Homeopathic ‘Suppression’- A ‘Theory’ That Reflects Severe Deficiency of Scientific Knowledge
Fear of ‘suppression of disease’ that may happen from ‘improper’ use of homeopathic drugs is the most prominent symptom of any ‘classical homeopath’, which indicates severe deficiency of scientific knowledge regarding the biochemistry of life, disease and cure. This ‘phobia’ is ‘inherited’ through generations of homeopaths, from ‘teachers’ to ‘students’, and ‘gurus’ to ‘disciples’. Modern ‘Gurus’ spin fanciful ‘theories of suppressions’, write and sell heavy books on their ‘theories’, and fly around the globe to conduct ‘expensive’ seminars to ‘educate’ the homeopathic community for the sole purpose of saving humanity from grave dangers imposed by homeopathic ‘suppressions’.
Those who are severely afflicted with this ‘deficiency syndrome’ will hesitate to prescribe even a single dose of potentized drug to their patient, fearing it may ‘drive in’ the disease from ‘external parts’ to ‘vital’ internal organs if the prescription somehow happens not to be the ‘most appropriate similimum’. They would shudder with fear of dangers of ‘suppression’ if somebody says they have applied some external ointments on eczematous lesion on the skin. According to them, homeopathic drugs are so ‘powerful’ and ‘dangerous’ that an inappropriate or untimely dose of a potentized drug may even kill the patient, or create irreversible disabilities. ‘Better not to prescribe, than prescribing wrongly and causing suppressions’.
Once in a seminar, I witnessed a ‘teacher’ dramatically presenting an incident of dangerous consequences of ‘homeopathic suppression’ he experienced by applying an untimely dose of lachesis 200 to his patient. He had given a ‘single’ dose of lachesis 200 to a 55 year old male patient for eczema. Patient came next week and reported improvement. No repetition of dose was necessary, but the physician wrongly happened to give one more ‘dose’ of lachesis 200. That night, he got a phone call from the wife of the patient, informing that her husband was admitted to ICU due to a massive cardiac arrest. The physician instantly realized that cardiac arrest was caused by the ‘driving in’ of eczema into heart, which is a ‘vital organ’ belonging to ‘inner layer’, due to the untimely repetition of lachesis. Physician was very sorry to have committed that ‘crime’, even though unknowingly. He concluded his demonstration with these remarks: ‘whereas allopathic drugs are missiles, our potentized drugs are atom bombs- handle it very caustiously’! Nobody in the seminar hall asked the question whether a ‘single dose’ of lachesis 200 can induce a coronary block and cardiac arrest!
That ‘teacher’ failed to understand that coronary thrombosis and cardiac arrest is the ultimate out come of a slow and long process of hyperlipidemia, degenerative changes of arteries, atherosclerosis and arterial blockage happening through years, which cannot happen with in 12 hours of administering an ‘untimely’ dose of lachesis 200. Even if that ‘dose’ was not given, that state of cardiac emergency would have happened. The most funny thing about homeopaths is that what ever happens to their patient after a ‘dose’, they would relate it with that ‘dose’ and reach conclusions. Homeopaths consider every ‘before-after’ relationship as ‘cause-effect’ relationship. We have earlier seen somewhere a ‘guru’ saying a “fracture happening on right arm after a dose of lachesis shows that the disease is travelling from left to right”!
I am ready to consume 30ml of lachesis 200 as ‘single dose’ with out any fear of cardiac arrest in a public place if anyone need a demonstration.
One of the most fanciful modern theories regarding ‘suppression’ is that constructed by combining ‘Hering laws’ and ‘embryonic layers’.
According to proponents of this theory, genuine cure happens only if the curative process follows the ‘Hering laws of directions of cure’: symptoms should disappear in the reverse chronological order of their appearance in disease, symptoms should travel from internal parts of body to external parts, symptoms should travel from more vital organs to less vital organs, symptoms should travel from ‘upper’ parts of the body to ‘lower’ parts.
