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A randomised controlled trial of fish oil given intravenously to patients in intensive care has found that it improves gas exchange, reduces inflammatory chemicals and results in a shorter length of hospital stay.

Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care investigated the effects of including fish oil in the normal nutrient solution for patients with sepsis, finding a significant series of benefits.

Philip Calder, from the University of Southampton, UK, worked with a team of researchers to carry out the study in 23 patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome or sepsis in the Hospital Padre Américo, Portugal. He said, "Recently there has been increased interest in the fat and oil component of vein-delivered nutrition, with the realization that it not only supplies energy and essential building blocks, but may also provide bioactive fatty acids.

Traditional solutions use soybean oil, which does not contain the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil that act to reduce inflammatory responses. In fact, soybean oil is rich in omega-6 acids that may actually promote inflammation in an excessive or unbalanced supply."

Calder and his colleagues found that the 13 patients in the fish oil group had lower levels of inflammatory agents in their blood, were able to achieve better lung function and left hospital earlier than the 10 patients who received traditional nutrition.

According to Calder, "This is the first study of this particular fish oil solution in septic patients in the ICU. The positive results are important since they indicate that the use of such an emulsion in this group of patients will improve clinical outcomes, in comparison with the standard mix."

Major homoeopathic medicines prepared from fishes are


Cod illustration. The original caption read:  Fig. 606.--Gadus morrhua, cod. (After Storer.) 
Date: 25 June 2007  Source: Hertwig, Richard (1909). A Manual of Zoology. New York: Henry Holt and Company. pp. p. 577. 




Lepidotes elevensis, Semionotidae; Posidonia shale, Oil shale, Lower Toarcian, Holzmaden, Germany; Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe, Germany. Oil shale is the starting product of the extraction of Ammonium bituminosulfonate (ichthyol), used in homeopathy as remedy: Ichthyolum (Ichth.)



A kind of red mullet. Tincture of the fish is used. Prover: Dr: Burnett noticed its effect on some sailors who ate the fish. A peculiar type of red rash seen all over body. It is clinically indicated in pityriasis rubra and also in syphilis. Complimentary medicine is aurum mur.

Natural order is Gadidae. Proved by Petroz.
Tincture is prepared from the trituration of first cervical vertebra of the fish.
They said to act powerfully on the respiratory tract. Mental symptoms like hopelessness and desire for death are prominent. There is flapping of alae nasi as in lyco. There is general affections on bones. There is heat of palms of hands. Frequent cough with chest pain. Frequent breathing with movement of chest wall. There will be sharp pain in chest< from movement, deep inspiration, coughing etc; Weak voice. Usually indicated in phthisis.

Commonly called as Cod liver oil. Oils obtained from the liver of Gadus morrhua and some other allied fishes Prover: Neidhard.
It is a nutrient and hepatic remedy. The common indications are:
There is soreness of throat, chest, abdomen, kidney etc;
Palpitation is seen as a concomitant symptom.
The discharges are usually yellow.
Dry hacking cough with soreness of chest. Indicated in phthisis.
Sense of fluttering commencing in the region of sacrum rising to occiput.
Creeping sensation with rush of blood to heart.
Evening fevers with burning in palms. Chills running down back. Cold feet.
Sensitiveness to cold and damp.
Locally applied in ring worm affections.
Emaciated. Dwarfish chilly babies with increased appetite, anemia and milk intolerance.
Abnormal growth of hair on the face of women.

It is commonly indicated in renal affections.
The sphere of actions are
• Kidney
• Heart
• Blood.

Usually indicated in renal complaints with oliguria, albuminuria, anaemia etc; acute nephritis with uremia. Also in hypertension with oliguria without oedema.

Ammoniacum ichthyol suophonate ( combination of sulphonated hydrocarbons) prepared from a mineral of Tyrol, which is rich in fossilized remains of fish.
This has been used in the old school therapeutics as an external application for skin affections and rheumatism. It is a powerful antiseptic.
Uric acid diathesis. There will be redness due to inflammation. Indicated in chronic rheumatism. Increased appetite and thirst with nausea. Dry teasing cough as in tuberculosis. Winter cough of old people.
On the skin there is itching eczema, crops of bois, psoriasis and acne.

Two types are commonly seen.
• Trachinus draco (sting ball) and
• Trachinus vipera (sting fish).

Trituration of the poisonous fin is used for the preparation.
Intolerable stinging and pain in wounds inflicted with the fins. Swelling of the part. Gangrenous blisters. Cold clammy sweat.
Also indicated in blood poisoning, asthma, neuralgias and ulcers.
It is associated with violent thirst in nearly all complaints.


1. Almost all fishes have marked action on skin. Erythrinus: reddish coloured skin.
Oleum jacoris aselli: ring worm infection.
Ichthyolum: violent itching of skin.
Trachius: painful skin complaint.
2. Fishes seem to act on respiratory mucuous membrane. Also indicated in tuberculosis and asthma.
3. Increased appetite and thirst.
4. Heat of palms of hands.
5. Action on kidneys.

