High dilution effects: physical and biochemical basis

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Experimental evidences from plants 31 2. Effect on parasites and pathogens of plants 32 2. Evidences from in vitro tests 33 2. Boyd's in vitro experiment and other related experiments 34 2. NMR spectroscopy 40 3. NMR spectra of homeopathic potencies 46 3. Infra-red spectroscopy 51 3. IR spectra of homeopathic potencies 52 Fourier Transform spectroscopy 54 3.

Electronic spectroscopy 55 Charge-transfer interaction 59 Solvation and electronic spectra 60 3. Electronic spectra of homeopathic potencies 60 3. Spectrofluorometry 65 3. Application of fluorescence spectroscopy to homeopathy 66 3. Thermoluminiscence 68 3. Molecular association and water structure 68 3.

Structure and dynamics of liquid water 70 Transport phenomena in water 72 Action of a homeopathic potency 73 Water structure in presence of solutes 73 Trituration and nano particles 75 Aqueous ethanol as a medium 76 Summary 76 Chapter IV Mechanism of action of potentized drugs 79 4.

Lateralities and Homeopathy 79 4. Time modalities and Homeopathy 80 4. Similia principle and Homeopahty 81 4. Non-linear systems and Homeopathy 82 4. Miasms and their biological basis 84 4. Polycrests, reappearance of past diseases and holism 85 4. Action of drugs at ultra high dilutions 86 4.

Water as informational molecules 86 4. Two components of a homeopathic potency 87 4. Primary biomolecular target for a homeopathic potency 88 4. The cell and the plasma membrane 89 4. Membrane proteins 90 4. Biomolecules in continuous water medium 91 4. Aquaporins 92 Distribution in animals 93 Water Pump 93 Aquaporins in plants 94 Aquaporins in fungi and bacteria 94 Structure of aquaporin 95 Function of aquaporin: passage of water 96 Regulation of function of aquaporin and disease 96 4. Interaction between a potency and biomolecules 98 4.

Role of carbohydrates in recognition process 4. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Textbooks. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Benveniste and co-workers 80 , 81 have reported the results obtained using an experimental model of isolated and perfused guinea pig heart Langendoff's system. The blind infusion of buffer alone or a high dilution of the methyl-histamine analog had no effect on coronary flow. The authors concluded that the water, deprived of solute by means of serial dilutions, retains a specific activity that can be suppressed by physical treatments that do not have any effect on the solute itself.

The model of isolated and perfused guinea pig heart seems to be effective in providing reliable results. In two subsequent publications 83 , 84 , the same group reported that the system is also sensitive to immunization-dependent activation. The homeopathic medicine A. It is noteworthy that low dilutions of Belladonna 1c and 5c showed inhibitory effects, as expected from the spasmolytic effect of atropin, while highly diluted and dynamized solutions 30c and 45c showed stimulatory effects.

Non-dynamized solutions were inactive. Veterinarians are showing more interest in alternative methods of farming and of cure, but information about the extension of homeopathy to veterinary medicine is limited, as good records of the use of these treatments do not exist. In the treatment of farm animals, alternative therapies have been in focus mainly in relation to organic farming, because of the emphasis on natural methods and medicines in the organic standards and the general intention to reduce use of chemical substances 86 — The prevalence of resistant bacteria is rising, and organisms resistant to almost all antibiotics have been identified.


The main causes are indiscriminate prescribing and the use of antibiotics in animal feeds and other agricultural applications. Policies to restrict use of antibiotics have had limited success. Homeopathy may have a role to play in combating the infectious diseases 91 and development of antibiotic resistance In the pig, the value of using homeopathy a complex of Caulophyllum 30c, Sepia 6x and Cocculus 6x on the delivery process and on the viability of piglets has also been suggested As reported in a preliminary communication, Baptisia tinctoria 30c was tested with positive results to cure salmonellosis in broiler chickens An experimental study sought to determine the efficacy of isopathic and pluralist homeopathic treatment of colibacillosis in broiler chickens Three groups of broilers, infected intratracheally at 8 days of age with Escherichia coli OK80 , were treated with different combinations of homeopathic remedies.

Control groups and an infected, doxycyline-treated group were included. Efficacy of treatment was evaluated based on the parameters mortality, body weight gain and colibacillosis lesions. In both experiments doxycyline prevented mortality and reduced E. None of the homeopathically treated groups differed significantly with respect to any of the parameters from the non-medicated, infected control group.

