Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective

Volume 99, Issue 4, October 2010, Pages 231-242
Prashant Satish Chikramane | Akkihebbal Krishnamurthy Suresh | Jayesh Ramesh Bellare | Shantaram Govind Kane

Homeopathy is controversial because medicines in high potencies such as 30c and 200c involve huge dilution factors (10 60 and 10 400 respectively) which are many orders of magnitude greater than Avogadro's number, so that theoretically there should be no measurable remnants of the starting materials. No hypothesis which predicts the retention of properties of starting materials has been proposed nor has any physical entity been shown to exist in these high potency medicines. Using market samples of metal-derived medicines from reputable manufacturers, we have demonstrated for the first time by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction and chemical analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES), the presence of physical entities in these extreme dilutions, in the form of nanoparticles of the starting metals and their aggregates. © 2010 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Repetitions of fundamental research models for homeopathically prepared dilutions beyond 10-23: a bibliometric study

Volume 99, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 25-36
PC C. Endler | Karin Thieves | Christian Reich | Peter F. Matthiessen | Leoni Villano Bonamin | Claudia Scherr | Stephan M. Baumgartner

Introduction: Repeatability of experiments is an important criterion of modern research and a major challenge for homeopathic basic research. There is no recent overview about basic research studies in high homeopathic potencies that have been subjected to laboratory-internal, multicenter or independent repetition trials. Methods: We considered biochemical, immunological, botanical, cell biological and zoological studies on high potencies, i.e. beyond a dilution of 10-23. Main sources of information were reviews, personal contact with members of the homeopathic basic research community, and the MEDLINE and HOMBREX databases. Studies were extracted from the publications and grouped into models. Studies were further sorted according to repetition type (laboratory-internal, multicenter, or independent) and results achieved. Results: A total of 107 studies were found. Of these, 30 were initial studies. In the attempt to reproduce one of these initial studies, 53 follow-up studies yielded comparable effects (35 laboratory-internal, 8 multicenter, 10 independent repetitions), eight studies showed a consistent, yet different result from the initial study (2 laboratory-internal, 2 multicenter, 4 independent repetitions), and 16 studies yielded no effects (5 laboratory-internal, 2 multicenter, 9 independent repetitions). When all repetitive studies are considered, 69% reported effects comparable to that of the initial study, 10% different effects, and 21% no effects. Independently performed repetition studies reported 44% comparable effects, 17% different effects, and 39% no effects. Conclusions: We identified 24 experimental models in basic research on high homeopathic potencies, which were repeatedly investigated. 22 models were reproduced with comparable results, 6 models with different results, and repetition showed no results for 15 models. Independent reproductions with either comparable or different results were found for seven models. We encourage further repetition trials of published studies, in order to learn more about the model systems used and in order to test their repeatability. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Homeopathic drug selection using Intuitionistic Fuzzy Sets

Volume 98, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 35-39
Athar Kharal

Using intuitionistic fuzzy set theory, Sanchez's approach to medical diagnosis has been applied to the problem of selection of single remedy from homeopathic repertorization. Two types of Intuitionistic Fuzzy Relations (IFRs) and three types of selection indices are discussed. I also propose a new repertory exploiting the benefits of soft-intelligence. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Assays of homeopathic remedies in rodent behavioural and psychopathological models

Volume 98, Issue 4, October 2009, Pages 208-227
Paolo Bellavite | Paolo Magnani | Marta Marzotto | Anita Conforti

The first part of this paper reviews the effects of homeopathic remedies on several models of anxiety-like behaviours developed and described in rodents. The existing literature in this field comprises some fifteen exploratory studies, often published in non-indexed and non-peer-reviewed journals. Only a few results have been confirmed by multiple laboratories, and concern Ignatia, Gelsemium, Chamomilla (in homeopathic dilutions/potencies). Nevertheless, there are some interesting results pointing to the possible efficacy of other remedies, and confirming a statistically significant effect of high dilutions of neurotrophic molecules and antibodies. In the second part of this paper we report some recent results obtained in our laboratory, testing Aconitum, Nux vomica, Belladonna, Argentum nitricum, Tabacum (all 5CH potency) and Gelsemium (5, 7, 9 and 30CH potencies) on mice using ethological models of behaviour. The test was performed using coded drugs and controls in double blind (operations and calculations). After an initial screening that showed all the tested remedies (except for Belladonna) to have some effects on the behavioural parameters (light-dark test and open-field test), but with high experimental variability, we focused our study on Gelsemium, and carried out two complete series of experiments. The results showed that Gelsemium had several effects on the exploratory behaviour of mice, which in some models were highly statistically significant (p < 0.001), in all the dilutions/dynamizations used, but with complex differences according to the experimental conditions and test performed. Finally, some methodological issues of animal research in this field of homeopathy are discussed. The "Gelsemium model" - encompassing experimental studies in vitro and in vivo from different laboratories and with different methods, including significant effects of its major active principle gelsemine - may play a pivotal rule for investigations on other homeopathic remedies. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Reporting experiments in homeopathic basic research (REHBaR) - A detailed guideline for authors

