Homeopathic Treatment: Proof of Efficacy and/or Mechanism of Action.

J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Oct;9(5):719-25.

Potentized Mercuric chloride and Nux vomica facilitate water permeability in erythrocytes of a fresh-water catfish Clarius batrachus under acute ethanol intoxication.

Sukul NC, De A, Sinhababu SP, Sukul A.

Department of Zoology, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, and Sukul Institute of Homeopathic Research, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India. ksh_ncsukul@sancarnet.in

OBJECTIVES: The primary biomolecular target of a homeopathic potency is unknown. If it is a plasma membrane protein such as water-channel protein, the drug would alter water permeation in cells. Therefore, the objective is to see if potentized homeopathic drugs like Mercuric chloride 30c and Nux vomica 30c could alter permeation of water through the erythrocytes of a fresh water fish under acute ethanol intoxication. LOCATION: The work was carried out in the Zoology Laboratory of Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India. SUBJECT: Live freshwater catfish. DESIGN: Erythrocytes collected from fish with and without ethanol intoxication were incubated in distilled water at 30 degrees C for 30 minutes with Ethanol 30c (control), Merc cor 30c (test 1), and Nux vomica 30c (test 2). Merc cor 30c and Nux vom 30c were prepared by successive dilution of the respective mother tinctures with 90% ethanol (1:100) followed by sonication at 20 kHz for 30 seconds in 30 steps. Ethanol 30c was prepared in the same way from 90% ethanol diluted with 90% ethanol. In another experiment, fish were pretreated with Ethanol 30c and Nux vom 30c followed by ethanol injection at 2 g/kg of body weight. Then their erythrocytes were tested in vitro with the same potencies. After centrifugation of blood samples, fluid part was removed, erythrocyte pellets dried in a BioChemical Oxygen Demand (BOD; Atlas Surgical, New Delhi, India) incubator at 90 degrees C for 12 hours and intracellular water content measured. RESULTS: Red blood cells (RBCs) from ethanol-injected fish permeated more water than those from normal fish. Water permeation was enhanced with Merc cor 30c and Nux vom 30c. RBCs from fish pretreated with Nux vom 30c imbibed more water in in vitro treatments than those from fish pretreated with Ethanol 30c. CONCLUSION: Because water channel proteins or aquaporins are mainly responsible for water transport through the plasma membrane of RBCs, it is thought that potentized drugs interact with these proteins, thereby facilitating water influx in the cells.

PMID: 14629849


Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Jul 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Modulation of Signal Proteins: A Plausible Mechanism to Explain How a Potentized Drug Secale Cor 30C Diluted beyond Avogadro's Limit Combats Skin Papilloma in Mice.

Khuda-Bukhsh AR, Bhattacharyya SS, Paul S, Dutta S, Boujedaini N, Belon P.

Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741235, West Bengal, India. khudabukhsh_48@rediffmail.com; prof_arkb@yahoo.co.in.

In homeopathy, ability of ultra-high diluted drugs at or above potency 12C (diluted beyond Avogadro's limit) in ameliorating/curing various diseases is often questioned, particularly because the mechanism of action is not precisely known. We tested the hypothesis if suitable modulations of signal proteins could be one of the possible pathways of action of a highly diluted homeopathic drug, Secale cornutum 30C (diluted 10(60) times; Sec cor 30). It could successfully combat DMBA + croton oil-induced skin papilloma in mice as evidenced by histological, cytogenetical, immunofluorescence, ELISA and immunoblot findings. Critical analysis of several signal proteins like AhR, PCNA, Akt, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, NF-kB and IL-6 and of pro-apoptotic proteins like cytochrome c, Bax, Bad, Apaf, caspase-3 and -9 revealed that Sec cor 30 suitably modulated their expression levels along with amelioration of skin papilloma. FACS data also suggested an increase of cell population at S and G2 phases and decrease in sub-G1 and G1 phages in carcinogen-treated drug-unfed mice, but these were found to be near normal in the Sec cor 30-fed mice. There was reduction in genotoxic and DNA damages in bone marrow cells of Sec Cor 30-fed mice, as revealed from cytogenetic and Comet assays. Changes in histological features of skin papilloma were noted. Immunofluorescence studies of AhR and PCNA also suggested reduced expression of these proteins in Sec cor 30-fed mice, thereby showing its anti-cancer potentials against skin papilloma. Furthermore, this study also supports the hypothesis that potentized homeopathic drugs act at gene regulatory level.