As per this theory, any drug effect that does not ‘follow’ these directions cannot be considered ‘curative’, but ‘suppressions’! ‘Guru’ colored this ‘hering laws a little more ‘scientific’, by relating it with his theory of ‘embryonic layers’ of organ development. To give a scientific touch to his theories, he utilized the concept of ‘germ layers’ in embryology. Since ‘embryo’ develops from a three-layered structure having endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm in its initial stage, disease and cure have to be perceived and treated in in relation with these ‘layers’. According to his reasoning, during embryonic development, organs develop from endoderm to ectoderm, ‘outer’ organs belonging to ‘ectoderm’ are least important, organs belonging to mesoderm are comparatively more important, and ‘inner’ organs belonging to ‘endoderm’ are most ‘vital’ organs of an organism. Disease always ‘travels’ in a reverse order, from ‘external’ layer to ‘inner’ layer, and hence, cure should take place from ‘inner’ organs to ‘outer’ organs. By this way, he relates his theory of embryonic layers with hering laws, thereby creating a ‘scientific’ foundation for his ‘theory of suppressions’. He theorizes that genuine cure should be in a direction from inner layer to outer layer, and if it happens in reverse order, the disease will be ‘suppressed’, which is not at all desirable.
‘Hering laws’ and ‘embryonic layers’ are the foundation of this ‘theory of suppression’.
When we go deeper into the history of homeopathy, it would be clear that there was not any mention of such ‘hering laws’ in the works of even Hering or his contemporaries. Actually, it was the ‘observation’ made by hahnemann that curative process has some ‘order’, but he never called it a law. Hering has mentioned in his earlier works about hahnemann’s ‘four observations regarding order of cure’, but finally in 1875 he wrote only about a single direction of cure: ‘in the reverse direction of disease process’. He never called it or expected to be known as ‘herings laws’. None of his famous contemporaries and close colleagues ever discussed or made any reference to a law of direction of cure. Writings of Boenninghausen, Jahr, Joslin, P.P. Wells, Lippe, H.N.Guernsey, Dunham, E.A. Farrington, H.C. Allen, Nash, etc, were all silent.
It was ‘KENT’ who later actually called it ‘Herings laws’ and converted these four observations into ‘fundamental laws’ of homeopathic cure. He taught to understand and apply these ‘laws’ in a mechanical way. He taught homeopaths to consider ‘hering laws’ regarding ‘directions of cure’ as one of the ‘fundamental laws’ of homeopathy, similar to ‘similia similibus curentur’.Kentmade homeopaths believe that drug effects that do not agree with these ‘laws’ cannot be considered ‘curative’, and are ‘suppressive’.
Dr. André Saine, D.C., N.D., F.C.A.H, Dean of the Canadian Academy of Homeopathy, who made extensive studies on this topic says:
“When Hering died in 1880, colleagues all over the world assembled to pay tribute to the great homeopath. His many accomplishments were recalled. Strangely, none made any mention of a law of direction of cure promulgated by Hering. Arthur Eastman, a student who was close to Hering during the last three years of the venerable homeopath, published in 1917 Life and Reminiscences of Dr. Constantine Hering also without mentioning a law pertaining to direction of cure. Calvin Knerr, Hering’s son-in-law, published in 1940, 60 years after Hering’s death, the Life of Hering, a compilation of biographical notes. Again no mention is made of the famous law”
“In 1865, Hering described these observations not as a law but as Hahnemann’s general observations or as plain practical rules. Essentially he emphasizes the proposition that the ‘symptoms should disappear in the reverse order of their appearance during the treatment’ of patients with chronic psoric diseases. In 1875, Hering discussed only one proposition, that the ‘symptoms will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance’. The three other propositions are now not mentioned at all. All the illustrious contemporaries of Hering seems to remain silent on this point, at least as far as available literature shows. In 1911,Kent, almost arbitrarily, calls the original observations of Hahnemann “Hering’s law”.
Logically, according to the latest observations made by Hering in 1875, he only meant that “all genuine ‘curative processes’ should happen in a direction just reverse to disease processes”.
Over-extending and mechanical application of ‘herings laws’ without understanding their exact premises and scientific meaning may lead to grave errors regarding interpretation of curative processes and drug effects.
This phenomenon could be explained in the light of modern scientific understanding of ‘cascading of pathological molecular inhibitions’ and complex dynamics of ‘bio-molecular feed back mechanisms’.
To understand this explanation, one has to equip himself with at least a working knowledge regarding the concepts of modern biochemistry regarding the bio-molecular inhibitions involved in pathology and therapeutics.
Expect those diseases which are purely due to errors in genetic substances, and those diseases which are due to genuine deficiency of building materials of biological molecules, all other diseases are considered to be caused by ‘molecular inhibitions’. Pathogenic molecules of endogenous or exogenous origin bind to some biological molecules in the organism, causing ‘molecular inhibitions’ which lead to pathological derangement in associated biochemical pathways. These pathogenic molecules may be of infectious, environmental, nutritional, metabolic, drug-induced, miasmatic or any other origin. Derangements in biochemical pathways are expressed through diverse groups of subjective and objective symptoms. This is the fundamental biochemistry of pathology.
