Many homeopaths recently suggest VANADIUM 30 as a remedy for oxygen deficiency in blood during the current pandemic. This suggestion is based on the statements in some homeopathic materia Medica works regarding the “oxygen carrier” capacity of vanadium.

First of all, let us see what is said in Boericke Materia Medica about Vanadium:

“Its action is that of an oxygen carrier and a catalyzer, hence its use in wasting diseases. 

Increases amount of hemoglobin, also combines its oxygen with toxines and destroys their virulence. Also increases and stimulates phagocytes. A remedy in degenerative conditions of the liver and arteries.

Anorexia and symptoms of gastro intestinal irritation; albumen, casts and blood in urine. Tremors; vertigo; hysteria and melancholia; neuro-retinitis and blindness. Anaemia, emaciation. Cough dry, irritating and paroxysmal, sometimes with haemorrhages. Irritation of nose, eyes and throat. Tuberculosis, chronic rheumatism, diabetes.
Acts as a tonic to digestive function and in early tuberculosis. Arterio-sclerosis, sensation as if heart was compressed, as if blood had no room in the aorta. Anxious pressure on whole chest. Fatty heart. Degenerative states, has brain softening.  Atheroma of arteries of brain and liver.

Dose:  6-12 potency. The best form is Vanadiate of Soda, 2 mg daily, by mouth.”

Clarke’s Dictionary of Materia Medica says about Vanadium as follows : 

“Addison’s disease. Atheroma. Fatty degeneration.

Innutrition.Burnett  tells how he came to use Vanadium through reading the result of some experiments on animals in which the Salts of Vanadium produced “true cell destruction, the pigment escaping, the liver being hit hardest.”  Burnett had at the time a case of “fatty liver, atheroma of the arteries, much pain corresponding to the course of the basilar artery, large, deeply pigmented patches on forehead, profound adynamia.” Vanadium restored the patient, who was seventy, and at eighty he was “hale and hearty.” Marc Jousset tells of experiments with salts of Vanadium, chiefly the meta-vanadate of sodium, by Lyonnet and others.  Animals poisoned by intravenous injections rapidly develop Cheyne-Stokes respiration; with little or no action on circulation or blood. These observers gave Vanadates to two hundred patients suffering from tuberculosis, chlorosis, chronic rheumatism, neurasthenia etc, and produced in nearly all cases increased appetite, strength, and weight. The amount of urea was also increased. They regard Vanadium as “an energetic excitant of nutrition,” and probably an oxydent stimulating organic combustion. The dose was 2-5 mgr. in twenty-four hours, and only on three separate days in the week.”

Obviously, Boericke and Clarke were saying about the use of “2-5 mg of Sodium Vanadate daily”. Not Vanadium 30! It makes a big difference.

Sodium vanadate is the inorganic compound  with the chemical formula  Na3VO4·2H2O (sodium orthovanadate dihydrate). It is a colorless, water-soluble solid.

Vanadates exhibit a variety of biological activities, in part because they serve as structural mimics of PHOSPHATES. By this mimicking, it acts as a COMPETITIVE INHIBITOR of ATPases, alkaline and acid phosphatases, and protein-phosphotyrosine phosphatases. 

All the disease conditions described by Boericke and Clarke are actually due to this inhibitory actions of vanadites upon the various enzymes listed above, which lead to blocking of all biological pathways associated with PHOSPHATES. 

Please understand, Vanadium potentized above 12c used in homeopathy will not contain even a single molecule or atom of Vanadium. It contains only MOLECULAR IMPRINTS of vanadium, and hence, will act just opposite to the actions of Molecular or crude forms of Vanadium.  These Molecular imprints actually act by removing the molecular inhibitions caused in the various enzymes by Vanadium or any other pathogenic molecules having functional groups similar to vanadites or phosphates. Obviously, Vanadium 30 will not supply oxygen to the tissues as some homeopaths wrongly believe, but may be useful in deactivating harmful reactive oxygen species or ROS generated in the body during the disease processes. 

Even though Boericke and Clarke talks about use of “Vanadium Vanadate 2-5 mg daily” for therapeutic purposes, as per advanced scientific knowledge, vanadium is not a safe substance for human consumption.

Vanadium excess can be toxic and detrimental to human health like any other metal. For instance, occupational inhalation exposure to vanadium was found to induce acute respiratory symptoms, DNA damage in blood cells of workers from a vanadium pentoxide factory, and altered neurobehavioral functions. In turn, environmental overexposures to vanadium oxides attached to fine particulate matter were associated with increased risk of respiratory symptoms in children, and a higher risk of cardiovascular and respiratory hospitalizations of older people. ilRecently, urinary vanadium concentrations during pregnancy were positively associated with impaired fetal growth and preterm or early-term delivery.

Association between the high level of trace elements including vanadium in the drinking water and the increased thyroid cancer incidence was suggested. A suicidal death after ingestion of an undetermined amount of ammonium vanadate has also been reported. In addition, laboratory-based studies conducted in animal models or cell cultures found that vanadium exposure can induce a variety of toxic effects such as cardiovascular effects, vascular endothelial dysfunction and arterial hypertension, immune toxicity, damage to the spleen and thymus, neurotoxicity, hippocampal alterations and memory loss, developmental disturbances, increased embryolethality and skeletal defects, and pulmonary toxicity. It should be added that, besides the dose of vanadium and the route of vanadium exposure, many other factors such as the form of vanadium (inorganic versus organic forms) and interactions with other elements such as selenium or magnesium can also influence vanadium toxicity.

Along with the studies of the toxic effects of vanadium, many investigators have been focused on the examination of potential medical applications of this mineral. These include antidiabetic or insulin-mimetic actions, antiviral effects, and anticarcinogenic activity. Among these effects, the antidiabetic action of vanadium complexes with organic ligands has been very intensively studied, which entered into stage II clinical trials. However, due to kidney problems in some patients, this study as an antidiabetic agent could not progress to the next phase of research. Indeed, the risks associated with vanadium intoxication such as vanadium-induced reactive oxygen species generation, adverse effects on the immune system, and a risk of mutagenesis are listed among the arguments against the antidiabetic application of vanadium. Reviews of the results of past and recent human studies on vanadium in diabetes have concluded that the use of vanadium compounds in oral diabetes therapy is misplaced.

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