Volume 98, Issue 4, October 2009, Pages 287-298
Beate Stock-Schröer | Henning Albrecht | Lucietta Betti | Peter Christian Endler | Klaus Linde | Rainer Lüdtke | Frauke Musial | Roeland J. Van Wijk | Claudia M. Witt | Stephan M. Baumgartner

Background: Reporting experiments in basic research in homeopathy is an important issue as comprehensive description of what exactly was done is required. So far, there is no guideline for authors available, unlike criteria catalogues common in clinical research. Methods: A Delphi Process was conducted, including a total of five rounds, three rounds of adjusting and phrasing plus two consensus conferences. European researchers who published experimental work within the last five years were involved. Results: A checklist of 23 items was obtained and supplemented with detailed examples emphasizing what each item implies. Background, objectives and possible hypotheses should be given in the part 'introduction'. Special emphasis is put on the 'materials and methods' section, where a detailed description of chosen controls, object of investigation, experimental setup, replication, parameters, intervention, allocation, blinding, and statistical methods is required. The section 'results' should present sufficient details on analysed data, descriptive as well as inferential. Authors should discuss their results and give an interpretation in the context of current evidence. Conclusion: A guideline for Reporting Experiments in Homeopathic Basic Research (REHBaR) was compiled to be applied by authors when preparing their manuscripts, and to be used by scientific journals in the reviewing process. Furthermore the guideline is a commitment to a certain minimum quality level needed in basic research, e.g. blinding and randomisation. Feedback is encouraged on applicability, strength and limitations of the list to enable future revisions. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Use of homeopathic preparations in experimental studies with healthy plants

Volume 98, Issue 4, October 2009, Pages 228-243
Vera Majewsky | Sebastian Patrick Arlt | Devika Shah | Claudia Scherr | Tim Jäger | Lucietta Betti | Grazia Trebbi | Leoni Villano Bonamin | Peter Klocke | Stephan M. Baumgartner

Background: The last comprehensive review of experimental research on effects of homeopathic treatments on plants was published in 1984, and lacked formal predefined criteria to assess study quality. Since then several new studies with more advanced methods have been published. Objectives: To compile a review of the literature on basic research in homeopathy with healthy plants with particular reference to studies investigating specific effects of homeopathic remedies. Methods: The literature search included English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish publications from 1920 to April 2009, using predefined selection criteria. We included experiments with healthy whole plants, seeds, plant parts and cells. The outcomes had to be measured by established procedures and statistically evaluated. We developed a Manuscript Information Score (MIS) and included only publications which provided enough information for proper interpretation (MIS ≥ 5). A formalised Study Methods Evaluation Procedure (SMEP) was used to evaluate these studies, and the subgroup of studies with adequate controls to identify specific effects. Results: A total of 86 studies in 79 publications was identified, 43 studies included statistics, 29 had MIS ≥ 5, and 15 studies investigated the specificity of homeopathic preparations. Specific effects of decimal, centesimal and fifty millesimal potencies were found including dilution levels far beyond the Avogadro number. In consecutive series of potencies only some of the tested potencies showed effects. There were many individual studies with diverse methods and very few reproduction trials. Conclusions: Healthy plant models seem an useful approach to investigate basic research questions about the specificity of homeopathic preparations. More investigations with more advanced methods are recommended, especially in the sectors of potentisation techniques, effective potency levels and conditions for reproducibility. Systematic negative control experiments should become a routine procedure to control the stability of the experimental systems. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Animal models for studying homeopathy and high dilutions: Conceptual critical review

Volume 99, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 37-50
Leoni Villano Bonamin | Peter Christian Endler

Introduction: This is a systematic review of the animal models used in studies of high dilutions. The objectives are to analyze methodological quality of papers and reported results, and to highlight key conceptual aspects of high dilution to suggest clues concerning putative mechanisms of action. Methods: Papers for inclusion were identified systematically, from the Pubmed-Medline database, using 'Homeopathy' and 'Animal' as keywords. Only original full papers in English published between January 1999 and June 2009 were included, reviews, scientific reports, thesis, older papers, papers extracted from Medline using similar keywords, papers about mixed commercial formulas and books were also considered for discussion only. 31 papers describing 33 experiments were identified for the main analysis and a total of 89 items cited. Results: Systematic analysis of the selected papers yielded evidence of some important intrinsic features of high dilution studies performed in animal models: a) methodological quality was generally adequate, some aspects could be improved; b) convergence between results and materia medica is seen in some studies, pointing toward to the possibility of systematic study of the Similia principle c) both isopathic and Similia models seem useful to understand some complex biological phenomena, such as parasite-host interactions; d) the effects of high dilutions seem to stimulate restoration of a 'stable state', as seen in several experimental models from both descriptive and mathematical points of view. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Antidepressants, suicidality and rebound effect: evidence of similitude?

