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    Homeopathy and Quantum World

    From all the exposure recently (e.g., the BBC Horizon program, 'negative trial results on Arnica, and associated bad press reportage), one could be forgiven for thinking that any attempt to reconcile homeopathy with science is simply a waste of time. After all, even though plenty of trials have been done, many of which support homeopathy, it must be patently obvious to anyone with even half a brain, that no amount of testing is going to persuade non- believers that homeopathy works or, on the contrary, dissuade believers that it doesn't. So, why bother? Scientifically speaking, we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what homeopathy is really about and to predict that ultimately when we do, homeopathy and science will both benefit.

    Science: what is it? - Part I
    OK, in the context of homeopathy, what is 'science'? Bigger and better double blind placebo-controlled trials (DBPCTS) on potentised remedies, as the conventional scientific community would wish? I don't think so.
    There would be a deafening outcry for ever more DBPCTs if they should favor homeopathy, and "Nya, nya, we told you so!” if they shouldn't, simply underlining the strength of feeling that homeopathic issues generate (and objectivity can sometimes be the first casualty in this debate). In my view, ever more DBPCTs merely prolong a stultifying and inconclusive ideological trench warfare between two opposing factions - on the one hand, conventional biomedicine and its hard-line reductionist (i.e., Newtonian) determinism, and on the other, homeopathy and any other CAM whose mechanism of healing doesn't neatly fit in with bio-medicine's reductionist paradigm.

    Homeopathy, though rightly seen as a healing art, is in my view wrongly bracketed with the biomedical
    sciences. This includes the latter's reductionist tendency to equate the overall effects of remedial substances solely with their pharmacological action, specifically on bio-molecular receptor sites on cells. Thus, the presence of palpable drug molecules at these sites is seen as the prime cause of any healing effect. "So," homeopathy's detractors argue, "how can a remedy containing no drug molecules have any effect, let
    alone a healing one? You are asking us to believe in magic!" And seen from the deterministic standpoint of conventional reductionist biomedicine, you have to admit the detractors have a point. After all, pharmacology - the science of the properties of drugs and their effects on the body - has a history almost as long as homeopathy's, so it is perfectly valid to ask how 'nothing' (i.e., a highly potentised homeopathic remedy) can do something, and explains the dogged refusal by many to believe the results of any DBPCT that suggests a positive outcome for homeopathy. Result deadlock.

    It also explains the appeal to homeopaths of the 'memory of water' hypothesis, as an essentially relatively simple pharmacological explanation of how potentised remedies function, on a par with conventional drugs. I must stress that this is not to suggest that pharmacology is wrong, or that the memory of water might not be a plausible explanation of how homeopathy works'. In fact water, that most common fluid on the planet, is far stranger than we think. Let's see how.

    First, there is the work of Jacques Benveniste, highlighted by the Horizon program shown at the end of 2002. Benveniste used human white cells called basophils, focussing specifically on allergic reactions that contain histamines, which stain blue with a special dye. When a protein called anti- immunoglobin E or algae are introduced, however, decolourisation takes place. So far, this is standard biochemistry. What Benveniste claimed so controversially was that dye decolourisation in basophils continues with potentised alge. He therefore concluded that water must have a memory.. and was pilloried by the scientific community for saying so. After publishing his results in Nature, [2] the same magazine led a witch- hunt (retold in the Horizon program) against Benveniste that, via the outrage caused to the French scientific establishment by his findings, ultimately cost him his labs, his funding and all scientific, credibility.

    The strange thing was that about the time Benveniste was being outed for heresy in 1989, theoretical work by Italian physicists actually predicted the molecular mechanism of just such a water-memory effect using an approach based on quantum theory. [3]. This showed that given a large enough number of water molecules (about 1015 - 1017), the sum total of all the interactions between them leads to a state where they spontaneously self-organise into a single emergent whole called a coherent domain'. In other words, the whole represented by this huge number of water molecules is greater than the sum of its individual molecular parts. What is more, it appears that the process of dilution and succussion as practiced by homeopaths could trigger such coherent domains. But, tucked away in a reputable but obscure physics journal, nobody really took any notice.

    Then, in 1999, a pan-European research team of four labs, that included Prof. Madeleine Ennis of Queen's University Belfast, performed a variation on Benveniste's experiment. [4]. Histamine is known to curb its own release from basophils by negative feedback. Could potentised histamine do the same thing? Four separate European labs were each sent test tubes of pure water and potentised histamine. Working blind, the four labs tested whether potentised histarnine would inhibit the dye decolourisation in basophils. In three out of the four labs, the results were statistically significant in favor of the potentised histamine doing just that. Unlike Benveniste's high profile work, such a significant result appeared in a highly obscure journal, called Inflammation Research.

    The sample size of the pan-European experiment was thousands of times larger than the one performed in the Horizon program which, we were assured, was designed to repeat it. And, contrary to what the program implied, Ennis was not working on her own. Also, when the popular science magazine, New Scientist), questioned the Royal Society about the validity of the statistical techniques used during the Horizon experiment, they refused and continue to refuse to comment. It is worth remembering that the prime purpose of the Horizon program was to entertain as well as inform. And my reading of the program is that homeopathy didn't do badly (has anyone noticed any variations in their caseload since the program, I wonder?).

    Ennis, having been a strong proponent of the intrinsic impossibility of homeopathy, now admits to suspending disbelief and has started looking for a rational explanation. She commented that if the findings of the pan-European experiment she was part of were repeated, then the whole of physics and chemistry might have to be rewritten. Not necessarily.

