Nineteenth-Century Homeopathic Materia Medica Texts Predict Source Materials Whose Physiological Actions Influence Thyroid ActivityFunding This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
11. Oktober 2018
10. Dezember 2018
14. März 2019 (online)
Introduction The homeopathic materia medica contains hundreds of thousands of observations collected over the course of two centuries. It includes both clinical observations of potentized medicines and observations of the actions of potentized medicines on healthy subjects (provings). This current study was undertaken to determine the degree to which observations within the materia medica were associated with the physiological mechanisms for thyroid activity-inhibiting substances in their undiluted state.
Materials and Methods Four specific symptoms for iodine deficiency were selected to describe the hypothyroid state: (1) generalized aggravation by or sensitivity to cold; (2) chronic painless hoarseness; (3) goiter; (4) painless diffuse non-scarring alopecia. Symptom representation for the four selected symptoms within the homeopathic materia medica was compared for 2 halogen inhibitors, for 3 substances that influence thyroid hormone target tissues, for 6 substances known or suspected to increase thyroid-stimulating hormone or decrease thyroid hormone levels, and for 11 substances not known to inhibit thyroid activity. To avoid knowledge bias, only those compilations of materia medica whose publication dates preceded the discoveries of crucial aspects of thyroid physiology were used as source materials for investigation.
Results Homeopathic medicines derived from 11 substances with mechanisms for inhibition of thyroid activity were more likely to exhibit selected symptoms than the medicines derived from the 11 substances without known physiological mechanisms for thyroid activity inhibition. The difference between groups was analyzed via the Mann–Whitney non-parametric U test and was statistically significant to p < 0.01. After observations obtained from provings alone were removed from analysis, the difference remained significant to p < 0.01. Only the two halogen inhibitors of iodine (bromine and fluoric acid) and one of the influencers of thyroid hormone target tissue (calcium carbonate) were significantly goitrogenic.
Conclusions With respect to thyroid activity inhibition, there is a statistically significant association between observations recorded within the homeopathic materia medica and the expected physiological mechanisms for the corresponding undiluted substances.
Keywordshomeopathy - materia medica - hypothyroidism - physiological mechanism - nineteenth century
• The link between iodine and thyroid physiology was confirmed in 1896.
• Homeopathic texts from before 1896 correctly identify now-known inhibitors of thyroid activity.
• Minerals that interfere with thyroid activity have been categorized by mechanism of interference.
• Provings of homeopathic medicines, or clinical observations of their actions in patients, are capable of distinguishing between inhibitors and non-effectors of thyroid activity.
• Homeopathic materia media data may be able to assist in predicting an unknown physiological mechanism.
- 1 Pearce JM. Myxoedema and Sir William Withey Gull (1816-1890). J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2006; 77: 639
- 2 Zimmermann MB. Research on iodine deficiency and goiter in the 19th and early 20th centuries. J Nutr 2008; 138: 2060-2063
- 3 Lindholm J, Laurberg P. Hypothyroidism and thyroid substitution: historical aspects. J Thyroid Res 2011; 2011: 809341
- 4 Klein I, Ojamaa K. Thyroid hormone and the cardiovascular system. N Engl J Med 2001; 344: 501-509
- 5 Dillmann WH. Cellular action of thyroid hormone on the heart. Thyroid 2002; 12: 447-452
- 6 Gick GG, Melikian J, Ismail-Beigi F. Thyroidal enhancement of rat myocardial Na,K-ATPase: preferential expression of alpha 2 activity and mRNA abundance. J Membr Biol 1990; 115: 273-282
