Category Archives: Homeopathy

All about how like cures like.

The Mystery of Homeopathy Explained

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Most homeopathic remedies are very dilute. In fact any homeopathic remedy of 24X or 12C potency and above has been diluted to the point that statistically speaking, not even one particle of the original substance remains. Herein lies the major complaint about homeopathy.

We are all very familiar with the pharmacological, linear, dose-response curve. A small dose of medication causes a small effect and the larger the dose, the larger the effect. So, the more dilute the medication, the more reduced the biological effect. At very low dilutions no effect is expected. Diluting a medicine to the point that statistically there is none of the original substance left, certainly results in it having no biological effect. Therefore, homeopathy is quackery – so the thinking goes.

This conclusion is valid given the assumption that homeopathic remedies are ordinary dissolved and diluted bulk-form pharmaceutical chemicals that act pharmaceutically with linear dose-response activity. However, modern research disproves these assumptions.

Recently, numerous laboratories around the world have studied high-potency homeopathic remedies (those diluted beyond Avogadro’s number) using many analytical techniques. Specific high-potency remedies have been found to differ from each other and from succussed solvent controls in their release measurably excess heat and electrical conductivity.1,2 They have been shown to differ using Ramen and UV-vis spectroscopic methods,3,4 NMR spectroscopy,5 infrared spectroscopy,6 REDEM technology,7 gas discharge visualization,8 and thermoluminescence.9 Clearly, even though high-potency homeopathic remedies are void of chemicals that can be detected conventionally, there is evidence that they contain some unique information. The answer may lie in the budding science of nanoparticles (NPs).

NANOPARTICLE BASICS

NPs are particles measuring in the range of one-billionth of a meter in any external dimension. For perspective, typical body cells range from 1-100 micrometers in diameter. NPs range from 1-100 nanometers and there are 1,000 nanometers per micrometer.

PNs have different properties than their bulk forms. Any compound that is not in a NP form is a collection of atoms or molecules. The outer surface molecules are available to react chemically while the interior remain inactive. NPs have a high percentage of exterior, reactive molecules compared to their bulk forms and they have a higher surface area. One kg of particles of 1 mm3 has the same surface area as 1 mg of particles of 1 nm3. Their increased surface area combined with their small size contribute to NPs unique properties including adsorptive, electromagnetic, optical, thermal, and quantum properties, as well as increased chemical reactivity, bonding, high conductivity, strength and durability.10-17

NANOPARTICLES AND HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES

In vivo, NPs can easily penetrate the body’s usual barriers including the skin and blood-brain barrier, as well as the lining of the GI tract and airways. NPs of a compound can have different toxicological profiles than the bulk form because of their size and unique chemical characteristics. Due to the increased bioavailability and reactivity of NPs the dose needed for their biological activity is lower than that needed for herbs, nutriceuticals, drugs, or antigens by orders of magnitude.12,18-21

Like modern methods for producing nanoparticles, the succussion used in homeopathic remedy production causes intense turbulence, particle collision, and shear forces that break the source material into smaller and smaller particles.22 The result is the production of remedy source NPs. In fact, remedy source nanoparticles have been detected in commercially produced, high-potency, homeopathic remedies.23,24

It appears that the more succussion and dilution a homeopathic remedy is exposed to (the higher its potency), the more NPs are produced and the smaller those NPs become. Cellular interactions with NPs can cause systemic effects.25 The NPs in homeopathic remedies may therefore act as low level stressors of the body, thereby triggering a systemic stress response.

Have you had success with homeopathy?

