The theory of ‘single drug, single dose’ is considered to be the ideal homeopathic rule of prescribing. Everybody strive to convince others that he is an ardent follower of this golden rule, even though privately he may be employing multiple drugs, seeking self-consolation in the “law of complementary relationships”. People who claim to follow the ‘single drug, single dose’ rule are held in high esteem by the profession, as true “classical homeopaths”. If any body boldly declares that he uses multiple drugs, he is accused of practicing “polypathic quackery” which is considered to be “unhomeopathic”. Of course, they may quote extensively from our great masters as supporting evidences for their opposition to multiple drugs.
We have to examine this “single drug versus multiple drug” issue with honesty and a rational scientific mindset. We should understand that there a lot of relatively darker areas in homeopathy, and obviously a lot of unanswered, incompletely answered and wrongly answered questions there. Once the fundamental questions of molecular mechanism of “similia similibus curentur” and “potentization” is scientifically explained, it will be easier to sort out such lesser issues logically.
Whatever our great masters have said earlier within the limitations of their space-time context, we will have to make a rational assessment of certain factors while trying to answer this important question on the basis of updated scientific knowledge.
Discarding the “dynamic” and “vitalistic” approaches of “classical homeopathy, DIALECTICAL HOMEOPATHY tries to analyze this issue from an entirely different perspective.
The so-called ‘classical homeopaths’ defines ‘single dug’ as any form of drug substance used as a sample for “proving”. Such a sample is called a ‘single drug’, even though it may be a complex mixture of several separate substances.
According to them, the criteria for “singularity” of a substance is not its constitution, but its “proving”. They think that when they consume any number of a substance as a ‘single’ unit, it will act in the body as ‘single’ substance! This subjective way of reasoning obviously lacks logic.
Any body with minimum understanding of material sciences know that drug substances interfere in the biochemical processes of the organism by their chemical properties, and that these chemical properties are determined by the individual constituent molecules contained in them. Only because we consume different types of molecules as a “single” unit, it cannot act as “single” drug in the bio-molecular processes.
For example, an alcoholic tincture extracted from the Nux Vomica plant is evidently a mixture of many types of enzymes, alkaloids, glycosides, phytochemicals, and other organic and inorganic molecules. It is obvious that tincture of nux vomica may differ in molecular constitution from sample to sample, depending up on whether they are prepared from whole plant, flowers, tender leaves, bark, fruit, or any other sources. No doubt, all these sample will be containing some molecules common to all parts of plant, even though their concentrations may vary. Over and above the natural organic contents, various elements and chemical molecules absorbed from the environment will also be part of that tincture. It may also contain various accidental contaminants and pollutants also. In spite of all these possibilities, we consider Nux Vomica tincture is a “single” medicinal substance, and we often talk about a “Nux Vomica personality” as such!
When we introduce a sample of Nux Vomica tincture into the living organism for ‘proving’, its constituent molecules are instantly subjected to various processes such as disintegration, ionization, hydration and certain chemical transformations. Individual constituent molecules are carried and conveyed through blood and other internal transport systems into the cells in different parts of the body. They interact with various enzymes, receptors, metabolites and other biological molecules inside the organism. These interactions are decided and directed by the specific properties such as configuration and charge of active groups of individual drug molecules, and their specific affinity towards biological target molecules. It is very important to note that Nux Vomica interact with different biological molecules, not as a singular entity, but as individual constituent molecules and ions. These individual drug molecules and ions are capable of binding to some or other biological molecules, effecting configurational changes in them, and thereby inhibiting the essential bio-chemical processes which can take place only with their presence and mediation. Such molecular inhibitions in various bio-chemical pathways result in a condition of pathology, expressed as a train of subjective and objective symptoms, due to the involvement of various neuro-mediator and neuro-transmitter systems.
