Nausea and Vomiting


Nausea, the unpleasant feeling of needing to vomit, represents awareness of afferent stimuli to the medullary vomiting centre. Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of gastric contents caused by involuntary contraction of the abdominal musculature when the gastric fundus and lower esophageal sphincter are relaxed.
nausea

Vomiting should be distinguished from regurgitation, the spitting up of gastric contents without associated nausea or forceful abdominal muscular contractions. Patients with achalasia or rumination syndrome or a Zenker diverticulum may regurgitate undigested food without nausea.

For symptomatic relief of nausea and vomiting it is not necessary to know the exact pathological diagnosis, though persistent vomiting can be a symptom of serious gastrointestinal or neurological problems. Any persistent vomiting, even if it is relieved by homeopathic treatment, requires a complete medical check-up.

Homeopathic treatment of nausea varies from case to case depending on causation factor or presenting symptoms. For example, whether the nausea is caused by food poisoning or pregnancy needs to be taken into consideration. Another reasons for nausea include intoxication (especially alcohol), motion sickness, headaches, hormonal irregularity during menses, etc.

Main remedies used for Nausea and Vomiting

Arsenicum Album. Vomiting together with diarrhoea, sometimes simultaneously. Thirsty but liquids are often vomited immediately upon reaching the stomach; especially cold drinks are ejected. The patient is typically worse at night and feels improvement after drinking warm drinks.

Veratrum Album. Severe, sometimes projectile vomiting often with diarrhoea. Vomiting is accompanied by cold perspiration especially on forehead, chills, cold breath and sometimes collapse.

Nux Vomica. Typically problems caused by excessive usage of stimulants such as coffee, energy drinks, or alcohol. Prime remedy for hangovers. The patient is complaining about nausea with cramps and painful vomiting or ineffectual attempts to vomit. Nausea may be caused by car fumes or cigarette smoke.

Ipecacuanha. Horrible nausea or hanging down sensation in the stomach, unrelieved even temporarily by vomiting. Despite the nausea, the tongue is clean and red. Offensive breath with nausea and vomiting.

Tabacum. Motion sickness (including sea sickness). Deathly nausea, the patient may appear green or very pale. The patient dreads movements as they bring on faintness and nausea.

Please note that homeopathic prescriptions are based on totality of symptoms and prescriptions that do not consider all circumstances are often not so effective. It is therefore highly advisable to contact a trained homeopath if you seek assistance with this complaint.

Also, this article is for your information only and is not supposed to replace a qualified medical advice. If your symptoms persist, do not hesitate to contact either a registered homeopath or your local medical practitioner.

References

Merck Manual
Morrison, Desktop Guide To Keynotes And Confirmatory Symptoms

Summer ailments from sun and heat

Sunburn

Sunburn is a radiation burn that affects mostly skin. It results from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation – most commonly the sun, but also other sources such as tanning beds in solariums. Sunburn occurs when the amount of UV radiation your skin is exposed to is more than its ability to protect itself with melanin – the pigment that gives our skin its colour and acts to absorb UV radiation before it can damage skin cells.

The symptoms of sunburn vary from person to person. You may not notice redness of the skin for several hours after the burn has sunburnbegun. Peak redness will take 12-24 hours. Minor sunburns typically cause nothing more than slight redness and tenderness to the affected areas. In more serious cases, blistering can occur. Extreme sunburns can be painful to the point of debilitation and may require hospital care.

Treating sunburn includes effective actions to prevent further damaging of the skin. Sunburn can lead to permanent skin damage and sometimes it may result in skin cancer if not treated in the right time.

Most common homeopathic remedies for sunburn include:

Cantharis 6 or 30 – sunburn with rawness and smarting, followed by undue inflammation. The person feels better from cold applications.

Hypericum 6 – the burned area may be covered with Hypericum lotion.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke, is a medical condition when the body’s temperature rises above 40.6 C due to environmental heat exposure with lack of thermoregulation. The body loses its ability to cool itself and overheats. Heat stroke is different from fever, where the body deliberately raises its temperature in response to, for example an infection.

