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Science of Homeopathy

bullet Tiny Pills – a mystery
bullet Sources of Homeopathic Medicines
bullet Nano Technology of highly diluted homeopathic remedies
bullet Scientific Evidence of Homeopathy
bullet Do Homeopathic Medicines contain “Steroids”?
bullet The Cinderella of Medicine - Homeopathy
bullet Is Homeopathy Slow Acting? (click here to check for your self)
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Tiny Pills – a mystery
 

Homeopathic Pharmacodynamics & Magic of High Dilutions

Hahnemann, the propounder of the theory of “similia similibus curentur” developed a special process of dilution for use in manufacture of homeopathic medicines. The process was known to be effected by mechanical action upon the smallest portion of the drug substance by means of rubbing or shaking through the addition of an inert (non-medicinal / non-reactive) substance powder or liquid e.g. alcohol or sugar of milk in a series. The process was known as “dynamizing or potentizing” and the products i.e. the medicines were called ' potencies'.

Let us understand this more simply. One drop of the crude drug substance is put in a vial – a small cylindrical glass vessel. To this are added 99 drops of alcohol (ethanol). The vial is closed with a velvet cork and ten strokes / violent shakings / succussions are

then given to the vial against a hard elastic body with hand or machine. Thus a homeopathic remedy of one centesimal (1c) potency is prepared. One drop of this 1c potency is taken and mixed with fresh 99 drops of alcohol (ethanol) in another vial and another 10 succussions / strokes are given and the 2c potency is said to be produced. In this manner further potencies are produced with higher and higher dilutions and succussions / strokes.

No wonder, due to these dilutions the original colour of the crude drug substance is lost and all medicines appear colorless. As a result all the white pills appear the same. This gives a misconception that all the medicines are the same.

The process of preparing medicines in such high dilutions (dynamizing or potentizing) however involved a great deal of mysticism which became all the more apparent with the propounding of the AVOGADRO'S HYPOTHESIS in 1860.

Let us understand what this means! As per Avogadro’s Number, the number of molecules in a gram molecular weight of any substance is 6.023 x 1023. Roughly 24 zeros after One. (6.023 x 1000 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00)

Now if we start preparing homeopathic medicines while going to 2c from the 1c potency, we will have to take only one part out of the 100 which will contain the 100th part of the original number of molecules (1/100) so the number of molecules reduce by 2 zeros i.e. instead of 24 zeros in the Avogadro’s number, it becomes 22 zeros after one. Going to the next potency, it will again be 100th part of that previous potency i.e. 20 zeros after one. And so the number of molecules keeps on reducing with progressive dilutions. (at every higher potency 2 zeros get eliminated) Thus, by the time the 12c potency is reached there will be no molecule of the original drug substance present.

On projection of the Avogadro’s Hypothesis to the homeopathic system of dilutions, it was found that once the 12th centesimal potency is reached, there cannot exist any atom or molecule of the original drug substance. This shook the very basis of the scientific system of dilutions thereby making homeopathy “unacceptable” to the scientific world. The illustration below demonstrates the aspect of high dilutions in homeopathic medicines showing reduction in the number of molecules as dilutions progress.

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In the mid 80's, most respected French biologist, Jacques Benveniste, established the theory of MOLECULAR MEMORY. He said that if you go on reducing the strength of a substance, at one stage the molecules of the substance will not be present but the properties of the substance will remain as molecular memory. This could possibly explain the theory of high dilutions with dynamization in homeopathy.

Many patients ask what these tiny white pills and colourless liquids are made of ?

We have just discussed the physico-chemical nature of the colorless liquid poured onto the tiny white pills.

The tiny white pill / globule : Made from cane sugar.
The colourless liquid : Consists of ethyl alcohol / ethanol.
The white powder (Saccharum lactis) : Made from goats milk.

A homeopathic dose administered to patients consists of pouring a few drops of the colorless liquid (potentized medicine in alcohol) onto to the tiny pills. Initially the pills appear soggy and wet - coated with the liquid but after a few hours they become dry as the liquid is absorbed by the pills.

