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Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Medicine: Back to the Future – Part II

Part I of this blog† summarized the origin of homeopathy, invented in 1790 by Samuel Christian Hahnemann. It discussed Hahnemann’s first two “homœopathic laws of nature,” similia similibus curantur (like cures like) and the “law of infinitesimals,” and showed that his rationales for each have long been refuted. Hahnemann proclaimed a third doctrine, the “law of psora” ["itch"], said by him to be “the mother of all true chronic diseases except the syphilitic and sycotic.”[1] Oddly, it seems to have been forgotten.

Part II gives Hahnemann the opportunity to explain his assertions more thoroughly, as is his due. It considers those assertions from the vantage point of modernity, as is ours.

“Leave None of them Uncured”

According to Hahnemann, homeopathy is a panacea:

“Now, however, in all careful trials, pure experience, the sole and infallible oracle of the healing art, teaches us that actually that medicine which, in its action on the healthy human body, has demonstrated its power of producing the greatest number of symptoms similar to those observable in the case of disease under treatment, does also, in doses of suitable potency and attenuation, rapidly, radically and permanently remove the totality of the symptoms of this morbid state, that is to say, the whole disease present, and change it into health; and that all medicines cure, without exception, those diseases whose symptoms most nearly resemble their own, and leave none of them uncured.”[2]

How might this happen?

“Dynamic Deranging Irritations of the Vital Force”

Hahnemann proposed that if two diseases with similar symptoms strike a patient, the “stronger” disease will invariably cure the “weaker.” Moreover, “the human body is much more disposed to let its state of health be altered by medicinal forces than by natural disease.”[3] Thus, by simulating the symptoms of a disease, homeopathic medicines “substitute themselves for the natural morbid affection, and thereby deprive the latter of all influence upon the vital force.”[4]

Hahnemann and most of his contemporaries believed in a supernatural “vital force.” “Vitalism” was the explanation for life itself, which was thought not to conform to the same physical and chemical principles that appeared to govern non-living processes. According to Hahnemann, “during health a spiritual power (autocracy, vital force) animates the organism and keeps it in harmonious order.”[5] Diseases, he believed, “are purely dynamic deranging irritations of the vital force.” Thus “to regard those diseases that are not surgical as a peculiar distinct thing residing in the human frame is an absurdity which has rendered allopathy so pernicious.”[6] In other words, diseases other than surgical (few, at the time) were not to be explained by material processes.

Again, Science Intervenes

The sweeping discoveries of the century or so following Hahnemann’s epiphany rendered “vitalism” obsolete. Among these were advances in physiology, chemistry and biochemistry demonstrating that biological processes conform to the same physical laws that govern non-living entities, and the refutation, by Louis Pasteur in 1861, of “spontaneous generation.”[7] The Germ Theory of disease, discovered by Pasteur, Koch and others, and advances in pathology, pathophysiology, biochemistry, nutrition, pharmacology, toxicology, genetics, and immunology have proved beyond any doubt that diseases are entirely explicable as “peculiar distinct thing[s] residing in the human frame,” even if not all diseases have yet been explained. In summary, there is no need to invoke supernatural theories to account for either normal biological processes or diseases.

The great 19th century French physiologist Claude Bernard understood this by 1865, when he wrote:

“When an obscure or inexplicable phenomenon presents itself, instead of saying ‘I do not know,’ as every scientific man should, physicians are in the habit of saying, ‘this is vitalism’; apparently without the least idea that they are explaining darkness by still greater darkness…. Vitalism is nothing but a word that means ignorance, and when we characterize a phenomenon as ‘vital,’ it amounts to saying that we do not know its immediate cause or its conditions.”[8]

Homeopathy vs. “Allopathy”

As suggested in Part I, Hahnemann’s first law (“like cures like”) was nothing new. The second law (“infinitesimals”) was certainly the basis for the early, apparent success of homeopathy, when the practice contrasted with the harsh, frequently toxic ministrations of contemporary European medicine. Hahnemann himself called attention to the difference:

“…homœopathy sheds not a drop of blood, administers no emetics, purgatives, laxatives or diaphoretics, drives off no external affection by external means, prescribes no warm baths or medicated clysters, applies no Spanish flies or mustard plasters, no setons, no issues, excites no ptyalism, burns not with moxa or red-hot iron to the very bone, and so forth, but gives with its own hand its own preparations of simple uncompounded medicines, which it is accurately acquainted with, never subdues pain by opium, etc.”[9]

