Homeopathy: Dynamic Medicine

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

It’s not long ago that a topical study was published in Microvascular Research, a conventional medical journal. The study investigated the microcirculatory effects of a homeopathic preparation in patients with giddiness [vertigo], using advanced vital microscopy techniques. After 12 weeks of treatment, patients receiving a homeopathic preparation exhibited improvement in all parameters measured, including increased blood flow in the site selected for evaluation. None of the changes were observed in the placebo [dummy pill] group. What’s more, the differences between the two groups were statistically significant.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study completed in South Africa showed a statistically significant improvement in sleeplessness, or insomnia, in patients treated with individually selected homeopathic medicines.

The Bioenergetic Factor

Most critics and sceptics call homeopathy placebo, or water. As Dr Robert Tondo explained in The Montgomery College Student Journal of Science & Mathematics, in his defence, ‘that homeopathy is medicine, not water:’ “[Dr Samuel] Hahnemann, MD — the founder of homeopathy — primarily thought of water as an aid in preparation of the remedies. In aphorism #269 of The Organon, the bible of homeopathic medicinal philosophy, he writes, ‘The non-medicinal dilutant is only an auxiliary, though indispensable, factor.’ When one observes a glass of water, no pattern is seen. Unlike the structured pattern of crystals, or a snowflake, the molecules of liquid water appear to be in disarray. Various scientists have theorised that water in homeopathic remedies has a structure. As G P Barnard and J H Stephenson also propose that ‘possibly the action of dilution and succussion [potentisation] induces an electromagnetic patterning of the water.’ The original mother tincture, now potentised, releases ‘a pre-atomic dynamic patterning into the water.’ The solute water now has a bioenergetic pattern that can influence the bioenergy of living things.” 

In a notable paper, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Homeopathy, Drs Manju Lata Rao, Rustum Roy, a renowned material scientist, Iris R Bell, a noted physiologist, and Dr Richard Hoover, explained, “The key stumbling block to serious consideration of homeopathy is the presumed ‘implausibility’ of biological activity for homeopathic medicines in which the source material is diluted past Avogadro’s number of molecules. Such an argument relies heavily on the assumptions of elementary chemistry [and biochemistry], in which the material composition of a solution [dilution factors and ligand-receptor interactions] is the essential consideration.”

They add, that, “In contrast, materials science focuses on the three-dimensional complex network structure of the condensed phase of water itself, rather than the original solute molecules. The nanoheterogenous structure of water can be determined by interactive phenomena, such as epitaxy — the transmission of structural information from the surface of one material to another without the transfer of any matter — temperature–pressure processes during succession [shaking], and formation of colloidal nanobubbles containing gaseous inclusions of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and possibly the remedy source material.”

Their paper also highlighted that preliminary data obtained using Raman and ultra-violet–visible [UV–VIS] spectroscopy illustrate the ability to distinguish two different homeopathic medicines — Nux vomica and Natrum muriaticum — from one another and [also] differentiate, within a given medicine, the 6C, 12C, and 30C potencies.

It may, therefore, be apt to say that materials science concepts and experimental tools — including paper chromatography techniques — offer a perceptive new approach to contemporary science, for making significant advances in the ‘basic science’ studies of homeopathic remedies. Observes Dana Ullman, America’s leading spokesman for homeopathy, and author, “Homeopathic medicines can and should be considered to be a type of ‘nanopharmacology.’ Although the word ‘nano’ means one-billionth of a size, that is not its only definition. In fact, ‘nano,’ derived from the word ‘dwarf,’ and ‘nano,’ is the only word in the English language that is used on common parlance as denoting extremely small and yet extremely powerful — homeopathic medicines are extremely small in dose and yet extremely powerful in their therapeutic effect.”

