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Schwabe News Volume 4 | Issue 9 | September 2013

Research news


Anti-proliferative effects of homoeopathic medicines on human kidney, colon and breast cancer cells

It is known that homoeopathy faces controversy regarding physical properties of very high dilutions. Several theories are proposed to understand the mechanisms of action. This study was aimed to investigate the efficacy of the selected homoeopathic medicines in specific in vitro cancer models. Researchers assessed the cytotoxic activity of selected homoeopathic medicines in mother tincture (MT), and ultramolecular dilutions (30C, 200C, 1M and 10M) against cell lines deriving from tumours of particular organs, Sarsaparilla (Sars) on ACHN cells (human renal adenocarcinoma), Ruta graveolens (Ruta) on COLO-205 (human colorectal carcinoma), and Phytolacca decandra (Phyto) on MCF-7 (human breast carcinoma). Sars was also tested against Madin–Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells (a non-malignant cell line). Cytotoxicity was measured using the 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) method, anti-proliferative activity by trypan blue exclusion assay, apoptosis determined by dual staining the cells with ethidium bromide (EB) and acridine orange (AO) dyes.

MTs and ultra-diluted preparations of the three homoeopathic medicines had highly significant effects in the respective cancer cell lines, producing cytotoxicity and a decrease in cell proliferation. The effects were greatest with the MTs, but in all cases and persisted, although to a lesser degree in the ultra-diluted molecular preparations. Sars showed no effect on MDCK cells. In the homoeopathic medicine treated cultures, hallmarks of apoptosis were evident including, cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation. This study provides preliminary laboratory evidence indicating the ability of homoeopathic medicines as anticancer agents. Further studies of the action of these homoeopathic remedies are warranted.

  • Shagun Arora, Ayushi Aggarwal, Priyanka Singla, Saras Jyoti, Simran Tandon, Anti-proliferative effects of homeopathic medicines on human kidney, colon and breast cancer cells, Homeopathy, Volume 102, Issue 4 (October 2013), Pages 274-282


Dielectric dispersion studies of some potentised homoeopathic medicines reveal structured vehicle

Avogadro's number gives 12th centesimal as the limit beyond which no original substance can be present in a highly diluted and succcussed (potentised) homoeopathic medicine, implying that chemically such dilutions consist of nothing but the vehicle. But there is evidence that living systems react to homoeopathic medicines diluted even above 12c. To explain how such medicines differ from another, the author placed a hypothesis that altered structure may cause the difference, such as that between diamond and amorphous carbon. Some scientists have argued that dilution followed by succussion may lead to altered structural arrangement of water molecules. This concept may be termed ‘Induced Molecular Structure’. Dielectric dispersion studies were conducted in a broad range with potencies below and above the Avogadro limit by taking 6c and 30c potencies of Graphites and Cuprum Metallicum in liquid form. Measurements were made with an Anomalous Dielectric Dispersion Detector (A3D), an instrument developed by the author. Experiments were carried out in a frequency range of 100 kHz to 50 MHz. Shifting of resonance frequencies as a function of medicine and potency, with potencies below and above the Avogadro limit, was observed.

The range of resonance frequencies suggest that the phenomenon might originate from oscillation of dipoles caused by electric field in variously structured and polarised water. Also, there is reasonable evidence that frequencies change with materials and potency.

  • C.R. Mahata, Dielectric dispersion studies of some potentised homeopathic medicines reveal structured vehicle, Homeopathy, Volume 102, Issue 4 (October 2013), Pages 262-267


Long-term effects of homoeopathic treatment in children suffering from attention deficit disorder with and without hyperactivity

This study was conducted to evaluate clinical and cost-effectiveness of individualised homoeopathic treatment of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between age 6 and 16 during 10 years.  The method used was as follows: Public lectures made families with inattentive or hyperactive children getting interested in a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial (RCT), embedded in a prospective observational study. After diagnostic screening and a primary run-in phase of homoeopathic treatment, crossover RCT was followed by open-label long-term follow-up and cost-effectiveness evaluation. At diagnosis, beginning of, and after each crossover period, and at yearly intervals during long-term follow-up, parents reported Conners’ Global Index (CGI, 10 items, rated 0-3 points each; primary variable) by questionnaire or telephone interview.