Volume 98, Issue 2, April 2009, Pages 114-121
Marcus Zulian Teixeira

Background: Samuel Hahnemann noticed that palliative treatments for the symptoms of chronic diseases, after an initial improvement, provoked symptoms similar but stronger symptoms to those initially suppressed. He regarded this as a consequence of the vital reaction of the organism: an automatic and instinctive capacity to return to the initial health condition altered by medicines. Using this homeostatic conception of the organism as a treatment rationale, Hahnemann proposed the therapy of similarity, administering to the patients medicines capable of causing, in healthy individuals, similar symptoms to the natural disease. Based on experimental observations, he proposed that the primary action of the drug was followed by the secondary and opposite action of the organism, inaugurating homeopathic pharmacology, and alerting to the harmful consequences of palliative medicines in susceptible individuals. Such iatrogenic events can be observed in contemporary medicine, after the withdrawal of modern enantiopathic medicines, according to the study of the rebound effect or paradoxical reaction of the organism. Method:This study reviews the recent studies which describe suicidality after the suspension or discontinuation of second generation antidepressants according to the hypothesis of the paradoxical reaction of the organism. Conclusions: Rebound and withdrawal effects, including suicidality occur with antidepressant drugs. They are relatively rare but more intense than the primary action of the drug. The probability of such effects is influenced by patient factors including age and diagnosis, and drug factors including half-life. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Enzyme stabilization by glass-derived silicates in glass-exposed aqueous solutions

Volume 99, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 15-24
John A. Ives | John R. Moffett | Peethambaran V Parvati Sai Arun | David Lam | Todor I. Todorov | Andrea B. Brothers | David J. Anick | José A. Centeno | Ma Aryan Aryan Namboodiri | Wayne B. Jonas

Objectives: To analyze the solutes leaching from glass containers into aqueous solutions, and to show that these solutes have enzyme activity stabilizing effects in very dilute solutions. Methods: Enzyme assays with acetylcholine esterase were used to analyze serially succussed and diluted (SSD) solutions prepared in glass and plastic containers. Aqueous SSD preparations starting with various solutes, or water alone, were prepared under several conditions, and tested for their solute content and their ability to affect enzyme stability in dilute solution. Results: We confirm that water acts to dissolve constituents from glass vials, and show that the solutes derived from the glass have effects on enzymes in the resultant solutions. Enzyme assays demonstrated that enzyme stability in purified and deionized water was enhanced in SSD solutions that were prepared in glass containers, but not those prepared in plastic. The increased enzyme stability could be mimicked in a dose-dependent manner by the addition of silicates to the purified, deionized water that enzymes were dissolved in. Elemental analyses of SSD water preparations made in glass vials showed that boron, silicon, and sodium were present at micromolar concentrations. Conclusions: These results show that silicates and other solutes are present at micromolar levels in all glass-exposed solutions, whether pharmaceutical or homeopathic in nature. Even though silicates are known to have biological activity at higher concentrations, the silicate concentrations we measured in homeopathic preparations were too low to account for any purported in vivo efficacy, but could potentially influence in vitro biological assays reporting homeopathic effects. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Mice as a model for homeopathy research

Volume 98, Issue 4, October 2009, Pages 267-279
Anisur Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh

Mice (Mus musculus) have been used as a model for homeopathy research in relation to cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenesis in our laboratory for the last three decades. Initially, anti-radiation activities of several potentized homeopathic drugs were tested against suitable controls by taking into consideration several cytogenetic endpoints. Subsequently, anti-cytotoxic, anti-genotoxic and anti-oxidative stress effects of some homeopathic drugs were tested against several chemical toxic metalloids and metal compounds. Modern techniques including Western blot, immunofluorescence, electron microscopy, UV-spectroscopy, HPLC, FTIR, NMR, RT-PCR etc were deployed to understand the possible mechanisms and pathways of action of potentized homeopathic drugs. We hypothesise that one way by which potentized homeopathic drugs act is through regulatory action on gene expression. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Inhibition of basophil activation by histamine: a sensitive and reproducible model for the study of the biological activity of high dilutions

Volume 98, Issue 4, October 2009, Pages 186-197
Jean L. Sainte-Laudy | Philippe Belon

