Monthly Archives: March 2023
Hemiparesis is a severe impairment following a stroke that affects the majority of stroke patients. Rehabilitation is usually at least partly successful. But might results be improved with homeopathy?
This trial tested the efficacy of individualized homeopathic medicines (IHMs) in comparison with identical-looking placebos in the treatment of post-stroke hemiparesis (PSH) in the mutual context of standard physiotherapy (SP).
A 3-months, open-label, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (n = 60) was conducted at the Organon of Medicine outpatient departments of the ‘National Institute of Homoeopathy’, West Bengal, India. Patients were randomized to receive IHMs plus SP (n = 30) or identical-looking placebos plus SP (n = 30). The primary outcome measure was Medical Research Council (MRC) muscle strength grading scale; secondary outcomes were Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) version 2.0, Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), and stroke recovery 0-100 visual analog scale (VAS) scores; all measured at baseline and 3 months after the intervention. Group differences and effect sizes (Cohen’s d) were calculated on the intention-to-treat sample.
Although overall improvements were higher in the IHMs group than in the placebo group with small to medium effect sizes, the group differences were statistically non-significant (all P>0.05, unpaired t-tests). Improvement in SIS physical problems was significantly higher with IHM than with placebo (mean difference 2.0, 95% confidence interval 0.3 to 3.8, P = 0.025, unpaired t-test). Causticum, Lachesis mutus, and Nux vomica were the most frequently prescribed medicines. No harms, unintended effects, homeopathic aggravations, or any serious adverse events were reported from either group.
The authors concluded that there was a small, but non-significant direction of effect favoring homeopathy against placebos in treatment of post-stroke hemiparesis.
Considering the fact that homeopathy has become the holy cow of India which led to the phenomenon that almost no negative homeopathy trials are being reported by Indian researchers, this article is a happy surprise. Its authors clearly report that IHM had no effect on the primary outcome measure.
But who had the bizarre idea that it might?
I have heard many outlandish claims by homeopaths but the one about PSH was a new one to me.
Equally puzzling is, in my view, the design of this study: it was an “open-label, randomized, placebo-controlled trial”. The reason for having a placebo group is to blind the patients, i.e. not let them know whether they receive the verum or the placebo. In an open-label trial, however, the patient is given exactly that information. I totally fail to understand the logic of this. Can someone enlighten me, please?
I had come across them so often that I had almost stopped noticing them: the ‘little extras‘ that make ineffective so-called alternative medicines (SCAMs) seem effective. Then, recently, during an interview about detox diets, the interviewer responded to my explanation of the ineffectiveness of these treatments by saying: “but these diets include stopping the consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and other harmful stuff; therefore they must be good.” This seemingly convincing argument reminded me of a phenomenon – I call it here the ‘little extra‘ – that applies to so many (if not most) SCAMs.
Let me schematically summarise it as follows:
- A practitioner applies an ineffective SCAM to a patient.
- Because it is ineffective, it has little effect other than a small placebo response.
- The ineffective SCAM comes with a ‘little extra‘ which is unrelated to the SCAM.
- The ‘little extra‘ is effective.
- The end result is that the ineffective SCAM appears to be effective.
The above example makes it quite clear: the detox diet is utter nonsense but, as it goes hand in hand with effective lifestyle changes, it appears to be effective. A classic case. But SCAM offers no end of similar examples:
- Acupuncture is useless but it involves touch, time, attention, and empathy all of which are effective in making a patient feel better.
- Chiropractic is useless but it involves touch, time, attention, and empathy all of which are effective in making a patient feel better.
- Homeopathy is useless but it involves a long, empathic consultation and attention which are effective in making a patient feel better.
- Osteopathy is useless but it involves touch, time, attention, and empathy all of which are effective in making a patient feel better.
- Reflexology is useless but it involves touch, time, attention, and empathy all of which are effective in making a patient feel better.
Do I need to continue?
The ‘little extras‘ are often forgotten or subsumed under the heading ‘placebo’. Yet, they are not part of the placebo effect. Strictly speaking, they are concomitant treatments comparable to a pain patient using SCAM and also taking a few paracetamols. In the end, she forgets about the painkillers and thinks that her SCAM worked wonders.
Even ardent SCAM proponents have long realized this phenomenon. Here, for example, is a paper entitled ‘Acupuncture as a complex intervention: a holistic model’ by ex-colleagues of mine at Exeter looking at it but coming up with a very different perspective:
Objectives: Our understanding of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is limited by a lack of inquiry into the dynamics of the process. We used a longitudinal research design to investigate how the experience, and the effects, of a course of acupuncture evolved over time.
