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Homeopathy Diseases

George Vithoulkas
A therapeutic system founded by the German doctor Samuel Christian F. Hahnemann
1
, Meissen,
Germany 1755 Paris, 1843.
The word homeopathy is made up of the Greek words omoios, meaning similar, and
pathos, meaning disease.
The law of similars: similia similibus curentur.
This system is based mainly on the principle that the cure for a particular disease is achieved
through the use of pharmaceutical substances that, when administered to a healthy person,
produce the similar symptoms as those of the disease in question. For example, it is well known
that Belladonna causes mydriasis , that is to say dilation of the pupil of the eye. In a case of
mydriasis the homeopathic doctor will probably give Belladonna, in a highly diluted potency, in
order to restore the pupil to its normal state. Another example is digitalis
2
which, whereas it is
used in conventional medicine to suppress episodes of paroxysmic ventricular tachycardia is,
however, and precisely because of this action, made use of in homeopathy for the cure of
bradycardia, with a weak pulse and a tendency to faint, irregular breathing, general exhaustion,
anorexia, tendency to vomit, and vomiting that does not relieve sick feeling, sensitivity in the
epigastrium., cold skin etc this can be a symptomatology that fits not only with heart disease
but with a chronic disturbance of the liver or an infectious hepatitis or an asthmatic crisis etc.
This principle was formulated by Hahnemann with the Latin motto simila similibus curentur.
Similars are cured with similars. Hahnemann believed this to be one of the fundamental laws of
cure. The idea had first been mentioned by Hippocrates
3
, then by Paracelsus, and later by others.
And while conventional medicine believes that it must fight the disease bearing factor which it
sees as the main cause for disease, homeopathy believes that it must strengthen the organisms
defence mechanism in order to be able to fight the imbalance.
4

Proving the remedies
In order to ascertain the therapeutic qualities of pharmaceutical substances, Hahnemann carried
out provings of the remedies on healthy persons of both sexes in increased dosages, though not
beyond the toxic levels.
5

The reactions to the pharmaceutical substances gained in this manner were recorded in minute
detail.
This list of remedy symptoms, incurred on relatively healthy organisms, having been
repeatedly ascertained, together with the toxological symptoms of various substances, known
from existing medical writings, were combined to form a valuable part of the homeopathic
pharmacology, otherwise known as the Materia Medica.
Hahnemanns main theories
On the basis of the law of similars and pharmacological
provings on healthy individuals, Hahnemann proceeded to
develop an entire medical system.
He published a complete account of his theories for the first
time in his book Organon of the Art of Healing in 1810. The
book contains 294 aphorisms within which he develops the
laws of his medical system. Later he published the book
Materia Medica Pura in which all the pharmacological
substances that he and his students had proved on themselves
and to others were included.
He also published the book Chronic diseases in which he
maintained that all chronic diseases are a result of the
suppression either of skin diseases of the skin or syphilis or
gonorrhea. That is to say that if these three categories of diseases are treated wrongly, they
remain within the organism in a suppressed state, in a changed form and finally they reappear as
various kinds of chronic diseases.
Hahnemann named these three initial forms of disease the miasms of Psora, Syphilis and Sycosis
(meaning gonorrhea).
Hahnemann was heavily criticised for his theories, even by some of his supporters, who while
declaring these ideas useless nevertheless continued to practise homeopathy.
Some of the essential points of homeopathy, which complete the law of similars are:
1. That there are no diseases, but only patients.
2. That the appropriate remedy must match every one of the patients symptoms, and not
only the disease.
3. That the quantity of remedy required for a cure to be successful is infinitely small, on the
condition that the true remedy has been found.
4. That the symptoms of a disease, during the course of treatment, disappear in the reverse
order of their appearance.
Individualising each case
An important idea introduced by Hahnemann and which causes homeopathy to differ from
conventional medicine is individualising. He maintained that there are no diseases, but only
patients, and therefore a treatment must aim at treating the individual rather than the disease.
According to this idea, ten patients suffering from the same disease, for example epilepsy, will
probably each require a separate pharmaceutical substance, unless the symptoms of two or three
of them are identical down to the last detail, a rare but not impossible situation.
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann
1755-1843
The defence system
The complex mechanism of the organisms defence system was named vital force by
Hahnemann. This phrase expresses the idea that there is a form of energy behind the defence
mechanism, a power with mind which directs and coordinates the organisms reactions.
The logic behind this idea, according to homeopaths, lies in the understanding that symptoms are
nothing more than the expressions of the human organisms defence mechanism. For example,
the bodys temperature increases fever in order to suppress the disease factor, bacteria,
viruses, fungi etc therefore the organism needs support in its therapeutic efforts, rather than a
suppression of the fever. Homeopaths believe that, by giving a remedy, which is capable of
causing symptoms in a healthy individual that are identical to those present in the patient, they
are in reality stimulating and providing support for the defence mechanism in its attempt to rid
itself of the disease.