The symptoms we get from the proving of Nux Vomica are in reality the results of diverse deviations in different bio-chemical processes and pathways, created by the constituent drug molecules in their individual capacity and specific configurational affinity. Each type of molecules contained in Nux Vomica binds only to a specific group of biological molecules, and creates their own individual groups of symptoms. Suppose we could completely remove all molecules of a particular alkaloid from a sample of Nux Vomica before it is used for proving. Naturally, during the process of proving, we shall be missing the groups of symptoms that should have been created in the organism by the molecules of that particular alkaloid. This type of proving may be called ‘differential proving’. By conducting such differential provings, we can learn about the particular state of pathology that may be attributed to individual constituent molecules contained in each medicinal substance. More over, this type of scientific differential provings may be utilized to study the biological effects of various constituent molecules of drug materials that we erroneously consider as single drugs. Such differential provings may disprove our mis-conceptions regarding ‘single drug’, at large. This is a subject that warrants serious attention from the part of homeopathic researchers and research institutions.
There are a few more points to be considered in association with the issue of ‘single drug’. Chances of drug samples used in proving being contaminated with various environmental particles and foreign molecules should be seriously considered here. Especially in the olden days of most of the drug provings, our knowledge regarding environmental pollutions and contaminations was very limited. During drug proving, molecules of such contaminants also would have obviously undergone proving, along with original drug molecules. Especially for homeopaths, who are convinced about the power of micro doses, this factor cannot be overlooked. The water, alcohol, sugar of milk etc., used in the process of preparing drugs for proving may also have various contaminants. The vessels, utensils, equipment, tools, air, and provers themselvs also may add their own contaminations. These contaminants and impurities also would have been subjected to proving along with original drugs, and their symptoms also included in our materia medica unknowingly, although we don’t take these factors seriously into account. We should be aware of the fact that the biological deviations created in the prover by these un-recognized foreign molecules are also included by us in the accounts of medicinal substances used for proving. It means that at least some of the symptoms we learn in the Materia Medica of a drug may not be actually related to that drug at all, but to the contaminants. This issue will have to be considered in more details later, when discussing about ‘materia medica’.
It is not at all realistic to imagine that the same drug sample of Nux Vomica used for proving is always used for preparing its potencies also. It may have been procured and prepared from another location, climate, environment, time and circumstances. All of these factors may necessarily influence their chemical constitution also. Contaminants and pollutants also differ with time, place and persons who handled it. Yet, we are obliged to call all these different samples as Nux Vomica, and use it as same drug, believing that it is a ‘single drug’!
In reality, potentized Nux Vomica we get now from pharmacies are prepared from samples very much different from the samples used for proving it two hundred years back. It might not necessarily be the same contaminations and foreign molecules which happen to be mixed with the drug during procurement and potentization. Entirely new type of impurities and foreign molecules, different from proven samples, shall definitely get mixed with drugs while potentizing. Naturally, these contaminants and foreign molecules also get subjected to potentization along with original drug molecules. It is evident that the homeopathic potencies of Nux Vomica we get from pharmacies contain the potentized forms of these new contaminant molecules also. In other words, they are mixed with potentized forms of these unknown substances, entirely different from those were subjected to proving. We cannot ignore the fact that we are not using potencies of same drug, that have been proved earlier and recorded in the materia medica, eventhough we call it with same name. It is composed of an entirely different mixture, much more different in molecular structure from the one subjected to original proving. We use the potentized form of this new combination, on the basis of symptoms produced by another combination earlier, using the therapeutic principle ‘Similia Similibus Curentur’. Is not this realization somewhat embarassing? Unless we provide convincing solutions to the ethical, theoretical and practical problems raised by this situation, it would be unfair to continue claiming that we are using ‘single drugs’!
The following facts are evident from this deliberation. At least some or other groups of symptoms attributed in the Materia Medica as that of a particular drug substance used for proving might not be related to it at all, but to the contaminants happened to be subjected to proving. Same way, in the potentized form, we are administering to the patient potencies of some additional molecules also in the, entirely different from those subjected to earlier provings. In short, Nux vomica we read in materia medica is different from Nux Vomica we use for treatment, even though both bear the same label. It means that while there will be most of the expected qualities in the potencies we use, there will definitely be the absence of at least some or other qualities we expect. Because, certain contaminant molecules subjected to proving and represented in the materia medica, might not be present in the samples used for potentization. It shows how much uncertain and unpredictable is the outcome of homeopathic medication in present situation.
