The Science of Homeopathy
Paper presented by Dr. Atiq Ahmad Bhatti
This short lecture, entitled 'The Science of Homeopathy' was presented in 2006 to an audience of 150, comprising of scientists, GP's, surgeons, physicists and biochemists at the annual AMMA United Kingdom Conference held in London.
I am honoured to have been asked to present this short paper on the science of Homeopathy.
Thus I would like to firstly thank Tolou Scott for giving me this opportunity and also thank all the members present today who have come out of their own time to learn about this system of medicine.
The aim of any practitioner, from whatever discipline he or she may be from, is to ultimately bring about the restoration of health for his or her patients. This can through various means and methods.
In today's ever changing modern world many forms of medicine are being introduced as a cure for mans diseases. Against conventional medicine we have new holistic therapies from reiki and iridology through to hypnotherapy, herbal and biochemic medicine as a means to provide man with natural and side effect free healing.
Homeopathy itself has been around for over 200 years now, and its principles lie in the fundamental belief that like treats like, or put another way, the law of similars. This principle is the fundamental foundation of Homeopathy.
Homeopathy is not just about prescribing therapeutically or in relation to symptoms individually. It is more focused on the individual, his history, eating habits, emotional and genetic makeup, traits in family history, lifestyle, character etc etc.
Homeopathy teaches us that the whole patient must be taken into consideration to effectively treat him or her for whatever he/she may be suffering from.
This teaching has in fact been around since the time of Hippocrates - who is also referred to as the father of medicine. Hippocrates lived 400 years before the birth of Jesus.
Many of Hippocrates discoveries are still being practiced in the world of medicine today - especially in the world of Homeopathy.
Hippocrates taught us that diseases came from natural causes. He had observed many patients and carefully recorded their symptoms and the way their illnesses developed. He would look at the color of the skin, and how the eyes looked. He would look for fevers and chills.
He told his students to carefully observe their patients and to learn from the things they had observed. He said that the human body could heal itself and could return itself to good health.
Another example is Socrates, The Greek philosopher who was made to drink Conium 2500 years ago. Although people knew the effects of this poison before this, the personal experience and the moment by moment detailed description of the effects of this poison as given by Socrates had never been known before.
Homeopathy is the next stage, and I believe, a superior stage of development from the time of Hippocrates but still lays its true foundations to his way of thinking, i.e. to treat the patient and not just the disease.
Treatment in homeopathy has a very scientific and holistic approach. One has to consider everything that can possibly influence the individual, e.g.
Homeopathy - How it Came About?
Homeopathy was founded by Dr. Samuel Christian Freidrich Hahnemann who was born in Saxony in 1755 AD. He loved to learn languages and in fact attained proficiency in eight of them.
At the age of 12, he started teaching Greek. Thus, he became a language teacher at a very young age. He began medical studies in Leipzeg, Asutria, and then he went to Vienna and Erlangen . In 1779, he became a medical doctor and started practicing in Dresden .
Dr. Hahnemann was a kind hearted doctor and his income was not much, so he started translating books into other languages in order to supplement his income.
After 11 years of medical practice, he discovered the Homeopathic system of medicine. For the first 6 years or so he mostly experimented on himself and his near relatives. In 1796, for the first time, he informed the medical world about Homeopathic philosophy through medical journals. In 1810AD, he published his famous book, The Organon of Rational Medicine.
Traditional medical doctors of that time strongly opposed him. In 1820AD, the proponents of the old allopathic system of medicine had his system of Homeopathy declared unlawful by the Government.
However, before Homeopathy was declared unlawful, Hahnemann sent for Prince Karl Schwarzenberg of Austria , and treated him successfully in Leipzeg. The Prince being naturally grateful to Hahnemann recommended to King Friedrich that all restrictions against Homeopathy should be removed and in future none should be reimposed.
Homeopathy means like cures like. This is the method of treating a disease with the materials derived from the toxic and injurious agents causing similar signs and symptoms in a healthy being.
