MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Once upon a time, arsenic has been used widely for medicinal and other purposes. Now that we know how toxic it is, few people would voluntarily take it – except of course fans of homeopathy. In homeopathy, arsenic is an important and popular remedy.

Here is what HOMEOPATHY PLUS tell us about its therapeutic potential:

Arsenic is a toxic chemical element, historically used as a poison. It is safe to use with infants through to the elderly when prepared in homeopathic potencies. Those who need Arsenicum are prone to hypochondriasis and are intolerant of untidiness and disorder. They are anxious, critical, and restless, and dislike being alone but may be irritable with company. Restlessness may be followed by exhaustion which is out of proportion to their illness. They fear illness and disease, death, and being alone. Discharges tend to be acrid and burning. Burning pains paradoxically feel better for heat (except the headache which is better for cold applications). Thirst is for sips of warm drinks but cold drinks worsen. Symptoms worsen between midnight and 2 AM.

Colds and Hayfever

    • Red, puffy, burning eyes that feel better for hot compresses.
    • Watery, nasal discharge that burns and reddens the nostrils and lip.
    • Frequent sneezing with no relief.

Coughs

    • Worsened by cold air or cold drinks.
    • Rapid, difficult breathing, with wheezing (asthma).
    • Coughs or wheezing worse for lying down and better for sitting upright.
      Headaches
    • Burning, throbbing pain.
    • Worsened by heat and relieved by cold applications or cool air (though rest of body will be chilly and rugged up).

Skin Problems

    • Eczema with burning, itching, dry skin.

Digestive Problems

    • Thirst for frequent small sips of water.
    • Burning stomach pains eased by drinking milk.
    • Offensive, burning, scalding diarrhoea.
    • A key remedy for food poisoning or gastroenteritis.

Fever

    • Hot head and cold body.
    • Chilly and want to be rugged up.

Sleep

    • Restless and anxious – insomnia between midnight and 2 AM
    • Dreams of robbers

For Pets

    • Chilly, anxious pets.
    • Itchy, dry skin eruptions in chilly, anxious animals.

Where do I find it?

Arsenicum album (Ars.) is available from our online store as a single remedy and is also included in the following Complexes (combination remedies): Anxiety; Common Cold – Watery; Hay Fever; Insomnia; Mouth Ulcer; Panic Stop; Sinus Pain; Winter Defence.

Important

While above self-limiting or acute complaints are suitable for home treatment, see your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen or fail to improve. Chronic or persistent complaints, which may or may not be mentioned above, require a different treatment and dosage protocol so are best managed by a qualified homeopath for good results.

Dosage Instructions

For acute and self-limiting complaints, take one pill or five drops of the remedy every 30 minutes to 4 hours (30 minutes for intense symptoms, 4 hours for milder ones). Once an improvement is noticed, stop dosing and repeat the remedy only if symptoms return. If there is no improvement at all by three doses, choose a different remedy or seek professional guidance. Chronic symptoms or complaints require a course of professional treatment to manage the changes in potencies and remedies that will be required.

So, arsenic is safe to use with infants through to the elderly when prepared in homeopathic potencies!

True of false?

We recently discussed a case of homeopathic arsenic poisoning from India. Now a similar one has been reported from Switzerland. A Swiss doctor published a case report of chronic arsenic poisoning associated with the intake of a homeopathic remedy.

For about 4 years the patient had taken globules of a freely purchasable homeopathic remedy containing inorganic arsenic (iAs) diluted to D6 (average arsenic content per single globule: 0.85 ± 0.08 ng). She took the remedy because it was advertised for gastrointestinal confort. In the previous 7 months, she had taken 20 to 50 globules daily (average 30 ng arsenic daily).

She complained of nausea, stomach and abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and flatulence, headache, dizziness, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, snoring, leg cramps and fatigue, loss of appetite, increased thirst and sweating, reduced diuresis, weight gain, paleness and coolness of both hands with a furry feeling of the hands, eczema of the hands, arms and legs, conjunctivitis and irregular menstruation.

The physical and laboratory examinations showed a body mass index of 30 kg/m2, acne vulgaris, bilateral spotted leukonychia, eczema of hands, arms and legs, non-pitting oedema of the legs, elevated plasma alkaline phosphatase activity, folate deficiency and severe vitamin D3 insufficiency. The arsenic concentration in her blood was <0.013 µmol/l, and arsenic was undetectable in her scalp hair. The total iAs concentration was 116 nmol/l in the morning urine and 47 nmol/l in the afternoon urine.

The urinary arsenic concentration decreased and the patient’s complaints improved upon interruption of the arsenic globules, vitamin D3, thiamine and folic acid supplementation, and symptomatic therapy.

The author concluded that an avoidable toxicant such as inorganic arsenic, for which no scientific safe dose threshold exists, should be avoided and not be found in over-the-counter medications.

The author rightly states that causality of this association cannot be proven. However, he also stresses that a causal link between chronic iAs exposure and the patient’s nonspecific systemic symptoms is nevertheless suggested by circumstantial evidence pointing to the disappearance of CAsI signs and symptoms after therapy including interruption of the exposure. In his (and my) view, this renders causality most likely.

