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Schwabe News Volume 3 | Issue 5 & 6| October & December 2012

Research news

A model for homoeopathic remedy effects: researchers propose new theory

This paper proposes a novel model for homoeopathic remedy action on living systems. Authors have referred to different researches indicating that homoeopathic remedies (a) contain measurable source and silica nanoparticles heterogeneously dispersed in colloidal solution; (b) act by modulating biological function of the allostatic stress response network (c) evoke biphasic actions on living systems via organism-dependent adaptive and endogenously amplified effects; (d) improve systemic resilience.

The proposed active components of homoeopathic remedies are nanoparticles of source substance in water-based colloidal solution, not bulk-form drugs. Nanoparticles have unique biological and physico-chemical properties, including increased catalytic reactivity, protein and DNA adsorption, bioavailability, dose-sparing, electromagnetic, and quantum effects different from bulk-form materials. Trituration and/or liquid succussions during classical remedy preparation create "top-down" nanostructures. Plants can biosynthesize remedy-templated silica nanostructures. Nanoparticles stimulate hormesis, a beneficial low-dose adaptive response. Homoeopathic remedies prescribed in low doses spaced intermittently over time act as biological signals that stimulate the organism's allostatic biological stress response network, evoking nonlinear modulatory, self-organizing change. Potential mechanisms include time-dependent sensitization (TDS), a type of adaptive plasticity/metaplasticity involving progressive amplification of host responses, which reverse direction and oscillate at physiological limits. To mobilize hormesis and TDS, the remedy must be appraised as a salient, but low level, novel threat, stressor, or homoeostatic disruption for the whole organism. Silica nanoparticles adsorb remedy source and amplify effects. Properly-timed remedy dosing elicits disease-primed compensatory reversal in direction of maladaptive dynamics of the allostatic network, thus promoting resilience and recovery from disease.

Homoeopathic remedies are proposed as source nanoparticles that mobilize hormesis and time-dependent sensitization via non-pharmacological effects on specific biological adaptive and amplification mechanisms. The nanoparticle nature of remedies would distinguish them from conventional bulk drugs in structure, morphology, and functional properties. Outcomes would depend upon the ability of the organism to respond to the remedy as a novel stressor or heterotypic biological threat, initiating reversals of cumulative, cross-adapted biological maladaptations underlying disease in the allostatic stress response network. Systemic resilience would improve. This model provides a foundation for theory-driven research on the role of nanomaterials in living systems, mechanisms of homoeopathic remedy actions and translational uses in nanomedicine.

Reference:
  • Iris R Bell and Mary Koithan, A model for homeopathic remedy effects: low dose nanoparticles, allostatic cross-adaptation, and time-dependent sensitization in a complex adaptive system, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 12:191

 

What is the perception of pregnant women towards the use of homoeopathic treatment during pregnancy? - A survey

The interest in homoeopathy amongst the general population has been documented in many publications (Barret, 2003). Despite growing evidence of the safety and efficacy of homoeopathy, only a small percentage of pregnant women are currently using homoeopathy for the treatment of associated signs and symptoms. A misconception is that homoeopathy and herbalism is the same. Herbal remedies need to be administered with caution during pregnancy, as many contain chemicals that will cross the placental barrier. Ghegas states that by treating the pregnant patient, one is treating the baby at the same time, and that with correct homoeopathic treatment, you can only influence the baby in a positive way, never in a negative way (Ghegas, 1990).

This research involved the questioning of 100 participants on their knowledge and use of homoeopathic treatment during pregnancy. The study included females between the ages of eighteen and forty years, who were either currently pregnant or who had given birth within the previous twelve months. The questionnaire was divided into three sections namely; demographics of the sample group, their knowledge and perceptions towards homoeopathy, and their medical symptoms and use of treatment during pregnancy.

The results of the study provided data on the views and opinions of pregnant women and recently pregnant women. And showed an association between the following; the participant's age, their socio-economic status, the number of pregnancies they had experienced, and their views on homoeopathy and complementary and alternative treatments/medicines.

The study showed that the older the participants were the more positive their outlook towards homoeopathy was. The study also showed that the higher the participant's socio-economic status was, the more likely they were to have used complementary and alternative medicines/treatments in the past five years. This study also indicated that the more pregnancies the participants had experienced the more positive their thoughts and opinions were towards homoeopathy. This shows an opportunity for the use of homoeopathy in the treatment of the signs and symptoms that are experienced during pregnancy. The use of homoeopathy will allow for improvement in all aspects of health, for both the pregnant women and the unborn baby.

Reference:
  • Taylor, Michael, A questionnaire on the attitudes of pregnant and recently pregnant woman towards the use of homoeopathic treatment during pregnancy, Thesis and Dissertation, UJ Library and Information Centre, UJDigispace, Institutional Repository and Scholarly Communication, University of Johannesburg.  URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5536, Date: 2005

 

Unification of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy Policy and National Health Policy in India- Stakeholders’ Perspective

A news about integrating homoeopathy and other alternative systems in UP has been covered under homoeopathy news section. This publication is result of a survey seeking opinions of experts on such integration. India has designed National Policy on Indian systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H Policy) in 2002 to emphasis the development of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Yoga, Naturopathy and Homoeopathy due to public patronage of these systems. These systems are now administered under the Department of AYUSH, a wing of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Currently India has two health related policies, National Health Policy and ISM&H Policy. This study proposes to look into the need of eventual fusion of these policies for better healthcare.

An online questionnaire was designed to assess the views of Public Health experts and mailed to 100 experts. The tool was tested for content validity and a pilot study was done to find out the feasibility of the study. Study period was September 2010 to May 2011. The data was analysed with the help of Microsoft Excel 2007 represented as percentages.

58 out of 100 experts responded to questionnaire. 67% of respondents favoured formation of unified health policy. Most mentioned reason for unified policy was ‘common goal of health’ of all system followed by ‘strengthening of health system’ and ‘equal status and growth of all health systems’. Respondents disfavoring the concept of unified health policy opined that all health systems have different principles which can be dealt by separate policy.

Majority of respondents opined that ISM& H Policy should be merged to form unified health policy as health is a complete concept in itself and should be viewed in multidisciplinary approach.

Reference:
  • Balpreet Singh, Amarjeet Singh, Manoj Kumar, Unification of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy Policy and National Health Policy in India- Stakeholders’ Perspective, Spatula DD - Peer Reviewed Journal on Complementary Medicine and Drug Discovery, 2012; 2(3): 141-146.
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