HOMEOPATHY- INTEGRAL PART OF MEDICINE
Homeopathy is a therapeutic method that uses substances of different (in most cases natural) origin, stimulating the body’s natural capacity to cope with the disease. It draws attention to the totality of physical and psychological characteristics of the patient, while trying to regain the balance. Thus, attacking not only the symptoms but heals the body as one, as individual placed in its specific environment in society – so-called “plot” *.
* Basically, collective concept in homeopathy – combines the ideas of “chronic way of reaction” and “sensitive type”. In general, the term “ground” means all physical, mental, behavioral and hereditary characteristics of human and environmental factors that in one way or another affect the life, health and the conduct of the relevant disease individual – author’s notes.
Homeopathy is a term first used by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the early 19th century. The name comes from two Greek words: homeo-similar and pathos – suffering pain.
Homeopathy is defined as a method of medicine that lies behind the idea of treating a patient with such substances that can cause symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those observed in the patient. For the purposes of homeopathy, these substances are diluted and dynamic, then administered in extremely small doses.
The basics of homeopathy can be found even in antiquity by the father of medicine – Hippocrates (460 BC). In his writings he talks about the main principles of medicine that are still valid today. Besides the need to know the human body and the way it operates (i.e., anatomy and physiology), Hippocrates emphasized the importance of the clinical examination and the taking of a detailed and thorough history of the patient, as well as consideration of the treatment of each patient’s age, morphology, sex, diet, including climatic conditions in which he lives. The Greek doctor is the first to announce that some diseases could be cured by opposites (treatment of hot with cold), others on the contrary – by similarities (warm with warm). According to Hippocrates, every patient, depending on their reactivity, react differently to the same disease and the same method of treatment.
Built on these foundations and theory Dr. Christian Frederick Samuel Hahnemann (1755 – 1843) formulated homeopathy as a medical science and integrate it directly into it as a therapeutic method. While translating “For medicine,” the Scottish doctor Cullen, Hahnemann was intrigued by an interesting observation: quinine (a well known remedy for fever) when taken in high doses by healthy person can cause symptoms to him, which are usually found in the patient. He tested the effects of quinine on himself and found that the drug acts on the principle of similarity, i.e., in a healthy organism causes the same symptoms displayed by the patient. Thus, in 1796 (the year when Ed. Jenner makes first vaccination) Hahnemann discovered a basic principle of homeopathy.
Based on this principle, Hahnemann continued his research by experimenting the effects of nearly 100 different drugs on himself, his students and family members. Throughout the work, he decided to significantly dilute the drug and found that this not only does not reduce their effectiveness, just the opposite it increases the effectiveness.
In 1810 Hahnemann published the first “Organon of the Healing Art,” which laid the foundations of homeopathy and even today remains one of the major works on the methodology of this type of treatment.
PRINCIPLES OF HOMEOPATHY
It is known that homeopathy is based on three important principles formulated by Hahnemann: principle of similarity, principle of infinitesimal dose principle of totality and in defining the field.
Principle of Similarity
Samuel Hahnemann was one of the first supporters of the experimental method in medicine diligently defended later by Claude Bernard and valid nowadays. Basic principles, revolutionary for its time, that man is the best site to test a drug.
Hahnemann discovered that any modern pharmacology (being traditional or homeopathic) admits that the aggregated data for experiments on animals are not valid for humans. Regardless of the type of drug, only clinical trials on humans can provide an accurate picture of its action, its indications and contraindications.
Experiments with quinine, which Hahnemann subjected himself and his students are an illustration of the principle of similarity. The conclusions are clear: under the influence of quinine, healthy individuals develop symptoms of malaria fever (quinine is also the parent drug for malaria). This observation is the basis of the principle of similarity (announced in 1796). Hahnemann also found that patients do not respond the same way to treatment with a drug. And this fact leads to another basic principle of homeopathy: the importance of the “pitch”.
Principle of the infinitesimal dose
When a homeopathic doctor treats a patient, it is prescribed in very small doses of medicine that a healthy person would take in large quantities; the latter evokes symptoms similar to those complained of by the patient.
