Is Homeopathic Veterinary Medicine Scientific?
Science is the state of knowing. The acquisition of knowledge is an ongoing process that includes trial and error, disappointments, successes, discoveries, modifications, and most importantly, building upon all prior experiences and understanding. Science is a process that has no end. Conclusions are not forgone. Assumptions are easily overturned. Paradigms are constantly up for reconsideration.
The concept that “a dramatically new understanding of physics, chemistry, and biology which overturns the very foundations of modern biomedical science would be necessary” or that “a revolution in basic science would need to take place” for the proposed mechanisms of homeopathy to be valid is simplistic, partly based on outdated science, and partly based on a lack of knowledge of established science.
The background for such statements is based on the dogma that persists from work performed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This work derived Avogadro’s constant, approximately 6.022 x 1023, the theoretical dilution beyond which no material substance should exist. Since many (but not all) homeopathic remedies are employed at dilutions beyond this theoretical constant, the chief argument against homeopathy appeared as one of plausibility: “because of the presumptive lack of sufficient bulk-form source material to exert a ‘usual’ pharmacological dose-response effect,” proponents of this now-outdated view argued that homeopathic remedies could not work. Further, they argued that according to principles of typical clinical pharmacology, lower bulk-form “doses” should exert lesser effects, until no biological effects occurred.2
However, current well-accepted science in the field of nanopharmacology has shown the presence of nanoparticles of the original bulk-source material as well as remedy-modified silica nanostructures in these high dilutions. These remain stable whether in liquid form or on lactose pellets when prepared according to the homeopathic principles of trituration and succussion. Detection of these particles has been enabled by the use of high resolution imaging techniques such as atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.,,, The process by which these nanoparticles are transferred during the preparation of homeopathic remedies has been documented with high speed videography.7 An overwhelming preponderance of these studies has been published in peer-reviewed mainstream scientific journals.
Further, biological activity of the material remaining in these highly diluted solutions is entirely plausible. The quantity of remaining particles (in picograms) is well within the range for other bioactive substances like hormones and viruses. Nanoparticles have enhanced bioavailability and heightened reactivity, lending them the ability to signal specific information in living organisms (via chemical, optical, electromagnetic, magnetic, thermal and/or quantum properties) and to stimulate immunological and/or inflammatory reactivity and modulate specific genomic expression patterns.2,6, The processes by which nanoparticles mediate changes in the body are not pharmacological but rather physiological, and appear to follow the widely accepted principles of hormesis.2, The presence of these particles as well as the proven potential for biological activity in nano-concentrations invalidate the old view that homeopathic agents have no effective substance and therefore cannot have physiologic effects.
Advances in fields of science, such as toxicology, neurobiology, neuropharmacology, psychiatry, immunology and physiology have resulted in an interdisciplinary convergence in understanding of how homeopathic remedies may work in the body. Metaplasticity, time-dependent sensitization, and cross-sensitization are all responses that occur in the host as a result of exposure to the correct homeopathic remedy.2 This emerging model for the effects of remedies in complex living systems also is congruent with and verifies basic tenets of homeopathy, such as the law of similars, the importance of modalities, the homeopathic aggravation, and Hering’s direction of cure., Nearly all of these studies supporting this new understanding have been published in peer-reviewed mainstream medical journals.