While treating disease is important, there is no question that, if it were possible, most of us would prefer to prevent disease and also improve daily health and well-being. No drug can provide this benefit, but daily exercise and good nutrition will undoubtedly make a positive contribution. Homeopathic therapies have been proposed as well.
Treatment with human growth hormone (HGH) has been investigated as a potential means for improving energy, body composition (ratio of fat to muscle), and overall quality of life, especially in older people. While HGH has not been proven safe and effective for this purpose, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial suggests that a homeopathic (and therefore safe) version of growth hormone may offer the same potential benefits.
This 42-day, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of 69 people evaluated the effects of two homeopathic preparations made from purified HGH. One remedy had a potency of 6x + 12c (a dilution of one part in 1,012 plus dilution of one part in 1024). The second remedy had a potency of 6x + 100c + 200c (a dilution of one part in 1,012 plus a dilution of one part in 10,200 plus a dilution of one part in 10,400).1
During the 21 days of treatment, treated participants showed significant reduction in body weight and increase in muscle mass compared to those given placebo. Participants also reported relative improvements in general health, including sleep quality, energy, vision, and skin texture.
However, there is one odd feature of this study: the homeopathic treatment, apparently, produced precisely the same effects as the substance from which it was made. This appears inconsistent with the usual expectations regarding homeopathy—that a diluted and potentized treatment should produce the opposite effects of the original substance, not the same effects.
It is part and parcel of the theory behind classical homeopathy that use of properly chosen homeopathic remedies can improve overall health. These remedies are chosen based on personal constitution, and are generally varied over time as various “levels” of health are uncovered.
For herbs, supplements, and other alternative treatments that may be useful for improving general health, see the Nutritional Support article.
For a thorough explanation of homeopathy, including dilution of therapies, see the Homeopathy Overview.
1. Brewitt B, Hughes J, Welsh EA, et al. Homeopathic human growth hormone for physiologic and psychologic health: Three double-blind placebo-controlled studies. Alt Compl Ther. 1999;5:373–385.
Last reviewed December 2015 by EBSCO CAM Review Board Last Updated: 12/15/2015