I was first introduced to homeopathy many years ago when I was watching an internet summit on paediatric health. The talk was about how homeopathy can be used, especially in emergencies, and the speaker was talking about how homeopathic remedies provide healing without suppressing symptoms. For example, if you gave an antipyretic to a child with a fever, you were suppressing the body’s response and therefore preventing the body from developing the ability to cope with illness. It was explained that this is not the case with homeopathy.
This speech and the stories of those who told that they were cured by homeopathic methods made me curious about homeopathy, but at that time, perhaps like many of us, I thought that homeopathy was a kind of herbal treatment and I had not investigated the way it worked. By the way, homeopathic “remedies”(this expression is used instead of medicine in homeopathy) that evoke toxins such as “mercurius”, “arsenicum” also sounded a little suspicious…
Then, in a training I attended on a different subject, I met one of our well-known homeopaths and he told me that the substances used to prepare homeopathic remedies are diluted many times and when analysed, that substance can no longer be detected in the remedy. In fact, he said that it was not the substances themselves in the remedies, but their “spirit”.
Unfortunately, after this short talk, I said “hmmmmmmmm” to myself and moved away from homeopathy and did not feel the need to research homeopathy further with many other topics in my focus. No matter how open-minded I think I am, as a person who has been raised with modern medicine and a scientific perspective, I may have difficulty accepting some ideas and I expect more concrete explanations.
After a while, I became interested in homeopathy again. A few of my patients, who came one after the other by coincidence, told me about the results they obtained with homeopathy.
As I mentioned above, the remedies used in homeopathy are obtained by repeatedly diluting a substance that is deemed suitable for a particular condition. The principle of “like cures like” is the basis of homeopathy. For those who do not know homeopathy, this may not make much sense. When we look at the origin story of homeopathy, we can better understand what is meant. The father of homeopathic ingredients, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) develops homeopathic treatment, which causes the same diseases caused by malaria and the diseases caused by consuming the bark of the cinchona plant (containing quinine), which has been used against malaria for many years. Initially he diluted the remedies to make them less toxic and easier to tolerate, but over time he came to believe that more dilution gave better results and he used more and more diluted remedies (ref). The remedies currently used in homeopathy are obtained by repeatedly diluting the substances to very large numbers, such as 10⁶⁰⁰ or 10⁴⁰⁰ (ref). Shaking these diluted solutions is also part of the remediation process.
In short, we are talking about quantities that are not in the doses we are accustomed to from medicines and supplements, even if they are nano-sized in the remedy (ref), they will disappear like a drop in the ocean when they enter the body.
From Homeopathy to “Microimmunotherapy”
I met the field of microimmunotherapy at a conference I attended in 2019. When Beatrice Lejeune, a researcher named Beatrice Lejeune, who explained the immunological response seen in gingivitis step by step, explained how they developed a drug by diluting interleukins and TNFs, which play a role in inflammation, and how they stopped inflammation with this drug, I thought, “Wait a minute! Isn’t this homeopathy?” When you dilute the inflammatory substances themselves, you stop the inflammation! After a few minutes, he started to talk about diluting the drugs so many times as “homeopathic doses”. He even started to joke: “Can you believe it, we got EU funding for a study involving homeopathy!”
Microimmunotherapy aims to regulate the response of the immune system and fight diseases by using substances belonging to the immune system. It uses “cytokines” produced by the body itself. And in doing so, it dilutes these substances many times over, as in homeopathy (ref). And just like the “like cures like” principle of homeopathy, when the cytokine that plays a role in the course of the disease is diluted in homeopathic doses and applied, the destruction order normally given by that cytokine stops!
In microimmunotherapy, different actors (RANTES, Il6, Il1b, TNFa, etc.) that play a role in each stage of inflammation are taken into account and these agents are administered to the patient in a specific order in different dilution doses. The course of inflammatory events is modified. For example, the development of fatty degenerative osteonecrosis of the jawbone is thought to be caused by too much RANTES in the environment after tooth extraction, which stimulates the formation of fatty tissue instead of bone formation. In microimmunotherapy, the administration of too much diluted RANTES promotes bone formation by inhibiting RANTES activity (this can be found in the research of Beatrice Lejeune and J. Lechner) (ref). Studies on microimmunotherapy, both in the lab and in humans and animals, can be found here.
But how does this work? This question was rightly asked during the talk… How is it that the substance itself is in the body, but when given externally in very low doses, it gives such a result? Speaker Lejeune said that we don’t know and that whoever finds the answer will either get a Nobel Prize or be labelled a buffoon!
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20970092/ Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective