Contributing writer for Wake Up World
Originally published at mercola.com and reproduced here with permission.
For years, homeopathy has been unfairly maligned by the American Medical Association (AMA), FDA and mainstream medicine as a worthless placebo that lacks any scientific evidence of effectiveness.
If you listen to these aggressive mainstream critics, you would never know that homeopathy was originally a well-accepted medical practice taught in medical schools, which conferred degrees in the specialty. There were even homeopathic hospitals and the practice was supported by governments and influential leaders.
Homeopathy was developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician to the royal family, who was appalled at the traditional medical practices of his day, such as bloodletting and the administration of mercury and arsenic that did more harm than good.
What began Hahnemann’s inquiries was learning that quinine — the bark of the cinchona tree — treated the effects of malaria by producing a condition similar to it, a principle known as the law of similars, or “like cures like.”1
The documentary “Just One Drop” reveals the medical history of homeopathy, its widespread, global usage, benefits to patients and its continued maligning by mainstream medicine.
Dawn of a New Idea
Hahnemann began as a traditional physician but left medicine in pursuit of a better way because of the harm he was seeing, according to “Just One Drop.” After learning about quinine’s actions on malaria, Hahnemann began experimenting with other substances and various dilutions to reduce their toxicities in remedies.
He soon discovered “succussion,” a method of shaking the solutions with a bang that still remains a cornerstone of homeopathy, though today succussion is often performed by machines. The effects of succussion explain why nanoparticles in homeopathic remedies still have effect, say practitioners.
Extrapolating from quinine’s effect on malaria, Hahnemann soon found other remedies the medical profession was not using or aware of. Ipecacuanha, a flowering plant in the Rubiaceae family, could be used to treat coughs, and belladonna, a perennial also called deadly nightshade, related to tomatoes and potatoes, could treat scarlet fever.2
It is ironic that in 1790, like today, Hahnemann’s discoveries initially drew ridicule and derision from his colleagues, though they later embraced homeopathy. At the time, bloodletting, mercury and arsenic were considered safer or more effective than homeopathic remedies; today, antibiotics, other drugs and even surgeries are considered better. We have not come very far.
The Story of Lucas
“Just One Drop” tells the moving story of the Korn family’s son Lucas, whose response to homeopathy was remarkable. The story begins with video footage of Nancy Korn’s happy pregnancy and follows her into the delivery room. At first her newborn son, Lucas, seemed like a normal child but he gradually began losing eye contact with his parents and stopped responding to his name. “I knew he had autism,” Nancy says; a diagnosis that was soon confirmed.
By the age of 5, Lucas was still not talking and the Korns had learned that if a child does not talk by that age, he or she probably never will. Video in “Just One Drop” shows Lucas engaged in repetitive movements, flapping his arms wildly and staring into space, oblivious to his parents — behaviors often associated with autism. The Korns were heartbroken. “Is a speech pathologist the best you can do for us?” father, Evan Korn, says he asked the doctors treating Lucas.
What Seemed Like a Last Resort Was the Answer
Having tried mainstream medicine with no results, Nancy found Dr. Luc De Schepper, a homeopathic doctor who notes that trying homeopathy “last” is common. After the first treatment with a homeopathic remedy prescribed by De Schepper, Lucas made eye contact.
The immediate responses were so dramatic, Nancy says she began to second-guess herself and doubt the remedies could work that quickly. But Lucas continued to improve. One day, he began speaking and then, reading. “He went from no language to singing the alphabet,” exclaims Nancy, as video shows the mother and son interacting as they never had before.
“Just One Drop” details other such improvements. A cinematographer says he contracted the dreaded MRSA infection, which resisted traditional medical treatment and worsened, becoming very serious. Homeopathy treated it.
A professional clarinet player says his hay fever threatened his career and no traditional medications helped. After treatment with homeopathic remedies, he has never had hay fever again, he says, happily tooting on his clarinet.
