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Tags homeopathy , Veins , Vericose

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Old 12th March 2012, 01:50 AM   #1
bayani
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Complementary Treatment of Varicose Veins: A Randomised, Placebo-controlled, Double-b

I am after a copy or a link to this study:

Phlebology (The Royal Society of Medicine Press, UK)
“Complementary Treatment of Varicose Veins: A Randomised, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind Trial”

E. Ernst, T. Saradeth, K.L. Resch, 1990, 157-163.

I asked Prof. Edzard Ernst about it and he confirmed that it provided a positive result, though only so much can be communicated with ease via Twitter.

Can't seem to find an online version; perhaps someone will have some better resources than I?
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Old 13th March 2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
May 1990
E. Ernst, T. Saradeth, and K.L. Resch
Phlebology, 1990, 5:157-163.

This study of 61 patients showed a 44% improvement in venous filling time in the homeopathic treated group when compared with placebo.
Best I can find, but without the full paper, impossible to see what they did to get that result.
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Old 13th March 2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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I'll bet $20 that the study was flawed and the results are not repeatable...
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Old 13th March 2012, 05:32 PM   #4
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Um, was the placebo also a fluid? Because if it wasn't then the entire study is bogus. You can get those sorts of numbers just by changing fluid intake.

I will be interested to see any more information about the testing procedures.
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Old 14th March 2012, 03:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Best I can find, but without the full paper, impossible to see what they did to get that result.
That's as far as I can get; i am weary of the claimed results because they ONLY appear on pro-homeopathy website. I want to see the conclusions from the authors - more importantly, the entire study.
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Old 14th March 2012, 03:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Vic Vega View Post
I'll bet $20 that the study was flawed and the results are not repeatable...
Results may very well have been a statistical anomaly; though I agree - unlikely to be replicated.

Given the positive results and reportedly good methodology, one wonders why this study does not get more homeopaths attempting to replicate it.
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Old 14th March 2012, 03:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Weak Kitten View Post
Um, was the placebo also a fluid? Because if it wasn't then the entire study is bogus. You can get those sorts of numbers just by changing fluid intake.

I will be interested to see any more information about the testing procedures.
Without seeing the study, I expect it to be a fairly good study - being from Edzard Ernst.
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Old 14th March 2012, 03:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bayani View Post
Without seeing the study, I expect it to be a fairly good study - being from Edzard Ernst.
Originally Posted by bayani View Post
Results may very well have been a statistical anomaly; though I agree - unlikely to be replicated.

Given the positive results and reportedly good methodology, one wonders why this study does not get more homeopaths attempting to replicate it.

The homoeopaths are still desperately trying to discredit him. They can't possibly cite it.
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Old 14th March 2012, 03:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bayani View Post
Results may very well have been a statistical anomaly; though I agree - unlikely to be replicated.

Only 65 subjects, and over 20 years old - has nobody tried a replication with a bigger sample size over the last couple of decades?
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Old 15th March 2012, 09:54 AM   #10
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I think there is a bit of a mix up. The only article I can find from Ernst and co. on varicose veins is this one: A single blind randomized, controlled trial of hydrotherapy for varicose veins.
It is not a study on homeopathy, and it was not placebo controlled. I don't think it is available online, so we will have to settle with the summary.

I can't track down the paper that Acleron found (a mentioning of), but the number of patients enrolled was the same, suggesting that we really are talking about the same study.
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Old 15th March 2012, 11:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jli View Post
I think there is a bit of a mix up. The only article I can find from Ernst and co. on varicose veins is this one: A single blind randomized, controlled trial of hydrotherapy for varicose veins.
It is not a study on homeopathy, and it was not placebo controlled. I don't think it is available online, so we will have to settle with the summary.
I smell a rat. 'Scientific Research in Homeopathy', a Knol by Nancy Malik, gives this:
Quote:
8. Phlebology (The Royal Society of Medicine Press, UK)
"Complementary Treatment of Varicose Veins: A Randomised, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind Trial" E. Ernst, T. Saradeth, K.L. Resch, 1990, 157-163.
Over a period of 24 days, the effects of a homeopathic complex preparation and placebo on varicose veins were tested in a double-blind trial of 61 people suffering from this condition. The homeopathic complex produced an averaged 44% improvement in the condition while those given the placebo experienced an averaged worsening of the disorder.
Same authors, same number of patients, same trial length... This entry by Malik is referenced by many homeopathic blogs, forums, and sites.

ETA: I couldn't find any articles of that name or with those authors in a search of the 'Phlebology' journal on the The Royal Society of Medicine Press site.
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Old 16th March 2012, 01:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
ETA: I couldn't find any articles of that name or with those authors in a search of the 'Phlebology' journal

If you try to browse their online archive, it only seems to go back as far as 2003 (when they seem to have changed publisher - the first article there is called "Change of publisher and Editor - a new era"), so most likely it's just too old.
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Old 16th March 2012, 02:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
If you try to browse their online archive, it only seems to go back as far as 2003 (when they seem to have changed publisher - the first article there is called "Change of publisher and Editor - a new era"), so most likely it's just too old.
Articles in Phlebology were not Pubmed indexed until 2007, which makes it even harder to check out. I can't access EMBASE from home, so I will have to wait until Monday unless anybody else have access.