It is concluded that the results of this study do not justify use of these homeopathic remedies for treatment of colibacillosis in broilers. Mastitis is the major problem of dairy animals despite a number of preventive and therapeutic approaches. Treatment is costly and out of reach of farmers of developing countries. Similar results were reported also by others More recently, two observational studies investigated the treatment economics of homeopathic drugs and conventional drugs for the management of bovine mastitis 98 , In the second one 99 , a reference group non-randomized that was treated with antibiotics was also included in the study.

In the homeopathy group, 96 mastitic quarters non-fibrosed 67 and fibrosed 29 were treated with the homeopathic combination medicine Healwell VT-6 consisting of Phytolacca c, Calcarea fluorica c, Silicea 30c, Belladonna 30c, Bryonia 30c, Arnica 30c, Conium 30c and Ipecacuanha 30c. The overall effectiveness of homeopathic combination medicine in the treatment of acute non-fibrosed mastitis was The corresponding cure rate for the antibiotic group was In synthesis, the homeopathic complex medicine may be effective and economical in the management of bovine mastitis, but definitive conclusions are premature due to the design of the studies that did not include radomization and blinding.

A veterinary randomized clinical trial was carried out in order to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathy in treatment of clinical mastitis in dairy cows A three-armed, stratified, semi-crossover design comparing classical individualized homeopathy, placebo and a standardized antibiotic treatment was used. Significant reductions in mastitis signs were observed in all treatment groups. Two-thirds of the cases both in the homeopathy and placebo groups responded clinically within 7 days. However, homeopathic treatment was not statistically different from either placebo or antibiotic treatment.

The latter treatment was significantly better than placebo. Evidence of efficacy of homeopathic treatment beyond placebo was not found in this study, but authors suggested that the design can be useful in subsequent larger trials on individualized homeopathic treatment. Furthermore, the use of a homeopathic nosode in the treatment of bovine mastitis was unsuccessful in a randomized trial Another study conducted in pigs showed that various combinations of Lachesis , Pulsatilla and Sabina , or Lachesis , Echinacea and Pyrogenium , associated with Caulophyllum all in low dilutions, from 1x to 6x have prophylactic and therapeutic effects on infections metritis and mastitis of sows and on diarrhea of piglets A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of a homeopathic treatment of neonatal calf diarrhea was performed Calves with spontaneously derived diarrhea were treated with either the homeopathic remedy Podophyllum 30x or a placebo.

No clinically or statistically significant difference between the two groups was demonstrated in the duration of diarrhea, inappetence and fever. Knowledge of non-invasive treatments with few or no side effects that have the potential to heal animals should be welcomed, and homeopathy, as well as other complementary therapies, fits this description Homeopathy may offer great advantages in animal farming, particularly for its potential immunostimulating effects, which in turn would reduce the need of chemical treatments, but documentation of these effects is largely insufficient.

Acceptance of the homeopathic claims requires supporting evidence of plausible mechanisms and high quality studies exploring its effectiveness in experimental settings. The problems raised by homeopathy are very wide and complex, so it is not the matter of a single experiment that can clarify everything of homeopathic theories. The studies referred to here do not cover all the homeopathic literature of animal research but only those dealing with immunity and inflammation.

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As in all fields of research it is important to establish the goals of experimental studies. Animal studies in homeopathy refer to three main goals, namely i preclinical research to test in animals the medicines before their utilization in human beings; ii finding new, non-toxic therapies for animals in veterinary research; and iii exploring in controlled and reproducible settings specific aspects and mechanisms of action of homeopathic approach. All these goals appear very important and urgent, but none of them can answer the question of whether homeopathy is an effective cure for humans.

Starting from the first point, the preclinical research in homeopathy has virtually never pursued and the situation is inverted with respect to conventional pharmacological research. Only in the recent decades, some groups have begun testing in animal models some already commercially available homeopathic medicines, especially low-dose complex formulations. The main studies in immunological and immunopharmacological fields have been here reported and gave, in general, positive results. In addition to Internet databases, books and conference proceedings, we have also directly asked homeopathic veterinary associations and private foundations to provide available literature.

Unfortunately, we were able to find only a few articles on these topics. The Carstens Foundation kindly provided a list of veterinary studies but most of them were unpublished university dissertations. So, to the best of our knowledge, the question of the potential utilization of homeopathy in the infectious diseases of domestic animals or in natural farming is still largely unexplored, or unpublished.

The study of the mechanisms of therapeutic action would be the main goal of basic research in homeopathy. An important point is the distinction between very low dose and high-dilution effects. Both fields fully belong to homeopathy, provided that the medicine is prescribed according to the similia principle and according to a holistic clinical approach. The similia principle is the foundation of the homeopathy and the conditio-sine-qua-non of its definition. Hahnemann started its system by utilizing low doses of drugs that were available at his time. Moreover, even now the major portion of the market of homeopathic medicines in Europe is represented by low-dilution medicines containing very low doses of active principles in the molecular range.

