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Zincum Metallicum, a homeopathic drug, alleviates Zn-induced toxic effects and promotes plant growth and antioxidant capacity in Lepidium sativum L

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In this study, we investigated the effect of the homeopathic drug Zincum Metallicum (ZM) on zinc (Zn) toxicity in the plant species Lepidium sativum L. We focused on growth parameters, Zn uptake and numerous biochemical parameters. Seedlings were hydroponically subjected during 7 days to 0.05, 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 µM Zn2+, in the absence or presence of 15ch or 9ch ZM. In the absence of ZM, Zn induced negative effect on growth especially at the dose of 2 mM. Zn induced also chlorosis, reduced total chlorophyll and/or carotenoid content and increased the level of malondialdehyde (MDA). Under Zn toxicity (500, 1000 and 1500 µM), the superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), gaiacol peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities were increased or not significantly affected, while at 2000 µM Zn affected the activity of these enzymes. At the highest Zn level (2 mM), proline and total polyphenol and flavonoid contents were markedly increased in leaves and roots of L. sativum. Additionally, ZM supply considerably ameliorated the plant growth, photosynthetic pigment contents and increased non-enzymatic antioxidant molecules and enzymatic activities against Zn-induced oxidative stress. Our data suggest that homeopathic properties of ZM may be efficiently involved in the restriction of Zn-induced oxidative damages, by lowering Zn accumulation and translocation in the leaves and roots of Lepidium sativum L.

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All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).


H2O2 :

Hydrogen peroxide


Reactive oxygen species




Superoxide dismutase




Glutathione peroxidase


Glutathione reductase


Zincum Metallicum


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The work was conducted in the Laboratory of Plant Productivity and Environmental Constraints, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University Tunis El Manar, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia (LR18ES04).


This work was financed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, University of Tunis—El Manar.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by GB. Conceptualization was made by CCH.The first draft of the manuscript was written by GB, SBA and TG and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. Formal analysis was made by AC. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Tahar Ghnaya.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Responsible Editor: Gangrong Shi

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Boudali, G., Ghnaya, T., Ben-Abdallah, S. et al. Zincum Metallicum, a homeopathic drug, alleviates Zn-induced toxic effects and promotes plant growth and antioxidant capacity in Lepidium sativum L. Environ Sci Pollut Res 29, 33872–33884 (2022).

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