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Editor's Correspondence
December 11/25, 2000

Some Gaps Cannot Be Bridged

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(22):3495-3496. doi:

We have read the article "Homeopathy Re-revisited"1 with interest and strongly disagree with the author's viewpoint that the homeopathic concept may be compatible with Western medical knowledge. To support his argument, Eskinazi maintains that the 2 basic principles of homeopathy, the law of similars and the claimed biological effect of very high (sub-Avogadro) dilutions, are not necessarily in conflict with current scientific observations. In homeopathic practice, however, the 2 different laws of similars are applied differently by homeopaths. The one put forward by Hahnemann2 himself dictates that an illness can be cured by administering a drug that, in the same dose, would cause similar symptoms in healthy subjects (the curative effect depends on a difference in biological response between diseased and healthy subjects). Hahnemann, therefore, usually administered a single dose, in order to avoid having his patients becoming ill again as a result of the toxic effects of the medication. Paul Wolf (1836) adapted the law of similars, ie, a disease can be cured by prescribing a very low dose of a substance that, in considerably higher doses, would cause symptoms similar to the disease (here the curative effect depends on the drug or, rather, the dose of the drug, and not on the patient).

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