“Allopathy” was the term coined by Hahnemann to dramatize the contrast between homeopathy and its competition. According to Hahnemann, “allopathic” medicine sought to give only medicines that suppressed symptoms:

“In order to give a general notion of the treatment of diseases pursued by the old school of medicine (allopathy)… Whenever it can, it employs, in order to keep in favour with its patient, remedies that immediately suppress and hide the morbid symptoms by opposition (contraria contrariis) for a short time (palliatives), but that leave the disposition to these symptoms (the disease itself) strengthened and aggravated.”[10] (parentheses in the original)

That assertion was not really applicable to the medicine of Hahnemann’s time (bloodletting, purging and many other treatments derided by Hahnemann were used because they supposedly drew the causative pernicious humours from the body—not in an attempt to “suppress and hide the morbid symptoms”). It has even less to do with modern medicine, although homeopaths still denigrate drugs that ameliorate unpleasant symptoms (pain, for example),[11] and frown on any class of agents whose name includes the prefix “anti-,” whether the root word refers to a symptom (antidepressant) or not (antibiotic).

Hahnemann considered nothing other than symptoms—albeit “symptoms” that competent physicians then and now would find preposterous, as we shall see—because “If all the symptoms be eradicated, the disease is always cured internally also.”[12]Thus it is ironic that his statements about “allopathy” appear to be the basis for the now-common claim among homeopaths, naturopaths, “integrative” physicians, and others that they “seek to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms.”

The term “allopathic” is of historical interest only; it has no role in describing modern medicine. Its use by modern “CAM” advocates is usually pejorative, as it was when used by Hahnemann himself. It is naïve when used by legitimate physicians, who appear unaware that they are misrepresenting their profession. The misnomer is especially regrettable when found in the language of state medical boards and agencies of the federal government, betraying the ignorance of those presumed by the citizenry to be experts.

“Provings” and “Symptoms”

Determinations of the type of substance and the dose (that is, the dilution) used in homeopathic preparations are made by “provings”: a homeopath-’investigator’ gives a preparation to one or more healthy subjects (“provers”), who each keep a detailed diary of every sensation, feeling, mood change, physical change, and anything else that may occur to them over the next several days to months. These “symptoms” are then compiled; their aggregate is presumed to have been caused by the “remedy” that preceded them, and the result is published in a Materia Medica. The practicing homeopath, after eliciting a litany of “symptoms” from a patient, then determines the correct “remedy” by finding the most closely-matching group in the MM. [13]

Shortly before Hahnemann died, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., one of the innovators of modern medicine and a critic of homeopathy, considered “symptoms”–as the term is used by homeopaths:

“The following list was taken literally from the Materia Medica of Hahnemann, by my friend M. Vernois, for whose accuracy I am willing to be responsible. He has given seven pages of these symptoms, not selected, but taken at hazard from the French translation of the work. I shall be very brief in my citations.

“ ‘After stooping some time, sense of painful weight about the head upon resuming the erect posture.’

“ ‘An itching, tickling sensation at the outer edge of the palm of the left hand, which obliges the person to scratch.’ The medicine was acetate of lime, and as the action of the globule taken is said to last twenty-eight days, you may judge how many such symptoms as the last might be supposed to happen.

“Among the symptoms attributed to muriatic acid are these: a catarrh, sighing, pimples; ‘after having written a long time with the back a little bent over, violent pain in the back and shoulder-blades, as if from a strain,’—‘dreams which are not remembered—disposition to mental dejection—wakefulness before and after midnight.’

“I might extend this catalogue almost indefinitely. I have not cited these specimens with any view to exciting a sense of the ridiculous, which many others of those mentioned would not fail to do, but to show that the common accidents of sensation, the little bodily inconveniences to which all of us are subject, are seriously and systematically ascribed to whatever medicine may have been exhibited, even in the minute doses I have mentioned, whole days or weeks previously.

“To these are added all the symptoms ever said by anybody, whether deserving confidence or not…”[14]

Are today’s homeopaths as liberal in their use of the term as was Hahnemann? Yes, as we shall see next week.


[1] Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. 5th Edition (1833) translated by Dudgeon. 6th Edition (1842?) translated by Boericke. Available at: http://www.homeopathyhome.com/reference/organon/organon.html

[2] Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Op cit.

[3] Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Op cit.

[4] Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Op cit.

[5] Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Op cit.

[6] Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Op cit.

