Why would you use hormone replacement therapy, which causes the conditions it’s given to prevent, when a scientific study shows that a homeopathic preparation is effective in menopause?
by Heidi Stevenson
Hot flashes are the bane of many women going through menopause. They can inconvenient, embarrassing, and even crippling. They are, in fact, a primary reason that many women are willing to risk taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The risks that go along with HRT, though, are not necessary. A new study documents that a combination of homeopathic remedies, currently marketed in France as Acthéane, is effective.
The study is what modern medicine likes to call the Gold Standard: double-blind and both placebo and randomly controlled. It compared two groups of women over 50 years of age, who had not had periods for at least one year, and who had spontaneously complained, during routine gynecological visits, of hot flashes that had lasted for at least two years and had caused significant repercussions in their social or professional lives.
The chart on the right shows how the patients were separated into two groups, 50 who were given the homeopathic prescription Acthéane (referred to as BRN-01 in the study) and 51 into the placebo group.
The two groups were quite similar in age, weight, smoking status, lifestyle, and urban-professional status. None had taken HRT therapy in the past.
The women were each given one dose (2-4 tablets) of either placebo or Acthéane every day starting on the third day of the study and continuing for 12 weeks.
The results on hot flashes were a significant reduction, as shown by the graph below:
Acthéane produced a near-immediate drop in the severity of hot flashes, which continued throughout the trial. The hot flash score (HFS) after the first week was 15.3 in the Acthéane group and 12.7 in the placebo group, a difference of 2.6, or 17% lower. Both groups’ HFS scores were reduced during the course of the trial, but the difference at the end amounted to 33% – a highly significant reduction.
The study also looked at other menopausal symptons, as the graph below shows:
Most symptoms were significantly reduced, especially noting libido disorders, nervousness and irritability, and headaches.
Adverse events were meticulously recorded. There were 5 in the active Acthéane group: diverticular intestinal abscess, thirst at night, cyst removal from bottom of left foot, pruritis, and migraine. The 4 adverse events in the placebo group were gastritis, headaches, left wrist fracture (from a fall), and recurrence of hot flashes. None of the adverse events were believed to be related to the homeopathic remedy.
Acthéane is a combination of the following homeopathic preparations:
If you’re in France, you can buy this product in nearly any pharmacy or drugstore. It’s available without a doctor’s prescription. However, outside France, it’s not available. That, though, doesn’t mean you can’t get the equivalent.
Even better than that, you can figure out which of the homeopathic preparations helps you and take only it, rather than the rest. After all, even in homepathy, why would you want to take something that does nothing for you?
Even better that, though, is that you can experiment to figure out what dosage works best for you.
The most difficult part will likely be finding these remedies in the specified potencies. In France, homeopathic potencies cannot legally be greater than 30C, though potencies many times higher exist and have been used safely. Therefore, effects in lower potencies have been studied fairly extensively.
However, homeopaths elsewhere have found that potencies starting at 6C are a good starting point, so it is the most common low-level potency in most of the world. Therefore, you may wish to try any of these at a 6C potency. However, I strongly recommend that you try only one at a time, giving it a week before deciding that it’s useless for you.
If it’s effective, but not completely, you may try increasing the potency. One word of warning: Do not take any of these remedies more often than once a day, as it could trigger a strengthening of symptoms. Though it would be temporary, it would certainly be uncomfortable!
The best advice, though, is to see a homeopath, who may be able to tailor a prescription just for you, since you are an individual and a different homeopathic preparation may be best suited. In fact, one of the most commonly prescribed homeopathic remedies for menopausal symptoms isn’t included in Acthéane.
One of the most significant benefits of homeopathy is the ability to tailor treatment for you. After all, no one else in the world is just like you.