Table 1

Parallels between homeopathic and modern scientific research literatures
Homeopathic Literature Relevant Modern Scientific Literature
Disease is the manifestation of “dynamic mistunement” of the living system (life force) [40] Disease is the current manifestation of failure to adapt or compensate for allostatic overload from convergence of biological, chemical, physical, and psychological stressors on the nonlinear adaptive stress response network, which is embedded within the larger complex network of the overall organism [95,144]
Homeopathic remedies are made with trituration and/or serial dilutions and succussions of source material, usually in glass containers, which generate nanoparticles of source and source adsorbed to silica nanoparticles in colloidal solution [1-3,24,64] Nanoparticles can initiate hormetic low dose responses in the organism (adaptive or compensatory changes opposite in direction to the effects of the agent at higher doses) [16]
Remedies prepared and succussed in polypropylene or polyethylene vials could also have polymer-derived nanoparticles, but with different properties from those made in glass [1]. Nanoparticles have high surface to volume area and quantum-like properties. They differ from bulk source materials in exhibiting greater ability to translocate around the body and into cells, as well as increased catalytic activity, adsorptive capacity, and different electrical, magnetic, optical, and thermal properties from molecules of the “same” bulk material [33,48,53,60].
Biological structures, e.g., DNA, proteins, or collagen, adsorbed to exogenous nanosilica and other specific nanoparticle structures, e.g., calcium phosphate or gold, serve as epitaxial templates for bottom up self assembly of new biomaterials [76,239,242]

Higher potencies (more dilution and succussion steps) have longer lasting effects on living systems [243] (succussion involves intense mechanical shaking of the solution by pounding the glass container against a hard elastic surface)

Succussion in glass containers releases variable amounts of silica as nanoparticles [4]; remedy samples prepared in glass vs polypropylene containers differ in physico-chemical properties [1]

Direction of effects of sequential remedy potencies can be nonlinear (oscillatory) in pattern [12]

Succussion, like modern microfluidization techniques [51], introduces cycles of fluid acceleration and turbulence with repeated changes in the direction of flow, producing the potential for particle collision and shear forces to break off smaller and smaller particles. These procedures, while different from each other and from sonication as a technique for agitating solutions and producing nanoparticles, share the ability to create nanobubbles and shear forces. Nanoparticle research suggests that there are nonlinear relationships between the number of microfluidization cycles or sonication time and variations in the sizes, morphologies, and physico-chemical properties of the “same” bulk-form material substance [52,53,244].
Such data suggest the hypothesis that different amounts and forces of succussion should also generate different sizes, morphologies, and physico-chemical properties of homeopathic remedy source and remedy-modified silica nanoparticles [64].
Silica [128,245] and polystyrene [246] nanoparticles are used in conventional nanomedicine as drug/gene delivery vehicles
Direction of effects of sequential nanoparticle cluster sizes can be nonlinear (oscillatory) in pattern [48]
Pulsed dosing regimens of low doses (single or intermittent repetitions of remedy doses, widely spaced in time) exert persistent effects on physiology and behavior [13,14,154,159,243] Low doses of nanoparticles can serve as highly reactive environmental stressors, not simply as pharmacological agents [187], for the organism to initiate allostatic adaptations over time. These endogenous changes compensate for and protect against other cross-adapted or cross-sensitized stressors (i.e., the adaptations already in place from the cumulative effects of disease-causing events on the same components of the stress response network) [5,95].
Single or intermittent repetitions of low intensity levels of a foreign stressor or substance initiate a process of progressive endogenous response amplification over time (TDS, time-dependent sensitization) [98]
At the physiological limits of the system, the direction of sensitized responses become nonlinear (oscillatory) and reverse direction in pattern [7,180,181,186]
In an intact person, patterning of remedy responses sometimes includes transient worsening (aggravations) and, when clinically successful, follows Hering’s Law of Cure (center of gravity of disease moves from top to bottom of organism; from more important to less important organs; and in reverse order of occurrence in time) [238] Central nervous system pathways are a major hub for regulating the allostatic stress response network of the body, interacting with hubs of the immune, endocrine, and autonomic nervous system to generate the overall global and local patterns of responses across the organism to any type of environmental stressor [6,134].
However, homeopathic remedies can also exert measurable effects on living cells as complex adaptive systems or networks [7-9,12,108,147,173]. However, living cells are also complex adaptive networks unto themselves. As such, cell systems can self-reorganize their biochemical functional networks in response to a stressor such as heat shock without requiring the rest of a larger network or brain [93,142].
Overcompensation of hormetic adaptations to a low level stressor can lead to salutary allostatic effects on the organism or complex adaptive network [247-249]
Human beings are complex adaptive systems that are self-organized, with interactive global and local patterns of adaptive behavior that modify each other’s functional behaviors [21,23,94]

Bell and Koithan

Bell and Koithan BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 12:191   doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-191

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