How Does Homeopathy Work?
The question of how homeopathy works is one I get asked often, and it is usually difficult to give a clear explanation. The direct answer is…we don’t know. Some medics say that this is not good enough, but my response to them is “do you know the mechanisms of all the drugs that you prescribe”? The simple answer here is also “no, we don’t know,” but this does not prevent them from prescribing, as they KNOW from clinical experience that they work in certain conditions.
There are several theories of how homeopathic remedies work. Let’s look at some of the most plausible and interesting of these to make some sense of how these incredibly small-dose remedies actually work.
MEDICAL SPECTROSCOPY AND THE WATER SYSTEM
It is well-known amongst energy therapists that the human body emits vibratory information that precisely specifies the activities taking place within. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a spectroscopic method that is widely and successfully used for medical diagnosis. MRI works because tumours contain abnormal arrangements of water (Damadian 1971, Damadian et al 1974). Most physiologists attach no significance to this important fact, as they do not recognize that the body has a `water system’ involved in communication and regulation. As with the electrocardiogram, medical science accepts the information provided by MRI images as a sort of by-product of life, without appreciating the profoundly important energy picture that underlies the method. In contrast, homeopathy and other vibrational medicines take advantage of the water system and its great sensitivity to electromagnetic fields.
Living tissues contain thousands of different kinds of molecules, each of which is surrounded by water (Watterson 1988). Until recently, the medical use of direct body spectroscopy has been hampered by the fact that cell and tissue water absorbs the radiations one would like to study. The scientific question is what the water molecules `do’ with the absorbed information. Do they convert it to random processes (heat)? Or do the water molecules do something more sophisticated? Can water molecules store molecular signatures? Can such information be conducted through the water system? Perhaps the troubling `artifact’ of water absorption actually explains how homeopathic dilutions and the body’s water system absorb information from a substance.
In homeopathy, molecular signatures are transferred from a biologically active molecule to the water in which it is dissolved. This happens when the homeopathic physician `succusses’ the sample. Succussion is a method of vibrating or sending a shock wave through a solution. Dissolved molecules are made to vibrate intensely and coherently, and they therefore emit their electromagnetic signatures (emission spectrum).
THE MEMORY OF WATER
One plausible mechanism for water memory storage, published by Smith (1985), is that hydrogen bonds hold water molecules together in a helical structure that acts like a coil. The magnetic components of fields emitted by the vibrating molecules induce current flows through the water helix. These currents reverberate within the water structure, much like the ringing of a tuning fork.
Even when the sample has been diluted to the point that the original molecule is gone, the signals stored in the water continue to vibrate for a long time. Upon further dilution and succussion, the reverberating signals transfer to other water molecules used to dilute the sample.
Many of the concentrations used in homeopathic drugs may at first glance seem to be so dilute as to have no possible physiological effect. But it is important to put these concentrations in perspective by comparing them with the normal concentrations at work in our bodies. Our body typically deals with ion concentrations in lymphatic fluid and serum of 10-3 g/ml. Hormone concentrations range from 10-6 to 10-18 g/ml depending upon the hormone and the tissue where it is being measured.
From this it is apparent that most of the lower homeopathic potencies correspond with the natural physiological concentrations found in the body. Higher homeopathic potencies, which correspond to extremely low concentrations, utilize mechanisms for their actions that are not understood. While controversy surrounds the effectiveness of high dilutions, there is research which reports that these very highly diluted solutions do have physiological effects on a variety of natural systems.
In a series of experiments continued over 35 years, Kolisko reported that wheat seed growth was promoted by low dilutions of various metallic salts, inhibited by somewhat higher dilutions, and stimulated again at dilutions higher than Avogadro’s number. Another experiment tested the effect on guinea pigs of daily doses of sodium chloride prepared in 30X, 200X, 400X, 600X, 800X, 1000X, 1200X and 1400X dilutions (all well past Avogadro’s number). The trial, lasting six months, was repeated two years in succession. Controls received distilled water. Test animals lost weight and appetite, had dull shaggy coats and dull watery eyes, were less active than controls, gave birth to young weighing less than the controls and had a higher mortality and lower reproduction rates than the controls.
Other experiments, using techniques from physics, have also reported that homeopathically dilute substances display measurable differences that may seem paradoxical due to the small concentrations present. Nuclear magnetic resonance experiments conducted in 1963 measured three solutions: a) 87% ethanol in water, b) sulphur 12X (prepared with succussion at each step, and c) an equivalent dilution of sulphur 12X prepared without succussion. The authors were able to distinguish the properly prepared sulphur 12X from the others, and concluded “some form of energy is imparted by succussion to a homeopathic drug, resulting in a slight change of the alcohol in these dilutions. There is a structural change in the solvent as the potency is made from the tincture to a higher dilution.”