 

25 Responses to Chronic arsenic poisoning associated with homeopathy

  • @Ernst

    More tiresome dramatic fear mongering.

    From the actual report, it is important to note that the patient’s ASEs were not permanent. Her LFTs & features of neuropathy were reversed in six months. ASEs from big pharma meds could not have been reversed so quickly, if at all.

    http://www.japi.org/april_2019/c3.html#

    I’ll save your dutiful sentinel @medtek the time & effort by adding a link to my tweet:

    https://twitter.com/BrownBagPantry/status/1179752071857242113

  • I would be surprised if this product is now registered in Switzerland with Arsenic oxide at D6 concentration.
    The minimum safe dilution of Arsenic oxide according to the HMWPG is D7. See Heads of Agencies https://www.hma.eu/380.html

    Amazing what you can find on google.

  • The difference between a medicine and a poison is the dose. Its the unfortunate conundrum of medicine: should one provide the tools for people to take care of themselves or leave it in the hands of the experts. How many people are injured with aspirin every Hour? I am in favor of people taking responsibility for their own health. The numbers of people injured by homeopathy are miniscule compared to any other form of medicine. Perfect example of a homeopathic proving too, unfortunately it is with a material dose.

  • Ernie, Ernie, Ernie!

    You love to spin anti-homeopathy information whenever you can, and like America’s worst President ever, you never admit you’re wrong. Well, let’s test you here…

    West Bengal has a long history of high doses of arsenic in the drinking water:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1607551X11001124

    Doing a simple Google search for “Arsenic in drinking water in West Bengel”, Dr Google says, “It is suspected that about 6 million people in West Bengal (Fig. 1), India, are exposed to arsenic-contaminated groundwater.”

    The article you quote even admits that the amount of arsenic in the drinking water. They report “normal arsenic content (0.03 mg/l) of the drinking water of the locality.”

    According to the Massachusetts’ government, “The current drinking water standard, or Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 0.010 mg/L or parts per million (ppm).”
    https://www.mass.gov/service-details/arsenic-in-private-well-water-faqs

    The West Bengal water has 3 times the “Maximum Contanminant Level,” and it is quite possible that this woman’s water was at much higher levels of arsenic, as is common in that region of the world.

    For the record, these studies below show that homeopathic doses of arsenic are beneficial to mice who are exposed to high doses of arsenic:

    Kundu SN, Mitra K, Khuda-Bukhsh AR: Efficacy of a potentized homeopathic drug (arsenicum album-30) in reducing cytotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: III. Enzymatic changes and recovery of tissue damage in liver. Complement Ther Med 2000a; 8: 76–81. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10859599

    Kundu SN, Mitra K, Khuda-Bukhsh AR: Efficacy of a potentized homeopathic drug (arsenicum album-30) in reducing cytotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: IV. Pathological changes, protein profiles and content of DNA and RNA. Complement Ther Med 2000b; 8: 157–175. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11068345

    Just saying…

    • and I had always thought you treat humans, not mice, Dana.

      • Well, Ernie, it seems that you think that humans don’t have enzyme or DNA or RNA.

        I realize that it is asking a lot of you to think outside the most very straight and very very narrow…but give it try. Your brain might actually like it.

    • Dana

      We know you need help with reading so let’s go through this carefully shall we:

      “We recently discussed a case of homeopathic arsenic poisoning from India. Now a similar one has been reported from Switzerland. A Swiss doctor published a case report of chronic arsenic poisoning associated with the intake of a homeopathic remedy.”

      The important bit is ” Now a similar one has been reported from Switzerland”. In case you didn’t know, Switzerland isn’t part of India, Dana. And doesn’t have arsenic in its water supplies.

      And a completely unblinded animal study conducted by a homeopathy freak? please, Dana. You’re just inviting us to laugh at you, aren’t you?

      • I think the answer to your question is yes. that’s also why he insists to call me ‘Ernie’ – all the qualities of a 3rd class comic! not all that funny, but certainly not to be taken seriously either.

      • Lenny – you say Switzerland doesn’t have arsenic in it’s water supply. I thought arsenic occurred naturally in the environment and therefore through the food chain etc. In the same way I was told on this blog in a vaccine discussion that it’s ok for babies to be vaccinated with formaldehyde ingredient as it is in our bodies anyway. (I know formaldehyde can cause for example eye infections as it is in some eye make up – this information from a medical doctor).

        Making the point, because of double standards on this blog – that’s all. It doesn’t make any sense to say one is this abd the other is that. We all have metals etc within our bodies.

        Ars. Alb 30 has been a staple in my homeopathic cupboard for decades. Does much good and no harm. But then again it’s homeopathy (which is safe) as opposed to imbibing the poison.

        My opinion: doesn’t require or invite impolite comments.

        • how do you know that it ‘does much good’?

        • @Angela

          You can read about levels of arsenic in Swiss water supplies here.