[7] Pasteur L. 1861. Memoire sur les corpuscles organizes qui existent dans l’atmosphere. Examen de la doctrine des generations spontanees. [On the organized bodies which exist in the atmosphere; examination of the doctrine of spontaneous generation]. Annales des sciences naturelles, 4th series, vol. 16, pp. 5-98. Excerpt translated in: Brock TD (translator and editor). Milestones in Microbiology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.; 1961. pp. 43-48

[8] Bernard, Claude. An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine. Translated by Greene HC. New York: Macmillan; 1865 [Reprinted in 1927, p. 201]. Quoted in “Medicine in quotations online.” American College of Physicians website. Accessed 2002 at: http://www.acponline.org/cgi-bin/medquotes.pl?subject=Vitalism (no longer available online)

[9] Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Op cit.

[10] Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Op cit.

[11] Jonas, Wayne B. and Jennifer Jacobs. Healing with Homeopathy: the Doctors’ Guide. New York: Warner Books; 1996. P. 10

[12] Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Op cit.

[13] Borneman JP, Field RI. Regulation of Homeopathic Drug Products. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. Vol. 63 (2006): 86-91. Available at: http://nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/articles/regulation_of_homeopathic_drug_products.pdf

[14] Holmes, OW. Homeopathy and its Kindred Delusions. Two Lectures to the Boston Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1842). Available at: http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/holmes.html

………………………..

The Homeopathy Series:

  1. Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Medicine: Back to the Future – Part I
  2. Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Medicine: Back to the Future – Part II
  3. Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Medicine: Back to the Future–Part III
  4. Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Medicine: Back to the Future Part IV
  5. Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Medicine: Back to the Future Part V
  6. Harvard Medical School: Veritas for Sale (Part III)
  7. The Dull-Man Law
  8. Smallpox and Pseudomedicine

Posted in: Basic Science, Homeopathy, Politics and Regulation, Science and Medicine

Leave a Comment (29) ↓

29 thoughts on “Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Medicine: Back to the Future – Part II

  1. mdarby says:

    This is an interesting topic. Based on advice of others, I had purchased a couple of homeopathic remedies for my family under the false assumption that a benign herbal remedy was involved. I had no idea that typically not a single molecule of the original agent (or even the water that touched the agent) was present.

    One question:

    What does the theory of homeopathy predict will happen when a person without a particular illness takes the homeopathic remedy for that illness? Shouldn’t that person develop the symptoms? Or does the “proving” only occur at a higher dose than the dilutions sold in little white lactose tablets?

    I am assuming that homeopathy proposes a reason that taking homeopathic remedies by a healthy person will NOT cause the symptoms, even though that appears to be the basis of the system, as then the core claims of homeopathy would be easily testable by anybody.

    I would feel completely safe taking ten tablets each of homeopathic pills for nausea, poison ivy, back pain, and headaches and see what happens. I am pretty confident I’d be OK.

  2. daijiyobu says:

    To mdarby :

    from what I was taught in bogus ‘naturopathic medical school’ [UBCNM], provings occur at the mother tincture level — meaning the ‘actually chemically there’ level {tinctures, usually, are alcohol-based soups wherein the original substance’s components are possibly dissolved; BTW, provings are a completely confounded methodology, essentially}.

    The ‘dilution to absurdity plus succusion’ process is when their ‘like cures like’ thing happens — magically.

    In my opinion, it is important to note that their ‘like cures like’ occurs on two levels in that process: ‘strength to help’ increases the more the agent is spiritized.

    If the problem is at the ‘purposeful life spirit’ level {the cause, for naturopathy}, then the remedy must be ‘immaterialized’ to that extent in order for ‘a like spirit to alter a like spirit’ {treat the cause; aka sympathetic magic}.

    Yet, a healthy person who takes a homeopathic remedy or a sick person who takes the wrong homeopathic remedy — experiences no benefit and usually they state no harm either.

    None of this, of course, survives scientific scrutiny.

  3. PalMD says:

    Wow….it’s like…when 3rd graders are trying to make sense of their world and they come up with internally consistent but wrong explanations for the world around them….except they don’t try to sell their ideas.

  4. mjranum says:

    To mdarby:

    Here’s a simple experiment you can conduct at home – drink an entire bottle of homeopathic sleep aid. Do not conduct the follow-up experiment, which is to eat an entire bottle of Ambien.

    My ex-wife used to spend $$ on the “bach flower remedies” (basically, another woo-woo like homeopathy) including a panacea-in-a-bottle called ‘rescue remedy’ that she felt used to help her sleep. Other than gagging on the frightful taste (the worse it tastes the better it must be for you!) the equivalent of 100 doses had no apparent effect on me. It’s basically brandy, which means it’s a lot more effective than homeopathic remedies…

    Do not, repeat not, attempt such a demonstration with real science based medicine like Ambien. Science based medicine actually does things.

