Monday, December 17, 2007
It was published in Avena, Journal of the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists, Summer 2007 and is reproduced here with permission of the Editor.
The use of drop doses in herbal medicine.
Dr. J. Rozencwajg, MD, PhD, NMD.
Like most of us, I have been taught the standard dosage of herbal tinctures as 5mls TID of the mixture prescribed to the adult patient and in proportion to body weight for children.
Within my first few prescriptions, I was confronted with two problems: the filthy taste of the remedies (take it in juice solved that one), and the high price. Another one appeared soon: the solutions were working well but with many digestive side effects. Following in the footsteps of my guru Sammy Hahnemann, I started reducing the doses and to my “surprise” (or should I write “as expected”), the efficiency was as good, while the side effects faded away and the price became a lot more affordable.
Nowadays, depending upon the perceived sensitivity of the patient, I start with 5 drops TID, climbing to a cruising dose of 30 drops TID, if need be.
Some very sensitive patients are having good results with 1 (ONE) drop in a glass of water, sipping during the day. The homeopath in me is not surprised, but how could that happen in terms of phytopharmacology and physiology? Yet I am not alone to practice that way in the herbal world: a few years ago, the famous herbalist Henrietta Kress was asked on a discussion list “what is the minimal dose of remedy that would work”; her answer was “one drop, if the remedy is well indicated”.
And that is where the secret lies: the proper, precise choice of the remedy or mix of remedies.
Let’s look at two examples from my practice; unfortunately I am not allowed to present the full cases, so a summary will have to do.
An elderly patient with heart failure and irregular pulse; he was given high doses of Crataegus, to no avail. He also complained of a painful sensation in the liver area and a feeling as if the heart would stop when turning in bed. All those symptoms put together are typical of Digitalis; yet digitalis or its conventional refined alkaloid digoxin is not often prescribed due to the closeness of therapeutic and toxic levels….at classical, conventional doses. I prescribed Digitalis 3X, which is a one –thousandth dilution (1:1000), 3 drops 3x/day; all symptoms disappeared within a few days.
Another patient (one out of a few with the same story) was having liver and gallbladder “problems”, not very specific. I was considering the usual mix of a few liver remedies while conducting the anamnesis, when the systematic questioning brought out the specific symptom that there was an associated pain at the tip of the right shoulder blade at the same time there was an increase of the liver/gallbladder symptoms; this is a keynote of the remedy Chelidonium which was prescribed at 1 drop 3 times/day of the tincture, with complete resolution of all the liver symptoms.
At those very low doses, the risk of intoxication or bad reaction is clearly almost nil, except for an allergic reaction.
How does it work? Conventional pharmacology teaches us that we need a certain amount of substance to act on receptors, enzymatic reactions or any other mechanism to have an effect and implies a dose-related effect: the higher the dose, the stronger the action, up to toxicity, and there is a linear relation.
Let me introduce you to the old and purposely forgotten pharmacological Law of Arndt-Schultz: low doses stimulates, medium dose regulates and high dose depresses; you will find this in old pharmacology textbooks, but is considered as a fluke, an abnormality by modern pharmacologists; nevertheless this has been demonstrated many times in laboratory conditions: when the dose of an active substance is sufficiently low, it often acts in the opposite way a high dose would; the dose-related, linear relation is always present at higher doses, the so-called therapeutic doses of conventional medicine and conventional phytotherapy.
The drop dose technique is situated at the extreme lower end of the linear relation, closer or within the area of regulation; therefore it still has the therapeutic potential of conventional dosage while regulating the systems it addresses but not yet presenting an inversion of indications, although this latter part is inherent to the therapeutic effect of the remedy.
It is within this area of pharmacology that the Homeobotanical remedies do work: they have the attributes of the herbal remedy and the attributes of the homeopathic remedy without the potential toxicity of the high herbal doses and the deeper effects of the homeopathic remedies.
Although Homeobotanical remedies are potentised (or dynamized, succussed, if you prefer) before using them, clinical experience with single herbs in dilution but not potentised has demonstrated clear efficiency.
Many herbalists consider homeopathy and potentised remedies as bogus science; so be it, it is not my purpose to discuss this here. Nevertheless the clinical information contained in homeopathic materia medicas overlaps and completes the one we find in phytotherapic textbooks, and reciprocally. Using that knowledge increases and widens the indications of many of our herbs while giving us the potential to use them more effectively, more sparingly and at lower cost to the patient.
The only effort has to come from our side, to know our herbs more in detail, to understand how they are used within different modalities so that we can have more precise and refined tools for cure.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Nevertheless, some people end up with skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
Conventional treatment with surgery is often mutilating and painful.
I have designed a very simple way using a vegetable many of us grow in their gardens or buy in the supermarket.
You can download a power point presentation at www.nzamh.org.nz/research.asp with all the details, the techniques and some striking results.
