Iris R BellEmail author and Mary Koithan
This paper proposes a novel model for homeopathic remedy action on living systems. Research indicates that homeopathic remedies (a) contain measurable source and silica nanoparticles heterogeneously dispersed in colloidal solution; (b) act by modulating biological function of the allostatic stress response network (c) evoke biphasic actions on living systems via organism-dependent adaptive and endogenously amplified effects; (d) improve systemic resilience.
The proposed active components of homeopathic remedies are nanoparticles of source substance in water-based colloidal solution, not bulk-form drugs. Nanoparticles have unique biological and physico-chemical properties, including increased catalytic reactivity, protein and DNA adsorption, bioavailability, dose-sparing, electromagnetic, and quantum effects different from bulk-form materials. Trituration and/or liquid succussions during classical remedy preparation create “top-down” nanostructures. Plants can biosynthesize remedy-templated silica nanostructures. Nanoparticles stimulate hormesis, a beneficial low-dose adaptive response.
Homeopathic remedies prescribed in low doses spaced intermittently over time act as biological signals that stimulate the organism’s allostatic biological stress response network, evoking nonlinear modulatory, self-organizing change. Potential mechanisms include time-dependent sensitization (TDS), a type of adaptive plasticity/metaplasticity involving progressive amplification of host responses, which reverse direction and oscillate at physiological limits. To mobilize hormesis and TDS, the remedy must be appraised as a salient, but low level, novel threat, stressor, or homeostatic disruption for the whole organism. Silica nanoparticles adsorb remedy source and amplify effects. Properly-timed remedy dosing elicits disease-primed compensatory reversal in direction of maladaptive dynamics of the allostatic network, thus promoting resilience and recovery from disease.
Homeopathic remedies are proposed as source nanoparticles that mobilize hormesis and time-dependent sensitization via non-pharmacological effects on specific biological adaptive and amplification mechanisms. The nanoparticle nature of remedies would distinguish them from conventional bulk drugs in structure, morphology, and functional properties. Outcomes would depend upon the ability of the organism to respond to the remedy as a novel stressor or heterotypic biological threat, initiating reversals of cumulative, cross-adapted biological maladaptations underlying disease in the allostatic stress response network. Systemic resilience would improve. This model provides a foundation for theory-driven research on the role of nanomaterials in living systems, mechanisms of homeopathic remedy actions and translational uses in nanomedicine.
Homeopathy Nanoparticles Silica Epitaxy Hormesis Cross adaptation Time dependent sensitization Metaplasticity Allostasis Complex adaptive system Stress response network Resilience Nanomedicine
The proposed model suggests that homeopathy is not only scientifically “plausible,” but also grounded in an extensive empirical research literature. Homeopathic remedies come into existence and exert their biological effects mainly as nanostructures. Physiology, not pharmacology, is the most relevant discipline for studying remedy nanoparticle actions (cf., [184, 187]). This paper insists on logic and rationality, as well as open-minded thoughtfulness, in evaluating the scientific implications of a large body of interdisciplinary evidence that health researchers might not otherwise assemble to understand homeopathic remedies. As empirical data arise, it is quite likely that new evidence will lead to modifications of the present theory; such is the nature of scientific inquiry. Nevertheless, this model provides a rational starting place for a comprehensive research program on homeopathic remedy actions. The resultant findings on what homeopathic remedies are (highly reactive nanoparticles) and how they interact with complex living systems (as pulsed, low level doses of a salient and novel environmental stressor) could significantly advance the field as a valuable form of nanomedicine.