Symptoms of heat stroke include red and hot skin, high temperature (above 40.6 C according to Emergency Medicine Australia), lack of sweating, dehydration, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, coordination problems, confusion and others.heatstroke

Treatment of heat stroke includes rapid mechanical cooling, where the body temperature must be lowered immediately. The patient should be moved to a cool area to promote heat loss. Hydration is very important part of the treatment, preferably with rehydration solutions such as isotonic drinks (sport drinks) or oral rehydration solution. In exercise or heat induced dehydration, electrolyte derangement can result and may actually be worsened by excessive consumption of water (water intoxication or dilutional hyponatremia). Absorption is rapid and complete in most patients, but if the patient is confused, unconscious, or unable to tolerate oral fluid, intravenous rehydration & electrolyte replacement (via a drip) may be necessary.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you see somebody with heat stroke call for an ambulance straight away.

Most common homeopathic remedies for heat stroke (sunstroke) include:

Glonoine 30 – with throbbing headache. Face is flushed and sweating.

Belladonna 30 – throbbing headache. Hot dry skin without thirst. Delirium. Dilated pupils.

Ant Crud 30 – Giddiness as if the patient has been drinking.

Please note that homeopathic prescriptions are based on totality of symptoms and prescriptions that do not consider all circumstances are often not so effective. It is therefore highly advisable to contact a trained homeopath if you seek assistance with this complaint.

Also, this article is for your information only and is not supposed to replace a qualified medical advice. If your symptoms persist, do not hesitate to contact either a registered homeopath or your local medical practitioner.

References

Isaac Golden, The Treatment of Simple Everyday Conditions

Prostate Conditions

Prostatitis

The prostate is an organ forming part of the male reproductive system. It is located immediately prostatebelow the bladder and just in front of the bowel. Its main function is to produce fluid which protects and enriches sperm. In younger men, the prostate is about the size of a walnut. It is doughnut shaped as it surrounds the beginning of the urethra, the tube that conveys urine from the bladder to the penis. The nerves that control erections surround the prostate.

Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland. Prostatitis is classified into acute, chronic, asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, and chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

In daily homeopathic practice we commonly encounter chronic prostatitis, for which no good allopathic treatment exists. Benign prostatic hypertrophy is also a common problem in our practices. These conditions often share symptoms and, therefore, the same set of remedies apply.

Therapeutic Tips For Prostatitis

Homeopathic

It is useful to inquire about the original infection before antibiotic treatment began. If the patient can still recall the initial symptoms of the infection, these symptoms can provide useful clues towards the treatment, even though the symptoms are long since suppressed.

Naturopathic

In chronic prostatitis, manual massages of the prostate on a weekly basis can have a dramatic effect and aid the rapid cure of the disorder Useful adjunctive treatments: Vitamin C (2000 mg per day). Zinc (50 mg per day). Vitamin B complex (50 mg complex daily).

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

Benign prostatic hypertrophy is an increase in size of the prostate.

Throughout their lives, men produce testosterone, an important male hormone, and small amounts of estrogen, a female hormone. As men age, the amount of active testosterone in the blood decreases, leaving a higher proportion of estrogen. Elevated levels of estrogen in blood causes this enlargement which is often referred to as benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH).

Symptoms of benign prostate hypertrophy include urinary stream hesitancy (needing to wait for the stream to begin), intermittency (when the stream starts and stops intermittently), straining to void, and dribbling. Pain and dysuria are usually not present.

This hidden epidemic of middle-aged and elderly patients is all too often viewed as a mere nuisance. While it is true that urinary obstruction can be readily treated with transurethral resection of the prostate, this procedure can result in surgical morbidity, incontinence and ejaculatory dysfunction. For these reasons, we attempt to avoid such surgery whenever possible. Newer procedures using balloon dilations, hyperthermia and laser treatments, while having shorter benefit, also cause less significant changes in the prostate function.

Therapeutic Tips For Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

Homeopathic

Treatment for prostatic hypertrophy is constitutional except during an acute, severe obstruction. When using acute, specific remedies giving a 30C dose daily for 4 or 5 days usually is sufficient to calm a retention episode.

If severe symptoms of obstruction are present, it is not wise to try remedy after remedy while the situation deteriorates. Limit the attempt to treat acutely to 24 hours. If there is no improvement, the patient should see a urologist.

Naturopathic

Two very benign herbal treatments are available and are probably just as effective as these allopathic medications: Sew Palmetto and Pygeum extract. These herbs are readily available in most health food stores and provide relief for most patients while homeopathic treatment is started.

