What is Homeopathic Medicine?
The goal of homeopathic medicine is the
cure of chronic illness and restoration of health. This is fundamentally different
from the goal of allopathic medicine, which is
management of chronic disease and suppression of symptoms.
The fundamental law of homeopathy is that “like cures like.”
This is the doctrine of the similimum – the idea that that which
produces symptoms in a healthy person can cure those same symptoms in
someone who is ill.
Classical homeopathy was developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in Germany more
than 200 years ago, although the discipline was founded on principles
which were expressed in Chinese medicine and in the ancient world more
than 2,000 years ago.
In Dr. Hahnemanns day, very powerful toxic substances were being used
as medicines. For example, mercury was injected as a cure for syphilis.
Other fashionable treatments included purgatives, bleeding, and blistering
plasters that were more harmful than effective. Dr. Hahnemann stopped
using these treatments because he felt that the effect of the medicine
was worse than the effect of the disease. He believed that approaches
to disease must be studied from the viewpoint of vitality, meaning the
life and health of an individual, and not from the viewpoint of suppression
Every effective drug provokes in the human body a sort of disease of its
own, and the stronger the drug, the more characteristic and the more marked
and more violent the disease.
We should imitate nature, which sometimes cures a chronic affliction with
another supervening disease, and prescribe for the illness we wish to
cure, especially if chronic, a drug with power to provoke another, artificial
disease, as similar as possible, and the former disease will be cured:
fight like with like.
- Dr. Samuel Hahnemann
We are not so different today. We continue to inject mercury and viruses
into the most vulnerable members of our society, the very young and the
very old, in an effort to treat or prevent disease. We have inadvertently
raised an entire generation of children with pervasive developmental disorders.
We give antipsychotic medications to very young children, despite the
side effects of extreme carbohydrate cravings and weight gain. We give
antidepressants to adolescents, despite the well-described side effect
of increased suicidal tendencies.
heart disease run rampant and are preventable, yet the medical establishment looks to
profit from them, rather than prevent them. Most high blood pressure is
deemed to be “idiopathic” meaning it has no discernible cause.
And it is suppressed with pharmaceutical medication alone, with no curiosity
as to what is the source of the high blood pressure.
Hahnemann believed that approaches to disease must be studied from the
vitality, meaning the life and health of an individual, and not from the suppression
Dr. Hahnemann was most scornful of those practitioners of medicine who
declared that all the infinite variety of sufferings could be reduced
to a few salient symptoms and meaningless general terms, ignoring all
the complexity of the individual’s expression of illness. By meaningless
general terms he included things like headache, backache, pains in the
limbs, convulsions, etc.
From the perspective of advanced homeopathic medicine, all disease or dysfunction
is an external manifestation of an internal bioenergetic disorder unique
to the individual. Homeopathic medicine looks for that substance which
will correct the energetic defects or dysfunctions unique to a given individual,
and restore that individual to the original template of full health.
As technology has advanced, we have learned how to measure energetic dysfunctions
and departures from the original template. We are now able to treat with
substances which can restore the disharmony of the information systems
which subtend the body’s cellular function, right down to the level
of the DNA. These substances may include things like electromagnetic energy,
homeopathic remedies, combination remedies, and even physical remedies
such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids.
Professor Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won the Nobel Prize
in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus, shook up the mainstream medical
community in 2010 with his announcement that he had verified the science
behind homeopathic remedies. Speaking to 60 Nobel prize-winners and some
700 other sceptical scientists at the Lindau Nobel laureate meeting in
Germany, Montagnier explained he had discovered water has a memory that
continues even after many dilutions. He said solutions containing the
DNA of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, including HIV, "could emit
low frequency radio waves" and influence water molecules around them,
turning them into organized structures that in turn emit waves. Montagnier
said water could retain such properties even after the original solutions
were diluted to the point the original DNA had effectively vanished. In
this way, he suggested, water could retain the "memory" of substances
with which it had been in contact and doctors could use the emissions
to detect disease.
A few months later, Montagnier told
Science magazine he will be studying electromagnetic waves that emanate from the
highly diluted DNA of various pathogens. “The high dilutions [used
in homeopathy] are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing.
