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Wednesday 17th January 2018

Homeopathy eases cancer treatment side-effects

15th April 2009

A scientific review has concluded that some homeopathic medicines may ease the side-effects of cancer treatments without interfering in how they work.

However, the Cochrane Collaboration also acknowledged that there were few studies and further work needed to be carried out to confirm the findings.

But it indicated that some effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy could be alleviated.

Calendula - made from marigolds - to reduce dermatitis in breast cancer patients and Traummel S - made from belladonna, arnica and St John’s wort - for mouth sores, were particularly highlighted.

Dr Sosie Kassab, a specialist in complementary cancer therapies at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, led a group which focused on eight studies with a total of 664 participants.

Two of the studies of homeopathic treatments - on menopausal symptoms brought on by cancer treatments - were declared to be of high quality but did not provide any evidence that the treatments worked.

However, Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula Medical School, said there were problems with the body of evidence examined by this review.

"First, independent replications are lacking completely but would be necessary before we can accept any of these treatments in routine healthcare.

"Second, nobody doubts that undiluted remedies can have effects; and interestingly, the positive studies here seem to be on such medicines rather than on the highly diluted treatments which are a hallmark of homeopathy."

But he felt the review had found hardly any high quality studies and "this new piece of evidence" simply confirmed previous research demonstrating the "unproven nature of homeopathy."


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