Ayfer Topcu, Anders Løkke, Leila Eriksen, Lars Peter Nielsen & Ronald Dahl

The impact of reflexology and homeopathy added to conventional asthma treatment on markers of airway inflammation – a randomised study

Eur Clin Resp J, 2020, 7 (1), 1726153

Background: Asthma is a common chronic airway disease associated with hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medication especially inhaled corticosteroids are important for control of airway inflammation, decrease of airway hyperresponsiveness and lung function variability, reduce asthma symptoms, and improve lung function as well as quality of life. Most studies investigating the influence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in asthma measure clinical effectiveness, but only few evaluate the impact on markers of airway inflammation. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of reflexology and homeopathy added to conventional treatment on different markers of airway inflammation in asthma. Methods: Eighty-four patients with asthma were randomized to receive conventional treatment alone or conventional treatment with addition of homeopathy or reflexology in a single center, investigator blinded, controlled, one-year trial. During the study period, patients regularly con- sulted their general practitioner for evaluation and asthma treatment. At randomization, and after 6 and 12 months, methacholine challenge test and measurement of exhaled nitric oxide were performed. Blood samples were collected for eosinophil count and measurement of serum eosinophil cationic protein. Results: No significant differences between groups for any of the inflammatory markers were demonstrated. Methacholine responsiveness improved in all three groups but improvements were not statistically significant within and between groups. Conclusions: This randomized controlled study of reflexology and homeopathy failed to show significant improvement on selected markers of inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in asthma.

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