Dr. Ron’s Research Review – December 31, 2014

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This week’s research review focuses on Germanium and Peppermint oil for Shingles.

Germanium Oil

Another article published in The American Journal of Medicine describes a multi-center, double-blind crossover study with five groups (100% germanium oil, 50% germanium oil in mineral oil, 10% germanium oil in mineral oil, versus a mineral oil USP 100% and a capsaicin 0.025% control). 24 of 30 subjects completed the study. Evoked pain reduction was 21.3 for 100% germanium oil, 12.7 for 50% germanium oil in mineral oil, 8.0 for 10% germanium oil in mineral oil. There were minor adverse reactions from the germanium oil – skin rashes. Six patients (25%) had dramatic pain relief. (Greenway et al., 2003)

Peppermint Oil

An article published in The Clinical Journal of Pain describes the case of a 76-year-old woman whose pain had been resistant to standard therapies. The patient was instructed to apply neat peppermint oil (containing 10% menthol) to her skin, resulting in an almost immediate improvement in her pain. This pain relief persisted for 4-6 hours after application of the oil. During 2 months of follow-up she has had only a minor side effect, with continuing analgesia. (Davies et al., 2002)

 

Dr. Ron


 

Articles

A novel treatment of postherpetic neuralgia using peppermint oil
            (Davies et al., 2002) Download
BACKGROUND: Postherpetic neuralgia remains a difficult problem to treat. A number of therapies have been shown to be effective, but some patients have intractable pain. PATIENT: The case of a 76-year-old woman whose pain had been resistant to standard therapies is described. The pattern of quantitative sensory testing results for this patient led the authors to believe that she had an "irritable nociceptor" type of pathophysiology. INTERVENTION: The patient was instructed to apply neat peppermint oil (containing 10% menthol) to her skin, resulting in an almost immediate improvement in her pain. This pain relief persisted for 4-6 hours after application of the oil. RESULTS: The patient was successfully treated with topical peppermint oil. During 2 months of follow-up she has had only a minor side effect, with continuing analgesia. The authors believe this is the first evidence of peppermint oil (or menthol) having a strong analgesic effect on neuropathic pain. The possible mechanisms of action of peppermint oil are discussed.

Temporary relief of postherpetic neuralgia pain with topical geranium oil
            (Greenway et al., 2003) Download

 

 

References

Davies, S. J., L. M. Harding, and A. P. Baranowski (2002), ‘A novel treatment of postherpetic neuralgia using peppermint oil’, Clin J Pain, 18 (3), 200-2. PubMedID: 12048423
Greenway, F. L., et al. (2003), ‘Temporary relief of postherpetic neuralgia pain with topical geranium oil’, Am J Med, 115 (7), 586-87. PubMedID: 14599644