I still think the similarities between the summaries of the "two" papers look suspicious. None of this changes the fact that one positive study does not constitute proof. I would think that it would be worthwhile for homeopathic practitioners to replicate a positive study. Publication bias can definitely not be ruled out.
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Old 16th March 2012, 03:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jli View Post
I would think that it would be worthwhile for homeopathic practitioners to replicate a positive study.

Not really.
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Old 16th March 2012, 04:26 AM   #15
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Come on Mojo. Do you really think that they don't understand that a single positive study does not constitute proof?
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Old 16th March 2012, 05:11 AM   #16
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I suspect they are also aware that larger trials are less likely to produce positive results.
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Old 16th March 2012, 12:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jli View Post
I think there is a bit of a mix up. The only article I can find from Ernst and co. on varicose veins is this one: A single blind randomized, controlled trial of hydrotherapy for varicose veins.
It is not a study on homeopathy, and it was not placebo controlled. I don't think it is available online, so we will have to settle with the summary.

I can't track down the paper that Acleron found (a mentioning of), but the number of patients enrolled was the same, suggesting that we really are talking about the same study.
When I asked Ernst about the study, I cited the name of the study - I date say I I had got it wrong, he would have corrected me on it.

As has been noted, the publisher changed and it seems no one has access to this document without the actual journal itself.

Makes one wonder what passes for an assessment when so many homeopaths have cited as evidence, when it is a study they have not read - or have access to.

I will ask Malik to provide a copy.
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Old 17th March 2012, 05:40 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bayani View Post
Makes one wonder what passes for an assessment when so many homeopaths have cited as evidence, when it is a study they have not read - or have access to.

I will ask Malik to provide a copy.

I wouldn't hold your breath; she seems quite able to post studies that she evidently hasn't read (most notoriously the Nuremberg salt trial).
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Old 17th March 2012, 06:10 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
The homoeopaths are still desperately trying to discredit him. They can't possibly cite it.
The logical approach would be to ignore the paper, but we are talking about homeopaths here
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Old 18th March 2012, 01:47 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by bayani View Post
When I asked Ernst about the study, I cited the name of the study
But the title doesn't even mention homeopathy. It could be an article on the effects of chestnut seed extracts, which indeed have shown positive effects in a couple of studies.

Another oddity is the omissions from the abstract. If you look at the abstract from the hydrotherapy study it says
Quote:
In conclusion this controlled study implies that hydrotherapy may help patients suffering from primary varicose veins.......
This tells us how much weight the authors feel that the positive result of the study has. Assuming that the paper exists, Malik has not shown us what the authors conclude.
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Old 18th March 2012, 06:52 AM   #21
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I have been asking around, and someone got in touch with Ernst. This is what he wrote:
Quote:
The homeopathic study did take place. We tested a remedy that contained several plant substances in undiluted form. So,it was only nominally a homeopathic preparation.
So it was not a positive homeopathy study after all.

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Old 18th March 2012, 07:10 AM   #22
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I can't even get a hit on it off Google Scholar. The only source of it at all is this post about, Scientific Evidence for Homeopathic Medicine.

If it worked and could be replicated, there would be more work that followed it up...unless of course the super secret super duper Global government and their reptilian overlords at the Federal Reserve Board...or at least something like that...

...I forgot, there has to be Da' Jooz' is 'dere somewhere.
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Old 18th March 2012, 09:49 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
The logical approach would be to ignore the paper, but we are talking about homeopaths here
OK. So we'll ignore it just a teeny, weeny, its-see-bits-see, infinitesimally small bit? I'll have mine with scotch, not water, please.
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Old 18th March 2012, 10:24 AM   #24
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Surely scientific papers on homeopathy should be more effective with fewer words, with the most effective being a stack of blank paper without a molecule of ink between them.
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Old 18th March 2012, 11:06 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by jli View Post
I have been asking around, and someone got in touch with Ernst. This is what he wrote:

Quote:
The homeopathic study did take place. We tested a remedy that contained several plant substances in undiluted form. So,it was only nominally a homeopathic preparation.
So it was not a positive homeopathy study after all.

A bit like this one, perhaps.
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Old 18th March 2012, 02:40 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
A bit like this one, perhaps.
Don't know. The only thing that smells like homeopathy is the company name (as far as I can see). But I have seen homeopathy studies cleverly "camouflaged" as studies on effect of real substances.
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Old 18th March 2012, 03:02 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
A bit like this one, perhaps.
Not to mention this one.

Gits!

