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Efficacy of homeopathic arnica: a systematic review of placebo-controlled clinical trials

PainSci » bibliography » Ernst et al 1998
updated
Tags: homeopathy, medications, controversy, debunkery, self-treatment, treatment

One article on PainSci cites Ernst 1998: Does Arnica Gel Work for Pain?

PainSci commentary on Ernst 1998: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

This review of eight studies of homeopathic arnica (i.e. Traumeel) found that most were “burdened with severe methodological flaws. On balance, they do not suggest that homeopathic arnica is more efficacious than placebo.”

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: The efficacy of homeopathic remedies has remained controversial. The homeopathic remedy most frequently studied in placebo-controlled clinical trials is Arnica montana.

OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the clinical efficacy of homeopathic arnica.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Computerized literature searches were performed to retrieve all placebo-controlled studies on the subject. The following databases were searched: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CISCOM, and the Cochrane Library. Data were extracted in a predefined, standardized fashion independently by both authors. There were no restrictions on the language of publications.

RESULTS: Eight trials fulfilled all inclusion criteria. Most related to conditions associated with tissue trauma. Most of these studies were burdened with severe methodological flaws. On balance, they do not suggest that homeopathic arnica is more efficacious than placebo.

CONCLUSION: The claim that homeopathic arnica is efficacious beyond a placebo effect is not supported by rigorous clinical trials.

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