  5. HCN says:

    Dear mjranum, we know in our extended family the failure of homeopathy first hand.

    A relative had a severe psychotic episode that caused her mother to call “911″. She ended up in the county psyche ward for several weeks (her parents paid past the initial 72 hours) where she was diagnosed as being bipolar.

    When she was released she was doing better than ever before. No longer was she refusing to go outside during a down period, nor was she buying up and filling up her house with stuff during her manic period. This seemed to be due to the real medications combined with the psychiatric help she received at the county hospital.

    Unfortunately once she was released all the support disappeared. She went back to the naturapath who she felt was better than the psychiatrist, dropped her real meds for homeopathic remedies.

    Um, in short, the homeopathy did not work. Is this a surprise?

    Well, it was to her and her parents! She wrote a long winded letter to the rest of the family about homeopathy not working. I had to slowly explain to her father what homeopathy actually consisted of. I don’t think he fully comprehended the dilutions. sigh

    I saw a woman and her family truly suffer under the hands of an incompetent naturapath use of homeopathy. The result would have been the same for anyone practising homeopathy.

    Homeopathy cannot compare in effectiveness to real medicine.

    I challenge any homeopath to answer some simple questions, the first being:

    How many sodium and chlorine atoms are in one cubic centimeter of Nat Mur 30C ?

    The second being (from Gimpy’s blog and Badly Shaved Monkey on the James Randi Forum):
    Do you think that homeopathy can be used to cure non-self limiting conditions, if so could you provide an example of one, you only need one, incontrovertible example, with references, of homeopathy curing a non-self-limiting condition?

  6. DLC says:

    Hahneman was, put simply, wrong.
    He had no proper scientific method, and he never bothered with peer review. In other words, he invented crap based on poor anecdotes.

  7. Regarding the “potency” of preparations used in “provings”: According to Hahnemann’s Organon of Medicine (§ 123),

    “Each of these medicines must be taken in a perfectly simple, unadulterated form; the indigenous plants in the form of freshly expressed juice, mixed with a little alcohol to prevent it spoiling; exotic vegetable substances, however, in the form of powder, or tincture prepared with alcohol when they were in the fresh state and afterwards mingled with a certain proportion of water; [etc.]”

    This is consistent with daijiyobu’s description above. A recent, mostly critical book on homeopathy, however, states: “Originally, provings used only low-potency or even crude doses, but Hahnemann soon switched to 30C remedies both for provings and for treating patients.” [1] “30C” is the designation for a 100^30 X dilution (remember the paradox of homeopathy: the more dilute, the more “potent”).

    Modern “provings,” now also called “homeopathic pathogenic trials” (“HPTs”), seem to use mainly “medium to high potency” preparations. According to a recent report, “Clinically and in research trials, the most commonly used homeopathic potency is an ultramolecular potency of 30C…” [2] The book cited above quotes two homeopaths advocating “potencies” for provings ranging from 6C to 50,000C (yup: 100 to the 50,000th power). [1]

    1. Shelton JW. Homeopathy: How it Really Works. Amherst, NY:Prometheus Books, 2004. pp. 26;97

    2. Sarah Brien, George Lewith, Trevor Bryant (2003)
    Ultramolecular homeopathy has no observable clinical effects. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled proving trial of Belladonna 30C. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 56 (5), 562–568. Available at: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2125.2003.01900.x

  8. daijiyobu says:

    In respect to what was begun with, homeo. remedies are odorless & tasteless, and I’m betting a mass spectrograph picks up more contaminants than the source ‘mother tincture’ material that it all started from.

    A cynic would argue that using already diluted & potentized homeopathic remedies (liquid, or as lactose pills) for provings, as seems to be the later and modern standard (thanks for the clarification, Dr. Atwood — I have Shelton’s excellent book, BTW, I’ve just forgotten it’s contents!), wouldn’t require an exotic source compound…as no one would be able to tell if ‘any old whatever’ was being posed as say ‘polonium!’

    Let me think: which is easier to do, acquire the sweat off a dog’s scrotum and dilute and potentize the whole thing for say, the homeopathic indication of ‘shrivels in the cold,’ or just pose untestable surrogates for the same thing?