Design and outcome measures: This was a longitudinal qualitative study, using a constant comparative method, informed by grounded theory. Each person was interviewed three times over 6 months. Semistructured interviews explored people’s experiences of illness and treatment. Across-case and within-case analysis resulted in themes and individual vignettes.
Subjects and settings: Eight (8) professional acupuncturists in seven different settings informed their patients about the study. We interviewed a consecutive sample of 23 people with chronic illness, who were having acupuncture for the first time.
Results: People described their experience of acupuncture in terms of the acupuncturist’s diagnostic and needling skills; the therapeutic relationship; and a new understanding of the body and self as a whole being. All three of these components were imbued with holistic ideology. Treatment effects were perceived as changes in symptoms, changes in energy, and changes in personal and social identity. The vignettes showed the complexity and the individuality of the experience of acupuncture treatment. The process and outcome components were distinct but not divisible, because they were linked by complex connections. The paper depicts these results as a diagrammatic model that illustrates the components and their interconnections and the cyclical reinforcement, both positive and negative, that can occur over time.
Conclusions: The holistic model of acupuncture treatment, in which “the whole being greater than the sum of the parts,” has implications for service provision and for research trial design. Research trials that evaluate the needling technique, isolated from other aspects of process, will interfere with treatment outcomes. The model requires testing in different service and research settings.
I think the perspective of viewing SCAMs as complex interventions is needlessly confusing and deeply unhelpful. The truth is that there is no treatment that is not complex. Take a surgical treatment, for instance, it involves dozens of ‘little extras‘ that are known to be effective. Should we, therefore, try to use this fact for justifying useless surgical interventions? Or take a simple prescription of medication from a doctor. It involves time, empathy, attention, explanations, etc. all of which will affect the patient’s symptoms. Should we thus use this to justify a useless drug? Certainly not!
And for the same reason, it is nonsense to use the ‘little extras‘ that come with all the numerous ineffective SCAMs as a smokescreen that makes them look effective.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common condition that often frustrates all attempts of treatment. This is an ideal situation for homeopaths who claim to have the solution. Yet the evidence fails to support their optimism. The two systematic reviews on the subject are not encouraging:
- There was insufficient evidence to make recommendations on maternal allergen avoidance for disease prevention, oral antihistamines, Chinese herbs, dietary restriction in established atopic eczema, homeopathy, house dust mite reduction, massage therapy, hypnotherapy, evening primrose oil, emollients, topical coal tar and topical doxepin.
- The evidence from controlled clinical trials therefore fails to show that homeopathy is an efficacious treatment for eczema.
But now, a new study has emerged and it seems to contradict the previous conclusions. This study compared the efficacy of individualized homeopathic medicines (IHMs) against placebos in the treatment of AD.
In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 6 months duration (n = 60), adult patients were randomized to receive either IHMs (n = 30) or identical-looking placebos (n = 30). All participants received concomitant conventional care, which included the application of olive oil and maintaining local hygiene. The primary outcome measure was disease severity using the Patient-Oriented Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (PO-SCORAD) scale; secondary outcomes were the Atopic Dermatitis Burden Scale for Adults (ADBSA) and Dermatological Life Quality Index (DLQI) – all were measured at baseline and every month, up to 6 months. Group differences were calculated on the intention-to-treat sample.
After 6 months of intervention, inter-group differences became statistically significant on PO-SCORAD, the primary outcome (−18.1; 95% confidence interval, −24.0 to −12.2), favoring IHMs against placebos (F 1, 52 = 14.735; p <0.001; two-way repeated measures analysis of variance). Inter-group differences for the secondary outcomes favored homeopathy, but were overall statistically non-significant (ADBSA: F 1, 52 = 0.019; p = 0.891; DLQI: F 1, 52 = 0.692; p = 0.409).
The authors concluded that IHMs performed significantly better than placebos in reducing the severity of AD in adults, though the medicines had no overall significant impact on AD burden or DLQI.
I was unable to access the full paper, or more precisely unwilling to pay for it (in case someone has access, please post the link in the comments section below). From what can be gleaned from the abstract, this study is rigorous and clearly reported.
So, why is the outcome positive?