    Since 1989, Benveniste hadn't stopped working. Fleshing out his earlier ideas, by the late 1990's, he was suggesting that it might be possible to 'format' water in a way analogous to the electronic copying of information onto floppy discs and CD ROMs.5. Such 'information storage would not show up by the usual methods of scientific investigation for precisely the same reason that chemical analysis of a disc will indicate vinyl plastic and ferric oxide but not the information stored on it. This may not be not as far-fetched as it sounds as the role of water in originating, sustaining, and orchestrating the intricate bio molecular dance within living cells is only just beginning to be Linderstood.6

    All the evidence for the memory of water described just now is indirect and alludes to the effect of potentised solutions on biological systems. What about the memory of water as a directly observable phenomenon, i.e., a physical property of water itself like its boiling or freezing point? This idea received an important boost nearly two years ago when a team of Korean chemists showed that as substances dissolved in water become more dilute, the remaining molecules clump together to form aggregates of increasing Size. [7]
    As dilution increases, the clusters grow large enough even to interact with biological tissues. Some biochemists are now speculating that perhaps the low potency homeopathic remedies (where traces of the original solute still exist) could work after all. And this year, there has been compelling new evidence from studies using a technique called thermo luminescence. Here water is frozen down to liquid nitrogen temperatures and then bombarded with high-energy radiation. This pulls electrons away from atoms and deposits them elsewhere in the ice lattice. As the ice is gradually warmed up, the electrons recombine with the atoms and give out a glow (called thermo luminescence) of light as they do so. By plotting this thermo luminescence against temperature, a characteristic spectrum of two peaks is achieved. One of these peaks apparently indicates details of the water's structure before it was frozen. And the intensity of this peak is observably reduced by dissolved substances (the peak reduction being dependent on the substance), even when they have been potentised beyond 12c: All of which is highly suggestive that water can indeed have a memory of things once dissolved but potentised out of existences. Even some, who disagree with the interpretation put on this new data, have ideas of their own about how water could store and transmit information. So, although the jury might still be out on the water memory effect, at least for once there is a jury and no magician to throw a spanner in the works!

    Yet, fascinating as all this work on the memory of water undoubtedly is, as in conventional medicine, it has the effect of defining the remedy solely in terms of its action as an (albeit individualised) pharmacologically acting substance.
    As such it ignores that other ingredient (arguably) essential to any curative process, and that is the healing interaction between consenting human beings that ultimately gives rise to the remedy. This is far more intangible and difficult to quantify than pharmacology. [10]. Nevertheless, the ability to factor this kind of interaction into our understanding of the homeopathic process, along with the more pharmacological explanation of the memory of water. Could lead to better ways of objectively assessing homeopathy's outcomes (which in no way is meant to discount the excellent work on QALYS that is already being done).

    The question then is how and where to begin such a project. Perhaps we need to go right back to square one and ask with which of science's many branches does homeopathy best resonate, then see what they might have in common, and how best they could help fructify each other.

    Science, what is it? - Part 2
    What first has to be realised is that science is not homogeneous. That is to say, science's different branches do not all have the same theoretical background. Thus, the physical sciences benefit from sophisticated up-to-date, holistic ideas based on quantum mechanics, relativity, and complexity - theories. Though still not to many scientists' (even physicists') taste, these ideas tell us that we have to abandon ontological notions that purport to tell us about the universe itself, in favor of epistemological theories that can tell us only what can be known about the universe. In other words, human experience, knowledge, and its limitations have to be factored into fundamental theories about the universe as if our very consciousnesses are somehow directly entangled with how we physically represent the world. [11]. The take-home message from all this is that we can no longer consider ourselves separate from what we are observing.

    One of the most startling (and experimentally verified) outcomes of this new world-view, that has forced itself on physicists (with much kicking and screaming on their part,). Is that at its most basic level, everything in the universe is inextricably and instantaneously linked to everything else in a vast matter-energy network that transcends ordinary notions of space and time. [12]. This fundamentally new view of the world is called, entanglement’ or, more simply, 'non- locality'.

    In the older classical or 'local' view of the universe, all things were imagined as independent and isolated from everything else and, in our everyday space and time, limited by the speed of light. This leads to an utterly deterministic (i.e., if all the starting conditions of a system are known, then its progress into the future can be predicted with complete certainty) view of the universe, in which like some giant clock, the whole is seen simply as a sum of parts. Thus a clock can be taken apart and put back together again (unlike any living thing).

    The realisation of the basic underlying non-locality of the universe forces us to reconsider and take a different (more Oriental?) approach to how we think about it: what we see is that like a hologram, the whole is reflected in its parts and these parts are indivisible from the whole. However, your average bench-bound scientist is not about to turn into a budding Buddha, for such far-reaching thinking has yet to fully inform the biomedical sciences, which are still largely steeped in the overly simplistic determinism of the 18th and 19th centuries. Giving up the privileged and splendid observational isolation sanctioned by the tenets of the classical Newtonian worldview was never going to be easy. If homeopathy has any foundation in science, biomedicine, with its dependence on the older deterministic paradigm, is probably not the best place to go looking for it. Modern non-deterministic quantum mechanics and complexity theory could, on the other hand provide powerful insights into Samuel Hahnemann's 200- year-old science. First, let's examine some of the more important concepts in quantum theory.

    I have alluded to some of the parallels to be drawn between a quantum theoretical description of the universe and homeopathy. There is however a more fundamental connection between these two fields of discourse, and this is the idea of complementarity.