Background: At the beginning of this series of experiments we were looking for a model based on the use of purified commercially available compounds based on a fully described and accepted pharmacological model to study of the biological effect of high dilutions. Negative feedback induced by histamine, a major pro-inflammatory mediator, on basophils and mast cells activation via an H2 receptor me these criteria. The simplest way of measuring basophil activation in the early 1980's was the human basophil activation test (HBDT). Objectives: Our major goal was first to study the biological effect of centesimal histamine dilutions beyond the Avogadro limit, on the staining properties of human basophils activated by an allergen extract initially house dust mite, then an anti-IgE and N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP). Technical development over the 25 years of our work led us to replace the manual basophil counting by flow cytometry. The main advantages were automation and observer independence. Using this latter protocol our aim was to confirm the existence of this phenomenon and to check its specificity by testing, under the same conditions, inactive analogues of histamine and histamine antagonists. More recently, we developed an animal model (mouse basophils) to study the effect of histamine on histamine release. Methods and results: For the HBDT model basophils were obtained by sedimentation of human blood taken on EDTA and stained with Alcian blue. Results were expressed in percentage activation. Histamine dilutions tested were freshly prepared in the lab by successive centesimal dilutions and vortexing. Water controls were prepared in the same way. For the flow cytometric protocol basophils were first labeled by an anti-IgE FITC (basophil marker) and an anti-CD63 (basophil activation marker). Results were expressed in percentage of CD63 positive basophils. Another flow cytometric protocol has been developed more recently, based on basophil labeling by anti-IgE FITC (fluorescein isothiocyanate) and anti-CD203 PE (another human basophil activation marker). Results were expressed in mean fluorescence intensity of the CD203c positive population (MFI-CD203c) and an activation index calculated by an algorithm. For the mouse basophil model, histamine was measured spectrofluorimetrically. The main results obtained over 28 years of work was the demonstration of a reproducible inhibition of human basophil activation by high dilutions of histamine, the effect peaks in the range of 15-17CH. The effect was not significant when histamine was replaced by histidine (a histamine precursor) or cimetidine (histamine H2 receptor antagonist) was added to the incubation medium. These results were confirmed by flow cytometry. Using the latter technique, we also showed that 4-Methyl histamine (H2 agonist) induced a similar effect, in contrast to 1-Methyl histamine, an inactive histamine metabolite. Using the mouse model, we showed that histamine high dilutions, in the same range of dilutions, inhibited histamine release. Conclusions: Successively, using different models to study of human and murine basophil activation, we demonstrated that high dilutions of histamine, in the range of 15-17CH induce a reproducible biological effect. This phenomenon has been confirmed by a multi-center study using the HBDT model and by at least three independent laboratories by flow cytometry. The specificity of the observed effect was confirmed, versus the water controls at the same dilution level by the absence of biological activity of inactive compounds such as histidine and 1-Methyl histamine and by the reversibility of this effect in the presence of a histamine receptor H2 antagonist. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Use of homeopathic preparations in phytopathological models and in field trials: a critical review

Volume 98, Issue 4, October 2009, Pages 244-266
Lucietta Betti | Grazia Trebbi | Vera Majewsky | Claudia Scherr | Devika Shah-Rossi | Tim Jäger | Stephan M. Baumgartner

Background: The literature on the applications of homeopathy for controlling plant diseases in both plant pathological models and field trials was first reviewed by Scofield in 1984. No other review on homeopathy in plant pathology has been published since, though much new research has subsequently been carried out using more advanced methods. Objectives: To conduct an up-to-date review of the existing literature on basic research in homeopathy using phytopathological models and experiments in the field. Methods: A literature search was carried out on publications from 1969 to 2009, for papers that reported experiments on homeopathy using phytopathological models (in vitro and in planta) and field trials. The selected papers were summarized and analysed on the basis of a Manuscript Information Score (MIS) to identify those that provided sufficient information for proper interpretation (MIS ≥ 5). These were then evaluated using a Study Methods Evaluation Procedure (SMEP). Results: A total of 44 publications on phytopathological models were identified: 19 papers with statistics, 6 studies with MIS ≥ 5. Publications on field were 9, 6 with MIS ≥ 5. In general, significant and reproducible effects with decimal and centesimal potencies were found, including dilution levels beyond the Avogadro's number. Conclusions: The prospects for homeopathic treatments in agriculture are promising, but much more experimentation is needed, especially at a field level, and on potentisation techniques, effective potency levels and conditions for reproducibility. Phytopathological models may also develop into useful tools to answer pharmaceutical questions. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

The similia principle: Results obtained in a cellular model system

Volume 99, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 3-14
Fred A C Wiegant | Roeland J. Van Wijk

