Homeopathy for runners

Just browsing through Boots today (yes, I lead a sad life), I came across their Homeopathic medicine section. It was full of things like "Arnica", Rhus Tox" etc.

I have heard anecdotal evidence that it has helped people. But I also accept that some people think it is unproven.

If anyone has tried (and succeeded or failed) homeopathic remedies for running injuries, or if anyone can recommend either websites or books that can help give me insights into it, I would be grateful.


  • Read the following book by Steven Ransom.(Copy and paste into your browser.)
    There is no evidence that homeopathy has any effect at all .It relies on the placebo effect and also the fact that most ailments will get better over a given time period despite or in spite of any treatment given!
  • Homeopathy does work - whether it is a placebo effect or not, I don't mind, as long as it works. (I have a chemistry degree and before I was ill in 1987, I would never have believed in homeopathy, but it cured me and I still use certain ones and Bach flower remedies, when in need.)

    If it is only a placebo effect, why does it work on animals? - it most certainly does.

    As for support for running, you would need to read up on the ones which most fit your character trait, but arnica is the main one for injuries (sore muscles, bruises, etc.) and rescue remedy is always good if you are prone to nervousness before aces, etc.

    Good luck!!
  • ...but with the Arnica I noted that there were two different dosage numbers....6 and 30 I think. What do they mean? Which is "stronger"?
    Are they contra-indicated to certain medical conditions? etc.

    This is why I want a good read-up on it. It is such a polarising topic. People are either (very) pro or anti; and I want to know why?
  • The reason why some are so anti, is that theoretically it shouldn't work as the 'active ingredient' is diluted to a great extent.
    There are no side-effects - its not like some alternative therapies like aromatherapy, where you have to get the right oils that suit you, or you could have some distressing effects.
    6 or 30 - i have never worried about this - i take 6s, but you may wish to read up in case there is a good reason for 30s.
  • jd; I have a Veterinary degree -- I can assure you that there is absolutely no evidence that it works in animals. Yes, it is used "successfully" by many Veterinary Surgeons,but how many of these "homeopathic cures" would have got better on their own; If a dog or a human has gastroenteritis that is virally caused and is going to last for 5 days anyway; if you give a homeopathic treatment on the 3rd day and tell the owner or patient that the symptoms will have gone within the next 2 days --is this a homepathic cure? of course it isn't but that is what gullible people will often believe and so become "believers" in homeopathy .A recent study in a homeopathic journal showed that arnica had no effect at all in reducing measured blood levels of enzymes released from damaged muscle cells in the post marathon period.There was a very weak correlation (that was barely if at all statistically significant) between arnica administration post marathon and perceived muscle soreness; certainly nothing like the claimed wonder effects that arnicas fans rave about!
  • rb - until 1987, I could have written something identical to your note. I totally agree - on the basis of facts and logic, which we are all brought up on, you are right.
    All I can say is that I have been so lucky to have had experiences that have opened my mind to so much more.
    If you really want to have something with no scientific proof (but I've seen work with no possible alternative explanation), then how are you with Reiki and kinesiology?
  • But what experiences have you had jd that you are so sure are more than placebo effects?

    I would have thought some placebo effect by proxy would be possible with animals - owner thinks homeopathic remedy is effective so a) gehaves towards dog/whatever differently which subsequently responds differently or b) ignores potential continuing symptoms in the animal
  • Elaborate jd

    (im a reiki practioner, and a conventional medic too)
  • where do I start??!
    Its late, and I recognise whoever reads this will either have a view that "it would happen anyway", etc., but I know what I have seen, so it depends on what you are prepared to open you mind to see.