All those complaints is “pathogenesis” * of the drug. Each drug has its pathogenesis. It describes its effect:
1. Somatic state (i.e. the state of various organs);
2. Psycho-emotional state;
3. Common indicators – general sensitivity to cold, heat, moisture, etc.; modality. **
* The mechanism of the formation and development of diseases. It explains why and how to develop pathological changes in various organs. Also explains the reasons for the emergence of various disease symptoms- notes from the author.
Modality ** – this is a change for improvement or deterioration in a patient’s symptoms, depending on climate, season, time of day, posture, etc. –notes from the author.
It should be noted that conventional medicine knows many cases of status changes depending on the dosage of taking medicines, e.g. baking soda in large doses is purgative (laxative) and small prescribed anti-diarrhea.
Opium is a good example of the paradoxical effect of large and small doses: as a sedative is usually administered in the form of a homeopathic solution, it is prescribed as a remedy for drowsiness.
But there is one condition to manifest this property: the solution of the prescription must be pre-dynamics, which enhances its effect. Both processes – dilution and dynamic – are carried out in laboratories which prepare homeopathic medicines.
Few products used in homeopathy are synthetic, produced in laboratories – the majority are derived from natural substances (plant, animal or mineral). The number of so-called “homeopathic originals” now exceeds 3,500.
Products of plant origin represent more than half of substances used in homeopathy. Typically, the whole plant is used, but in specific cases, homeopathic remedies are derived from separate parts (flowers, leaves, roots).
Products of animal origin (mollusks, reptiles, insects) can be either whole animals, such as bees (Apis mellifica) or ant (Formica rufa), and parts, organs or body fluids – for example, the ink substance that emits cuttlefish (Sepia) or venom viper (Vipera).
Products of mineral origin are both simple and complex substances such as sulfur, silver, silver nitrate, and natural chemical complexes (e.g. Shell or Calcarea carbonica; Petroleum, etc.)…
In homeopathy, also known three main types of products:
Biotherapeutic drugs are obtained based on the products of microbiological origin, secretions, animal and plant tissues or allergens that are sterilized in order to get a homeopathic preparation. Here are some examples: Influenzinum, flu vaccine produced by the Institute “Pasteur”, which was developed based on the current season of influenza viruses, according to the World Health Organization; Tuberculinum is developed on the basis of cultures of tubercle bacilli and others.
Autoisotherapeutical medicines are derived from substances that the body secretes the patient, and therefore used only by him (urine, sputum, etc.).
Heteroisotherapeutical medicines are derived from substances external to the patient, to which he is allergic. These are called allergens – pollen, dust mites, animal hair and certain medications.
The names of homeopathic preparations are always in Latin. This practice is maintained in order to create a universal language of homeopathy.
Raw materials for the manufacture of homeopathic medicine must first be diluted to meet the criteria for an infinitesimal dose, defined by Hahnemann. This process is different depending on whether it is a soluble substance (plant and animal products, poisons) or such insoluble (mineral products).
This method is used when the substances that are made homeopathic medicine, are insoluble in water or alcohol (most often these are substances of mineral origin).
Parent drug is crushed in judgment and then one part of the substance is broken down with 99 parts of lactose (milk sugar) and gets 1 CH grinding. The operation is repeated in another court to get 2 CH, then in the third – CH 3, etc.
The most common homeopathic remedies are prepared by consecutive dilutions of the starting substance in alcohol or distilled water and subsequent shaking. It is believed that through their substance from which it is prepared homeopathic medicine transmits information to the solution in which it is located. So even many highly toxic substances are toxic (as their concentration in the solution is almost immeasurable) and turn into drugs.
Centesimal dilutions of Hahnemann
The most popular are centesimal dilutions are indicated by CH. One part of the mother tincture is mixed with 99 parts strong water solution, and then placed in a special vibrating machine that made hundreds shakes per minute. This is the process of potencies. This results in dilution of 1 Hahnemann Centesimal (1 CH) or substance containing 1% of the stock solution.
If dilution of 1 Centesimal take part and add it to a new strong 99 parts water solution and shake well get 2 CH dilutions. The same principle also receives 5 CH, 9 CH, 15 CH, etc.
