Also with SARS-CoV19 (the so-called Corona virus) any attempt of homeopathic prevention or even treatment is ineffective and dangerous!
The search term “homeopathic vaccines” finds more than 500,000 hits on Google. With “nosodes” you get more than 280,000 hits (retrieved on 22.02.2020). Remarkable, considering that homeopathic vaccination is a useless to dangerous undertaking and “nosode” is an artificial word from pre-scientific times.
TL:DR (Too long – didn’t read)
- Homeopathic vaccinations are ineffective and, if mistakenly relied upon for immune protection, represent a considerable health risk. The principle and the nosode teaching did not come from Hahnemann himself. They contradict basic assumptions of the homeopathic doctrine. They follow the isopathic, not the homeopathic principle (healing with equality, not similarity). Hahnemann rejected the isopathic principle in the final edition of the Organon. Both principles are pre-scientific speculations and play no role in the current state of medical knowledge.
- The study situation shows that methodically correct work could not prove any immune-protective effect of a homeopathic “vaccination” with nosodes. In many cases, the offering of homeopathic vaccinations and their outgrowths – such as homeopathic “excretions” of vaccinations – is close to anti-vaccination thinking.
What is at stake?
From the homeopathic scene there are occasional arguments that Hahnemann and the homeopaths “invented” vaccination, that Hahnemann was positive and open-minded about Jenner’s cowpox vaccination and that homeopathic “vaccination” is practised in reality. As justification they refer to Hahnemann’s basic principle of Similia similibus curentur, may similar things cure similar things. This is exactly what happens with the vaccination. The “homeopathic vaccination” uses remedies called “nosodes”, homeopathically prepared components of disease products of the body.
What’s the deal with that?
There is no homeopathic prophylaxis and there can be none
Vaccinating does not “heal”. It is practising medical prophylaxis, disease prevention. This is completely alien to Hahnemann’s model of homeopathy.
Hahnemann’s homeopathy is a doctrine of medicine which, in Hahnemann’s own words, is supposed to “take away the totality of the symptoms”. Hahnemann did not have a concept of illness that went beyond this, let alone ideas about the origin and course of illness (etiology). It cannot be stressed often enough: homeopathy is a symptom therapy, the recording of a “holistic” view of the patient through the detailed homeopathic anamnesis (symptom picture) serves exclusively to select the “suitable” remedy from the repertories (§ 17 and 18 of the Organon).
Where could there be room for prophylaxis, for medical prevention of diseases in this model, which presupposes acute illness? It does not exist. Homeopathy is always “healing art” on the already diseased – by definition.
Moreover, the assumption that vaccination is similar to homeopathy and that homeopathy can also vaccinate causes the downfall of the homeopathic principle of individualized therapy. The basis of the homeopathic approach is the individual “detuning of the spiritual vital force” in the individual patient, against which there is only one, “the” only remedy, which the “genuine healer” has to find out.
How should vaccination or prevention be carried out in the case of illnesses that occur individually in each patient in this sense? Based on the idea of the individuality of each symptom of a disease (better: of the totality of symptoms), Hahnemann in § 54 of the Organon explicitly criticizes allopaths for “spending the diseases on conditions that always reappeared in quite the same way”. It is obvious: If there are no diseases that recur “in quite the same way”, then there is no way to prevent them anyway, and certainly not to vaccinate preventively.
The incompatibility of prophylaxis with basic principles of Hahnemann’s teaching is obvious.
Modern vaccination – misunderstood
Anyone who links with vaccination by reference to the principle of similarity has not or incorrectly understood the vaccination mechanism.
The vaccine that is administered has no protective effect itself. Rather, it triggers an immune reaction in the body, causing it to produce antibodies against the potential disease. Mind you, antibodies. It is not the “simile”, the vaccine dose itself, that is the “active substance”, but rather the antibodies formed in a second step, the immune reaction, which are literally “antidotes”, not “similes”. Which Hahnemann strictly rejected in § 23 of the Organon, regarding them being unable to “eliminate and destroy persistent symptoms of disease”. And how should a “vaccination similium” work – after all, is the purpose of the remedy in homeopathy to trigger an “artificial disease” similar to the existing one?
And one more important point: the necessary vaccination dose of a protective vaccination is determined precisely, taking into account the dose-effect relationship. There is no “dosage” for nosodes. They are usually administered as potencies D6 or D8 – i.e. in potency levels where the impurities of the solvent already outweigh the residues of the original substance.
The correctly considered inoculation mechanism is therefore neither a witness for nor an ally of homeopathy, but even one of the numerous chief witnesses against it.