    Before 1987, i beleived I could fight off any illness through mind over matter. I then got mumps (I was 27) and in fighting it, made myself very ill and had post viral fatigue. It was at the time ME was becoming recognised, and although I denied having it, I know my fighting of it, was not helping. My body was telling me to slow down (I'm a workaholic and playoholic)
    It took 4 years to get over and basically the homeopathy helped (without any doubt whatsoever) to alleviate the symptoms, and I still use certain ones today, when I sense a need. (I know its just a placebo, but oh well...... :)) )

    Many other experiences along the way, but I guess the most profound was when my eldest daughter had anorexia. It is the most frightening illness I have ever come across. What was even more frightening was the way the so called specialist consultant tried to treat her, believing it was all about food and weight, whereas, it is nothing at all to do with food, that is just the mechanism for the illness. I have been lucky that both my daughters confide in me and I had many late nights just talking (but not understanding) with my daughter. She went to a charity eating disorder centre and they had a local kinesiologist there to help. Almost 3 years ago to the day, it was as if she was able to switch on a light and since then my daughter has recovered and is now running her own business, doing a degree, and being thoroughly brilliant at 19.
    I have also been to the kinesiologist and she was immediately able to identify, why I was getting tired every few weeks. Certain food intolerances, and the need for more protein. I would never have found this out through conventional medicine (believe me, I tried!). I've been running (and I mean hard, I don't do anything by halves) for 18 years, and I've done 12 PBs in the last 12 months! Of course, it cannot be anything to do with alternative tharapies!!!

    Reiki? A friend of mine had a serious operation on his knee. After 6 months of intensive physio and actually getting worse, he believed he was sentenced to hobbling for the rest of his life (he is 54). Fortunately, his physio was prepared to look at alternatives and suggested reiki. After about 2 months, he was moving like he did when he was 20 and doing a manual job up to 12 hours a day. He runs his own business and is another who fills every hour of every day, but he still commits to going to his "reiki lady" every week - his saviour. Of course it could all be in the mind and he may have recovered normally, but then...... maybe???

    I have also been to his reiki lady. I had a dodgy quad/ham/ITB/knee/pelvis after Chicago last year. My (brilliant) physio was in Australia watching the world cup and I had to go to another physio who was billed as one of the best in east anglia. He told me, I would not run again for 12 weeks. This was 10 days after a marathon PB - I was not prepared to accept that. Went to Reiki, had some amazing sensations in my leg. Was running 11 days later and doing PBs in 10 weeks.

    There is so much more, for those who want to know.....

    Email me separately if you want some more details.
  • forgot about the animals.... I keep racing pigeons and it is astounding what you can do with homeopathy with them... of course, they could have read a book and known when they were given something that was the time to perform... or not,, or just maybe.......?
  • jd; We are never going to agree on this; despite your degree in chemistry you obviously don't need scientific proof for things and are obviously a "believer" in homeopathy.I am open minded about alternative treatments and often use acupuncture in my work.Despite initally being open minded about homeopathy I have in the past 15 years never seen it work. I have seen several colleagues use homeopathy and have never been convinced by any results. As for Reiki; it is in my opinion another "belief" based treatment still relying on the placebo effect.My advice to anyone considering spending any money on homeopathy would be to first of all spend £7 on the book that I mentioned in my first posting on this subject.(I have absolutely no financial interest in this I would like to stress!) This is my final posting on this subject as it is nothing at all to do with running.
  • thankyou people
  • to books i reccomend you read there are hundreds on homeopathy are sports and exercise injuries by steven subotnick
    also homeopathy for sports exercise and dance by emlyn thomas .

    i use arnica 200c 1m and 10 m potencies as these are more powerful but cannot get these from highstreet stores like boots you will have to get them online from helios.co.uk or a local practioner . Another thing taking remedies properly is critical if they are to act dont swallow them let them dissolve in your mouth for example some foods and drinks can antidote remedies as well there are lots of rules about taking them which you must know before taking them for them to work
  • surely since this thread, we have had enough evidence to confirm that homeopthy is non-effective: or operates as a placebo only. The animal evidence is pretty much anecdotal and limited. Once you dilute out the last molecule of the 'active' ingredient - you are drinking water....
  • The best Arnica I have found is 'SBC Arnica' it's 100% pure Arnica and comes in a non greasy gel forumla .. compared with the low dose arnicas that come in nasty greasy petroleum jelly based formulas is tubes it's very much cheaper .. it comes in litre sized pump bottles (easy to decant to small bottles to take on runs) .. and I think is roughly £23 from QVC.com .. sounds a lot but one bottle lasts me a year ..  it's very easy to put on .. non rub .. and doesn't mark clothes .. image
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