    To begin with, imagine trying to track the motion of a car. You can measure exactly and simultaneously its momentum and position, and then use classical Newtonian physics to make predictions about where the car ought to be anytime in the future. What is more, which way round you make precise measurements of these two variables - momentum first and position second, or vice-versa - doesn't affect the fate of the car.

    This is true if you were to do the same experiment on a speeding bullet, a planet, or even a grain of dust. But try making the same simultaneous and exact measurements on a quantum particle like an electron or proton, and total predictability completely disappears. This has nothing to do with electrons or protons being so small that the measurements are difficult. It turns out that at this quantum level, the very act of making measurements puts severe limitations on their accuracy.
    This means that a fundamental property of atomic particles is that they cannot have a precise momentum and position at the same time - we can 6nly talk of a particle's most probable momentum or position. Also, the more accurately we know such a particle's momentum, say, the more uncertain we are of its position, and vice versa. The Danish physicist, Neils Bohr coined the term 'cornplementarity' to describe this strange reciprocal relationship between pairs of measured variables at the quantum level. It was enshrined in Heisenberg's now famous 'Uncertainty Principle' - 'the amount of quantum uncertainty in the simultaneous measurement of a pair of complementary variables (e.g., momentum and position or energy and time) is never zero". Thus, at the quantum scale of things, the universe ceases to be completely determined and is, in fact, indeterminate.

    Much of this has to do with the fact that at this scale, the clear-cut classical division between matter and energy, also breaks down. In classical physics, matter is 'lumpy' and energy is ‘wavy’. Lumps are restricted in space- and time, whereas waves can fill the whole universe and be everywhere and every when at once. In quantum physics this strict division becomes blurred: matter and energy are both lumpy and wavy, but not at the same time. What this means is that whether we observe a particle's lumpiness or waviness depends ultimately, like complementarity, on how we make the observation. And because this directly affects the very property being observed, it means we can no longer consider ourselves in isolation from
    what we are observing. So now, we can only aspire to a complete picture of a situation, with various complementary observables only probably (not exactly) known and only as long as somehow we include ourselves in the frame as observers.

    One of the consequences of matter's waviness is that when gay two quantum particles interact with each other, they effectively become one, i.e., they become entangled. This is because of the way waves can overlap and interfere with each other. The (proven, by the way) consequences of entanglement are that measurements made on one particle instantaneously (i.e., faster than light) tell us what can be known about the other. This is regardless of how far apart the two particles are: they could be on opposite sides of the universe and their entanglement ensures they will instantaneously affect and be aware of each other. And since from the beginning of the universe, all particles must at some point have interacted with each other, it stands to reason that the whole universe is entangled. In other words, at the most fundamental level, we are all part of an infinite and instantaneous matter-energy web, which is the whole universe. Gripping stuff, but doesn't this only refer to the tiny quantum scale of things? One does not have to feel at one with the universe in order to make use of quantum theory, e.g., to make televisions, computers, mobile phones and all the accoutrements of 21st century existence. So what has any of this got to do with homeopathy? Well let's see just how deep this rabbit-hole goes.

    Operating with mathematics
    Quantum theory is predicated on a certain way of doing mathematics. Consider multiplying 3 by 2.
    The answer is 6. Now, multiply 2 by 3 and you should get the same answer. [6.] What this means is that it doesn't matter which way round we multiply numbers together, we always get the same result. To put it in formal mathematical terms, the operation of multiplying numbers together is said to 'commute'. Quantum theory uses a form o4 mathematics in which its operation’s (which are more complicated than simple multiplication) do not commute. In other words, it very much matters which way round operations are performed, rather like 3 times 2 not being the same as 2 times 3.

    This might seem strange, but one has only to think of certain processes to realise just how true this can be. Instead of numbers, consider, for example, baking a cake. Here, it very much matters in which order operations are performed (i.e., following the recipe) because this will determine whether the fruits of our labors deliver a tasty delicacy or a vulcanised abomination. Homeopathy too is a process.
    Its outcomes very much depend on the order in which we do things. In the homeopathic 'recipe', one cannot hope to successfully prescribe a remedy and facilitate cure without in some way first taking a case and then considering all the complementary variables the case throws up. So, like quantum theory, the operations involved in practicing homeopathy do not commute.

    Esoteric, perhaps, because there are many processes that do not commute. But now consider the words of James Tyler Kent. He noted that a remedy is homeopathic only when it cures the case.13 This implies that an unprescribed bottle of Belladonna 30c sitting on a shelf is not homeopathic until it is prescribed by a practitioner, imbibed by a patient, and brings about cure. In other words (and forgetting for a moment the memory of water), a remedy's homeopathicity is not just in its making. In the language of quantum theory, Kent could be saying that the patient, the practitioner and the remedy become an entangled entity, something I refer to as PPR entanglement. [14]. Thus, to rephrase Kent's words in quantum theoretical terms, a remedy can be considered homeopathic when its locality, as defined by preparation and potency, becomes entangled with the non-local therapeutic interaction between the patient and the practitioner; the triadic totality curing the case.