Pehaps one clue lies in the origin of the study. Here are the affiliations of the authors:
- 1Department of Materia Medica, Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Howrah, West Bengal, India.
- 2Department of Pathology and Microbiology, D. N. De Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Govt. of West Bengal, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
- 3Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Govt. of West Bengal, Howrah, West Bengal, India.
- 4Department of Repertory, JIMS Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Shamshabad, Telangana, India.
- 5Department of Repertory, Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Govt. of West Bengal, Howrah, West Bengal, India.
- 6Department of Health and Family Welfare, Homoeopathic Medical Officer, Rajganj State Homoeopathic Dispensary, Rajganj Government Medical College and Hospital, Uttar Dinajpur, West Bengal, India.
- 7Department of Pathology and Microbiology, National Tuberculosis Elimination Program Wing, Imambara Sadar Hospital, Hooghly, Govt. of West Bengal, India.
- 8Department of Organon of Medicine and Homoeopathic Philosophy, D. N. De Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Govt. of West Bengal, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
- 9Department of Repertory, The Calcutta Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Govt. of West Bengal, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
- 10Department of Health and Family Welfare, East Bishnupur State Homoeopathic Dispensary, Chandi Daulatabad Block Primary Health Centre, Govt. of West Bengal, India.
- 11Department of Repertory, D. N. De Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
I have previously noted that Indian studies of homeopathy (almost) never report a negative result. Why? Are the Indian homeopaths better than those elsewhere, or are they just less honest?
Aromatherapy is popular yet it has a problem: there is no indication for it. Yes, it can make you feel better but this is hardly a true medical indication. I know of many things that make me feel better, and I would not call them a THERAPY! But perhaps this new study from Iran offers a solution for the dilemna:
Sleep plays an essential role in infant development. This randomized clinical trial investigated the effect of aromatherapy with rose water on the deep sleep status of premature infants admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
The study was conducted on 64 infants hospitalized in NICUs. In the intervention group, two drops of rose water were poured on gas and placed next to the babies’ heads. The control group was treated in the same way except that distilled water was employed. The ALS scale was used to assess the sleep status.
Of the 66 infants in this study, 30 were female and 36 were male. The average gestational age of the infants was 32.5 ± 1.99 weeks. The results showed that the amount of deep sleep (type A and B) in the intervention group was significantly higher than the control group during and after the intervention (p=0.001).
The authors concluded that, considering the positive impact of rose water in improve of sleep quality in premature babies; it can be used to improve sleeping condition of infants in hospitals, along with main treatment.
The study has many flaws and it is badly written. Yet, I find it interesting. If its results can be confirmed with a more rigorous trial, aromatherapy might finally find a true medical purpose.
Homeopathy is touted as a panacea, we all know that. It is thus hardly surprising that it is also claimed to be an effective detox option. Here is a German article on the subject that I translated for you:
It was published on the independent health portal Lifeline. It claims that it “offers comprehensive, high-quality and understandably written information on health topics, diseases, nutrition, and fitness. Our editorial team is supported by doctors and freelance medical authors in the continuous creation and quality assurance of our content. Much of our information is multimedia-based with videos and informative image galleries. Numerous self-tests encourage interaction. In our expert advice and forums on various topics, Lifeline users can discuss topics with experts or exchange information with other users. Our information is in no way intended to be a substitute for a visit to the doctor. Rather, our aim is to qualitatively improve and support the relationship between doctor and patient through the information provided. Therefore, our contents do not serve the purpose of arbitrary diagnosis or treatment.”
And here is the article in question:
Environmental toxins, medications, nicotine, alcohol, unhealthy food – the human body is burdened daily by many substances, waste products and toxins. It is therefore sensible and beneficial to detoxify the liver regularly – preferably naturally. With these homeopathic remedies, this can be done gently.
To stay healthy or to prevent acute diseases from becoming chronic: The reasons to regularly rid the body of accumulated toxins are many. Toxins and waste products weaken the organism or can even cause illness themselves. Especially after drug treatments with antibiotics or cortisone, with frequently recurring colds and flu-like infections, it can be useful to detoxify the body naturally – with homeopathy.
In the body, the liver is the central organ where toxins are broken down. The kidneys, as organs of elimination, also play an important role in detoxification. To support the liver and kidneys in natural detoxification, various medicines are available. In homeopathy, detoxification is also called elimination.
