[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant systems are useful research tools to address basic questions in homeopathy as they make it possible to overcome some of the drawbacks encountered in clinical trials (placebo effect, ethical issues, duration of the experiment, and high costs). The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis whether 7-day-old wheat seedlings, grown from seeds either poisoned with a sublethal dose of As2O3 or unpoisoned, showed different significant gene expression profiles after the application of ultrahigh diluted As2O3 (beyond Avogadro's limit) compared to water (control). The results provided evidence for a strong gene modulating effect of ultrahigh diluted As2O3 in seedlings grown from poisoned seeds: a massive reduction of gene expression levels to values comparable to those of the control group was observed for several functional classes of genes. A plausible hypothesis is that ultrahigh diluted As2O3 treatment induced a reequilibration of those genes that were upregulated during the oxidative stress by bringing the expression levels closer to the basal levels normally occurring in the control plants.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11/2014; 2014. DOI:10.1155/2014/851263 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
This study sought to verify whether the droplet evaporation method (DEM) can be applied to assess the effectiveness of ultra-high dilutions (UHDs). We studied the shape characteristics of the polycrystalline structures formed during droplet evaporation of wheat seed leakages.
The experimental protocol tested both unstressed seeds and seeds stressed with arsenic trioxide 5 mM, treated with either ultra-high dilutions of the same stressor substance, or with water as a control. The experimental groups were analyzed by DEM and in vitro growth tests. DEM patterns were evaluated for their local connected fractal dimension (measure of complexity) and fluctuating asymmetry (measure of symmetry exactness).
Treatment with arsenic at UHD of both stressed and non-stressed seeds increased the local connected fractal dimension levels and bilateral symmetry exactness values in the polycrystalline structures, as compared to the water treatment. The results of in vitro growth tests revealed a stimulating effect of arsenic at UHD vs. control, and a correlation between the changes in growth rate and the crystallographic values of the polycrystalline structures was observed.
The results indicate that polycrystalline structures are sensitive to UHDs, and so for the first time provide grounds for the use of DEM as a new tool for testing UHD effectiveness. DEM could find application as a treatment pre-selection tool, or to monitor sample conditions during treatment. Moreover, when applied to biological liquids (such as saliva, blood, blood serum, etc), DEM might provide information about UHD effectiveness on human and animal health.
Complementary therapies in medicine 04/2014; 22(2). DOI:10.1016/j.ctim.2014.02.005 · 1.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: In the preparation of ultra high dilutions (UHD) each dilution step is followed by a succussion. Whereas the physical basis of succussion have been well studied , there are only few papers regarding the effects of succussion number (NS) . In previous studies [3, 4] we showed that arsenic at UHD applied on arsenic stressed wheat seeds stimulates the germination rate. Aims: Investigate whether NS applied between the dilution-steps influences the UHD effectiveness. Methodology: Plant material and stress treatment: Wheat seeds (Triticum aestivum L.) of cv. Pandas were stressed by 30min of poisoning with 5mM As2O3 aqueous solution [3, 4]. Classes of treatment: Undiluted and unsuccussed H2O (C), H2O and As2O3 both at the 45th decimal dilution/succussion (W45x and As45x, respectively). The succussion was handmade and NS differed for each treatment (NS= 4, 8, 16, 32, 40, 70, 100). Biological model: In each Petri dish 36 seeds were placed and watered with 20ml of treatment. After 96 hours non-germinated seeds were counted. The experiment was repeated twice and each one consisted in 6 Petri dishes per treatment and 6 trials. The results were analyzed by Poisson test . Droplet evaporation method: The droplet patterns  were prepared out of the stressed wheat samples treated either with As45x, W45x (NS=8, 32, 70) or C. The experiment was performed in a 3 day repetition, 3 replicates per day, 5 droplets per replicate. The patterns were evaluated by means of the ImageJ software for their local connected fractal dimension (LCFD) values. The data was analyzed by means of the analysis of variance. Multiple mean comparison was carried out by Turkey’s HSD test. Results: NS strongly influenced both the biological effectiveness of the treatment (i) and the LCFD of the DEM patterns (ii). In particular: (i) the rate of germinated seeds significantly increased vs. C following treatments with NS≥32 for both As45x and W45x; (ii) all As45x (NS=8, 32, 70) and W45x with NS=70 significantly increased the LCFD of DEM patterns vs. C. Both approaches showed that UHD effects increase with the growing NS, even if there was a non complete correspondence of the significance levels. Conclusions: Our results show that NS is an important parameter influencing the UHD effectiveness.