    Weak quantum theory
    Before considering quantum metaphors for homeopathy, we need one more piece of the puzzle to justify using the quantum recipe outside the highly restricted nanoscopic (i.e., much smaller than microscopic) domain of particle physics. Researchers in Germany recently came up with a version of quantum theory that does just that.
    They call it Weak Quantum Theory and they are using it to, among other things, help describe a certain psychological situation that can occur between a patient and a therapist called countertransference. [15]. This also allows them to generalise notions of complementarity and entanglement far beyond the highly specific meaning ascribed to them by ordinary quantum theory. In an earlier attempt nearly 50 years ago, the psychologist Carl Jung and the physicist Wolfgang Pauli combined forces to explore one of the most profound applications of complementarity and entanglement outside of particle physics: - towards the end, that is, of understanding the relationship between mind and matter.16

    I have described how the mathematical operations of quantum theory do not commute. But the amount by which they do not commute is exceedingly small. So small in fact that as soon as one leaves the domain of particle physics, it effectively disappears altogether.17 Therefore, of itself, quantum theory is highly restricted in its possible applications. However, as the German researchers realised, ordinary quantum theory can be considered to be a specific aspect of a much more general theory in which this restriction does not apply. This has enabled them to begin fleshing out the shape and scope of this more unrestricted weak quantum theory. The mathematical basis of the more general theory is very similar to the original, and importantly, complementarity and entanglement are retained, but can now be applied outside of their highly specific contexts decreed by ordinary quantum theory. For homeopathy this could well be all to the good as we are interested in far more than the momentum and positions of our patients'!

    Quantum metaphors for homeopathy. The mathematics of quantum theory is agreed upon, there is no similar consensus by physicists on how it should be interpreted. Over the past few years, I have been exploring various quantum metaphors to help understand certain aspects of the homeopathic process. The first, based on the Transactional Interpretation (TI) of quantum mechanics, [18] makes use of the atemporal matter-energy web concept mentioned earlier. Ti imagines every particle in the universe being non-locally entangled, i.e., simultaneously affecting and being affected by every other particle regardless of their spatial and temporal separation. Entangled particles instantaneously (i.e., not in 'real-time) send and receive'waves' to and from each other, which reinforce between them (called in Ti, 'the handshake'), but cancel out everywhere and every when else. By replacing the two entangled particles with the patient and practitioner, the 'handshake' between them results in the remedy. [14] . Through this metaphor, I was able to develop quantum-theoretical interpretations of such homeopathic phenomena as aggravations (as incomplete entanglement), the treatment of animals (as being 'entangled' with their owners), and a concept of rniasms as atemporal entities initiating and affecting disease processes in time. Thus, the concept of treating miasms could involve the strange notion of healing in the past and the future, as well as in the present.

    I have also used the quantum theory of triangular tri-atomic molecules'9 as a metaphor for triadic PPR entanglement. Curiously, out of this theoretical approach falls the prediction that the more potentised the remedy, the deeper the level of cure, 20 a finding in line with conventional homeopathy.

    Finally, ideas gleaned from quantum entanglement and weak quantum theory have been combined to begin constructing a possible algebra of the homeopathic process, a calculus of cure, if you like. Here, the patient, practitioner, and remedy are imagined as contributing to a PPR entangled state wave function existing in a therapeutic state space'. Under the right circumstances, this wave function 'collapses' (don't worry, it's a quantum theoretical term!) to cure.
    The interesting thing about this particular approach is that it tends to hone in on the role of the practitioner in initiating and maintaining PPR entanglement, ultimately to bring about cure. The tentative conclusions I have reached so far suggest that in order to do this: The practitioner needs on the one hand, not to over-identify with the patient and, on the other, not be overly-concerned about finding the right remedy'.
    The practitioner, while outwardly observing the patient and gathering a symptom picture, needs, like Janus, to be inwardly observing themselves for the effect the patient might be having on them (no mean feat).

    By combining these two sets of observations, the practitioner will be able to actively fulfil his or her proper function within the PPR entangled state, which is to act as a mirror for the patient, with the aim of leading to the curative remedy. The fascinating thing about this is that not only are these conclusions reminiscent of homeopathic thinking, they result from interpretations of quantum theoretical equations used as metaphors of the homeopathic process. [21] .I believe the conclusions I have itemised here are not limited to homeopathy but could well apply to any healing art.
    What makes homeopathy special, in my view, is that within this quantum theoretical context, it tries to integrate the locality of the potentised remedy into a non-local healing triadic relationship with the patient and the practitioner.

    We are only just beginning the process of using a scientific discipline other than biomedicine (i.e., quantum physics) to throw new light on homeopathy. I have also not mentioned all the splendid work being done by the practitioners of complexity theory in helping to illuminate the homeopathic process. [22]. Not only homeopathy but conventional medicine will be the ultimate beneficiaries of such approaches, as application of ideas borrowed from quantum theory and complexity gradually drag the biomedical sciences into the 21st century. But one mustn't forget one of the main reasons for engaging in this kind of work, and that is to avoid the ideological trench warfare of double-blind placebo- controlled trials and discover new ways of experimentally getting to grips with homeopathy. This, it has to be said, has yet to happen and, until it does, the approaches I have described in this article must remain pure speculation. Still, one has only to remember that 50 years stood between the first notions of entanglement in quantum physics and its experimental verification, to realise that as far as homeopathy is concerned, we might well be in for the long haul. To answer the question posed at the beginning, this ultimately is why it is well worth bothering. And don't worry: we're working on it!