Homeopathic medicines particularly suitable for the detoxification cure:
Sulfur: This classic homeopathic medicine has a strong detoxifying effect on connective tissue and mucous membranes, as well as a cleansing effect on the entire organism. In homeopathy, sulfur is mainly used for natural detoxification after drug treatments with antibiotics and cortisone. If the body is so heavily burdened with waste products that other homeopathic medicines have no effect, Sulfur can be used for natural detoxification.
Nux vomica: A very versatile homeopathic medicine is Nux vomica. It is particularly suitable for detoxifying the body naturally when one has consumed too many stimulants such as coffee or alcohol. It can also be used to eliminate harmful substances caused by medication. Nux vomica has proven particularly useful for the accompanying treatment of side effects after chemotherapy.
Pulsatilla: In homeopathy, Pulsatilla is considered an important natural remedy for detoxification, acting primarily on the mucous membranes and the stomach and intestines. Pulsatilla helps alleviate physical discomfort caused by eating too fatty, unhealthy foods, drinks that irritate the stomach such as coffee and alcohol, and taking medications. Pulsatilla works similarly to the detoxification classic sulfur, only the natural detoxification of liver and kidneys as well as connective tissue proceeds even more gently.
Arsenicum album: Within homeopathy, the remedy Arsenicum album is considered a universal remedy for poisoning, for example by heavy metals. It is mainly used for physical signs of exhaustion and weakness and can compensate for negative consequences of unhealthy nutrition. In addition, Arsenicum album is also said to have an anxiety-relieving effect.
Okoubaka: Okoubaba is also considered a medicine with a strong detoxifying effect, acting mainly on the gastrointestinal tract and used for abdominal cramps, flatulence, constipation, as well as acute diarrhea. Especially after a treatment with antibiotics or after having gone through an illness with norovirus, rotavirus or salmonella, Okoubaba can help to detoxify naturally and restore the intestinal flora.
Magnesium fluoratum: When cold symptoms such as cough and cold flare up again and again after administration of fever-reducing medications and other cold preparations, recovery is protracted and the body is weakened, natural detoxification with magnesium fluoratum can help.
Echinacea: Echinacea is known to increase the body’s defenses. As a homeopathic medicine, it can also help to naturally detoxify underlying conditions that have not been cured.
Detoxify naturally: Typical potencies and their dosage
Low potencies from D3 to D12 are commonly used for self-treatment in natural detoxification. However, choosing the right homeopathic remedy is not always easy. If there are uncertainties, an experienced homeopath should be asked for advice, if possible, in order to determine the drug, potency and dosage on the basis of a detailed anamnesis.
But I am – though not in a positive sense.
The article contains far too many unsubstantiated statements to mention. In fact, they are not just unsubstantiated, they are false! As the author does not even attempt to provide evidence for them, one cannot even dispute it. Suffice to say that ‘detox’ is BS and homeopathy too. And in healthcare ‘minus X minus’ does sadly not give ‘plus’.
What renders this otherwise trivial article rather important, in my view, is this: such web-based information is not the exception; quite the opposite: German consumers are bombarded with BS of this type.
Ever wondered why Germany is such a huge market for health fraud?
Now you know the answer!
It has been reported that Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow now has taken to promoting the weirdest wellness thing she’s ever done: rectal ozone therapy. ‘I have used ozone therapy, rectally. Can I say that?’ she told Dear Media podcast The Art of Being Well. ‘It’s pretty weird. It’s pretty weird, yeah. But it’s been very helpful.’
The benefits of rectal ozone therapy are said to be reduced pain/inflammation, increased energy, improved metabolism/circulation, stimulated immune system, detoxification, anti-aging, and fighting bacterial/viral infections.
But who am I to criticize an authority like Gwyneth?
Therefore, I better look up the evidence! And if you had speculated that there is none, you would have been mistaken. Here are some of the more recent clinical studies listed in Medline:
Objective: Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder with a very complex symptomatology. Although generalized severe pain is considered to be the cardinal symptom of the disease, many other associated symptoms, especially non-restorative sleep, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and depressive symptoms also play a relevant role in the degree of disability characteristic of the disease. Ozone therapy, which is used to treat a wide range of diseases and seems to be particularly useful in the treatment of many chronic diseases, is thought to act by exerting a mild, transient, and controlled oxidative stress that promotes an up-regulation of the antioxidant system and a modulation of the immune system. According to these mechanisms of action, it was hypothesized that ozone therapy could be useful in fibromyalgia management, where the employed therapies are very often ineffective.