Before Dr Hahnemann, this system was evidently outside the established system of allopathic treatment, although some of the treatments offered there worked on the same line as Homeopathy. These, however, were not understood as such. A few such practices were in vogue on an experimental basis and in a limited controlled way. For example, Ipecac and Opium were given in diluted tinctured form to relive nausea and vomiting. In fact, both these medicines are known as strong vomiting and nausea inducers.
Dr. Hahnemann had experimented on many such drugs and was surprised to note that not only did they cause a certain illness, yet at the same time they cured that particular illness when administered in diluted form.
During this deep and thoughtful experimentation, Dr. H discovered the fantastic defence system of the human body. The physicians believe that the human body had the power of defending itself but were unaware of its magnitude and the principle of its working. They did not know how to utilise the defensive nature of the body against the establishment of the disease. This secret was revealed by Dr. H after his constnt, thoughtful deep study of the human body's defence system. His observations about the great defensive capability of the human body were astounding and unbelievable, but must be believed because the observations he offered were so clear. In support of this, Dr. Hahnemann further noted that the body reacts naturally to every external attack. Anything alien to the human body, be it an article of food, drug or poison, provokes the body to react against it. External abuse of the body is quickly overcome by the bodily defences.
During continous experimentation and observation over a period of 6 years, he stated that if in the past some disease has been overlooked and not reacted to by the body, then the introduction of a similar symptoms producing agent in extremely diluted and pacified form would induce defensive body reaction and eliminate the sickness.
So, in principle, Homeopathy is the method of treating an ailment caused by injurus toxic substances with the same or similar substances given in an extremely diluted form. However, in this imperceptible and chemically ineffective dilution, the body still picks up the message and reacts to it.
Most of the time, the silution of the Homeopathic remedy is such that the original substance is virtually absent. The more the dilution, the more potently it works, i.e. the potency increases with serial dilutions. This is of course in total contrast to the quantitative summation of allopathic medicines.
A Recap on Homeopathy
As mentioned earlier, Homeopathy is based on the principle of the law of similars - like treats like.
The law of similars tells us that any harmful substance in its crude/pure form that is capable of inducing varying symptoms or conditions of disease upon a healthy patient will, if diluted to an infinitesimal/minute dose, bring about a cure for those symptoms induced, thus reversing its properties from it being a harmful substance to a curative and healing substance.
We have a scenario where a child ingests certain poisons. In this case one may administer syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting from a conventional route of medicine.
Why? Well Ipecac is derived from the root of a South American plant called Ipecacuanha. The name, in the native language, means "the plant by the road which makes you throw up." Eating the plant thus causes vomiting.
However, from a Homeopathic system of medicine, Ipecac - because it induces vomiting in a healthy patient - given in cases of incessant morning sickness with nausea or food poisoning would allay the similar suffering.
Atropa Belladonna - or deadly nightshade.
If taken in pure form - symptoms are characterised by redness and heat. The fever is high, the face is red, the pulse can be seen in the veins of the neck.
Given in a Homeopathic dilution, Belladonna can thus be used for the treatment of any of the above, such symptoms being caused by fever, teething of infants or an allergic response.
Dr Hahnemann described this principle by using a Latin phrase: Similia Similibus Curentur, which translates: "Let likes cure likes."
The science of homeopathy differs from that of conventional medicine because it stimulates the body to recover itself. The remedies given are thus stimulants. Homeopathy does not believe in suppression of the disease in any form whatsoever.
It is important to note here that 60% of Homeopathic medicine is derived from natural plant sources, the remainder 40% being from mineral, animal and biological matter.
How Homeopathic Remedies are Prepared.
The process of making Homeopathic remedies is very distinct.
Homeopathic medicines are classified as potencies with either a decimal or centesimal extension. For example Calc Phos 6x is a Homeopathic dilution of Calcium Phosphate to a potency of 6x, a decimal potency.
Calc Phos 6c is a Homeopathic dilution of Calcium Phosphate to a potency of 6c, a centesimal potency.