Hahnemann and Jenner
Occasionally the Hahnemann disciples also point to the mention of the Jenners smallpox vaccination in the Organon. However, this does not allow any further conclusions.
Hahnemann was well aware of the early attempts to vaccinate with cowpox secretion. He does indeed mention Jenner and his successes, but does not recognise the approach of a meaningful aetiology contained therein and does not follow Jenner’s thoughts further, but rather takes them up in favour of a completely different topic: of a questionable justification of his rule of similarity with “healing through illness”. In § 46 of the Organon Hahnemann cites Jenner’s vaccination as one example (among several) for his thesis that healing or alleviation of symptoms similar to the outbreak of the disease, but which were already there before, takes place through a “new disease”. (He obviously understands Jenner’s vaccination as triggering a disease – thus remaining exactly in his homeopathic thought pattern).
No, Hahnemann can certainly not be seen as one of the fathers of modern vaccination. On the contrary – he has by no means taken Jenner’s successes properly and has not thought ahead. Possibly because this did not go together with his basic idea that there were no “diseases” that could be typified, but only individual “bundles of symptoms”.
The idea of prevention through homeopathy therefore did not come from Hahnemann himself, but from early exegetes.
Is not the immune system to be equated with Hahnemann’s “spiritual life force”?
A clear no. First of all, the immune system is nothing “spirit-like”, but quite a material manifestiation of the organisam, and interacts – even during vaccination – on a material basis. It is a very complex function of the physical body, which in no way has the qualities that Hahnemann in his imagination attributed to the “principle of spiritual life force”, in vitalist tradition:
“The material organism, conceived without life-force, is not capable of any sensation, any activity, any self-preservation; only the immaterial being that animates the material organism in a healthy and sick state (the principle of life, the life-force) gives it all sensation and effects its life functions. (§ 10 Organon)
Nosodes and Isopathy
The term “nosode” comes from the homeopath Constantin Hering (1800 -1880), also known for his “Hering’s rule”. His basic idea was to use body substances produced by the illness (Greek nosos = illness) in the homeopathic sense, i.e. potentiated. In 1830, he was the first who produces a nosode, Psorinum from scabies, which is still found in homeopathic repertories today. However, the treatments of scabies patients with it, as documented by Hering, were not very successful. It is remarkable that Hering’s thoughts ultimately come down to something like “typifying diseases” – one of the many small breaks in theory and practice in homeopathy.
The next person to take up the idea was Johann Joseph Wilhelm Lux (1773-1849), who worked as a veterinarian in Leipzig and came into contact with Hahnemann’s homeopathy there. His main work, published in 1833, had the self-explanatory title “Isopathik der Contagionen, oder: Alle ansteckenden Krankheiten tragen in seinem eigenen Ansteckungsstoff das Mittel zur Heilung” (Isopathy of the Contagions, or: All infectious diseases carry in their own contagious substance the remedy for their cure). However, isopathy is not homeopathy, not simile, but the principle of equality was Lux‘s basic idea: “Aequalia aequalibus curentur – like may be cured by like”. What did not prevent Lux from making practical use of homeopathic principles, namely potentiation (as the anthroposophists do today for their remedies, which are otherwise conceptually different from homeopathy); he used his remedies in high potency C30.
What is decisive is that Lux did not bring the idea of prevention into play at all, but rather intended to use his isopathic nosodes curatively, i.e. in acutely ill patients.
Under the conditions of his time, Lux‘s idea was received with great interest, as Jenner’s success with the smallpox vaccine was well known and the connection was indeed established – but without taking into account the difference between curative and prophylactic use. On the other hand, Lux’s theses were often vehemently rejected by the homeopathic side. In 1833, the “Allgemeine Homöopathische Zeitung” (General Homeopathic Newspaper) wrote: ” Thus, at the same time, the evidence that Mr. Lux, the veterinarian, stated for his isopathy has been refuted. For who will consider snow and ice-cold water with cold air to be equal, absolutely identical?” And in a review of 1849, a certain Dr. Thorer from Görlitz (Saxonia) is quoted as saying that Lux‘s isopathic doctrine had caused “temporary confusion, a doubt about the correctness of the homeopathic theorem”, but had been refuted because it “could not dispute the rank of homeopathy” (Hygea, Zeitschrift für Heilkunst, – Journal of Healing Arts – Volume 3). There were disagreements – well, als expected, neither side was right.
An interesting detail is that Lux‘s reported treatment successes prompted the veterinary school in Berlin to carry out experiments on reproduction: The very first test of potentised funds at a university. Unfortunately, no positive result was found, and the reproduction attempts of Lux’s treatments failed.
Hahnemann had a detached view on Lux‘s efforts. He saw isopathy as a mistake, first and foremost because testing the drug on healthy people did not play a role in Lux’s system. In the Organon he expressed himself accordingly:
“To attempt to cure by means of the very same morbific potency (per Idem) contradicts all normal human understanding and hence all experience.“.(§ 56 Organon, note, 6th edition, Translation Boericke).
It’s remarkable that this text is in the 5th edition of the Organon, much earlier, different:
“A fourth mode of employing medicines in diseases has been attempted to be created by means of Isopathy, as it is called – that is to say, a method of curing a given disease by the same contagious particle that produces it. But even granting this could be done, which would certainly be a valuable discovery, yet, after all, seeing that the virus is given to the patient highly potentized, and thereby, consequently, to a certain degree in an altered condition, the cure is effected only by opposing a simillimum to a simillimum.” (§ 56 Organon, note, 5th edition, Translation Boericke).
Here, in the 5th edition, Hahnemann makes a decisive concession: he postulates that the potentiation of the “miasm”, i.e. the trigger of the illness, “changes” the miasm itself, creates a “new” miasm, which in turn can “act” as a similium, as something similar and not “still” as the same. A bold construction that raises a number of questions with regard to the principle of similarity and drug testing on healthy people, making the building of homeopathy seem even more inconsistent than it already is. What Hahnemann might have recognised and rejected the idea in the 6th edition of the Organon as quoted above.
This clear rejection of isopathy, however, since it was only included in the 6th edition of the Organon, only became known when Richard Haehl published this version in 1921, before which time the manuscript was under lock and key. Up to that time (and even afterwards) nothing prevented a part of Hahnemann’s exegetes from further establishing the nosode teachings by referring to § 56 of the 5th edition. And the exegetes of nosodes also believed they could refer to something else: Although Hahnemann did not explicitly mention prophylaxis anywhere, in connection with Jenner’s cowpox vaccination he spoke of an “anticipated cure”. This meant that there was enough quarry stone material in the homeopathic building to gradually establish a further internal contradiction in homeopathic teaching with prophylaxis by means of homeopathic nosodes.
Hahnemann was from his sight right in his refusal because of the lack of drug testing. After all, what would have to trigger the administration of an “effective” homeopathic “remedy” in a healthy person? Correct – the symptoms that should be combated in the sick person… Thus the homeopathic-isopathic nosode concept completely escapes any logic and disappears in the self-contradictions of these pre-scientific teachings.
The homeopathic nomenclature today distinguishes
- Nosodes according to the original idea of Constantin Hering, produced from the pathogens or excretions of infectious diseases, as classical homeopathic preparations; these are used for the so-called “homeopathic vaccination”.
- Autonosodes prepared from the body substances of the individual patient, perhaps best known are the placentanosodes. Pathologically altered body substances, as in the case of Hering’s nosodes, play no role here, with a few exceptions. Here we actually see isopathic remedies in their pure form. Their application shows a wide range that is not limited to pathologies.
- Vaccination nosodes, produced from vaccines (not pathogens), as classical homeopathic remedies, which are used to treat complaints that occur after vaccinations (“drainaige of vaccine toxins”), which comes somewhat close with classical homeopathy and has nothing to do with prophylaxis. The only question is how the vaccination nosode knows what “complaints” are and what are the desired reactions of the immune system in the patient.
What does science-based research say?
Is it even justifiable to conduct clinical trials for such abstruse theories as immunisation by nosodes? By today’s standards, this would not be ethically justifiable, because by the standards of known knowledge, no benefit, no gain in knowledge could be expected to justify the immanent risks. Of course, it is not conceivable under any circumstances to carry out trials with comparison groups, one of which is vaccinated and the other unvaccinated, and then to record the cases of disease that occur over time or even after a targeted infection.
However, there is such a thing as experimental animal testing in the laboratory. Jonas SB: Do homeopathic nosodes protect against infection? An experimental test (Altern Ther Health Med. 1999 Sep;5(5):36-40) is one such experiment. The application of six different nosode dilutions (potentiations) to a total of 142 laboratory mice “resulted in partial protection by a tularaemic nosode in dilutions that were below the expected protective effects, but not as great as those of the standard vaccination.” (Tularaemia is a highly infectious zoonosis in rodents occurring mainly in the USA and Australia, more rarely also in Europe)
And from what is this rather meaningless interim conclusion derived? Instead of triggering an infection under everyday conditions, the “immunised” mice were injected with a potentially lethal dose of F tularensis) and the effect of the nosodes was evaluated in terms of mortality rate and survival time. If, however, the body is flooded with a surely lethal dose of the pathogen, i.e. the immune system is specifically overtaxed, it is unlikely that any effect of the vaccination can be measured, since there was no “chance” for vaccine immunity. The more so as the mortality rate also doesn’t allow any conclusion, because that can depend on a wide variety of factors.