Patients and methods: Sixty-five patients with fibromyalgia, according to the definition of the American College of Rheumatology (Arthritis Rheum 1990; 33: 160-172), were treated at the MEDE Clinic (Sacile, Pordenone, Italy) from February 2016 to October 2018. Females were 55 and males were 10; age ranged from 30 to 72 years, and the time from fibromyalgia diagnosis ranged from 0.5 to 33 years. Treatment was made by autohemotransfusion in 55 patients and by ozone rectal insufflations in 10 patients, according to SIOOT (Scientific Society of Oxygen Ozone Therapy) protocols, twice a week for one month and then twice a month as maintenance therapy.
Results: We found a significative improvement (>50% of symptoms) in 45 patients (70%). No patient reported important side effects. In conclusion, at our knowledge, this is the largest study of patients with fibromyalgia treated with ozone therapy reported in the literature and it demonstrates that the ozone therapy is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia patients without significant side effects.
Conclusions: At the moment, ozone therapy seems a treatment that, also because without any side effect, is possible to be proposed to patients with fibromyalgia that are not obtaining adequate results from other available treatments and it can be considered as complementary/integrative medicine.
Introduction: The Corona virus disease 19 (COVID-19) has accounted for multiple deaths and economic woes.While the entire medical fraternity and scientists are putting their best feet forward to find a solution to contain this deadly pandemic, there is a growing interest in integrating other known alternative therapies in to standard care. This study is aimed at evaluating the safety and efficacy of ozone therapy (OT), as an adjuvant to the standard of care (SOC).
Methods: In the current randomized control trial, 60 patients with mild to moderate score NEWS score were included in two parallel groups (n = 30/group). The interventional group (OZ) received ozonized rectal insufflation and minor auto haemotherapy, daily along with SOC, while the control group (ST) received SOC alone. The main outcome measures included changes in clinical features, oxygenation index (SpO2), NEWS score, Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR), inflammatory markers, requirement of advanced care, and metabolic profiles.
Results: The OZ group has shown clinically significant improvement in the mean values of all the parameters tested compared to ST Group. However, statistical significance were only observed in RT-PCR negative reaction (P = 0.01), changes in clinical symptoms (P < 0.05) and requirement for Intensive care (P < 0.05). No adverse events were reported in OZ group, as against 2 deaths reported in ST group.
Conclusion: OT when integrated with SOC can improve the clinical status and rapidly reduce the viral load compared to SOC alone, which facilitate early recovery and check the need for advanced care and mortality as demonstrated in this study.
Introduction: IgA deficiency is a primary immunodeficiency predominantly due to an antibody defect, for which there is no replacement therapy. Treatment consists of prevention and treatment of infections and other associated conditions. Given the immunomodulatory and regulatory properties of the redox balance of ozone therapy in infectious and inflammatory conditions, evaluation of its effect on IgA deficiency is of interest.
Objective: Assess the benefits and possible adverse effects of ozone treatment in patients with IgA deficiency.
Methods: A monocentric randomized controlled phase 2 clinical trial (RPCEC 00000236) was carried out, after approval by the Institutional Ethics Committee of the Roberto Rodríguez Fernández Provincial General Teaching Hospital in Morón, Ciego de Ávila Province, Cuba. Included were 40 patients aged 5-50 years, distributed in 2 groups of 20, after agreeing to participate and signing informed consent. The experimental group received 2 cycles of ozone by rectal insufflation for 20 days (5 times a week for 4 weeks each cycle) with a 3-month interval between cycles, for a total of 40 doses, with age-adjusted dose ranges. The control group was treated with leukocyte transfer factor (Hebertrans), 1 U per m2 of body surface area subcutaneously, once weekly for 12 weeks. Frequency of appearance and severity of clinical symptoms and signs of associated diseases, serum immunoglobulin concentrations and balance of pro-oxidant and antioxidant biomarkers were recorded at treatment initiation and one month after treatment completion. Therapeutic response was defined as complete, partial, stable disease or progressive disease. Descriptive statistics and significance were calculated to compare groups and assess effect size.
Results: One month after treatment completion, 70% of patients in the experimental group experienced significant increases in IgG(p = 0.000) and IgM (p = 0.033). The experimental group also displayed decreased pro-oxidation biomarkers, glutathione modulation and increased antioxidant enzymes, with reduced oxidative stress; none of these occurred in the control group. Complete therapeutic response was achieved in 85% of patients in the experimental group and only 45% in the control group. Mild, transient adverse events were reported in both groups.
