A 2002 US National Health Interview Survey conducted by the CDC and NCHS found that 62% of US adults has used some form of CAM in the past 12 months
Total annual out-of-pocket spending, in the US, was estimated at $27 billion
CAM natural health products have evidence of cost effectiveness in certain areas (Kennedy, DA et al 2007)
Recent study identified demographic as younger, higher level of education, employed, and longer disease histories.
Used by patients for symptom relief, supportive care, as well as for adverse effects of treatments.
Homeopathy - ‘ omeos ’ meaning ‘similar’; and, ‘ pathos ’ meaning ‘suffering’
System of medicine that uses highly diluted, potentized substances to induce the body’s self-healing mechanisms to bring about symptom or disease resolution (Jonas & Jacobs, 1996)
Samuel C. Hahnemann
1755 to 1843
Fluent in many languages
Influenced by many leading thinkers of his time: Goethe, Kant, etc.
Major developer of Homeopathic Medicine
Decades writing Organon
1st edition 1810, 6th edition 1921
Who is the only physician to have a monument dedicated to them in Washington DC?
Clinical Homeopathy - (nonclassical, complex) one or more remedies suggested after brief examination; analogous to conventional medicine
Classical Homeopathy - single remedy suggested after holistic examination with regard to emotions and symptoms; considered to be ‘pure’ form
Dilution - the process of diluting a substance
Potency - the strength of a homeopathic remedy, often represented as a number attached to the remedy label
Potentization - the process of preparing a homeopathic remedy by repeated dilution with succussion
Succussion - the process in which a vial containing a dilution is shaken up and down and struck against something
Trituration - Process by which insoluble substances can become soluble.
1X - 1:10 dilution
3X - 1:1,000
6X - 1:10 dilution six times
1C - 1:100 dilution
3C - 1 molecule of original solution in 10^6 molecules of solvent
6C - 1:100 dilution six times
30C - 1:100 dilution thirty times
200C - 1:100 dilution two-hundred times
1M, MM, LM, DM, etc.
Regulated by FDA since 1938.
More than 2,000 substances are used homeopathically.
Homeopathy is legal in the US and most preparations are available without a prescription.
In the mid-1820s, several physicians who studied homeopathy in Europe brought the new practice to the US
Schools and medical organizations were developed
Homeopathy gained popularity as 1 in 5 physicians practiced homeopathy and 22 medical colleges taught it (University of Michigan, Hahnemann Med School, UCSF, etc.)
100 homeopathic medical schools in India
5 organizations currently offer certification in the US:
American Board of Homeotherapeutics
Homeopathic Association of Naturopathic Physicians
North American Society of Homeopaths
Council for Homeopathic Certification
National Board of Homeopathic Examiners
Lack of strong evidence to support any one hypothesis may be considered THE stumbling block toward acceptance and the KEY issue toward its integration within a major medical model.
Much has been proposed:
“ Memory of Water”
Nanoparticle hypothesis (Silica hypothesis a part of)
Gene Regulatory Model
Recognized by the U.S. Dept of Labor, OSHA
Epitaxy is the first stage in the process of manufacturing the critical components in a wide range of devices from mobile handsets to solar cells and LEDs.
A process in which exposure to a low dose of a chemical agent or environmental factor that is damaging at higher doses induces an adaptive beneficial effect on the cell or organism.
Thousands of published articles include data showing biphasic responses of cells or organisms to chemicals or changing environmental conditions.
Ageing Res Rev . 2008 January ; 7(1): 1–7.
GENE REGULATORY MODEL
Potentized, dilute medicines carry specific ‘signals’ that can be identified by specific receptor and can act as a trigger to turn ‘on’ or ‘off’ some relevant genes , (Ageing Res Rev. 2011 Jan 31 ) initiating a cascade of gene actions to alter and correct the gene expressions that went wrong to produce the disorder/disease.
More specifically, based on the research, these medicines could act through cytokine signaling, particularly in view of the fact certain potentized homeopathic medicines modulate signal proteins like NF-kB and IL-4,6 (upregulation/downregulation)
These medicines may interact with nano-particles that eventually may have some role in tagging onto some proteins, that eventually act as a ligand.