Homeopathy Used After Surgery
Dr. Franklin McCoy, a homeopath who passed away in 2015, recounts in this 2014 Epoch Times article how he achieved a quick response to homeopathy used post-surgery:3
“Nux vomica, a homeopathic remedy made from the poison-nut tree, has been used for more than 200 years as a homeopathic remedy. It was used by the founder of the homeopathic school of medicine, Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., who described the remedy in his work ‘Materia Medica Pura’ in 1811.
A patient of mine was in his hospital room following surgery. He asked why he was in the hospital, didn’t want to be there, and attempted to get up to leave. On experiencing pain in the leg that was just operated on, he winced and lay back down.
‘Open your mouth,’ I said. He did, and I put a dose of Nux on this tongue. Within 30 seconds, the patient was sleeping peacefully. What happened? He had had general anesthesia for his operation. General anesthesia, one of the great contributions of modern medicine, has a side effect — liver toxicity.
In this case, the patient was demonstrating liver toxicity by an irritable mood, which was quite uncharacteristic. Nux antidoted this toxicity, and the patient went to sleep. On waking up later, his mellow demeanor returned.”
A Professional Golfer Discovers Homeopathy
Deborah Vidal qualified for the LPGA golf tour at the age of 23 and ranked 43rd in the world after two years. She played on the LPGA tour for 11 years. But despite her professional successes, Vidal’s health was deteriorating rapidly from the huge amounts of herbicides used on golf courses, which included Roundup and many others.4
“I had constant respiratory infections that almost always progressed toward pneumonia,” says Vidal. “Even though a surgeon reconstructed my sinuses, I still got sick all the time and had to leave the tour. The surgeon said a polyp in my sinus that he removed was likely caused by the chemicals used on the golf course.”
Vidal finally tried homeopathy with positive results. After one year, she no longer got respiratory infections and once her lungs were built back up she continued to work on detoxifying her body.
Vidal was so impressed with the power of homeopathy, she made it her “life’s journey to help people detox their bodies all the way down to the cellular level,” and learned all she could about homeopathy. She studied with two masters in India and had her own homeopathy practice for 22 years. She now produces podcasts and teachings to further public knowledge of homeopathy’s benefits.
Homeopathy Attacked by Mainstream Medicine
For decades, homeopathy has been used by practitioners of allopathic medicine as a kind of boogeyman to frighten would-be patients. It is nothing but a placebo promoted by hucksters they charge.
The anti-homeopathic movement reached its zenith in 2015 when the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council published an “Information Paper” on homeopathy that claimed to look at the published research about its effectiveness and categorically discredited it. “There are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective,” concluded the report.5
Though the report produced a worldwide backlash against homeopathy, Gerry Dendrinos, who had worked in the health sector for the Australian government for several years, suspected the report might contain bias, says “Just One Drop.”
He was right. Not only did he find financial conflicts of interest associated with one of the Australian report’s researchers, he found that another researcher who had identified homeopathic effectiveness was abruptly terminated from the research project.
Omitting Positive Homeopathic Studies
Dendrinos and other skeptics he was working with also found that the subject cut-off used to consider a homeopathic study in the Australian report — 150 subjects — excluded many homeopathic studies, including one of the most convincing studies that had 144 subjects.6 Was it a coincidence? Dendrinos felt not. The omitted study, published in the Lancet, read:7
“The hypothesis that homoeopathic potencies are placebos was tested in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The study model chosen compared the effects of a homoeopathic preparation of mixed grass pollens with placebo in 144 patients with active hayfever. The homoeopathically treated patients showed a significant reduction in patient and doctor assessed symptom scores.
The significance of this response was increased when results were corrected for pollen count and the response was associated with a halving of the need for antihistamines. An initial aggravation of symptoms was noted more often in patients receiving the potency and was followed by an improvement in that group. No evidence emerged to support the idea that placebo action fully explains the clinical responses to homoeopathic drugs.”
Homeopathy Does Not Work by the Placebo Effect
There is no question that homeopathy works and cannot be dismissed or explained by the placebo effect. For example, how would the so-called placebo effect explain the results of remedies administered to animals, asks Vidal, who treats hers and others’ pets with homeopathic remedies.
