The INDIVIDUALIST

A Wiki about biochemical individuality

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Homeopathic medicine

Description

The simillimum (also spelled similimum) in homeopathic medicine is a single substance which if given to a healthy person would produce exactly the same pattern of symptoms as exhibited by a patient. If that substance is diluted and potentized according to homeopathic principles it would make a specific homeopathic remedy that would bring about the best cure in that individual.

Discussion

The "Law of Similars" is a fundamental concept of homeopathic medicine, expressed by Samuel Hahnemann as similia similibus curentur, or 'let likes cure likes'. It has some similarities with the doctrine of signatures in herbal medicine.

Research

The law of similars is viewed by some authors as a basic law of nature. (1) Analogies have been drawn to some aspects of orthodox medicine, where "the mode of functioning for some medicines probably can be ascribed [to] the law of similars." (2)

A double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial found that response to the simillium for sufferers of fibromyalgia may be linked with executive function at the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that controls the ability to redirect attention, as defined by prefrontal electroencephalographic alpha frequency cordance. Trait absorption (genetically determined ability to focus attention selectively and fully) was also found to correlate with response to the simillium. (3)

There may be diverse interpretations of the law of similars amongst homeopaths in their choice of simillium, as suggested by research based on a paper case analysis questionnaire. (4)

Criticism

In common with many alternative therapies, the fundamentally holistic concept of the simillium has been criticized by pluralists for being monistic, ignoring any distinction between apparently independent parts of nature. (5)

Links

References


1. Pollia JA. A few contributions in modern medicine that are based upon the law of similars. J Am Inst Homeopath. 1951 Mar;44(3):49-51. PMID: 14823862

2. Hjelvik M, Morenskog E. The principles of homeopathy. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1997 Jun 30;117(17):2497-501. PMID 9265314

3. Bell IR, Lewis DA 2nd, Schwartz GE, et. al. "Electroencephalographic cordance patterns distinguish exceptional clinical responders with fibromyalgia to individualized homeopathic medicines." J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Apr;10(2):285-99. PMID 15370183

4. Aghadiuno M.A study of the inter-observer reliability of paper case analysis Homeopathy. 2002 Jan;91(1):10-7. PMID 12371444

5. National Council Against Health Fraud NCAHF Position Paper on Homeopathy

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