This paper describes the results of a research program focused on the beneficial effect of low dose stress conditions that were applied according to the similia principle to cells previously disturbed by more severe stress conditions. In first instance, we discuss criteria for research on the similia principle at the cellular level. Then, the homologous ('isopathic') approach is reviewed, in which the initial (high dose) stress used to disturb cellular physiology and the subsequent (low dose) stress are identical. Beneficial effects of low dose stress are described in terms of increased cellular survival capacity and at the molecular level as an increase in the synthesis of heat shock proteins (hsps). Both phenomena reflect a stimulation of the endogenous cellular self-recovery capacity. Low dose stress conditions applied in a homologous approach stimulate the synthesis of hsps and enhance survival in comparison with stressed cells that were incubated in the absence of low dose stress conditions. Thirdly, the specificity of the low dose stress condition is described where the initial (high dose) stress is different in nature from the subsequently applied (low dose) stress; the heterologous or 'heteropathic' approach. The results support the similia principle at the cellular level and add to understanding of how low dose stress conditions influence the regulatory processes underlying self-recovery. In addition, the phenomenon of 'symptom aggravation' which is also observed at the cellular level, is discussed in the context of self-recovery. Finally, the difference in efficiency between the homologous and the heterologous approach is discussed; a perspective is indicated for further research; and the relationship between studies on the similia principle and the recently introduced concept of 'postconditioning hormesis' is emphasized. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Healthcare provided by a homeopath as an adjunct to usual care for Fibromyalgia (FMS): results of a pilot Randomised Controlled Trial

Volume 98, Issue 2, April 2009, Pages 77-82
Clare Relton | Christine E. Smith | Jackie Raw | Clare Walters | Ade O. Adebajo | Kate J. Thomas | Tracey Young

Objectives: To assess the feasibility of a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) design of usual care compared with usual care plus adjunctive care by a homeopath for patients with Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Methods: In a pragmatic parallel group RCT design, adults with a diagnosis of FMS (ACR criteria) were randomly allocated to usual care or usual care plus adjunctive care by a homeopath. Adjunctive care consisted of five in depth interviews and individualised homeopathic medicines. The primary outcome measure was the difference in Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) total score at 22 weeks. Results: 47 patients were recruited. Drop out rate in the usual care group was higher than the homeopath care group (8/24 vs 3/23). Adjusted for baseline, there was a significantly greater mean reduction in the FIQ total score (function) in the homeopath care group than the usual care group (-7.62 vs 3.63). There were significantly greater reductions in the homeopath care group in the McGill pain score, FIQ fatigue and tiredness upon waking scores. We found a small effect on pain score (0.21, 95% CI -1.42 to 1.84); but a large effect on function (0.81, 95% CI -8.17 to 9.79). There were no reported adverse events. Conclusions: Given the acceptability of the treatment and the clinically relevant effect on function, there is a need for a definitive study to assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of adjunctive healthcare by a homeopath for patients with FMS. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Cost-benefit evaluation of homeopathic versus conventional therapy in respiratory diseases

Volume 98, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 2-10
Elio Rossi | Lara Crudeli | Cristina Endrizzi | Danila Garibaldi

Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted on 105 out of 233 patients suffering from chronic respiratory disease attending the Homeopathic Clinic of the Campo di Marte Hospital in Lucca (Tuscany, Italy) between October 1998 and May 2003. We assessed the cost of conventional medicinal products using Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification, specific for the pathology in question, and the general costs in the year preceding the first appointment at the Homeopathic Clinic vs. the first and second year subsequent to homeopathic treatment. The costs of conventional drugs for a group of patients affected by asthma (8 patients) and recurrent respiratory infections (16 patients) with long term use of conventional medicine treated by homeopathy were compared with the expenses of conventional drugs of a matched group of 16 and 32 patients, respectively. Results: Costs of pharmacological therapy specific for respiratory diseases were reduced by 46.3% (n = 105) in the first year (P < 0.01); and by 47.5% (n = 72) in the second year (P < 0.01) of homeopathic treatment. Reduction in general drug costs during homeopathic therapy was 42.4% in the first year (P < 0.01); and -49.8 in the second year (N.S.). Costs for patients affected by chronic asthma showed a reduction in expenses of 71.1% for specific medicines relative to the group in homeopathic treatment vs. an increase of 12.3% in the group treated only with conventional drugs after the first year of follow-up and, respectively, a reduction of -54.4% for homeopathic treatment vs. +45.2% after the second year. For patients with recurrent respiratory infections we found a reduction of 35.8% in the homeopathic group in the first year, compared to an increase 8.6% of costs for specific drugs in the control group; in the second year the respective figures were -43.6% versus +7.8% in the control group. Conclusions: Homeopathic treatment for respiratory diseases (asthma, allergic complaints, Acute Recurrent Respiratory Infections) was associated with a significant reduction in the use and costs of conventional drugs. Costs for homeopathic therapy are significantly lower than those for conventional pharmacological therapy. © 2008 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control