    1. Stevenson, C; Dearer, VS; Fountain-Barber, A; Hawkins, S; and Ernst, E. J. Roy. Soc. Med, 2003; 96: pp6O-65.
    2. Davenas E, Beauvais F, Amara J, et at; 'Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE'. Nature, 1988; 333: 816- 818.
    3. Del Guidice E, Preparata G, Vitiello G. 'Water as a free electron dipole laser' Phys Rev Lett, 1988; 61: 1085-1088.
    4. Belon P, Gumps J, Ennis M. et al; 'Inhibition of human basophil degranulation by successive histamine dilutions: results of a European multi- centre trial' lnflamm Res, 1999; 48(Suppi. 1): SI 7-518.
    S. Dr. Jacques Benveniste's web-site:
    6. Collins JC, Water: The Vital Force of Life. Molecular Presentations; New York, USA 2000;

    ISBN: 0-9629719-2-8
    7. Samal, S and Geckeler, KE. Chem. Commun., 2001;2224.
    8. Rey L. 'Thermoluminescence of ultra-high dilutions of lithium chloride and sodium
    chloride' Physica A. 2003; 323: 67-74.
    9. Prof. Martin Chaplin's website:
    IO. Walach H. 'Magic of signs: a non-local interpretation of homeopathy' Br j Hom 2000; 89: 127-140.
    1 1. Milgrom LR. 'Homeopathy: The Therapy That Dare Not Speak its Name'Network: The Scientific and Medical Network; Network Review 2002 (August), No. 79, pp2-7: 7+/N79Milgrom_homeopathy.htm.
    12. Nadeau R and Kafatos M. The Non-Local Universe: The New Physics and Matters of the Mind, Oxford University Press, Oxford UK, 1999 ISBN 0-19-513256-4.
    1 3. Kent J.T, Lectures on Homepthic Philosophy, Lecture XXIV: 'Idiosyncrasies'. Homeopathic Book Service, Sittingbourne, UK, 1990.
    14. Milgrom LR. 'Patient-practitioner-remedy (PPR) entanglement Part 1: a qualitative, non- local metaphor for homeopathy based on quantum theory' Homeopathy 2002, 91: 239-48.
    15. Atmanspacher H, Romer H, and Walach H. 'Weak quantum theory: complementarity and entanglement in physics and beyond Found. Phys. 2002, 32: 379-406.

    16. See Jung C .G, Pauli W. The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche. Pantheon, New York, 1955.
    17. The reason why the degree of non- commutativity is so small in quantum theory is because it is more or less equal to a number called Planck's Constant which is about 6.63* 1 0- 34 joule seconds, which is a very small number!
    18. Cramer JG. 'The transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics' Rev Mod Phys 1986, 58: 647-687.
    19. Jean Y, Volatron E An Introduction to Molecular Orbitals, Oxford University Press, Oxford UK, 1993;
    ISBN 0-1 9-50691 8-8.
    20. Milgrom LR. 'Patient-practitioner-remedy (PPR) entanglement. Part 2: extending the metaphor for homeopathy using molecular quantum theory', Homeopathy, 2003; 92: 35-43.
    21. Milgrom LR. 'Patient-practitioner-remedy (PPR) entanglement. part 3: refining the quantum metaphor for homeopathy': Homeopathy, 2003, (in press).
    22. Waldrop MM. Complexity. The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos,
    London, UK: penguin Books, 1994. See also Hyland ME. 'The intelligent body', New Scientist 2001; 170: 32-33. See, Hyland ME. 'A connecionist theory of asthma',] Clin Exp Allergy, 1999; 29: 1467-1573; Rambihar VS. 'A new chaos-based medicine beyond 2000: the response to evidence', Vashna Publications, Toronto 2000; Milgrom LR. 'Vitalism, complexity and the concept of spin' Homeopathy 2002; 91: 26-131.
    When you read the above you realise that the old masters were much closer to the mark than they are given credit for their understanding !! SEE BELOW

