Learn Homeopathy In The Light Of Scientific Understanding Of ‘Life’ And ‘Disease’
As a simple and effective therapeutic system, free of any fear of unwanted side effects, homeopathy has already gained acceptability to a great extent during the by gone two centuries. The principle of ‘Similia Similibus Curenter’ has sufficiently proved its ‘right of existence’ through thousands and thousands of miraculous cures by homeopaths all over the world. But we cannot overlook the fact that we have not yet succeeded in explaining this principle scientifically. We have not yet been able to recreate the fundamental principles of homeopathy convincingly enough, by taking advantage of the modern scientific achievements. Homeopathy shall be duly recognized and respected as an advanced branch of modern molecular medicine, only when such a scientific recreation of its basic premises is attained. Until then, acceptance of our claim that homeopathy is a science will remain confined to ourselves alone.
In the absence of an updated understanding of the latest revelations regarding the exact dynamics of molecular processes underlying the phenomena of life, disease and cure, a homeopath will not be able to comprehend the scientific interpretations of homeopathic principles, and as such, he will be doomed for ever to meddle with totally unscientific and irrational concepts inherited from the ‘masters’, alienating himself from the world of modern science.
Modern Science has already unraveled many fundamental facts regarding the ‘chemistry of life’, crucial in exploring the secrets of the biological phenomena of life, health, illness, cure and death. To take up the task of providing scientific explanations to the theory of ‘Similia Similibus Curentur’, it is imperative that we should be well equipped with a clear understanding about these fundamental facts.
By the term ‘living organism’, we indicate a material system with a specific quantity, quality, structure and functions of its own, which is capable of self-controlled growth and reproduction of its progeny, by accepting matter and energy from its environment. The phenomenon of life exists through a continuous chain of highly complex biochemical interactions which control each other, depend up on each other and are determined by each other. A ‘living organism’ represents a much higher and advanced level of existence of the same elements of matter we meet in the inorganic world, different only in its structural organization and functional complexity. The universal phenomenon of material motion we find as part of primary existence of matter itself, attains the wonderful qualities of life, due to this complex structural organization. In fact, ‘life’ is the result of a continuous evolutionary process of primary matter in this universe through millions of years, attaining different levels of organizational and functional forms. Primary forces, sub-atomic particles, elementary atoms, simple chemical molecules, complex inorganic molecules, carbon containing organic molecules, bio-molecules, complex bio-polymers, RNA-DNA-Protein structures, organelles, unicellular organisms, multi-cellular organisms, diverse species of plants and animals, and ultimately Homo Sapiens- these are the prominent milestones in the known evolutionary ladder on earth, panning through millions and millions of years. Human beings represents the highest form of this material evolutionary history on earth, as far as it is known to us. Parallel to this biological evolution, we can perceive a systematic evolution and perfection of the nervous system also. Simple forms of conditioned reflexes that existed in primitive organisms, gradually evolved into nerve cells, neural networks and ultimately into a well organized nervous system in higher animals. In higher forms of life such as humans, this nervous system has attained such a structural and functional perfection that human brain and its diverse faculties have begun playing a decisive role even in the existence and development of that species and even life on earth itself. Of course, collective labor, language and social relations also played a major role in this evolutionary process.
A living organism can exist only through a continuous interaction with its environment. There is an unceasing flow of matter and energy in both directions, between internal and external environments of the organism. Metabolism, or ‘life process’ is the term used to describe the sum total of this flow. The moment this bi-directional flow of matter and energy ceases, the organism can no longer exist.
A living organism is distinguished from other non-living forms of matter by certain fundamental features such as: high level of structural organization, the ability to convert and utilize energy, continuous material exchange with environment, self regulation of chemical transformations, and, reproduction or transfer of hereditary information. A state of disease may ensue when any of the bio-chemic channels governing these fundamental factors of life are disturbed. Obviously, it is impossible to make a scientific study of pathology and therapeutics without an understanding of these subjects.
Complex bio-molecules which participate in the diverse chemical processes of life are broadly classified into four major groups: Proteins, Carbohydrates, Lipids and Nucleic Acids. These are polymers of simple chemical components or sub units, called monomers. The monomers of proteins are amino acids, and those of carbohydrates are mono-saccharides. Lipids are polymers of fatty acids. The monomers of Nucleic acids are known as nulcleotides. These bio-molecules are considered to be the building blocks of life on earth, and are never seen in the non-living world. These bio-molecules, with their highly complex structure and organization, interacts each other in the organism through hundreds of bio-chemic pathways, collectively called ‘vital processes’.