It is free, you can copy it and forward it, just be nice and mention your reference as I would like to receive pictures before and after treatment for statistical analysis.
Enjoy the summer!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Transmission of energetic information in the body: its relevance to homeopathic remedies and to other energetic healing approaches.
No matter how we decide upon a homeopathic prescription, the final step will always be the transmission of the information contained in the remedy to the target, be it a specific organ, a function or an operating system at the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual level.
Through what mechanism does that happen? How is it that the same point of entry, generally the mouth, is able to act anywhere in the body when there is no material substance involved as in conventional pharmacology? Is there a common mechanism with other energetic forms of therapy?
Speed of action.
Especially in acute situations, a correct remedy would have an almost immediate effect but with a measurable time delay, although never the same due to the variability of situations, patients or intensity of symptoms. This time delay excludes a transmission through the nervous system where the nerve impulse, although measurable, is too fast to be perceptible to human senses and appears almost as an immediate reaction.
By the same token it also eliminates endocrine reactions, as those are too slow, needing recognition of the stimulus by the gland, fabrication and excretion of the hormone, arrival to the target and action time.
This is a clear parallel with the speed of action of acupuncture or auriculotherapy. Once a needle is inserted, especially if using a single needle approach, there is also a delay in reaction even though the patient often describes it as immediate but nevertheless can also describe the different phases of action, like “I feel something is arriving there, now I feel as if a weight is lifted, there is some heat, now everything is normal”, again pointing towards a slower action than the nervous system would provide but indeed faster than any metabolic or endocrine mechanism could explain.
The acupunctural approach.
It has long be claimed that acupuncture points are low resistance areas through which the needle inserted changes the electrolytic arrangement of the fluids located between organs and tissues; indeed most if not all meridians have their pathways between organs and tissues. Yet that electrolyte rearrangement has never been really proved.
C.W. Smith in 1988 demonstrated that when injecting radioactive isotopes at acupuncture points, they would travel along the meridians at the speed of 3 to 5 cm per minute, and that this speed would be diminished when the related organ is diseased (1)
Recently, Fei & all. have demonstrated that the transmission of information along the meridians effectively happens through a structural modification in the liquid crystals of water along the meridian (2). This has been reinforced by the recent studies of Emoto about the formation of different water crystals in different circumstances; even if his research is challenged as not being reproducible by other researchers, nevertheless the fact that the same H2O molecules can reorganize themselves differently according to different stimuli cannot be denied any more. But this is not a new discovery: although I could not find the written reference, one of the most ancient experiments in water crystallography has been to document ice crystals brought from high mountains, let them thaw at room temperature, refreeze them and realize that they were crystallizing in exactly the same pattern as before; yet when melted with heat, the new crystals were totally amorphous.
And this is exactly what has been claimed about homeopathic remedies: that the water retains the crystalline organization imbued on it by the original substance and that this structural arrangement has the ability to act on receptors, otherwise known as “Water Memory”.
The water molecule is not linear but presents an angle of 104.5 degrees, creating a dipole moment; short-range interaction, hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces link the water molecules in a network, which is even better seen in three dimensions in ice. While the temperature is below 100C, it appears that those bonds can create the shape of tetrahedral volumes that form and remain stable, leading to areas of quasi-crystalline structures (Stillinger, 1980 (3) cited in Bellavite and Signori (4) pg 247). Those structures change when a different molecule is introduced in the solution and create a phenomenon known as “vicinal water” (ref 4, pg 248), which is denser than normal water and freezes way below zero. Vicinal water is implicated in biological communication systems (5). It also appears that water molecules participate in the transfer of protons during biochemical reactions, like a wire carrying an electrical charge. At boiling temperature (i.e. 100C) the water molecules are agitated by forces stronger than the hydrogen bonds and the van der Waals forces, losing their geometric arrangement and their ability to retain information. This explains simply the traditional use of boiling vessels that contained homeopathic remedies before reusing them; it is the equivalent of fully erasing a diskette or a tape before the next use.
Every stimulus carries some information that will be transmitted by the most appropriate net and often by all of them. But the nervous system can only transmit information in the form of electrical impulses after a threshold of stimulation has been reached. The meridian system works differently; a stimulus/information given at a receptor (= acupuncture point or meridian opening) will act on the structure of the water molecules as described above, modifying their geometry and their electrical or electromagnetic potential; once that information reaches the target which is ready and in need of receiving it, it acts upon it and ideally restores the organ or function to integrity; other parts that are not in need of that information do not react to it and behave as if it was nothing but “white noise”.
The meridian system is the first information net that develops in the embryo and remains functional to the adult state (Shang, ref # 6); because it is relatively slow, it is replaced for fast information by the nervous system and enhanced by the endocrine system in order to provide slower but deeper action. All those systems remain interconnected and act on each other as is well know in conventional medicine and physiology under the label “psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrine system”.