Volume 99, Issue 3, July 2010, Pages 156-166
Gustavo Bracho | Enrique Varela | Rolando Fernández | Barbara Ordaz | Natalia Marzoa | Jorge Menéndez | Luis G. García | Esperanza Gilling | Richard Leyva | Reynaldo Rufín | Rubén de la Torre | Rosa Lydia Solís | Niurka Yasmin Batista | Reinier Borrero | Concepción Campa

Background: Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease of major importance in the tropics where the incidence peaks in rainy seasons. Natural disasters represent a big challenge to Leptospirosis prevention strategies especially in endemic regions. Vaccination is an effective option but of reduced effectiveness in emergency situations. Homeoprophylactic interventions might help to control epidemics by using highly-diluted pathogens to induce protection in a short time scale. We report the results of a very large-scale homeoprophylaxis (HP) intervention against Leptospirosis in a dangerous epidemic situation in three provinces of Cuba in 2007. Methods: Forecast models were used to estimate possible trends of disease incidence. A homeoprophylactic formulation was prepared from dilutions of four circulating strains of Leptospirosis. This formulation was administered orally to 2.3 million persons at high risk in an epidemic in a region affected by natural disasters. The data from surveillance were used to measure the impact of the intervention by comparing with historical trends and non-intervention regions. Results: After the homeoprophylactic intervention a significant decrease of the disease incidence was observed in the intervention regions. No such modifications were observed in non-intervention regions. In the intervention region the incidence of Leptospirosis fell below the historic median. This observation was independent of rainfall. Conclusions: The homeoprophylactic approach was associated with a large reduction of disease incidence and control of the epidemic. The results suggest the use of HP as a feasible tool for epidemic control, further research is warranted. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Isopathic treatment effects of Arsenicum album 45x on wheat seedling growth - further reproduction trials

Volume 98, Issue 4, October 2009, Pages 198-207
Lisa Lahnstein | Mascha Binder | André Eacute Thurneysen | Martin Frei-Erb | Lucietta Betti | Maurizio Peruzzi | Peter Heusser | Stephan M. Baumgartner

Background: Two experimental studies on wheat preintoxicated with Arsenic trioxide yielded a significant shoot growth increase after an isopathic application of Ars-alb 45x. One independent reproduction trial however, yielded an effect inversion: wheat shoot growth was significantly decreased after application of Ars-alb 45x. Aims: In this study we investigated the role of three potential confounding factors on the experimental outcome: geographical location of the experiments, influence of the main experimenter, and seed sensitivity to Arsenic poisoning. Laboratory-internal reproducibility was assessed by meta-analysis. Material and methods: Wheat poisoned with Arsenic trioxide was cultivated in vitro in either Ars-alb 45x, water 45x, or unpotentised water. Treatments were blinded and randomised. Shoot length was measured after 7 days. The stability of the experimental set-up was assessed by systematic negative control (SNC) experiments. Results: The SNC experiments did not yield significant differences between the three groups treated with unpotentised water. Thus the experimental set-up seemed to be stable. We did not observe any shoot growth increase after a treatment with Ars-alb 45x in any of the newly performed experiments. In contrast, the meta-analysis of all 17 experiments performed (including earlier experiments already published) yielded a statistically significant shoot growth decrease (-3.2%, p = 0.017) with isopathic Ars-alb 45x treatment. This effect was quantitatively similar across all five series of experiments. Conclusions: Ultramolecular Ars-alb 45x led to statistically significant specific effects in arsenic poisoned wheat when investigated by two independent working groups. Effect size and effect direction differ, however. The investigated factors (geographical location, experimenter, seed sensitivity to Arsenic poisoning) did not seem to be responsible for the effect inversion. Laboratory external reproducibility of basic research into homeopathic potentisation remains a difficult issue. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Homeopathy as replacement to antibiotics in the case of Escherichia coli diarrhoea in neonatal piglets

Volume 99, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 57-62
Irene Camerlink | L. Ellinger | Evert Jan Bakker | Egbert A. Lantinga

Background: The use of antibiotics in the livestock sector is increasing to such an extent that it threatens negative consequences for human health, animal health and the environment. Homeopathy might be an alternative to antibiotics. It has therefore been tested in a randomised placebo-controlled trial to prevent Escherichia coli diarrhoea in neonatal piglets. Method: On a commercial pig farm 52 sows of different parities, in their last month of gestation, were treated twice a week with either the homeopathic agent Coli 30K or placebo. The 525 piglets born from these sows were scored for occurrence and duration of diarrhoea. Results: Piglets of the homeopathic treated group had significantly less E. coli diarrhoea than piglets in the placebo group (P < .0001). Especially piglets from first parity sows gave a good response to treatment with Coli 30K. The diarrhoea seemed to be less severe in the homeopathically treated litters, there was less transmission and duration appeared shorter. © 2009.