1. The encyclopedia of pure materia medica
2. Clarke’s dictionary of practical materia medica
3. Manual of materia medica, therapeutics and pharmacology by William Blackwood.
4. Indian materia medica by Dr: K.M.Nadkarni.
5. Materia medica by William Boericke.
6. Text book of zoology by Prof: K.K.Bhaskaran

Excerpts from
Pisces (Fish Remedies) in Homeopathy
Dr: Sinsen Joseph BHMS,MD(Hom)
Medical Officer,Dept. of Homoeopathy, Govt. of Kerala
Approved Practitioner, Ministry of Health, UAE


Sea Remedy Themes | Organ affinities include the glands, particularly the thyroid and testes, the heart related to circulation, the lungs and respiration, the skin related to water retention and dryness, and the disease of cancer. 

Further discussion, resources and comments can be found on the HWC website.

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Comment by Dr. Nisanth Nambison MD on August 19, 2013 at 3:20am

nice update Debby, really helpful

Comment by Debby Bruck on August 18, 2013 at 10:23am

Further good news about fish oil for digestion.

NEWSWISE | Six Months of Fish Oil Reverses Liver Disease in Children with Intestinal Failure

Newswise — Children who suffer from intestinal failure, most often caused by a shortened or dysfunctional bowel, are unable to consume food orally. Instead, a nutritional cocktail of sugar, protein and fat made from soybean oil is injected through a small tube in their vein.

For these children, the intravenous nutrition serves as a bridge to bowel adaptation, a process by which the intestine recovers and improves its capacity to absorb nutrition. But the soybean oil, which provides essential fatty acids and calories, has been associated with a potentially lethal complication known as intestinal failure–associated liver disease, which may require a liver and/or intestinal transplant. Such a transplant can prevent death, but the five-year post-transplant survival rate is only 50–70 percent.

Previous studies have shown that replacing soybean oil with fish oil in intravenous nutrition can reverse intestinal failure–associated liver disease. However, the necessary duration of fish oil treatment had not been established in medical studies.

Now, a clinical trial conducted at the Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA has found that, compared with soybean oil, a limited duration (24 weeks) of fish oil is safe and effective in reversing liver disease in children with intestinal failure who require intravenous nutrition. The researchers believe that fish oil may also decrease the need for liver and/or intestinal transplants — and mortality — associated with this disease.

The researchers' study, "Six Months of Intravenous Fish Oil Reverses Pediatric Intestinal Failure Associated Liver Disease," is published online in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

"With this particular study, we set out to determine if a finite period of six months of intravenous fish oil could safely reverse liver damage in these children, and we have had some promising results," said lead author Dr. Kara Calkins, an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics in the division of neonatology and developmental biology at UCLA. "But because intravenous fish oil is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is much more costly than soybean oil, it is typically not covered by insurance. As a result, this oil is considered experimental and is currently available only under special protocols. If it proves safe and effective for patients, we hope it would eventually be available for wider use."

For the study, intravenous soybean oil was replaced with intravenous fish oil in 10 patients between the ages of 2 weeks and 18 years who had advanced intestinal failure–associated liver disease and who were at high risk for death and/or transplant. The researchers compared these subjects with 20 historical controls who had received soybean oil.

Results showed that the children receiving fish oil had a much higher rate of reversal of liver disease than those who received the standard soybean oil. In fact, after 17 weeks of fish oil, nearly 80 percent of patients experienced a reversal of their liver disease, while only 5 percent of the soybean patients saw a reversal.

The next phase of research will involve following children for up to five years after they stop fish oil to determine if their liver disease returns and if transplant rates are truly decreased, the study authors said.

"We are also trying to better understand how fish oil reverses this disease by investigating changes in proteins and genes in the blood and liver," Calkins said. "These studies will provide the scientific and medical community with a better understanding of this disease and how intravenous fish oil works."

For Isabella Piscione, who was one of the first patients at UCLA to receive the fish oil treatment under compassionate use, her outcome with the treatment paved the way for researchers to establish the six-month protocol. Because of multiple surgeries due to an obstruction in her intestines, Isabella was left with only 10 centimeters of intestine. She depended on intravenous nutrition for survival, which unfortunately resulted in liver damage.

When Isabella started the fish oil treatment, she was just over 6 months old and was listed for a liver and bowel transplant. Within a month of starting the treatment, her condition started to improve. By six months, her liver had healed, and she no longer needed a transplant.

"We cried tears of joy each week that we saw her getting better and better," said her father, Laureano Piscione. "She is a success story."

Study co-authors from UCLA included Dr. James Dunn; Dr. Stephen Shew; Laurie Reyen, R.N.; Dr. Douglas Farmer; Dr. Sherin Devaskar; and Dr. Robert Venick.

The study was funded by a grant from a National Institutes of Health (NIH/NCRR M01-RR00865). Calkins has received funding from NIH K12HD00140 and T32G075776. Calkins and Venick have received funding from the Today's and Tomorrow's Children Fund.

Intravenous fish oil was purchased with funds from the UCLA Department of Pediatric Surgery, the Women's Auxiliary Club at UCLA and Dr. James Yoo of the UCLA Department of Surgery.

For more information on Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, visit


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Comment by Dr Mukund Suvagia on January 29, 2010 at 7:06am
fascinating ,
such study always helps a lot ...
thanx Dr Nishanth..
Comment by Dr. Wequar Ali Khan on January 25, 2010 at 7:14pm
Wonderful article,informative and embellished with beautiful photographs.Looking forward to more such fare.Best wishes.
Comment by DR. ARINDAM DUTTA on January 24, 2010 at 7:35am

Dear Dr. Rafeeque - Pisces in Homeopathy

Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on January 23, 2010 at 5:24am
Pisces in Homoeopathy is a book or ebook?

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