Objective: To evaluate the activity of Traumeel S (TRS), a homeopathic formulation containing Arnica montana and other plant extracts and minerals on an animal model of traumatic inflammation.
Design: TRS and individual components thereof were administered locally to rats 1 h before hind-paw injection with 0.1 ml of homologous blood and the development of oedema was measured over five hours. In each experiment, a control group was treated with saline.
Main outcome measures: Paw volume of each rat was measured before oedema and 1, 3, and 5 h after oedema induction. Serum levels of IL-6 were determined at hour 5.
Results: The decrease of paw oedema, associated with the process of healing, was more rapid in rats treated with TRS (P < 0.05 after 3 h and P < 0.01 after 5 h). Similar effects were also induced by separate injection of most, but not all, TRS ingredients. The efficacy of complete mixture of TRS was higher than the combination of a selection of active components. TRS also reduced oedema development when administered after the oedema induction. The therapeutic effect of TRS was associated with a significant decrease of systemic interleukin-6 production.
Conclusion: TRS seems to act by speeding up the healing process instead of blocking the development of oedema from the beginning. Moreover, its effect cannot be considered as the 'sum' of its active components and probably a synergistic interaction occurs to determine the final effect.