Schwabe News Volume 3 | Issue 3 | June 2012
The complex preparation Influcid® (Deutsche Homöopathie-Union) is used in the prophylaxis and treatment of some acute respiratory diseases including influenza. The purpose of this work was to study its possible direct or indirect antiviral effects in cell cultures and in the model experimental influenza infection in mice. In the in vitro studies we used a panel of etalon and/or epidemic influenza viruses of human and avian origin: A/H1N1 (epidemic), A/H1N1v (pandemic 2009), A/H3N2, B, A/H5H1 (avian, high- and low-pathogenic), H7N3, H9N2, herpes-virus (HSV-1 and HSV2) and adenovirus of the 3rd type. In mice the adapted to mice etalon strain A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) was used.
In vitro the preparation exhibited a moderate antiviral activity against most influenza viruses which was assessed in the hemagglutination test. Human viruses were as a rule inhibited more than avian. Much more pronounced was the activity of Influcid® assessed in MTT-test – a widely admitted index of cellular viability in vitro. The same effect was evident with adeno- and herpes-viruses. We could conclude that the antiviral activity of Influcid® is to a considerable degree caused by a non-specific cytoprotective activity against the viral cytopathogenic effect. In mice we could observe a statistically significant drop of mortality and some reduction of virus reproduction in the lungs when the preparation was daily administrated per os starting one day before the viral inoculation and for the three consecutive days after infection in pharmacologically adequate concentrations.
This product is available in the name of Alpha-CF from Schwabe India.
The conventional pharmacological options for the treatment of alcoholism are limited, which led to the search for solutions in alternative or complementary medicine (CAM). Homoeopathy is a CAM modality recognized as medical specialty in Brazil. According to the clinical experience of the early homoeopaths, Opium was used to treat patients with alcohol dependence. This study was aim to perform a preliminary assessment of the effectiveness and tolerability of fifty-millesimal potencies of Opium in the treatment of alcohol-dependent patients. It was an exploratory, prospective, open-label trial, with pre-treatment measures as control. Confidence intervals were used to estimate the magnitude of the clinical differences. A total of 14 patients were included, from which 12 were evaluated (intention to treat analysis - ITT). There was a significant reduction in the average daily alcohol consumption (-29.37 units of alcohol/day; 95% CI=10.63; 48.11) and in the severity of alcohol dependence, measured by the mean score of the Short Alcohol Dependence Data questionnaire (-10.17; 95% CI= 4.12; 16.22). No serious adverse events were reported. Randomized controlled studies with larger samples are needed.
Opium is available from Schwabe India in 10M, 50M and CM.
Electroencephalography (EEG) also offers psychophysiologic tool to improve sensitivity for detecting objective effects of complementary and alternative medicine as per report published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicinem May 2012 issue. This investigation extended prior clinical research studies to evaluate effects of one of two different homoeopathic remedies on resting EEG cordance after an olfactory activation protocol on healthy young adults with remedy-relevant, self-perceived characteristics.
Ninety-seven young adults (N=97, mean age 19 years, 55% women) with good self-rated global health and screened for homoeopathic constitutional types consistent with one of two remedies (either Sulphur or Pulsatilla) underwent three weekly laboratory sessions. At each visit, subjects had 5-minute resting, eyes-closed EEG recordings before and after a placebo-controlled olfactory activation task with their constitutionally relevant verum remedy. One remedy potency (6c, 12c, or 30c) used per week, was presented in a randomized order over the 3 sessions. Prefrontal resting EEG cordance values at Fp1 and Fp2 were computed from artifact-free 2-minute EEG samples from the presniffing and postsniffing rest periods. Cordance derives from an algorithm that incorporates absolute and relative EEG values.
The data showed significant two-way oscillatory interactions of remedy by time for ß, α, θ, and δ cordance, controlling for gender and chemical sensitivity. EEG cordance provided a minimally invasive technique for assessing objective nonlinear physiologic effects of two different homoeopathic remedies salient to the individuals who received them. Time factors modulated the direction of effects. Given previous evidence of correlations between cordance and single-photon emission computed tomography, these findings encourage additional neuroimaging research on nonlinear psychophysiologic effects of specific homoeopathic remedies.
In homoeopathic basic research the question of the most adequate test systems and apt methodology is still open. Experiments in different fields to support the action of homoeopathic medicines are pouring in from different disciplines. Obviously not one hypothesis or experimental support can cover the action of all drugs and all potencies. The present work is interesting. The researchers compared two arsenic (As5+) stressed bioassays with duckweed (Lemna gibba, a multi-cellular autotrophic organism) and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a single-cellular heterotrophic organism) regarding their response towards homoeopathic preparations.
For duckweed, growth rates of leaf area and leaf number were evaluated. For yeast, growth kinetics were determined by measuring slope, yield, and Et50 (point in time when yield was half maximum) of the sigmoid growth curve. The experiments with duckweed and yeast were performed in parallel (same day, same location and identical homoeopathic preparations). After screening 17 substances, three homoeopathic preparations (Arsenicum album, nosode, gibberellic acid) were chosen for repeated experimental series. Five independent experiments were conducted for each remedy with both bioassays in parallel. Potency levels used were in the range of 17x–33x for duckweed and 17x–30x for yeast. As controls, unsuccussed and succussed water were used. To examine test system stability, systematic negative control experiments were conducted over the complete experimentation period. All experiments were blinded and randomized.
The systematic negative control experiments did not yield any significant effects, meaning that the test systems were stable and did not show false positive results. Application of potentized Arsenicum album in the duckweed bioassay yielded growth stimulating effects compared to water controls for the parameters leaf area and leaf number (p<0.001), even using ultramolecular preparations. Potentized nosode preparations also had significant effects on duckweed's leaf area and leaf number (p<0.01). In the yeast system the three homoeopathic remedies did not show any significant effects on any growth curve parameter.
Arsenic stressed duckweed seems to be a promising bioassay for homoeopathic basic research. After verifying external reproducibility in independent laboratories, this bioassay might develop into a valuable tool for basic pharmaceutical questions.
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