Homeopathy 2003; 92(03): 174
DOI: 10.1016/S1475-4916(03)00044-4
Letter to the Editor
Copyright ©The Faculty of Homeopathy 2003


Amitav Ghosh
3 Mere Farm Road, Prenton, Birkenhead, CH43 9TS UK
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Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
27 December 2017 (online)

Arnica—a placebo?

I read the article—‘Homeopathic arnica for prevention of pain and bruising: randomised placebo-controlled trial in hand surgery’ published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Volume 96, February 2003, p 60, with interest.

Patients and clinicians using homeopathic remedies who have experienced beneficial effects of Arnica and other homeopathic remedies will question the validity of the research which implies that Arnica is not different from a placebo.

I would like to put forward following observations:

  • A homeopath before embarking on such a project should ask himself if the methodology is applicable for the assessment of efficacy of homeopathic remedies.

  • Though subjective and objective studies are different, the prime concern of the patient is to feel well. Therefore a patient's well-being after taking homeopathic remedies cannot be ignored.

  • Homeopathic remedies are not placebos because a placebo cannot be responsible for ‘aggravation’ or ‘proving’. If one accepts Arnica as a placebo it is better for a patient to feel better with a placebo than have side effects after taking conventional remedies.

A homeopath interested in research should opt for a different path instead of following the beaten track which is alien to homeopathy.