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20 years ago: The British Homoeopathic Journal, July 1989
Received11 May 2009
accepted11 May 2009
15 December 2017 (online)
Homoeopathy and homeostasis in the vascular system – Part 1
This two-part paper by Thomas P Crotty offers a novel, experimentally derived explanation of how homeopathic remedies might work. It is published here at the suggestion of the editor, Peter Fisher, as an expansion of a short article published elsewhere. Part 1 has three long sections, and Part 2 (not covered here) has a further two. The paper is complex and dense, especially the experimental section, requiring concentrated attention; but if the conclusions are valid, it is worth the effort.
The two-fold aim of the work is to provide experimental evidence for the Law of Similars, and to show how it contributes to homeostasis in the body. In the first section, the author discusses the general main-line pharmacological view that substances can only produce one type or direction of response in any given situation. In some painstaking work, using the saphenous vein of the dog, the author demonstrated a dual action; for example, a dilator effect of noradrenaline when least expected, and which would not easily be detected. There are 15 figures. The graphs in Figures 2 and 3 show the unexpected pressure dip (as a result of dilatation) in the curve resulting from the standard constrictor effect on a blood vessel stimulated by the drug. The second section describes experiments in which noradrenaline, isoprenaline and acetylcholine were used to both constrict and dilate the saphenous vein by direct action on its smooth muscle.
The vasa vasorum, the fine network of vessels surrounding the larger vessels, is the main site of interest in this paper; dealt with in depth in Section 3. The author suggests, on the basis of his experimental evidence, an intricate mechanism by which this structure achieves homeostasis in a dog's vein; and provides a physiological basis for the Law of Similars. The final seven pages give a detailed explanation of how the author reached this conclusion. He stated: “The most striking feature of noradrenaline, isoprenaline and acetylcholine when released from the vasa (the peripheral – P surface) is the fact that their effects on the vein are the reverse of those produced when they stimulate the vein through its luminal (central – C) surface. It is important to note that this reversal takes place in a situation where virtually all the smooth muscle cells are homogenous and all are circularly orientated. In the circumstances it is reasonable to assume they all have identical drug receptor populations”. In Section 3.6, the author discusses the comparison of P and C threshold concentrations (the concentration of a drug which causes a barely detectable response in a vein or other tissue); and in Section 3.7 the implications of the gap between the two: “It is the existence of a gap between the P and C threshold concentrations of drugs which makes homoeopathic medicine possible. By using minimal doses, the homoeopath stimulates tissues through the surfaces which have the highest sensitivity to drugs. By using minimal dose levels the homoeopath ensures that the drugs act through one surface of a tissue; this avoids debilitating autoinhibitory effects and helps to achieve maximum efficiency”. Thus only the effects of higher concentrations of such biologically active substances would normally be observed in traditional test methods, and that only in homoeopathic preparations would the effects of much lower concentrations be observed.
In Section 4 of Part 2, in a later issue, Crotty extrapolated his findings to the circulatory system in general; while Section 5 examines the nature of homoeopathic activity in the light of the new knowledge. It suggests how homeopathy works and how the homeopathic physician can maximize the effectiveness of his prescribed drugs. It is not possible for me to comment on the complex details of the experimentation, but they would probably be of great interest to those more familiar with vascular physiology.[ 1 ]
- 1 Crotty T.P. Homoeopathy and homoeostasis in the vascular system – part 1. Br Hom J 1989; 78: 127-148.
- 2 Hughes-Games J. Advanced study – Arsenicum album. Br Hom J 1989; 78: 149-155.
- 3 Curé N. Trials and tribulations of the homoeopathic material medica. Br Hom J 1989; 78: 156-165.
- 4 Coulter C.R. Portraits of homoeopathic medicines – book review. Br Hom J 1989; 78: 177
- 5 Lodispoto A. La tipologia del remedio omeopatico – book review. Br Hom J 1989; 78: 178