26 August 2008

Hormesis – ‘when a little poison is good for you’

Filed under: Homeopathy — homeopathy4health @ 1:44 pm
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New Scientist 6/8/08 When a little poison is good for you

For those of you with a New Scientist subscription, here is more information about Hormesis.

Update 30/8/08:

Dr Mercola expands on the topic: here

Here is a snippet:

Your body is a finely tuned instrument, and even seemingly insignificant changes can sometimes create major repercussions, for better or worse. Like a spider’s web, if you pluck one strand, the entire web vibrates. Pluck too hard and it breaks the strand, collapsing the intricate design of the whole.

Hormesis – To Impel Change

Hormesis — from the ancient Greek word hormáein, meaning “to set in motion, impel, urge on” — is the term for favorable biological responses resulting from low exposures to toxins and other stressors. A toxin showing hormesis thus has the opposite effect in small doses than in large doses.

Homeopathy could be considered as an example here, where even a highly toxic (natural) substance can be used to produce dramatic healing responses in your body because it is reduced to such a degree that only the energetic essence of it remains; there’s enough to impel a healing change, but not nearly enough to tip the scales too far to cause damage.

Hormesis then, is the biological phenomena where an otherwise adverse or detrimental influence is beneficial when applied at low levels – just enough to set something into motion.

The concept of biological hormesis is as important as that of homeostasis for the survival of an organism. Your body’s ability to resist and adapt appropriately to both internal and external stresses is essential for good health, and the hallmark of aging is your body’s inability to withstand stress, which starts to degrade it.

1 August 2008

The disease didn’t kill her, the medication did….

How many of us have heard of this?

I have been away visiting family.  My mother-in-law told us that my brother-in-law’s friend’s 47 year old wife had recently died.  She had been suffering from breast cancer for several years but she died in her sleep from a heart attack.  This was blamed on her medication which had ‘weakened her heart’. A ‘side effect’ I expect.

According to Hering’s Law of Cure inappropriate medicine can suppress the vital system and weaken more internal and more vital organs.  People can live without breasts (men can be affected by breast cancer too); they can’t live without a heart.  I’ve commented on patterns and progress of disease before.

Ok, I know it’s not that simple, I didn’t know the lady concerned and how she was before she died, she might have died shortly anyway, but there was no indication of that in the story as told, her death came as a surprise.

5/8/08 – Updated to include links to information about the homeopathic approach to treating people with the symptoms of cancer:

Treating cancer with homeopathy

Dr Ramakrishnan – Cancer

3 March 2008

Walk the walk, talk the talk. Fruit acid or milk for heartburn?


I’ve been suffering from acidic heartburn all day today which I get from time to time.  I took a constitutional remedy the other day and have had a whole range of symptoms returning and subsiding including the heartburn today.  So rather than take another remedy for the acute symptoms of heartburn and potentially undermine the constitutional prescription I thought of what else I could use at home to get relief.

My first thought was drink milk because that’s what I used to do.  It would relieve for a while then would come back soon after, so I’d drink more milk and so on.

My second thought was, my diet has been poor of late I should eat more fruit, and although the thought of fruit acid on top of the heartburn made me wince I ate some grapes and an orange. 


One hour later: no heartburn.  Similia similibus curentur (Like cures like)  Dilution not always required.

1 January 2008

A homeopath’s view of health

Conventional medicine tends to concentrate on disease – definition of symptoms, labelling (often purely a latin description of the symptoms), cause (often declared ‘unknown’ or attributed to infection with a ‘germ’).  It can take a long time for medicine to agree that a particular ‘disease’ actually exists and treatments often come much later and can be ineffective or cause side effects.

Homeopaths work from the starting point of health.  ‘That’s easy’ you might say: ‘health is a lack of symptoms’, but we would disagree.  Health is being able to react appropriately to circumstances and to be able to adapt and recover.

Reaction starts with reflexes, thoughts and emotions.  If something dangerous occurs to you it is important to be able to make sense of the situation quickly and react appropriately to save yourself.  It is necessary to have self-judgement and self-reliance to take these steps independently.  After a stress and its corresponding physiological symptoms does the mind and body recover easily and continue as normal or do they suffer from the effects for a considerable time?  These effects are an expression of ill-health or disease (dis-ease, i.e. not at ease) and can be in the forms of anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance as well as physiological effects in the organs of the body.  Mental disturbance disrupts normal life activities of work, rest, play and relationships and sleep disturbance affects immune sytem function.

Homeopathy is a holistic therapy, the ‘hol’ in holistic referring to ‘whole’.  Homeopaths look at whether a person has a full (whole) range of appropriate mental processes and emotions as well as physical functions: can the patient make sense of the world, get angry and defend themselves, can they show upset and get emotional support from family members and friends, do they have times of joy, happiness and sadness?  Inbetween times, do they recover to a neutral state of relative contentment?  If not content can they work out ways of reducing the discontent by confronting the problem and finding a solution, getting away from the problem or coming to terms with it? 

In reality the effects of society and upbringing results in many people finding one or more emotional states difficult or impossible to express.   These suppressive effects can have been in place over several generations in a family to the extent that its members become unaware of its absence.  Where there is emotional suppression a corresponding emotion becomes uppermost: with the absence of anger comes resentment, with the absence of support comes vulnerability.  These states can become quasi-normal states of being and lenses through which people perceive the world, and the source of compensating behaviours such as self-medication with drugs, alcohol and food, and personality disorders.  Wars, epidemics and difficult living conditions weaken health and their effects can be noted from one generation to the next in the type of symptoms to which we are susceptible.

A key word is ‘appropriate’.  Does the patient react appropriately to events in their lives? Some people overreact becoming easily angered or upset and affecting their confidence, work and relationships: others don’t react at all to the most severe provocation, putting themselves at risk of abuse and unable to reach their potential.  At the simplest level, if it is hot: to sweat and to seek shade and cool; if in danger: to escape, fight, hide or flee; if tired: to rest and recuperate;  if hungry: to seek food;  If thirsty: to seek water.   How many of us trust and act on our natural instincts? How many of us are still able to? How many side-effects of conventional medicine interfere with these natural functions?

 At the heart of homeopathic treatment is the desire to move the patient towards a state of physical, emotional and mental health, to smooth out over-reactions, to generate appropriate reactions where before there were none, to encourage independence of action and thought so that above all the patient can know their limits, trust their natural instincts, reach their potential and take care of their own health.

Happy New Year

with thanks to Sheilagh Creasey for her inspiration for this blog.

28 December 2007

Sleep medication to treat a sleep-like state – treating like with like

The word ‘homeopathy’ is derived of two words: homeo denoting ‘similar’ and ‘pathy’ denoting ‘suffering’. Its principle is that of giving a substance which causes you to suffer from similar symptoms to your ailment, which you react against and cancel out your own symptoms.  It is reported this week that sleep medication has been found to rouse patients in a coma: it may be a simple case of homeopathic action.

Sleep medication offers hope to families of comatose patients « Health Sense

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