Agro-homoeopathy: Environment cum Man
Postgraduate Trainee, Dept. of Homoeopathic Materia Medica, National Institute of Homoeopathy, Govt. of India
This article explores the use of Agro-Homoeopathy in the field of soil toxicity that poses a major threat to people residing in Bengal delta basin. Now-a-days, scientific researches in homoeopathy in epigenetics and plants under toxic stress seem to be innovative. The concept of applying homoeopathic medicines on plants under toxic stress, may induce epigenetic changes that may, in turn, improve defense mechanism in plants against toxic stress in a natural way as it is ultra highly diluted. Thus, Agro-Homoeopathy may play a vital role in organic agriculture which mainly is concerned with the developing ecosystem and food chain. Agro-Homoeopathy may prove to be the most cost effective method in developing countries like India where the economy depends solely on Agriculture.
Agro-Homoeopathy, Epigenetics, Ecosystem, Soil toxicity
Arsenic toxicity in environment:
Arsenic contamination is turning out to be a major problem these days with its area coverage and the number of people affected directly or indirectly . Even though the widespread arsenic (As) contamination of groundwater in West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh has remained mostly confined to the Bengal delta basin, bound by the rivers Bhagirathi and Padma, the spread (detection) of such groundwater arsenic contamination has been reported from several states of India, as well as certain other parts of the Indian subcontinent. The safe limit for arsenic in drinking water has been prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be 10 μg As. L and yet, arsenic contamination in the groundwater to the tune of 50 to 3700 μg As. L has been reported from the states of West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Tripura and Nagaland [2-4].
How it affects the ecosystem?
Ecosystem is a community made up of living and non living components which interacts through nutrient cycle and energy flows and includes interaction among environment and organisms. However, since groundwater is also used extensively (to the tune of 85–90%) for crop irrigation in the arsenic belt of West Bengal, the possibility of a build-up of arsenic concentration in agricultural soils and plants may accumulate As by root uptake from soil or by absorption of airborne As deposited on the leaves. At a higher concentration, arsenic is toxic which interferes with metabolic processes and inhibits plant growth and development through arsenic-induced phytotoxicity such as the toxicity symptoms may include inhibition of seed germination, decrease in plant height, depressed tailoring , reduction in root growth and some necrosis (unprogrammed cell/living tissue death; decrease in shoot growth, and lower fruit and grain yield and sometimes lead to death discolored and stunted roots, withered and yellow leaves, and reductions in chlorophyll and protein contents, and in photosynthetic capacity . In another finding Yadav et al., arsenic has great potential to block various metabolic processes in cell, and may interact with sulphydryl groups of the proteins, and also replace the phosphate group of ATP . If we consider the ecosystem and food chain from development of species everything seems to be interdependable for nutrition but in case of soil toxicity, toxins absorbed by plants cause major threat to mankind and environment.
What is epigenetics in environment?
Epigenetics is the study of heritable phenotype changes that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence. Such effects on cellular and physiological phenotypic traits may result from external or environmental factors, or be part of normal developmental program [8, 9] The mechanisms for the epigenetic gene regulation: DNA methylation, histone modification and RNA interference .theses interacting epigenetic mechanisms can regulate expression or silencing of genes, resulting in genetically controlled phenotypes . Epigenetic patterns may change throughout one’s lifespan, by an early life experience, environmental exposure or nutritional status. Epigenetic signatures influenced by the environment may determine our appearance, behavior, stress response, disease susceptibility, and even longevity .
Epigenetics in life of plants:
Recently discovered epigenetic systems play a key role for genomic gene function at a higher level hierarchy, ranging from transducing environmental signals to altering gene expression, genomic architecture and defense of plants, Epigenetic alleles can result from a genome response to stressful environmental conditions and may enable plant to tolerate stress while most of the stress induced modifications are reset to the basal level once the stress is relieved , some modifications are stable and mitotically or meiotically transmitted as stress memory permitting heritability of acquired characteristic epigenetic variations can be generated at a much higher rate than genetic ones especially under rapidly changing environmental conditions several new advantageous epimutations may be induced simultaneously in the same individual .
Epigenetics and Homoeopathy
In homoeopathy based on gene-regulatory hypothesis, ultrahigh diluted remedies carry specific “signals”/“information” that can be identified by specific receptors of the cells. These “signals” can act as a “trigger” for turning “on” or “off” some relevant genes, initiating a cascade of gene actions to alter and correct the gene expressions that went wrong to produce the disorder/disease. Another recent speculation brings about the hypothesis of an epigenetic action (that affects gene expression rather than gene structure) of UHDs via water-mediated electromagnetic information transfer of specific molecular signals. The ability of potentized homeopathic drugs to cause or modulate histone acetylation or deacetylation activities in some cancer cells has recently been observed. These results strongly vindicate the gene regulatory hypothesis that the potentized homeopathic drugs actually work through regulation of expression of relevant genes, particularly through epigenetic modifications .