Conclusions: Ozone therapy by rectal insufflation is a suitable therapeutic option for treating IgA deficiency because it produces antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects and is feasible, safe and minimally invasive.
Background: Ozone therapy may stimulate antioxidant systems and protect against free radicals. It has not been used formerly in patients with pulmonary emphysema.
Aim: To assess the effects of rectal ozone therapy in patients with pulmonary emphysema.
Material and methods: Sixty four patients with pulmonary emphysema, aged between 40 and 69 years, were randomly assigned to receive rectal ozone in 20 daily sessions, rectal medicinal oxygen or no treatment. Treatments were repeated three months later in the first two groups. At baseline and at the end of the study, spirometry and a clinical assessment were performed.
Results: fifty patients completed the protocol, 20 receiving ozone therapy, 20 receiving rectal oxygen and 10 not receiving any therapy. At baseline, patients on ozone therapy had significantly lower values of forced expiratory volume in the first second (fEV1) and fEV1/forced vital capacity. At the end of the treatment period, these parameters were similar in the three treatment groups, therefore they only improved significantly in the group on ozone therapy. No differences were observed in other spirometric parameters.
Conclusions: Rectal ozone therapy may be useful in patients with pulmonary emphysema.
Background: Pain secondary to chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) can limit the administration of chemotherapy, cancer-treatment outcomes, and the quality of life of patients. Oxidative stress and inflammation are some of the key mechanisms involved in CIPN. Successful treatments for CIPN are limited. This report shows our preliminary experience using ozone treatment as a modulator of oxidative stress in chronic pain secondary to CIPN. Methods: Ozone treatment, by rectal insufflation, was administered in seven patients suffering from pain secondary to grade II or III CIPN. Pain was assessed by the visual analog scale (VAS). Results: All patients, except one, showed clinically relevant pain improvement. Median pain score according to the VAS was 7 (range: 5-8) before ozone treatment, 4 (range: 2-6) at the end of ozone treatment (p = 0.004), 5.5 (range: 1.8-6.3) 3 months after the end of ozone treatment (p = 0.008), and 6 (range: 2.6-6.6) 6 months after the end of ozone treatment (p = 0.008). The toxicity grade, according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE v.5.0), improved in half of the patients. Conclusion: This report shows that most patients obtained clinically relevant and long-lasting improvement in chronic pain secondary to CIPN after treatment with ozone. These observed effects merit further research and support our ongoing randomized clinical trial.
Background: Medical ozone is more bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal than any other natural substance. Some studies proved that ozone infused into donated blood samples can kill viruses 100% of the time. Ozone, because of its special biologic properties, has theoretical and practical attributes to make it a potent hepatitis C virus (HCV) inactivator, which suggests an important role in the therapy for hepatitis C.
Aim: The study aim is to evaluate the role of ozone therapy in decreasing HCV ribonucleic acid (HCV RNA) load and its effect on the liver enzymes among patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Methods: This study included 52 patients with chronic hepatitis C (positive polymerase chain reaction [PCR] for HCV RNA and raised serum alanine transaminase [ALT] for more than 6 months). All patients were subjected to meticulous history taking and clinical examination. Complete blood count, liver function tests, and abdominal ultrasonography were requested for all patients. The ozone group included 40 patients who received major autohemotherapy, minor autohemotherapy, and rectal ozone insufflation. The other 12 patients (conventional group) received silymarin and/or multivitamins.
Results: There were significant improvements of most of the presenting symptoms of the patients in the ozone group in comparison to the conventional group. ALT and aspartate transaminase (AST) levels normalized in 57.5% and 60% in the ozone group, respectively, in comparison to 16.7% and 8% in the conventional group, respectively. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for HCV RNA was negative among 25% and 44.4% after 30 and 60 sessions of ozone therapy, respectively, in comparison to 8% among the conventional group.