Homeopaths maintain that the true reason for disease is not infection by a disease element but
rather the innate weakness of the defence mechanism and its inability to face up to the invasion
and to neutralise it. By strengthening the defence mechanism, without killing the microbes,
homeopaths believe that they can to a greater extent influence the return to health of the diseased
organism.
Opponents of homeopathy maintain that homeopaths do not look for the true cause of an illness,
and that they only treat the symptoms. Homeopaths consider that by strengthening the defence
mechanism, they essentially enter more deeply into the true cause of the organisms imbalance,
which is the weakness of the constitution and its inability to fight the disease unaided. Moreover
they maintain that in most cases of chronic disease the cause of the illness is unknown and
therefore hard to locate and eradicate with conventional medicines.
The smallest possible dose: preparation-dosage
There are several methods for the preparation of homeopathic remedies, which were used at
various times by Hahnemann.
The chief method used by homeopaths today is the centesimal and is produced thus: One part of
the mother tincture of the active ingredient which is to be prepared is taken and diluted in 99
parts of inert substance. This can be milk-sugar, sterilised water or pure alcohol. If the
substance is diluted in water, the mixture is subjected to at least ten strong succussions and this
dilution is called the 1st potentization. A part of this potentization is taken and diluted with a
further 99 parts of inert substance and the new mixture is then again subjected to ten strong
succussions. This is the 2nd potentization of the remedy, and in the same manner further
potentizations are achieved by diluting and potentizing the remedy until very great dilutions are
achieved, having continued the above procedure ten, twenty, thirty or more times.
For metals which cannot be diluted in water the method of pulverisation is used, in the same
proportions: one part of powdered metal is mixed with 99 parts milk-sugar. The mixture is
subjected to powerful pounding in a mortar for an hour and this is continued up to the 6th
potency, after which the mixture thus obtained is considered a mixture diluted with water and the
diluting procedure is used thereafter.
The conflict between homeopathic and conventional doctors
The greatest conflict concerning homeopathy lies in the quantities of the doses used, which
according to conventional doctors is infinitely small and is not justified in having any action at
all.
High dilutions, which greatly exceed Avogadros number, according to which there should not
be even one molecule of active ingredient within such a diluted substance, cause these doctors to
look upon homeopathy with a great deal of scepticism.
Homeopaths on the other hand maintain that their experience shows that high potencies (multiple
dilutions) have even better therapeutic results and that the action of the pharmaceutical substance
is probably due to the appearance of a new refined form of energy
6
that appears during the
potentization procedure. Therefore we are not dealing with a remedy that acts at a chemical
level, but rather at an energetic level
7
.
Many dissenting voices maintain that the results that are achieved by homeopaths are a form of
self-suggestion, known to medicine as the placebo effect, particularly in cases when the patient
believes that he is taking a magic medicine.
Homeopaths reply that they obtain the best results with babies, small children and animals,
where the possibility of self-suggestion is discounted.
Opponents maintain that the system is antiquated and that it has no place in modern medical
practice.
Homeopaths maintain that the steady therapeutic results obtained over the course of more than
two centuries form proof of homeopathys timelessness rather than its decline.
Opponents maintain that, even accepting that homeopathy does have certain results, there are not
enough double blind experiments indicating the type and extent of the results.
Homeopathys supporters say that such research does exist, although not in great quantities, as
homeopathy presents certain difficulties in these experiments, since it requires that each patient
be given a separate remedy, which is incompatible with double blind experiments, where all
patients take the same medicine for the duration of the experiment.
Over the last few years the conflict has grown, including between scientists from other branches
that are beginning to show an interest in the area of homeopathy.
8
Some people believe that the
therapeutic force is transmitted with the potentizing procedure and the powerful succussion of
the remedies to the water molecules which thus contain the memory of a new energetic state.
Others attempt to explain the action of homeopathic medicines by the small clusters theory.
Yet others maintain that their action is due to the change in structure of the water molecules
under the influence of the substance with which it comes into substance, as well as to the
powerful succussions to which the dilution is subjected, and therefore that the dilution of the
water becomes organically active.
These theories are naturally far from being generally accepted.
Conflicts between homeopaths
Conflicts are even to be found among the supporters of Hahnemanns theories, and particularly
among those who faithfully follow his principles and only administer one remedy to each stage
of an illness, known as classical homeopaths, and others, the eclectics or followers of
polypharmacy, who administer many remedies each time. The first group believes that there is
only one remedy that can cure the patient and that it cannot be replaced by any other similar one.
Therefore he must look for the correct remedy in each case via a complex and undeniably
lengthy procedure.