  1. Elia V, Napoli E, Germano R. The ‘Memory of Water’: an almost deciphered enigma. Dissipative structures in extremely dilute aqueous solutions. Homeopathy. 2007;96(3):163–169.
  2. Elia V, Niccoli M. New physico-chemical properties of extremely diluted aqueous solutions. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. 2004;75:815–836.
  3. Rao ML, Roy R, Bell IR. The defining role of structure (including epitaxy) in the plausibility of homeopathy. Homeopathy. 2007;96(3):175–182.
  4. Wolf U, Wolf M, Heusser P, Thurneysen A, Baumgartner S. Homeopathic preparations of quartz. sulfur and copper sulfate assessed by uv-spectroscopy. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:692798.
  5. Demangeat JL. NMR relaxation evidence for solute-induced nanosized superstructures in ultramolecular aqueous dilutions of silica-lactose. Journal of Molecular Liquids. 2010;155:71–79.
  6. Sukul NC, Ghosh S, Sukul A, Sinhababu SP. Variation in Fourier transform infrared spectra of some homeopathic potencies and their diluent media. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11(5):807–812.
  7. Witt C, Ludtke R, Weisshuhn TE, Willich SN. High homeopathic potencies are different from potentized solvent when investigated with the REDEM technology. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005;12(1):6–13.
  8. Bell IR, Lewis D, Brooks AJ, Lewis S, Schwartz GE. Gas discharge visualization evaluation of ultramolecular doses of homeopathic medicines under blinded, controlled conditions. J Altern Complement Med. 2003;9(1):25–38.
  9. Rey L. Can low-temperature thermoluminescence cast light on the nature of ultra-high dilutions? Homeopathy. 2007;96(3):170–174.
  10. Liu L, Randolph TW, Carpenter JF. Particles shed from syringe filters and their effects on agitation-induced protein aggregation. J Pharm Sci. 2012;101(8):2952–2959.
  11. Chi EY, Weickmann J, Carpenter JF, Manning MC, Randolph TW. Heterogeneous nucleation-controlled particulate formation of recombinant human platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase in pharmaceutical formulation. J Pharm Sci. 2005;94(2):256–274.
  12. Iavicoli I, Calabrese EJ, Nascarella MA. Exposure to nanoparticles and hormesis. Dose Response. 2010;8(4):501–517.
  13. Bell IR, Koithan M. A model for homeopathic remedy effects: low dose nanoparticles, allostatic cross adaption, and time-dependent sensitization in a complex adaptive system. BMC Complement Altern Med 2012;12:191.
  14. Montagnier L, Aissa J, Ferris S, Montagnier J-L, Lavallee C. Electromagnetic signals are produced by aqueous nanostructures derived from bacterial DNA sequences. Interdisciplinary Sci Comput Life Sci. 2009;1:81–90.
  15. Roduner E. Size matters: why nanomaterials are different. Chem Soc Rev. 2006;35(7):583–592.
  16. Buzea C, Pacheco II, Robbie K. Nanomaterials and nanoparticles: sources and toxicity. Biointerphases. 2007;2(4):MR17–71.
  17. Yao P, Hughes S. Macroscopic entanglement and violation of Bell’s inequalities between two spatially separated quantum dots in a planar photonic crystal system. Opt Express. 2009;17(14):11505–11514.
  18. Prakash DJ, Arulkumar S, Sabesan M. Effect of nanohypericum (Hypericum perforatum gold nanoparticles) treatment on restraint stress induced behavioral and biochemical alteration in male albino mice. Pharmacognosy Res. 2010;2(6):330–334.
  19. Nair HB, Sung B, Yadav VR, Kannappan R, Chaturvedi MM, Aggarwal BB. Delivery of antiinflammatory nutraceuticals by nanoparticles for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Biochem Pharmacol. 2010;80(12):1833–1843.
  20. Armstead AL, Li B. Nanomedicine as an emerging approach against intracellular pathogens. Int J Nanomedicine. 2011;6:3281–3293.
  21. Bershteyn A, Hanson MC, Crespo MP, Moon JJ, Li AV, Suh H, Irvine DJ. Robust IgG responses to nanograms of antigen using a biomimetic lipid-coated particle vaccine. J Control Release. 2012;157(3):354–365.
  22. Bhattacharyya SS, Mandal SK, Biswas R, Paul S, Pathak S, Boujedaini N, Belon P, Khuda-Bukhsh AR. In vitro studies demonstrate anticancer activity of an alkaloid of the plant Gelsemium sempervirens. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2008;233(12):1591–1601.
  23. Chikramane PS, Suresh AK, Bellare JR, Kane SG. Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective. Homeopathy. 2010;99(4):231–242.
  24. Upadhyay RP, Nayak C. Homeopathy emerging as nanomedicine. International Journal of High Dilution Research. 2011;10(37):299–310.
  25. Zhu M, Li Y, Shi J, Feng W, Nie G, Zhao Y. Exosomes as extrapulmonary signaling conveyors for nanoparticle-induced systemic immune activation. Small. 2012;8(3):404–412.

Holistic Treatment of an Allergic Reaction

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Any emergency brings to light the importance of being prepared for any pet emergency. The time to prepare for an emergency is NOT while in the midst of one. Every pet caregiver should have an emergency kit nearby at all times. You also need to have the phone number for, and directions to, the nearest 24-hour pet care facility.

A severe allergic reaction can cause death in a matter of minutes. Swelling of the face and eyes as well as hives all over the body can quickly evolve into swelling of the throat, respiratory distress, and death. Any home care for a pet suffering from a severe allergic reaction is just a stopgap measure until you can rush the animal to the nearest veterinary emergency facility.

