Homeopathy (2013) 102, 231e232 Ó 2013 The Faculty of Homeopathy http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.homp.2013.08.001, available online at http://www.sciencedirect.com
Fish farming and immunomodulation The application of homeopathy to animal husbandry is an area which has developed rapidly in recent years, largely driven by concerns about the use of potent pharmacological agents including hormones and antibiotics in the rearing of food or dairy animals and the consequences in terms of environmental pollution and antibiotic resistance. In the past few years Homeopathy has published papers on the diarrhoea in neonatal piglets1 and udder inflammation in dairy cows,2 but the area in which has seen the most reported work is aquaculture (fish farming). This issue of Homeopathy features with two papers from Brazil reporting controlled trials of homeopathic complexes in fish farming, with divergent results. Lauro Vargas and colleagues from the Federal University of Maringa in southern Brazil report a third positive controlled trial of the homeopathic complex HomeopatilaÒ in Nile tilapia.3 While a group led by Janessa Sampaio de Abreu of the Federal University of Mato Grosso in western Brazil report a trial in which a different complex homeopathic medicine showed no benefit over control in Pacu fish.4 The experiments involve different species of fish under different conditions and used different interventions. HomeopatilaÒ, used by Vargas et al., contains homeopathic Iodum 12c, Sulphur 30c, Natrum muriaticum 200c and Streptococcinum 30c. Different dose levels were investigated and beneficial effects compared to control were found in terms of parasite infestation, weight gain and metabolic variables. De Abreu et al. used an entirely different complex containing Cocculus indicus 12c, Petroleum 12c, Tabacum 12c and Bixa orellana 12c, investigating its effects on the stress of transportation of juvenile fish, showing no benefit over control. Both species are important in aquaculture in Brazil, but the results are not necessarily incompatible: they used different complexes, different species of fish and different experimental conditions. The Maringa group has previously reported positive results with the same complex in terms of survival and other parameters and compared to negative and positive (methyl testosterone) control.5 Unfortunately neither group gives the rationale for the selection of the components of their complex. The results reported with HomeopatilaÒ are of considerable potential significance for aquaculture, it is to be hoped that they will be repeated by other groups.
Moreon theanti-inflammatoryeffectsof Rhus toxicodendron In this issue also we publish our first ever paper from Korea, from a group led by Prof Myeong Gu Yeo of
Nambu University. They report a programme of experiments on the effects of Rhus toxicodendron, in dilutions ranging far into the ultra-molecular range, on cultured mouse chondrocytes using advanced methods including messenger RNA expression.6 Rhus toxicodendron treatment was associated with increased expression of the cyclooxygenase-2 gene and prostaglandin E2 expression, suggesting that it induced dedifferentiation of chondrocytes. The maximum effect was observed at the 30 dilution. These findings converge with the work of the group led by Chandragouda Patil who have shown, in a series of papers published in this Journal, significant effects of Rhus toxicodendron in a range of homeopathic potencies including very high dilutions, in experimental arthritis in intact mice.7 Thus there is now a significant body of evidence that Rhus toxicodendron in homeopathic dilutions including ultra-molecular dilutions based on diverse methods, including intact animals and cell culture, and from independent groups, has specific anti-inflammatory effects. Nor is this the first time that modulation of COX-2 expression and prostaglandins have been implicated in the actions of homeopathic dilutions. Christian Doutremepuich and his group, in their long series of experiments on the thrombotic effects of aspirin, have shown that aspirin in ultra-molecular dilution (15 CH) has prothrombotic effects, contrary to the antithrombotic effects it has in substantial dose. Experiments using selective COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors, and in ‘knockout’ mice lacking the COX-1 and COX-2 genes, indicate that these are mediated by inhibition of COX-2 mediated PGI2 production in vascular endothelium.8
Convergence and triangulation Between them these papers suggest homeopathy may have a useful role to play in avoiding potent pharmacological agents with significant negative potential for the environment and human health and provide deepening and increasingly triangulated insight into the mechanisms of action of one of the most widely used homeopathic medicines, Rhus toxicodendron. In the face of these diverse yet convergent reports from independent groups working with different methods in widely separated geographical regions, it is difficult not to be saddened by the attitude of those who continue to insist, sometimes in harsh tones, but without proper examination of the evidence, that homeopathy does not have, indeed can have, specific effects.
Editorial P Fisher
References 1 Camerlink I, Ellinger EJ, Bakker EA, et al. Homeopathy as replacement to antibiotics in the case of Escherichia coli diarrhoea in neonatal piglets. Homeopathy 2010; 99: 57e62. 2 Aubry E, Issautier M-N, Champomier D, et al. Early I do information in dairy cows treated by a homeopathic medicine (DolisovetÒ): a prospective observational pilot study. Homeopathy 2013; 102: 139e144. 3 Braccini GL, Natali MRM, Ribeiro RP. Morpho-functional response of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) to a homeopathic complex. Homeopathy 2013; 102: 233e241. 4 Feitosa KC, Povh JA, De Abreu JS. Physiological responses of pacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus) treated with homeopathic product and submitted to transport stress. Homeopathy 2013; 102: 268e273. 5 Piau R Jr., Vargas L, Valentim-Zabott M, et al. Morphometry of white muscle fibers and performance of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fingerlings treated with methyltestosterone or a homeopathic complex. Homeopathy 2012; 101: 154e158.
6 Huh YH, Kim MJ, Yeo MG. Homeopathic Rhus toxicodendron treatment increased the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in primary cultured mouse chondrocytes. Homeopathy 2013; 102: 248e253. 7 Patel DR, Ansari I, Kachchhi YN, et al. Toxicodendron pubescence retains its anti-arthritic efficacy at 1M, 10M and CM homeopathic dilutions. Homeopathy 2012; 101: 165e170. 8 Doutremepuich C, Aguejouf O, Desplat V, et al. Thrombotic events associated to aspirin therapy. Thrombosis 2012; http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1155/2012/247363.
Peter Fisher Editor-in-Chief Faculty of Homeopathy, Hahnemann House, 29 Park St West, Luton LU1 3BE, UK E-mail: [email protected]