As noted in the case of in vitro studies 6 , also the animal research in laboratory is by its nature a reductionistic one: while it should allow better definition of single problems, it loses the ability of evaluating a therapeutic approach in all its integrity. In classical homeopathy, as well as in most other alternative approaches, a holistic view of disease is emphasized, and individual judgement and treatment is important.

This implies that when choosing the homeopathic remedy, attention is focused on the totality of the organism as a whole, including personality and behavior, and not merely on symptoms related to the affected organ system. Therefore, care should be always applied in the interpretation of results from animal studies with respect to possible mechanisms of action of homeopathy.

Finding a direct effect of a homeopathic dilution in a cell model or in a animal model of inflammation e. However, inflammation has always a complex neurohumoral regulation and indirect or systemic pathways of regulation cannot be excluded. While conventional anti-inflammatory drugs are designed to suppress the symptom pointing to the underlying enzymatic mechanisms e. For example, high dilutions of histamine may act either on basophil regulation of local blood supply or vascular permeability, as shown in above mentioned reports , or as a neurotropic drug and central neurotransmitter, as recently reported by others 77 , The latter report showed that ultradiluted histamine 30c increases arousal of Wistar rats via H1 receptors and in the EEG lowers the mean delta band spectral density as compared to the control group.

Significant differences between histamine 30c and baseline during the first 2 h imply an immediate effect. As far as the proof of effects of solutions diluted beyond the Avogadro constant are concerned, the studies on animal models appear to parallel those on isolated cells 6 : as a matter of facts, there are several reports claiming to have demonstrated significant modifications of some physiological parameter or vitality of animals treated with high potencies of homeopathic medicines or with high dilutions of other pharmacologically active compounds.

On the other hand, the state of the art illustrates the preliminary nature of most reports and the lack of independent replications, so that definite conclusions on the efficacy of highly diluted homeopathic medicines in specific conditions would be premature. Finding a rationale and systematic approach to the high dilution and dynamization phenomenon would also require more knowledge of the physicochemical state of the solution employed. There is a number of theoretical and experimental advances suggesting the existence of peculiar physicochemical states in water, compatible with the hypothesis that structure and information can be stored in liquid water 22 , 67 , — , while others studies carried out with magnetic resonance spectroscopy could not confirm these models , Therefore, proofs of the presence of stable structures in water are not so consistent and reproducible as it should be for a general acceptation by the scientific community.


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Skeptics are not convinced by the available evidence. As a consequence, they are markedly affected by minimal technical differences and conditions, as postulated by the dynamic systems theory on chaotic phenomena 3 , The potential strength of the method consists in the fact that, by using an analogical reasoning similitude and information-specific long-range signals of biophysical nature, it attempts to achieve a systemic level of regulation of the body.

However, this is only a general indication, because the clarification of the mechanism s underlying most of the paradoxical effects reported requires further investigation. Although many results obtained in animal models are of provisional nature and wait for confirmation, the overall body of literature suggests that the scientific re-evaluation of the principle of similarity is worthy of increasing attention 1 , 2 , , The first reason is that this concept may represent a broad overall frame of reference for theoretical models explaining both a body of empirical observations emerging from old medical literature and the increasing experimental evidence of paradoxical results or of apparently opposite results described by different investigators in fields ranging from molecular biology to immunology and neurobiology.

If this general frame of reference gains credibility and is increasingly documented experimentally, some apparent contrasts between empirical medical approaches and mainstream medicine approaches could be reconciled in a rational way. Every investigator dealing with a specific field could design new experiments based on the principle of similarity. Finding unexpected, controversial and paradoxical results is a common experience in science, but often these results are ignored and discarded because they do not fit the main theories The occurrence of inverse effects according to the general principle of similarity could help and stimulate scientists to subject these data to a positive re-think: they will appear as an expression of the self-recovery phenomena which are typical of complex biological systems.

Finally, the principle of similarity could be re-evaluated as a way of designing therapeutic strategies, according to two main lines, i. The second line is followed by classical, individualized, homeopathy. The effectiveness of these approaches in human medicine is under increasing debate and their applications in the immunopharmacological field will be the object of a further publication of this series.

Marino, Roberto Orsi and Andrea Martini for helpful informations on animal research. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Published online May 2. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Dec 5; Accepted Mar Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Abstract A search of the literature and the experiments carried out by the authors of this review show that there are a number of animal models where the effect of homeopathic dilutions or the principles of homeopathic medicine have been tested. Keywords: homeopathy, immunology, animal models, veterinary homeopathy, similia principle, ultra-high dilutions, isopathy, homeopathic complexes, paradoxical pharmacology.

