Navigation Services Home Learning Articles Products News Breeders Contact Navigation Services

Homeopathy: Some Basics

As more and more people start to look at natural alternatives for healthcare, it is sometimes difficult to accept some things on ‘faith’ alone. This is particularly true when trying to share your experience with a friend who may want to believe you, but looks at you as though they think you're starting to go off your trolley. This is especially true when you try to answer their question "Homeopathy--what’s that". I hope the following will help you.

I can well understand the reluctance of many people to use homeopathy in their health care program. The notion of the ‘infinitesimal dose’ has remained as the fundamental obstacle in the acceptance of homeopathy by the orthodox scientific community. There is a point in diluted substances where it can be shown mathematically, that in all probability not a single original molecule is left. Many remedies exceed this point by a large margin.

Because the mechanism by which it works cannot be explained by present ‘accepted’ doctrine, many breeders and vets find this ‘mystery’ so disturbing that it is impossible to even consider the evidence of homeopathy’s efficacy.

To others the ‘mystery’ is a challenge and a welcome reminder of the present limits of our understanding.

There is some new and very exciting breakthroughs in very recent research that may go a long way in helping us understand not only homeopathy, but how the physical body functions and the role of enzymes, as well as the role of Neuropeptides in emotional matters related to our physical well being.

But for now let’s take a look at some fundamentals of homeopathy and try to explain how they came about. If we are ever to make progress between joining contemporary medical research and clinical homeopathy, a basic step is to develop an understanding of the language used and how the principles were evolved.

The term ‘homeopathy’ comes from the Greek ‘homoios (similar) and ‘pathos’ (suffering or sickness). The fundamental principle on which homeopathy is based is the law of similars: "likes are cured by likes."

Fine! But what does that mean?

Simply put, a remedy can cure a disease if it produces in a healthy person, symptoms similar to those of the disease.

Although the law of similars had already been recognized as a healing principle in ancient India, by the Greek Hippocrates, and by the German physician and mystic Paracelsus,--it was Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, who in 1790 tested this principle and subsequently established it as the basis of a system of medicine.

His method of testing the medicinal properties of a substance is called a "proving."

And what’s that? Here, a medicinal substance is ingested and its effects carefully noted in terms of mental, emotional and physical symptoms. Hahnemann introduced this technique, carrying out the first ‘provings’ on himself, and later on family and friends.

(Sounds like he laid the foundation for present day ‘double blind’ studies, doesn’t it. Give each group of healthy people a dose of an unknown substance--whether active medicine or placebo--with instructions to record carefully all symptoms experienced).

Symptoms that provers consistently experience are compiled into a book (in today’s world--a data base) called a ‘materia medica’--simply a listing of what material was used as a medicine, to produce the symptoms. This was then used to match the symptoms of a sick patient with those of a particular remedy.

As time and provings went on, these repertories (lists), describing in the provers’ own words, the patterns of their collective experience grew to an extensive body of work becoming more and more useful to the health care providers. Some medicines have been so extensively "proven" that hundreds of pages of symptomatic characteristics are written about each of them in the larger homeopathic texts.

Hahnemann observed that when he administered medicines in the usual pharmacological dosages, patients often developed many transient symptoms of the medicine that they had not experienced before. After several years of clinical practice, he began to dilute the medicines in the hope that the adverse reactions would occur less often.

He developed a technique called "potentization" in which a remedy is repeatedly diluted and "succussed" (shaken vigorously after each dilution) to produce what is termed the "infinitesimal dose"-- the smallest dose that will produce a healing response.

Because this dose often exceeds "Avogadro’s number" (mathematic probability that no original substance is left), critics of homeopathy get hung up thinking that "succession" is the whole entity of homeopathic therapy. They get so mesmerized by the issue of dilution that they completely overlook the principle of the law of similars !!

Contrary to our general belief that "more is stronger" (as in modern day isolated drug usage), Hahnemann discovered that the process of repeated dilution and "succussing" made the medicine’s effect stronger and more lasting. Thus we again have a factor that the orthodox community thinks is ridiculous--the less’ we have of the original substance, the ‘stronger’ is the remedy.

One theory of the "mechanism" by which homeopathic remedies work is, that through succussing, the substance imparts its imprint onto the molecular structure of the dilutent. This electrochemical pattern then spreads like liquid crystal through the body’s own water.

Another theory is that the dilution triggers an electromagnetic imprinting that directly affects the electromagnetic field of the body.

Only recently has laboratory proof given us the fact that a measurable energy force of some kind does exist in a homeopathic remedy that does not exist in the same untreated liquid media.

A common symbology for telling us how often the dilution/succussing was done is to use a number followed by a letter to indicate the "strength" of the remedy. For example 1x indicates that one drop of medication has been added to nine drops of alcohol and subjected to energetic shaking. The remedy is now at 1/10 of its original concentration.

If you add one drop of this 1x mixture to nine drops of alcohol, the new solution would be labeled 2x, and be 1/100 of its original strength.

If you add one drop of the 2x mixture to nine drops of alcohol, the remedy is now labeled as 3x, and will be 1/1,000 of its original strength.

I’ll leave it to you and your handy dandy little calculator to figure out how many zeros are used in a 30x remedy.

So we can see that "X" represents a base of 10. When a label reads "C" (as in 30c, etc.) It means that a base of 100 is used. Thus 1c means that one drop of medication is added to 99 drops of alcohol. Following the same procedure as above 2c would give us 1/10,000 of the original mixture. And so on and so on and so on.

When we use "M" to describe the ‘potency’ we are using a base number of 1,000. By the time you get to 10m you’re talking an awful lot of zeros. That’s really why this "short hand" method of expressing potency was developed.

The original medicinal ingredient used in a homeopathic remedy, in theory, can be any physical substance (plant, animal, mineral, etc.). But remember it is the "energy" pattern of the substance that appears to do the job, not the gross substance itself. Thus when you see that ‘bee venom’ or ‘arsenic’ or some other obvious harmful substance, is the "base" of a homeopathic remedy, don’t become alarmed---it won’t hurt you!!

For most of the 20th Century, physicists held to the Newtonian idea that the world is ultimately composed of minute particles, such as electrons, photons and neutrons. This certainly didn’t do anything to support the idea of an "energy" based medicine. Modern physicists searched for ever smaller particles, hoping to find the basic building block of matter--but they never found it. Instead they concluded that particles are merely concentrations of energy!! Chalk one up for the holistic side that has been saying this for centuries!! The Western concept of ‘fractionalizing’ is not the correct model to understand nature!!

Thus "science" is finally starting to catch up with ancient knowledge, and recognize that the concept of a "vital force" in a living body is valid.

The ultimate "test" of any medicine is, or at least should be, ‘does it work without causing harm’. In the final analysis, I can only say to the doubters of the world--try it and see. The worst that can happen is that a remedy will not have any effect at all. But when you have witnessed some of the remarkable results that are achieved when the right remedy is chosen, you will be astounded and begin to wonder why homeopathy is not an accepted part of our regular health care system.