Background: Toxicodendron pubescens P. Mill (Anacardiaceae) known in homeopathy as Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus tox) is used as an anti-inflammatory medicine in homeopathic practice. In this study, Rhus tox in its crude form and homeopathic dilutions (3cH, 6cH, 30cH, 200cH) was evaluated for effects on Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA) induced arthritis in rats.
Method: We assessed the severity of arthritis through observations including inflammatory lesions, body and organ weight and hematological parameters including C-reactive protein (CRP). Blinded radiological analysis of the affected joints and pain intensity determination was also carried out.
Results: Rhus tox protected rats from CFA-induced inflammatory lesions, body weight changes and hematological alterations. Rhus tox protected against radiological joint alterations due to arthritis. Arthritic pain scores were also favorably affected by Rhus tox. All the dilutions of Rhus tox including crude form showed anti-arthritic activity. The maximum protective effect was evident in the crude form at 10mg/kg/day, by mouth.
Conclusion: This study supports claims in the homeopathic literature on the role of Rhus tox and its ultra dilutions in the treatment of arthritis and associated pain. Further study is needed to explain this anti-arthritic effect of Rhus tox.
Copyright © 2011 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.