BACKGROUND: Homeopathy is a popular form of complementary and alternative medicine. Guaiacum extract is said to be useful for pain and inflammation, but there appears to be no scientific evidence to support this.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the anti-rheumatic and anti-oxidant activity of homeopathic preparations of Guaiacum officinale (Gua) on experimental animal model.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was induced in male albino rats by Freund’s complete adjuvant (FCA) at a dose of (0.25 mg heat killed Mycobacterium tuberculosis/ml of emulsion). Gua mother tincture (MT) (prepared from the latex part of the plant) (MT), Gua 30cc and 200cc were purchased commercially from King Company, Kolkata, India. Male albino Wistar rats (130 ± 10 g) were divided into 6 groups: Sham control; Arthritis control; Standard treatment indomethacin (0.25 mg 100 g(-1) p.o. × 5 alternative days), Gua MT (1 ml kg(-1) p.o. × 5 days) treated; Gua (30c 1 ml kg(-1) p.o. × 5 days) treated; Gua (200c; 1 ml kg(-1) p.o. × 5 days) treated. Anti-rheumatic activity was examined through physical, urinary, serum parameters. All the results were expressed in terms of mean ± SEM (statistical error of mean n = 6) at each dose level. The level of significance was determined through one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), p < 0.05 was considered significant.
It was observed that body weight, ankle and knee diameter, urinary parameters (hydroxyproline (OH-P), glucosamine, calcium (Ca(2)(+)), creatinine (CRE), phosphate (PO4(3)(-))), serum ACP (acid phosphatase)/ALP (alkaline phosphatase)/Ca(2+)/CRE/PO4(3-)/gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)/Lipid peroxidation (LPO)/Glutathione (GSH)/Superoxide dismutase (SOD)/Catalase, serum GGT, serum interleukins like IL-1β/CINC-1/PGE2/TNF-α/IL-6, IL-12/IL-4/IL-6 levels were significantly affected. After treatment with Guaiacum in all 3 regimes was associated with normalization of these parameters compared to control group.
These findings suggest that homeopathic G. officinale possesses anti-rheumatic and anti-oxidant activity in experimental animal and these activities may be more significant in higher potencies.