How does this have any implication with homeopathy?
Homeopaths mostly prescribe their remedies to be taken orally, held in the mouth until complete dissolution if using globules or until disappearance if using drops or teaspoons of liquid.
All the meridians open up in the mouth, either directly or through a branch.
The Lung Meridian passes by the throat.
The Large Intestine Meridian enters the lower gum; its direct connection with the Lung Meridian allows for the latter’s connection with the mouth.
The Stomach Meridian penetrates the maxilla in the upper gum.
The Spleen Meridian reaches the root of the tongue and disperses over it lower surface.
The Heart Meridian has no direct connection to the mouth, but an indirect one through the Small Intestine Meridian that travels to the cheek and the mandible.
The Bladder Meridian has no direct connection to the mouth, but is linked to the Kidney Meridian, which end at the root of the tongue.
The Pericardium Meridian has no direct connection but is linked with the Triple Burner whose trajectory includes winding down around the cheek.
The Gallbladder Meridian travels down the cheek after running on the mandible.
A branch of the Liver Meridian runs through the cheeks and contours the inside of the lips.
Moreover, they are all linked at many levels to the Governor Vessel and the Conception Vessel which are both ramifying in the mouth. (7).
Therefore it makes sense to conclude that the remedy directly modifies the water crystalline structure of the meridians, hence transmitting the information to the whole body, the same way the acupuncture needles do through the skin. A remedy that is not a proper Simillimum, but a partial one, will modify the water structure according to its nature but the end result on the receptors or the target organs or functions will be an incomplete match resulting in a partial action and remaining or recurring symptoms. If the incorrect stimulation persists through improper multiple repetitions of the wrong remedy with partial action, the receptors themselves might be modified either temporarily, giving the symptoms and signs we look for in a proving, or permanently, giving the seldom encountered but dreaded grafting of symptoms, which we know is very difficult to reverse.
This imparts also some logic to the widely held practice of taking homeopathic remedies on a clean mouth: the receptors must be empty from any other substance and we know that the stronger a substance is (spices, oils....) the longer it will linger in the mouth, as a lasting taste or sensation remaining long after swallowing testifies.
It also gives more weight to the practice of liquid doses as a globule dissolved in water will provide more information throughout the mouth than just sucking a globule or a small granule where the probability of stimulating the proper meridian is slightly less.
When the mouth is unavailable, we teach to rub the liquid remedy on the inner parts of the wrist or the bend of the elbows as being very effective. It is at those places that are located the major acupuncture command points of the Yin meridians and the origins of the connecting vessels between Yin and Yang meridians, giving again a logical explanation to a traditional use.
Wrist: Taiyuan (Lung 9), Daling (Pericardium 7), Shenmen (Heart 7)
Bend of the elbow: Chize (Lung 5), Quze (Pericardium 3), Shaohai (Heart 3)
This explanation can be expanded to include every other energetic form of medicine.
Reiki practitioners use energy to modify functions; even though a general treatment is the preferred method, local application of Reiki and distance healing could work through the same pattern of information transmitted via the meridian system. Qigong practitioners use a form of energetic acupuncture by “injecting” Qi in the appropriate acupuncture points without the use of needles. I have often used this technique by administering locally the energy of a remedy in the local acupuncture points without touching the patient (it works best, in my hands, for local acute problems but I had a few successes with chronic local problems; the therapy is purely symptomatic and offers relief and time for a more general treatment).
Rife therapy, by applying specific electromagnetic frequencies, would reach its target the same way. The vibrational aspect of essential oils, the potentised part of Homeobotanical remedies, all are eventually coming together as transmission of information through the archaic meridian system, with the additional benefit of a gentle pharmacological action.
The pharmacological part of medicine, be it all the different forms of herbalism (Western, Chinese, Ayurveda,…) or even drug therapy, would certainly have an impact on the meridian system, explaining the puzzling effects that very low doses still act, albeit in the opposite way (Arndt-Schultz Law). A very famous herbalist, asked what the minimal dose required to act was, answered “one drop, if the herb is well chosen”.
Osteopathy appears to be a purely mechanistic therapy; yet its use in treating internal diseases like asthma, hypertension, digestive or gynecological problems, although explained in the textbooks through stimulation and correction of the ortho- and parasympathetic systems, correlates very well with the locations of acupunctural “command” areas. For example, asthma and respiratory problems will often be treated through adjustments around Thoracic 3 corresponding to Bladder 13, Shu point of the Lung Meridian.
Understanding this mode of transmission allows us to realize that any method can and will have an effect on the human physiology. It is the precise choice and judicious application of that method that makes it more indicated than another for a specific patient or a specific problem. It once again demonstrates the need for a wider knowledge of different methodologies. But it also demonstrates that all those therapeutic methods are absolutely logical and can be explained through a deeper understanding of biophysics, quantum mechanics, information processing. The knowledge is there, the experiments are made and published, and it is up to us to use them for the benefit of our patients and the propagation of our science.
