Homeopathy 2013; 102(04): 231-232
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2013.08.001
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy 2013

Fish farming and immunomodulation

Peter Fisher

Subject Editor:
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Publication History

Publication Date:
20 December 2017 (online)

The application of homeopathy to animal husbandry is an area which has developed rapidly in recent years, largely driven by concerns about the use of potent pharmacological agents including hormones and antibiotics in the rearing of food or dairy animals and the consequences in terms of environmental pollution and antibiotic resistance. In the past few years Homeopathy has published papers on the diarrhoea in neonatal piglets[ 1 ] and udder inflammation in dairy cows,[ 2 ] but the area in which has seen the most reported work is aquaculture (fish farming). This issue of Homeopathy features with two papers from Brazil reporting controlled trials of homeopathic complexes in fish farming, with divergent results.

Lauro Vargas and colleagues from the Federal University of Maringá in southern Brazil report a third positive controlled trial of the homeopathic complex Homeopatila® in Nile tilapia.[ 3 ] While a group led by Janessa Sampaio de Abreu of the Federal University of Mato Grosso in western Brazil report a trial in which a different complex homeopathic medicine showed no benefit over control in Pacu fish.[ 4 ] The experiments involve different species of fish under different conditions and used different interventions. Homeopatila®, used by Vargas et al., contains homeopathic Iodum 12c, Sulphur 30c, Natrum muriaticum 200c and Streptococcinum 30c. Different dose levels were investigated and beneficial effects compared to control were found in terms of parasite infestation, weight gain and metabolic variables. De Abreu et al. used an entirely different complex containing Cocculus indicus 12c, Petroleum 12c, Tabacum 12c and Bixa orellana 12c, investigating its effects on the stress of transportation of juvenile fish, showing no benefit over control.

Both species are important in aquaculture in Brazil, but the results are not necessarily incompatible: they used different complexes, different species of fish and different experimental conditions. The Maringá group has previously reported positive results with the same complex in terms of survival and other parameters and compared to negative and positive (methyl testosterone) control.[ 5 ] Unfortunately neither group gives the rationale for the selection of the components of their complex. The results reported with Homeopatila® are of considerable potential significance for aquaculture, it is to be hoped that they will be repeated by other groups.