    HOMEOPATHY BEFORE, HAHNEMANN Prof. Dudgeon [Lectures 1850]
    Referring to Paracelsus ----In another place he says something similar; Contraria non-curantar contrariis ; like belongs to like not cold against heat, not heat against cold. That were indeed a wild arrangement, if we had to seek our safety in opposites."
    Again- “ This," says he, "is true, that he who will employ cold for heat, moisture for dryness, does not understand the nature of disease." (Paramirum, P. 68.)
    The homeopathic principle is still more completely set forth in his treatise, 'Von der Astronomey. He there says: "The nature of the arcane is, that they shall go directly against the properties of the enemy, as one combatant goes against another. Nature wills it that in the combat also, the same rule prevails. The physician should let this be an example to him. As two foes go out to combat, who are both cold or both hot, and who attack one another with the same weapon: As the victory is, so also is it in the human body; the two combatants seek their aid from the same mother, that is, the same power.
    He enunciates our principle in words; - What makes jaundice also cures and all it's species. In like manner, the medicine that shall cure paralysis must proceed from that which causes it and in this way we proceed according to cure by arcana.
    Paracelsus's system, as far as we can learn it from his works, was a rude homeopathy; an attempt to discover specifies for the various diseases to which, man is liable. It was not equal in value to Hahnemann's system, for an uncertainty almost as great as that of the old system attended it. He believed that in nature existed a remedy for every disease. The physician from the external symptoms was to judge of the organ diseased, and for the cure of that disease he was to select that medicine which experience had had shown him exerted a specific influence on the organ affected.
    That he who will employ cold for heat, moisture for dryness, does not understand the nature of disease." (.Paramirum, P. 68.) Pt. V. P. 18.)
    Paracelsus's system -", as eminently a system of a specific medicine, and in many points his therapeutic rule resembles that of Hahnemann, and occasionally he makes use of a truly homeopathic phrase. Thus he says, "likes must be driven out (or cured) by likes;” But the meaning of this, in the Paracelsian sense, generally comes to this) that the disease of the brain, the heart, the liver, etc., must be expelled by that medicine which represents the brain, the heart, or the liver, in consequence of its specific action on one of these organs.
    Thus he says: " Heart to heart; lung to lung, spleen to spleen, not cow's spleen, not swine's brain to man's brain but the brain that is external brain to man's internal brain, the next quote explains his meaning more thoroughly. " The medicinal herbs are organs this is a heart that a liver this other a spleen. That every heart is visible to the eye as a heart I will not say but it is a power and a virtue equivalent to the heart .
    Another point of resemblance between Paracelsus and Hahnemann is observable in the great partiality shown by both for extremely minute doses. In his book, On the Causes and Origin of Lues Gallica (lib. v. cap. 11), Paraelsus Compares the medicinal power of the drug to fire. As a single spark can ignite a great heap of wood, in-
    Indeed, can set a whole forest in flames, in like manner can a very small dose of medicine overpower a great disease. And," he proceeds, "just as this spark has no weight, so the medicine given, however small may be its weight, should suffice to effect its action." How like this is to Hahnemann: "The dose of the homeopathically selected remedy can never be prepared so small that it shall not be stronger than the natural disease, and shall not suffice to cure it." (Orqanon , § celixix.) The following passage shows that Paracelsus anticipated Hahnemann in the employment of medicines by olfaction. They can have many rare powers and are very numerous; there is for instance, the Specificum odoriferum, which cures diseases when the patient is unable to swallow, as in apoplexy and epilepsy.
    I shall close my quotations from Paracelsus by quoting a passage, which shows that like Hahnemann he considered the medicinal power as something spiritual and separable from the material medicine. I have quoted passages that are strikingly analogous to many in Hahnemann's works, but what I have adduced will have enabled you to judge of this great likeness for yourselves. It is
    It is impossible at this moment to say if Hahnemann was acquainted with Paracelaus's writings. From his extensive familiarity with the writings of medical authors, both ancient and modern, I should hardly suppose that he had not read the works of one so world-renowned as Paracelsus; but then not a syllable occurs in all his works regarding this wonderful and most original writer and thinker. The resemblance of some passages in to the Organon’, and in the minor writings of Hahnemann, to some parts of Paracelsus's works is so very striking, that it is difficult to believe that Hahnemann did not take them from Paracelsus; and yet had he done so, would he not have acknowledged the fact? It may be, after all, that the resemblance is purely accidental,' and that the ideas that seem borrowed are just those that must necessarily occur to one who, like Paracelsus, had shaken himself free from the trammels of an antiquated and false system, and had set himself to study nature with his own lives, unbranded by the distorting spectacles of the schools.
    The resemblance of some passages in the Organon and in the minor writings of Hahnemann, to other parts of Paracelsus's works is so very striking, that it is difficult to believe that Hahnemann did not take them from Paracelsus; and yet had he done so, would be not have acknowledged the fact? It may be, after all that the resemblance is purely accidental,