1. Smith C. W. Biological coherence and response to external stimuli. Springer Verlag, Berlin, p. 205
2. Fei Lun & al. Experimental exploration and research prospect of physical bases and functional characteristics of meridians. Science Bulletin 1998 43(15): 1233-1251
3. Stillinger, F. H. 1980, Water revisited. Science 209:451
4. Bellavite & Signori: The emerging science of homeopathy. North Atlantic Books 2002.
5. Bistolfi, F. 1989 Radiazioni non ionizzanti, ordine, disordine e biostrutture. Edizioni Minerva Medica, Torino
6. Shang, C. Electrophysiology of growth control and acupuncture. Life Sci. 2001 Feb 9; 68(12): 1333-42
7. Ellis, Wiseman. Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine, 1991. Paradigm Publications.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Energy savings: a potential ecological, environmental and health hazard.
Dr. J. Rozencwajg, MD, PhD, NMD.
Saving energy is the right thing to do nowadays and nothing is easier than replacing old incandescent light bulbs with the modern ones that use less electricity to produce the same amount of light, last longer and are often presented as having a more natural and healthier light spectrum.
We should all happily embrace that victory of science and technology and shower thanks on the inventors and manufacturers of this modern day simple weapon against pollution and global warming.
Does that sound sarcastic? Because it is.
Suspicious as I am that something that sounds too good to be true indeed is not that good, I tried to find out how this modern marvel works. That was not very difficult, it is all over the internet; in fact it works very much the same way as the fluorescent lights do, but the gas used is Mercury gas.
The amount of mercury in each bulb varies from 4 mg to 10 mg, with a majority of them around 5 mg.
The World Heath Organization (WHO) considers that a “safe” exposure to mercury is 0.05 mg/m3 for a maximum of 8 hours/day.
This means practically that should one bulb break, its 5 mg contents would contaminate a 100 cubic meter volume, or a volume of 4.65 meter in length, width and height or 7.07meters in length and width with a height of 2 meters. According to the US EPA rules, this type of contamination compels you to call the Environment agency that would send technicians in hazmats to decontaminate the area.
So imagine you are changing a light bulb in your house, it falls from your hands and it breaks; you sigh, have a big breath, take the broom, get close to the glass fragments and clean the mess: you have been massively intoxicated with mercury! It then seeps in the carpets, in the walls, stays in the air if you do not energetically ventilate the room; the rest of the family comes in, everybody is intoxicated with mercury, repeatedly if it is not eliminated.
Now imagine there is a small earthquake, the minor ones we are all living with, year in, year out; those new bulbs have fallen from the shelves in the shop and many are broken; not only will the cleaning crew, not wearing any protection, be poisoned, so will the shoppers until the mercury concentration drops low enough.
Or a truck bringing a load of the bulbs crashes: you will have a cloud of poison hanging around or pushed by winds into the closest city, part of it seeping in the soil and in the water, eventually coming into the food chain.
And as those bulbs eventually burn out and cannot be recycled, they end up dumped in the waste disposal area, breaking down and freeing the mercury, either as a gas or in the soil, therefore eventually going in the water and food we consume.
Yet, there is no mention on the packages that the bulbs contain mercury; they are not packaged or stored in a way that could prevent accidental breaking; there is no system to collect the used ones and render them innocuous; there is no warning anywhere about what should be done if one or many do break.
As we try to protect ourselves from obvious pollution, global warming and other niceties, we willingly introduce time bombs in our houses and cities; we are slowly creating more chronic diseases while under the delusion we are doing something good for us and for the planet.
According to the Textbook of Modern Toxicology by Hodgson and Levi, those are the possible health effects of mercury exposure: affection of the nervous system with the foetal brain being more sensitive, leading to cerebral palsy-like symptoms and mental deficiency; nephrotoxicity with oliguria, anuria and uraemia; and that is a very short and condensed summary.
Mercury is recognized by world authorities as being one of the most toxic metals for the human being (and animals….).
Why is it that the industry has once again be allowed to use a most powerful poison, distributed in one of the most fragile container? Indeed, those new bulbs have been a blessing for them, allowing them to dispose of the vast pile stock of mercury at a profit and with the congratulations of a scared world.
First fluoride in the water, then depleted uranium in weapons, now mercury in every household……..what is next?
This is not science-fiction! This is not the demented hallucination of a tree-hugger! This is not speculation for political gain or sensationalism! This is the daily danger we are now surrounded with, everywhere! Check it yourself!
Are we going to do something about it? Are you? Dr. J. Rozencwajg, MD, PhD, NMD.
Dr. J. Rozencwajg, MD, PhD, NMD.