Please note: This information is for the sole purpose of education. It is not to be used to treat disease or specific conditions.
Homeopathy teaches a philosophy of health, disease, and cure. It is based on the concept of the human being as an integrated entity of body, mind, and spirit. As a result, disease affects a person as a whole. Diseases are not limited to individual organs.
Accordingly, human beings are not healthy if they only managed to eliminate the pathological symptoms while still being disturbed by strong emotional feelings. People are healthy only if they live in a harmonious state of mind and their organs are physiologically balanced, so that their spirits can make use of opportunities pursuing the lofty goals of existence.
Homeopathy is like the great observer, the observer who sees all with no emotional filters. A homeopathic evaluation seeks to incorporate the physical symptom picture with the psyche and it’s chaos of emotions and instincts without being dominated by it — no mean trick.
Homeopathy, a therapeutic method over two hundred years old, is expanding rapidly. For a long time it was thought that homeopathy was out of place in today’s medicine. Contemporary Western medicine is recognized as being technical, sophisticated, modern and, moreover, has had tremendous success battling certain once-fatal ailments. But contemporary medicine has also seen its share of striking failures. As a result, more and more patients and physicians are turning to the natural pharmacology of homeopathy since it is safe, effective, non-aggressive, and stimulates the body’s natural processes.
Homeopathy relates back to Hippocrates in the 4th century BC who spoke of the law of similars and the law of contraries as two avenues to treating ailments. The law of contraries would be followed by the school of “official medicine.” But St Thomas Aquinas, and later Paracelsus and others who defended the “vitalism” of medicine, supported the law of similars. Vitalism concerns it self with the belief that living organisms contain a ‘nonphysical’ or etheric energy that is the source of our spiritual, emotional, and physical energy, often called chi or prana.
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), the founder of modern homeopathy, created a system based on the law of similars and contrasted this “homeopathic” approach with “allopathic” medicine. He felt that allopathic medicines cannot favorably modify the constitution of the individual but instead usually act in a palliative way to reduce symptoms.
Hahnemann started his scientific experimentation with homeopathic techniques by testing pure medicines on healthy individuals. He realized the only way to study the pure, non-toxic, but dynamic healing effect of each substance was to increase the dilution to avoid the toxicity of the substance. Eventually the medicine was diluted to such an extreme extent that the concentrations moved into the realm of “medicinal energy.”
When one consults a homeopathic materia medica to read about the characteristics of various remedies —such as arnica or chamommila — the first sentences speak of the general actions of the drug, then the emotional qualities exhibited by that person, then the physical symptoms for which the remedy is being considered.
This effectiveness is something we observe every day in our patients. It has been demonstrated by clinical studies and laboratory experimentation proving the pharmacological activity of homeopathic medicines. Remedies can be administered as pellets, liquids, subcutaneous injections, liniments, or suppositories. They are produced in pharmacological laboratories and can be made from any plant, mineral, animal, microorganism, or physical substance including organic tissue.
Homeopathic evaluation considers physical, chemical, environmental, genetic, emotional, and spiritual issues as all relevant to determining an individuals “constitution.” Symptoms may come and go but the patient’s constitution stays relatively stable. There are recognized constitutional types under which individuals can be classified and can give the homeopath valuable information as to which family or families of remedies might be of most benefit to the patient.
Homeopathy has moved to new frontiers and offers an exciting array or remedies for many modern problems by introducing new formulations for modern problems. It offers detoxification remedies that cleanse the body of accumulated poisons while also offering remedies that restore and rejuvenate.
Dr. Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus, has surprised the scientific community with his strong support for homeopathic medicine.
In a remarkable interview published in Science magazine of December 24, 2010, (1) Professor Luc Montagnier, has expressed support for the often maligned and misunderstood medical specialty of homeopathic medicine. Although homeopathy has persisted for 200+ years throughout the world and has been the leading alternative treatment method used by physicians in Europe, (2) most conventional physicians and scientists have expressed skepticism about its efficacy due to the extremely small doses of medicines used.
Most clinical research conducted on homeopathic medicines that has been published in peer-review journals have shown positive clinical results,(3, 4) especially in the treatment of respiratory allergies (5, 6), influenza, (7) fibromyalgia, (8, 9) rheumatoid arthritis, (10) childhood diarrhea, (11) post-surgical abdominal surgery recovery, (12) attention deficit disorder, (13) and reduction in the side effects of conventional cancer treatments. (14) In addition to clinical trials, several hundred basic science studies have confirmed the biological activity of homeopathic medicines. One type of basic science trials, called in vitro studies, found 67 experiments (1/3 of them replications) and nearly 3/4 of all replications were positive. (15, 16)
In addition to the wide variety of basic science evidence and clinical research, further evidence for homeopathy resides in the fact that they gained widespread popularity in the U.S. and Europe during the 19th century due to the impressive results people experienced in the treatment of epidemics that raged during that time, including cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, scarlet fever, and influenza.