We cannot engage in a meaningful discourse regarding the phenomena of life and disease without a proper understanding of the protein and enzyme chemistry, and the complex dynamics of their molecular interactions. Proteins are a class of highly complex nitrogen-containing bio-molecules, functioning as the primary carriers of all the bio-chemic processes underlying the phenomenon of life. There exist millions of protein molecules belonging to thousands of protein types in a living organism. Each protein molecule is formed by the polymerization of monomers called amino acids, in different proportions and sequences. Each protein type has its own specific role in the bio-chemic interactions in an organism. Most of the amino acids necessary for the synthesis of proteins are themselves synthesized from their molecular precursers inside the body. A few types of aminoacids cannot be synthesized inside the body, and have to be made available through food. These are called essential aminoacids. There are specific protein molecules assigned for each bio-chemic process that take place in the body. Various proteins play different types of roles, like biological catalysts or enzymes, molecular receptors, transport molecules, hormones and antibodies. Some proteins function as specialized molecular switches, systematically switching on and off of specific bio-chemic pathways. Proteins are synthesized from amino acids, in conformity with the neucleotide sequences of concerned genes, with the help of enzymes, which are themselves proteins. ‘Protein synthesis’ and ‘genetic expression’ are very important part of vital process. It may be said that genes are molecular moulds for synthesizing proteins. There are specific genes, bearing appropriate molecular codes of information necessary for synthesizing each type of protein molecule. Even the synthesis of these genes happens with the help of various enzymes, which are protein molecules. There is no any single bio-molecular process in the living organism, which does not require an active participation of a protein molecule of any kind.
The most important factor we have to understand while discussing proteins is the role of their three-dimensional spacial organization evolving from peculiar di-sulphide bonds and hydrogen bonds. Water plays a vital role in maintaining the three dimensional organization of proteins intact, thereby keeping them efficient to participate in the diverse biochemical processes. Proteins exhibits different levels of molecular organization: primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary. It is this peculiar three dimensional structure that decides the specific bio-chemic role of a given protein molecule. More over, co-enzymes and co-factors such as metal ions and vitamins play an important role in keeping up this three-dimensional structure of protein molecules intact, thereby activating them for their specific functions.
Whenever any kind of error occurs in the particular three-dimensional structure of a given protein molecule, it obviously fails to interact with other bio-molecules to accomplish the specific functions it is intended to play in the concerned bio-chemic processes. Such a failure leads to harmful deviations in several bio-chemic processes in the organism, that require the participation of this particular protein, ultimately resulting in a cascading of multitude of molecular errors. This is the fundamental molecular mechanism of pathology, which we perceive as disease of some or other category. These deviations in bio-chemic pathways are expressed as various groups of subjective and objective symptoms of disease. The organic system exhibits a certain degree of ability and flexibility to overcome or self repair such molecular deviations and preserve the state of homeostasis required to maintain life. Anyhow, if these deviations happen in any of the vitally decisive bio-chemic pathways, or, if these are beyond self repair, the bio-chemic processes ultimately stop and death happens.
Broadly speaking, the molecular errors which underlie diverse conditions of pathology belong to any of the following types:
1. Nutritional deficiencies of amino acids: Any shortage in the availability of various amino acids and their precursers may lead to non- production of proteins in the organism. In some cases, it may result in the production of defective proteins.
2. The absence or defects of appropriate genetic materials, coding the information required for the production of various protein molecules utilizing amino acids, may inevitably lead to total failure of protein synthesis, or to production of defective proteins. These come under the class of genetic proteinopathies.
3. The deficiencies or errors related with the enzymes required for genetic expression in the process of protein synthesis and post-translational transitions may lead to non production of essential proteins, or may lead to production of defective proteins.
4. Any deficiencies or structural defects of co–factors and co-enzymes which help the protein molecules maintain their specific three-dimensional structure and activate them. This may be due to the nutritional deficiencies of essential elements and vitamins, or due to some errors in their metabolic pathways.
5. The absence of congenial physiologic conditions for protein molecules to remain active. Dehydrations, deviations of pH in the internal medium, variations of temperature, harmful radiations etc. may deactivate the protein molecules.
6. The absence or structural defects of certain substrate molecules which are to interact with proteins in bio-chemic processes.
7. The inability of substrates to interact with protein molecules due to binding of any foreign molecules or ions on themselves.
8. Molecular inhibitions of protein molecules, resulting from binding with exogenic or endogenic foreign molecules or ions, including metabolites.