I have seen animals have acute allergic reactions from something they ate but that is rare. In my experience, the most severe allergic reactions are caused by insects (bee stings or spider bites) or from vaccines and other injections. In general, the faster the onset of signs, the more severe the reaction will be. A pet that develops hives a couple of hours after a vaccine or bee sting is much less likely to get seriously sick than an animal that reacts within minutes of an incident.

In my experience, the most effective holistic mode of treatment for an allergic reaction is homeopathy. Choosing the correct homeopathic remedy requires matching the specific signs the pet is showing to those the remedy treats. Not every acute allergic reaction manifests exactly the same way in every pet.

The homeopathic remedy Apis mellifica (commonly shortened to Apis) is the main treatment for facial swelling and respiratory difficulty. This remedy is made from the venom of the honey bee.

Arsenicum album (Arsenicum), which is actually made from arsenic, may be helpful if the pet is restless and weak, with or without hives.

Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus tox) comes from poison ivy and is best for hives with severe itching that is relieved by warm applications and accompanied by great restlessness.

Urtica urens (Urtica) is made from the plant stinging nettle and is great for hives accompanied by red patches of skin and an increase in urinations.

For an allergic reaction I would suggest using the 30C potency of the homeopathic remedy of choice and giving a dose every 2-5 minutes until the signs begin to resolve. As soon as you notice improvement, stop giving the remedy and watch the pet closely. If the signs start to come back, give another dose of the remedy. If the remedy has no effect after 2-3 doses then choose another remedy that more closely matches your pet’s signs.

Any situation that causes extreme emotional upset can be helped by a dropper full of the Bach Flower Remedy Rescue Remedy given orally. However, in my experience, this general treatment is too mild to alleviate any severe situation. It actually may be more helpful for the pet caregiver to treat themselves with this remedy so they can maintain their wits while helping their pet.

If the animal loses consciousness from the allergic reaction, the acupressure point GV 26 may help. I talk about its use here.

Have you ever seen an allergic reaction?

5 Steps to a Healthy Pet

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I would like to start 2016 by keeping it simple. Over the years I’ve written about research and my own experience that informs my views on pet health care. I’ve been working in the veterinary field for over 30 years with more than 20 years of holistic/integrative practice. I would like to sum it up with 4 simple ideas that I think will give every pet the best chance for a long, healthy life.

  1. DIET – Nutrition is the basis for health. We simply cannot expect any animal to be healthy if they are not provided the raw materials needed to build a healthy body. Our pets evolved eating raw food. They retain the genetic programming for diets that are high in protein and low in carbs (the opposite profile of conventional diets). The high-heat processing of commercial pet foods destroys micronutrients and creates carcinogens. Pets benefit from a species-appropriate, balanced, raw diet.
  2. Healthy Weight – Speaking of diet, keeping your pet at a healthy weight will help him live a longer life with fewer chronic disease issues like arthritis. You should be able to feel your pet’s ribs along the side of the body and there should be a narrowing at the waist.
  3. VACCINES – Wile I am not against all vaccines I have found that the mainstream veterinary community tends to over-do it. Every pet does not need every vaccine every year. It is important to be sure your pet has immunity to distemper and parvo. Blood titers can be done to see if a pet needs the vaccine. Giving more vaccines than are needed does not increase immunity; it just screws up the immune system. The rabies vaccine is mandated by law and in my experience a healthy animal can handle a vaccine every 3 years. Other vaccines such as leptospirosis, lyme, and bordetella should be given on an as needed basis. DO NOT give more than one vaccine at a time.
  4. MEDICAL INTERVENTIONSWhenever possible, natural/holistic therapies such as herbs, supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic, and homeopathy should be used over conventional medications. My main concern with Western medicine is that there are often side effects from such medicines that can be avoided by using more natural treatments.
  5. SPAY/NEUTER – Recent research shows that sterilizing a pet before it is fully mature causes changes in bone growth. These alterations throw off the biomechanics of the joints and predispose the pet to hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament rupture. Spaying and neutering at any age appears to promote cancer. (Find research on this here) Depending on a pet caregiver’s lifestyle and tolerances and the pet’s behavior, it appears that it is best to hold off on spaying and neutering any pet until it is 2-3 years old. Consider Zeutering male dogs.

There you have it, pet health in a nutshell: feed raw, limit vaccines, go holistic, delay spay/neuter.

What have you found the most helpful for your pets?