In the post I did on July 2 of 2017 I responded to a letter sent to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Ass. by a professor of pharmacology at the veterinary school in Virginia. The letter written by the professor was a criticism of homeopathy saying it was “imagination” when improvement of the animal was supposedly seen. As I explained in that post a letter like this, coming from ignorance of the homeopathic method, is a form of prejudice and does not serve us as a profession. Even more so it ties into the larger aversion to learning new methods by the veterinary profession as a whole. It is one thing for a professor to object, but a more significant happening when it reveals an antipathy by the profession (not all, but most) against a two century proven method of curative treatment such as homeopathy.
I followed up that post with some example cases of homeopathic treatment so you, the reader, could see for yourself how ascribing this to imagination would not be a satisfactory explanation for what we are actually seeing with homeopathic practice. I also composed a letter back to the editor in response and will copy it here for your perusal, then follow with some further comments.
MY LETTER BACK TO THE EDITOR OF THE JOURNAL
In the letter written by Dr. Peter Eyre, a professor of pharmacology, it is understandable that there would be criticism of homeopathy, a treatment system that does not use drugs in the treatment of disease. The common objection is that “there is nothing in it,” referring to the high dilution of homeopathic remedies to the point of being beyond physical substrate. Common sense would say this would not work. However, this “common sense” is coming from the perspective of Newtonian physics, which has been superseded by quantum physics. What quantum physics has given us is a more accurate understanding of the composition of the physical world.
It turns out that what we observe as “physical” is a manifestation of an underlying energy or informational field. This field is not visible to our senses, but the physical expression of the field is. Einstein tells us that the field is primary, the physical expression secondary. In other words, the energetic field behind physical substance is the basic essence of physical materiality. This is not hypothesis; it has been well established as a more accurate understanding of the make up of our world.
That homeopathy has discovered a way to process physical substance so as to remove the physical substance while retaining the energetic behind it, is in agreement with this physics. One can argue that this is not possible, but the observable effectiveness of homeopathic medicines, both clinically and experimentally, suggests that it is possible. (1, 2) Although the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment has been demonstrated in many research studies, what may more directly point to the validity of this interpretation are research results that address the question, “When a homeopathic medicine is made by ultra-dilution, is it possible to show that the resultant material can show a detectable difference”? This has been asked and answered.
Consider this research study that asked the question, “Is it possible to show that diluted homeopathic remedies are distinct from the water/alcohol liquid that they are made from?” (3) This study used infrared spectroscopy to evaluate the configuration of the hydrogen bonds of the water molecules. The idea here is that if the process of preparing the remedy somehow released an energy that affected the liquid structure in a specific way that persists, then the idea of manipulating a non-physical energy is confirmed.
Six homeopathic remedies were compared with each other and with plain 90% ethanol used for dilution. It was found it was possible to distinguish each remedy based on the changes in the water molecules. Each remedy had its own recognizable signature. The authors concluded: “Finally, homeopathic potencies can be differentiated from each other by FTIR spectra with respect to the O-H bending vibrational band.”
Hopefully what is here will at least bring the question to mind: Is it possible that the homeopathic method actually does produce biologically active medicines? Should we open our minds to this possibility?
- Marzotto M, Olioso D, Brizzi M, Tononi P, Cristofoletti M, Bellavite P. Extreme sensitivity of gene expression in human SH-SYY neurocytes to ultra-low doses of Gelsemium sempervirens. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014: Mar 19;14:104.
- Bigagli E, Luceri C, Bernardini S, Dei A, Dolara P. Extremely low copper concentrations affect gene expression profiles of human prostate epithelial cell lines. Chem Biol interact. 2010; Oct 6;188(1):214-9.
- C. Sukul, Ph.D., Sudeshna Ghosh, M.Sc., A. Sukul, Ph.D., And S.P. Sinhababu, Ph.D. Variation in Fourier Transform Infrared Spectra of Some Homeopathic Potencies and Their Diluent Media, The Journal of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, Volume 11, Number 5, 2005, pp. 807–812.
- Ellanzhiyil Surendran Sunila, Ramadasan Kuttan, Korengath Chandran Preethi, and Girija Kuttan, Dynamized Preparations in Cell Culture, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 6 (2009), Issue 2, Pages 257-263.
- Elisabeth Davenas *, Bernard Poitevin and Jacques Benveniste, Effect on Mouse Peritoneal Macrophages of Orally Administered Very High Dilutions of Silica, European Journal of Pharmacology, 135 (1987) 313-319.
— Richard Pitcairn, DVM, PhD
I realize this letter might be somewhat difficult to understand by some readers so will give a further explanation here. I first state in my letter that in the last century the science of physics has determined that behind all physical manifestation that we see with our senses are fields of energy or influence responsible for their appearing for us. Einstein tells us that these energy fields are the foundation (what is primary) and the physical world is secondary (derivative) of them. This is very important to understand because it turns around the materialistic assumption that we commonly have for how the world is.
Homeopathy ascribes its work to the use of energetic or influential fields underlying the medicinal substances, that are released by the method of dilution and agitation stepwise in the preparation of the medicines. In the same way as energetic fields are behind physical phenomena, homeopathy says that there are energetic fields that maintain living organisms and it is these energetic influences that are in the medicines.
I realize just saying this will not be convincing to the professor or most other veterinarians that read this, so I then refer to a scientific study that gives support to this idea. Since the homeopathic medicines are usually diluted enough that there is no detectable physical substance, like as a chemical, then we have to show some other evidence that the preparation of the medicines has actually had some effect on the liquid in which it is made. This study referred to was using an instrument (spectroscope) that could measure the configuration of the water molecules in the liquid. It is not measuring anything physical in the usual sense, rather the “shape” of the molecule (the details of the hydrogen bonding). What is significant here is that they looked at six different homeopathic preparations, compared to the control liquid diluent, and were able to show that each of the six homeopathic medicines could be distinctly identified in this way. To repeat this, each of the homeopathic preparations resulted in a specific change in the molecular structure of the liquid.
To make this more clear, if the process of making the homeopathic medicine only changed the water molecules in some way that would be interesting but not really convincing us that the medicines are unique. What they found, however, is that each one of the medicines were different from each other. We can draw the conclusion that each medicine had a distinct and individual influence that was contained in the liquid.
Of course this does not prove that the liquid medicine would cure disease (for the skeptic) but what it is showing is that in the sense of physics, there is actually something produced by the homeopathic process of preparing the medicine. It may not be physical, but there is an influence there. This supports at least that part of the homeopathic principles that say for medicines to have effect they need not be limited to only chemical molecules but can also have action on an energetic level.
Does this makes sense? To me it does. It gives support to a basic idea underlying homeopathic work. It is a scientific study and that is what we use to provide information we can rely on.
I sent this letter off to the editor of the journal with the expectation it would specifically address the issue brought up the professor. It was not just my opinion but reporting scientific work.
Imagine my surprise when I received an answer back that they would not publish it. I asked for an explanation but none was forthcoming.