Effects of homeopathic treatment on salivary flow rate and subjective symptoms in patients with oral dryness: a randomized trial

Homeopathy. 2005 Jul;94(3):175-81. doi: 10.1016/j.homp.2005.03.002.

Abstract

Twenty-eight patients with xerostomia participated in a blind, placebo-controlled longitudinal study of the possible effects of homeopathic medicines on oral discomfort. All patients were first divided in two groups according to their medication. After that the two groups were randomly assigned according to a coin-toss to the experimental or control group. Most patients had systemic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and/or Sjögren's syndrome, and frequent daily medications. The randomly selected experimental group (n=15) got an individually prescribed homeopathic medicine and the control group (n=13) a placebo substance (sugar granules), both for 6 weeks. Neither group knew of the nature of the medicine. Oral dryness was evaluated by measurement of unstimulated and wax-stimulated salivary flow rates and visual analogue scale. With only two exceptions, the experimental group experienced a significant relief of xerostomia whereas no such effect was found in the placebo group. Stimulated salivary flow rate was slightly higher with homeopathy than placebo but no consistent changes occurred in salivary immunoglobulin (IgA, IgG) levels. In an open follow-up period those receiving homeopathic medicine continued treatment and the placebo group patients were treated with individually prescribed homeopathic medicines. The symptoms of xerostomia improved in both groups. Our results suggest that individually prescribed homeopathic medicine could be a valuable adjunct to the treatment of oral discomfort and xerostomic symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Homeopathy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Saliva / drug effects*
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Salivation / drug effects*
  • Secretory Rate / drug effects
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Xerostomia / drug therapy*
  • Xerostomia / prevention & control