International Journal of High Performance Computing and Networking 09/2013; 12(44).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
This study deals with the effects of extremely low doses or high dilutions of pharmacological compounds on in vitro pollen germination of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa).
Material and methods:
The biological efficacy of As2O3 at the 5th and 45th decimal dilution/succussion level (As 5x and As 45x) was tested on pollen previously stressed with As2O3 150 or 200 μM. The outcome variable was the pollen germination rate, as detected blind after 3 h 30 min by an Axioplan microscope.
A directionally consistent recovery of germination percentage was observed in both As 5x and As 45x after stressing with As2O3 150 μM. When pollen was stressed with As2O3 200 μM only as 45x induced a general and significant germination increase.
Our results suggest that both treatments might partially remove the inhibitory effect caused by the stressor. Similar effects were observed on the same model using weak extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) mediated through water. Although preliminary, the findings seem to indicate the in vitro pollen performance as adequate to study the effects of physicochemical subthreshold stimuli (extremely low doses or high dilutions of pharmacological compounds, weak ELF-MFs), mediated through water.
Forschende Komplementärmedizin / Research in Complementary Medicine 09/2013; 20(4):254-60. DOI:10.1159/000354148 · 1.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This report summarises the latest research developments in the field of high dilutions and homeopathy, as presented at the GIRI symposium of the leading international organisation of scientists in this field, in Florence, Italy in September 2012. The scientific community's early scepticism concerning the possible biological and pharmacological activity of highly diluted solutions, is giving way to a more open-minded attitude that no longer obstructs critical and experimental investigations in this emerging field of biomedicine.
Homeopathy: the journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy 04/2013; 102(2):151-4. DOI:10.1016/j.homp.2013.01.002 · 0.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Questa comunicazione riassume i recenti avanzamenti della ricerca nel campo delle alte diluizioni e dell’omeopatia, partendo dalle relazioni presentate ad un convegno della principale organizzazione internazionale di scienziati che lavorano in questo campo. L’iniziale scetticismo nel mondo scientifico a riguardo della possibile azione biologica e farmacologica di soluzioni altamente diluite sta lasciando spazio ad una visione più aperta e, soprattutto non è più ostacolo all’affronto critico e sperimentale di questo campo emergente della scienza biomedica.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study concerns the biological effects and physico-chemical variations of extremely diluted solutions (EDS) as a function
of aging-time. The biological efficacy of As2O3 at the 45th decimal dilution/succussion (As 45×) was tested in a wheat
germination model. Ten trials were carried out from 0 to 12 months after treatment preparation, using wheat seeds (Triticum
aestivum L.) of the Pandas variety. Seeds were pre-treated by poisoning with 0.1% As2O3 solution to reduce germination,
to allow a better evaluation of treatment effects. The outcome variable was the number of non-germinated seeds after 96 h.
The As 45× treatment aged for less than three months did not show a significant effect on wheat germination, whereas
when aged for longer (3–12 months) the effect became significant. Concerning the physico-chemical characteristics, specific
conductivity of As 45×aged from 0 to 12 months was measured, using nine samples for each date. The results showed a clear
increasing time trend of specific conductivity, more evident when considering the last three measurements, which correspond
to more than six months of aging. The physico-chemical behavior of EDS strongly supports the significant biological effects
observed in a wheat model.
Frontiers in Life Science 04/2012; · 0.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental research on the effects of homeopathic treatments on impaired plants was last reviewed in 1990.
To compile a systematic review of the existing literature on basic research in homeopathy with abiotically stressed plants using predefined criteria.
The literature search was carried out on publications that reported experiments on homeopathy using abiotically stressed whole plants, seeds, plant parts and cells from 1920 to 2010. Outcomes had to be measured by established procedures and statistically evaluated. Using of a Manuscript Information Score (MIS) we identified those publications that provided sufficient information for proper interpretation (MIS≥5). A further evaluation was based on the use of adequate controls to investigate specific effects of homeopathic preparations and on the use of systematic negative control experiments.