          ” (I know formaldehyde can cause for example eye infections as it is in some eye make up – this information from a medical doctor)”. Medical doctors, of course, are not always right, as many comments on this blog are keen to point out. Formaldehyde is a chemical, not a germ — a virus, bacterium, fungus or parasite — so no-one could or should ever be diagnosed with ‘formaldehyde infection’.

          Ironically, formaldehyde is used as a preservative in things like eye make-up (and vaccines and tissue specimens) because it kills most known germs. Either your Medical Doctor is very ignorant of basic microbiology or you misheard what she told you.

          • Frank Odds – you give very little credit to the doctor: not only did he know it was formaldehyde related, he knew the brand that contained it. Difficult to mishear this impressive information.

            Maybe he had just attended a course and was up to speed.

          • @Angela

            Your response is a classic in overlooking the important point of what I wrote. “not only did he know it was formaldehyde related, he knew the brand that contained it.” That’s simply not the same as “I know formaldehyde can cause for example eye infections as it is in some eye make up”.

            I carefully explained that formaldehyde cannot be the cause of infections: it is simply not an infectious agent. If you want to say you meant that formaldehyde somehow predisposed to an eye infection, then you need (a) to tell us precisely the nature of the eye infection (the causative agent) (b) to supply evidence that shows beyond reasonable doubt that formaldehyde (and not the other, multiple ingredients of the eye make up) somehow created the conditions for the germ responsible to infect the eye and (c) explain the mechanism by which formaldehyde predisposed to an infection.

            From your two comments I infer that you spoke to a doctor who said something about formaldehyde “causing” an eye infection in a case he knew about. You immediately pluralize this case and state that “formaldehyde … can cause…eye infections. It’s alright Angela; we all tend to do this: pluralizing from a single event is as common as dirt.

            But in a few simple sentences you not only made a bald general statement about formaldehyde as a cause of eye infection(s) but you didn’t bother to ask (perhaps the doctor) any of the basic scientific questions your statement raises. You’re happy to think in very simple and credulous terms about matters that are far more complex than you are willing to credit. Stay blissful.

        • Angela

          I was waiting for this.

          If you could have been bothered to do a bit of checking, you’d have found that Switzerland DOES have arsenic in its water supplies. But you don’t check. You just arbitrarily pull notions out of your arse.

          Arsenic is found in the environment, but it is NOT equivalent to formaldehyde because the latter is a metabolic byproduct. Our bodies manufacture it. They do not manufacture arsenic. But, as ever, it is the dose which provides the poison. Given your extremely limited grasp of basic science it might be worth going away and doing a bit of reading before you contribute again here because at the moment you are only making yourself look foolish.

          • Lenny – ‘I was waiting for this’. Really? I don’t know what to say in response, except I hope you have a fun-filled weekend.

          • Frank Odds – gosh, your post makes me want to hide under the duvet.

            Formaldehyde has pressed a button and made you question me as if I am in a court of law. Pluralising from a single event : you don’t like that; I kind of agree with you put like that., but on the other hand, it is known that formaldehyde does cause skin problems, it is known to be in cosmetics and the research is there for all to see.

            You want me to disclose the exact process of the conversation: sorry a lot of water under the bridge since then. But I do think a 10 minute consultation probably would disallow a science lesson.

            No Frank I think the cogent point is, supporters of CAM should not enter this arena with personal experiences, unless they can back it up with the scientific language to go alongside. Frank we are not all scientists and medical professionals: how about another banner for the professor? (At that rate, this blog could become a cosy little chatty sceptics’ forum)

            In the meantime , don’t be patronising and second guessing : we are not all quite at the level you would like us to be.( whatever that is)

            You don’t like my comment, fair enough. But don’t assume I am without any knowledge of formaldehyde effects: and if I wasn’t , it’s all available on the internet.

            I am blissful thank you and wish the same to you,

      • Lenny,

        Please tell me by what mechanism does homeopathic doses of arsenic influence enzymes and DNA and RNA?

        You’ll get a Nobel for your well-founded answer.

        Oh, the silence will be loud.

        • you never told us Dana, that they asked you to come on the Nobel committee – what an honour!

        • Dana

          It doesn’t. At all. Those papers are a load of fanciful nonsense. Published almost twenty years ago. Plenty of time for the effects to have been duplicated, for all that we know about science to be turned on its head and for Nobel prizes to handed out.

          Hasn’t happened, has it?

          It’s a load of specious nonsense.

          We’ve pointed this out to you previously. This is the problem with stupid people like you, Dana. You can’t remember stuff and you never learn.

          We don’t need to make you look foolish, Dana. You do a very good job of it all by yourself.

  • Here is what HOMEOPATHY PLUS tell us about its therapeutic potential

    So it would seem that Mrs. Francis Sheffield is still in business, even after being fined well over AUS$ 100,000 for spreading lies and misinformation about vaccines.

    Homeopathy surely must be a lucrative SCAM if she can afford to cough up that kind of money and still keep spouting her dangerous nonsense.

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