It has always been pondered whether homoeopathy is an art, science, or merely a placebo. To combat antagonism, innumerous scientific researches have been carried out to sustain Homoeopathy as a complete scientific system. These researches may be grouped as under.
Early researches in homeopathy
The actual and original research in homoeopathy was carried out by Hahnemann himself. With the researches upon cinchona bark juice upon himself, he discovered the law of similimum, the universal law of cure- ‘similia similibus curentur’. He appreciated the increased efficacy of medicines with reducing their quantity but only by a complicated process of dilution with successions, in successive steps, called as potentization/ drug dynamization.
Modern researches in homeopathy
After Hahnemann, the research did not stop but increased multifold. The following are important research works done for homoeopathic development and scientific approval.
First double blind study
This cross-over study ever performed was done by homoeopaths. This impressive study was done concurrently in eleven different cities on fifteen subjects. This particular experiment consisted of 665 pages, which was the research proving of belladonna. [Howard P. Bellows. The test drug proving of the O.O. and L. Society: a reproving of Belladonna (Boston: the American homoeopathic ophthalmological, otological, and laryngological society. 1906).]
Comparative studies about result of homeopathic and other treatments
In 1980s, a book was published called “the logic of figures or comparative results of homeopathic and other treatments. This book provides dozens of charts comparing morbidity and mortality rates in homeopathic and allopathic hospitals. This also included the epidemic diseases of scarlet fever, yellow fever, typhoid etc. The homeopathic hospitals usually had 50 to 80% less deaths per 100 people, depending on the disease compared.
A double blind homoeopathy study was sponsored by the British government during World War II; the experiment demonstrated that those given homeopathic remedies experienced significant improvement in burns from mustard gas in comparison to those given a placebo. A 1982 review provided further substantiation of the statistical significance of the homeopathy research. [J. Paterson. “Report on mustard gas experiments,” Journal of the American institute of homeopathy. 37 (1944): 47-50. 88-92. R.M.M. Owen and G. Ives, “The mustard gas experiments of the British homeopathic society: 1941-1942,” proceedings of the 35th international homeopathic congress. 1982, pp. 258-259.]
The “infinitesimal” nature or the dilution principle of homeopathy has been the main criticism of the scientific community. Homeopaths do agree that once a remedy is diluted beyond 24x or 12c potencies, it is diluted beyond Avogadro’s number (6.23 x 10-23) which theoretically indicates that no molecules are present in the original substance. However, both laboratory and clinical results over the last 200 years have demonstrated definite effectiveness with homeopathic remedies beyond this dilution.
A nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) study showed that twenty-three different homeopathic remedies and potencies tested had distinctive readings of submolecular activity, while the placebos did not. This demonstrates Homoeopathy’s energetic function overriding chemical one. As chiropractors, one observes dramatic clearing of sensory nerve interference and pathological reflex activity causing chronic recurring subluxation activity and disease.[Adam Sacks- “Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of homoeopathic remedies,” Journal of holistic medicine, 5 (fall-winter 1983): 172-175: RB. Smith and G.W. Boericke, “Changes caused by succussion on N.M.R, patterns and bioassay of bradykinin triacetate (BKTA) succussions and dilution journal of the American institute of homoeopathy, 61 (November December 1968): 197-212.]
A double-blinded study has shown that out of ten, eight homoeopathic remedies inhibited viruses in chicken embryos from 50 to 100 percent depending on the potencies used. [L.M. Singh and G. Gupta, “antiviral efficacy of homoeopathic drugs against animal viruses,” British homeopathic journal, 74 (July 1985): 168-174.]
Heavy metal studies
A study showed that homeopathic doses of arsenic eliminated crude doses of trapped arsenic that had been previously fed to rats. [J.C. Cazin et al. “A study of the effect of decimal and centesimal dilution of Arsenic on retention and mobilization of Arsenic in the rat,” Human toxicology, July 1987.]
Serum cholesterol studies
At a veterinary college scientists have showed that homeopathic remedy chelidonium had lowered serum cholesterol when given twice a day to rabbits on a cholesterol rich diet.[v. Baumans, C.J. Bol, W.M.T. Owe Luttikhuis, and A.C. Beynen. “Does Chelidonium 3x lower serum cholesterol?” British homeopathic journal, 76 (January 1987): 14-15.]
