Background: Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort) has been used for a variety of medicinal indications. Most recent research has focussed on its use in herbal form for depression, but its claimed analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties in homeopathic form have also led to a number of studies in patients with acute pain conditions. This systematic review overviews the literature on the use of St. John's Wort for pain conditions in homeopathic dental practice.
Material and methods: PubMed, EMBASE, AMED, CAMbase and the electronic archives of Thieme Publishers were searched with the search terms "(Hypericum OR St. Johns Wort) AND pain". We reviewed and meta-analysed the evidence on Hypericum in pain after tooth extraction was carried out.
Results: Twenty one relevant articles were found: four described general recommendations, three basic research, six reported studies in dental care and eight were expert opinions or case reports. Four studies were eligible for the meta-analysis. There was marked high heterogeneity in the effects pain (Chi-Squared = 26.46; I(2) = 0.89). The overall effect of 0.24 (95% CI: [0.06; 1.03]) favours Hypericum but is not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Although case reports suggest therapeutic potential of Hypericum for pain conditions in dental care, this effect is not currently supported by clinical studies. All studies included in this meta-analysis used Arnica montana as well as Hypericum the results are more influenced by Arnica than Hypericum. Further clinical controlled trials of Hypericum alone in dental practice should be performed.
Copyright © 2012 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.