Homeopathic Immunostimulation Bastide's group 7 has shown the immunostimulatory effects in mice of endogenous compounds such as thymic hormones and interferons prepared in high dilutions according to homeopathic procedures. Ultradiluted Antigens Still Prime Immune System Other immunomodulatory findings worthy of note are those reported by Bentwich's group 11 — Neuroendocrine Regulations at High Dilution The development of the chicken immune system is stimulated by homeopathic dilutions of bursin 7 , 14 , 15 , a tripeptide Lys-His-Gly-NH 2 B cell differentiation hormone derived from the bursa fabricii.

Minerals and Nosodes A series of studies examined the action of high dilutions of silica on the production of platelet activating factor PAF by peritoneal macrophages in the mouse Other Homeopathic Medicines Atropa belladonna and Echinacea angustifolia have been tested for their effects on leukocyte migration and macrophage activity induced by experimental peritonitis in vivo Table 1 Models of homeopathic immunostimulation.

Animal Model Treatment Key findings Reference Mouse Iso-endopathy Low doses of thymic hormones and interferons Immunostimulation 7 , 8 Mouse Isopathy High dilutions of antigen Specific sensitization 11 — 13 Chicken Iso-endopathy High dilutions of peptide hormone Immunostimulation and neuroendocrine regulation 7 , 14 , 15 , 17 Mouse Isopathy High dilutions of silica Stimulation of macrophages 18 Mouse Isopathy High dilutions of silica Speeds up wound healing 21 Mouse Isopathy nosode Low doses and high dilutions of infectious agent F. Open in a separate window.

Models of Specific Immunotherapy Allergen-specific immunotherapy is the only immunomodulatory treatment that may alter the natural course of allergic disease, for example, by preventing the development of asthma in rhinitic patients 26 , Adjuvant Cures Adjuvant A series of studies carried out by our group have considered specific immunomodulation in rat. Figure 1. Insulin Oral: 1 mg no effect with 5 mg Experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis Lewis rat Acetylcholine receptor Acetylcholine receptor Oral: 20 mg Arthritis induced by mycobacterium extract Lewis rat Mycobacterium extract heat-shock protein?

Mycobacterium extract Intraperitoneal: 0. Models of Acute Inflammation In the previous lecture dealing with the effect of homeopathic dilutions at the cell level 6 we noted that according to several authors high dilutions of Apis mellifica a medicine which is currently used in homeopathy to treat skin manifestations with edema, erythema and itch inhibit basophil activation, this line of research illustrating a laboratory application of the principle of similarity: a substance known to stimulate inflammation at conventional doses can, at different doses, inhibit the cells responsible for many of the phenomena of the inflammatory process.

Complex Formulations Carrageenin edema, a classical experimental model commonly used to test the activity of anti-inflammatory drugs, was used by our group 63 to evaluate the therapeutic activity of a low-potency mineral complex called Ultima ratio MC , constituted of different salts, at various potencies 2x to 7x : potassium bromide, potassium sulfate, calcium chloride, strontium chloride, barium chloride, manganese sulfate, iron sulfate and others, prepared according to the German pharmacopoeia.

Figure 2. Table 3 Effects of the homeopathic complex Traumeel-S or of its single components on experimental models of acute and chronic inflammation. Inflammation inducer Type of inflammatory reaction Route of administration Key effects Reference Carrageenin Acute 1—7 h Local injection Slight inhibition of edema 64 Freund's adjuvant Acute 2—4 days Intraperitoneally Inhibition of local reaction 64 Chronic 14—28 days Intraperitoneally No effect on systemic reaction 64 Autologous blood Acute 1—5 h Local injection Speeds up edema resolution Homeopathic Dilution of Allopathic Drugs Special interest for the interpretation of the similia principle may have the study of the effects of homeopathic dilutions of conventional allopathic anti-inflammatory medicines.

Table 4 Immunoregulation and regulation of inflammatory processes in animal models. Other High Dilution Effects in Animal Models A team of researchers have reported that homeopathic zinc preparations in decimal dilutions from 4x to 12x, corresponding to amounts of zinc ranging from 0. Benveniste's Effects and Further Studies One important phenomenon of acute inflammation is regulation of the blood flux, which can be assessed in isolated organs.

Veterinary Homeopathy and Cure of Infections Veterinarians are showing more interest in alternative methods of farming and of cure, but information about the extension of homeopathy to veterinary medicine is limited, as good records of the use of these treatments do not exist.