A common question several patients ask is "Would the pills be effective after they dry?" YES they are EFFECTIVE as the liquid is meant to be absorbed by the pills. The medicinal action of these pills can last for several years.

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Sources of Homeopathic Medicines

Looking at the tiny white pills and colorless liquids, no one can fathom the wide range of natural sources from which homeopathic medicines are manufactured. Be surprised!

Medicines are made from the plant, mineral and animal kingdoms.
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Nano Technology of highly diluted homeopathic remedies
 
There is a significant body of conventional scientific research that has verified the powerful biochemical effects of extremely low concentrations of biological agents. Chemicals in the brain called beta-endorphins are known to modulate natural killer cell activity in dilutions of 10-18 (this dilution means that a substance was diluted 1:10 eighteen times).  Interleukin 1, an important part of our immune system, has been found to exhibit increased T-cell clone proliferation at 10-19. 

Many theories have been proposed to explain how homeopathic remedies seem to work, ranging from misapplied quantum theory to the “doctrine of signatures” and other kinds of alchemical mystique.

How can a remedy have any biological effect when it has been diluted beyond recognition?

Succussion is a way of imparting ‘energy’ to the remedy. Most homeopathic medicines are made by diluting a medicinal substance in alcohol or distilled water which has its own molecular configuration. When a homeopathy remedy is made by vigorous shaking i.e. succussion, there is a process by which energy is liberated and the alcohol or water molecules become activated and imprinted by the molecules of the medicinal substance.

Just as humankind is now exploring the frontier of space, today scientists and physicians are exploring nanotechnologies and nanopharmacologies.  It is only a matter of time before scientists and physicians learn that homeopathic medicine presents a fertile ground for exploring the power of these powerful nanodoses.

Though the tiny homeopathic pill is a challenge to the scientific community, no one can deny the fact that it has alleviated human suffering in a safe, effective and long lasting manner for more than 200 years.

Hats off to the tiny pill!
 
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Scientific Evidence of Homeopathy
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One of the first studies done to scientifically prove the efficacy of homeopathic medicines – dilutions was by Jacques Benveniste

The Benveniste Affair: Benveniste and colleagues published a paper in Nature (1988; 333:316-318) that appeared to demonstrate that homeopathically prepared antiserum for IgE could cause human basophil degranulation. This appeared to be clear evidence of the efficacy of a homeopathic remedy, since no placebo response was possible in isolated cells.

An important study was published in The Lancet in 1994. Dr. David Taylor Reilly of Glasgow University carried out three separate clinical trials using the double-blind principle (neither doctors nor patients knew which patients were receiving medication; These trials indicated that the homeopathic treatment was more successful than a placebo treatment in relieving hay fever and allergic asthma.

In 1980, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a double-blind study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study showed that 82 percent of those who had been given an individually chosen homeopathic medicine experienced some relief of symptoms, while only 21 percent of those who had been given a placebo experienced a similar degree of improvement.

A double blind study done in 1944, funded by the British Government evaluated the treatment of mustard gas burns. This research showed that Rhus Tox 30C, mustard gas 30C, and Kali Bichromicum 30C each provided benefit as compared to placebo treatment.

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Karen Nieber, a professor of pharmacology, merely wanted to prove that homeopathy doesn't work. She argued that with potencies higher than X 23 not a single molecule of the original tincture could possibly be present, mathematically speaking, and that no pharmacological effect would be possible.

In the search for an experimental setup in which any possible placebo effect can be ruled out, she had a brilliant idea: she put a rat's intestine in a fluid culture medium and used organic threads to fix it to a sensor so that she could measure any shortening of the intestine caused by cramps. Then she added a stimulant (atropine) to the fluid culture medium to produce severe cramps in the rat's intestine. The intestine shrank and the scales showed a strong traction.

When she then added belladonna X 90 to the culture medium, the intestine relaxed and the scales showed less traction. This proved that homeopathy is effective in the absence of any material substances - and in 2003 she won the € 10,000 Hans Heinrich Reckeweg award.

