Homeopathic medicine is based on a system that uses microdoses of substances derived from plants, minerals, or animals to stimulate a natural healing response. Homeopathy is a therapeutic system founded on the principle "simila similibus curentur" translated as "like cures like." Homeopathy is practiced worldwide, and was introduced in the U.S. in 1825. It was widely practiced in the early 1900s by U.S. physicians but its use declined with changes in medical practice coinciding with the publication of the Flexner report in 1910. In the 1970s it regained popularity among Complementary and Alternative Medical (CAM) modalities. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health estimated that in 2012, about 6 million Americans used homeopathic medicines. In 1796, Dr. Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann (1755 – 1843) postulated the correlation that medicines can cure a pathological state that is similar to the state that the medicine produces in healthy subjects. Surprisingly, he found that a single drop was more effective and produced fewer side effects than a larger dose. He reduced the doses further by diluting the individual substances. By creating a so-called mother or source tincture of a substance and then diluting it multiple times, he discovered that those medicines were effective in treating patients’ complaints without side-effects. He coined the term homeopathy stemming from the Greek words "homoisos" meaning similar, and "pathos" meaning suffering. The law of similars was previously described by Hippocrates and Paracelsus, but Hahnemann created a medical system which utilized this law. To manufacture a homeopathic remedy, a so-called "source tincture" of a plant, animal, or mineral is created. For a remedy with a 30c potency, one drop of the source tincture is taken and diluted with 99 drops of water. This is succussed (shaken) vigorously. One drop from that tincture is removed and again diluted with 99 drops of water and succussed. This is done 28 more times to create a 30c potency. For a 200c remedy, this dilution process is done 200 times. For a 30x potency, one drop from the source tincture is diluted with 10 drops of water thirty times. Homeopaths work on the principle that higher dilutions result in more potent remedies. X remedies are less potent than C remedies. Succussing homeopathic remedies causes intense turbulence and particle collision which breaks the source tincture components into extremely small particles – nanoparticles (NP). These NP can be detected using state-of-the-art technology. Chikramane, et al showed that extreme dilutions of 1 part in 10 raised to 400 parts (200c) still contained nanogram quantities of measureable amounts in the form of nanoparticles of the source tincture material. NP have unique properties including absorptive, electromagnetic, optical, thermal, and quantum properties. They show increased chemical reactivity and high conductivity. In the human body, NPs cross the gut, skin, lung and blood-brain barrier. NPs are highly bio-available, therefore, only small dosages are needed when compared to herbs, supplements and pharmaceuticals. Most homeopathic products do not have any pharmacological effects, drug interactions, or other harmful effects, especially since they do not pass through cytochrome P450 which is the pathway in the liver through which most pharmaceuticals are metabolized. The paper The Structure of Liquid Water; Novel Insights from Materials Research; Potential Relevance to Homeopathy by Rustum Roy, et al, published in 2004, sheds insights on how the frequency of water can be changed. Dilutions of any potency contain the nanoparticles which show electric conductivity of the original active ingredient. The human body contains 70% water and homeopathy can change the structure of the body’s water by the frequency of the remedy, much like acupuncture needles that function like electrodes when inserted into the human body. As stated on the website of the Banerji Clinic (discussed below) http://www.pbhrfindia.org/a-new-beginning-2/12-what-is-homeopathy.html:
"The Arnold Schultz Law expresses and highlights the differences between conventional and homeopathic approaches very succinctly: "large doses of a poisonous substance may prove lethal, smaller doses of the same poison can actually stimulate vital cellular activity". Consequently, it is not improbable that ultra-micro doses of homeopathic medicines should exert profound influence on the vital force of the patients. Another important basic difference exists between conventional medical therapy and homeopathy. In conventional therapy, the aim often is to control the illness through regular use of medical substances, even if the medication is nothing more than vitamins. If the medication is withdrawn, however, the person returns to illness. There is no permanent cure. A person who takes a pill for high blood pressure every day is not undergoing a cure but is only controlling the symptoms. Conventional medicine acts as if all symptoms were alike. It therefore offers a series of suppressive drugs, something to suppress the symptoms and something to ease falling asleep."Pharmaceuticals act as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-histamines, anti-coagulant, anti-biotic or anti-hypertensive to inhibit physiology; when they are stopped, the illness comes back. However, homeopathy (as well as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, for that matter) seeks to correct the patient’s physiology so it can function on its own eventually. The capacity of a homeopathic medicine to stimulate the innate healing capacity of an organism is person-specific rather than diagnosis-specific. Successful clinical practice depends on a thorough understanding of the characteristics of both the patient and the medicinal substance. A homeopathic Materia Medica is a book or website that lists all available homeopathic preparations and their respective time-tested indications for specific conditions or symptoms. The Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia (HPCUS, 1995) of the United States was grandfathered into the 1938 Food and Drug Act that created the FDA. Homeopathic medicines are currently classified by the FDA, in consultation with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS), mostly in the over-the-counter (OTC) category (USFDA, 1988). Reflecting their safety, many of them are available to the general public for self-prescribing. Homeopathy has special utility in five particular areas of clinical practice:
- where no effective conventional treatment exists;
- where conventional medicine may be unsafe;
- where side-effects of conventional medicines are unacceptable;
- to reduce dependence on conventional treatments for chronic diseases;
- patient’s personal preference.