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Table 1 Design of clinical studies on the effects of ODB and outcome parameter

From: The oil-dispersion bath in anthroposophic medicine – an integrative review

Authors Type of study, N Indications ODB Application Outcome
Experimental studies     
Nienhaber[23] physiological experiment (n = 8) Healthy subjects Water ODB, Rosmary-Kneipp-Bath, Rosmary-ODB, Whirl Bath and Relaxation (Baths about 30 min, thermoindifferent) Orthostatic Reactions of Pulse and Respiration: standing pulse frequency decreased most after ODB and diastolic RR-increasing strongly subdued
Römmelt[24] pharmacological experiment (n = 6) Healthy subjects 30 min Pinus oil ODB Percutaneous resorption of terpenes after ODB
Römmelt[25] physiological experiment (n = x) Healthy subjects 20 min ODB with Rosmary Oil, Pinus Oil and hay flower oil Percutaneous resorption of terpenes after ODB
Clinical studies     
Braunstein[26] Prospective study (n = 17) Schizophrenic (n = 9) and depressive patients (n = 8) Series of 10 Thyme-ODB relaxation, schizophrenic patients showed immediate and long term improvement of well-being, depressive patients stagnated in well-being after 5 baths
Case reports     
Roknic et al. [32] Case reports (n = 7) Schizophrenic disorders (n = 3); purulent bronchitis/asthma bronchiale; hyperkinesias; Down-Syndrome related depression; Hospitalism ODB with different oils among other therapeutic interventions general improvements
Liebing[33] Case reports (n = 3) Hysteria; attention deficit hyperactive disorder; autism Series of ODBs (with Stibium sulfuratum, Hypericum, Prunus spinosa, respectively General improvement and feeling of inner warmth; developmental improvement (movements, balance, sense of touch; developmental improvement (joy for life and willingness to learn)
von Rottenburg[31] Case report (n = 1) Neurodermatitis of a 4-year old girl   After 12 ODBs, significant improvement of skin lesions; marginal relapses, which diminished in their intensity; finally total regeneration of skin affections
Phethean[34] Case report (n = 1) Richard: 9 years old developmental delay ODB with different oils Richard: Strengthening, inner resolution, more peaceful
Lavington[35] Case report (n = 1) Angela: 12 years old, Autism ODB with different oils Angela: relaxation, inner calming
Field reports     
Alles[29] Field report Diabetes mellitus Type I & II Rosmary ODB: 5 × weekly within 4 weeks and 3 × weekly within 8 weeks No results presented; Type 2 diabetes (insulin-dependent) was claimed to be cured; in contrast, no improvements of metabolic situation in patients with type 1 diabetes
Deckers[30] Field report Rheumatic Diseases Various bathes described, i.e. saline bath, sulfur bath, and ODB and stinging-nettle bath No results presented; just a statement that complaints and subjective well-being improves
Rimpau[20, 28] Field report Painful Neuropathy 10-day-in patient treatment with daily Rosmary-ODB No results presented; Subjective improvements