The second group deems this to be utopian, and that it is difficult to discover the remedy that is
truly indicated and that it is easier and quicker to administer 3, 4 or even more remedies at a
time, in the hope that they will include the correct one.
Are both medical approaches necessary?
(Conventional medicine and homeopathy)
They certainly are. There is no doubt that there has been a misunderstanding in relation to the
therapeutic limits of each method. This has occurred for many reasons, mainly however due to
attempts made by homeopaths to make the new approach known. For this reason the results of
cures have been exaggerated by homeopaths in order to impress. There is however another far
more serious reason. Since the area around this new approach is somewhat turgid, many have
abused it to their own advantage, promising that they can cure everything, such as cancer,
schizophrenia, AIDS, obesity or smoking. All these announcements take place either in public
or in private medicine, in order to attract a greater number of patients. For this reason
homeopathy has been presented as unreliable, with the result that an undeclared war broke out
among the two approaches, and both sides ended up by having recourse to extreme arguments.
On the one hand that it can cure anything, on the other that homeopathy does not cure anything.
Truth naturally lies somewhere in between.
Even though chemical medicines have serious side effects, and although their over-consumption
can weaken the organism, they are useful and often necessary in the final stages of chronic
diseases, such as serious epilepsy, serious psychoses, serious heart diseases, serious asthmatic
states and generally in the final stages of chronic diseases where a brief but necessary relief from
pain or suffering is needed, if there is no longer any possibility of cure.
What, in reality, are homeopathys prospects?
The question is: is there a way of avoiding these final stages? Is there any medicine which can
bring the organism back to its state of balance, when it is still time, in order to prevent, for a long
time at least, its weakening?
The answer lies with classical homeopathy. The true application of homeopathy can bring about
these results.
The great misunderstanding at large today is due to the fact that the two sides have not entered
into any real and fundamental communication. If they had they would have discovered that each
method does not impinge upon the others field of action, and that therefore these two
approaches are in reality complementary and not conflictual.
Homeopathy intervenes where conventional medicine can hardly do anything, at the outset of
chronic disease, where the disturbance has mainly still a functional character. When it intervenes
with the true homeopathic remedy it stops any further development of the disease. Conventional
medicine with the chemical medicines at its disposal can suppress pains or suffering at the last
stages without however being able to stop the debilitating progress of the disease.
Which diseases can homeopathy best be applied to?
At this point we must state that this area is unclear and that even homeopathic doctors
themselves are not clear on this point. Therefore they often overestimate their ability to cure,
and at other times have recourse to chemical medicines where in fact they could have found a
solution with homeopathy, if they had had sufficient homeopathic knowledge.
The problem is that doctors have not had the possibility of obtaining full and precise
homeopathic knowledge. This kind of education would make long-term demands on a doctors
time, almost equal in length and quality to the initial six year course of basic medical training.
And if a doctor should undertake to begin his homeopathic training after the ten years necessary
for his specialisation, he would find himself in a state of exhaustion which would not be
conducive for the absorption of new facts and new knowledge.
The main diseases that can be treated with homeopathy are as follows:
Chronic headaches, migraines, vertigo, petit Mal, sinusitis and frontal colpitis, allergic rhinitis,
bronchial and allergic asthma, gastritis, gastroenteritis, hepatitis, liver damage, hepatic fatty
degeneration,inflammation of the gall bladder, duodenal ulcer, colonic irritation, spastic and
ulceric colitis, chronic conjunctivitis, otitis, juvenile acne, atopic dermatitis, neurodermatitis,
triple neuralgia, intercostals neuralgia, herpes zoster, cervical syndrome, lumbago, lumber
sciatica, myalgia, muscle fibre and tendon damage due to accidents, gynaecological conditions,
mastitis, endometriosis, sterility, pre-menstrual syndrome, cystitis, urine incontinence, prostatitis,
sperm abnormalities, phobias and anxiety neuroses, anaemia (not Mediterranean), ADD, etc
The list is very long and cannot be referred to for details since any one of the conditions named
above may represent only one expression of a deeper pathology.
The types of conditions referred to below have a chance of reversal only if treatment is started
during the very first stages.
Multiple sclerosis, grand Mal, acute psychotic episodes, psoriasis, collagen diseases,
diabetes, endocarditis, Parkinsons, benign myalgic encephalitis, or chronic fatigue
syndrome.
For the above categories of diseases to reverse to an order of 60%, demands an extremely
experienced and well trained homeopathic doctor.
What are homeopathys chances with reference to conditions in extremely advanced
pathological states?
