Action of homeopathic potencies of Gelsemium sempervirens on nervous system in experimental models

Gone were the days, when we use to pacify ourselves by saying “It works“, now we want to find “How and how  much it works“. In the past few years, researchers are concentrating on going vertical down to establish a fact that how #homeopathy works.

A recent research by Paolo Bellavite et alExtreme sensitivity of gene expression in human SH-SY5Y neurocytes to ultra-low doses of Gelsemium sempervirens(BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014) explored the action of homeopathic potencies of Gelsemium  sempervirens on neurocysts. Gelsemium is a commonly used homoeopathic medicines for various ailments like depression, headache, hypotension, etc. We are well aware with the clinical efficacy of the same, but fundamental research tries to sees beyond the surface effect. This research investigated the gene expression of a human neurocyte cell line treated with various dilutions of Gelsemium’s extract (2c, 3c, 4c, 5c, 9c and 30c).

The Human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, which are often used as in vitro models of neuronal function and differentiation. They have been used to study Parkinson’s Disease#. Homeopathic dilution were applied to them for 24 hours with controls.

The results were variable. The 2CH potency significantly changed the expression of 56 genes, of which 49 were down-regulated and 7 were over expressed.

The direction of effects was significantly maintained across the treatment with high homeopathic dilutions, even though the size of the differences was distributed in a small range.

The authors concluded that Gelsemium modulates a series of genes involved in neuronal function.

A small, but statistically significant, response was detected even to very low doses/high dilutions (up to 30c), indicating that the human neurocyte genome is extremely sensitive to this regulation.


In another study by Paolo Bellavite et al, “Testing homeopathy in mouse emotional response models: pooled data analysis of two series of studies” (Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012;2012:954374. doi: 10.1155/2012/954374) the action of Gelsemium was assessed in mice using emotional response model. The team reported the results of two pooled investigations, where various homeopathic potencies of Gelsemium (4C, 5C, 7C, 9C, and 30C) were compared to placebo (solvent) and the reference drugs diazepam or buspirone.

Mice behaviour were assessed by the light-dark (LD) choice test and the open-field (OF) exploration test.

It was reported that a significant effects of Gelsemium in 5C, 7C, and 30C was there on the OF parameter “time spent in central area” and of Gelsemium in 5C, 9C, and 30C on the LD parameters “time spent in lit area” and “number of light-dark transitions,”without any sedative action or adverse effects on locomotion“.

The study concluded that analysis of the the pooled data confirmed the evidence that Gelsemium regulates emotional responses and behaviour of laboratory mice in a nonlinear fashion with dilution/dynamization.


In year 2010 P. Magnani et al published a paper Dose-effect study of Gelsemium sempervirens in high dilutions on anxiety-related responses in mice in Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Jul;210(4):533-45. doi: 10.1007/s00213-010-1855-2.

This experiment investigated the anxiolytic-like activity of homeopathic potencies of Gelsemium sempervirens in 4C, 5C, 7C, 9C and 30C potencies in comparison to drug buspirone (5 mg/kg) and solvent vehicle on open-field (OF) and light-dark (LD) tests in blind and randomized fashion.

Out of all potencies only the 5C affected the OF parameter which indicates that the medicine caused no sedation effects or unspecific changes in locomotor activity, in comparison to buspirone. “In the LD test, G. sempervirens increased the % time spent in the light compartment” which was significant using the 5C, 9C and 30C dilutions, and comparable to to those of buspirone.

The overall pattern of results provides evidence that G. sempervirens acts on the emotional reactivity of mice, and that its anxiolytic-like effects are apparent, with a non-linear relationship, even at high dilutions.


More related studies on above subject may be accessed on Pubmed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?LinkName=pubmed_pubmed&from_uid=24642002

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5 thoughts on “Action of homeopathic potencies of Gelsemium sempervirens on nervous system in experimental models

  1. Interesting work but the fact that the effect was less at higher dilutions seems to go against the principles of homeopathy.

    1. “Approve”

      Best Regards
      Dr. Saurav Arora
      BHMS (Delhi), Gold Medalist
      Homoeopathic Physician and Consultant
      Formerly at SHMC/INMAS

      *Founder: *IPRH

      *Editor-in-Chief: *Journal of Case Studies in Homeopathy

    2. I do not think so. In my opinion it fits, because this experiment proof the physiological action – just the “chemistry” level. The lower homeopatic potency operate mainly physically, but higher potencies are going more into the psycho-physical sphere. Potency of 30 CH or more, in animals no longer work, but lower potency yes – unlike humans. My conclusion – there is more than one mechanism of action of homeopathic remedy.

  2. Dear Saurav,
    Season’s greetings,
    Have you read my text ‘MY ORGANON OF
    NAÑO MEDICINE’? It was published in 2010 in Delhi by the hands of Health minister. The thing that are evaluating now has already been described in my textbook.
    Dr. S. HARIMANN

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