Ernst isn't a great fan of homeopathic cancer "treatments":

... there is no reason to believe that homeopathic medicines have anything to offer to patients suffering from cancer or other conditions apart from non-specific effects.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1948867/

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Old 18th March 2012, 04:36 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jli View Post
Don't know. The only thing that smells like homeopathy is the company name (as far as I can see).

http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.co.uk/2...s-oh-wait.html
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Old 19th March 2012, 04:24 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Thank you Mojo. From the update: http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/200...-analysis.html it becomes clear that the aricle is similar. A positive homeopathy study that turns out to be a positive herbalism study. Wonder what characterisation Boiron would have given the remedy if the study had produced a negative result
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Old 19th March 2012, 07:59 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by jli View Post
Thank you Mojo. From the update: http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/200...-analysis.html it becomes clear that the aricle is similar. A positive homeopathy study that turns out to be a positive herbalism study. Wonder what characterisation Boiron would have given the remedy if the study had produced a negative result
You don't need to categorise anything if you don't publish ...
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Old 19th March 2012, 08:24 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
You don't need to categorise anything if you don't publish ...
True - but if somebody else publishes for you, you might as well use it to your advantage.

Boiron market themselves as manufacturers of homeopathic remedies. Categorising it as a homeopathic remedy if it works under clinical testing conditions and as a non-homeopathic remedy if it fails under clinical testing conditions make sense from a conspiratory theoretical point of view
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Old 14th November 2015, 02:36 PM   #32
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With apologies for the thread resurrection, the abstract is now on line:

http://phl.sagepub.com/content/5/3/157.abstract

E. Ernst1
T. Saradeth2
K. L. Resch2

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, A.K.H., 1090 Vienna, Austria
2 Department of Physical Medicine, LM University, Munich, FRG

Abstract

The aim of this study was to test the effectiveness of a combined homeopathic medication in primary varicosity. A well-defined population of 61 patients was randomized into active medication (Poikiven®) or placebo. Both were given for 24 d. At the start of the trial, after 12 d medication and at the end of the study, objective and subjective parameters were recorded: venous filling time, leg volume, calf circumference, haemorheological measurements and patients' symptoms such as cramps, itching, leg heaviness, pain during standing and the need to elevate the legs. The results show that venous filling time is changed by 44% towards normal in the actively-treated group. The average leg volume fell significantly more in this group, but calf circumferences did not change significantly and blood rheology was not altered in any relevant way. None of the patients reported side-effects. Subjective complaints were relieved significantly more by Poikiven than by placebo. These results suggest that the oral treatment of primary varicosity using Poikiven is feasable.

All comments welcomed, as well as any other links!

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Old 14th November 2015, 04:21 PM   #33
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OK

61 randomized patients

Objective and subjective parameters were recorded:

venous filling time,
leg volume,
calf circumference,
haemorheological measurements
cramps,
itching,
leg heaviness,
pain during standing
the need to elevate the legs.


Quote:
The results show that venous filling time is changed by 44% towards normal in the actively-treated group. The average leg volume fell significantly more in this group, but calf circumferences did not change significantly and blood rheology was not altered in any relevant way. None of the patients reported side-effects. Subjective complaints were relieved significantly more by Poikiven than by placebo. These results suggest that the oral treatment of primary varicosity using Poikiven is feasable.
Small sample size. A whole-bunch-o'-parameters. Some things go up but others do not (maybe they go the "wrong" way?).

Needs more study!
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Old 14th November 2015, 05:48 PM   #34
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1990. It's had twenty five years to become a proven treatment.
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Old 14th November 2015, 06:15 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
1990. It's had twenty five years to become a proven treatment.
File drawer problem?
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Old 14th November 2015, 06:17 PM   #36
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Not only that but the german packaging pdf I find online seem to indicate there is a lot of stuff inside this, so it would be better called herbalism than homeopathy.

https://www.pharma24.de/content/beip...ndapotheke.pdf

There are D1 and D0 dilutions in that stuff. Not saying it is active or does anything, after all we are speaking of 2 grams of chestnut, but not exactly your average "diluted beyond avogadro" stuff. Looks more "herbalist" than homeopathy.
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Old 15th November 2015, 09:28 AM   #37
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Here is a link to Ernst's discussion of the study:
http://edzardernst.com/2015/07/profe...een-found-out/

The medication tested does contain active ingredients.
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Old 15th November 2015, 10:28 AM   #38
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I have no problem with the idea that "herbs" can have significant medical effects. Many drugs in use in modern medicine originated with observations first begun studying herbs. But "herbs" have always been a crap-shoot- they may not work at all, differ greatly in their concentrations of active ingredients, and can have toxic substances as well. I think the current concept is the correct one: use information derived from natural sources to see if there really is a useful active component in double blinded tests, purify it, and if possible, modify the natural substance to make it more effective and less dangerous.
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Old 16th November 2015, 11:19 PM   #39
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Thanks for all this folks - very useful. I'll shamelessly lift some of the comments and links to the rationalvetmed website unless anyone has any objections.
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www.rationalvetmed.org/ - because nothing is as good as homeopathy...
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Old 18th November 2015, 09:37 AM   #40
Deetee
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There is another study published by Ernst's group 4 years later, strangely using the exact same number of patients (61 - were they the same subjects?):
http://phl.sagepub.com/content/9/2/63.abstract
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"Homeopathy: I never knew there was so little in it." - BSM
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