A total of 34 publications with abiotically stressed plants was identified, published between 1965 and 2010. The 34 publications described a total of 37 experimental studies. Twenty-two studies included statistics, 13 had a MIS≥5, 8 were identified with adequate controls and 4 with negative control experiments. Significant and reproducible effects with decimal and centesimal potencies were found, including dilution levels beyond Avogadro's number. One experimental model was independently assessed by another research team and yielded inverted results compared to the original trial.
Abiotically stressed plant models seem to be a useful approach to investigate homeopathic basic research questions, but more experimentation and especially more independent replication trials are needed. Systematic negative control experiments should be implemented on a routine basis to exclude false-positive results.
Homeopathy: the journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy 10/2011; 100(4):275-87. DOI:10.1016/j.homp.2011.05.008 · 0.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study concerns the effects of a weak static magnetic field (MF) at 10 µT oriented downward, combined with a 16-Hz sinusoidal MF (10 µT), on in vitro pollen germination of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa). Extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) exposure was carried out by a signal generator unit connected to a copper wire solenoid, inside which samples where placed. Two different kinds of treatment were performed: direct and indirect. In the direct treatment, pollen samples were directly exposed during rehydration, germination, or both. In the indirect treatment, the pollen growth medium was prepared with water aliquots (at standard temperature of 20°C and pH = 6.74) that were exposed before use for 8 or 24 h. The main purpose of our research was to identify a biological marker (in vitro pollen germination in a stressing growth medium without Ca2+) susceptible to the effects of direct or indirect ELF-MF exposure. The working variable was the pollen germination rate, as detected blind after 3 h 30 min by an Axioplan microscope. A directionally consistent recovery of germination percentage was observed both for direct exposure (during germination and both rehydration and germination phases) and water-mediated exposure (with water exposed for 24 h and immediately used). Our results suggest that the ELF-MF treatment might partially remove the inhibitory effect caused by the lack of Ca2+ in the culture medium, inducing a release of internal Ca2+ stored in the secretory vesicles of pollen plasma membrane. Although preliminary, findings seem to indicate the in vitro pollen performance as adequate to study the effects of ELF-MFs on living matter.
The Scientific World Journal 04/2011; 11:875-90. DOI:10.1100/tsw.2011.83 · 1.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we review three simple plant models (wheat seed germination, wheat seedling growth, and infected tobacco plants) that we set up during a series of experiments carried out from 1991 to 2009 in order to study the effects of homeopathic treatments. We will also describe the set of statistical tools applied in the different models. The homeopathic treatment used in our experiments was arsenic trioxide (As₂O₃) diluted in a decimal scale and dynamized. Since the most significant results were achieved with the 45th decimal potency, both for As₂O₃ (As 45x) and water (W 45x), we here report a brief summary of these results. The statistical analysis was performed by using parametric and nonparametric tests, and Poisson distribution had an essential role when dealing with germination experiments. Finally, we will describe some results related to the changes in variability, which seems to be one of the targets of homeopathic treatment effect.
The Scientific World Journal 12/2010; 10:2330-47. DOI:10.1100/tsw.2010.224 · 1.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study evaluates the effects of temperature and aging on the efficacy of As(2)O(3) at the 45th decimal potency in a wheat germination model, compared against a control and potentized H(2)O 45×. Each treatment-temperature combination was tested on seeds (Triticum aestivum L.) of Pandas variety, using six Petri dishes (33 seeds/dish) per trial, performing eight trials. Seeds were pre-treated by poisoning with 0.1% As(2)O(3) solution to reduce germination, to allow a better evaluation of homeopathic treatment effects. The outcome variable was the number of non-germinated seeds after 96 h. Temperature effect was investigated by heating each treatment in a water bath for 30 min (at 20, 40 or 70°C), or for 5 min (at 100°C), and that of aging by dividing experimental data, collected over a period of nearly five months, into two groups: early and late experiments. Results seem to show that the efficacy of As(2)O(3) 45× is unaltered at 20 and 40°C, increases at 70°C and decreases at 100°C. As regards aging, a notable difference was found between early trials, with no significant efficacy, and late trials, where As(2)O(3) 45× exhibits a repeated significant effect versus control, except at 100°C. A reduction in variability was observed for As(2)O(3) 45× at 20°C versus control, confirming the findings of previous work. The main conclusion suggested by this experiment is that the efficacy of As(2)O(3) 45× on wheat germination may be influenced by heating degree and seems to have an increasing trend as a function of aging.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 12/2009; 2011(1741-427X):696298. DOI:10.1093/ecam/nep217 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The last comprehensive review of experimental research on effects of homeopathic treatments on plants was published in 1984, and lacked formal predefined criteria to assess study quality. Since then several new studies with more advanced methods have been published.