“I remember one time when my cat was moaning in pain and seemed to be dying. After I gave him a homeopathic remedy, he was running around two hours later. Nor can the placebo effect explain results seen in 3- or 6-month-old infants, says a homeopath in “Just One Drop.”
We Know That Homeopathy Works, but How?
Since, after dilution and succussion, not even one molecule of the original substance remains in the remedy, what explains the action? Many in “Just One Drop” admit the actions can be mysterious. But it is believed there is a physics-based “quantum structure” explanation, in which information in the water is transferred to the pellet, say the homeopaths in the documentary.
Vidal agrees. “Allopathic thinking measures substance but in homeopathy we are not measuring substance but energy,” says Vidal, “The mechanism of action comes from the fact that water molecules take on a photographic image of the energy footprint and vibration of the substance.”
Whatever the mechanism, the effectiveness of homeopathy is confirmed daily in the work of homeopaths and the results their patients are seeing from the “like cures like” homeopathy philosophy.
About the Director
I believe in bringing quality to my readers, which is why I wanted to share some information about the creator, Laurel Chiten, from “Just One Drop.” Here is a little more about Chiten and what goes in to making these films. Thank you to Laurel for sharing with us.
Laurel Chiten is an award-winning filmmaker who has been influencing social issues for over 30 years. Her high-profile films have screened at film festivals around the world; at universities and medical schools; won numerous awards; been nominated for a national Emmy and been broadcast on PBS’s Emmy winning national series, Independent Lens, and POV. The intention in all her work is to entertain her audiences while educating them.
Her previous films have gained her acknowledgment and respect from doctors, researchers and institutions including Harvard Medical School, UCLA, MIT, and Harvard University, Laurel was an artist in residence at the Bellagio Conference and Study Center sponsored by Rockefeller Foundation, Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony.
She is the CEO of Blind Dog Films. She currently works with Gathr Films as Head of Acquisitions, campaign manager, and marketing guru. Since the success of her film JUST ONE DROP, Laurel has fallen in love with marketing. Laurel is currently developing a program to teach filmmakers how to think like entrepreneurs — employing digital marketing tactics to help build audiences, get films done, and create both impact and income.
What was your inspiration for making this film?
I was a skeptic. Like most people, I found myself in a homeopaths office because I had run out of options. The homeopath I want to was an MD who had been practicing homeopathy exclusively for decades. His passion for this system of medicine was infectious. This sparked my curiosity.
But the flame that kept me going for years while I was making the film was hearing countless stories of how homeopathy had radically impacted people’s lives. At the same time, I felt that homeopathy had been misrepresented and maligned for over 200 years. I made, Just One Drop, to uncover the story behind the controversy of homeopathy. This is a film that goes beyond just homeopathy. It is about freedom of choice in healthcare.
What was your favorite part of making the film?
The people I met. The friends I made. Touring the world and experiencing the impact this film has had on individuals and communities.
Where do the proceeds to your film go?
All proceeds go back into the marketing and distribution of the film.
- 1, 2 Cook, Trevor (1981). Samuel Hahnemann Founder of Homeopathy. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, pp.96–7; Dudgeon, pp.338–340 & pp.394–408
- 3 Epoch Times, January 7, 2014 Updated: January 5, 2014
- 4 vidalspeaks.com and phone interview
- 5 The Australian Report Homeopathy Research Institute
- 6, 7 Lancet 1986 Oct 18;2(8512):881-6
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About the author:
Born and raised in the inner city of Chicago, IL, Dr. Joseph Mercola is an osteopathic physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Mercola served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for five years, and in 2012 was granted fellowship status by the American College of Nutrition (ACN).
While in practice in the late 80s, Dr. Mercola realized the drugs he was prescribing to chronically ill patients were not working. By the early 90s, he began exploring the world of natural medicine, and soon changed the way he practiced medicine.
In 1997 Dr. Mercola founded Mercola.com, which is now routinely among the top 10 health sites on the internet. His passion is to transform the traditional medical paradigm in the United States. “The existing medical establishment is responsible for killing and permanently injuring millions of Americans… You want practical health solutions without the hype, and that’s what I offer.”