 38 primary reports met our inclusion criteria. Of those, 30 pertained to direct AEs of homeopathic remedies; and eight were related to AEs caused by the substitution of conventional medicine with homeopathy. The total number of patients who experienced AEs of homeopathy amounted to 1159. Overall, AEs ranged from mild-to-severe and included four fatalities. The most common AEs were allergic reactions and intoxications. Rhus toxidendron was the most frequently implicated homeopathic remedy. Conclusion:  Homeopathy has the potential to harm patients and consumers in both direct and indirect ways. Clinicians should be aware of its risks and advise their patients accordingly.

Concepts: Immune system, Medicine, Allergy, Alternative medicine, Homeopathy


The use of complementary and alternative medicine has increased over the past decade. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether homeopathy influenced global health status and subjective wellbeing when used as an adjunct to conventional cancer therapy.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Randomized controlled trial, Alternative medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine, Homeopathy, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Edzard Ernst


Explanation models for the effectiveness of homeopathy are not supported by natural sciences and the aggregated evidence from clinical trials is unconvincing. From this standpoint, placebo effects seem the most obvious explanation for the therapeutic effects experienced in homeopathy. Still, many physicians continue to prescribe homeopathic treatments.

Concepts: Scientific method, Therapeutic effect, Medicine, Clinical trial, Effectiveness, Nocebo, Placebo, Homeopathy


Cough is a frequent symptom associated to upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and, although being self-limiting, it might deeply affect the quality of life. Homeopathic products are often employed by patients to treat cough, but the evidence on their efficacy is scarce. Thus, we tested the efficacy of an homeopathic syrup in treating cough arising from URTIs with a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial. Patients were treated with either the homeopathic syrup or a placebo for a week, and recorded cough severity in a diary by means of a verbal category-descriptive score for two weeks. Sputum viscosity was assessed with a viscosimeter before and after 4 days of treatment; patients were also asked to provide a subjective evaluation of viscosity. Eighty patients were randomized to receive placebo (n=40) or the homeopathic syrup (n=40). All patients completed the study. In each group cough scores decreased over time, however, after 4 and 7 days of treatment, cough severity was significantly lower in the homeopathic group than in the placebo one (P<0.001 and P=0.023, respectively). Sputum was collected from 53 patients: in both groups its viscosity significantly decreased after 4 days of treatment (P<0.001); however, viscosity was significantly lower in the homeopathic group (P=0.018). Instead, the subjective evaluation did not significantly differ between the two groups (P=0.059). No adverse events related to any treatment were reported. We concluded that the homeopathic syrup employed in the study was able to effectively reduce cough severity and sputum viscosity, thereby representing a valid remedy for the management of acute cough induced by URTIs.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Respiratory system, Placebo, Upper respiratory tract, Upper respiratory tract infection, Lower respiratory tract, Homeopathy


Several studies demonstrated that placebo treatment may have a significant impact on many different symptoms. While in the traditional view concealment of the placebo is essential, recent studies report intriguing evidence that placebos may work even without deception. For example, it has been demonstrated that open-label placebos can improve symptoms in allergic rhinitis. However, the mechanisms of how placebos without concealment work remain unknown.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Clinical research, Nocebo, Placebo, Homeopathy, Deception


Homeopathy is a therapeutic method based on the application of similia principle, utilizing ultra-low doses of medicinal substances made from natural products. The present study has been designed to evaluate the efficacy of Cinchona officinalis (Chin.) 30C and Chelidonium majus (Chel.) 30C in combination therapy against lethal murine malaria. Five groups having twelve BALB/c mice each were administered orally with 0.2 ml/mouse/day of different drugs, and their antimalarial potential was evaluated by Peter’s 4-day test. The combination of Chin. 30 and Chel. 30 exhibited complete parasite clearance by the 28th day post-inoculation which was similar to the positive control [artesunate (4 mg/kg)+sulphadoxine-primethamine (1.2 mg/kg)] group. Both the groups exhibited enhanced mean survival time (MST) 28±0 days,whereas, the mice of infected control group survived up to 7.6±0.4 days only. The preventive and curative activities of the combination in comparison to the positive controls [pyrimethamine (1.2 mg/Kg) and chloroquine (20 mg/Kg), respectively] were also evaluated. The combination had a significant preventive activity (p<0.0005), with 89.2% chemosuppression which was higher than the standard drug, pyrimethamine (83.8%). It also showed a moderate curative activity with complete clearance of parasite in 50% of surviving mice, and enhancing the MST of mice up to 26.8±2.8 days. These findings point to the significant antiplasmodial efficacy of the combination of these homeopathic drugs against Plasmodium berghei.

Concepts: Scientific control, Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium, Apicomplexa, Cinchona, Homeopathy, Plasmodium berghei