The newest and most intriguing mode, avers Ullman, to explain how homeopathic medicines may work, derives its basis from sophisticated modern technology. Scientists at several universities and hospitals in France and Belgium, for instance, have discovered that the vigorous shaking [succession] of the water in glass bottles causes extremely small amounts of silica fragments, or chips, to fall into the water. Perhaps, such silica chips may help to store the information in the water, with each medicine that is initially placed in the water creating its own pharmacological effect. In any case, each medicinal substance will interact with the silica fragments in its own idiosyncratic way — thereby changing the nature and structure of water.

Dr Brian Josephson, PhD, the British physicist, was only 22, when he won the Nobel Prize in physics. A professor at the University of Cambridge, UK, Josephson headed the mind-matter unification project in the Theory of Condensed Matter research group. It’d be interesting to highlight excerpts of his response to an article published in the New Scientist that expressed scepticism about homeopathy. In his words, “Regarding [your comments on] claims made for homeopathy: criticisms centred 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.” He further observed, “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.”

In A Nutshell 

  • Three professors of medicine — J. Kleijnen, P. Knipschild, G. ter Riet — from the Netherlands, none of them homeopaths, performed a meta-analysis of 25 years of clinical studies using homeopathic medicines and published their results in The British Medical Journal. This meta-analysis covered 107 controlled trials, of which 81 showed that homeopathic medicines were effective; 24 showed they were ineffective; and, 2 were inconclusive. They concluded, “The evidence presented [in this review] would probably be sufficient for establishing homeopathy as a regular treatment for certain indications.”
  • The Homeopathic Medicine Research Group, which was formed by the European Union, in 1996, to verify the effectiveness of homeopathy, conducted a large study. Even scientists sceptical of homeopathy were involved in the composition of the study. The study analysed results from 17 clinical trials involving over 2,000 subjects. The results showed that homeopathy was safe and more effective than placebo [dummy pill].
  • In the largest study of homeopathy ever conducted, researchers found that a homeopathic intervention effectively battled leptospirosis. The study was conducted in 2007, on Cuba’s entire population [11 million people]. Homeopathic remedy was given to 2.3 million inhabitants of three provinces, most prone to outbreaks. Within a month, the number of leptospirosis cases had fallen from the forecast of 38 cases per 100,000 per week to four cases per 100,000 per week — significantly fewer than the historically-based forecast. The 8.8 million residents of the other provinces did not receive homeopathic treatment, and the incidence of the disease unspooled there as forecast. This major study sheds light on the possibility of reducing disease incidence and controlling epidemics safely — with the use of homeopathic remedies.

Conclusion 

It is obvious that the two divergent medical schools — conventional medicine and homeopathy — are marooned in a ‘battle of attrition.’ A battle which can’t be won, lock, stock, and barrel, by either group, at least at the present time, notwithstanding all the sophisticated tools available at the beck and call of modern science.

Homeopathy, since its inception, and most homeopathic physicians, have never really denied the inexplicable, above, or beneath science, as to how homeopathic remedies work, or act — what we do know, or been witness to, is how our patients are healed of their illnesses.

It is also a paradox that homeopathy has been stalled more than a bit, with history not being on its side — homeopathy has been persecuted ever since it was founded. This has also made things somewhat complex, thanks, perhaps, to its own resistance not to know, or pushing something spectacular, or dramatic, through anecdotal, or tall claims, at every step, to draw attention. Most homeopaths have also locked themselves within the confines of their own ‘self-imposed’ cocoon, too — although it is by no means easy for them, or our sceptics, to ‘scientifically’ demonstrate the effectiveness, or ‘ineffectiveness,’ of homeopathic high dilutions.

Science, at any age, it may be observed, cannot answer everything; it sure will, at a future date, as it has always done — provided one is prepared to study the evidence, also the quintessence of it all, with an open mind.

One may, of course, agree that homeopathy does not need a certificate as a legitimate healing science from conventional medical purists — albeit there is a body of conventional clinical evidence to demonstrate that homeopathy works. Besides, there are more than a handful of unbiased conventional physicians, who use, or practice, homeopathic medicine, and also know, for a fact, that homeopathy works, and that it is not just placebo.

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.

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