GENE REGULATORY MODEL
Modern techniques have convincingly demonstrated the action of several potentized homeopathic medicines in modulating many parameters. Further multiple parameters change in the same time frame, which without a cascade of gene actions is difficult to explain.
Nanoparticles have been shown to have effects on the physio-chemical property of the homeopathic dilutions, that may indicate some role of the nanoparticles during the potentization process of homeopathic medicines.
All parameters studied to date are gene controlled.
In the presence of Actinomycin D, a transcription blocker, a potentized homeopathic medicine failed to act.
Homeopathic dilutions have demonstrable action on plants which lack any central nervous system.
What Are We Dealing With?
Basic Research on Homeopathy Database
By the end of 2000, the database included 829 experiments in 782 primary publications
Other - eg., microbial, fungal (14%)
Genetic and Immune Modulation
Frenkel, M et al. Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells. Inter J Oncol 2010. 36:395-403.
In vitro study to determine if products prescribed by a clinic in India have any effect on breast cancer cell lines.
Studied Carcinosin , Phytolacca , Conium , Thuja against two human breast adenocarcinoma cell lines.
There was down regulation of pRb and upregulation of CDK inhibitor p27 (responsible for cell cycle delay/arrest and induction of apoptotic cascade which manifested as activation of caspase 7 and cleavage of PARP)
Moderately inhibits proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Carcinosin and Phytolacca appeared similar to the activity of Taxol.
This study indicates that the activity of the diluted substances are dependent on genetic background
Wälchli, C et al. Effect of Low Doses and High Homeopathic Potencies in Normal and Cancerous Human Lymphocytes: An In Vitro Isopathic Study . J Alt Comp Med 2006. Pp.421-427.
High homeopathic potencies exhibit a biologic effect on cell cultures of normal primary lymphocytes, eliciting a “significant stimulatory effect on primary T-lymphocytes.”
Khuda-Bukhsh, AR. Mice as a model for homeopathy research. Homeopathy 2009. 98:267-279.
Homeopathic remedies were found to be effective on various parameters of study and on different organisms .
As all parameters of study tested are under genetic control, it would appear that corrective activities of different regulatory genes initiate the recovery process.
This would imply that potentized medicines, though devoid of any drug molecule, were still capable of acting in a multidirectional manner, through their regulatory action on master gene(s)/gene expression.
Cancerous lymphocytes seem to be unresponsive to high homeopathic potencies.
Sato, DYO et al. Histopathological and immunophenotyping studies on normal and sarcoma 180-bearing mice treated with a complex homeopathic medication. Homeopathy 2005. 94:26-32.
A delay in the development, and a reduction in size of the tumors, and increased infiltration by lymphoid cells, granulation tissue, and fibrosis surrounding the tumor were observed with active treatment compared to control.
All animals from the treated group survived.
30% of control groups died.
In 30% of treated animals, a total regression of the tumor was confirmed using light microscopy. No regression was found in the control groups.
Treatment increased total numbers of leukocytes and lymphocytes. Among lymphocytes, TCD4 and B and NK cells increased in treated groups.
Contains: Aconitum napellus , Bryonia alba , Thuja ocidentalis , Arsenicum album, and Lachesis muta .
Bhattacharjee, N et al. Homeopathic drugs Natrum sulphuricum and Carcinosin prevent azo dye-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in mice. Indian J Biochem & Biophys 2009. 46:307-318.
Used phenobarbital and p -DAB
Results demonstrated that administration Nat sulph alone, or in combination, reduced liver tumors
Increased GSH, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, SOD, glutathione reductase, catalase, hemoglobin, cholesterol, and albumin levels.
Effect on cytotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, and oxidative stress.
Similar study with Chelidonium (2002) and Carcinosin (2005).
Khuda-Bukhsh, AR et al. Modulation of Signal Proteins: A Plausible Mechanism to Explain How a Potentized Drug Secale Cor 30C Diluted beyond Avogadro’s Limit Combats Skin Papilloma in Mice. eCAM 2009. Pp. 1-12.
It could “successfully combat” skin papilloma in mice as evidenced by histological, cytogenetical, immunofluorescence, ELISA, and immunoblot findings.