Conclusions from international studies:
There is evidence that highly dilute homeopathic dilutions have biological activity.
The presence of a “footprint” of the original substance can be detected in the high diluted homeopathic preparations.
Explaining the observed phenomenon a new paradigm for medical sciences exists.
Veterinary studies confirm the clinical efficacy of homeopathy.
Human studies reveal clinically significant improvement in 70% of patients (more in children); the homeopathic effects cannot be attributed only to a placebo effect and for some indications the efficacy of homeopathy has reached a high level of statistical significance.
Future studies are needed that investigate the preventive effects of homeopathy in childrenand chronic diseases. Funding of research into homeopathy must be considered as vital.
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Do Homeopathic Medicines contain “Steroids”?

NO – homeopathic medicines DO NOT contain any steroids. This is the most disturbing misconception about the homeopathic system of medicine which is safe, effective and has alleviated the suffering of mankind for nearly 200 years.

Many patients have voiced their concerns about homeopathic medicines containing “cortisone” (steroids) during a consultation. When they receive the first packet of homeopathic medicines in the form of pills and powders, their suspicions about the steroid content is triggered. If steroids were to be given to a patient why would a conscientious and diligent homeopath spend 3 to 4 hours in a meticulous painstaking case session with a patient?

I would like to clear this misconception once and for all.

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I reason with the following arguments:

Using steroids would, in fact be counter-productive as they have an immuno-suppressive effect.
Homeopathic remedies have a very wide range of curative properties. A cure achieved by homeopathy is of a permanent nature, whereas the action of a steroid is temporary with the condition recurring as soon as the steroid is discontinued.
If one has been on long-term cortisone. one would show some side effects like excessive body hair, osteoporosis, altered sugar metabolism, moon-faces, etc.
 
Cortisone is not a cure all for all the ills of the world.
Scientific Testing

All homeopathic medicines contain a base of a small amount of lactose (milk sugar) which would give FALSE POSITIVE results when tested using the “Colorimetric method which uses tetrazolium blue salts”.

In this test, the reaction of tetrazolium blue salt gives a highly colored compound known as Farmazan. Under controlled conditions, the amount of Farmazan developed is proportional to the quantity of steroid or any reducing sugar present in the material being tested.

Tetrazolium salts have been used for determination of reducing sugars since the past several years.  So if any drug contains any lactose, it will impart a strong color with tetazolium blue salt which will give a false impression of the presence of a steroid. Secondly, if the alcohol used in this method is not completely free from aldehyde, it will interface with the characteristic color, which may again give a false positive reaction for a steroid. So this method is not advisable to determine the presence of steroids in the drug.

homeo-steroid-test3

Most homeopaths use lactose as a base. Together with the alcohol, this is likely to give a false positive test for steroids if this method is used.

Another method used to test steroids is Liberman Buchard test. Thin layer chromatography method and UV absorption method.

Almost all steroids show UV absorption between 235 and 240 nm in dehydrated alcohol or methanol in a clear solution. If an ultraviolet spectrum of this solution is taken between 400 nm and 200 nm on a suitable spectrophotometer, any steroid present will show up as a maximum between 235nm and 240 nm. Absence of such a band means absence of steroid.

When homeopathic remedies were tested for steroids using the UV absorption method, none of the samples showed maximum between 235 nm and 240 nm.

Thus it is clear that homeopathic medicines do not contain any steroids, and one must understand the testing procedures were used to eliminate the possibility of a misleading result.


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The Cinderella of Medicine - Homeopathy
  In a world that appears to be increasingly materialistic, the symptoms of ill health are correspondingly complex. The need for a medicine that will deal with the mental and emotional states of life to safely restore the disturbed balance, recreating a sense of harmony and well-being becomes more and more an urgent necessity. Homeopathy can and does fill this need.

One feels that homeopathy has been the Cinderella of Medicine for over 200 years. It is high time that this humble maiden should shed her cloak of humility and be recognised as a complete scientific system of medicine.
Cinderella
 
         
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