Can Homeopathy Bring Additional Benefits to Thalassemic Patients on Hydroxyurea Therapy? Encouraging Results of a Preliminary Study
Several homeopathic remedies, namely, Pulsatilla Nigricans (30th potency), Ceanothus Americanus (both mother tincture and 6th potency) and Ferrum Metallicum (30th potency) selected as per similia principles were administered to 38 thalassemic patients receiving Hydroxyurea (HU) therapy for a varying period of time. Levels of serum ferritin (SF), fetal hemoglobin (HbF), hemoglobin (Hb), platelet count (PC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), white blood cell (WBC) count, bilirubin content, alanine amino transferase (ALT), aspartate amino transferase (AST) and serum total protein content of patients were determined before and 3 months after administration of the homeopathic remedies in combination with HU to evaluate additional benefits, if any, derived by the homeopathic remedies, by comparing the data with those of 38 subjects receiving only HU therapy. Preliminary results indicated that there was a significant decrease in the SF and increase in HbF levels in the combined, treated subjects. Although the changes in other parameters were not so significant, there was a significant decrease in size of spleen in most patients with spleenomegaly and improvement in general health conditions along with an increased gap between transfusions in most patients receiving the combined homeopathic treatment. The homeopathic remedies being inexpensive and without any known side-effects seem to have great potentials in bringing additional benefits to thalassemic patients; particularly in the developing world where blood transfusions suffer from inadequate screening and fall short of the stringent safety standards followed in the developed countries. Further independent studies are encouraged.