They are water structures which mimic the original molecules." Montagnier's research – and that of many other colleagues –
has verified that electromagnetic signals of the original medicine remain
in the water and have dramatic biological effects.
Most clinical research conducted on homeopathic medicines that has been
published in peer-reviewed journals have shown positive clinical results,, especially in the treatment of respiratory allergies,, influenza, fibromyalgia,, rheumatoid arthritis, childhood diarrhea, post-surgical abdominal surgery recovery, attention deficit disorder, and reduction in the side effects of conventional cancer treatments. In addition to clinical trials, several hundred basic science studies
have confirmed the biological activity of homeopathic medicines.*
Allopathic medicine has not yet discovered how to modify DNA switches which
have been turned off or on by toxins presented to the body. Homeopathic
medicine carries the potential to modify these switches, and can thus
restore full functionality to the physical organism.
So why is homeopathic medicine not the standard of medicine in this modern age?
By the year 1900, more than 100 homeopathic hospitals operated in the U.S.,
along with 22 homeopathic medical schools and more than 1,000 homeopathic
pharmacies. Interestingly, many students and practitioners were women,
and the homeopathic Boston Female Medical College, founded as a school
for midwives in 1848, was the first women's medical college in the
world. Mark Twain wrote in Harper's magazine in 1890, "The introduction
of homeopathy forced the old-school doctor to stir around and learn something
of a rational nature about his business."
But the allopaths competed for patients. They established the American
Medical Association in 1846, two years after the founding of the American
Institute of Homeopathy, the nation’s first national medical society.
Allopaths were called quacks in the 19th century and even before, because they used quicksilver, what we call mercury,
also known as quack silver, as medicine. Homeopaths did not support the
use of caustic or poisonous pharmaceuticals; homeopathy was the predominant
form of medicine at the start of the 20th century. People living on the frontier relied on homeopathic remedies
because doctors were few and far between.
As Doctors Paolo Bellavite and Andrea Signorini wrote of that era: "The
rapid initial spread of homeopathy was probably initially due, on the
one hand, to the fact that the orthodox medicine of [Hahnemann’s]
day and age was still extremely backward and lacked truly effective therapeutic
remedies, and, on the other to the distinct superiority of homeopathy
treating the various epidemics of typhoid fever, cholera, and yellow fever
which raged across Europe and America in the 1800s."
In 1855, the AMA incorporated a code of ethics that included expulsion
of physicians who even consulted with homeopaths or other “un-scientific”
practitioners. Similar events were unfolding in Europe; orthodox physicians
in France also banned consultations with homeopaths. Homeopathy was outlawed
In 1908 the newly formed American Medical Association’s (AMA) Council
on Medical Education wrote to Andrew Carnegie to propose a collaboration
with the purpose of reforming medical education. The Carnegie Foundation
was allied with the Rockefellers, who heavily invested first in oil, then
in pharmaceutical companies. It was decided to hire Abraham Flexner to
investigate the 155 U. S. and Canadian medical schools.
Flexner was a schoolmaster who knew nothing about the field of medicine
but he was well-connected; his brother Simon was director of the Rockefeller
Institute for Medical Research.
Flexner’s subsequent findings, not surprisingly, heavily favored
the medical schools which supported the use of pharmaceutical medicine
and “science-based” medicine. Flexner wanted to promote higher
status for doctors. He recommended specialization, and recommended that
most of the schools for women and blacks be closed, since women showed
a “decreasing inclination” to enter the profession, and blacks
were a potential source of “infection and contagion.” In the
report, Flexner called chiropractors “quacks.”
Medical journals had mixed reactions. The
Journal of the American Medical
Association announced that “[a]lthough there may be statements of detail which
might be criticized in the Foundation’s report, generally speaking
the statements made are recognized as the truth by those who are in a
position to judge.” It was “full of errors,” alleged the
Denver Medical Journal; “a piece of monumental impudence,” according to the
American Medical Compound. Among other failings, the report was produced too fast to for Flexner
to visit all the schools. “You don’t need to eat a whole sheep
to know it’s tainted,” Flexner later wrote in his autobiography.
New York State Journal of Medicine berated the Carnegie Foundation for attempting to “dictate the policies
… to wipe out institutions with the stroke of a pen” and
thereby “threaten the freedom” of medical schools.”