Labor problems studies
Several studies have been conducted demonstrating how homeopathic remedies had reduced labor problems in cattle, still births in pigs, and mastitis in cattle. [Christopher Day, “Control of stillbirths in pigs using homoeopathy.” veterinary record, 114 (march 3, 1984): 216 reprinted in American institute of homeopathy, 779 (December 1986): 146-147. Christopher Day, “Clinical trials in bovine mastitis: use of nosodes for prevention,” British homoeopathic journal, 75 (January 1986): 11-15.]
A double-blind trial using a homeopathic formula to treat pregnant women found to reduce labor time and decrease abnormal labor. The average labor time of the women given the homeopathic remedy was 5.1 hours, while the placebo group was 8.5 hours. Only 11.3 percent of the women given the homeopathic medicine had any abnormal labor, while 40 percent of the placebo group had an abnormal labor. [PierreD, Marie Noel Lasserre and Max Tetau, “Preparation a l’accounchement par homeopathie: experimentation en double-insu versus placebo” (preparation for birth by homoeopathy; experimentation by double-blind versus placebo), Cahrs de Biotherapie. 94 (april 1987): 77-81.]
It has been found that out of the 77 mice that received a transplant in fibrosarcoma, 52 percent survived more than one year with homeopathic remedies. The 77 mice that were untreated died within 10-15 days.[H. Choudhury, “Cure of cancer in experimental mice with certain biochemic salts,” British homoeopathic journal, 69 (1980): 168-170.]
Pain control studies
Scientists have found that rodents given Hypericum were able to inhibit pain responses. Rodents were able to remain on a hot plate longer than the control group. When given Naloxone, which inhibits pain killing endorphins, the protective effects of Hypericum was reduced, showing that homeopathic Hypericum activates endorphins when needed. Those rodents were free to walk off the hot plate whenever discomfort was noticed. [G.R. Keysall, K.L. Williamson, and B.D. Tolman. “The testing of some Homoeopathic preparations in rodents, “proceedings of the 40th international homeopathic congress (Lyon. France, 1985). Pp. 228-231]
Studies have shown that homeopathic Apis and Histamine have a significant effect on reducing the release of certain allergy causing chemicals from basophils, which demonstrates one reason for homeopathy’s positive effects on allergies. [Jean Boiron. Jacky Abecassls and Philippe Belon- “the effects of Hahnemannian potencies of 7c Histaminum and 7c Apis mellifica upon basophil degranulation in allergic patients.” aspects of research in Homoeopathy (Lyon: Boiron, 1983), pp. 61-66.]
Immune function studies
It has been shown that homeopathic remedy silica had a significant effect on stimulating macrophages in mice, which destroy foreign particles, bacteria, and old cells. [Elizabeth Davenas. Bernard Poitevin, and Jacques Benveniste, effect on mouse peritoneal macrophages of orally administered very high dilutions of Silica, “European journal of pharmacology. 135 (April 1987): 313-319.]
Rheumatoid arthritis studies
A double-blind homeopathy experiment on patients with rheumatoid arthritis has shown that 82 percent of the patients treated with homeopathic medicine experienced some relief of symptoms, while only 21 percent of those given a placebo experienced any similar degree of improvement. [P.G. Gibson, s. L.M. Gibson, Ad. Macneil. Et al. “Homoeopathic therapy in rheumatoid arthritis: evaluation double-blind controlled trial,” British journal of clinical pharmacology, 9 (1980): 453-459.]
Dental neuralgia studies
A double-blind homeopathy trial was conducted on patients with dental neuralgic pain following tooth extraction. 76 percent of those given the homeopathic medicine Arnica and Hypericum experienced relief of pain.[Henry Albertini et al.. “Homoeopathic treatment of neuralgia using arnica and Hypericum: a summary of 60 observations,” Journal of the American institute of homoeopathy. 78 (September 1985): 126-128.]
Vertigo & nausea studies
A study demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in reducing vertigo and nausea with a homeopathic remedies. [C.F. Claussen, J. Bergmann. G. Bertora .and E. Claussen. “Homoeopathische kombinatlon bel vertigo and nausea.” Arzneim. Forsch/drug res., 34(1984) 1791-98.]
