Homeopathy/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Homeopathy.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.

Hahnemann's writings

On the vital force; § 12, Sixth Edition
"It is the morbidly affected vital energy alone that produces disease, so that the morbid phenomena perceptible to our senses express at the same time all the internal change, that is to say, the whole morbid derangement of the internal dynamis; in a word, they reveal the whole disease; consequently, also, the disappearance under treatment of all the morbid phenomena and of all the morbid alterations that differ from the healthy vital operations, certainly affects and necessarily implies the restoration of the integrity of the vital force and, therefore, the recovered health of the whole organism."
(Footnote: "How the vital force causes the organism to display morbid phenomena, that is, how it produces disease, it would be of no practical utility to the physician to know, and will forever remain concealed from him; only what it is necessary for him to know of the disease and what is fully sufficient for enabling him to cure it, has the Lord of life revealed to his senses."
  • The Organon of the Healing Art (1810), a delineation of what he saw as the rationale for homeopathic medicine, and guidelines for practice. Hahnemann published the 5th edition in 1833; a revised draft was discovered after Hahnemann's death and published as the 6th edition in 1921.English translation
:"The partisans of the old school of medicine flattered themselves that they could justly claim for it alone the title of ’rational medicine’, because they alone sought for and strove to remove the cause of disease ... [but] the greatest number of diseases are of dynamic (spiritual) origin and dynamic (spiritual) nature, their cause is therefore not perceptible to the senses. "



On the structure of water

  • Martin Chaplin, professor of applied sciences at London South Bank University, provides a comprehensive review of research about water structure:Water Structure and Science; Martin Chaplin's website. The July 2007 issue of the journal, Homeopathy, was edited by Chaplin and is devoted to the "memory of water." Copies of the articles in this special issue are freely available at a skeptic's website along with discussion (primarily from skeptics).(Homeopathy Journal Club Bad Science, a blog by Ben Goldacre)
An article from materials science (32 pages) in a journal that "is especially suited for the publication of results which are so new, so unexpected, that they are likely to be rejected by tradition-bound journals" [1]. Introduces many notions that are generally not well known by biologists and chemists, such as the implantation of qi into water by Qigong grandmasters. Presents the notion of epitaxy, a well known phenomenon in the industry. Roy also covers the 6 anomalies of water in light of the fact that water is not a random arrangement of single H2O molecules, but a combination of different phases (or 3D arrangements) of water molecules clusters. Disputes the current view of the majority of spectroscopists and theorists that the molecule in the liquid is surrounded tetrahedrally by 4 other water molecules. States that there is terminological confusion between structure in biochemistry and structure in materials science. See the rendition of a typical water structure (p 29). Roy adddresses the objection that such H2O arrangements are short lived, but does not discuss recent femtosecond (femto = 10−15) laser spectroscopy experiments, where it is found that hydrogen bonds are broken and reformed on a time scale of pico (pico = 10−12) seconds. Notes on the role of Van der Waals bonds in determining the properties of materials. The authors provide the tools to analyze homeopathic preparations, explaining why some techniques (including Raman) are adequate, while other are not, to characterize the structure of water. Presents in Fig. 17 some illegible Raman data on tap water, allegedly proving that the intramolecular vibrations (vibrations within the molecule, known to be relatively insensitive to the environment of the molecule) are changed by the emission of qi. Does not give the composition of the tap water. Raman data pertaining to intermolecular vibrations, which are very sensitive to the structure of water, are not given.

On the effect of dilutions on the properties of water

  • V. Eliaa et al. (2007) Conductometric studies of the serially diluted and agitated solutions on an anomalous effect that depends on the dilution process, Journal of Molecular Liquids, Volume 135, Issues 1-3, 31:158-165
  • Khuda-Bukhsh AR (2006) Laboratory Research in Homeopathy: Pro - Integrative Cancer Therapies

Alleged bias against homeopathy in academic publications

also see related articles in pubmed here.

The Benveniste-Davenas affair (Memory of water paper in Nature, 1988)

  • Davenas EF et al. (1988) Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE Nature 333:816-8. (Jacques Benveniste (1935-2004), a distinguished French immunologist reports on the action of very high dilutions of anti-immunoglobulin E on the degranulation of human basophilsAt the high dilutions used, the solutions should have contained only molecules of water, and no molecules of (anti-IgE) at all. He concludes that the configuration of molecules in water was biologically active, and a journalist coined the term water memory.
  • "When to believe the unbelievable." Nature333: (Accompanying editorial)
  • Maddox, John; James Randi and Walter W. Stewart (28 July 1988). "‘High-dilution’ experiments a delusion" (PDF). Nature 334: 287–290. DOI:10.1038/334287a0. Research Blogging.

(After publication, a follow-up investigation was conducted by a team including the editor of Nature. The team published a detailed critique of Benveniste’s study, claiming that the experiments were badly controlled statistically, that measurements that conflicted with the claim had been excluded, that there was insufficient"avoidance of contamination, and that there were questions of undisclosed conflict of interest, as the salaries of two coauthors of the published article were paid for under a contract with the French company 'Boiron et Cie'.)

