Immune Stimulation Research Results

Because of the fascination or neurosis about the increasing threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria (1,2), two downloadable publications appeared in 2010 (3,4). The first is a review on the antimicrobial and immune stimulatory effects of oral or inhaled eucalyptus oil, with the pictured description of a newly devised method for vapor inhalation. Interest in this subject was spurred by a report in 2004 that early cases of tuberculosis were cured by inhalation of the vapor.

While many products are offered for immune promotion, their claims need to be examined for validity with respect to parts of the immune system promoted, price comparison, and most of all whether data exists on the function in humans.

The second publication is a detailed case history demonstrating control of recurrent cutaneous MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Use of periodic intravenous dilute hydrochloric acid, a discovery of the 1930s (5,6,7), subdued and prevented infection for one year until the last susceptibility factor was located and the treatment was no longer necessary.

The writer’s research of the past year, conducted with Maiko Ochi, ND, recipient of the 2010-2011 Thorne Postdoctoral Fellowship, largely concentrated on immune enhancement and culminated in three human trials. While physicians of the 1930s furnished a minor amount of data (a few complete blood counts) indicating immune stimulation activity for intravenous dilute hydrochloric acid, there were empirical reports of antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, virus, and parasites. This year a small human trial on five volunteers substantiated the claims of the 1930s, showing stimulation of both the granulocytic and lymphocytic cell populations. This study has also been submitted for publication, but is mentioned here, as it could take up to one year to appear, if accepted. It is suggested that naturopathic physicians certified for intravenous therapy become familiar with this very valuable and simple to administer technique.

In considering a trial of the botanical Phytolacca, used for immune stimulation for some decades by naturopathic physicians, it was found that the only human data available was a few toxicity reports from emergency rooms. Further, except for two limited in vivo reports, there was only in vitro data. In short, practically the entire basis for the historical use of Phytolacca as an immune agent is in vitro and anecdotal. A review of the immune aspects of Phytolacca submitted to Alternative Medicine Review (8). A human trial was then conducted using 13 volunteers and employing both botanical tinctures and powder. The study demonstrated elevations of all immune cell populations, although results were variable. This variability is thought due to the previous in vivo report that Phytolacca stimulated migration from the peripheral circulation into tissue. The study also demonstrated the reported toxicity of Phytolacca at elevated doses. A manuscript of this study has also been submitted for publication. (8)

While many products are offered for immune promotion, their claims need to be examined for validity with respect to parts of the immune system promoted, price comparison, and most of all whether data exists on the function in humans. As example, in the research on Phytolacca, some in vitro results were found not to occur in humans for presently understandable reasons. Research is continuing on combinations of agents promoting different functions within immunity.


  1. The Enemy Within. Scientific American, April 2011. This explains the passage of antibiotic resistance between different Gram-negative bacteria
  2. The Anarchy of Antibiotic Resistance. Medical Laboratory Observer, May 2010 (
  3. Immune-Modifying and Anti-Microbial Effects of Eucalyptus Oil and Simple Inhalation Devices. Sadlon, AE and Lamson, DW. Altern Med Rev 2010;15(1):33-47. PMID: 20359267
  4. A Case of MRSA Controlled: Predisposing Factors and Immune Stimulation. Lamson, DW, Sadlon, AE, and Stanton, VK. Altern Med Rev 2010;15(2):147-151. PMID: 20806999
  5. Three Years of HCl Therapy, 1935. A compilation of articles from three years of The Medical World. Available on disk ($10.00) from The Torrance Company, 800 Lenox Avenue, Portage, Michigan 49002, 800-327-0722.
  6. Hydrochloric Acid and Mineral Therapy, Guy, WB, The Record Press, 1934.
  7. Facts and Phagocytes – The Story of the Development of Hydrochloric Acid Therapy, Ferguson, B, Medical Success Press, 1936.
  8. Presented in part at the National Convention of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Phoenix, AZ, August 2011.
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