Cytochrome c, Bax, Bad, Apaf, caspase-3 and -9 (pro-apoptotic proteins)
Secale modulated their expression levels
There was reduction in genotoxic and DNA damages in bone marrow cells
Supports hypothesis that potentized homeopathic drugs act at gene regulatory level.
Bhattacharjee, N et al. Amelioration of Carcinogen-Induced Toxicity in Mice by Administration of a Potentized Homeopathic Drug, Natrum Sulphuricum 200. eCAM 2009. 6(1):65-75.
Administration of Nat Sulph 200 reduced genomic damage, activities of AcP, AlkP, AST, ALT, LPO and increased GSH content.
Ekins-Daukes S, et al. Paediatric homeoopathy in general practice: where, when, and why? British Journ Clin Pharm . 2004
Rise, MB et al. How do parents of child patients compare consultations with homeopaths and physicians? A qualitative study. Patient Educ Couns . 2009 Jan;74(1):91-6.
Comparison of 16 children who consulted with both homeopathic physician and allopathic physician
Parents experienced the homeopathic consultations to a greater extent to have a whole person approach
Included exhaustive questioning, longer consultations, more interaction with the child, and looking for the underlying cause.
Haidvog, M et al. Homeopathic and conventional treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints: A comparative study on outcome in the primary care setting. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine . 2007, 7:7.
The aim to assess the effectiveness of homeopathy compared to conventional treatment.
57 primary care practices involved (Europe and US) = 1,577 patients
Onset of improvement within the first 7 days after treatment was significantly faster upon homeopathic treatment in children and adults.
Adverse drug reactions occurred more frequently in adults of the conventional group than in the homeopathic group
Conclusion = in primary care, homeopathic treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints was not inferior to conventional treatment.
Vickers A, et al. WITHDRAWN: Homeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes. Cochrane Databases Syst Rev. 2009 Jul 8;(3).
Oscillococcinum treatment reduced the length of influenza illness
Oscillococcinum was associated with patients considering treatment effective
Jefferson T, et al. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2008 Apr 16;(2)
Influenza vaccines are efficacious in children older than 2 but little evidence is available for children less than 2.
More data on safety needed
More research is needed before recommended as public health policy.
Derasse M, et al. The effects of a complex homeopathic medicine compared with acetaminophen in the symptomatic treatment of acute febrile infections in children: an observational study. Explore (NY) . 2005 Jan;1(1):33-9.
Fever, cramps, distress, disturbed sleep, crying, and difficulties with eating/drinking
Symptoms graded 0 - 3.
Both groups improved. Homeopathic tx was NONINFERIOR to acetaminophen.
Body temperature was reduced by 1.7 degrees (1.9 with acetaminophen)
Severity of infection decreased by 2.0 in homeopathic group (2.2 in acetaminophen group)
Werner, C, et al. Efficacy of homeopathic and antibiotic treatment strategies in cases of mild and moderate bovine clinical mastitis. Journal of Dairy Research . 2010. 77:460-467.
136 lactating cows
In cases of pathogen-positive mastitis, the cure rate after 4 and 8 weeks was similar between the two treatment strategies.
A large difference was seen between placebo and homeopathic group in the long term.
Muller-Krampe B, et al. Effects of Spascupreel versus hyoscine butylbromide for gastrointestinal cramps in children. Pediatr Int . 2007 Jun;49(3):328-34.
Homeopathic medication compared to hyoscine butylbromide in children less than 12 yoa.
1 week treatment arm
Homeopathic medication seems to be an effective and well-tolerated alternative to conventional therapies in children.
Berrebi A, et al. Traitement de la douleur de la montee laiteuse non souhaitee par homeopathie dans le post-partum immediat. J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod 2001; 30:353-357.
Homeopathic treatment designed for patients unable or not wanting to breastfeed.
Apis mellifica 9C and Bryonia 9C
A significant improvement of lactation pain was observed.
A similar effect was observed for breast tension and spontaneous milk flow.
Homeopathic Consultation An Overview
Consultation - Overview
Initial visit usually lasts between 2-3 hours
Includes the following:
Personal Medical History
Family Medical History
Specifics - time of day, sensations, concomitants, foods, temperatures, sleep, dreams, etc.