Each dilution should be done in a different vial – this is the so-called “method of urine bottles.” For the preparation of 30 CH dilution required 30 vials.
Decimal dilutions of Hahnemann
If we dissolve the soluble part of the initial substance with strong nine parts water solution is obtained first decimal dilution or 1 DH. In this method, all successive dilutions (accompanied by vigorous shaking) shall be in the ratio of one to nine.
The method of single bottle is first used in 1832 by the Russian Simon Korsakov.
In a vial mix 99 parts distilled water and 1 part of mother tincture. Shake vigorously, then emptied the vial. It is the liquid that remains on the walls of the vial, containing 1% of the initial solution and a dilution of 1 Korsakov or 1 K. The cycle is repeated as many times as necessary to obtain the desired solution (200 times for 200 K). Production is done by special equipment.
At the moment on our pharmaceutical market there are no Hahnemann’s Korsakov sollutions.
No matter what is the model of production of the homeopathic solution, strong safeguards in the preparation should be taken into consideration. They relate mainly to the cleanliness of the working environment, the quality of the solvent and sterility of the used vials. Measures to ensure the quality of homeopathic medicine must meet the standards of good manufacturing practice and priority of any specialized laboratory.
Homeopathic remedies are found in different galenical forms – granules, pills, drops, powders, creams, ampoules, suppositories.
Regardless of the form that are sold in pharmacies **, homeopathic medicines are of two main types:
• mono-preparations – made only one pro-drug;
• Specialties – combination of several homeopathic remedies that have more specific indications, but can easily be recommended by the pharmacist.
** On our pharmaceutical market is quality approved by authorized institutions in Bulgaria homeopathic medicines to pharmaceutical companies – “Boiron” (France), “Heel” and “DHU” (Germany) – MM- author’s notes.
PRINCIPLES OF USE
Rules for dosing the homeopathic remedies are very simple, but essential to the preparation work effectively:
- It is advisable to take in a clean mouth (at least 15 minutes before and after taking them not to accept anything else);
- We let them melt under the tongue, do not suck or chew. This route of taking the medicines is called sublingual recommended. It facilitates the absorption of the drug, since the tissue under the tongue surface is rich in blood vessels and also it has not been exposed to the influence of secretions from the esophagus and the stomach longer.
In practice, however, chewing and swallowing the drugs do not interfere with their operation. The medication can be given in feeding bottles of infant spoon or diluted in water to swallow more easily. In veterinary medicine granules are mixed with feed.
Homeopathic medicine causes qualitative response as the allopathic has quantitative action, i.e. the action is proportional to the dose prescribed. For this reason, conventional (allopathic) * treatment dosage is determined according to the strict boundaries of age, weight, body surface area. In homeopathic medicine, which is reactive and when is administered in extremely low doses virtually no risk of chemical toxicity or overdose exists. Therefore dosage in homeopathy does not depend on the above parameters. Practically it is the selection of the dilution of the drug and its multiplicity of reception time. This choice is determined by specific rules depending on the presented case and depends on the qualification and competence of a homeopathic physician.
* Allopathy – the Greek “Alos” -, and “pathos” – suffering. Treatment method, which consists in treating the causes or symptoms of a disease with drugs that caused the opposite effect – author’s notes.
Ever since homeopathy was developed it is subject to a number of disputes and mixed grades. Opponents even use accusations that it is nothing more than a placebo treatment.
Firstly it should be noted that homeopathy is actually existing medical practice. Its clinical efficacy is proven daily by more than 150,000 practicing physicians worldwide. They reveal its beneficial effect, although its mechanism of action in many cases is still a subject of research. As for the suggestion and self suggestion, the fact that homeopathy successfully treated babies and animals is groundless proof of these allegations.
Several publications give evidence of tangible results from homeopathic treatment of certain diseases. In 1997, in the journal “The Lancet” one meta-analysis based on 89 studies involving comparing homeopathy and treatment with a placebo, concluded that the efficacy of homeopathy is indisputable. The authors of the analysis also insisted on conducting a double-blind study to meet the compelling scientific criteria to confirm its position.