- 7 Ojamaa K, Sabet A, Kenessey A, Shenoy R, Klein I. Regulation of rat cardiac Kv1.5 gene expression by thyroid hormone is rapid and chamber specific. Endocrinology 1999; 140: 3170-3176
- 8 Sarne D. Effects of the Environment, Chemicals and Drugs on Thyroid Function. South Dartmouth, MA: MDText.com, Inc.; 2016: 18
- 9 Verhoeven FA, Moerings EP, Lamers JM, Hennemann G, Visser TJ, Everts ME. Inhibitory effects of calcium channel blockers on thyroid hormone uptake in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2001; 281: H1985-H1991
- 10 Orihuela D. Aluminium effects on thyroid gland function: iodide uptake, hormone biosynthesis and secretion. J Inorg Biochem 2011; 105: 1464-1468
- 11 Alessio L, Apostoli P, Ferioli A. , et al. Behaviour of biological indicators of internal dose and some neuro-endocrine tests in aluminium workers. Med Lav 1989; 80: 290-300
- 12 Bahadoran Z, Mirmiran P, Ghasemi A, Kabir A, Azizi F, Hadaegh F. Is dietary nitrate/nitrite exposure a risk factor for development of thyroid abnormality? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Nitric Oxide 2015; 47: 65-76
- 13 Hering C. The Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica, 1879. Available at: www.homeoint.org/hering/ . Accessed November 2018
- 14 Lippe A. Textbook of Materia Medica,1866. Available at: www.homeoint.org/books1/lippemm/index.htm . Accessed November 2018
- 15 Allen TF. . Handbook of Materia Medica and Homoeopathic Therapeutics, 1889 Available at: www.homeoint.org/books1/allenhandbook/ . Accessed November 2018
- 16 Lowry R. Concepts and Applications of Inferential Statistics,1998–2018. Available at: Vassarstats.net/textbook.index.html. Accessed November 2018
- 17 Pavelka S. Metabolism of bromide and its interference with the metabolism of iodine. Physiol Res 2004; 53: S81-S90
- 18 Kotyzová D, Eybl V, Mihaljevic M, Glattre E. Effect of long-term administration of arsenic (III) and bromine with and without selenium and iodine supplementation on the element level in the thyroid of rat. Biomed Pap Med Fac Univ Palacky Olomouc Czech Repub 2005; 149: 329-333
- 19 Patnaik P. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2003: 164-165
- 20 Water Fluoridation Additives - Engineering Fact Sheet. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control; 2011. Available at: https://americanfluoridationsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/f-Water-Fluoridation-Additives-Engineering-Fact-Sheet-CDC-2011.pdf . Accessed November 2018
- 21 Alkazaz FF, Alemami SA, Al Taai M. Influence of sodium and potassium levels by thyroid hormones disorder in sera of female patients with cardiovascular diseases. J Al-Nahrain University 2012; 15: 29-34
- 22 Nakamura N, Suzuki Y, Sakuta H, Ookata K, Kawahara K, Hirose S. Inwardly rectifying K+ channel Kir7.1 is highly expressed in thyroid follicular cells, intestinal epithelial cells and choroid plexus epithelial cells: implication for a functional coupling with Na+,K+-ATPase. Biochem J 1999; 342: 329-336
- 23 Felker P, Bunch R, Leung AM. Concentrations of thiocyanate and goitrin in human plasma, their precursor concentrations in brassica vegetables, and associated potential risk for hypothyroidism. Nutr Rev 2016; 74: 248-258
- 24 Yorita Christensen KL. Metals in blood and urine, and thyroid function among adults in the United States 2007-2008. Int J Hyg Environ Health 2013; 216: 624-632
- 25 Molin M, Ulven SM, Dahl L. , et al. Arsenic in seafood is associated with increased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in healthy volunteers - a randomized controlled trial. J Trace Elem Med Biol 2017; 44: 1-7
- 26 Chandra AK, Goswami H, Sengupta P. Effects of magnesium on cytomorphology and enzyme activities in thyroid of rats. Indian J Exp Biol 2014; 52: 787-792
- 27 Wang K, Wei H, Zhang W. , et al. Severely low serum magnesium is associated with increased risks of positive anti-thyroglobulin antibody and hypothyroidism: a cross-sectional study. Sci Rep 2018; 8: 9904