Tag Archives: homeopathic

The Mystery of Homeopathy Explained


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).


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


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


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?


Welcome to Dr. Doug – The Holistic Vet

Hello and welcome to my blog. I’m Dr. Doug Knueven but I go by Dr. Doug for reasons that become obvious when you try to pronounce my last name. (By the way, it is pronounced “KNEEVEN” – you pronounce all the letters except the “U”) I was raised in a small suburb of Cincinnati named Mt. Healthy. This town name has taken on new meaning throughout my life.


When I graduated from The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987, my idea of health revolved around the mechanistic, Western model of medicine where there is a drug or surgery for just about every condition (never mind the side effects and surgical risks). After a few years in practice I realized that things didn’t always go the way the text books said it would. I realized there had to be more to health and healing than what I was taught in vet school. This realization started me on my journey into holistic medicine.

I started with veterinary acupuncture as I had an interest in this therapy that was sparked by an after-hours lecture in vet school. After seeing the benefits of this strange healing modality, I completed courses in homeopathy, Chinese herbal medicine and chiropractic. I also joined the American Holistic Medical Association and through their conferences, continue to learn more about holistic pet health. Today, for me the word health is more about lifestyle and less about what you go to the doctor to get.

As excited as I am about alternative medicine, I have not thrown the baby out with the bath water. I do see the value of Western medicine for certain situations. I practice integrative veterinary medicine which involves the use of the most appropriate treatment for the individual animal. As an integrative medicine practitioner I have more tools in my kit to treat the many patients I see.

Along the way I also realized that any given patient was not going to heal if they were not being fed properly. This led me into my own research into animal nutrition. I soon abandoned much of what I had been taught about nutrition in veterinary school, as that information is highly influenced by the major pet food companies. From my research and decades of experience it is obvious to me that pets benefit from an evolution-based diet rather than the starch-rich, highly processed convenience pet foods most pet caregivers currently feed. Animals simply cannot be healthy if their bodies are not provided the raw materials and nutritional signals that are needed.

The longer I have practiced veterinary medicine, the more convinced I am of the value of the Holistic-Integrative approach to pet health care. My passion for pets and for true health (physical, mental and spiritual) is what this weekly blog is all about. Together we will explore pet health topics.

This weekly blog will cover topics in holistic veterinary medicine as well as current events in the veterinary world. I hope to open a dialog with pet caregivers and veterinarians about these issues. Much of what I say may be controversial to some readers. I am all for healthy criticism and I love to hear different points of view. I do not claim to know it all and I plan to learn from the people who participate in the discussion.

Have you or your pet had experience with holistic medicine? Click on the title above and join the conversation. Don’t forget to sign up on the right for blog notifications.