Most Common Homeopathic Remedies Prescribed For Prostate Conditions Include:

Apis mellifica: Stinging pain during urination that is worse when the final drops are passing is a strong indication for this remedy. Discomfort may also involve the bladder. The prostate area is swollen and very sensitive to touch. The person may feel worse from heat and from being in warm rooms, with improvement from being out in open air or from cool bathing.

Causticum: Urine loss when the person coughs or sneezes often indicates a need for this remedy. Once urine has started passing, the person may feel pressure or pulsation extending from the prostate to the bladder. Causticum is also indicated when sexual pleasure during orgasm is absent or diminished.

Chimaphilla umbellata: This remedy is often helpful when the prostate is enlarged, with urine retention and frequent urging. The person may have the feeling that a ball is lodged in the pelvic floor, or experience pressure, swelling, and soreness that are worse when sitting down.

Clematis: This remedy is often indicated when swelling of the prostate seems to have narrowed or tightened the urinary passage. Urine usually emerges slowly, in drops instead of a stream, with dribbling afterward.

Lycopodium: This remedy may be helpful if urine is slow to emerge, with pressure felt in the prostate both during and after urination. The prostate is enlarged, and impotence may also be a problem. People who need this remedy often suffer from digestive problems with gas and bloating, and have an energy slump in the late afternoon.

Pulsatilla: Prostate problems with discomfort after urination and pains that extend to the pelvis or into the bladder (often worse when the man is lying on his back) suggest a need for this remedy. There may also be a bland, thick, yellow discharge from the penis. Pulsatilla is usually suited to emotional individuals who want a lot of affection and feel best in open air.

Sabal serrulata: A frequent urge to urinate at night, with difficulty passing urine, and a feeling of coldness in the sexual organs, suggest a need for this remedy. It is sometimes also used in lower potencies for urinary incontinence in older men. This remedy is made from saw palmetto which is also used as an herbal extract for similar prostate problems.

Staphysagria: This remedy may be indicated if a man feels burning pain in his urinary passage even when urine is not flowing, and urine retention is troublesome. Men who are likely to respond to Staphysagria are often sentimental and romantic, and may also have problems with impotence (most often caused by shyness).

Thuja: When the prostate is enlarged, and the person has a frequent urge to urinate, with cutting or burning pain felt near the bladder neck, this remedy may bring relief. After urine passes, a dribbling sensation may be felt. A forked or divided urine stream is sometimes seen when this remedy is needed.

Please note that homeopathic prescriptions based on totality of symptoms and prescriptions that do not consider all circumstances are often not so effective. It is therefore highly advisable to contact a trained homeopath if you seek assistance with this complaint.

Also, this article is for your information only and is not supposed to replace a qualified medical advice. If your symptoms persist, do not hesitate to contact either a registered homeopath or your local medical practitioner.

References

Merc Manual

Roger Morrison, Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology

Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) (also known as acute cystitis or bladder infection) is an infection that affects part of the urinary tract. When it affects the lower urinary tract it is known as a simple cystitis (a bladder infection) and when it affects the upper urinary tract it is known as pyelonephritis (a kidney infection).

Urinary tract infections occur more commonly in women than men, with hcystitisalf of women having at least one infection at some point in their lives. Recurrences are common. Risk factors include female anatomy, long periods of immobility (for example during flights), sexual intercourse and family history.

Cystitis is one of the most common acute complaints to develop in our patients and is usually readily managed with homeopathy. Symptoms include painful urination and either frequent urination or urge to urinate (or both).

Pyelonephritis, on the other hand, is a much more significant illness associated with fever, more back pain and general malaise or systemic symptoms. This condition should be approached with much more caution.

Management

Besides of homeopathic treatment, many cases of cystitis can be managed by increasing fluid intake, vitamin C, cranberry juice, etc. A number of patients present with sterile urine but classic symptoms of cystitis. This syndrome can be caused by urethral spasms or genital herpes but the remedies indicated remain the same as for cystitis.

Recurring bladder infections can be a sign of structural anomalies in the urinary tract, malignancies or chronic stones. Any patient who has had three or more such infections within a year or two should be investigated by an urologist.

Therapeutic Tips

Naturopathic

Recurring cystitis in girls (or boys) is often due to bubble baths.

Also important is to have the mother instruct the child carefully about wiping after stool. Make sure the child knows to wipe backwards, not forwards toward the urethra. Recurring cystitis in women is often preventable by two simple instructions: First, empty the bladder whenever the urge is felt, do not “hold it.” Second, empty the bladder before and after any activity which applies urethral pressure, such as physical exercise or sex.

Some effective, non-toxic measures for treating cystitis include ChicagoPharmCoCystitisTabsunsweetened cranberry juice, uvaursi tea, dandelion tea, garlic capsules and vitamin C.

Golden seal tea is also effective but should not be used in pregnant women or in those allergic to ragweed.

As in any acute condition, the patient should be cautioned not to over-stress the ailing part too quickly. It is easy to forget that a cystitis patient should refrain from sex, baths and hot-tubs for several days after the cystitis resolves.

Allopatic

It is advisable to seek consultation with an urologist after two or three episodes of cystitis. These recurrences can be a sign of structural anomalies in the bladder or ureters.

In patients with recurring cystitis, allopathic treatment often includes the ongoing use of antibiotics.

Homeopathic

In simple cystitis it is better to wait until the picture is developed than to choose a remedy on only one or two symptoms. A convenient dosing method is to give the remedy as a 30c potency every two hours until symptoms subside. If the picture is very clear and the symptoms are strong, it may be better to use a higher potency as a single dose, repeated if the condition relapses.

Recurrent episodes or urinary tract infections often require constitutional treatment where all symptoms are considered, especially reasons for patient’s susceptibility and circumstances leading to recurrence of this problem.

Most common homeopathic remedies prescribed for cystitis include:

Apis Mellifica
Cantharis
Causticum
Nux Vomica
Pulsatilla
Sepia
Staphisagria

Please note that homeopathic prescriptions based on totality of symptoms and prescriptions that do not consider all circumstances are often not so effective. It is therefore highly advisable to contact a trained homeopath if you seek assistance with this complaint.

Also, this article is for your information only and is not supposed to replace a qualified medical advice. If you symptoms persist, do not hesitate to contact either registered homeopath or your local medical practitioner.

References

Merc Manual

Roger Morrison, Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology

Why Skeptics Love To Hate Homeopathy

Amy L. Lansky, PhD

Perhaps the most derided of alternative medicines is my own favorite – homeopathy. Over the past few years, detractors have focused their efforts in the United Kingdom and have succeeded in crippling homeopathic hospitals and clinics funded by the National Health Service, as well as the practices of many homeopaths. A few well-placed editorials in prominent newspapers have done the trick, despite the fact that Prince Charles and the rest of the royal family are ardent supporters of homeopathy.

It now seems that some of these folks are taking their show on the road. Two key UK players, Michael Baum and Edzard Ernst have published a commentary in the November 2009 issue of the American Journal of Medicine [2] in which they state, “a belief in homeopathy exceeds the tolerance of an open mind. We should start from the premise that homeopathy cannot work and that positive evidence reflects publication bias or design flaws until proved otherwise.”

Not surprisingly, their commentary also reflects a complete ignorance of homeopathy and the range of studies that support its effectiveness. For example, their article incorrectly uses the term “potentation” instead of “potentization” for the method used to create homeopathic remedies (more on this later). The authors also insist on citing a single negative meta-analysis study that has already been shown to be methodologically flawed [3], while ignoring many positive studies in respected publications, including two other meta-analyses that showed positive results [4-9].

So why do the skeptics love to hate homeopathy? Perhaps because it is one of the most threatening alternative modalities — financially, philosophically, and therapeutically. Actually, homeopathy has been a threat to allopathy ever since the 1800s, when German physician Samuel Hahnemann developed the homeopathic system.

Founder of Homeopathy

Hahnemann, a respected doctor and chemist who helped to pioneer the importance of hygiene as well as homeopathy, was forced to move frequently during his life because the local German apothecaries objected to the fact that he created his own medicines rather than use theirs. A fierce battle was also waged against homeopathy in the United States during the 1800s, where homeopathy had achieved a strong presence by 1840.

In fact, in 1847, the American Medical Association (AMA) was formed specifically to fight the battle against homeopathy.

