By Ahmad Fakir Muhammad, Homoeopath, Karachi, Pakistan
Homoeopathy is based on the law of similars – let likes be cured by likes – which in everyday language means that medicinal substances have both sickness-causing and sickness-removing properties and their actions provoke diametrically opposite reactions on the sick and the healthy i.e. they cure in the sick what they cause in the healthy.
Paradoxical though it may sound but cumulative clinical experience of over 200 years has established that drug substances act differently on the healthy and the sick.
For example, Jamalgota (Croton tiglium) causes diarrhea in a healthy subject but homoeopaths give it to treat some forms of diarrhea. Or take the example of Cinchona Bark. If given to a healthy person, it causes severe chill, shivering, prostration, nausea, perspiration, etc. – the symptoms closely resembling those of Malaria – and in homoeopathic doses Cinchona cures some forms of Malaria. Yet another example could be of Urtica urens which are soft herbs that occur as weeds in damp areas and are sparsely covered with rigid, stinging hairs. Contact with the stinging hairs can result in local reddening and itching, swelling and an intense burning sensation. Now these are the very same symptoms found in Urticaria – a skin disease – and Urtica urens in homoeopathic doses removes Urticaria.
Those who have ever been stung by a honey-bee can recall the swelling, stinging pains, burning, soreness, intolerance of heat and a red rosy hue of the affected parts caused by the sting and these symptoms are similar to those allergic skin reactions caused in susceptible individuals by eating certain food items. Homoeopaths give Apis mellifica – a remedy prepared from the poison of the honey-bee – in homoeopathic doses to remove such skin allergies.
Coulter Haris mentions a number of drugs that are unconsciously employed on the principle of similarity in Allopathy. In other words, they are used to treat conditions whose symptoms are identical with those produced by those drugs on a healthy person. Outstanding examples are the use of Colchicum and Digitalis in Allopathy for gout and heart related problems respectively. In their trials on healthy human volunteers, Colchicum and Digitalis in minute homeopathic doses have produced a number of symptoms similar to the ones observed in gouty conditions and heart related problems.
Even stranger may sound the assertion that more a drug is diluted the more potent it becomes! Curiously, most of the homoeopathic remedies available on the market are diluted to the degree that they do not even contain the trace of the active substance and yet they work marvelously when prescribed accurately.
In fact, effectiveness of homeopathic remedies despite absence of a single molecule of the active ingredient has attained the status of a great scientific puzzle and evoked a great deal of interest among scientific community.
As some of the greatest minds of science, including Luc Montagnier, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008 and currently heads the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention under the auspices of UNESCO, grapple with the intriguing question of homeopathic remedies’ mechanism of action, the world may just be knocking at a great scientific breakthrough.