Now, we have to consider the factor of foreign molecules which are likely to contaminate unexpectedly into the samples used for the commercial preparation of potencies. These foreign molecules have never been proved. We are totally ignorant about the different ways in which they might have interacted with the molecules of the original drug. We have no idea regarding the molecular inhibitions or the groups of symptoms they are likely to produce in the living organism. In spite of all these deficiencies, we apply the potencies of such unknown foreign molecules also, along with the original medicinal substance in to the body of a patient. Same time, we claim we are using ‘single drug’ only!
During our clinical practice, we would have experienced instances of removal of totally unexpected symptoms and diseases from the patient. Those symptoms might not be included in any text book of Materia Medica of the given drug. I suspect it may be the potencies of those unknown molecules entering the sample during potentization that is playing this trick.
The above facts more than expose the hollowness of our belief and often-repeated claim that we give a ‘single drug’ to our patient. It is undeniable that we are using medicines selected on the basis of similarity of symptoms, mixing it with potencies of some or other different types of molecules as well. This is an unpleasant situation which we cannot neglect. We should understand that we are giving the patient a mixture of “imprints” of different types of molecules, about some of which we have no idea at all. Same time, our medicines provide expected results when applied on the basis of ‘similia similibus curentur’. It shows that the presence of “imprints” of any unproved and unknown foreign molecules in the potentized drug in no way negatively affect the its effectiveness as a therapeutic agent.
During proving of drugs, the molecules and ions contained in them act individually up on different bio-molecular targets, on the basis of their configurational and charge affinity, and produce their own individual “groups of symptoms”. Like wise, when drugs are potentised, the constituent molecules and ions are individually subjected to a process of molecular imprinting in water-alcohol mixture, forming hydrosomes, that are exact counteractive configurational factors (CCF) of original molecules used as “guest” molecules in imprinting. That is why the presence of impurities which enter at the time of potentization never adversely affect the quality of the potencies of original drug. All the potencies, that we consider as single medicine are in realty a mixture or combination of “molecular imprints” of different types of independent molecules and ions, which never interact with each other in potentized form. This revealation prove that there is no harm to the “molecular imprints” of original drug molecules contained in the potencies, even if “imprints” of any foreign molecules happen to be mixed with them, deliberately or otherwise. More over, when introduced into the organism, these “molecular imprints” interact with biological molecules in their individual capacities, on the basis of configurational affinity. Since molecules and ions are subjected to molecular imprinting in their individual capacities, and they cannot interact with each other in that form, there is no chance of happening any harm, by mixing two or more samples of potencies of different drugs.
There is least possibility of any constituent molecules of drug substance remaining in their potentized forms above 12c. Only molecular imprints will remain. Hence, when higher potencies of two drugs are mixed together, there will be no chemical interaction taking place between them. In such a mixture, the molecular imprints of constituents of both samples will remain independent, without influencing each other, and with out losing their own individual qualities whatsoever.
What happens when such a mixture of two or more potentized drugs is introduced into the organism of a patient? Naturally, the molecular imprints of each constituent drug molecule interacts with biological molecules and pathological molecules individually, based on their specific configurational affinity. As counteractive configurational factors, they can bind only to the pathological molecules, which are similar to the original drug molecules that were used for imprinting. The biological molecules are thereby relieved from inhibitions caused by pathological molecules. This process ultimately removes the state of pathology, and relieves the subjective and objective symptoms of disease. A homeopathic cure is said to be effected. Due to their specific configuratioanal affinity, each type of molecular imprints can locate, identify and bind to exact molecular targets, whereas in the absence of exact molecular targets, these imprints stay neutral, since they are composed of mere water and alcohol molecules. The saying that ‘if a homeopathic potency is not similimum to a patient, it will not act’ is well explained here.
The question of acceptability of administering two or more homeopathic medicines in potentized form, by mixing, alternating, or simultaneously, should be discussed in the light of the above findings.
It is a very important fact that the drugs in the potentized form, which have no similarity with any group of symptoms shown by the patient, will not be able to create any sort of reaction in the living organism. Chemically, potentized drugs being only a mixture of alcohol and water, their chemical properties will remain confined to that molecular structure. Therefore, when we mix homoeopathic potencies of different drugs together, there is no chance for any chemical interactions to take place. More over the configurational properties of the diverse types molecular imprints contained in them are not in any way destroyed by this mixing.