The body can be considered, due to its metabolization and elimination abilities, a “Flow System”, necessary for the integrated and balanced functioning of all the organic functions. Under the effect of alterations in the metabolism or excretion, in addition to the presence of substances that are incompatible with its physiology, the “Flow System” is no longer able to operate regularly and becomes a structure where toxic substances, that cannot be eliminated, are accumulated. Homotoxicology aims to induce a therapeutic action to recreate an “ordered equilibrium” in an ill person.
THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO HOMEOPATHY
The birth of Homeopathy is linked to the name of Samuel Hahnemann, born in Meissen, Germany in 1755, an outstanding intellectual and doctor as well as a researcher and chemist, Hahnemann was completely out of step with the medical doctrine based on "humours"and other dogmatic principles of his time.
Right from the start of his medical career Hahnemann was dedicated to observing the toxological activity of substances, researching their effects on healthy subjects.
This gradually led Him to develop the concept of "like cures like" in illness.
In his "Treatise on venereal diseases" Hahnemann, with reference to Hunter, claims that two types of fever cannot coexist within the same organism. Syphilis was the first disease to be examined and mercury was its "specific".
Hahnemann began to realise that mercury's action against infection was evidently a case of similarity: the mercury provoked a mercurial fever which effectively fought off the venereal infection the patient was suffering from. The metal cured by inducing a similar state of illness to that being treated.
In the same way China (peruvian bark) provokes a similar fever to that of malaria.
Hahnemann then began to investigate the vexed question of what causes chronic diseases.
The infectious origin of venereal diseases led to the study of the pathogenic mechanisms involved in other infectious diseases until an initial contagious (miasmatic) trigger was identified. At this point Hahnemann turned to pure pharmacological experimentation and elaborated one of the basic tenets of homeopathic doctrine: a substance provokes artificial modifications which are peculiar to the substance itself, and these modifications (or artificial illnesses) induced in a sick patient are therapeutic when they reproduce the same symptoms of the illness.
The "specifics" for each illness can only be found by studying the precise pharmacological actions of each substance. This means finding those substances which induce artificial symptoms in a healthy individual which are the same as the symptoms of the illness to be cured in a sick individual.
Therefore Hahnemann begins to try out the effects of a vast range of substances by experimenting them on himself, family members and a group of doctors involved in research, the symptoms provoked are described and catalogued in detail in his "Materia Medica Pura".
This leads to the official definition: "Homeopathy is a medical practice which induces an artificial illness similar to the natural illness the patient is suffering from in order to achieve a cure".
Hahnemann then defines a double aspect in the pharmacological action of each substance: a primary effect (or action) which can be reproduced exactly in each experiment, and a secondary effect (or action) which is peculiar to each individual, and therefore not necessarily possible to duplicate, because it depends on the reaction the patient has as his body attempts to eliminate the substance taken.
How to eliminate this individual (or secondary) reaction? The answer lies in the progressive dilution of the substances used, while at the same time enhancing their primary effect by the so-called process of succussion.
How is a substance's primary pharmacological effect maintained when it is infinitely diluted? Here the reason seems to be associated to the particular properties in the structure of the water and the process of dynamization - the administration of kinetic energy within a sealed system (the flask containing the active principle and the dilutant).
This aspect falls under the heading of experimental physics and is the focal Point of most current research in Homeopathy.