Despite the clear bias against all forms of medical treatment other than
allopathic, the report was widely acclaimed by the allopathic medical
community. It sent shock waves through the medical schools of the United States.
The historic Flexner Report dictated that medical schools which would be funded and accredited would
be those which trained doctors in the extremes of medicine – emergency
and surgical, both of which make extensive use of pharmaceutical drugs.
In 1905, 160 medical schools were in operation. By 1927, seventeen years
after the Flexner Report, the number had dropped to 80. The homeopathic
medical schools were disappearing.
Medicine in America was shifting from its early emphasis on prevention
and health to a model of disease management. Influential forces promoted
“allopathic” medicine, the suppression of symptoms. And they
fought competition fiercely.
Doctors of Chiropractic came to find themselves denied coverage and recognition
in all federal and state government agencies. They took the fight all
the way to the Supreme Court. The historic 1990 decision found the AMA guilty of an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade "to
contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession" and that the "AMA
had entered into a long history of illegal behavior." Since then,
chiropractors have largely been able to continue their practice without
medical doctor interference.
, a Greek homeopath who is credited for much of homeopathy’s revival
since the 1960s in Europe, said:
“The immune systems of the western population, through strong chemical
drugs and repeated vaccinations, have broken down … If conventional
medicine were really curing chronic diseases, today we would have a population
in the West that was healthy, mentally, emotionally and physically.”
Todd Rowe, M.D, MD(H)
Americans are beginning to demand more than symptom management. More and
more, they want to find out what went wrong and how to fix it at the fundamental
level. In 1999, the first homeopathic college to open its doors since
the Flexner report did so in Phoenix, Arizona: The American Medical College
of Homeopathy under the direction of
Todd Rowe, MD, MD(H)
. The school currently graduates Homeopathic Medical Assistants, and has
plans in the near future to grant the degree of DCH, Doctor of Classical
Homeopathy. The school has had its regulatory struggles – through
no fault of its own – but is emerging on the other side firm in
its commitment to certification in order to grant a recognized medical
degree of Doctor of Homeopathy.
What differentiates homeopathic medicine from conventional medicine?
• Homeopathy rests on a core philosophy of healing and unification
of body, mind and spirit that guide its practice. Conventional allopathic
medicine relies on the philosophy of battling disease with drugs, surgery
• Homeopathy is much safer and gentler, using the core concept of
“helping the body to perform its healing”. Conventional medicine
is far more intrusive, using the core concept of “fighting”.
• Homeopathic medicine is much less expensive. For treatment, homeopathic
patients generally spend about 20% of what most conventional treatments
cost. In addition, homeopathic medicines average about 10% of the cost
of pharmaceutical drugs.
• Homeopathic treatment is non-suppressive. By treating symptoms rather
than the whole person, conventional medicine often suppresses illness,
driving it deeper into the organism.
• Homeopathic medicine treats patients on all levels of their being
(physical, emotional, mental and spiritual). Conventional medicine typically
only focuses on one level at a time – mainly physical.
• Homeopathic medicine is generally more satisfying for the practitioner.
Homeopathic doctors are privileged to watch their patients heal from illness.
Allopathic doctors mainly only get to watch their patients deteriorate
more slowly. Seldom do allopaths get to watch their patients heal (except
in the case of acute infectious illness). This is the reason why many
allopathic doctors make the switch to homeopathic and integrative/functional
medicine later in their careers.
• The goal of homeopathic medicine is cure of chronic disease whereas
the goal of conventional medicine is generally management of chronic disease.
1. explanation of complex life-science processes and phenomena in terms
of the laws of physics and chemistry; also: a theory or doctrine that
complete reductionism is possible
2. a procedure or theory that reduces complex data and phenomena to simple terms
• Homeopathy is a form of energy medicine whereas conventional medicine
is a form of material medicine.
• Homeopathy focuses on healing from within and using the self-healing
capacity of the body. Conventional medicine focuses on healing from without,
without supporting the body’s own self-healing mechanisms –
often even destroying those mechanisms (as in the case of cancer chemotherapy).
• Homeopathy recognizes and utilizes the healing power of nature.
