Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is homeopathy just placebo?

    The aspect of homeopathy that is implausible for many people is that the medicines are often diluted to the point where there are no molecules of original substance left.  One of the leading proposals for how such “ultramolecular” dilutions work is that water is capable of storing information relating to substances with which it has previously been in contact.

    Recent research on hydrogen bonds in water provides some support for this memory theory. The Swiss chemist, Louis Rey, found that the structure of hydrogen bonds in homeopathic dilutions of salt solutions is very different from that in pure water. 

    Rey reached the conclusion that the phenomenon results from the vigorous shaking of solutions that takes place during homeopathic succussion. Moreover, using a laboratory technique called spectroscopy, other researchers have found that different homeopathic medicines and different dilutions of the same medicine can be distinguished from each other, even though all should contain nothing but water.

    An alternative mechanism is suggested by the results of research from South Korea.  Studies on molecular clustering in water solutions showed that as a solution is made more and more dilute, very stable and larger clumps of material develop in the diluted solutions rather than in more concentrated solutions. This means that residual molecular clusters of the original substance may be present in homeopathic dilutions.  Succussion might also be responsible for creating very tiny bubbles that could contain gaseous inclusions of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and possibly the homeopathic source material.

    Opponents of homeopathy argue that it is psuedo-science and no more effective than placebo. Science claims that it cannot be measured in a laboratory or detected under a microscope, therefore there is no healing mechanism in homeopathic remedies. With a growing body of evidence proving homeopathy is real science, it is conceivable that the tools used by scientific detractors are neither sensitive nor evolved enough to detect and explain the energetic power of homeopathy. Growing numbers of previously skeptical scientists are now stating that we may need to re-write the laws of physics in order to understand how homeopathic remedies work. The question also comes to mind; if homeopathy is simply placebo, and the patient improves because they think they will, then what does that say about the power of energy, of the mind and thought to restore health and also to create disease?  In addition, how can it be explained that homeopathic remedies work on babies and animals, who are not aware of what they are taking?

    Are the benefits of homeopathy more than just placebo effects?

    Physico-chemical properties of succussed high dilutions

  • Is homeopathy the same a naturopathy?

    Homeopathic medicine is:

    1. one of the older forms of alternative medicine with historical roots dating back to ancient Greece.
    2. a complete system of healing unto itself. Most forms of alternative medicine are treatment modalities without an underlying system.
    3. firmly based on core principles that guide its treatment compared to other forms of alternative medicine. Much of alternative medicine utilizes principles that are derived from conventional medicine.
    4. the third most common form of alternative medicine in the world today (behind herbal medicine and oriental medicine) and is said to be the fastest growing.
    5. better researched than most other forms of alternative medicine. More information at this link.
    6. more successful in treating acute conditions such as epidemic disease than most other forms of alternative medicine. This was an important reason for its historical success.
    7. standardized in their preparations and are regulated by the FDA and other governing bodies. In Canada they have Drug Identification Numbers.
    8. one of the least expensive forms of alternative medicine.
    9. one of the most holistic forms of alternative medicine, taking into account all levels of an individual’s being. Other forms of alternative medicine are often more symptom- focused.
    10. a form of energy medicine. Many forms of alternative medicine are matter-based.
    11. the greenest medicine available.
  • How is homeopathy different from conventional medicine?

    1. Homeopathy rests on a core philosophy and set of principles that guide its practice.
    2. Homeopathy is a safer and gentler healing tool.
    3. Homeopathic treatment is much more cost effective, costing patients about 20% what most patients pay for conventional treatment, and the medicines themselves about 10% or less of the cost of conventional drugs.
    4. Homeopathic treatment is non-suppressive.
    5. Homeopathic medicine seeks to understand and treat the individual on all levels, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
    6. The goal of homeopathic medicine is to cure chronic illness.
    7. Homeopathy focuses on healing from within, stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself.
    8. Homeopathic medicine rests on a foundation of the Empirical school of thought.
    9. Homeopathy recognizes and utilizes the healing power in nature.
    10. Homeopathic medicine utilizes minimum, non-toxic doses.
    11. Homeopathic medicine is humanistic and patient-centred.
    12. Conventional medicine constantly seeks new diagnoses and drugs to match, not according to principles, but remaining hopeful of finding a “cure.”
    13. Conventional medicine is far more intrusive.
    14. Conventional therapies and drugs can be prohibitively expensive if not covered by medical insurance.
    15. Conventional therapies often drive disease into a deeper location and more serious pathology.
    16. Conventional medicine focuses on one aspect at a time, often by different doctors who do not communicate.
    17. Conventional medicine seeks to manage chronic illness with long-term drug treatments.
    18. Conventional medicine focuses on healing from without, seeking to control the body’s natural mechanisms.
    19. Conventional medicine is derived from the Rationalist tradition of reductionist thinking.
    20. Conventional medicine seeks to utilize patentable drugs, which are by definition not found in nature.
    21. Conventional medicine uses large, toxic doses of drugs.
    22. Conventional medicine is focused on diagnostic testing and systems.
  • Are the same homeopathic remedies used for animals as for people?

    The same principles of use applies to animals as well as people, applying the remedies according to the Law of Similars. There are some dosing differences due to the speed at which disease progresses in animals, however, homeopaths have been treating animals for over 200 years using the same methods as for people. While remedies are only tested on people, there are some impressive studies on the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment in farm animals.

    Visit Homeopathy Research Institute for supporting information