New homeopathic medicines: Use of modern drugs according to the principle of similitude

Volume 100, Issue 4, October 2011, Pages 244-252
Marcus Zulian Teixeira

Background: The homeopathic method is based on the application of the principle of therapeutic similitude (similia similibus curentur), using medicines that cause effects similar to the symptoms of disease in order to stimulate the reaction of the organism against disturbances. Such vital, homeostatic or paradoxical reaction of the organism can be scientifically explained on the basis of the rebound effect of modern drugs. Aims: This article presents the conclusion of a study aiming at a method to use modern drugs with homeopathic criteria. Methods: Adverse effects as catalogued in United States Pharmacopoeia Dispensing Information Drug monographs were collected. Results: A homeopathic materia medica and repertory comprising 1251 modern drugs to be employed according to the principle of therapeutic similitude was developed. Conclusion: Besides supplying a basis for homeopathy as a medical rationale related to scientific pharmacology, this study makes available a method that may broaden the scope of intervention of homeopathy in present day diseases. © 2011 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Statins withdrawal, vascular complications, rebound effect and similitude

Volume 99, Issue 4, October 2010, Pages 255-262
Marcus Zulian Teixeira

Hahnemann considered the secondary action of medicines to be a law of nature and reviewed the conditions under which it occurs. It is closely related to the rebound effects observed with many modern drugs. I review the evidence of the rebound effect of statins that support the similitude principle. In view of their indications in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, statins are widely prescribed. Besides reducing cholesterol biosynthesis, they provide vasculoprotective effects (pleiotropic effects), including improvement of endothelial function, increased nitric oxide bioavailability, antioxidant properties, inhibition of inflammatory and thrombogenic responses, stabilisation of atherosclerotic plaques, and others. Recent studies suggest that suspension of statin treatment leads to a rebound imparing of vascular function, and increasing morbidity and mortality in patients with vascular diseases. Similarly to other classes of modern palliative drugs, this rebound effect is the same as a secondary action or vital reaction described by Samuel Hahnemann, and used in homeopathy in a therapeutic sense. © 2010 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Homeopathy in the public health system: a seven-year observational study at Lucca Hospital (Italy)

Volume 98, Issue 3, July 2009, Pages 142-148
Elio Rossi | Cristina Endrizzi | Marialessandra Alessandra Panozzo | Alba Rosa Bianchi | Monica Da Frè

Objective: To evaluate the response to homeopathic treatment in a public homeopathic clinic of all patients attending between September 1998 until December 2005, and to analyze homeopathic practice. Methods and setting: Longitudinal observational study in a homeopathic clinic based in a public hospital in Lucca, Italy. Data relating to patient details, clinical diagnosis, remedy prescribed, potency of dosage, prescription strategy and identification of the case as acute-chronic-recurrent were analyzed. Clinical response was assessed by the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital Outcome Score. Results: Overall 74% of patients reported at least moderate improvement. Outcomes were better with longer treatment duration and younger age of patients. Respiratory, followed by dermatological and gastrointestinal pathologies responded best, psychological problems relatively poorly. Conclusions: Homeopathic therapy is associated with improvement in a range of chronic and recurring pathologies. Certain characteristics of patient and pathology influence the outcome. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Chronic primary insomnia: Efficacy of homeopathic simillimum

Volume 99, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 63-68
David Francis Naudé | Ingrid Marcelline Stephanie Couchman | Ashnie Maharaj

Introduction: Chronic primary insomnia is defined as difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep or of non-restorative sleep that lasts for at least 1 month and causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The homeopathic simillimum is that remedy which most closely corresponds to the totality of symptoms; remedy selection is based on a full evaluation of the patient's physical, emotional and mental characteristics. Aim/Purpose: The purpose of this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathic simillimum in the treatment of chronic primary insomnia. Method: 30 participants were selected in accordance with DSM-IV TR (2000)1 criterion 307.42 Primary Insomnia and then randomly divided between treatment and placebo groups. The measurement tools used were a Sleep Diary (SD) and the Sleep Impairment Index (SII).2. After an initial consultation, 2 follow-up consultations at 2-week intervals took place. Homeopathic medication was prescribed at the first and second consultations. The SII was completed at each consultation and participants were instructed at the first consultation to start the SD. Results: SD data revealed that verum treatment resulted in a significant increase in duration of sleep throughout the study, compared to the placebo treatment which resulted in no significant increase in duration of sleep. A significant improvement in SII summary scores and number of improved individual questions were found in the verum group, responses to all 11 questions having improved significantly upon completion of the study. An initial improvement occurred in the placebo group, but was not sustained. Comparison of results between the groups revealed a statistically significant difference. Conclusion: The homeopathic simillimum treatment of primary insomnia was effective, compared to placebo. Homeopathy is a viable treatment modality for this condition and further research is justified. © 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Randomized controlled pilot study to compare Homeopathy and Conventional therapy in Acute Otitis Media

