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Special Article
November 1998

Efficacy of Homeopathic Arnica: A Systematic Review of Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Complementary Medicine, School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, England.

Arch Surg. 1998;133(11):1187-1190. doi:10.1001/archsurg.133.11.1187
Abstract

Background  The efficacy of homeopathic remedies has remained controversial. The homeopathic remedy most frequently studied in placebo-controlled clinical trials is Arnica montana.

Objective  To systematically review the clinical efficacy of homeopathic arnica.

Materials and Methods  Computerized literature searches were performed to retrieve all placebo-controlled studies on the subject. The following databases were searched: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CISCOM, and the Cochrane Library. Data were extracted in a predefined, standardized fashion independently by both authors. There were no restrictions on the language of publications.

Results  Eight trials fulfilled all inclusion criteria. Most related to conditions associated with tissue trauma. Most of these studies were burdened with severe methodological flaws. On balance, they do not suggest that homeopathic arnica is more efficacious than placebo.

Conclusion  The claim that homeopathic arnica is efficacious beyond a placebo effect is not supported by rigorous clinical trials.

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