It is interesting to note here that vaccination “sceptics” like to argue that the mortality rate had already decreased before the introduction of vaccination, and that this is therefore not an effect of the vaccination – here, the opposite effect is used to “prove” a vaccination effect.
In addition, the control group was administered a placebo (pure solvent), a standard prophylaxis doesn’t exist. In fact, this lead to a placebo-to-placebo- trial. The outcome was determined as the “mean” value of the survival times in the individual test series, a procedure that allows few conclusions without knowing the exact data series. And so the researchers’ more than cautious overall conclusion is not surprising:
“If homeopathic nosodes can induce protection against infectious agents for which no vaccination is currently possible, they can provide a provisional method for reducing morbidity or mortality caused by these agents”.
Basically, it must be said that this cannot be regarded as a conclusion of the study at all. The authors are thus withdrawing into the completely indefinite. Homeopathic research – as usual.
One can also proceed differently if one is serious about it. The most promising approach, as is the case in clinical trials for the development of new vaccines, would be to determine the titer, i.e. the increase of the desired antibodies in the blood of the test persons, as a strong indication of efficacy for a while after the vaccination. In fact, there is also work of this kind.
The work of Loeb et al. from 2018 (A randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial comparing antibody responses to homeopathic and conventional vaccines in university students. PMID: 30352746 DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine. 2018.08.082) examined three groups from a population of 150 young adults: those who had been vaccinated in childhood, those who had received a “homeopathic” vaccination, and a last group who had received no vaccination at all.
Loeb et al. come to the unsurprising and unequivocal conclusion:
“Homeopathic vaccines do not trigger antibody reactions and produce a reaction similar to that of placebo. In contrast, conventional vaccines provide a robust antibody response in most vaccinated individuals”.
How could it be otherwise?
Recently (November 2019) a replica of the work of Loeb et al. has been published, which is critical of the results and believes to have discovered methodological errors (Dutta S et al., The Concept of ‘Homeopathic Vaccines’ Is Not Rational and Lacks Evidence: A Commentary on the Paper by Loeb et al, 2018; Homeopathy. 2019 Nov;108(4):298-299. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1696969). What methodological errors? Well, it is criticised that the tests of the study were not carried out according to the principles of individualised homeopathy after taking a homeopathic anamnesis and finding individual remedies based on this …
This now leaves one completely speechless. There is no better way to demonstrate that homeopathic prophylaxis is in essence a complete contradiction to Hahnemann’s teaching. So the type of detuning of the vital force is to be determined by means of homeopathic anamnesis, on people who are healthy, i.e. who do not show any “detuned vital force” at all? Our initial thesis that and why prophylaxis is alien to homeopathy (precisely because it is incompatible with the homeopathic principle of individuality) is unintentionally confirmed by this absurdity. Although the problem of the violation of the principle of individuality by the homeopathic vaccination was correctly recognised, a remarkable confirmation bias did not lead to the only logical conclusion that homeopathic prophylaxis is an absurdity, but misleaded to the absurdity that the refuting experimental study cannot be correct. All logic is sacrificed to blind adherence to “homeopathic principles”. An exemplary example of “what cannot be, what must not be”. Thanks for that.
Finally, we would like to point out a work by Canadian scientists which is explicitly directed against increasing misinformation in the Canadian alternative medicine scene about the alleged effectiveness of homeopathic vaccinations. There is actually nothing to add to the title of the publication: “Nosodes are no substitute for vaccinations”. To the point. (Rieder MJ, Robinson JL, ‘Nosodes’ are no substitutes for vaccines, Paediatr Child Health. 2015 May; 20(4): 219-220. doi: 10.1093/pch/20.4.219)
No – homeopathy and vaccination do not belong together
Homeopathy cannot claim the “invention” of vaccination, nor does the claim that it is possible to be “vaccinated” homeopathically stand up to criticism. It is not only basic homeopathic principles, but also the errors and confusion in the history of nosodes, which provide compelling evidence that vaccination and homeopathy only seem to have some in common on the surface. Homeopathic vaccinations and nosode teachings only enrich the repertoire of the internal and external contradictions of the homeopathic thought building. Especially since these postulates are very dangerously based on thought patterns that are widespread in the vaccination scene.
Do not trust “homeopathic vaccinations”, which are offered today even for tropical diseases. You will receive nothing but the homeopathic “nothing” instead of the desired immune protection – which can have evil consequences. And “homeopathic drainages” or “treatments” of “vaccination problems” with nosodes are ineffective and superfluous.