Effects of homeopathic arsenic on tobacco plant resistance to tobacco mosaic virus. Theoretical suggestions about system variability, based on a large experimental data set

Homeopathy. 2003 Oct;92(4):195-202. doi: 10.1016/j.homp.2003.08.014.


Context: This research aimed at verifying the efficacy of homeopathic treatments by plant-based bioassays, which may be suitable for basic research, because they lack placebo effects and provide large datasets for statistical analyses.

Objective: To evaluate the effects of homeopathic treatments of arsenic trioxide (As2O3) on tobacco plants subjected to tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) inoculation as biotic stress.

Design: Blind, randomized experiment using tobacco leaf disks.

Materials and methods: Tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum L. cultivar Samsun) carrying the TMV resistance gene N. TMV inoculated leaf disks were floated for 3 days in the following: Distilled water (control). H2O 5 and 45 decimal and centesimal potencies. As2O3 5 and 45 decimal and centesimal potencies. The main outcome measures is the number of hypersensitive lesions observed in a leaf disk.

Results: Homeopathic treatments of arsenic induce two effects on the plant: (i) increased resistance to TMV; (ii) decrease variability between experiments (system variability).

Conclusions: In this experimental model two actions of homeopathic treatment were detected: decrease in system variability and enhancement of the natural tendency of the system towards an 'equilibrium point'.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Arsenicals / pharmacology*
  • Biological Assay
  • Homeopathy / methods
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Nicotiana / virology*
  • Oxides / pharmacology*
  • Plant Diseases / virology*
  • Plant Leaves / immunology*
  • Plant Leaves / virology
  • Research Design
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Mosaic Virus / immunology*
  • Tobacco Mosaic Virus / metabolism


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Arsenicals
  • Oxides
  • Arsenic Trioxide