Conclusions: Ozone therapy significantly improves the clinical symptoms associated with chronic hepatitis C and is associated with normalized ALT and AST levels among a significant number of patients. Ozone therapy is associated with disappearance of HCV RNA from the serum (-ve PCR for HCV RNA) in 25%-45% of patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Oxidative stress is suggested to have an important role in the development of complications in diabetes. Because ozone therapy can activate the antioxidant system, influencing the level of glycemia and some markers of endothelial cell damage, the aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of ozone in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes and diabetic feet and to compare ozone with antibiotic therapy. A randomized controlled clinical trial was performed with 101 patients divided into two groups: one (n = 52) treated with ozone (local and rectal insufflation of the gas) and the other (n = 49) treated with topical and systemic antibiotics. The efficacy of the treatments was evaluated by comparing the glycemic index, the area and perimeter of the lesions and biochemical markers of oxidative stress and endothelial damage in both groups after 20 days of treatment. Ozone treatment improved glycemic control, prevented oxidative stress, normalized levels of organic peroxides, and activated superoxide dismutase. The pharmacodynamic effect of ozone in the treatment of patients with neuroinfectious diabetic foot can be ascribed to the possibility of it being a superoxide scavenger. Superoxide is considered a link between the four metabolic routes associated with diabetes pathology and its complications. Furthermore, the healing of the lesions improved, resulting in fewer amputations than in control group. There were no side effects. These results show that medical ozone treatment could be an alternative therapy in the treatment of diabetes and its complications.
What does that tell us?
That rectal ozone therapy is a panacea?
No, I don’t think so.
In my view, it tells us that strange journals publish a lot of dodgy research from strange research groups that use dodgy methodologies to confirm their odd belief that bogus treatments work for everything.
I wonder which orifice Gwyneth will employ next to get the attention of the public.
It has been reported that a well-known conservative activist, Kelly Canon, from Arlington, Texas, USA, has tragically died. She was famous for peddling COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. The complications caused by the virus—just a few weeks after attending a “symposium” against the vaccines – have killed her.
“Another tragedy and loss for our Republican family. Our dear friend Kelly Canon lost her battle with pneumonia today. Kelly will be forever in our hearts as a loyal and beloved friend and Patriot. Gone way too soon We will keep her family in our prayers,” the Arlington Republican Club said in a statement.
Her death was said to be “from COVID-related pneumonia.” Canon had announced on Facebook in November that her employer had granted her a religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine. “No jabby-jabby for me! Praise GOD!” she wrote at the time.
Canon had been an outspoken critic of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and pandemic-related restrictions. In one of her final Facebook posts, Canon shared several links to speeches she attended at a “COVID symposium” in Burleson in early December devoted to dissuading people from getting the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available. The event was organized by God Save Our Children, which bills itself as “a conservative group that is fighting against the use of experimental vaccines on our children.”
Canon had shared similar content on Twitter, where her most recent post was a YouTube video featuring claims that the coronavirus pandemic was “planned” in advance and part of a global conspiracy.
As news of her death spread Tuesday, pro-vaccine commentators flooded her Facebook page with cruel comments and mocking memes, while her supporters unironically praised her for being a “warrior for liberty” to the very end.
A religious exemption?
What for heaven’s sake is that?
I feel sad for every death caused by COVID and its complications. If the death is caused by ignorance, it renders the sadness all the more profound.
Yesterday, it has been reported that Indian scientists found the mode of action of homeopathic remedies. This is the newspaper article:
And this seems to be the abstract of the actual paper:
Homeopathic medicines contain ultra-low concentrations of metal and compounds, and it is challenging to classify homeopathic potencies using modern characterization tools. This work presents a novel experimental tool for classifying various homeopathic medicines under a low-frequency generated electromagnetic (EM) fields. A custom-built primary coil is used for generating EM fields at different excitation frequencies. The potentized test samples were prepared at decimal dilution scale of Ferrum with α‑lactose monohydrate and exhibited significant and distinct induced EM responses in the second sensing coil. The measured responses decrease logarithmically due to reducing Ferrum concentration. The resolution improved in higher potencies from 0.03 µV at 300 Hz to 0.24 µV at 4.8 kHz. Different compounds of homeopathic medicines were also investigated to produce distinct induced EM characteristics. These results were correlated with Raman spectroscopy, impedance analyser, and FT-IR analysis. The experimental investigation confirmed the classification of potencies and the technique developed to detect ultra-low metallic concentrations.
I might be a bit slow on the uptake – but I don’t see how this investigation proves anything. Perhaps someone can explain it to me?
So-called alternative medicine (SCAM) is widely used in Arabia. One of the commonly used methods is camel urine alone or mixed with camel milk. Camel urine is a liquid by-product of camel metabolism. Urine from camels has been used as prophetic medicine for centuries, being a part of ancient Bedouin practices. Camel urine comes out as a concentrated, viscous syrup because the kidneys and intestines of a camel are very efficient at reabsorbing water.