Most homeopaths of the 1800s were former allopaths who had abandoned their brethren because they found Hahnemann’s system to be more successful in battling cholera, typhus, yellow fever, diptheria, influenza, and other epidemics of the 1800s. In retaliation, the preamble to the AMA’s charter forbade its members to associate with homeopaths or to use their medicines, and many doctors were expelled for failing to comply.

But does homeopathy really pose such a threat to conventional medicine today? To see how the little David of homeopathy could take down the Goliath of big pharma, we need to take a closer look at what homeopathy is all about.

Like Cures Like

Homeopathic practice is based on a single law of therapeutics called the Law of Similars. This law states that a substance that can cause the symptoms of a disease can also cure it. In fact, that’s exactly what word “homeopathy” means: similar (“homeo”) suffering (“pathy”). For example, one reason that the remedy Coffea Cruda (made from coffee) can be curative for insomnia is that coffee can cause sleeplessness. Interestingly, allopaths sometimes utilize the Law of Similars, but are unaware of it when they do and are perplexed by the phenomenon.

Ask any conventional doctor why Ritalin (a substance that would normally cause hyperactivity) can treat hyperactivity in children, and they’ll scratch their heads in confusion. Ask a homeopath, and it’s a no-brainer: the Law of Similars.

The reason why homeopaths run into trouble with the skeptics, though, revolves around how homeopathic remedies are prepared. Obviously, many of the substances that can cause the symptoms of disease are toxic. This inherent toxicity poses a challenge if you want to administer these substances safely. In an effort to deal with this problem, Hahnemann tried various methods of diluting his medicines so that they would become less harmful to his patients. This proved unsuccessful until he also incorporated vigorous shaking or succussion into the process. The result was a method that he called potentization, in which a substance is serially diluted and succussed over and over.

Much to Hahnemann’s own surprise, these ultradilutions — so dilute that they cannot possibly contain a single molecule of the original substance — were still potent therapeutically. In fact, they were even more potent than low levels of dilution.

Of course, this was and still is too much for the skeptics to bear. It turns much of accepted science on its head!

What the skeptics keep ignoring, however, are an increasing number of scientific studies that indicate that some kind of signature of the original substance is embedded in a potentized ultradilution. In a 2007 paper by Professor Rustom Roy, the founding director of the Materials Research Laboratory at Penn State and one of the world’s leading experts on the structure of water, it was demonstrated that lab instruments could pick up energetic signatures in ultradilutions that were not only specific to individual homeopathic remedies, but to specific potencies of these remedies [10].

Indeed, science has backed up the phenomenon of potentization for over 20 years. In 1988, Nobel Prize nominee and medical researcher Jacques Benveniste turned the course of his life upside down when he discovered that ultradilutions could retain substance-specific properties. In particular, he found that a certain antibody could be serially diluted and succussed beyond the point where a single molecule could remain, but still cause the same effects [11].

Naturally, the skeptics quickly attacked Benveniste. But he continued his work and further demonstrated that the electromagnetic signature of an ultradilution could be recorded electronically, transmitted via Email, replayed into water, and still achieve the same substance-specific effects in the laboratory [12]. Eventually, Benveniste’s results were replicated [13]. Most recently, a 2009 paper by Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier underscored the power of ultradilutions too [14].

Drug Companies Are Running Scared

Now think about it. This is what big pharma is scared of.

What if an expensive drug could be potentized to create billions of effective doses at essentially no cost? It would destroy big pharma entirely. Medicines that cost essentially nothing? Nontoxic ultradiluted medicines that cause fewer side effects? How could the coffers of big pharma be sustained? Forget about the Law of Similars. It’s potentization – the process of creating effective ultradilutions — that big pharma is scared of! No wonder Baum and Ernst got the word “potentization” wrong. This one word is the small stone that could take Goliath down.

Of course, homeopaths add fuel to the fire. The fundamental philosophy of homeopathy implies that the primary tools of allopathy are harmful. In particular, homeopaths believe that suppressing symptoms with anti-pathic drugs — drugs that oppose the symptoms of a disease rather than mimic them — cannot cure and can even do harm. If a symptom is suppressed — for example, if a seasonal allergy is suppressed by an antihistamine — it is only temporarily palliated.