Conventional medicine largely ignores nature in favor of that which can
be patented and sold.
• Historically, homeopathic medicine is derived from the Empirical
Medicine tradition of experiential healing. Conventional medicine is derived
from the Rationalistic Medicine tradition of reductionistic healing.
• Homeopathy utilizes minimum doses in the practice of healing (less
is more). Conventional medicine typically utilizes large doses of pharmaceutical
drugs, on the theory that there is a “correct” dose of drug
which fits 95% of patients.
• Homeopathic medicine is humanistic and patient-centered. Conventional
medicine is system-centered and focused on diagnosis and which drug or
surgical procedure to use to treat that diagnosis.
How is homeopathic medicine different than other forms of “alternative” medicine?
With more than 250 forms of alternative medicine, it can be confusing to
separate one system from another. The following are some distinctions
that make homeopathic medicine unique:
• Homeopathic medicine is one of the older forms of alternative medicine
with historical roots dating back to ancient Greece. Homeopathy is the
heir to the vitalist (empirical medicine) tradition of healing.
• Homeopathic medicine is a complete system of healing unto itself.
Most forms of alternative medicine are treatment modalities without an
underlying system. That being said, many integrative medicine practitioners
use homeopathic medicine as a part of their treatment.
• Homeopathic medicine is the third most common form of alternative
medicine in the world today (behind herbal medicine and oriental medicine)
and is said to be the fastest growing.
• Homeopathic medicine is better researched than many other forms
of alternative medicine.
• Homeopathic medicine is more successful in treating acute conditions
such as epidemic disease than most other forms of alternative medicine.
This was an important reason for its historical success.
• Homeopathic medicine are standardized in their preparations and
better accepted by the FDA than medicines from other forms of alternative medicine.
• Homeopathic medicine is one of the least expensive forms of alternative medicine.
• Homeopathic medicine is one of the most holistic forms of alternative
medicine. It truly treats patients on all levels of their being.
• Homeopathic medicine is a form of energy-medicine. Many forms of
alternative medicine are matter-based.
• Homeopathic medicine has a unique focus on the healing power of nature.
• Homeopathic medicine has a unique focus on the principle that less is more.
• Homeopathic medicine is on the cutting edge of our understanding
of life and the natural world.
How can homeopathic medicine be integrated into other forms of “alternative”
Classically trained homeopaths utilize the modality of “case taking”
– i.e. doing a lengthy interview with a patient, getting to know
all their peculiarities, so that they may find the one remedy which may
be effective for that particular patient – the one remedy which
most closely matches the patient’s essence.
Integrative practitioners are more likely to use combination remedies to
deal with a particular set of symptoms, rather than trying to find the
one “cure-all” remedy. Headache, for instance, can be due
to a multiplicity of causes, but the end result is pain. One complex homeopathic
remedy may contain 15 or 20 ingredients, each of which is good for a particular
kind of headache (burning, stabbing, throbbing, left sided, right sided,
behind the eyes, etc). While the cause of the headache is being determined,
the remedy may help to relieve the symptoms without throwing the patient
into a narcotic stupor.
Similarly, there are formulas for detoxification which can help support
and strengthen the organs which provide that function in our bodies (kidney,
intestine, liver, etc) while the actual cause of the toxicity is being
worked out so that the toxins may be eliminated more rapidly.
Homeopathy is one of those topics, like politics and religion and vaccination
and genetically modified foods, which seem to stir up enormous emotionality
in both adherents and detractors. We are very much in favor of presenting
the evidence and allowing our colleagues and patients to make their own
decisions based on the evidence, and their experience.
Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come
when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict
the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others:
The Constitution of this Republic should make a special privilege for
medical freedom as well as religious freedom.
-- Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence
*Disclaimer: There is no guarantee of successes for any given medical treatment.
Each individual is unique and may respond differently to our medical services,
meaning results may vary for each person.
 Felts JH. Abraham Flexner and medical education in North Carolina.
NC Med J 1995; 56:534-40. p. 537
 Berliner HS.
A System of Scientific Medicine: Philanthropic Foundations in the Flexner Era. Tavistock Publications; 1985. p. 122
Wilk v. American Medical Association, 671 F. Supp. 1465, N.D. Ill. 1987.