Successful Experiment Shows Homeopathic Arnica Stimulates Wound Healing Genes

arnicaA new complex scientific experiment tested Arnica montana to see if it would change genes that are related to wound healing. As the authors said: “This work tested Arnica m. effects on gene expression using an in vitro model of macrophages polarized towards a “wound-healing” phenotype” The experiment showed that even highly diluted and potentized Arnica had a noticable effect!

Arnica montana prepared homoeopathically has been used for over 200 years by homeopaths and consumers to heal injuries especially bruises.

Here are some excerpts from the successful experiment:

Given the central role of macrophages in tissue repair and regeneration, we formulated the hypothesis that one of the cellular targets of Arnica m. action is the macrophage, and accordingly decided to evaluate this plant’s effects in vitro on the THP-1 human cell line, a widely used model for immune modulation [15,16]. This cell line is widely used in laboratories for the study of macrophage biochemistry and molecular biology. The advantage of a cell line resides essentially in the easier reproducibility of experiments in the same conditions, avoiding the variations due to individual sensitivity of different donors. Since we used very low doses of drugs—even with the highest Arnica m. 2c dilution, in assay medium the sesquiterpene lactones are in the 10−8 Mol/L dose—we expected small effect sizes and so preferred to use a highly reproducible model. THP-1 cells resemble primary monocytes, but when treated with low doses of phorbol esters (PMA) they differentiate to cells with the morphological and functional features of tissue macrophages. On the basis of environmental cues and molecular mediators, macrophages differentiate to either a pro-inflammatory type (M1) or to an anti-inflammatory or pro-reparatory type (M2) [1720]. Accordingly, we used THP-1 macrophages polarized by interleukin-4 (IL-4) treatment to a phenotype that takes on characteristic properties functional to immune regulation, wound healing, and tissue remodelling [16,21].

The results of this work indicate that Arnica m. acts on macrophages by modulating a number of genes and by increasing cell motility. RNA-seq analysis allowed the identification of several genes which are particularly sensitive to ultra-low doses and high dilutions of this plant extract. Molecular analysis of gene expression suggests that a primary action of this medicinal plant is the stimulation of tissue matrix synthesis. These findings provide new insights into wound-associated molecular events and specifically point to macrophage fibronectin production as a potential therapeutic target of Arnica m. for the treatment of wound repair.

See the full research article in the highly regarded PLOS ONE: Arnica montana Stimulates Extracellular Matrix Gene Expression in a Macrophage Cell Line Differentiated to Wound-Healing Phenotype