It is true that in a very few cases of advanced pathology, such as cancer, heart disease,
neuromuscular diseases, paraplegia, spastic and autistic children, congenital or long term
serious epileptic conditions, schizophrenia etc homeopathy has shown a certain amount of
positive action, without however ever bringing about a complete cure. These cases, very few in
number, caused certain overenthusiastic but incompletely trained homeopathic doctors to believe
or maintain that homeopathy can intervene in and cure such cases. This limited number of cases
that reacted well with long-term homeopathic treatment belongs in a category for which the
experienced homeopathic doctor is aware of certain defining parameters. It is very important for
patients to have recourse to a homeopathic doctor right from the outset of their condition, at a
time when homeopathy can show its best results, though it is even more important for the patient
to have chosen a well-trained homeopathic doctor.
This is where the intervention of the state and of legislation are paramount.
Homeopathy unfortunately is not a guide for the blind, each new case is truly a challenge for
the doctor. This is because each organism presents its own singularity and it needs its own
constitutional remedy, even though he suffers from the same clinical picture. This fact, that is
to say the necessity for the doctor to study each case separately, makes homeopathy difficult to
teach and to apply, and this is why there are homeopaths who have studied extensively and who
are good doctors, as well as those who are mediocre and those who have trained very little or not
at all.
1.Samuel HAHNEMANN, Organon of the Art of Healing
2.Harrison, Internal Medicine (Poisoning from digitalis), Parisianos Greg., 1982, vol. 2, p. 1460.
3.Hippocrates, Peri topon ton kat anthropon, 42. The law of similars is referred to thus: [dia ta
omoia nousos gignetai, kai dia ta omoia prosferomena ek noseunton ygeienontai, dia tou emeein
emetos payetai].
4.George VITHOULKAS, Science of Homeopathy, Grove Press, 1980
5.George VITHOULKAS, Homeopathy, Medicine for the New Millennium, International
Academy of Classical Homeopathy, 2000.
6.Taking into consideration the fact that all substances (from the simplest organism to the planet
itself) have an electromagnetic field, we may say that whatever substance is administered to a
human being has the possibility of affecting the organism in two ways: on the one hand it can act
chemically, as is the case with foods, vitamins, medicines, tobacco, coffee etc..., on the other
hand the electromagnetic field of the particular substance can react with the electromagnetic
field of the organism, particularly when the frequencies of the two fields is close enough for
them to harmonize. For the production of the remedy and its correct potentization both dilution
and succussion are necessary. The more a substance is diluted and succussed, the more its
therapeutic action is increased, even beyond the point when no molecule at all of the original
substance is left. Modern science has as yet found no explanation for this phenomenon. It
would seem that some new form of energy is freed and transported to the molecules of the
solvent.
7.The human body is an energy complex which produces all known types of energies electric,
magnetic, thermic, kinetic and electromagnetic which can easily be traced using simple
equipment. However, it also produces other types of refined energies, which have not yet been
researched and which are fundamentally related to the intellectual, the emotional and the
instinctual levels of the human being. The intellectual power appears to be a specific energy
with a particular frequency modulation, that is centred upon a mental centre, a mental generator
and it may be transmitted by energetic particles. Under certain conditions this kind of
transmission can become the object of reception by other similar mental equipment, without the
need for words. Many of us live in a continuous flow of thoughts, Most of our time awake
centers around such a continuous production of mental patterns the fact that this type of energy
has not yet been measured or defined with academic models does not mean that it does not
exist...In other words, the organism has the ability to create complex energy planes fields
according to the information which has been recorded on its inner codes (DNA, RNA, genes,
chromosomes etc) via its genetic predisposition and its personal experiences. The organism
reacts with each illness in an entirely personal way and for this reason mass therapies usually
disappoint both their supporters and patients, since the results obtained are superficial, short term
and often harmful, particularly in the case of sensitive organisms which do not have a robust
defence mechanism.
8.Davenas E, Poitevin B, Benveniste J, Effect of mouse peritoneal macrophages of orally
administered very high dilutions of silica, Eur J Pharmacol., 1987, 135(3): 313-9.
Poitevin B, Davenas E, Benveniste J, In vitro immunological degranulation of human basophils
is modulated by lung histamine and Apis Mellifica, Br J Clin. Pharmacol., 1988, 25(4): 439-44.
Davenas E, Beauvais F, Amara J, Oberbaum M, Robinzon B, Miadonna A, Tedeschi A,
Pomeranz B, Fortner P, Belon P, et al, Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute
antiserum against IgE, Nature, 1988, 333 (6176): 816-8.
Benveniste J, Davenas E, Ducot B, Cornillet B, Poitevin B, Spira A, Lagitation de solutions
hautement diluees ninduit pas dactivite biologique specifique, C R ACAD SCI Paris, 1991,
312, serie II: 461-66.
Reilly DT, Taylor MA, McSharry C, Aitchison T, Is homeopathy a placebo response ?
Controlled trial of homeopathic potency with pollen in hayfever as model, Lancet, 1986,
2(8512): 881-6.