Homeopathy 2020; 109(01): A1-A28
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1702073
Oral Abstracts
The Faculty of Homeopathy

In-vitro Testing Homeopathic Drugs on Bronchial Cells

Marta Marzotto
1  Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Italy
Shahram Shahabi
2  Hyland’s, Standard Homeopathic Company, Los Angeles, California, United States
Paolo Bellavite
1  Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
05 February 2020 (online)


The aim of the research is to assess any protective in-vitro activity of homeopathic remedies, used in ailments characterized by cough symptoms, on bronchial epithelial cells (16HBE). We are studying the effects on healthy cells and cells intoxicated with cigarette smoke extract (CSE), where CSE intoxication should mimic the pathologic state of airway epithelium associated with cough.

The cells are seeded in 96-well microplates at a density of 2.5 × 104 cells/well in 2% FBS-EMEM medium. Liquid extract of cigarette smoke (CSE) is prepared by bubbling smoke into PBS solution, diluted at suitable concentration to obtain sub-maximal toxic effects. Normal and CSE-treated cells are treated for 24h or 48h with various doses of homeopathic drugs (Hyland’s, Los Angeles, USA) traditionally indicated for people with upper respiratory tract infections, such as Drosera rotundifolia, Pulsatilla pratensis, Nux vomica, Allium cepa, Natrum muriaticum and Kalium bichromicum and others, or solvent ethanol/water as control. Parameters of cell viability (WST and Crystal Violet) and cytokine production (IL8, IL6, TNF-α, IP-10 and others) are measured.

Preliminary findings from dose-response studies indicate that most tested drugs have no effects on cell viability, indicating that they are safe. Drosera low dilutions (2x–5x) exert a small but significant protective effect in CSE-challenged cells. Kalium b. 5x and Nux vomica at 3x dilution significantly decrease cell viability in both normal and CSE-treated cells, while the same dose increases the release of IL8 and IL6. Interestingly, the chemokine IP-10, (interferon-induced chemoattractant for monocytes/macrophages and T cells) decreases when the cells are treated with Kalium b. and also with Drosera 5x, suggesting that this chemokine may be a sensitive and specific new target in bronchial cells.

In conclusion, this model provides an interesting tool for the investigation of the therapeutic properties of common homeopathic drugs on normal and CSE-stressed bronchial epithelial cells.

Keywords: Bronchial cells, in vitro, Drosera, Kalium bichromicum