Volume 101, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 5-12
Maheep N. Sinha | V. A. Siddiqui | Chaturbhuja Nayak | Vikram Pal Singh | Rupali Dixit | Deepti Dewan | Alok K. Mishra

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of Homeopathy and Conventional therapy in Acute Otitis Media (AOM). Method: A randomized placebo-controlled parallel group pilot study of homeopathic vs conventional treatment for AOM was conducted in Jaipur, India. Patients were randomized by a computer generated random number list to receive either individualized homeopathic medicines in fifty millesimal (LM) potencies, or conventional treatment including analgesics, antipyretics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients who did not improve were prescribed antibiotics at the 3rd day. Outcomes were assessed by the Acute Otitis Media-Severity of Symptoms (AOM-SOS) Scale and Tympanic Membrane Examination over 21days. Results: 81 patients were included, 80 completed follow-up: 41 for conventional and 40 for homeopathic treatment. In the Conventional group, all 40 (100%) patients were cured, in the Homeopathy group, 38 (95%) patients were cured while 02 (5%) patients were lost to the last two follow-up. By the 3rd day of treatment, 4 patients were cured in Homeopathy group but in Conventional group only one patient was cured. In the Conventional group antibiotics were prescribed in 39 (97.5%), no antibiotics were required in the Homeopathy group. 85% of patients were prescribed six homeopathic medicines. Conclusion: Individualized homeopathy is an effective conventional treatment in AOM, there were no significant differences between groups in the main outcome. Symptomatic improvement was quicker in the Homeopathy group, and there was a large difference in antibiotic requirements, favouring homeopathy. Further work on a larger scale should be conducted. © 2011 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Short-term effects of repeated olfactory administration of homeopathic Sulphur or Pulsatilla on electroencephalographic alpha power in healthy young adults

Volume 100, Issue 4, October 2011, Pages 203-211
Iris R. Bell | Audrey J. Brooks | Amy Howerter | Nicholas J. Jackson | Gary E R Schwartz

Introduction: Homeopathic pathogenetic trials usually rely on symptom self report measures. Adding objective biomarkers could enhance detection of subtle initial remedy effects. The present feasibility study examined electroencephalographic (EEG) effects of repeated olfactory administration of two polycrest remedies. Methods: College student volunteers (ages 18-30, both sexes) from an introductory psychology course were screened for good health and relatively elevated Sulphur or Pulsatilla symptom scores on the Homeopathic Constitutional Type Questionnaire (CTQ). Subjects underwent a series of 3 once-weekly double-blind sessions during which they repeatedly sniffed the remedy matched to their CTQ type and solvent controls. Each remedy was given in a 6c, 12c, and 30c potency, one potency per week, in randomly assigned order. Solvent controls included both plain distilled water and a water-ethanol (95%) solution. All sniff test solutions were further diluted just prior to laboratory sessions (0.5 ml test solution in 150 ml distilled water). Within a session, remedies and control solvents were administered via 2-s sniffs (8 sniffs of each of 4 different succussion levels for the potency in randomized order). Primary outcome variable was relative EEG power (alpha 1 8-10 Hz; alpha 2 10-12 Hz) averaged over 19 electrode sites, including all succussions for a given potency. Results: Mixed-effect models revealed significant main effects for remedy type (Sulphur > Pulsatilla) in both alpha bands, controlling for gender, baseline resting EEG alpha, and solvent control responses. Additional analyses showed significant nonlinear interactions between dilution and time (weekly session) in alpha 2 for both remedies and alpha 1 for Sulphur. Conclusion: EEG alpha offers an objective biomarker of remedy effects for future studies and potential method for distinguishing time-dependent effects of specific remedies and remedy potencies from one another. © 2011 The Faculty of Homeopathy.

Rebound acid hypersecretion after withdrawal of gastric acid suppressing drugs: New evidence of similitude

Volume 100, Issue 3, July 2011, Pages 148-156
Marcus Zulian Teixeira

Background: Homeopathy is based on the principle of similitude (similia similibus curentur) using medicines that cause effects similar to the symptoms of disease in order to stimulate the reaction of the organism. Such vital, homeostatic or paradoxical reaction of the organism is closely related to rebound effect of drugs. Method: Review of the literature concerning the rebound effects of drugs used to suppress gastric acidity, particularly proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Results: The mechanism of action of these effects is discussed. Rebound in terms of clinical symptoms and physiological effects occur in about 40% of people taking PPIs, their timing depends on the half-life of the drug and the adaptation period of the physiological mechanisms involved. The wide use of PPIs may be linked to the rising incidence of carcinoid tumours. Conclusions: These findings support Hahnemann's concept of secondary action of drugs. We are developing a homeopathic materia medica and repertory of modern drugs on the basis of reported rebound effects. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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