Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Good medicine: homeopathy

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 14 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6184

Rapid Response:

Re: Good medicine: homeopathy

Response to Richard Bartley.

Simple answers to the questions/comments expressed in Richard Bartley’s rapid response are that homeopathy does conform with, and confirms, the known laws of physics of polymers and submolecular physics, and, contrary to Wikipedia, it is not quackery. [Wikipedia is known for instances of being biased and inaccurate and courts will as a rule reject or disregard any information and evidence based on Wikipedia entries.]

Science is simply an organised system of knowledge, it is not infallible and it’s validity does not depend on, and is not decided by, numbers/majority/consensus.

Moreover it is subject to changes.

Progress in science usually starts with one person.

Ninety nine persons out of a hundred may be wrong, and they usually are.

Homeopathic remedy is an electromagnetic imprint of the structure of the substance on the soluent (96% of alcohol or spring water act as powerful polymers, meaning able to incorporate or take over a structure of other substances) or other media (sugar pills).

The more diluted the more powerful the effect. Dilutions may go beyond Avogadro’s number which means that there isn’t a single molecule of the substance in the remedy, hence representing submolecular energy.

Homeopathy also recognises the dose effect of medications: different dilutions have different ‘strengths’ and different effects. Lower dosages may be more powerful than high dosages. That is also called a paradoxical dose effect. The paradoxical effect of stimulants also belongs in this category.

Homeopathic remedies are chosen on the basis of personality profiles, meaning the individuality of the diseased person and not on disease entities. Remedies not chosen on personality profiles may have no effect or not a desired effect.

When properly chosen and administered, homeopathic remedies have no adverse effects. The usually expected inevitable adverse effects of orthodox medicines do not apply to homeopathy. From homeopathic perspective, orthodox medications represent provings, meaning they cause the disease symptoms. Iatrogenesis (diseases caused by doctors) falls into this category.

Perhaps the most interesting is the homeopathic law of similars; "Similia similibus curentur" means that a substance which elicits certain symptoms when administered in normal doses will heal a person suffering/exhibing the same symptoms when administered in diluted (homeopathic) dose.

The classical example is quinin. When administered in a visible dose quinin causes spiking chills alternating with fever, heart palpitations and other symtoms characteristic of malaria. When administered in a homeopathic ultradiluted form, it will heal a person suffering malaria.

Yet quinin as such has nothing to do with the parasite causing malaria.

Other countries should seriously consider to follow the example of the Swiss Government and incorporate homeopathics (and other alternative remedies and procedures) into the national health scheme. It is not the same as incorporating homeopathics into general medicine. The general medicine and homeopathy should remain separate and practiced in parallel and each in their own right.

The CAM affairs should be managed by a separate department.

Competing interests: No competing interests

26 September 2012
Dr Viera Scheibner (PhD)
scientist/author retired
Blackheath, Australia