    This doctrine was called the doctrine of_signatures. The signature or physical properties of the vegetable or mineral medicine would, it was alleged, in many instances, give us the key to its remedial virtues. I shall enumerate a few examples illustrative of this doctrine of signatures, which was in high reputation in the middle ages, and traces of which are to be found, among the people in our own times. The flower of the little plant euphrasia bears no very remote resemblance to the iris of the eye, and this was held to indicate its usefulness in diseases of the eye.
    It’s name in almost every European country indicates a virtue of this sort Eyebright , Casse-lunette , Augentrot - sufficiently demonstrates the high regard in which it was held as an ophthalmic three countries, England, Germany and France. Milton alludes to its popularity – powers to clear the eyesight in his Paradise Lost. The Archangel Michael gave it to Adam to improve his vision. And Shenstone says-
    Yet euphrasy may not be left unsung,
    That gives dim eyes to wander leagues around.
    Orchis root bears some distant resemblance to human testicles, which gained for it a celebrity in the treatment of impotence.
    The color of turmeric and of berberis both of them a reputation in jaundice, as did the juice of the chelidonium; rhubarb and aloe cause, were the antibilious medicines of our forefathers and perhaps they perform the same duty for contemporaries under the title of Cockle's pills. Hypericum Perfoliatum, when crushed, yields a blood red juice a certain sign that it must be a specific in hemorrhage The powerful action of the juice of the Poppy on the head is pointed out by Nature who has fashioned the seedpod of the plant into the shape of a human head, and placed a crown on the top. The Ranunculus Ficaria and Scrophularia Nodosa have similar roots that are like hemorrhoids, and both plants were used extensively for piles.
    The red powder obtainable from Madder was held to be not more useful for coloring cloth than indicative of a power in that vegetable to promote the similarly colored catamenial discharge. The Saponaria enjoyed a considerable reputation as a " solvent and detergent medicine, because, the decoction of its root, when agitated, forms a froth like soap-suds, the solvent and detergent qualities of which are well known to every washerwoman. From the purifying effect on external objects its purifying effects on the internal organs was deduced.
    Cassia fistula has a form like a but of bowel, dried, and painted black-, and this was sufficient to lead the auspices of medicine to pronounce it a valuable medicine for the bowels. He must be blind indeed -who cannot see the striking resemblance of the lemon to the human heart, in spite of every difference of color, size, and shape and this re-semblance sufficiently accounted for its presumed cardiac virtues. The bile tastes bitter to quote a proverb, so does Gentian, therefore gentian is indicated to us by nature as the proper remedy for deranged bile. The mushroom called Phallus Ipudicans had a universal celebrity as an aphrodisiac and promoter of fecundity and some peculiarities in its structure. The branches of the Elder Tree contain within them pith, which is considered as a remedial means for the diseases, of the spinal cord. Do we want a pectoral medicine? . One that bears the impress of nature's hand upon it, indicative of its power over diseases of the lungs. Here it is the Lichen Pulmonaris whose resemblance to the lungs of an animal cannot be gainsaid, and whose virtues in universally acting on pulmonary defluxions and Phthisis universally acknowledged.
    The root of the Cyclamen resembles the stomach of an animal, and hence it was presumed to have a peculiar efficacy in diseases of that organ. The seeds of the lithosperum -literally stonebreaker the seed, could not, of course, possess that stony hardness without some object, and hence from this quality their efficacy in cases of stone in the bladder was surmised.
    -'Mark, how that rooted Mandrake wears his human feet, his human hands; oft as his shapely form he rears, Aghast the frightened ploughman stands." May it not have been this resemblance to a homunculus celebrity as a promoter of fecundity that dates as far back as Rachel and Leah; for it will be remembered a little domestic altercation about the mandrakes that Leah had procured in order to obtain a renewal of her child-bearing power.
    These examples will suffice to show you the great prevalence of the doctrine of signatures among the learned as well as the unlearned of almost all periods; and though it is impossible to accord any credence to such a doctrine, its existence and long prevalence is an important fact, for it appears to me to be a type of the truth existing in an age of ignorance, but, like all types, only intelligible to those who are familiar with the truth it represented, to others unintelligible and ridiculous.
    It was the idol that was worshipped while the god remained concealed; the worship was false and absurd, but it typified and attested the existence of the god, and foreshadowed his future discovery and purer worship. Perhaps, too, it indicated the former existence of a knowledge that has been lost or. However this may be, we, who are now in possession of the truth by original discovery, or, it way be, by recovery, can see the doctrine of signatures a rude testimony of a barbarous age to the truth of what we now know to be the one true law in medicine; an Expression of the instinctive feeling 'that drugs must in some way give a prince indications of their remedial powers, and a protest against the doctrine that these powers could only be ascertained a posteriori by experiments on the sick: I now come to those authors, the immediate predecessors of or contemporaries of Hahnemann, also have likewise in some measure acknowledged the homeopathic therapy. Hahnemann himself cites a number of passages where the law is more or less fully recognised. Thus Bouldue perceived that the purgative property of, rhubarb was the cause of its curative power in diarrhea. Detharding inferred that it was the colic-producing power of senna that gave it the power to cure colics. Stahl, distinctly states, " The rule generally acted on in medicine, to treat by means of oppositely acting remedies, is quite false, and the very reverse of what ought to be. I am, on the contrary, convinced that diseases will yield to and be cured by remedies that produce a similar affection.

  • #2
    In my eagerness to make the point connecting Paracelsus – the Doctrine of Signatures – Quantum Theory and modern homeopathy I omitted to acknowledge the source of the Quantum Theory item .
    It was taken from an article by Lionel Milgrom – published in The Homeopath no 90 July 2003 .
    I apologise to anyone I may have offended by this omission – J. Bradley [ passkey]


    • #3
      Passkey makes very important points in this highly informative posting, and I find myself in agreement with what he has written. However, historically speaking, Hahnemann seemed to be quite insulted by statements made by Dr. Trinks that he (Hahnemann) had borrowed from, or even been influenced by, Paracelsus (vide references regarding Paracelsus and Trinks in R. Haehl's Biography of Hahnemann). Hahnemann denies that Paracelsus or Paracelsan ideas had ANY influence on ANY aspect of his (Hahnemann's) development of homeopathy. The questions are, is Hahnemann speaking the truth in this denial, and if not, then why the lie?


      • #4
        Does it matter - Hahnemann was human - we all have kinks - the point is the information that links EVERYTHING - no exceptions !! .
        What are the implications ??. Comments please


        • #5
          No, whether Hahnemann secretly borrowed from Paracelsus, then denied it, or whether he independently arrived at conclusions similar to those arrived at centuries earlier by Paracelsus, makes very little difference in the final analysis (it would be of historical interest only) However, it brings up a very interesting question: the Paracelsic concept of similars is somewhat different than the Hahnemannian concept: could there be two "laws of similars", or perhaps two aspects of the same underlying Law? Could there be a "Law of Similars of Quality" (the Paraclesic concept) and a "Law of Similars of Effects" (the pathogenetically experimentally based Hahnemannian concept of Similia simillibus curentur)?


          • #6
            Irefuse to believe this hairsplitting is important .If the concept of entanglement is correct then both approaches are true . Answer the question !!.


            • #7
              ...and I lean very much to accepting the entanglement concept as being accurate, and I personally accept that both approaches ARE true; however, the ramifications of this vis-a-vis most of the homeopathic theories and teachings regarding practice methodologies, are very significant indeed.