Naturwissenschaften. 2009 Sep;96(9):1079-89. Epub 2009 Jun 17.

High-field 1H T(1) and T(2) NMR relaxation time measurements of H2O in homeopathic preparations of quartz, sulfur, and copper sulfate.

Baumgartner S, Wolf M, Skrabal P, Bangerter F, Heusser P, Thurneysen A, Wolf U.

Institute of Complementary Medicine KIKOM, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. stephan.baumgartner@kikom.unibe.ch

Quantitative meta-analyses of randomized clinical trials investigating the specific therapeutic efficacy of homeopathic remedies yielded statistically significant differences compared to placebo. Since the remedies used contained mostly only very low concentrations of pharmacologically active compounds, these effects cannot be accounted for within the framework of current pharmacology. Theories to explain clinical effects of homeopathic remedies are partially based upon changes in diluent structure. To investigate the latter, we measured for the first time high-field (600/500 MHz) 1HT(1) and T(2) nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation times of H2O in homeopathic preparations with concurrent contamination control by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Homeopathic preparations of quartz (10c-30c, n = 21, corresponding to iterative dilutions of 100(-10)-100(-30)), sulfur (13x-30x, n = 18, 10(-13)-10(-30)), and copper sulfate (11c-30c, n = 20, 100(-11)-100(-30)) were compared to n = 10 independent controls each (analogously agitated dilution medium) in randomized and blinded experiments. In none of the samples, the concentration of any element analyzed by ICP-MS exceeded 10 ppb. In the first measurement series (600 MHz), there was a significant increase in T(1) for all samples as a function of time, and there were no significant differences between homeopathic potencies and controls. In the second measurement series (500 MHz) 1 year after preparation, we observed statistically significant increased T(1) relaxation times for homeopathic sulfur preparations compared to controls. Fifteen out of 18 correlations between sample triplicates were higher for controls than for homeopathic preparations. No conclusive explanation for these phenomena can be given at present. Possible hypotheses involve differential leaching from the measurement vessel walls or a change in water molecule dynamics, i.e., in rotational correlation time and/or diffusion. Homeopathic preparations thus may exhibit specific physicochemical properties that need to be determined in detail in future investigations.




Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 May 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Homeopathic Preparations of Quartz, Sulfur and Copper Sulfate Assessed by UV-Spectroscopy.

Wolf U, Wolf M, Heusser P, Thurneysen A, Baumgartner S.

Institute of Complementary Medicine KIKOM, University of Bern, 3010 Bern, Switzerland. ursula.wolf@kikom.unibe.ch.

Homeopathic preparations are used in homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine. Although there is evidence of effectiveness in several clinical studies, including double-blinded randomized controlled trials, their nature and mode of action could not be explained with current scientific approaches yet. Several physical methods have already been applied to investigate homeopathic preparations but it is yet unclear which methods are best suited to identify characteristic physicochemical properties of homeopathic preparations. The aim of this study was to investigate homeopathic preparations with UV-spectroscopy. In a blinded, randomized, controlled experiment homeopathic preparations of copper sulfate (CuSO(4); 11c-30c), quartz (SiO(2); 10c-30c, i.e. centesimal dilution steps) and sulfur (S; 11x-30x, i.e. decimal dilution steps) and controls (one-time succussed diluent) were investigated using UV-spectroscopy and tested for contamination by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The UV transmission for homeopathic preparations of CuSO(4) preparations was significantly lower than in controls. The transmission seemed to be also lower for both SiO(2) and S, but not significant. The mean effect size (95% confidence interval) was similar for the homeopathic preparations: CuSO(4) (pooled data) 0.0544% (0.0260-0.0827%), SiO(2) 0.0323% (-0.0064% to 0.0710%) and S 0.0281% (-0.0520% to 0.1082%). UV transmission values of homeopathic preparations had a significantly higher variability compared to controls. In none of the samples the concentration of any element analyzed by ICP-MS exceeded 100 ppb. Lower transmission of UV light may indicate that homeopathic preparations are less structured or more dynamic than their succussed pure solvent.