Preliminary Evidence The prevalence of resistant bacteria is rising, and organisms resistant to almost all antibiotics have been identified. Few Randomized Trials A veterinary randomized clinical trial was carried out in order to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathy in treatment of clinical mastitis in dairy cows The Mosaic of Homeopathic Research The problems raised by homeopathy are very wide and complex, so it is not the matter of a single experiment that can clarify everything of homeopathic theories. Aims and Limits of Animal Models As noted in the case of in vitro studies 6 , also the animal research in laboratory is by its nature a reductionistic one: while it should allow better definition of single problems, it loses the ability of evaluating a therapeutic approach in all its integrity.

High Dilution Effects As far as the proof of effects of solutions diluted beyond the Avogadro constant are concerned, the studies on animal models appear to parallel those on isolated cells 6 : as a matter of facts, there are several reports claiming to have demonstrated significant modifications of some physiological parameter or vitality of animals treated with high potencies of homeopathic medicines or with high dilutions of other pharmacologically active compounds.

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Specific immune response to high dilutions of KLH; transfer of immunological information. In: Bornoroni C, editor. Bologna: Editrice Compositori; High dilution of antigens modulate the immune response to KLH. In: Bastide M, editor. Signals Images. Effects of embryonic bursectomy in ovo administration of highly diluted bursin on adenocorticotropic immune responses of chickens.

Specific abolition reversal of pituitary-adrenal activity and control of the humoral immunity in bursectomized chickens through highly dilute bursin. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. A role for bursa fabricii and bursin in the ontogeny of the pineal biosynthetic activity in the chicken. J Pineal Res. The role of the bursa of Fabricius and highly diluted bursin in immunoendocrine interactions in the chicken. Signals and Images. Effect on mouse peritoneal macrophages of orally administered very high dilutions of silica.

Eur J Pharmacol. Jonas WB, Dillner D. Protection of mice from Tularemia infection with ultra-low, serial agitated dilutions prepared from Francisella tularensis -infected tissue. J Scient Explor. Jonas WB. Do homeopathic nosodes protect against infection? An experimental test. Altern Ther Health Med. Healing chronic wounds performed on mouse ears using silica SiO2 as a homeopathic remedy.

Pharmacological study of homeopathic high dilutions. J Med Nucl Biophy. Effect of Atropa belladonna and Echinacea angustifolia in homeopathic dilution on experimental peritonitis. Reduction in the number of infective Trichinella spiralis larvae in mice by use of homeopathic drugs. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. Histopathological and immunophenotyping studies on normal and sarcoma bearing mice treated with a complex homeopathic medication.

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Oral tolerance: immune mechanisms and the generation of Th3-type TGF-beta-secreting regulatory cells. Microbes Infect. IL-4 is a differentiation factor for transforming growth factor-beta secreting Th3 cells and oral administration of IL-4 enhances oral tolerance in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis.

Eur J Immunol. The mucosal milieu creates tolerogenic dendritic cells and T R 1 and T H 3 regulatory cells. Nat Immunol. Mucosal administration of IL enhances oral tolerance in autoimmune encephalomyelitis and diabetes. Int Immunol. Induction of interleukin 10 by sublingual immunotherapy for house dust mites: a preliminary report. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. Heine H, Schmolz M.

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Low dose sublingual therapy in patients with allergic rhinitis due to house dust mite. Clin Allergy. Effects of oral administration of type II collagen on rheumatoid arthritis. MacDonald TT. Eating your way towards immunosuppression. Curr Biol. Sublingual immunotherapy. Clin Exp Allergy.

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Dendritic cell immunizations alone or combined with low doses of interleukin-2 induce specific immune responses in melanoma patients. Clin Exp Immunol. Immunotherapy of tumors with autologous tumor-derived heat shock protein preparations. Oral tolerance: immunologic mechanisms and treatment of animal and human organ-specific autoimmune diseases by oral administration of autoantigens.

Annu Rev Immunol. Historical background. Bosch X. No easy answers. Etude pharmacologique d'une preparation d'Apis mel. Ann Homeopath Fr. Demonstrating the effects of Apis mellifica and Apium virus dilutions on erythema induced by U. Berl J Res Hom. Poitevin B. Homeopathie Franc. Effects of high dilutions of histamin and other natural compounds on acute inflammation in rats.

Dual effects of a homeopathic mineral complex on carrageenan-induced oedema in rats. Br Homeopath J. Experimental studies on the anti-inflammatory activity of a homeopathic preparation. Biomed Ther. Biologische Medizin. Effect of Traumeel S, a homeopathic formulation, on blood-induced inflammation in rats. Complement Ther Med. Sukul NC, Sukul A.

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