    I like Ben Goldacre of The Guardian’s idea {perhaps he’s not the originator, but he did write about it}: test homeopathy by having the homeopath do whatever and prescribe whatever, and have the experiment’s patient’s pick up the remedy from a pharmacist, wherein some blinding and legitimate cross-over could be done.

    “No better than placebo” comes to mind as a likely result.

  9. HCN says:

    Today I read a blog comment from a fan of homeopathy that seems to illustrate both the level of arrogance and scientific understanding that is to be expected:
    http://gimpyblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/homeopath-bloggers-ii/#comment-1726

    “Let us all welcome another person ignorant of science to the blog. The complexity of the human body arises from the combination of only 4 molecules. ”

    It is truly fun to be berated for not understanding science by someone who is so completely clueless.

  10. daedalus2u says:

    Actually the complexity of the human body arises from just 47 molecules. Each chromosome is a single molecule of DNA, and there is a single molecule of DNA in the mitochondria.

    Of course those are not “simple” molecules.

  11. daijiyobu says:

    Re: the immediately above by daedalus2u,

    and as Richard Dawkins wrote, in “River Out of Eden” (1996; ISBN 0465069908) {I employ this as a direct refutation of homeopathy’s essential doctrine of vitalism}:

    “after Watson and Crick, we know that genes themselves [...] are long strings of pure digital information [...DNA] the genetic code [...is] a quaternary code, with four symbols [...] the machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like [...] this digital revolution at the very core of life has dealt the final, killing blow to vitalism — the belief that living material is deeply distinct from nonliving material [p.017...] there is no spirit-driven life force, no throbbing, heaving, pullulating, protoplasmic [p.018], mystic jelly. Life is just bytes and bytes of digital information [p.019].”

  12. deepa.sannidhi says:

    Did Hahnemann’s doctrine work based on scientific evidence? No. Does the belief frame-work of homeopathy consisting of divine this and divine that pass the test of scientific scrutuny? No. Do the treatments prescribed by homeopaths (certified and well trained ones) work, even when weighed against the placebo effect? The answer to this question would be a resounding yes. There are studies testing, in fact, the efficacy of homeopathic treatments against the efficacy of modern medical treatments. Why homeopathy works we do not know, and saying that Hahnemann’s explanation for it is correct based on the fact that it works would be a spurious correlation. However, saying that it does not work based on an archaic attempt to explain a not yet understood phenomena that has been demonstrated to occur in clinical trials would be foolish. In fact, homeopathy has been used effectively against pet illnesses, completely eliminating the question of placebo effect, as these animals have no idea what the sugar pills they are being given are for.

    I do admit however, that my primary reason for believing in homeopathy is based on anecdotal evidence. My grandmother was diagnosed with rectal cancer before she had my mother. At that time, there were not as many effective chemotherapeutic drugs available as today.

    My grandfather turned to a homeopath in desperation and my mother is the proof that she survived, although she has never been the healthy woman she was before she had the cancer. She is still in remission.

    My mother was diagnosed with having uterine fibroids before having me. The doctors told her it would be impossible for her to conceive. She turned to a homeopath and she eventually became pregnant with me. She had to have a C-section as I was a sensitive pregnancy, so the doctors were able to tell that her fibroid tumor had disappeared.

    Last year, my grandfather had a stroke and was paralyzed on one side and unable to walk. Homeopathy and yoga(here you could argue the yoga helped, and not the homeopathy) helped him to recover in a matter of weeks (as I understood it. I unfortunately cannot account for over-enthusiastic relatives) and although he has not been able to function as well as he used to, he continues to do yoga and is able to go to the market and fetch vegetables for my grandmother.

    I personally have eczema that was getting worse inspite of the use of steroids. When the doctor recommended that I use a more aggressive steroid, my father, who is a pharmacist, suggested I try homeopathy because steroid treatment has many side-effects and not that great of a track record. I had tried elidel (topical non-steroidal immuno-suppressant if I recall correctly) before that, and that had not worked either. When I suggested this to my internist, she agreed it would be a good idea to try. Everytime I took the homeopathic medicine, my eczema would get worse(although this could have been a placebo effect because I had heard that with homeopathy things often get worse before they get better) and then things would get better. Depending on the medicine, the coloring of the scars changed, or the itching would get better. I have not been able to be as adherent to my regimen as I should because I am currently in medical school, but my eczema really has not been that bad. Although I do have itching from time to time, everyone from my husband to my friends who had to constantly slap my hand away from my knees to prevent me form scratching agrees that I am much improved.