  • Benveniste J (1988) Dr Jacques Benveniste replies, News and views, Nature 334:291 (In the same issue of Nature (and subsequently) Benveniste vigorously attacked the Nature team’s "mockery of scientific inquiry.")
  • Hirst SJ et al.(1993) Human basophil degranulation is not triggered by very dilute antiserum against human IgE" Nature 366:527. (Subsequent attempts by other labs to reproduce Beneviste's results fail to reproduce the effects)
  • See Khuda-Bukhsh AR(2006) (cited above), p. 326. In response to a critique, Khuda-Bukhsh replies that, contrary to common belief, the results by Davenas & al. were replicated in several centers. This is one of the most serious accusations of bias formulated against mainstream journals concerning homeopathy.


Concerning the Lancet 2005 study calling for the end homeopathy trials


Those who use homeopathy

  • Dana Ullman (2008) The Homeopathic Revolution: Famous People and Cultural Heroes Who Chose Homeopathy North Atlantic Books,U.S. ISBN 1556436718 Contains personal stories and quotes from Mark Twain, Charles Darwin, Martina Navratilova, David Beckham, Marlene Dietrich, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Orlando Bloom, Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Frederic Chopin, Vincent Van Gogh, Cindy Crawford, Bill Clinton, Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa and others

Criticism

  • Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions By Dr Oliver Wendell Holmes, physician, poet, and humorist. This essay was presented as two lectures to the Boston Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in 1842.
"Suppose, then, a physician who has a hundred patients prescribes to each of them pills made of some entirely inert substance, as starch, for instance. Ninety of them get well, or if he chooses to use such language, he cures ninety of them. It is evident, according to the doctrine of chances, that there must be a considerable number of coincidences between the relief of the patient and the administration of the remedy. It is altogether probable that there will happen two or three very striking coincidences out of the whole ninety cases, in which it would seem evident that the medicine produced the relief, though it had, as we assumed, nothing to do with it. Now. suppose that the physician publishes these cases, will they not have a plausible appearance of proving that which, as we granted at the outset, was entirely false? ... How long will it take mankind to learn that while they listen to "the speaking hundreds and units, who make the world ring" with the pretended triumphs they have witnessed, the "dumb millions" of deluded and injured victims are paying the daily forfeit of their misplaced confidence!"
  • William Jarvis and the National Council Against Heath Fraud. (2002)

    Homeopathy. The Skeptic encyclopedia of pseudoscience, Volume 2, Pages 347-356. Michael Shermer, editor. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781576076538. | Google Books preview. | Homeopathy as pseudoscience, quakery, and cult.

Luc Montagnier

  • Luc Montagnier, Jamal Aissa, Stéphane Ferris, Jean-Luc Montagnier, Claude Lavallee, Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences. Interdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci (2009) 1: 81-90.

[2]

Professor Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who co-discovered HIV and who won the Nobel Prize in 2008, conducted a series of experiments showing that extremely small doses of pathogenic bacteria and viruses show a distinct electromagnetic (EM) signature at dilutions ranging from 10-5 to 10-12 (corresponding to 5X to 12X) and that small DNA fragments (responsible for pathogenicity) were solely accountable for the EM signal The researchers also noted that one experiment found significant effects from dilutions as high as 10-18 (equivalent to 18X). The EM signature changed with dilution levels but was unaffected by the initial concentration and remained even after the remaining DNA fragments were destroyed by chemical agents.

Montagnier and his team found this biological action when these small doses were created in an aqueous solution and when this solution was vigorously shaken in-between dilutions, just as homeopathic medicines are made.

The researchers also observed that the EM signal was destroyed by heating or freezing the sample (a common observation that homeopaths have also found in their medicines).

Ultradilutions'

Witt CM et al. (2007) The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies--a systematic review of the literature. Complement Ther Med 15:128-38. PMID 17544864 Summarises outcomes from studies of biological effects of ultradiluted substances. (from the Conclusions: "The reviewed in vitro experiments with high homeopathic potencies were inhomogenous in design and quality. A surprisingly high number of different experimental approaches have been adopted. Two thirds of the experiments with higher scores and contaminant-checking controls demonstrated specific high potency effects. Some of them have also been successfully replicated, but no positive result could be reproduced in all attempts")

Demangeat JL et al. (2004) Low-field NMR water proton longitudinal relaxation in ultrahighly diluted aqueous solutions of silica-lactose prepared in glass material for pharmaceutical use Applied magnetic resonance 26:465-71

Demangeat J-L (2009) NMR water proton relaxation in unheated and heated ultrahigh aqueous dilutions of histamine: Evidence for an air-dependent supramolecular organization of water J Mol Liquids 144:32-9doi


On UK Universities awarding degrees in homeopathy


On Homeopathy as pseudoscience as argued by an eminent biologist