For remedies derived from soluble substances, such as animal or plant extracts, the raw material is dissolved in an alcohol / water mixture that contains approximately 90% pure alcohol and 10% distilled water (ratio may vary depending on substance) this mixture is left to stand for 2-4 weeks, shaken occasionally and then strained through a press. The resulting liquid is known as the mother tincture.
So for example, this would be how the Homeopathic mother tinctures of Craetegus (known commonly as Hawthorne Berries) and Syzgium (known as Jambol seeds - a native Indian edible fruit) are prepared.
Insoluble substances such as gold, calcium carbonate and graphite, must first be made soluble by a process known as trituration, in which they are ground continually until they become soluble substances. These are then given the same process as above of dissolving in a mixture of alcohol and water.
To produce different remedy potencies, the mother tincture is diluted in an alcohol/water mixture according to the two scales, and as mentioned, the decimal (x) and the centesimal (c). In the decimal scale the dilution factor is 1:10 and in the centesimal it is 1:100.
It is important to point out here that between every stage of dilution the diluted tincture is succussed (shaken vigorously). One can refer to this as active agitation.
Active agitation, or succussion, the key to potency, is a system of specialized agitation during the production process and as such is a special part of the manufacture of homeopathic medicine
In allopathic medicine, when prescribing a drug, often the principle is based on the bigger the dose the greater the therapeutic effect.
Homeopathic prescribing adopts the opposing view: the smaller the drug dose, the more potent its effect.
Once we are at the mother tincture stage, the next stage is potency scales.
So for example, to produce a potency of the Arnica Montana remedy in 30c, one drop of the mother tincture is added to 99 drops of an alcohol/water mixture and succussed. This results in the first centesimal potency of 1c.
To produce a 2c potency, one drop of the 1c mixture is added to 99 drops of an alcohol/water mixture and succussed. This thus results in the 2 nd centesimal potency of 2c.
This is done 30 times to reach the potency of 30c. You can well imagine the dilution ratio when we talk about 200c, 1M, 10M, 50M and CM potencies.
Just to recap then, Homeopathic medicine is based on dilution and succussion. A remedy of 6x means that the original mother tincture is diluted one in 10, 15 times. Whereas a remedy 6c has been diluted one in 100, 6 times.
Classical Homeopathy works to treat the patient by a single remedy - and is applicable and more appropriate for Chronic illness, whereas Complex Homeopathy is used for acute conditions that show a multiple of symptoms.
Homeopathy - Medicine for the Future
In conclusion, Homeopathy is a recognised and establishment system of medicine that focuses on the restoration of health of the patient, not just alleviating his or her symptoms.
Homeopathy is about getting to the root cause of disease, not about suppression of symptoms.
Homeopathy is about using mother natures' natural ingredients to bring about a real and lasting change in peoples health.
Homeopathy is a cost effective method of providing health restoration treatment and is free from side effects. It is a safe form of treatment for adults, the aged, children and even animals.
However, it goes side by side and is complementary to the normal allopathic system of medicine. The world needs, and will continue to need Doctors, Surgeons, Specialists who can help and maintain a patients health. But Homeopathy also plays a critical role in helping with a patients health restoration.
I will state here that Homeopathy is not an entity on its own, but can and will work closely with general medicine. We need more and more members of the medical profession to come forward and embrace this system of medicine to use alongside their regular approach - with the aim of ultimately providing restoration of health to the patient.
In 1815 Samuel Hahnemann wrote:
"Our art requires no political lever, no worldly decorations in order to become something. It grows gradually, at first unrecognized, surrounded as it were by all manner of weeds which luxuriate around it, from an insignificant acorn to a sapling, soon its summit will overtop the rank weeds. Patience! It is striking deep its roots into the earth, it is increasing in strength imperceptibly but all the more surely and will in its own time grow into an oak of God, which no longer is shaken by storms, spreads out its branches into all regions that suffering mankind may be healed under its beneficent shade."
It seems likely that the founder of Homeopathy was inspired by God, He who wanted this system of physical healing to go alongside the system of spiritual healing.
Author's Resource: Article by Dr Atiq Ahmad Bhatti
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