Camel urine is consumed and used for treating numerous ailments. Some employ it as a treatment for hair loss, for instance. The camel urine from a virgin camel is priced at twenty dollars per liter, with herders saying that it has curative powers.
A recent paper offers more information:
Camel is one of the important livestock species which plays a major role in the pastoral mode of life by fulfilling basic demands of livelihood. Traditionally, camel urine has been used in the treatment of human diseases. With regard to the health benefits of drinking the urine of camels, it has been proven by modern scientific researches. Camel urine has an unusual and unique biochemical composition that contributes to medicinal values. The chemical composition of camel urine showed the presence of purine bases, hypoxanthine, sodium, potassium, creatinine, urea, uric acid, and phosphates. The nano-particles in the camel’s urine can be used to fight cancer. Camel urine has antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria. Its chemical and organic constituents have also inhibitory properties against fungal growth, human platelets, and parasitic diseases mainly fasciollosis in calves. The healthy status of the liver can be restored through ingestion of diet and minerals in camel urine. Camel urine is used by the camel owners and Bedouins as medicine in different ways. The Bedouin in the Arab desert used to mix camel urine with milk. Recently; the WHO has warned against drinking camel urine due to the modern attempt to limit Outbreaks of Respiratory Syndrome (MRS) in the Middle East. There is no scientific dosage for camel urine to be applied as medicine for different diseases and the ways of camel urine formulation and utilization for the care of patients varies from country to country. Therefore, the purposes of the present review describe the biochemical composition of camel urine will be scientifically extracted and formulated as a therapy rather than drinking raw urine and people’s health impact.
Researchers from the Medical Oncology Department, Comprehensive Cancer Center, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia wanted to determine whether camel urine shows promise in the treatment of cancer. The aim of their study was to observe cancer patients who insisted on using camel urine and to devise some clinically relevant recommendations.
The authors observed 20 cancer patients (15 male, 5 female) from September 2020 to January 2022 who insisted on using camel urine. They documented the demographics of each patient, the method of administering camel urine, the reasons for refusing conventional treatment, the period of follow-up, and the outcome and side effects.
All the patients had radiological investigations before and after finishing treatment with camel urine. All patients used a combination of camel urine and milk, and treatment ranged from a few days up to 6 months. The average amount of urine/milk consumed was 60 ml/day. No clinical benefit was observed and two patients developed brucellosis. Eleven patients changed their minds and eventually accepted conventional antineoplastic treatments but 7 were too weak to receive further treatment and died from their disease.
The authors concluded that camel urine had no clinical benefits in cancer patients, and may even have caused zoonotic infection. The promotion of camel urine as a traditional medicine should be stopped because there is no scientific evidence to support it.
I fear that, yet again, ‘ancient wisdom’ turns out to be just ‘old bullshit’.
It has been reported that King Charles refused to pay Prince Andrew’s £ 32,000-a-year bill for his personal healing guru. The Duke of York has allegedly submitted the claim to the Privy Purse as a royal expense having sought the help of a yoga teacher.
However, the claim has reportedly been denied by the King, who is said to have told Andrew the bill will need to be covered using his own money. It comes after sources claimed Andrew has been using the Indian yogi for a number of years for chanting, massages, and holistic therapy in the privacy of his mansion. The healer has reportedly enjoyed month-long stays at a time at the £30 million Royal Lodge in Windsor.
Previously, the Queen seems to have passed the claims. But now Charles is in control. A source said: “While the Queen was always happy to indulge her son over the years, Charles is far less inclined to fund such indulgences, particularly in an era of a cost-of-living crisis. “Families are struggling and would rightly baulk at the idea of tens of thousands paid to an Indian guru to provide holistic treatment to a non-working royal living in his grace and favour mansion. This time the King saw the bill for the healer submitted by Andrew to the Privy Purse and thought his brother was having a laugh.”
How is he going to cope without his guru?
Will he be able to recover from the mysterious condition that prevents him to sweat?
Will his ego take another blow?
How will he be able to afford even the most basic holistic wellness?
How can Charles – who knows only too well about its benefits – be so cruel to his own brother?
Should I start a collection so that Andrew can pay for his most basic needs?
Yes, these are the nagging questions and deep concerns that keep me awake at night!
I have just been asked if, by any chance, the yoga teacher is a 16-year-old female. I have to admit that I cannot answer this question.