It doesn’t make sense. It’s un-American. After all, bigger is better, excess is exquisite, more is the matter and Donald is trump. Then how can a medical modality based on the dilution of a solution to the point of undetectable amounts be valid? It truly defies Western logic but as Einstein said, “Not everything that counts can be counted.”
Homeopathy is a system of treatment that uses medicines derived from natural sources in amounts so dilute that they are virtually undetectable. Homeopathy’s trump card is in the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. That characteristic of the body is something that Western science or modern logic can neither explain nor deny. Homeopathy insists that the body needs only a trigger to activate its powerful healing system and that the trigger can be tiny.
What is most odd about homeopathy may not be that it appears to be gaining scientific support or that it seems to work but that so many in the United States are drawn to using it. Homeopathic remedies are big sellers at health food stores and homeopathic practitioners are sought for their advice. All the while, the practice is the target of harsh criticism by some who find that the idea of infinitesimals flies in the face of Western science. Yet mainstream medicine has no problem using the same philosophy when injecting human guinea pigs with virus particles called “vaccines.” They say it causes the body to “immunize.”
By the numbers Homeopathy reflects an idea known by famous physicians throughout history. The “Law of Similars” states that “like cures like.” Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was the first to utilize the law of similars in Western culture. In fact, the word “homeopathy” is of Greek derivative. Hippocrates, and later others, reasoned and demonstrated that a substance producing a particular symptom in a healthy person would stimulate the body to remove that symptom in a sick person. Hippocrates used homeopathy extensively and 15th century physician Paracelsus documents homeopathic medicines.
Samuel Hahnemann, an 18th century German physician, disapproved of the bloodletting, leeching, blistering and purging that were the mainstream medical practices in 1759. Hahnemann worked with herbs and noticed that herbs taken in low dosages cured the same symptoms that those herbs produced when taken in high doses. He experimented on himself with quinine, the plant-based cure for malarial fever. When he took small doses of diluted quinine, he became ill with fever. When he stopped, the fever went away. For him, that proved the Law of Similars. Hahnemann developed his own ultra-diluted medicines. Homeopathy formally came into being.
The dilution solution. By observation, Hahnemann intuited something that is difficult, if not impossible to prove. The idea is that if you are sick, a homeopath gives you a medicine containing a diluted substance that would cause the same symptoms as your disease in a healthy person if given in full strength. The body is stimulated to reverse the imbalance that caused the symptoms.
The idea of dilution is what really confounds the Western mind. To Western thinking, a medication, whether pharmaceutical or herbal, is more powerful or effective the more concentrated it is. Not so in homeopathy. A homeopathic medicine is made by introducing the so-called “active” ingredient, often an herb or mineral, into pure water at a ratio of 1 part per 99. That solution is shaken vigorously then one drop is added to 99 drops of pure water. The mixture is shaken again and the process repeated perhaps hundreds of time. Finally, the end result water is dropped onto an inert pill or tablet and the medicine is administered.
Critics contend that the final water solution is so dilute that it cannot contain even a single molecule of the original element. But that element has imparted a characteristic to the water molecules that persists. Modern research now shows that indeed, water molecules are changed when these natural elements are introduced and the water is agitated. The molecules “clump” together in a regular pattern. Research suggests that the newly “structured” water is the real trigger for the body to start healing itself.
Research or not, it’s hard for the Western mind to wrap itself around that notion. Judging by consumer acceptance of homeopathic medicine, it doesn’t matter. People want it because it works for them.
Since the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, homeopathic medicines have been recognized as safe. There have been no reported ill effects and no deaths. After all, how could an ultra-diluted drop of water be dangerous?
But somehow, millions of people have found that homeopathy works for them. Truth diluted is still truth.
Heartland Healing examines various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information, not as medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Access past columns at www.HeartlandHealing.com