Homoeopathic medicine Belladonna is effective in preventing Japanese Encephalitis (JE), a recent study conducted by the Kolkata-based School of Tropical Medicine has shown. Belladonna is derived from a plant A. belladonna which is also source of the drug atropine.

Conducted in collaboration with the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) under the Department of AYUSH, researchers claim to have found a probable role for Belladonna in preventing JE virus infection.

The in-vitro study is aimed at assessing the prophylactic action of Belladonna in homoeopathic potencies on Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) of chick embryo infected with the JE virus. The results of the study showed a significant decrease in the pocks (discrete foci of cell proliferation and necrosis) count when the JE virus infection on CAM was challenged with homoeopathic medicine Belladonna in different potencies.

The results of the study are published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Infectious Diseases. The outcome of the study was presented by Principal Investigator Bhaswati Bandopadhyay, Assistant Professor of Virology at the Clinical Virology Symposium, in April last year at Florida.

Japanese Encephalitis presents a significant risk to humans and animals, particularly in South East Asia (including India) where around 50,000 cases and 10,000 deaths occur per year, particularly affecting children below 10 years. The statistics reveal that about 50 per cent of the patients who develop JE suffer from permanent neurological defects and 30 per cent of them die due to the disease.

“The study is a befitting reply to the critics and sceptics of homoeopathy who have been denouncing the therapy,” Director-General of CCRH, C. Nayak, said.