Water- Memory Theory
Science cannot explain how such highly diluted solutions could have an effect that is until the French biologist Jacques Benveniste came along. Working at his laboratory in Paris, Dr Benveniste formulated the idea that water retains a “memory” of what has been dissolved in it and that it is this memory that results in the homoeopathic effect. In 1988 Dr. Benveniste published a study in the journal Nature in support of his water-memory theory. He claimed his experiments showed that an ultra-dilute solution exerted a biological effect. The ‘memory of water’ is a popular phrase that is mostly associated with homeopathy and Jacques Benveniste following his and others’ allergy research work. The main evidence against water having a memory is that of the very short (~ps) lifetime of hydrogen bonds between the water molecules Clearly in the absence of other materials or surfaces, the specific hydrogen bonding pattern surrounding a solute does not persist when the solute is removed any more than would a cluster around any specified water molecule, or else water would not know which of its myriad past solutes took preference. A recent NMR study shows no stable (>1 ms, >5 μM) water clusters are found in homoeopathic preparations. It should, however, be noted that the lifetime of hydrogen bonds does not control the lifetime of clusters in the same way that a sea wave may cross an ocean, remaining as a wave and with dependence on its history, but with its molecular content continuously changing. Also, the equilibrium concentration of any clusters is governed by thermodynamics not kinetics. As applied to homoeopathy, the ‘memory of water’ concept should also be extended to the memory of aqueous ethanol preparations. Addition of ethanol to water adds an important further area of complexity. Ethanol forms solutions in water that are far from ideal and very slow to equilibrate. [J. A. V. Butler, The energy and entropy of hydration of organic compounds. Trans. Faraday Soc. 33 (1937) 229-238.]. [V. Kräutler, M. Müller and P. H. Hünenberger, Conformation, dynamics, solvation and relative stabilities of selected β-hexopyranoses in water: a molecular dynamics study with the GROMOS 45A4 force field, Carbohydr. Res. 342 (2007) 2097-2124.] [G. Jákli, The H2O-D2O solvent isotope effects on the molar volumes of alkali-chloride solutions at T= (288.15, 298.15 and 308.15) K, J. Chem. Thermodynamics 39 (2007) 1589-1600.].
Hydroxyl ion Theory
The molecules of lactose, water and ethanol have only -OH group in common. The oxygen atom in the -OH group, due to sp3 hybridization, has four equivalent valency orbitals. Two of these have bond pair electrons and the other two unshared lone pair electrons. The latter having no definite higher energy levels, can be raised, in small steps, to any desired energy level and hence play the basic role here. The organic solvent DMSO (Dimethyl-Sulphoxide) has lone pair electrons but no -OH group and does not serve as a diluent medium, emphasizing the role of the lone pair electrons of the -OH groups. [Davenas, E. et.al, Nature 333 (30 June 1988) 816-818.]
Resonant Promotion Theory
During forceful triturations and impacted succussions the outermost electron shell of the solute drug molecules comes repeatedly in close proximity with those of the diluent molecules. This induces resonant promotion of the lone pair electrons of the diluent -OH groups, in small steps, to energy levels of the chemically active electrons of drug molecules. The diluent molecules thus acquire the chemically exchangeable energy and hence the chemical specificity of the drug molecule to get “potentized” with the drug. During serial dilutions of potency preparation the original drug molecules get eliminated and the diluent molecules resonantly promoted by them take over the resonant promotion of the unpromoted diluent molecules. These considerations have experimental support. [Smith RB Jr & Boericke GW. Modern instrumentation for the evaluation of homoeopathic drug structure. Hahnemannian Gleanings 41 (1974) 99-119. Boiron J & Vinh CLD. Contribution to the study of the physical homoeopathic dilution by Raman laser effect. Hahnemannian Gleanings 43 (1976) 455-467.]
Nerve stimulation studies
Karen Nieber, a professor of pharmacology, put a rat’s intestine in a fluid culture medium and used organic threads to fix it to a sensor so that she could measure any shortening of the intestine caused by cramps. Then she added a stimulant (atropine) to the fluid culture medium to produce severe cramps in the rat’s intestine. The intestine shrank and the scales showed a strong traction. When she then added belladonna X 90 to the culture medium, the intestine relaxed and the scales showed less traction. This proved that homeopathy is effective in the absence of any material substances – and in 2003 she won the € 10,000 Hans Heinrich Reckeweg award. [ECH GENERAL ASSEMBLY – XVIII Symposium of GIRI 12 to 14th of November 2004 Scientific Report- Chang FY, Lee SD, et al. Rat gastrointestinal motor responses mediated via activation of neurokinin receptors. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 1999;14:39-45. Cristea A, Nicula S, Darie V. Pharmacodynamic effects of very high dilutions of belladonna on the isolated rat duodenum. In: Bastide M(ed), Signals and Images. Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997:161-170.]
The above all the studies and of course, innumerous more, clearly prove that Homoeopathy is an absolutely scientific system and no contest is needed to question its efficacy. Of course, further researches are needed to answer all the pertinent questions in lingo of science to shut the mouths up of the ignorant people unnecessarily doing mess about in the meadow of Homoeopathy.
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