A patient still has allergic tendencies and his or her symptoms will eventually return. That’s why suppressive drugs must be taken again and again. And of course, big pharma loves that! It’s good for business.

Deceptive Cures

Unfortunately, if a substance succeeds in completely suppressing a symptom, there may be an illusion of “cure,” but the real result is more sinister. Another key tenet of homeopathy is that the true result of suppression is a deepening of the underlying disease state — because the energy of the disease is now forced to manifest in a more serious way. That’s why repeated application of cortisone cream to eczema can lead to asthma.

That’s why the suppression of arthritis pain can lead to heart disease. That’s why teenagers who take acne drugs sometimes develop suicidal depression. Doctors call this phenomenon a “side effect” or a “natural disease progression.” But that’s because they don’t understand the effects of suppression or the signs of true cure.

Over the past two hundred years, homeopaths have discovered that homeopathic medicines — drugs that mimic a person’s symptoms rather than oppose them — can lead to genuine cure of chronic disease, not mere palliation or suppression. Rather than creating a deeper disease, a homeopathic medicine that is similar to a patient’s disease can not only cure it, but reveal previously suppressed layers of disease that can be treated too.

That’s why good homeopathic treatment can often cure asthma — and also reveal and treat previously suppressed eczema. That’s why it has the potential to cure arthritis and chronic bladder infections, not simply palliate them with endless medications. Indeed, homeopathy can effectively treat acute diseases like influenza and bacterial infections too. With its ability to successfully treat both chronic and acute disease with low-cost medicines, homeopathy really could be a threat to big pharma, given half a chance.

Ideal for Poor Countries or Rich Ones with Declining Economies

Poor countries with less access to expensive drugs have already discovered this. That’s why homeopathy is the second most widespread form of medicine in the world. In India, homeopathy is a full-fledged medical system with its own medical schools and hospitals. Homeopaths in India successfully treat the full range of diseases, including AIDS, cancer, and malaria.

In Cuba, a poor country with a health care system that often does better than our own, homeopathy is being used more and more. In 2008, 2.5 million Cubans were given a homeopathic remedy to prevent Leptospirosis, an infectious disease also known as swamp fever. This disease has plagued the country for several years in the aftermath of flooding, but the year in which homeopathy was used, in contrast to previous years, there were no fatalities and very few cases of the disease [15].

But here’s the rub. Homeopathy is harder to practice than allopathy. There are no cookie-cutter cures, especially for chronic disease. (Luckily, however, effective treatment of epidemic diseases like the flu is easier; see Resources.) Each patient’s health pattern is unique, so each patient must be treated as an individual.

A homeopath must find a single remedy (among thousands of possible homeopathic remedies) whose associated symptoms match those of the patient — not just their main complaint, but their entire symptom picture that includes emotional, mental, behavioral, as well as the physical symptoms of the entire body. It’s a daunting task. A practitioner who practices classical homeopathy (the kind of homeopathy I advocate) typically needs at least two hours for an initial case interview and may spend just as long deciding upon a remedy.

And sometimes it takes a homeopath several tries to find just the right remedy — the one that homeopaths call the simillimum. This process also requires patients to engage in their own treatment, because symptoms are gathered not by machines or by using tests, but through direct communication between patient and homeopath.

Of course, this is not something big pharma, conventional doctors, or insurance companies would be happy about. No expensive medicines or tests or equipment needed? No five-minute appointments reimbursed at $300 a shot? A medical system that requires long appointments, time for case analysis, and patients who must participate in the healing process? Not very lucrative.

How I Broke Out of the Mold and Reliance on Failed Medical Therapies

Of course, I used to be a lover of conventional medicine like most people. Back in the early 1990s, my husband Steve Rubin and I were both computer researchers in Silicon Valley and followed our doctors’ instructions obediently, loading our kids up with every recommended vaccine on schedule. Our allopathic trance began to break in 1994 when our 3-year-old son Max began to show signs of autism.

I first read about homeopathy in the January 1995 issue of Mothering Magazine, which contained an article about the successful homeopathic treatment of ADD and other children’s behavioral problems [16]. Steve and I decided to give it a try and found a practitioner in our area. Within a week we began to see small and subtle improvement in Max — improvement that became a slow and steady trend. After two years of treatment, he was testing normally and was released from eligibility for special education benefits.