              • #8
                Doctrine of Signatures

                Nice to know that despite minor differences someone accepts the link between the past, Paracelsus .. Theo von Hoenheim ... and the future Weak Quantum Theory


                • #9
                  quote: "The practitioner, while outwardly observing the patient and gathering a symptom picture, needs, like Janus, to be inwardly observing themselves for the effect the patient might be having on them (no mean feat)."

                  very nice. you know, this is "countertransference." freud discovered it ... and jung certainly was aware of it in his practice. i suppose i have more faith than you, that even the most entangled and mysterious of physical processes can be defined in reductionist terms. einstein, after all, believed that the events inside the little box could be known apart from chance.

                  overall an interesting post, a good tonic for the glib speculations about this or that process of physics as explaining the "mechanism of action." true or false, it indeed sets a framework, an agenda, for serious work in scientific research, to understand homeopathy.

                  but i still don't see why this can't be measured by the dbpc - mind you, i dislike the dbpc intensely, for the ease with which it can be mis-used, especially in applications to any clinical discipline. but it is silly to think that an appropriate regard for definitions and design can't render this little instrument useful, perhaps even amusing, though in the last analysis not really worth the effort. except politically. and, as we live in a political world, it is sometimes useful to put the ball in the other guy's court. i, for one, would like to see the very success of a well-designed dbpc, in proving efficacy of remedies, undermine the vain certitude of its most dogged adherents in their blind worship: it is in fact merely a very nice little tool to ferret out details of this or that, especially if the ferret has some capacity for analysis, as distinct from calculation.
                  "The need to perform adjustments for covariates...weakens the findings." BMJ Clinical Evidence: Mental Health, (No. 11), p. 95.... It's that simple, guys: bad numbers make bad science.


                  • #10
                    OK, in the context of homeopathy, what is 'science'? Bigger and better double blind placebo-controlled trials (DBPCTS) on potentised remedies, as the conventional scientific community would wish? I don't think so.
                    There would be a deafening outcry for ever more DBPCTs if they should favor homeopathy, and "Nya, nya, we told you so!” if they shouldn't, simply underlining the strength of feeling that homeopathic issues generate (and objectivity can sometimes be the first casualty in this debate).
                    There is no doubt some truth in this. After all, homeopathy constitutes an extraordinary claim, so it will no doubt be met with demands for extraordinary evidence. However, this does not change the fact that the trials that have so far yielded positive results for homeopathy can be shown to be flawed. So while you can suspect the scientific establishment to be reluctant to accept a valid result, you cannot accuse it of having already done so.

                    As for the many theories of how homeopathic remedies might act physically, there is still none that do not require some as yet unvalidated mechanism to exist. In other words, there is always a leap of faith to be made.

                    It must also be remembered that homeopathy does not rest on remedies alone. The whole law of similars is the real cornerstone, and even if certain preparations can be showed to have a medicinal effects (as in the case of certain low potency experiments) the universality of the law of similars still has to be verified.

                    The weak quantum theory is another unvalidated theory. If one wants to be negative, it could be termed an ad hoc theory. This means a theory that is designed to fit the desired result, not the actual obsevations.

                    Personally, I think the effect of homeopathy should be found in the doctor/patient interaction, which, probably controversially, at least in the present company, relegates both the actual remedies and the law of similars to a fairly unimportant role.

                    You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.


                    • #11
                      By the same token Hans, there are studies that have shown homeopathy in a negative light. These trials too have been demonstrated to have flaws, in just the same way as the positive ones. I think Bach has already done this quite successfully as far as I am aware!!
                      Sarah-I. RN, Homeopath, Craniosacral Therapist, Therapeutic Massage Therapist, Reiki Master Teacher.


                      • #12
                        Yes, the studies I have seen that show no effect of homeopathy are also flawed. You might say that no valid studies of homeopathy exist at all. Which is a little bit surprising, as it should not really be too difficult.

                        You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.


                        • #13
                          They are not all flawed and you have to remember that new research is being undertaken all the time and especially through the homeopathic hospitals in both London and Glasgow. David Reilly has been instrumental in setting up new research.
                          Sarah-I. RN, Homeopath, Craniosacral Therapist, Therapeutic Massage Therapist, Reiki Master Teacher.


                          • #14
                            quote (hans): "As for the many theories of how homeopathic remedies might act physically, there is still none that do not require some as yet unvalidated mechanism to exist."

                            quite right. in these terms, which very adequately sum up the situation, there is nothing to lead one to prefer paracelsus to florence nightingale, and nothing leading to a preference for florence over hahnemann. and, as sarah-i (thank you, sarah) points out, the double blinds showing negative for homeopathy can also be critiqued, some on grounds of research methodology, some on grounds of what i have called credibility: failure to measure what they claim to measure.

                            we all agree that the earth is round, not flat. we all agree that the earth is not the center of the universe. we all agree, i suspect, that it is very very very safe to assume that this agreement reflects an accurate estimate of the true nature of the universe in these regards. we are also all agreed that we do not have the overwhelming kind of evidence these truths represent, that would lead to a similar level of confidence regarding determination of the efficacy of homeopathic remedies.

                            this explains why no one in the present company is conceding the inadequacy of their own vision. it does not explain why so many in the present company insist that they have discovered the grail. quantum this. randomized that. the memory of water. the sweetness of sugar. it's all speculation at this point. we're still gathering evidence, people: but don't worry, there is plenty of room for pride of position, even if the road to the future is not quite clearly marked as yet ... though that leaves less room for ego, vanity, and condescension than some prefer, methinks.
                            "The need to perform adjustments for covariates...weakens the findings." BMJ Clinical Evidence: Mental Health, (No. 11), p. 95.... It's that simple, guys: bad numbers make bad science.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sarah-I
                              They are not all flawed and you have to remember that new research is being undertaken all the time and especially through the homeopathic hospitals in both London and Glasgow. David Reilly has been instrumental in setting up new research.
                              Well, all I can say is that I have yet to see an unflawed one. Now, obviously, I don't expect you to accept my authority on this. However, last time I looked, none of the trials came unscathed through peer review.

                              You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.