New – 5 April 2004
Homeopathy is a system of medicine based upon the idea of treating like with like. The very word instead stems from the Greek word homoeo – meaning similar – and pathos – which is the Greek word for suffering. The principle of like cures like (the Simillium) is, of course, the same principle in mainstream medicine in the cases of allergies, antidotes, and vaccines. In homeopathy, however, if the symptoms experienced are similar to the bite of a scorpion, the scorpion venom could be the homeopathic treatment even if there was no scorpion bite involved.
Homeopathy includes two additional principles: Single Remedy and Minimal Dose. The idea of the Single Remedy is that one remedy is taken aimed at all the symptoms, regardless of how many symptoms are experienced.
The Minimal Does idea means any remedy is taken in an extremely dilute form, typically one part of the remedy to one trillion parts of water. This has the great advantages of simultaneously avoiding overdoses – it's just water – and/or reducing or eliminating side effects. Considering the epidemic of Iatrogenic deaths and disabilities in the world today, this is really good news.
Homeopathy's Minimal Does concept also has an esoteric connection to Alchemy , where the principal rule is to “divide, divide, divide” in order to obtain the White Powder of Gold . It also correlates with Subtle Energy medicines. The difficulty usually lies in the process of diluting the remedy, without skewing its original properties. It is the latter problem which typically plagues (pardon the pun) mainstream researchers who are trying to negate homeopathic research – or at least not verify it.
The process is truly a phenomenal one. Think of taking a normal dosage of a solution which destroys a particular bacteria or virus, and diluting the dosage in water to the point where there is an almost negligible probability of their being a single atom of the original solution in the diluted water. The only thing remaining is the “vibrational frequency” of the original solution. Or perhaps more accurately, the water has somehow retained the geometrical properties of the original solution, and it is these properties which does its thing against the same bacteria or virus. It's like making the sound of a monster and scaring someone who has a deathly fear of this particular monster.
There are numerous excellent independent websites which describe in some detail the basics of homeopathy. These include:
The first of these provides a good description of the pros and cons. The second gives a different, but complementary view. The third is, as always an excellent resource.
It must be kept in mind that homeopathy is a holistic medicine; directed toward treating the whole person. This is, in turn, based on the idea of connectedness – as in Connective Physics . An excellent example, is addressing a pain in the knee by working on the spinal chord – and its nerve connection to the knee. Or sleeping on one's left shoulder and having the right hand go to sleep. The body is a mass of interconnections, and attempting to isolate one portion from the other – as is routinely attempted in allopathic/mainstream medicine – is not only flawed, but more often harmful.
There are, of course, people and organizations who find homeopathy roughly equivalent to the application of leaches or Voodoo spells to facilitate healing. Stephen Barrett, M.D. -- http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/homeo.html -- is one of these people who claim that homeopathic remedies are “quack products legally marketable as drugs” only because a homeopathic physician who was also a U.S. Senator had somehow maneuvered these drugs into the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Dr. Barrett also notes in his essay, “Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake”:
“Because homeopathic remedies were actually less dangerous than those of nineteenth-century medical orthodoxy, many medical practitioners began using them.”
Clearly, Dr. Barrett is unaware of the modern day Iatrogenic plague whereby medical orthodoxy is now the leading cause of death (783,936 in 2001, beating out heard disease (699,697) and cancer (553,251). The statistics of Death by Medicine makes it clear – by implication -- that homeopathy as an inherently non-iatrogenic means of treating illness is very likely still “less dangerous” than twenty-first century medical orthodoxy.
Death by Medicine (allopathic, mainstream medicine) statistics, for example include:
This authoritative report, Death by Medicine, goes into far greater detail and is absolutely essential reading for anyone thinking or concerned about their health.
Meanwhile, weighing in on the side of ignorance and nonobjective science is the new “peer-reviewed” journal, The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine .” This yellow sheet dealt in its first issue with “Chelation therapy (‘ineffective'), therapeutic touch (‘pseudo medical'), and homeopathy (‘by every objective, rational, and medical standard, homeopathy has failed to establish its scientific credibility'). This bi-annual journal is published by Paul Kurtz – who also publishes the wholly unscientific journal, The Skeptical Inquirer . In fact The Skeptical Inquirer makes the supermarket tabloid, The National Inquirer , look authoritative and credible. The reality is that Paul Kurtz has “by every objective, rational, and medical standard… failed to establish [his] scientific credibility”. As for being a “peer-reviewed” journal, one must wonder what constitutes a “peer” to these people -- James Randi, a magician known as “The Amazing Randi”?
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