Ultimately, researchers worldwide now are interested in the effect of solutions high dilutions. Among several theories, hypotheses about the impact of high diluted homeopathic substances most commonly are acceptable: amolecular theory of information and informational-energetic. Their explanation is sought in two directions: first – allowed for medicinal material substrate, not molecular, and precipitation, and secondly – launched the hypothesis for information on the impact of substrate solution by modifying its properties. For these assumptions are required two conditions – dilution and
dynamism, they are basic steps in the preparation of homeopathic medicine.
The basis of the first direction lays the famous position of principle impossible disappearance of matter and energy. Nowadays physicists-theorists in the field of quantum mechanics maintain the concept of the impossibility of extinction information –i.e. “universal bank data.” British physicist J. Bell believes that the secret of homeopathic information is in quantum mechanics and more precisely in the corpuscular-wave structures. The second strand rises etc. Information-energy theory. It is assumed that the process of dilution and subsequent potency, effect of substrate information is then transmitted through the modified properties and parameters of the solution.
In the work of Professor Benavista (USA) Prof. Louis Ray (Switzerland), independently of one another are shown changes in the crystal lattice of the solvent after the meeting with the relevant material in the substrate dilution and subsequent potencies. The famous Nobel laureateProfessor Luc Montagnier, one of the scientists proved that HIV is a virus, a statement which even shocked the scientific community. He argues that DNA molecules can ‘self teleport “away, leaving the structure of their electromagnetic water footprints.
Professor Montagnier believes that RNA can take their fingerprints for real molecules, rely on information and synthesize those now very real existing proteins. The experiment, which has brought him to this conclusion, is the following: Two tubes that are close to each other, isolated by the magnetic field of the Earth and one another, subjected to weak electromagnetic radiation of extremely low frequency of 7 Hz. In one tube containing DNA fragments with a length of about one hundred nucleotides, and the other is pure water. After 16 to 18 hours the contents of the two tubes is investigated with the method of PCR – a standard procedure to search for traces of DNA. According to Professor Montagnier, then both tubes were found fragments of DNA.
These theories have been proven partially, but still hide unknown. Perhaps with further research in the field of quantum mechanics, neurobiology, in particular neurotransmitter system (monoaminergic, cholinergic, peptidergic, GABA structures) and cellular immunological molecular mechanisms will lead to an orderly, scientifically grounded and theory of homeopathy. Let us not forget that the efficient operation of nitroglycerin, quinine and many other medications have been recognized long before the discovery of scientifically supported their mechanism of action!
With what we said until now we see that homeopathy as a medical treatment method was developed and evolved in two main ways – practical medicine – based on proven clinical efficacy and the second – a great and rewarding field of research and experiments that confirm the capabilities and of physiopatological and pharmacological level.
For example, in France, scientists at the Medical University “Bordeaux II” work on the impact of the solutions of aspirin. They show that acetylsalicylic acid given as a homeopathic drug dilutions in decimal dose significantly reduced bleeding time for the entire group unchanged platelet aggregation and slightly increased levels of thrombin (in the usual allopathic doses, aspirin has antiplatelet effect and may cause bleeding). This opposite effect of the substances in appropriate dilutions is further evidence of the principles of similarity and of infinitely small doses.
It is interesting to note that modern science and medicine constantly discovere some concepts (ideas, principles) inherent in homeopathy.
- The principle of similarity is known as a universal biological law.
- The effect of infinitesimal doses adopted in traditional medicine, as well as the phenomenon of Arndt – Schultz *.
Recent discoveries in genetics and immunology are based on the premise that the human body reacts as a combination of biological, physiological and psychological characteristics, and this reaction is completely individual. And it reaffirms the principle of individual approach in homeopathy and confirms the importance of the field especially in the treatment of chronic pathologies;
Finally, the idea of “land” in homeopathy began to be confirmed in traditional medicine with the discoveries of Professor Jean Dausset (Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1980) related to the immune system.
In conclusion I would like to remind you on 1.1.2005 Health Law of Bulgaria legitimized homeopathy as a complementary treatment method, an integral part of medicine / Ch. VI – “Unconventional methods for favorable impact on individual health» /.
* Phenomenon Arndt-Schultz – reversing the effects of the drug, depending on the dose. – MM.