Molecular inhibitions happening in a biological molecule due to the binding of a pathogenic molecule initiates a complex process of ‘cascading of molecular errors’ and ‘bio-feedback mechanisms’ in the organism. Errors happening in a particular biochemical pathway leads to errors in another pathway which is dependant on the first pathway for regular supply of metabolites, which further lead to errors in another pathway. This ‘cascading of molecular errors’ happens through successive stages, which is expressed through new subjective and objective symptoms. This ‘cascading’ is behind what we call ‘advancing of disease’ into new systems and organs, exhibiting ever new groups of associated symptoms. For an observer, this cascading appears in the form of ‘traveling of disease’ from one system into another. Along with these ‘cascading’ of molecular errors, there happens a series of activation and shutting down of complex ‘bio-molecular feedback’ mechanisms also. The phenomenon of ‘advancing of diseases’ should be studied in this scientific perspective of modern biochemistry.
When a molecular inhibition happens in some biological molecule ‘A’ due to binding of a pathogenic molecule ‘a’, it actually stops or decreases some essential molecular conversions that are essential part of a complex biochemical pathway P. If ‘G’ is the normal ligand of ‘A’, and ‘g’ is the product of biochemical interaction involving ‘A’, the result of this molecular inhibition is that ‘G’ accumulates on one side, and ‘g’ is not available for the next stage of molecular processes. Accumulating ‘P’ may induce a feedback mechanism leading to reduction or stoppage its production itself, or may move to other parts of organism and bind to unwanted molecular targets, initiation a new stream of pathological derangement.
Obviously, ‘traveling’ of disease or ‘advancing’ of disease happens through cascading of molecular errors in various biochemical pathways. Some disease processes may ‘travel’ from ‘external’ to internal organs, some from ‘lower parts’ to upper parts, some from ‘less vital’ parts to ‘more vital’ parts. All these ‘traveling’ is basically decided by the involved biochemical pathways. It would be wrong to generalize these observations in such a way that ‘all diseases travel from exterior to interior, lower parts to higher parts, and less vital to more vital parts’. It is also wrong to generalize in such a way that ‘curative process always travel from interior to exterior, above downwards, and from vital to less vital parts’. This is mechanical understanding and application of hering’s observations.
Actually, curative processes happens in a direction opposite to the direction of disease process. That depends upon the biochemical pathways involved and the exact dynamics of cascading of molecular inhibitions. Its dynamics is very complex, and should not be interpreted and applied in a mechanistic way. When ‘molecular inhibitions’ underlying the disease processes are systematically removed using molecular imprints, the curative process also would take place in the reverse direction of disease processes.
To sum up, Hering’s observations regarding a ‘directions of disease and cure’ is a valuable one, but it should be studied in the light of modern biochemistry.
‘Curative processes happen in a direction just reverse to disease processes”- that is the sum total of Hering’s observations regarding ‘directions of cure’.
It is well obvious that the modern “theories of suppressions’ claimed to be based on hering’s laws stands on a historically and scientifically weak foundation.
Let us now examine the theory of ‘embryonic layers’, which forms the second pillar of ‘theory of suppression’.
Essentially, Dr Vijayakar, in his ‘theory of suppressions’, charts the development of the human embryo in seven stages, from the cells and mind to the neural plate, neuro-endocrine system, mesoderm, connective tissues, endoderm, and its eventual cornpletion at the ectoderm. According to him, all of the organs of the body derive from these seven layers of development. To illustrate, the GI tract is formed as part of the endoderm, whilst the kidneys were formed earlier in the mesoderm.
Vijayakar reasons that as natural embryonic growth progresses from the inside to the outside (even our bones develop this way), disease and ill-health will inevitably move in the reverse direction, i.e. from the outside to the inside- from the ectoderm to the endoderm, from the endoderm to the mesoderm- deeper and deeper. So if you know which parts of the body are associated with each level you can clearly see the progression of disease”.
