Unit 6: Homotoxicology
Having studied homeopathy in some detail and naturopathic philosophy in depth we are now going to move on and look at a branch of homeopathy known as Homotoxicology. Homotoxicology is a blend of naturopathy, homeopathy and modern medicine. You therefore needed to study both homeopathy and naturopathy before being able to fully appreciate Homotoxicology.
The basis of Homotoxicology is the function of the extra cellular matrix, or ECM. As you work through this module you will see that the ECM works in the same way as the humours of Eastern medicine; as a regulatory mechanism. In Ayurveda the humours (Doshas) were seemingly an intangible essence, similarly in Tibetan medicine. Greek/Unani medicine however linked the humours to something more scientific, physical and tangible. The science that Homotoxicology is based on therefore builds on the old understanding of the humoral theory and seeks to find a definition for it in modern scientific research.
The ‘father’ of Homotoxicology is Hans Heinrich Reckeweg (1905-1985) who was a doctor, naturopath and homeopath and whose aim was to ‘marry’ together all of these disciplines. The result was Homotoxicology, the study of toxins and how they affect the human organism. It should be noted at the outset that toxins also includes negative thoughts and any stress which will cause triggering of the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis. Once the HPA axis is triggered a cascade of hormones are released which then need to be cleared from the body. Homotoxicology recognises the effects of toxins on the various regulatory systems of the body and the negative effect upon the immune system. Its philosophy is based on the “3 Pillars of Homotoxicology”: detoxification and drainage of the toxins, cellular and organ support and balancing of the immune system, known as immunomodulation.
Homotoxicology uses low dose (i.e. less than 200c, generally nothing higher than 30c) combination homeopathic remedies to aid the body in its attempt to rid itself of toxicity. With its roots in naturopathy, the basis of Homotoxicology is that the body is trying to maintain homeostasis via the elimination of toxicity. All routes of elimination therefore need to be supported. If the toxins are not eliminated then they take up residence in the extra cellular matrix (hereinafter referred to as ECM, matrix or ground substance), which supports all of the tissues and cells in the body, by providing it with nutrients and acting as a waste disposal service. In simple terms, if the ECM becomes clogged with toxins then the cells will not be able to detoxify efficiently and nutrients will not be able to pass through the matrix in order to nourish the cells. In Homotoxicology, this scenario is the cause of all disease in the body.
Homotoxicology uses the latest scientific research into allostasis and PNEI (psycho-neuro-endocrine-immunology); how the immune system, endocrine system and central nervous system interact and are completely interdependent. The study of Homotoxicology therefore involves a study of science which we will touch on in this part of the course. Those of you with a more scientific mind will hopefully be pleased for the opportunity to study the science behind homeopathy, the elusive humours and also the recent research into allostasis and the immune system. Up to this point in the course we have largely ignored science. Although some scientific studies have been done on various Chinese and Ayurvedic formulations they do not and cannot scientifically verify the disciplines themselves. Random controlled trials on a certain formulation will also have its drawbacks because people are all individual and, as such, have different needs, different strengths and weaknesses, different genes variations and different lifestyles. It is not possible to take all of this into consideration when organising a trial of a certain product or herbal combination.
On saying this though, the various Homotoxicology preparations have been trialled against drugs and have been found to be as effective, or more effective against the symptoms than the drug they were trialled against. Homotoxicology uses low dose, combination preparations; these primarily work on a physical level, therefore remedies that help with headaches of various descriptions are combined and then trialled against headache medication. As there is a combination of remedies the combined product contains support for all the different types of headache, therefore it can have a positive effect when used for generalised headaches. If a trial was done against a NSAID with one remedy however, such as Gelsemium, then it wouldn’t show homeopathy as working well because Gelsemium is for a particular type of headache (tight vice or band feeling around the head).
For your purposes you only need an overview of Homotoxicology and how it views disease and to be able to use simple Homotoxicological preparations in your practice if you choose to. For those of you who find this subject fascinating and wish to train in it, alongside like-minded doctors and dentists, you are directed to the British Society for Bioregulatory Medicine: https://www.bioregmed.com/symposium.html. Completion of this course (either attendance or on line) will allow you to use the full range of homotoxicology remedies available. The book ‘Introduction to Bioregulatory Medicine’ by Alta Smit et al is also highly recommended for students who want to study this topic in more depth.
You will probably be wondering why low dose combination remedies are used, as opposed to one remedy which is what you have learned in the homeopathy module. Homotoxicology is based on science and how the body responds to stress and other toxins on a physical level. In order to correct the imbalance that the toxin has caused, many systems in the body need to be supported. The remedies are therefore combined to support all of the various areas that need strengthening. This will become clearer to you as you work through this module. One thing to keep in mind is that there are many more toxins around now than in Hahnemann’s day and that mankind has degenerated due to the suppressive medicine that has been in use for the last 150 years or more. In addition, our planet’s resources are dwindling, the soil lacks the nutrients that it would have contained in Hahnemann’s day and many of us have toxicity from the mercury fillings that we carry in our mouths (more about this in the dentistry module). All of these factors suggest that our body’s various systems require as much support as possible. Homotoxicology is based on homeopathic principles; therefore the Arndt Schultz law is particularly relevant to this section: small doses (homeopathic dilution) stimulate, moderate doses paralyse or have no further stimulatory effect, and large doses suppress or kill.
In this module we will first look at some of the science that has been put forward as an explanation for how homeopathy works and then we will have a look at an overview of Homotoxicology. Once you have an overview of this discipline we will look at each component in detail. Those of you who are doing this course after the level 2 Nutritional Therapist course will be able to consolidate the scientific information given in this module easily. Those of you that are doing the course after the level 1 Nutritional Therapy course or after another discipline or nutritional training may find some of the science in this module challenging. You may find a medical dictionary invaluable for this module. Science can be challenging for some people, but it does have an exciting way of explaining what the ancients have been saying for many hundreds of years. Homotoxicology therefore confirms the teaching of Hippocrates and the naturopaths that you studied in the last module and links it with our current understanding of scientific research. Homotoxicology and Bioregulatory medicine has been put forward as a medicine of the future.
Study Hours: 100
Time: Estimated 2 months (timing up to you)
Enrolment period: 4 months (with option to extend)
Books: Purchased separately
Certification: Certificate in Homotoxicology
Study Options: E-learning (online) or Correspondence (paper)
Aims of the course
- To have a basic understanding of Homotoxicology
- To compare Eastern medicine, Naturopathic and Homeopathic understanding and to bring this up to date with modern research which verifies these traditional medical approaches
- To build on Naturopathic and Homeopathic understanding by viewing these two disciplines from a scientific perspective
- To learn about the importance of the extra cellular matrix and its regulatory effect upon health and disease.
- To understand the connections between the extra cellular matrix and the humoural theory of Eastern medicine
- To understand the importance of inflammation, drainage and the progression of disease
- To learn simple Homotoxicology prescribing
Why study Homotoxicology
Homotoxicology is a blend of Homeopathy, Naturopathy and modern scientific research. It therefore brings these disciplines ‘up to date’ by studying the science that underlies them and how they work. Study of Homotoxicology offers the student an in-depth scientific understanding of disease which encompasses the humoral foundation of Eastern medicine, Homeopathy and Naturopathy. Students will build on their understanding of the regulatory processes in the body and how toxicity will hinder these processes resulting in pathology. This module brings together everything that has been learnt so far in the course and views it from a modern scientific perspective whilst at the same time maintaining the underlying naturopathic foundation.