LIKE CURES LIKE, EVEN IN COURT!
It’s no secret that homeopathy has drawn skeptics. Detractors claim that active ingredients in many homeopathic supplements are diluted to the point of uselessness—even absence. Some consider these remedies as being in the same class as simple sugar pills with no effect beyond placebo. Yet despite such adversity from critics of this alternative mode of medicine, it may now be harder for those critics to make their case. Homeopathy just scored a relative win in court when Hyland’s, a manufacturer of homeopathic remedies, came under fire for alleged false representation of products to provide symptom relief.
Alternative Medicine spoke to Jeffery Margulies, defense lawyer for Hyland’s, about the effect this could have on homeopathy at large. “The plaintiffs claimed homeopathy doesn’t work, so the products were not effective,” said Margulies. “The burden in this case was on the plaintiff to demonstrate that homeopathy doesn’t work. It wasn’t on Hyland’s to demonstrate that it did work. And that turned out to be quite a bit harder than the plaintiffs’ attorneys were expecting it to be.”
And on that front, the plaintiffs failed. When reputable scientists support a claim, it doesn’t become false simply because others oppose it. “We put up a lot of science that supported the concept of homeopathy, and it’s not as one-sided as some would have you believe it,” said Margulies.
Among testimony from other experts, Iris Bell, MD, PhD, former Harvard psychiatry instructor and part-time consultant for Hyland’s, testified on the homeopathy giant’s behalf. She spoke about the creation of nanoparticles during the manufacturing process of homeopathic medications, that they are being found—even at levels where there shouldn’t be anything present— and how that is a potential action mechanism for homeopathy working.
“It’s an unqualified win at this point. It’s not proof that homeopathy works, but it is a rebuke to those who claim that it doesn’t work,” said Margulies.
Saved by the Bell The finding of nanoparticles in homeopathic medicines has been replicated across many labs in multiple countries, according to Dr. Bell. Homeopathic remedies begin with a medicinal substance, which is repeatedly diluted in a solution of double-distilled water and shaken vigorously between successive dilutions, a process called seccussion. While the bulk form is lost, the substance leaves behind nanoparticles containing it’s healing properties. This follows the widely accepted concept of hormesis, defined by the Natural Center for Biotechnology as a biphasic dose response to an environmental agent characterized by a low-dose stimulatory (beneficial) effect and a high-dose inhibitory (toxic) effect.
Dr. Bell’s achievements in the field include research, randomized placebocontrolled trials on homeopathic supplements, and two published data papers on nanoparticles. Dr. Bell also supports homeopathy with a wealth of evidence from other literature and clinical trials. Here’s what she has to say on nanoparticles.
>> The seccussion process may contribute to the accumulation of nanoparticles as consecutively potent supplements are made. Bulk forms of active ingredients may be left behind due to dilution, however nanoscale forms persist, at least in part because of the seccussion procedures that are a key aspect of how higher-potency homeopathic medicines are made.