Which text book of embryology says about the development of human embryo starting from “cells and mind”? Is it vijaykar’s invention? Embryology never deals with ‘mind’, but only ‘cells’. Obviously, vijaykar wanted to make a theory seemingly scientific utilizing some concepts borrowed from genetics, but same time he wanted to establish that ‘mind’ is primary in the development of embryo. Hence, he added the word ‘mind’ along with ‘cells’ while describing the initial stages of embryonic development. According to his interpretation of ‘embryology’, development of human embryo ‘starts’ from ‘cells and mind’, then advances “to the neural plate, neuro-endocrine system, mesoderm, connective tissues, endoderm, and its eventual completion at the ectoderm”.
Embryology says: “The gastrula with its blastopore soon develops three distinct layers of cells (the germ layers) from which all the bodily organs and tissues then develop: the innermost layer, or endoderm, gives rise to the digestive organs, lungs and bladder; the middle layer, or mesoderm, gives rise to the muscles, skeleton and blood system; the outer layer of cells, or ectoderm, gives rise to the nervous system and skin”
”A germ layer, occasionally referred to as a germinal epithelium, is a group of cells, formed during animal embryogenesis. Germ layers are particularly pronounced in the vertebrates; however, all animals more complex than sponges (eumetazoans and agnotozoans) produce two or three primary tissue layers (sometimes called primary germ layers). Animals with radial symmetry, like cnidarians, produce two germ layers (the ectoderm and endoderm) making them diploblastic. Animals with bilateral symmetry produce a third layer between these two layers (appropriately called the mesoderm) making them triploblastic. Germ layers eventually give rise to all of an animal’s tissues and organs through the process of organogenesis”
“The endoderm is one of the germ layers formed during animal embryogenesis. Cells migrating inward along the archenteron form the inner layer of the gastrula, which develops into the endoderm.
‘The endoderm consists at first of flattened cells, which subsequently become columnar. It forms the epithelial lining of the whole of the digestive tube except part of the mouth and pharynx and the terminal part of the rectum (which are lined by involutions of the ectoderm). It also forms the lining cells of all the glands which open into the digestive tube, including those of the liver and pancreas; the epithelium of the auditory tube and tympanic cavity; the trachea, bronchi, and air cells of the lungs; the urinary bladder and part of the urethra; and the follicle lining of the thyroid gland and thymus”
“The endoderm forms: the stomach, the colon, the liver, the pancreas, the urinary bladder, the lining of the urethra, the epithelial parts of trachea, the lungs, the pharynx, the thyroid, the parathyroid, and the intestines.”
”The mesoderm germ layer forms in the embryos of triploblastic animals. During gastrulation, some of the cells migrating inward contribute to the mesoderm, an additional layer between the endoderm and the ectoderm. The formation of a mesoderm led to the development of a coelom. Organs formed inside a coelom can freely move, grow, and develop independently of the body wall while fluid cushions and protects them from shocks. The mesoderm forms: skeletal muscle, the skeleton, the dermis of skin, connective tissue, the urogenital system, the heart, blood (lymph cells), the kidney, and the spleen.”
”The ectoderm is the start of a tissue that covers the body surfaces. It emerges first and forms from the outermost of the germ layers. The ectoderm forms: the central nervous system, the lens of the eye, cranial and sensory, the ganglia and nerves, pigment cells, head connective tissues, the epidermis, hair, and mammary glands. Because of its great importance, the neural crest is sometimes considered a fourth germ layer. It is, however, derived from the ectoderm”.
“The “ectoderm” is one of the three primary germ cell layers in the very early embryo. The other two layers are the mesoderm (middle layer) and endoderm (inside layer), with the ectoderm as the most exterior layer. It emerges first and forms from the outer layer of germ cells. Generally speaking, the ectoderm differentiates to form the nervous system (spine, peripheral nerves and brain), tooth enamel and the epidermis (the outer part of integument). It also forms the lining of mouth, anus, nostrils, sweat glands, hair and nails”.
“In vertebrates, the ectoderm has three parts: external ectoderm (also known as surface ectoderm), the neural crest, and neural tube. The latter two are known as neuroectoderm”.
Please note this point: The fertilized ovum “develops three distinct layers of cells (the germ layers) from which all the bodily organs and tissues then develop: the innermost layer, or endoderm, gives rise to the digestive organs, lungs and bladder; the middle layer, or mesoderm, gives rise to the muscles, skeleton and blood system; the outer layer of cells, or ectoderm, gives rise to the nervous system and skin”
It is obvious that brain and nervous system develops from ‘ectoderm’ layer. It is the ‘outermost’ layer of embryo, not ‘innermost’. The theory of vijaykar that ‘brain and mind’ belongs to innermost embryonic layer is pure nonsense. They develop from ‘outermost’ embryonic layer called ‘ectoderm’, from which organs such as skin and hair also develops. His theory that embryonic development ‘starts’ with ‘mind’ and ‘ends’ with ‘ectoderm’ has nothing to do with embryology, except that he plays with some terms used in embryology.
