The relative and combined efficacy of the homoeopathic similimum (taken orally) and the topical application of a lotion (prepared from the homoeopathic mother tinctures of Hypericum perforatum and Calendula officinalis) in the treatment of venous leg ulcers
The purpose of this double-blind placebo-controlled study was to evaluate the relative and combined efficacy of the homoeopathic similimum, taken orally, and the topical application of a lotion made from the homoeopathic mother tinctures of Hypericum perforatum and Calendula officinalis in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Venous hypertension in the lower limb, occurring from a variety of causes, leads to microcirculatory abnormalities which may permit the formation of a chronic ulcer (Zimmet, 1998). Venous leg ulcers are a cause of much debility, social isolation, depression, fears of loss of employment and income (Royal College of Nursing Institute, 1998). The mainstay of treatment at present is compression bandaging to reduce the venous pressure in the lower limb. Eighty percent of venous leg ulcers will heal within eight to twelve weeks with compression bandaging (Thomas, 1997). Homoeopathy is a system of medicine based on natural laws of healing, and recognizes the biophysical energy of an individual (also known as the vital force) as that which provides the normal protective defence mechanisms of the body, and is disturbed in disease, producing symptoms on the physical, mental and emotional levels (Vithoulkas, 1980). Many plants are known to have wound-healing properties (Curtis and Fraser, 2003). Calendula officinalis and Hypericum perforatum were considered the best plants in a homoeopathic lotion to be used on chronic venous leg ulcers, as they cover all the common problems associated with this type of wound, providing pain relief and anti-microbial activity (Lawless, 1995). In this study, homoeopathic mother tinctures of the herbs were used to make the lotion for topical application to the wounds.