His speech and language therapist told the county representative that she had never seen an autistic child recover like Max had, and she fully credited homeopathy for his recovery. By the time he was eight, nearly all signs of Max’s autism were gone. Today he is 18, a freshman at a leading university, completely autism free, and without restrictions of any kind.

Needless to say, this experience was both mind-boggling and life-transforming. I began to study homeopathy myself and ultimately wrote what became the best-selling patient education book in the USA — Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy [17] — a comprehensive introduction to homeopathic history, philosophy, science, and experience, sprinkled with dozens first-person cure stories for a variety of ailments, along with a chapter about Max’s cure.

In the end, I left my work in computer science and devoted myself to letting others know about the healing powers of homeopathy. I got involved in the successful campaign for health freedom legislation in California too [18]. Steve also got involved and developed the National Vaccine Information Center’s online interface to the VAERS database [19] (the CDC’s public record of vaccine injuries). I guess Max’s healing led us both to become alternative medicine activists, and we haven’t looked back.

Conclusion

So why not take a look at homeopathy for yourself? Make it your New Year’s resolution to find a good classical practitioner and to learn more about this amazing medical modality. The skeptics manage to create a lot of smoke in an effort to hide homeopathy from public view. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Find out about how this powerful healing system — a system that packs a lot of firepower into an infinitesimal punch — can help you and your family.

Resources

(1) Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy – www.impossiblecure.com.

This website includes: book ordering information; autism help page; free archive of Amy’s show on AutismOne Radio – There’s Hope with Homeopathy; Cure Stories Database; helpful links.

(2) National Center for Homeopathy – www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org.

Leading open-membership organization for homeopathy in the USA that organizes the yearly national conference. Membership buys a quarterly magazine, Homeopathy Today, monthly eNewsetter, online chats with leading experts, extensive online

resources and social network. Website includes many free resources, including practitioner and resource referrals lists and flu treatment information.

References

[1] www.bolenreport.net.

[2] Baum, Michael and Edzard Ernst, “Should We Maintain an Open Mind about Homeopathy?” The American Journal of Medicine, Vol. 122, No. 11, pp. 973-974 (November 2009).

[3] Shang, A. et al. “Are the Clinical Effects of Homeopathy Placebo Effects? Comparative Study of Placebo-Controlled Trials of Homeopathy and Allopathy,” The Lancet, 366, pp. 726-732 (2005).

An extensive refutation of the results of this study, including statistical analyses and evidence of foul-play, can be found here: http://www.liebertonline.com/toc/acm/11/5.

[4] Linde, K. et al. “Are the Clinical Effects of Homoeopathy Placebo Effects? A Meta- Analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials,” The Lancet, 250, pp. 834-843 (1997).

[5] Kleijnen, J. et al. “Clinical Trials of Homeopathy,” British Medical Journal, 302, pp.
316-323 (1991).

[6] Jacobs, J. et al. “Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea with Homeopathic
Medicine: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Nicaragua,” Pediatrics, Vol. 83, No. 5, pp. 719-
725 (1994).

[7] Bell, I.R. et al. “Improved Clinical Status in Fibromyalgia Patients Treated with Individualized Homeopathic Remedies Versus Placebo,” Rheumatology, 2004b; 43 (5):577-82.

[8] Taylor, M.A. et al. “Randomised Controlled Trial of Homoeopathy Versus Placebo in
Perennial Allergic Rhinitis with Overview of Four Trial Series,” British Medical Journal,
321, pp. 471-476 (2000).

[9] For more trials, see www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org (under Articles, click
Research).

[10] Rao, et al. “The Defining Role of Structure (Including Epitaxy) in the Plausibility of
Homeopathy,” Homeopathy, 96, pp. 175-182 (2007).

[11] Davenas, et al. “Human Basophil Degranulation Triggered by Very Dilute Antiserum
Againt IgE,” Nature, Vol. 333, No. 6176, pp. 816-818 (1988).

[12] Aissa, J. et al. “Transatlantic Transfer of Digitized Antigen Signal by Telephone
Link,” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 99:S175 (1997).

[13] Brown, V. and M. Ennis. “Flow-Cytometric Analysis of Basophil Activation: Inhibition by Histamine at Conventional and Homeopathic Concentrations,” Inflammation Research, 50, Supplement (2), S47-S48 (2001).