Vijayakar reasons that as natural embryonic growth progresses from the inside to the outside, disease and ill-health will inevitably move in the reverse direction, i.e. from the outside to the inside. This is the most fundamental ‘reasoning’ of vijaykar, which he utilizes to build a common ground with ‘hering laws regarding directions of cure’ on which his whole ‘theoretical system is built upon. We already saw that the concept ‘direction of embryonic development’ on which his ‘reasoning’ is itself totally baseless. Embryonic development does not start from ‘inner’ organs of endoderm and ‘complete’ with ‘outer’ organs of ectoderm’ as vijaykar tries to establish.
Even if the direction of ‘embryonic development’ was from ‘inner layer to outer layer’, what is the logic behind his ‘reasoning’ that ‘disease and ill-health will inevitably move in the reverse direction, i.e. from the outside to the inside”?
Most funny thing regarding this ‘reasoning’ is that it goes against the fundamental concept of disease accepted by ‘classical homeopathy’ that ‘diseases originate in the level of vital force’. Vijaykar says ‘direction od disease is from ‘outermost layer’ to ‘innermost layer’. Should we understand that ‘vital force’ belongs to ‘outermost’ layer of organism according to the interpretation of Vijayakar? Both cannot be right by any way. Either vijaykar should say that diseases originate in ‘vital force’ which is the ‘innermost layer’, or he should say disease start in the ‘outermost’ layer, that is skin and hair.
Since vijaykar has gone totally wrong and self contradicting in his understanding of embryonic layers and ‘direction of embryonic development’, his explanation of ‘hering law’ based on his ‘reasoning’ is pure nonsense.
It is clear that Vijayakar’s understanding of ‘herings laws as well as ‘embryonic layers’ is fundamentally wrong. His ‘Theory of Suppressions’ and the ‘Methods’ based on these wrong foundations are obviously untenable.
In ‘chronic diseases’, hahnemann was talking about the chronic constitutional effects of infectious diseases such as itch, syphilis and gonorrhoea. He thought that these chronic disease dispositions caused by infectious diseases were due to their ‘suppression’ through faulty allopathic medications and external applications. He called these ‘chronic dispositions’ as ‘miasms’. Actually, these chronic dispositions after infectious diseases were not due to any suppression, but the ‘off-target’ effects of antibodies formed against infections. Hahnemann could not understand this ‘antibody factor’ of chronic miasms. That is due to the historical limitations of scientific knowledge available during his period. ‘Historical limitations’ is different from being ‘wrong’.
Modern theories of suppressions are different. They are theorizing about suppressions caused by ‘improper’ application of homeopathic drugs. Those theories are different from what hahnemann considered suppressions.
Theories of suppression as ‘driving in’ of diseases to ‘inner vital organs’ by application of ‘wrong’ drugs is based on an exaggerated application of hering laws and a total misinterpretation of embryology. I was examining thse theoreticalfoundations of modern ‘theory of suppression’. Hering law is over extended, and ’embryological layers’ is mis-interpreted. Logical scrutiny shows that both these theoretical foundations of ‘theory of suppression’ are wrong. That is my point here.
Concept of ‘suppressions’ is based on unscientific understanding of disease, cure, potentization and ‘similia similibus curentur. Scientific awareness is the only way to free homeopaths from the persistent fear of ‘suppressions’, and enable them to make logical prescriptions without any hesitations and forebodings. Understanding the biochemistry of life, disease and cure is essential for this. Homeopaths should realize the exact process of molecular imprinting involved in potentization, and perceive potentized drugs in terms of constituent molecular imprints. They should also learn the molecular mechanism of homeopathic therapeutics as removal of pathological molecular inhibitions by the action of molecular imprints. Homeopaths would then realize that no potentized homeopathic drugs can make any ‘suppression’ or ‘dangerous consequences’. If the selection of similimum was wrong, it will not act. If the selected drug is ‘partial similimum’, it would give partial cure. In that case, cure can be completed by using additional drugs, which are indicated by totality of remaining symptoms.