To compile a review of the literature on basic research in homeopathy with healthy plants with particular reference to studies investigating specific effects of homeopathic remedies.
The literature search included English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish publications from 1920 to April 2009, using predefined selection criteria. We included experiments with healthy whole plants, seeds, plant parts and cells. The outcomes had to be measured by established procedures and statistically evaluated. We developed a Manuscript Information Score (MIS) and included only publications which provided enough information for proper interpretation (MIS>or=5). A formalised Study Methods Evaluation Procedure (SMEP) was used to evaluate these studies, and the subgroup of studies with adequate controls to identify specific effects.
A total of 86 studies in 79 publications was identified, 43 studies included statistics, 29 had MIS>or=5, and 15 studies investigated the specificity of homeopathic preparations. Specific effects of decimal, centesimal and fifty millesimal potencies were found including dilution levels far beyond the Avogadro number. In consecutive series of potencies only some of the tested potencies showed effects. There were many individual studies with diverse methods and very few reproduction trials.
Healthy plant models seem an useful approach to investigate basic research questions about the specificity of homeopathic preparations. More investigations with more advanced methods are recommended, especially in the sectors of potentisation techniques, effective potency levels and conditions for reproducibility. Systematic negative control experiments should become a routine procedure to control the stability of the experimental systems.
Homeopathy: the journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy 10/2009; 98(4):228-43. DOI:10.1016/j.homp.2009.09.012 · 0.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The literature on the applications of homeopathy for controlling plant diseases in both plant pathological models and field trials was first reviewed by Scofield in 1984. No other review on homeopathy in plant pathology has been published since, though much new research has subsequently been carried out using more advanced methods.
To conduct an up-to-date review of the existing literature on basic research in homeopathy using phytopathological models and experiments in the field.
A literature search was carried out on publications from 1969 to 2009, for papers that reported experiments on homeopathy using phytopathological models (in vitro and in planta) and field trials. The selected papers were summarized and analysed on the basis of a Manuscript Information Score (MIS) to identify those that provided sufficient information for proper interpretation (MIS>or=5). These were then evaluated using a Study Methods Evaluation Procedure (SMEP).
A total of 44 publications on phytopathological models were identified: 19 papers with statistics, 6 studies with MIS>or=5. Publications on field were 9, 6 with MIS>or=5. In general, significant and reproducible effects with decimal and centesimal potencies were found, including dilution levels beyond the Avogadro's number.
The prospects for homeopathic treatments in agriculture are promising, but much more experimentation is needed, especially at a field level, and on potentisation techniques, effective potency levels and conditions for reproducibility. Phytopathological models may also develop into useful tools to answer pharmaceutical questions.
Homeopathy: the journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy 10/2009; 98(4):244-66. DOI:10.1016/j.homp.2009.09.008 · 0.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The polyamine spermidine and the metalloid arsenic increased resistance responses in the well-known pathosystem NN tobacco/tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). Both the hypersensitive response to TMV in a leaf disk model system (inoculated disks floating in the 0.1mM treatments) and systemic acquired resistance (SAR) in whole plants were significantly affected. In the latter case, 1mM foliar sprays of spermidine and arsenic were as effective as TMV and dl-beta-aminobutyric acid (BABA), both taken as positive controls, in improving the plant's response to subsequent challenge inoculation with TMV. Moreover, this phenotypic response was correlated with changes in the endogenous concentration of the SAR-related molecule salicylic acid and in transcript levels of some pathogenesis/stress-related genes (pathogenesis-related proteins PR-1a and PR-2 and arginine decarboxylase (ADC)). Concentrations of free salicylic acid and of 2-O-beta-d-glucosylsalicylic acid and mRNA amount of PR-1a, PR-2 and ADC were analyzed in plants treated with either spermidine or arsenic, and compared with those from untreated plants and from positive (TMV-inoculated or BABA-treated) controls. Conjugated salicylic acid content and ADC transcripts were found to significantly increase, at both the local and systemic levels, relative to untreated controls.