It is obvious that almost all conditions of pathology we normally confront, including those resulting from genetic origin, are involved with some or other errors or absence of some protein molecules that are essential for concerned bio-chemic processes. Moreover, most of such molecular errors other than of genetic origins, arise due to binding of some exogenic or endogenic foreign molecules or ions on the active, binding or allosteric sites of protein molecules, effecting changes in the three-dimensional configurations of protein molecules. A host of diseases originating from viral-bacterial infections, allergies, poisoning, drugs, food articles etc, belong to this category.
The most important factor we have to bear in mind when talking about kinetics of proteins in general, and enzymes in particular is their highly defined, peculiar specificity. Each type of protein molecules, or some times even some part of a single protein molecule, is designed in such a way that it can bind only with a specific class of molecules, and hence participate in a specific type of bio-chemic interaction only. This functional specificity is ensured through the peculiar three-dimensional configuration of the protein molecules, exhibited through their characteristic folding and spacial arrangement. Reactive chemical groups known as active sites, binding sites, and regulatory sites are distributed at specific locations on this three dimensional formations of protein molecules. These chemical groups can interact only with molecules and ions having appropriate spacial configurations that fits to their shape. This phenomenon can be compared with the relationship existing between a lock and its appropriate key. Just as a key with an exactly fitting three dimensional shape alone can enter the key hole of a lock and open it, molecules with exactly fitting three dimensional structure alone can establish contact and indulge in chemical activities with specific protein molecules. This key-lock relationship with substrates defines all biochemical interactions involving proteins, ensuring their optimum specificity. Obviously, any deviation in the three dimensional configuration of either lock or key makes their interaction impossible.
It has been already explained that the primary basis of any state of pathology is some deviations occurring in the biochemical processes at the molecular level. Endogenic or exogenic foreign molecules or ions having any configurational similarity to certain biochemical substrates can mimic as original substrates to attach themselves on the regulatory or the active sites of proteins, effecting changes in their native 3-D configuration, thereby making them unable to discharge their specific biochemical role. This situation is called a molecular inhibition, which leads to pathological molecular errors. It is comparable with the ability of objects having some similarity in shape with that of key, to enter the key hole of a lock and obstructing its function. As a result of this inhibition, the real substrates are prevented from interacting with the appropriate protein molecules, leading to a break in the normal biochemical channels. These types of molecular errors are called competitive inhibitions. It is in this way that many types of drugs, pesticides and poisons interfere in the biochemical processes, creating pathologic situations.
Similia Similibus Curentur, if understood and applied in its scientific meaning, provides a therapeutic tool far superior to the sophisticated diagnostic tools of modern medicine. It is a tragedy to whole medical science that scientific community could not realize its potentials and implications yet, due to their closed-minded approach towards homeopathy.
Homeopathy utilizes the method of closely following even the minutest inhibitions and deviations in the biochemical processes in the organism, through a special strategy of monitoring and recording the perceivable symptoms caused by such deviations.
Obviously, a deviation happening in a particular biochemical pathway resulting from a nano-level molecular inhibition, and their cascading effects, produces a specific train of subjective and objective symptoms in the organism. In other words, each specific group of symptoms exhibited by the organism minutely indicates the particular error occurred in the molecular level. These symptoms are the real indicators of the exact molecular errors existing in the organism, more reliable than any laboratory investigations available now.
Homoeopathy chases these trains of symptoms to their minutest level, from periphery to interior, in order to study the exact molecular errors underlying any particular state of pathology. Symptoms are classified into categories such as subjective, objective, physical generals, mentals and particulars. All these symptoms are then grouped into common and uncommon symptoms. Symptoms are also analyzed regarding their bearings such as locations, presentations, sensations, modalities and concomitants. Causative factors are also evaulated in this process.
Not even the most sophisticated tools of ultra-modern technologies can surpass the accuracy of this method in monitoring the pathological molecular errors with such a perfection.
After collecting and analyzing the ‘total symptoms’, pathological molecular inhibitions are removed by applying appropriate ‘molecular imprints’ as therapeutic agents, selected on the basis of ‘law of similars’ or ‘Similia Similibus Curentur’. This fundamental strategy underlying the homeopathic system of therapeutics evidently surpasses any scientific methods of modern molecular medicine.
Obviously, “similia similibus curentur” is the most effective technique of identifying and removing the pathological molecular inhibitions in the organism. It is high time that the scientific world had realized and recognized this truth, and incorporated this wonderful tool into their armamentarium. I am sure, modern molecular medicine would inevitably realize the implications of similia similibus curentur in due course of its further development.