This is one category of illness where homeopathic treatments have been put to the test, according to conventional standards, and published in peer reviewed journals. In one of the trials patients with rheumatoid arthritis were treated with individually prescribed remedies. (Gibson, R. G., S. Gibson, et al. (1980): "Homeopathic therapy in rheumatoid arthritis: evaluation by double-blind clinical therapeutic trial." Br J Clin Pharmac 9: 453-459).

A later study did not show an effect in the treatment of arthritis. A great problem in this study is that the patients did not receive individualized remedies, based on each person’s particular symptoms, but instead, everybody received the same remedy. According to the basic principles of homeopathy, as discovered and presented by Samuel Hahnemann, requires that each person be treated according to the particular and peculiar symptoms they suffer. (M. Shipley, H. Berry, G. Broster, et al.: “Controlled Trial of Homoeopathic Treatment of Osteoarthritis”, Lancet, January 15, 1983, 97-98)

Another study treated patients with fibrositis which found that homeopathic remedies had better effect than placebo. As many of the other homeopathic research, this study needs to be replicated. (P. Fisher, A. Greenwood, E.C. Huskisson, et al.: “Effect of Homoeopathic Treatment on Fibrositis”, British Medical Journal, August 5, 1989, 299:365-66).

Homeopathic remedies have proven to be more effective than acetaminophen (C. N. Shealy, MD, R.P. Thomlinson, V. Borgmeyer: “Osteoarthritic Pain: A Comparison of Homeopathy and Acetaminophen”, American Journal of Pain Management, 1998;8:89-91)

A double-blinded study to document the relative efficacy of homeopathic remedies in comparison to acetaminophen for the treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) among 65 patients. An IRB approved protocol. Results of the study documented better pain relief in the homeopathic group (55% achieved measured relief from homeopathy as compared to 38% from acetaminophen); however, the superiority of this treatment, in comparison with the acetaminophen group, did not reach statistical significance. The investigators conclude that homeopathic treatments for pain in OA patients appear to be safe and at least as effective as acetaminophen, and are without its potential adverse effects including compromise to both liver and kidney function. Many of the patients asked to continue with the homeopathic treatment.

Bernado Merizalde, MD, DHt