Could the Olfactory System Be a Target for Homeopathic Remedies as Nanomedicines?
AbstractAbstractHomeopathic remedies (HRs) contain odorant molecules such as flavonoids or terpenes and can lose their efficiency in presence of some competitive odors. Such similarities, along with extreme sensitivity of the olfactory system, widespread presence of olfactory receptors over all organic tissues (where they have metabolic roles besides perception of odors), and potential direct access to the brain through olfactory nerves (ONs) and trigeminal nerves, may suggest the olfactory system as target for HRs. Recent works highlighted that HRs exist in a dual form, that is, a still molecular form at low dilution and a nanoparticulate form at high dilution, and that remnants of source remedy persist in extremely high dilutions. From the literature, both odorants and nanoparticles (NPs) can enter the body through inhalation, digestive absorption, or through the skin, especially, NPs or viruses can directly reach the brain through axons of nerves. Assuming that HRs are recognized by olfactory receptors, their information could be transmitted to numerous tissues through receptor–ligand interaction, or to the brain by either activating the axon potential of ONs and trigeminal nerves or, in their nanoparticulate form, by translocating through axons of these nerves. Moreover, the nanoparticulate form may activate the immune system at multiple levels, induce systemic various biological responses through the pituitary axis and inflammation factors, or modulate gene expression at the cellular level. As immunity, inflammation, pituitary axis, and olfactory system are closely linked together, their permanent interaction triggered by olfactory receptors may thus ensure homeostasis.