A total of 140 children was recruited, 43 were excluded by a screening questionnaire, another 14 did not meet strict diagnostic criteria (according to DSM-IV), resulting in 83 children treated with individually prescribed homoeopathic remedies. As 13 patients did not improve at least 50% in CGI values (RCT inclusion criterion), the remaining 62 children (84%) participated in, and 58 finished the double-blind cross-over RCT phase. After ten years of open-label therapy, 56/62 children were eligible for follow-up (90%). According to ITT-analysis, 38/62 (62%) children were without any homoeopathic (HOM) or medical treatment. In the remaining children, successful results were achieved in 6 with HOM, 9 with methylphenidate (MPH) and 3 with both, HOM and MPH. During cross-over RCT, CGI values detected clinically and statistically significant differences in verum and placebo phase, respectively. Cost-effectiveness evaluation demonstrated non-inferiority of homoeopathic treatment compared to stimulant treatment, even in the first year including case-taking and repertory analysis. The innovative design of this study enabled both, to show clinical and cost-effectiveness of integrated homoeopathic treatment in children dignosed with ADHD, and to detect a specific effect of the individual homoeopathic remedy. The clinical result is comparable to conventional stimulant treatment. This again raises the question about the mode of action of homoeopathically potentized substances. The authors have concluded that in children with ADHD, individualized homoeopathic therapy and conventional stimulant treatment have comparable both, clinically significant, and specific effects persistent over ten years.

  • Klaus von Ammon, U Sauter, S Kretschmar, H Frei, A Thurneysen, M Frei-Erb, Long-term effects of homeopathic treatment in children suffering from attention deficit disorder with and without hyperactivity, International Journal of High Dilution Research, Vol 12, No 44 (2013)


Evaluation of bio-therapeutics for human flu using in vitro, pre-clinical and clinical studies

Influenza viruses have been responsible for highly contagious acute respiratory illnesses with high mortality, mainly in the elderly and immune compromised patients, which encourages the development of new drugs for treatment of human flu. The biotherapics are medicines prepared from biological products, which are compounded according to homoeopathic procedures indicated for infectious diseases with known etiology. In the present study, the in vitro and in vivo effects of three biotherapics were evaluated using in vitro, pre-clinical and clinical assays. The biotherapics were prepared according to homoeopathic procedures and the ultrastructural aspects of viral particles were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy. Cell viability was assessed by MTT method and mitochondrial respiratory function was studied by cellular oxygen consumption, lactate production, phosphofrutokinase-1 enzyme and citrate synthase enzyme activities and ATP hydrolysis. In vivo methodologies were previously approved by Ethical Committees. In pre-clinical methodologies the efficacy of biotherapics against the immune response of BALB/c mice was evaluated using open field, assessment of organs by weight, histometry, immunohistochemistry and flow cytometer. Additionally, the efficacy of biotherapics to prevent flu and/or respiratory diseases in Brazilian healthy children was quantified using a triple-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

The in vitro experiments showed alterations in important enzyme activities and in the maximum respiratory capacity when cells were treated with intact biotherapic 30x. The pre-clinical study indicated that the biotherapics were not able to induce pathogenetic effects. However, some important alterations in peritoneal washing fluids of mice that received intact biotherapic 30x were detected by flow cytometer, such as increase in B regarding non-B cells, decrease in B2 cells and increase in B1 and CD4+ cells. These alterations indicate that biotherapic 30x stimulated the innate immune response when the animals were challenged with influenza hemagglutinating antigen. The clinical trial proved that the biotherapics have a prophylactic effect against flu and acute respiratory infection symptoms, when compared to placebo. Finally the authors had to conclude from the results obtained in this study that in vitro and in vivo assays enable the understanding of the antiviral properties of biotherapics

  • Camila Monteiro Siqueira, Priscila Dias Motta, Fortune Homsani, Venicio Feo Veiga, José Nelson dos Santos Silva Couceiro, Carlos Lyrio, Leoni Bonamin, Carla Holandino, Evaluation of biotherapics for human flu using in vitro, pre-clinical and clinical studies, International Journal of High Dilution Research, Vol 12, No 44 (2013)



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