    My homeopath also happens to be a pediatric cardiologist and has more certificates on his wall than I can handle looking at (including a fellowship at the mayo school of medicine and something that I dont remember from Cambridge) He is among New Jerey’s Top Doctors. He is clearly not some whacko. He learned homeopathy from The British Institute of Homeopathy a long time ago.

    I am not going to list abstracts upon abstracts of trials in which homeopathic trials have been shown to work. Go to Pubmed for that, and your local library or academic institution for some good old full text journals. I am 100% confident you will find them. Many of you will probably say that all this means nothing. All I am saying is that maybe Natrum Mur 30c doesnt have a molecule of the substance that it is labeled as, but it does work(in fact my brother used it effectively to clear up insect bites when he was young). Why it works, science will tell us in the future. I am not saying that CAM practitioners do not push things too far sometimes. I am not saying that modern medicine does not have life saving treatment. I am simply saying that evidence speaks for itself in both situations and I am asking you to let it.

  13. David Gorski says:

    Did your grandmother have surgery for her rectal cancer? If so, my post for today might be of interest to you.

  14. Harriet Hall says:

    Deepa,

    You might be interested in a book by Jay Shelton, “Homeopathy: How It REALLY Works.” He covers the topic very thoroughly, reviews all the published evidence, and comes to the conclusion that homeopathy works, but that its effectiveness has nothing to do with what’s in the remedies themselves. Even the most ridiculous quack remedy “works” for someone – they all have testimonials. The question is whether science can show that it works any better than an indistinguishable placebo.

    As for evaluating the evidence of trials supporting homeopathy, the book I reviewed in this blog last week “Snake Oil Science” may give you food for thought about the actual significance of all those studies.

  15. deepa.sannidhi says:

    Thank you Harriett

    I will be buying the book on Homeopathy that you recommended. As I said, I dont agree with Hahnemann’s explanation of the disease, I simply believe that it works based on my past experiences.

    David, I will also be asking my grandfather details about my grandmother’s cancer but he is about 81 years old now and she is in her late 60′s to 70′s. The problem is, patients were not as well informed back then as they are today so I’m not sure of the understanding he would have regarding all of her treatments and what they were for and I don’t know whether he still remembers the sequence of events. Besides, I wonder how well they understood the concept of informed consent in the India of the 1950′s. The doctors probably explained very little. Also, he has a hearing problem and lives in India so there is a significant communication problem. My impression from my mother was that her cancer still persisted after chemotherapy.

  16. Mojo says:

    Kimball Atwood wrote:

    “Regarding the “potency” of preparations used in “provings”: According to Hahnemann’s Organon of Medicine (§ 123),

    “Each of these medicines must be taken in a perfectly simple, unadulterated form; the indigenous plants in the form of freshly expressed juice, mixed with a little alcohol to prevent it spoiling; exotic vegetable substances, however, in the form of powder, or tincture prepared with alcohol when they were in the fresh state and afterwards mingled with a certain proportion of water; [etc.]”

    This is consistent with daijiyobu’s description above. A recent, mostly critical book on homeopathy, however, states: “Originally, provings used only low-potency or even crude doses, but Hahnemann soon switched to 30C remedies both for provings and for treating patients.””

    At § 128 (5th ed) Hahnemann actually does recommend carrying out provings at 30C:

    “The most recent observations have shown that medicinal substances, when taken in their crude state by the experimenter for the purpose of testing their peculiar effects, do not exhibit nearly the full amount of the powers that lie hidden in them which they do when they are taken for the same object in high dilutions potentized by proper trituration and succussion, by which simple operations the powers which in their crude state lay hidden, and, as it were, dormant, are developed and roused into activity to an incredible extent. In this manner we now find it best to investigate the medicinal powers even of such substances as are deemed weak, and the plan we adopt is to give to the experimenter, on an empty stomach, daily from four to six very small globules of the thirtieth potentized dilution of such a substance, moistened with a little water, and let him continue this for several days.”

    And at § 129 he suggests, if sufficient symptoms are not exhibited, increasing the number of 30C “globules” taken rather than using a lower potency.

  17. allopath says:

    So called ‘modern medicine’ should not be termed “allopathic” but more properly “anti-pathic”

    anti-biotics
    anti-inflammatories
    anti-depressives
    anti-fungal
    anti-malarial
    anti-diarrhoeal

    anti- …………… body’s efforts to heal

    it either cuts, replaces or kills and destroys
    it uses drugs as ‘weapons’ and symptoms as enemies
    it fails to realize that symptoms can be our best allies

    is ‘modern medicine’ really so scientific?

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