HOMEOPATHY AT WORK IN AN INDIVIDUAL
From an energetic standpoint, one might consider that an individual such as John, afflicted with his “flu,” with all accompanying symptoms, would be resonating at a different frequency than the one to which he is normally attuned, let’s say 300 Hz as a matter of example. Let us assume that the frequency John “vibrates at” when trying to throw off his cold is 475 Hz. If he were able to produce more energy at the 475 Hz level, he might be able to throw off his illness more quickly and return to good health.
Hahnemann, with his homeopathic reasoning, assumed that the remedies were producing an illness similar to the one that the body was trying to throw off. He tried to empirically match the symptoms produced by a remedy’s proving with the illness he was attempting to treat. Is it possible that when a healthy individual is given a particular homeopathic remedy, the proving (or symptoms exhibited) is caused by an induction of the individual’s energy field to resonate at the dominant frequency of the plant substance used to prepare the remedy? According to this rationale, each species of plant should have its own particular energy signature. This energetic signature may be complex, formed by a multiplexing of various frequencies. Different parts of the plant, such as the bark of a tree, may have different energetic signatures than its roots, leaves, or flowers. In giving homeopathic preparations of the plant, the physical drug properties of the herb are removed, leaving the subtle-energy qualities that are absorbed into the water to predominate.
What Hahnemann may have actually been doing is empirically matching the frequency of the plant extract with the frequency of the illness. He did this by matching the physical and emotional symptoms of the patient’s illness with known symptoms produced by the remedy. Physical observation of the patient was, after all, the only diagnostic manoeuvre available to doctors in Hahnemann’s time, prior to the advent of modern blood counts and multiphasic screening profiles. Matching the total symptom pattern of the patient with the complex of symptoms produced by a particular remedy was an ingenious method, albeit unknown to Hahnemann, of energetic frequency matching.
Using the Law of Similars, Hahnemann was able to give the patient a dose of the needed subtle energy in the exact frequency band needed. That is why in classical homeopathy one cannot mix different remedies to treat many different symptoms. The remedy that best expresses the patient’s unique symptom complex will be curative. Comparison of the patient’s symptom complex with a remedy’s symptom complex allows the homeopathic physician to make an empirical frequency match that will neutralize the illness.
THE HEALING CRISIS
Homeopathy’s energetic frequency boost is the probable reason behind the initial exacerbation of symptoms seen by physicians when the proper remedy is given (this so-called “healing crisis” usually occurs prior to complete resolution of the illness). Patients are given a frequency-specific dose of subtle energy that will help their bodies to resonate in the needed mode in order to return their systems to a state of health or wellness. The healing vibrational mode, enhanced by the remedy, causes the exaggerated symptoms of the illness which are experienced by the patient during the healing crisis. Homeopathy uses the diverse frequency spectrum of nature to discharge the toxicities of illness. This method allows order and equilibrium to be restored to the human energetic system. From the frequency specific viewpoint of homeopathy, it has been stated that “there exist the treatments for ALL of our ills within Nature.”
1. Developing insights on the nature of the dose-response relationship in the low dose zone: Hormesis as a biological hypothesis, Biomedical Therapy. 1998; 3: pp. 235-240.
2. The plausibility of homeopathy: The systemic memory mechanism, Integrative Medicine. 1998; 1: pp. 53-59.
3. Possible mechanisms of action for homeopathic medicines, Introduction to Modern Concepts of Homeopathic Pharmacy. 1999; pp.23-24.
4. Physiological and physical results of the effects of diluted entities, 1923-1959. Abstracted as: A Physiological Proof of the Activity of Smallest Entities, Spring Valley, Mercury 11, Journal of the Anthroposophical Therapy and Hygiene Association. 1991.
5. Experimental data on one of the fundamental claims in homeopathy, Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy. 1925; 18: pp. 433-444, 790-792.
6. Modern aspects of homeopathic research, Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy. 1963; 56: pp.363-366. 1965; 58: pp.158-167. Modern instrumentation for the evaluation of homeopathic drug structure, Ibid. 1966; 59: pp.263-280. Changes caused by succussion on N.M.R. Patterns and Bioassay of Bradykinin Triacetate (BKTA) Succussions and Dilutions, Ibid. 1968; 61: 197-212.
7. Nuclear magnetic resonance studies of succussed solutions, Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy. 1975; 68: pp.8-16. Anomalous effects in alcohol-water solutions, Review of Mathematical Physics. 1975; 13: pp.10-12.
8. Gerber, R. Vibrational Medicine: New Choices for Healing Ourselves. New Mexico, Bear and Company, 1988.
9. Oschman, J.L. Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis. USA: Harcourt Publishers Ltd., 2000.
Dr. George J Georgiou, Ph.D.,N.D.,D.Sc (A.M)
Holistic Medicine Practitioner