PMID: 19474239


Homeopathy. 2007 Jul;96(3):220-6.

The nature of the active ingredient in ultramolecular dilutions.

Weingärtner O.

Department of Basic Research, Dr. Reckeweg & Co. GmbH, Berliner Ring 32, D 64625 Bensheim, Germany. otto.weingaertner@reckeweg.de

This paper discusses the nature of the active ingredient of homeopathic ultramolecular dilutions in terms of quantitative physics. First, the problem of the nature of an active ingredient in ultramolecular dilutions is analysed leading to the recognition of the necessity of characterizing the active ingredient as a non-local quality. Second, non-locality in quantum mechanics, which is used as a paradigm, is formally presented. Third, a generalization of quantum mechanics is considered, focussing on the consequences of weakening of the axioms. The formal treatment leads to the possible extension of the validity of quantum theory to macroscopic or even non-physical systems under certain circumstances with a while maintaining non-local behaviour. With respect to the survival of entanglement in such non-quantum systems a strong relationship between homeopathy and non-local behaviour can be envisaged. I describe how several authors apply this relationship. In conclusion, the paper reviews how quantum mechanics is closely related to information theory but why weak quantum theory and homeopathy have not hitherto been related in the same way.

PMID: 17678820 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Forsch Komplementmed. 2009 Apr;16(2):105-10. Epub 2009 Apr 9.

Homeopathic pathogenetic trials produce specific symptoms different from placebo.

Möllinger H, Schneider R, Walach H.

Department of Human Sciences, University of Osnabrück, Germany.

Introduction: Homeopathy uses information gathered from healthy volunteers taking homeopathic substances (pathogenetic trials) for clinical treatment. It is controversial whether such studies produce symptoms different from those produced by placebo. Objective: To test whether homeopathic preparations produce different symptoms than placebo in healthy volunteers. Methods: Three armed, double-blind, placebo controlled randomised experimental pathogenetic study in 25 healthy volunteers who took either one of two homeopathic remedies, Natrum muriaticum and Arsenicum album in 30CH or identical placebo. Main outcome parameter was the number of remedy-specific symptoms per group. Results: On average, 6 symptoms typical for Arsenicum album were experienced by participants taking arsenicum album, 5 symptoms typical for Natrum muriaticum by those taking natrum muriaticum, and 11 non-specific symptoms by those in the placebo group. Differences were significant overall (Kruskall Wallis test, p = 0.0002,) and significantly different from placebo (Mann-Whitney test, p = 0.001). Conclusion: Homeopathic remedies produce different symptoms than placebo. Copyright (c) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID: 19420956


Homeopathy. 2008 Oct;97(4):196-201.

A nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy comparison of 3C trituration derived and 4C trituration derived remedies.

Botha I, Ross AH.

