MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Previous studies have shown inconclusive results of homeopathy in the treatment of warts. A team of Indian homeopaths aimed to assess the feasibility of a future definitive trial, with a preliminary assessment of differences between effects of individualized homeopathic (IH) medicines and placebos in the treatment of cutaneous warts.

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (n = 60) was conducted at the dermatology outpatient department of D.N. De Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, West Bengal. Patients were randomized to receive either IH (n = 30) or identical-looking placebo (n = 30). Primary outcome measures were numbers and sizes of warts; the secondary outcome was the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire measured at baseline, and every month up to 3 months. Group differences and effect sizes were calculated on the intention-to-treat sample.

Attrition rate was 11.6% (IH, 3; placebo, 4). Intra-group changes were significantly greater (all < 0.05, Friedman tests) in IH than placebo. Inter-group differences were statistically non-significant (all > 0.05, Mann-Whitney U tests) with small effect sizes-both in the primary outcomes (number of warts after 3 months: IH median [inter-quartile range; IQR] 1 [1, 3] vs. placebo 1 [1, 2]; p = 0.741; size of warts after 3 months: IH 5.6 mm [2.6, 40.2] vs. placebo 6.3 [0.8, 16.7]; p = 0.515) and in the secondary outcomes (DLQI total after 3 months: IH 4.5 [2, 6.2] vs. placebo 4.5 [2.5, 8]; p = 0.935). Thuja occidentalis (28.3%), Natrum muriaticum (10%) and Sulphur (8.3%) were the most frequently prescribed medicines. No harms, homeopathic aggravations, or serious adverse events were reported.

The Indian homeopaths draw the following conclusion: As regards efficacy, the preliminary study was inconclusive, with a statistically non-significant direction of effect favoring homeopathy. The trial succeeded in showing that an adequately powered definitive trial is both feasible and warranted.

INCONCLUSIVE?

No, the findings are not inconclusive at all! Read the results again: they confirm that homeopathy is a placebo therapy.

So, why is this trial worth writing about?

Surely, we did not expect anything else than a negative outcome from such a study?!

No, we didn’t.

But there is still something quite remarkable about this study: I have previously noted that virtually all studies of homeopathy by Indian researchers report positive results. AND THIS ONE DOESN’T!!!

Alright, it tries to hide the fact that the findings were negative, but this already seems to be a step in the right direction. So, well done, my Indian friends!!!

Perhaps one day, you will be able to admit that homeopathy is a placebo therapy?

 

 

17 Responses to The first negative trial of homeopathy from India!!!

  • This was a stupid study. We heal naturally from the inside out. The skin is typically the last to heal. It would be unlikely that a significant number of the patients would be relieved of their warts in less than 3 months unless they are quite healthy to begin with. I always warn patients that their skin condition will likely be the last to heal and may possibly worsen initially before it resolves, as the disease moves from interior to exterior. With children of strong vitality their skin condition might heal quickly.

    • you should rather always warn patients that their skin condition, like any other ailment, will not heal at all with homeopathy

    • Another impressive exercise in attempting to contort reality to make it conform to your delusions, Roger.

    • @ Roger

      that is just as daft as the rest of homeopathic theory. why would dermatological warts, which are external and have absolutely NO internal manifestation whatsoever heal from the INSIDE? The problem is in the SKIN not the internal organs or have you got some new system of anatomy we don’t know about?

      and why should it take months anyway? with all this mumbo-jumbo about helping the body to heal itself if it takes months to heal a simple wart then it must take aeons to heal anything more significant.

    • Current biologic treatments for psoriasis clear your skin in two weeks. Quit making stuff up to defend magical beliefs.

    • I always warn patients that their skin condition will likely be the last to heal and may possibly worsen initially before it resolves, as the disease moves from interior to exterior.

      It is frightening that a naive, delusional amateur is playing doctor on real patients with real health problems. If I started a car dealership, accountant service or airplane repair shop and pretended to know what I was doing, I would quickly be stopped by the regulating authorities. In most civilised countries there are laws, which forbid impersonating a health care worker, but it seems that the make-belive healers are excused from liability on grounds of tradition and popular demand. The trade unions (here) regularly advertise something like: ”Is your plumber/mason/electrician certified?”. But if someone questions the services of an homeopath or “craniosacral adjuster”, an indignant emotional outcry of persecution and martyrdom is usually the result and politicians more or less shun the confrontation – or even participate as believers, in what they perceive as the popular, vote-friendly attitude. We will never reverse this problem but constant awareness and opposition is needed. That is why professor Ernst’s spearhead contribution is so invaluable.

  • This notion of healing from the inside out, is an IDEA of homeopaths (and some other SCAM modalities). It is not a FACT.

    The first issue I ever received (back in the early 1990s) of Exchange magazine, the journal of the National Eczema Society, carried a letter from a lady outlining her horrific experience with the vendor of some herbal ‘salve’ or other.

    Forsaking her usual management regimen for her atopic skin, her eczema progressively worsened and in response to very worried phone enquiries she was told each time that this was to be expected, and that it had to ‘come out’ in order to get better. She was eventually taken to hospital as an emergency admission, near to death from thermal shock, her skin function having broken down so far that it could not regulate her body temperature. Happily, with intensive treatment, she survived to tell the story, as a warning.

  • For those unfamiliar with homeopathy’s dog Latin: ‘Natrum Muriaticum’ is an infinite dilution of table salt – the very same stuff that was discredited almost 200 years ago already.
    And oh, every adult has about 200 grams of this salt in their body – yet homeopaths believe that administering a few drops of water that once held salt has significant effects over the actual salt still present.

  • „So, why is this trial worth writing about?“ Is exactly why we have publication bias. The authors and editors should be congratulated.

    • @ Avogadro

      ” Alright, it tries to hide the fact that the findings were negative,”

      but they tried to spin the results as POSITIVE. so they lied. Why should they be congratulated for lying about the results of a trial? They couldn’t be honest and admit that their delusional therapy doesn’t work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Comments

Note that comments can be edited for up to five minutes after they are first submitted but you must tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”

The most recent comments from all posts can be seen here.

Archives
Categories