Based on some conducted studies, UHDs of HC-30 and Condu-30 differentially altered methylation in specific regions of DNA and expression profiles of certain genes linked to carcinogenesis, as compared to Pl-30.HDs triggered epigenetic modifications and alterations in microarray gene expression profiles of many genes associated with carcinogenesis in HeLa cells in vitro . Next, results through RT-PCR also confirmed that mRNAs of uvrA, uvrB and uvrC genes were over expressed. Therefore, the results of the present investigation actually vindicated the hypothesis advocated by Khuda-bukhsh [12-15] that one major way by which the potentized homoeopathic drug would act is by the regulation of expression of the relevant genes. Khuda-buksh and his collaborators [16-17] also found many evidences of alteration in gene expression in a mammalian model (mus musculus) after administration of various form of homeopathic drugs and demonstrated change in many signal proteins in experimental cancer mice in vivo and also in human cancer cells in vitro. In our opinion, further investigations integrating the genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic approaches could shed light onto the molecular responses triggered by UHDs not only in plants but also in humans [11, 18].
Homoeopathic researches on arsenic toxicated ecosystem:
Based on different researches obtained in search engines regarding toxicity of arsenic, it was astonished that lots of human, animal and plant models were studied which had proved the effectiveness of potentized arsenic in case of arsenic toxicity.
In human models, researches conducted in arsenic toxicated geographical zones are as follows: Arsenic contents in urine and blood and several widely accepted toxicity biomarkers and pathological parameters in blood were analyzed in certain period reported better appetite and improvement in general health, thereby indicating possibility of its use in remote arsenic-contaminated areas as an interim health support measure to a large population at risk , highly encouraging and suggest that the drug can alleviate As poisoning in humans , Arsenicum album LM 0/3 shows potential for use in high-risk arsenic villages as an interim treatment for amelioration of arsenic toxicity , and also have great potential for ameliorating arsenic induced elevated ANA titer and other hematological toxicities .
In animal models, arsenic induced toxicity Mice showed reduced toxicity at statistically significant levels in respect of all the parameters studied, thereby indicating protective potentials of the homeopathic drug against chronic arsenic poisoning , Ars. Alb-30 in reducing arsenic-induced damage to protein and nucleic acids is substantiated and the mechanism of action of the homeopathic drug through expression of regulatory genes inferred  and also capable of preventing or repairing liver damage induced by arsenic trioxide and the positive changes were also confirmed by the activities of the enzymatic markers [25, 26] Ars alb 30C showed marginally better efficacy than Ars alb 6C. Thus, both the remedies indicated potentials of use against arsenic intoxication .
In plant models, A plausible hypothesis is that As2O3 45x treatment induced a re-equilibration of those genes that were up-regulated in the poisoned group by bringing their gene expression levels closer to the basal levels usually occurring in the control plants, biological measurements of plant shoots and roots [27, 28] seemed to confirm a vigorous growth of As 45 extracted seedlings as compared to water-treated seedlings. In this study, the analysis of the transcriptome profile of wheat coleoptiles grown from arsenic poisoned seeds suggested the involvement of a complex network of regulatory pathways in As-response. Along with genes harboring general metabolic functions, the changes in expression profiles of many known genes involved in or affected by general abiotic stresses were observed. The effect of ultrahigh diluted As2O3 was particularly striking on the poisoned system: a reduction of gene expression levels to values comparable to those of the control (water-treated) was observed for several functional classes of genes. It was the case of probe sets involved in cytochrome P450, histones, stress-related protein synthesis, and other important functional classes implicated in cell response to environmental stimuli. This suggested complex and concerted actions of the cell involving most metabolic functions from genome .
The main concern of this article deals with dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic through rice, the staple food in rural Bengal, has been noted to pose as great a threat to human health as the threat from contaminated drinking water [1, 2]. Thus, along with eco friendly recommended bio-remediation, defense mechanisms of plants such as Antioxidant defense system, Cellular homeostasis, Role of genes in metal uptake and their transportation can be improvised by homoeopathic ultra high diluted medicines (potentized arsenic) which had proved its efficacy through epigenetical changes (treat vitality not the disease). So that we can assure a healthy ecosystem for the generation coming forth in a best natural way based on similia similibus curentur. UHD treatment of plants seems to be most cost effective in developing country like India whose economical support deals mainly with agriculture. Also, by using UHDs we can reduce the application of synthetic materials in soils and can promote soil fertility by promoting the life in soil such as microbial growth required for nitrogen fixation etc. The concept of naturalness can be used to characterize organic agriculture and to distinguish it from conventional agriculture, provided naturalness not only refers to the non-use of synthesized chemicals, but also to the ecological and systemic principles, and to a respect for the integrity of living organisms . Thus Agrohomoeopathy might be the best way to promote organic agriculture which is mainly based on the ecosystem developing. Hence, environment becomes healthy in natural way thus the Humans.
Conflict of interest statement: None
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Cite this article as: Avaranjika K. Agro-homoeopathy: Environment cum man. National Homoeo Recorder 2018;14(4):3-8.