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Toxicity, Efficacy & Mode of Action in Homeopathy

    written by Dr William.E.Thomas MD


Homeopathic medicines are drawn from animal, vegetable, or mineral kingdoms. Many substances which homeopathy is using are either:

  1. Potentially toxic
  2. Non-effective because they are non-specific
  3. May delay lifesaving treatment
  4. Represent danger of spreading infections
The HOMEOPATHIC PHARMACOPOEIA of the United States of America (1985 Edition) is listing the following substances for treatment, amongst many similar:

Pediculus Capitis - the head louse
Cimex Lectularis - the bed-bug
Coccinella Septempunctata - the Ladybird
Lac Felinum - cat's milk
Lager beer - etc.

Apis Mellifica - the honey bee, is prepared for homeopathic purposes as follows: the live bees are placed in a clear bottle which is shaken to irritate the bees, and a mixture of glycerin, distilled water, and alcohol is poured into the bottle. The bees are left for ten days in the mixture to soak. From this mixture then the homeopathic remedy is prepared. The dilution of that mixture is recommended by homeopaths for acute allergic swelling of the respiratory tract. If the patient chooses to follow this advice, he or she may die.

Source drugs, the MOTHER TINCTURES, are toxic in many cases, as the following example from the year 1884 testifies: Dr.Gunst in Melbourne then prescribed a homeopathic medicine and the chemist dispensed a concentrated Mother Tincture. The patient died.[1]

On the other hand dilutions over the Avogadro's Number, (6.02 x 10ēģ), i.e. over the 24 X (decimal) or 12 C (centesimal) dilutions, do not contain one single molecule of the original substance used. Such homeopathic preparations are either pure water, or alcohol-water mixture, or - if pulverized - lactose powder only.

Homeopathy generally operates on the fringe of the scale of medicinal doses, in the ineffective zone. However homeopathy does no longer call itself the 'fringe' medicine. Nowadays they use the term 'complementary' medicine, which is a respectable expression. Even the previous name 'alternative' medicine sounded better, implicating an alternative of two equal things. Fringe means the outer limit of medicine.


The homeopathic idea of using substances in extreme dilutions is connected with the PLACEBO EFFECT.

A PLACEBO is a medicine that is given to please a patient, not by any pharmacological action it may have, but by psychological means. It is a vehicle for cure by suggestion.

One of sure signs of placebo effect is the absence of side effects, and the safe use on infants. Both are claimed by homeopaths.


Over the past two hundred years almost all scientific and pharmacological discoveries have been tried by homeopaths in an attempt to explain how the homeopathically prepared small doses work.


  1. Heat theory - transformation of labour into heat by fast movements (succussion, trituration), does not explain the homeopathic claim of healing power.

  2. Electricity - there are no electric or magnetic forces which would originate during the process of trituration or succussion.

  3. Arndt-Schultz law, which stipulates that every drug has stimulating effect in small doses, while in large doses, inhibits, and much larger doses are lethal. Homeopathy claims efficacy in dilutions over Avogadro's number, therefore the Arndt-Schultz law is irrelevant in this regard.

  4. Brownian motion of molecules - is a biological phenomenon that does not bring any specific healing power by repeated dilutions and succussions.

  5. Electro-magnetic fields do not give homeopathic dilutions any healing power.

  6. Polymer chains of giant molecular aggregates do not cause transfer of any healing energy.

  7. Nuclear magnetic resonance tests used in homeopathic dilutions have only shown increased Brownian motion of molecules.

  8. The technique of Dielectric Index measuring used on microdilutions showed only the existence of known laws of physics.


Homeopathy incorrectly claims physiological or medical commonly known facts in support of its theory:

  1. The action of Cobra venom on kitten heart; the action of adrenaline on cardiac output - these are examples of specific target organs effects of small doses. Specific minuscule amounts of a substance affect only the target organ equipped with appropriate receptors. The substance affects no other place in the body. Elementary experiments like these students of medicine perform in their first and second years of medical school training.

  2. Stages of anesthesia - also are examples of target organ effect, this time of the human brain and subcortical centers.

  3. Mercuric chloride and its effect on the growth rate of lymphoblasts, activity of the enzyme diastase - experiments curiously reported only in homeopathic journals.

  4. Silver nitrate used on the growth of wheat seedlings - there is no connection with homeopathic doctrine in the first place, and secondly it shows only the oligodynamic effect of heavy metals on living organisms, a fact known to biological sciences.

  5. The attempt to replace the imaginary concept of Vital Force in homeopathy with enzymes comes from the 1985 submission on homeopathic medicines to the Victorian Parliament by Martin & Pleasance Wholesalers of homeopathic products in Melbourne (in the state of Victoria, Australia).

  6. The proposed water polymer concept in homeopathic preparations - that molecules of an active substance make an imprint on molecules of water - fails to document any measurable healing energy transferred through the water molecules in diluted homeopathic solutions.

The tendency of presenting current discoveries of science and pharmacology in support of homeopathy, whilst they are quite irrelevant and in fact do not support homeopathy, to the lay public who are in no position to form an opinion on it, is typical for this doctrine. There is no scientific evidence supporting the action of homeopathic medicaments.

During the existence of homeopathy the medical sciences have experienced the discoveries and acceptance of asepsis, antisepsis, anesthesia and antibiotics, which revolutionized the lives of us all.

Back to Hahnemann's Homeopathy


[1] Phillips, PJ: "Kill or Cure? Lotions, Potions, Characters & Quacks of Early Australia." Rigby Ltd., Sydney 1978.

Page created 4th March 2002