Montagnier, who is also founder and president of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention, asserted, "I can't say that homeopathy is right in everything. What I can say now is that the high dilutions (used in homeopathy) are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules."
Here, Montagnier is making reference to his experimental research that confirms one of the controversial features of homeopathic medicine that uses doses of substances that undergo sequential dilution with vigorous shaking in-between each dilution. Although it is common for modern-day scientists to assume that none of the original molecules remain in solution, Montagnier's research (and other of many of his colleagues) has verified that electromagnetic signals of the original medicine remains in the water and has dramatic biological effects.
Montagnier has just taken a new position at Jiaotong University in Shanghai, China (this university is often referred to as "China's MIT"), where he will work in a new institute bearing his name. This work focuses on a new scientific movement at the crossroads of physics, biology, and medicine: the phenomenon of electromagnetic waves produced by DNA in water. He and his team will study both the theoretical basis and the possible applications in medicine.
Montagnier's new research is investigating the electromagnetic waves that he says emanate from the highly diluted DNA of various pathogens. Montagnier asserts, "What we have found is that DNA produces structural changes in water, which persist at very high dilutions, and which lead to resonant electromagnetic signals that we can measure. Not all DNA produces signals that we can detect with our device. The high-intensity signals come from bacterial and viral DNA."
Montagnier affirms that these new observations will lead to novel treatments for many common chronic diseases, including but not limited to autism, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Montagnier first wrote about his findings in 2009, (17) and then, in mid-2010, he spoke at a prestigious meeting of fellow Nobelists where he expressed interest in homeopathy and the implications of this system of medicine. (18)
French retirement laws do not allow Montagnier, who is 78 years of age, to work at a public institute, thereby limiting access to research funding. Montagnier acknowledges that getting research funds from Big Pharma and certain other conventional research funding agencies is unlikely due to the atmosphere of antagonism to homeopathy and natural treatment options.
Support from Another Nobel Prize winner
Montagnier's new research evokes memories one of the most sensational stories in French science, often referred to as the 'Benveniste affair.' A highly respected immunologist Dr. Jacques Benveniste., who died in 2004, conducted a study which was replicated in three other university laboratories and that was published in Nature (19). Benveniste and other researchers used extremely diluted doses of substances that created an effect on a type of white blood cell called basophils.
Although Benveniste's work was supposedly debunked, (20) Montagnier considers Benveniste a "modern Galileo" who was far ahead of his day and time and who was attacked for investigating a medical and scientific subject that orthodoxy had mistakenly overlooked and even demonized.
In addition to Benveniste and Montagnier is the weighty opinion of Brian Josephson, Ph.D., who, like Montagnier, is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.
Responding to an article on homeopathy in New Scientist, Josephson wrote:
Regarding your comments on claims made for homeopathy: criticisms centered around the vanishingly small number of solute molecules present in a solution after it has been repeatedly diluted are beside the point, since advocates of homeopathic remedies attribute their effects not to molecules present in the water, but to modifications of the water's structure.
Simple-minded analysis may suggest that water, being a fluid, cannot have a structure of the kind that such a picture would demand. But cases such as that of liquid crystals, which while flowing like an ordinary fluid can maintain an ordered structure over macroscopic distances, show the limitations of such ways of thinking. There have not, to the best of my knowledge, been any refutations of homeopathy that remain valid after this particular point is taken into account.
A related topic is the phenomenon, claimed by Jacques Benveniste's colleague Yolène Thomas and by others to be well established experimentally, known as "memory of water." If valid, this would be of greater significance than homeopathy itself, and it attests to the limited vision of the modern scientific community that, far from hastening to test such claims, the only response has been to dismiss them out of hand. (21)
Following his comments Josephson, who is an emeritus professor of Cambridge University in England, was asked by New Scientist editors how he became an advocate of unconventional ideas. He responded:
I went to a conference where the French immunologist Jacques Benveniste was talking for the first time about his discovery that water has a 'memory' of compounds that were once dissolved in it -- which might explain how homeopathy works. His findings provoked irrationally strong reactions from scientists, and I was struck by how badly he was treated. (22)
Josephson went on to describe how many scientists today suffer from "pathological disbelief;" that is, they maintain an unscientific attitude that is embodied by the statement "even if it were true I wouldn't believe it."