[14] Montagnier, Luc, et al. “Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences,” Insterdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci, 1:81-90 (2009).

[15] http://homeopathyresource.wordpress.com/2009/01/01/successful-use-of- homeopathy-in-over-5-million-people-reported-from-cuba/

[16] Reichenberg-Ullman, J. “A Homeopathic Approach to Behavioral Problems,”
Mothering, Number 74, pp. 97-101 (1995).

[17] Lansky, Amy. Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy. R.L. Ranch Press
(2003).

[18] www.californiahealthfreedom.com.

[19] www.medalerts.org.

Amy L. Lansky, PhD was a Silicon Valley computer scientist when her life was transformed by the miraculous homeopathic cure of her son’s autism. In April 2003 she published Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, one of the best-selling books on homeopathy in the USA (www.impossiblecure.com). Amy is an executive board member of the National Center for Homeopathy (www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org). She speaks and writes internationally about homeopathy and hosts a monthly radio show on Autism One Radio (www.autismone.org).

Is Homeopathy Scientific?

Webster’s dictionary offers several definitions for “science”; two of the most striking ones are “something that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge” and “knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method”.[i] The same source also defines “scientific method” as “principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses”.

My own understanding of “scientific” is that it is an ability to recognise (and detach from) our own biases, belief systems and assumptions that we might have created in our mind. One of the most important aspects of the definitions above is probably that the process starts with listening and observation, not making assumptions and theories and then making “discoveries” that would prove them.

I understand that Hahnemann got the first glimpse of principles of homeopathy upon reading explanation of healing properties of chincona and subsequent experiments that were sparked by his interest and dissatisfaction with explanation in the article. From this angle I believe it is safe to say that homoeopathy was “scientific” from day one: the law of similars that were defined as a result of decades of experiments and clinical observations were not based on assumption, personal belief or bias. Hahnemann did not conduct these experiments in order to “prove” his assumptions (and dismiss those results that were contradictive); he was simply exploring what was out there and drew the results from his observation. Similarly, process of potentization was spawned from experimental clinical applications, rather than from a theory (for example that “water retains memory”).

One of the most stunning aspects of homeopathy is that it does not really matter which remedy will be prescribed to the patient; to prepare Arnica costs no more than to prepare Lycopodium. A homeopath cannot make more money nor have better results by prescribing specific family of remedies. Again, during the process it is essential not to be biased (and hence be “scientific”) during the whole process.

In order to investigate properties of various substances and remedies, a protocol of “proving” was established. During this process a substance (destined to become a homoeopathic remedy) is being administered to a group of healthy individuals, who record the way the substance is affecting them physically, emotionally and mentally. The provers are not being told to focus only on specific symptoms, they are not being asked whether they feel specific emotions. The prover is also not paid more or less money if he or she elicits more or less symptoms. The provers are not also being told what is the source of the substance administered so they cannot create bias, as for example with certain poisonous substances.

Development of “orthodox” pharmacology-based medicines is a difficult, rigorous and a very expensive process. It costs the companies millions (and perhaps billions) of dollars to develop certain medicine. At the very beginning, such a development is triggered by expectation that the propose medicine will be effective, side-effects free and will prove to be financially beneficial to manufacture this given drug. Is it possible that people involved in decision making are influenced by the fact that not introducing this specific medicine to the market would represent a significant financial loss? Of course it’s possible and arguably happens a lot. In such situations, the properties of the medicines are often kept secret, as for example in the case of Thalidomide birth defects that were finally admitted (and apologised for) only decades later.[ii] This is not “scientific”.

I find it interesting when some people argue that everything we do has to be “scientific” and during the process they grossly deviate from the dictionary definition I have written above. With homeopathy, a frequent argument is that minute dilutions cannot have any effect, because there is no trace of the original substance. “It makes no sense”, they say. Ironically, insisting on things making “sense” is referring to things we already know; it is a comparison of things that are laid before us to what we have stored in our memory. If these two things do not match, there is a “problem”. This way, we could not learn anything new, because we would have to dismiss everything we come across for the first time. Isn’t it interesting that insisting on everything “making sense” starts with bias, and as such is highly “unscientific”, though this is exactly what the sceptics insist on?