Department of Homoeopathy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Durban University of Technology, South Africa. izelb@dut.ac.za

BACKGROUND: Trituration of base substances, commonly to the 3cH level, is the cornerstone of the homeopathic pharmaceutical process or insoluble solutions. Becker and Ehrler claim that trituration to 4cH gives a new, spiritual dimension to the homoeopathic medicine picture. AIM AND METHOD: This study sought to establish whether the claim that C4-derived potencies possess different physicochemical qualities to the homoeopathic medicines derived from a 3cH trituration is valid. All potencies were produced by hand according to the German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia (GHP). Five different samples were analysed using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy. RESULTS: The results indicated a significant difference between the 12cH samples of potassium dichromate (Kalium bichromicum) produced from 3cH and 4cH triturations. This was especially prominent in the chemical shift values of all four peaks and the relative integration levels of the H(2)O, OH and CH(3) peaks when comparing two sample groups. CONCLUSION: Trituration plays a part in the development of physicochemical properties specific to homoeopathic medicines. The higher the level of trituration, the more pronounced is the alteration of the physical structure of the active ingredient. The study concludes that 4cH potencies are physicochemically distinct from 3cH-derived potencies (as currently employed).

PMID: 19371568


Homeopathy. 2004 Jul;93(3):144-50.

Permanent physico-chemical properties of extremely diluted aqueous solutions of homeopathic medicines.

Elia V, Baiano S, Duro I, Napoli E, Niccoli M, Nonatelli L.

Department of Chemistry, University Federico II of Naples, Complesso, Universitario di Monte S. Angelo, via Cintia 80126, Naples, Italy. elia@chemistry.unina.it

The purpose of this study was to obtain information about the influence of successive dilutions and succussions on the water structure. 'Extremely diluted solutions' (EDS) are solutions obtained through the iteration of two processes: dilution in stages of 1:100 and succussion, typically used in homeopathic medicine. The iteration is repeated until extreme dilutions are reached, so that the chemical composition of the solution is identical to that of the solvent. Nine different preparations, were studied from the 3cH to 30cH (Hahnemannian Centesimal Dilution). Four of those were without the active principle (potentized water). Two different active principles were used: Arsenicum sulphuratum rubrum (ASR), As4S4, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4D). The solvents were: a solution of sodium bicarbonate and of silicic acid at 5 x 10(-5) M (mol/l) each, and solutions of sodium bicarbonate 5 x 10(-5), 7.5 x 10(-5) and 10 x 10(-5) M (mol/l) in double-distilled water. The containers were Pyrex glass to avoid the release of alkaline oxide and silica from the walls. Conductivity measurements of the solutions were carried out as a function of the age of the potencies. We found increases of electrical conductivity compared to untreated solvent. Successive dilution and succussion can permanently alter the physico-chemical properties of the aqueous solvent. But we also detected changes in physio-chemical parameters with time. This has not previously been reported. The modification of the solvent could provide an important support to the validity of homeopathic medicine, that employs 'medicines without molecules'. The nature of the phenomena here described remains still unexplained, nevertheless some significant experimental results were obtained.

PMID: 15287434


Homeopathy. 2007 Jul;96(3):163-9.

The 'Memory of Water': an almost deciphered enigma. Dissipative structures in extremely dilute aqueous solutions.

Elia V, Napoli E, Germano R.

Dipto. di Chimica, Università Federico II di Napoli, Complesso Universitario di Monte S.Angelo, via Cintia, 80126 Napoli, Italy. elia@chemistry.unina.it

In the last decade, we have investigated from the physicochemical point of view, whether water prepared by the procedures of homeopathic medicine (leading inexorably to systems without any molecule different from the solvent) results in water different from the initial water? The answer, unexpectedly, but strongly supported by many experimental results is positive. We used well-established physicochemical techniques: flux calorimetry, conductometry, pHmetry and galvanic cell electrodes potential. Unexpectedly the physicochemical parameters evolve in time. The water solvent exhibits large changes in measurable physicochemical properties as a function of its history, the solute previously dissolved, and time. In particular we found evidence of two new phenomena, both totally unpredicted, in homeopathic dilutions: the presence of a maximum in the measured physicochemical parameters vs sample age, and their dependence on the volume in which the dilution is stored. These new experimental results strongly suggest the presence of an extended and 'ordered' dynamics involving liquid water molecules.

PMID: 17678812


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